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by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm 320 0

U.S. Park Police badgeA pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle on the George Washington Parkway.

The collision happened around 8:30 Sunday night. A driver vehicle heading northbound struck a pedestrian just before the exit to Spout Run. The striking vehicle then drove off, continuing on northbound, according to U.S. Park Police.

The pedestrian, who has not been identified, is “currently being treated at a local hospital and remains in critical condition,” police said Monday night. It’s unclear why he or she was on foot in or along the roadway.

Investigators don’t have a description of the vehicle, and are asking witnesses to come forward.

“Commuters traveling north on the George Washington Memorial Parkway that may have witnessed this crash or may have information is asked to contact the United States Park Police Tip Line at 202-610-8737,” Park Police said.

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm 1,667 0

Hazmat response for possible Ebola patient at the Pentagon on 10/17/14Virginia Hospital Center refused to admit the potential Ebola patient from the Pentagon on Friday, according to county officials, despite the hospital saying two weeks earlier that it was ready to handle such patients.

Responding to an inquiry from ARLnow.com today, the Arlington County Fire Department confirmed reports that VHC refused the woman — who at the time was thought to potentially have the deadly Ebola virus — when medics brought her to the hospital. She never left the ambulance.

“We were turned away,” said ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani. “We followed our protocol and brought the patient to the closest hospital (VHC), at which point we were rerouted to Fairfax Inova.”

VHC has not responded to multiple requests for comment from ARLnow.com. Marchegiani said the hospital claimed not to be prepared for such a patient, even though the department had previously been told VHC could accept suspected Ebola patients.

“The reason told to our medical director was that they couldn’t handle the patient,” said Marchegiani. Earlier this month, however, VHC told TV station WUSA 9 that it was ready to deal with potential Ebola patients.

“Virginia Hospital Center wants to reassure our community that the Hospital has the infrastructure and procedures already in place to screen, and if necessary, isolate, test and treat all high-risk patients. We drill and prepare for just such situations; therefore, our staff is highly trained to take appropriate precautions for a suspected and/or confirmed Ebola case.

A multi-disciplinary taskforce has reviewed our infection control guidelines and reinforced education of the Hospital staff to ensure it can detect a patient with Ebola Virus Disease, protect all healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and respond to the patient in a timely manner.”

An ARLnow.com tipster indicates emergency responders called the VHC emergency room from the scene at the Pentagon, and were told to bring the patient over. The tipster claims hospital administration refused to allow the patient inside once she arrived at the hospital. The person tells ARLnow.com there was a “heated exchange” between the emergency physician and hospital administration inside the emergency room while the patient waited in the ambulance. The tipster also claims hospital administration worried it would lose business if it came to be seen as an “Ebola hospital.”

The county’s emergency officials reportedly have had talks with officials at VHC since the incident. ACFD confirms VHC has agreed to accept potential Ebola patients in the future.

Arlington County officials also have confirmed that the patient had not traveled to West Africa, as she allegedly first told authorities. In fact, she had not left the country at all, the county said, and had no contact with other potentially infected people.

“She had stated that she had traveled to Sierra Leone at the scene and did exhibit symptoms consistent with Ebola, so responders took all appropriate steps,” said Diana Sun, Arlington County’s Director of Communications. “There was an investigative process that went beyond Arlington. During the course of this, people close to the patient were interviewed and stated that she had not left the country. The patient herself, later in the afternoon, recanted her story and said that she had not left the country. When that last piece came in, public health officials felt confident in not pursuing” further testing for the Ebola virus.

There’s no word yet on whether the woman will face any charges.

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm 924 0

Village Sweet logoIf you have a sweet tooth, get ready to spend time hanging out at a new shop coming to Westover. “Village Sweet” bakery is preparing to move in at 5872 Washington Blvd.

Owner Dawn Hart has operated a customized sugar cookie business online since 2006. She had wanted to expand her offerings and to secure a brick-and-mortar location, which would allow her to stop renting commercial kitchen space. It was her dream to open in Westover, the neighborhood where she lives, but she didn’t think any space would open up. It just so happened that the day after she talked to her husband about the prospect of opening a bakery in Westover, he ran into the landlord for the space Village Sweet now will occupy.

“We’re very excited and the location honestly could not be better,” said Hart. “It’s such a happening place.”

Although customers can continue to order the customized cookies Hart made so popular with Monster Cookie Co., the shop will serve a wide variety of sweets. Donuts, guava and cotija cheese pastries, seasonal granolas and dark chocolate cookies with steal cut oats are some of the goodies Hart plans to offer. She’s still playing around with the full menu and will do small recipe taste test events until the shop opens.

“We’re pairing some things a lot of people probably have not had before and opening up some unique flavors,” Hart said.

Something she’s passionate about is making sure the treats taste good, but also are baked on-site each morning with quality, local ingredients. There will be gluten-free and nut-free options for customers with allergies.

“We’re baking foods you’re going to feel good about eating. They’re not loaded with preservatives. They’re the best quality pastries you can possibly get. It’s just an updated version of your’s mom’s baking,” said Hart. “If you’re going to put a doughnut in your mouth, you should feel good about it. It’s so important to me, the quality of what people are eating.”

During the day the shop will have seating for customers, but certain nights will be designated for groups to rent out the space for custom cookie decorating parties. The bakers will come up with custom sugar cookies for nearly any occasion — such as kids’ birthdays, book clubs and holiday parties — and customers get to ice and decorate the cookies however they choose.

Village Sweet does not yet have a firm opening date, but Hart hopes it will be in January. There will be a grand opening celebration once she feels operations are running smoothly.

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 10:50 am 0

Fairlington farmers market location (photo via Arlington County)Residents in Fairlington won’t have to go as far to get fresh produce, starting next year. On Saturday, Arlington County Board members unanimously approved allowing a an open-air farmers market in Fairlington.

The market will take place at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street) from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Sundays from April through November. The special use permit allows for 15 to 20 vendors and up to 29 tents on a pedestrian path behind the community center.

The use permit will allow the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, Inc., to operate the market. That’s the same organization running the Westover farmers market. In order to accommodate concerns about noise, no amplified music or speakers of any kind will be allowed.

Nearly a dozen residents showed up to express their opinions of how the market may affect the community. With one exception, all the speakers supported the market.

“Farmers markets are intended to be neighborhood affairs,” said resident Douglas Penn. “It’s a natural enhancement to a community that already exists. It’s another jewel in the crown.”

Some residents previously had expressed concern that a farmers market at the community center would affect parking. County staff notes that the market is on several bus lines and there is ample free parking in the area. The special use permit will come up for renewal in October 2015, and Board members say at that time they would address any parking concerns that may still exist. The Board also has the authority to examine formal complaints before the permit comes up for renewal.

“I do think this is a good thing. I am aware that there are some folks that are upset. Which is part of the reason I’m going to look at the parking and try to reassure them. But we absolutely need to give it a try,” said Board member Libby Garvey, who is also a Fairlington resident. “I will kick up a fuss if there really is a problem for some folks who do not have the parking that they need.”

The Fairlington farmers market will be the ninth farmers market in Arlington. It is expected to open in April 2015.

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 9:30 am 625 0

Police directing traffic at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Lynn Street on the morning of 10/20/14

Va. ‘Fully Committed’ to Streetcar Funding — Despite budget cuts, the Commonwealth of Virginia is still “fully committed” to providing up to $65 million for the Columbia Pike streetcar project, according to the director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. [Washington Post]

Name Proposed for New Elementary School — “Discovery Elementary” is the name proposed by a steering committee for the new elementary school on the Williamsburg Middle School campus. The name will be formally presented to the school board on Thursday. [InsideNova]

Firefighters Endorse Vihstadt — The Arlington County firefighters and paramedics union has endorsed John Vihstadt for reelection in the race for Arlington County Board.

Candidate Forum Tonight — The Radnor Fort Myer Heights Civic Association will hold a forum with the candidates for Congress, County Board, Treasurer and School Board tonight at 7:00 p.m. [Ode Street Tribune]

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm 2,969 0

Metroway bus in Crystal City (Photo courtesy Donna Gouse)

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey.

What transportation projects should we fund in Arlington with the money we save from not building a streetcar?

This is an important question. John Vihstadt and I asked our staff exactly this question during a work session on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) this summer. Our staff said they could provide a list if a majority of our Board colleagues voted to ask for it, but our three Board colleagues voted against it. So neither we, nor the public, has the benefit of staff’s expertise and analysis to answer this question.

We do know that the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcars are projected to cost over $500 million and consume about 19% of our Capital Improvement Program. We also know that these streetcars will require over $8 million and perhaps millions more per year in annual operating costs. We all should be wondering what could and should we do with this money instead.

If we reprogram those local and state dollars, here are some possibilities we might fund partially or fully:

1. Expand and improve the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in Crystal City so it operates more like a streetcar with side opening doors. Run it frequently and all the time. Connect it to the BRT line in Alexandria. Work with Fairfax and run BRT all the way down Route 1 to Fort Belvoir. Take the BRT line down the route planned for the streetcar on Columbia Pike, and take it into Annandale. Run a BRT line from Rosslyn out Lee Highway and work with Fairfax and Loudoun to take it all the way to Leesburg. Work with Montgomery County, Maryland and D.C. and take a BRT line from Arlington and the Pentagon to D.C. and on to Rockville or further. In other words, build a robust regional BRT service that people can depend on to get them where they want to go conveniently and efficiently.

2. Address the dangerous intersection at Lynn Street and Lee Highway at Key Bridge with a permanent and effective solution to protect pedestrians and cyclists. This likely means significant construction to rework the intersection. We could improve pedestrian and cyclist safety around the county at other places like East Falls Church.

3. Add much needed new Metro entrances at Rosslyn and Ballston.

4. Add a whole new Metro station in Rosslyn as called for in the Metro Momentum plan.

5. Pay for some of the huge capital costs Metro anticipates in their Metro Momentum capital improvement plan. While not detailed yet, this is a large expense that looms in the near future. Currently we have not planned how we will pay for it.

6. With the old bridges over the Potomac needing extensive reconstruction soon and the huge casino opening at Harbor Place the need for more ways to cross the river is clear. Transportation funds could be used for a new bridge, or tunnel or even dock facilities for a Potomac ferry service. A recent study showed a ferry to be economically viable. National Airport is a natural location for a dock. Besides millions of tourists arriving there each year, thousands of people commute to and from Ft. Belvoir and other military bases located on the river every day.

In sum, taxes will be lower and transportation better without a streetcar. There are many needed transportation improvements that will have to wait until we can raise taxes or get federal and state dollars to fund them if we waste over $500 million on a streetcar.

To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to arlingtonnews@gmail.com. Letters to the editor may be edited for content and brevity.

Photo courtesy Donna Gouse

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm 4,462 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A robbery occurred just past noon today at a bank branch on Lee Highway.

The United Bank at 5350 Lee Highway, across from the Harris Teeter, was robbed by a man who implied a weapon and passed a note to the teller.

The man fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash before police arrived. Police searched the area for the suspect but were unable to locate him. The FBI is also on the scene and investigating the incident.

The suspect is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall, with a muscular build. He is said to be wearing a gray hat, shirt, and pants.

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 10:05 am 128,371 0

Update at 5:10 p.m. — Arlington County officials say in a press release that the woman who was sick at the Pentagon this morning does not have Ebola.

Based on the public health investigation, which included the travel history of a woman who became ill this morning in a Pentagon parking lot, and on questioning of her by medical staff, medical authorities are confident that she does not have Ebola.

Arlington County Fire Department Emergency Medical Services transported the woman to Fairfax Inova Hospital Friday morning, after she became ill in a Pentagon parking lot. The woman had displayed symptoms consistent with the virus and her travel history was uncertain. She was put in isolation at Fairfax Inova Hospital. Arlington County took all necessary precautions to protect public health during this event, including activating its Emergency Operations Center. We are beginning to break down those operations now.

(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Arlington County’s responded to the Pentagon this morning due to an possible Ebola case on a tour bus.

Medics responded to the Pentagon this morning for a report of a woman on a bus who was sick and vomiting. When they were told that she had recently arrived from Africa, the hazmat team was called out of “a complete abundance of caution,” Pentagon Force Protection Agency spokesman Chris Layman told ARLnow.com.

A large portion of the Pentagon south parking lot was cordoned off with caution tape, and police are telling those who don’t work at the Pentagon to avoid the immediate surrounding area.

The woman — who reportedly boarded the bus at the Pentagon, got sick in the bathroom then got off — was transported via ambulance to a Inova Fairfax Hospital. The county’s medical director also responded to the call and went to the hospital with the patient, according to scanner traffic.

A tipster with knowledge of the emergency response told ARLnow.com that the patient claimed she recently traveled from the West African nation of Sierra Leone. That was confirmed by D.C. health department officials. However, an Associated Press report is now questioning whether she has, in fact, been out of the country.

The tipster also said that four Arlington firefighters were held at the hospital for much of the day due to possible exposure, and are now monitoring themselves for signs illness. That tip could not be immediately confirmed. The AP is reporting that seven Pentagon police officers might have also been exposed and are being monitored.

Arlington medic units and Fairfax hazmat units are on scene at Inova Fairfax Hosptial, according to news helicopter footage.

As of 10:50 a.m., Arlington County was mobilizing its Emergency Operations Center to deal with the incident, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Just before noon, the county issued the following press release.

Arlington Responds to Possible Ebola Case

At about 9:10 a.m. today, Pentagon Police officers identified a woman in the Pentagon South Parking Lot, around lanes 17-19, who was ill and vomiting. Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) was notified and responded immediately with both emergency medical aid and HazMat response team.

During the response, the individual allegedly indicated that she had recently visited western Africa. Out of an abundance of caution, all pedestrian and vehicular traffic was suspended around the South Parking lot, while Arlington County responded to the scene. At 9:53 a.m, the patient was taken to the Virginia Hospital Center; however she did not exit the ambulance. ACFD then transported the patient to Fairfax Inova Hospital.

Arlington Public Health is directing the public health response to this incident. Arlington County has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a Joint Information Center (JIC) to manage the incident.

At the Pentagon
Out of an abundance of caution and to allow the investigation to proceed, pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the Pentagon South Parking lot’s lanes 7-23 will remain restricted until further notice. The Corridor 2 entrance to the Pentagon is also closed.

More information will be released when it becomes available.

Arlington firefighters and the hazmat team cleared the scene at the Pentagon around 1:45 p.m.

The bus the woman boarded was later stopped and detained near D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Despite numerous Ebola scares in the United States, there have been fewer than 10 confirmed cases in the country. Today President Obama named an “Ebola czar” to help coordinate the federal response to the outbreak threat.

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 9:00 am 909 0

Sky over S. Walter Reed Drive near Shirlington (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Wardian Featured in Runners World — Prolific ultramarathon runner and Arlington resident Michael Wardian was the subject of a full-page spread in the latest Runners World magazine. Wardian, 40, holds the record for fastest marathon dressed as a superhero, fastest marathon with a stroller and fastest marathon on a treadmill. He was photographed on the Potomac Heritage Trail, where he regularly goes on morning runs with his puppy, Rosie. [PDF]

Arlington Wine Bars Make Top 100 — Arlington wine bars The Curious Grape and Grand Cru have been named to OpenTable’s list of the top 100 wine-centric restaurants in America. [OpenTable]

Candidates Question School Costs — School Board candidates Barbara Kanninen and Audrey Clement both said that there are ways to contain costs at Arlington Public Schools. Clement said the school system should consider increasing class sizes, while Kanninen said she was concerned about the cost of technology initiatives. [InsideNova]

GW’s Barcroft Park Field to Be Named – George Washington University will name the field its baseball team plays at Barcroft Park after a major donor. The field recently underwent a $3 million renovation. It will be named after Avram “Ave” Tucker, a former GW baseball player and the owner of a financial firm, who is making a $2 million donation to the school. The newly-christened “Tucker Field” will be dedicated in a ceremony Saturday morning. [George Washington University]

Orthopaedic Center to Open in Clarendon — The Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Center of Falls Church has announced that it has opened a second office, at 1307 N. Highland Street in Clarendon.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com — October 16, 2014 at 10:05 am 1,025 0

A woman photographs Dark Star Park in Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by John Williams)

Howze Endorsed By Teachers PAC — Democratic County Board candidate Alan Howze has been endorsed by the Arlington Education Association’s political action committee. The teachers group said Howze “has clearly and consistently talked about the need to support our educators and address the overcrowding challenges we face.” [InsideNova]

Young Republicans: Don Beyer Is Old — The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans used today’s “Throwback Thursday” as an opportunity to remind voters that Democratic congressional candidate Don Beyer was first elected to office as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor in 1989. “Roxette’s ‘Listen to Your Heart’ was the number one song, Seinfeld premiered, a gallon of gas was $1.12, Taylor Swift was born, and the Soviet Union was still intact,” said Matthew Hurtt, AFCYR Chairman. “Don Beyer is campaigning on the same failed policies Michael Dukakis espoused in 1988.” [AFCYR]

‘Historic Home’ Is ‘A Labor of Love’ – Aurora Hills resident Patrick Johnson loves his “historic home,” a Sears catalog house built in 1931. Originally home to Arlington’s first paid fire marshal, the house is now “a labor of love and dedication” to maintain. [Preservation Arlington]

Pumpkin Decorating This Weekend – Families will be able to decorate pumpkins together this Saturday, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Arlington Mill Community Center. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by John Williams

by ARLnow.com — October 16, 2014 at 9:35 am 556 0

Virginia is one of the states participating in the Great Southeast Shakeout this morning.

The shakeout is a multi-state earthquake drill, set to take place at 10:16 a.m. Residents are encouraged to “drop,” “cover” and “hold on” during the drill and during an actual earthquake.

Schools, businesses, community groups across the Commonwealth are expected to participate in the drill.

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm 2,777 0

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Arlington this afternoon as a dangerous storm system rolled through the area.

The tornado warning has since been canceled, but a flood watch remains in effect through 8:00 p.m. (See below.)

Medics in Arlington responded to at least one report of a person struck by lightning during the storms.

Police reported significant flooding along Four Mile Run in the area of I-395. Flooding was also reported on S. Scott Street near the Wellington apartments, and on Route 50 near Glebe Road.

As of 1:15 p.m., 212 Dominion customers in Arlington County were said to be without power. According to a reader, the Harris Teeter at Lee Highway and N. Harrison Street was among those that had lost power.

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING…

THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF MARYLAND…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING

* A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL IMPACT THE REGION TODAY. A PLUME OF HEAVY RAINFALL IS MOVING SLOWLY ACROSS THE REGION FROM WEST TO EAST THROUGH THIS EVENING. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF ONE TO THREE INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

* THE HEAVY RAINFALL MAY CAUSE FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS… ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS AND LOCATIONS ESPECIALLY PRONE TO FRESHWATER FLOODING. NEVER CROSS ROADS THAT ARE FLOODED. TURN AROUND DON`T DROWN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm 763 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Franklin, a rescue pup from Philadelphia named after one of the city’s most prominent historical figures.

Here’s what Frankln’s owner, Josephine, had to say about him:

My name is Franklin, after Benjamin Franklin. I am a 14-month-old rescue from the greater Philadelphia area. They say I am a Jack Russell/Beagle mix, but when I look in the mirror I see some Shepherd in there too!

I just moved to Arlington from Wilmington, Del. I miss all my friends from my old park, but am making lots of new friends at the Fort Barnard bark park. My favorite activity is getting my friends to chase me around. While I look small, I surprise all the other dogs with my speed and deer-like reflexes! I also love to cuddle, look very innocent and carry my toy lion around my house.

Unlike other pups my age, I have been to some pretty cool places. Last Christmas I took a very long car ride to Golden, Colo. I visited my cousins and the Coors Factory! I get to visit the beach and frequently attend brunch. I am a graduate of kindergarten and basic training! Someday soon I hope to master a handshake and more advanced tricks!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email office@arlnow.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2014 at 11:15 am 999 0

Ashlawn Elementary School addition groundbreaking ceremony (photo courtesy APS)The Democratic candidates for Arlington County Board and School Board released a joint statement Tuesday regarding public lands and the school capacity crunch.

County Board candidate Alan Howze and School Board candidates Barbara Kanninen and Nancy Van Doren said that while the school system should address capacity needs “expeditiously and cost-effectively,” it should do so following a “broadly inclusive community process” to discuss the use of public lands for schools, parks and affordable housing.

In response, incumbent County Board candidate John Vihstadt said that while a community process is currently underway, “what is also needed is a recognition that some difficult choices will have to be made and that hard trade-offs must occur.”

School Board candidate Audrey Clement, who is running against Kanninen (Van Doren is running unopposed), in turn questioned why the county’s school construction costs and per-pupil costs are significantly higher than other Northern Virginia jurisdictions.

The full statements from the candidates, after the jump.

File photo courtesy APS

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2014 at 10:20 am 3,956 0

Tall brown boots spotted at a beer festival in Courthouse (photo courtesy @SeenInClarendon)Arlington is noted for being home to many male aficionados of brown flip flops.

On Sunday, one observer of local culture might have found the female equivalent of “dudes in brown flip flops” — women in tall brown boots.

At the first annual Arts and Craft Beer Festival in Courthouse over the weekend, Twitter user @SeenInClarendon saw — and photographed — many such pairs of boots, which might seem more appropriate on someone riding a horse than on someone downing a lager and a lobster roll.

Is this a trend that’s especially prevalent in Arlington — a la brown flip flops? Or is it not Arlington-specific? We’ll let you decide.

Photo courtesy @SeenInClarendon

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