39°Mostly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com — January 30, 2015 at 10:10 am 0

Frost-covered leaf (Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk)

VDOT to Talk I-66 in Arlington — VDOT officials are expected to provide some specifics about their plan to upgrade I-66 inside the Beltway during a meeting with the Arlington Transportation Commission. That meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the County Board Room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. VDOT is said to be considering converting a portion of I-66 into HOT lanes. The agency has yet to reveal whether it will push for additional lanes inside the Beltway as well. [InsideNova]

Arlington Prosecutor Takes Morrissey Case — Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos will be the lead prosecutor in the latest criminal case against Del. Joe Morrissey, who is currently serving a work-release jail sentence after pleading guilty to having sex with a 17-year-old. [Washington Post]

Cops: Don’t Drive Drunk After the Big Game — Arlington County Police are reminding residents not to drive drunk after the Super Bowl on Sunday. For those planning on downing a few brewskis, ACPD recommends designating a driver, calling a cab or taking public transit. “Don’t want to attend the Detention Center’s #SuperBowlXLIX viewing party? Plan ahead by designating a #SoberRide home,” the department said via Twitter. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Energy Journey Game This Weekend — Call it the Super Bowl of local government-sponsored, energy-themed, life-sized board games. This weekend, Arlington County is holding the latest installment of its “Energy Journey Game,” an interactive life-size board game that tests your “energy IQ.” It’s taking place at Wakefield High School starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. [Arlington County]

A Visit to Pentagon City’s DEA Museum — The Capitol Hill publication Roll Call has a gonzo journalism account of one reporter’s trip to the DEA Museum in Pentagon City. From the article’s prelude: “And suddenly, there was a terrible mall all around us and the sky was full of what looked like squat office buildings — all glass and concrete and blocking out the sunlight — and the sound of the Metro, which ran underneath the Pentagon City Mall and the Pentagon Centre and the Drug Enforcement Agency Museum at 700 Army Navy Drive in Arlington, Va.” [Roll Call]

Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk

by ARLnow.com — January 29, 2015 at 4:15 pm 1,156 0

Water and ice (Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk)Joining communities to the north and west, Arlington is now under a Winter Weather Advisory tonight (Thursday).

Rain is falling around Arlington as of 4:15 p.m.. Forecasters say sleet, freezing rain and snow are possible as temperatures drop this evening.

Already, Dulles International Airport and other parts of Northern Virginia are reporting sleet and freezing rain — raising the possibility of a messy evening commute.

From the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EST THIS EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR FREEZING RAIN…SLEET AND SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EST THIS EVENING.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…FREEZING RAIN…SLEET AND SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS…SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION LESS THAN ONE HALF INCH. ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND A TRACE.

* TIMING…THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. THE BEST CHANCE FOR FREEZING RAIN WILL BE BETWEEN 4 PM AND 8 PM THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

* TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOWER 30S…ESPECIALLY OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON.

* WINDS…SOUTH 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 15 MPH.

* IMPACTS…UNTREATED ROADS AND SIDEWALKS MAY BECOME ICY. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DURING THE EVENING RUSH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW…SLEET…OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk

by ARLnow.com — January 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm 3,176 0

(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) George Mason Drive is shut down between N. Henderson Road and Park Drive due to a single-vehicle wreck that knocked over a utility pole.

The crash happened around 1:00 p.m. A driver in a sedan lost control of her car while heading down George Mason, near Barrett Elementary School. The car flipped on its roof and knocked over a utility pole and active power lines.

An Arlington County Fire Department rescue squad helped to pull the woman out of the overturned vehicle while keeping clear of the power lines. She was transported to a local hospital but her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Initial reports suggest that alcohol might have been a factor in the crash.

The road is expected to remain closed while utility crews work to repair the pole and the lines.

by ARLnow.com — January 29, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,321 0

Capital Bikeshare station at S. Eads Street and 23rd Street S. (Flickr photo by Euan Fisk) Previous configuration at S. Eads Street and 23rd Street S. (photo via Google Maps)

Over on Greater Greater Washington, a mini debate is raging in the comments section about whether this Capital Bikeshare station (pictured, left) in Crystal City is a good idea.

It’s located on S. Eads Street at 23rd Street S, in what was previously a shared bike lane and vehicle travel lane (albeit one with a CaBi station on the side of the road). Now, the lane consists only of a protected bike lane and an in-street Capital Bikeshare station.

In support of the station, some say it has improved safety for cyclists while keeping the station off of the sidewalk. Also, it prevents conflict among drivers when two cars heading straight have to abruptly merge into one lane at the end of the intersection.

Those arguing against the station say it reduces lines of sight, making it harder for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians crossing the intersection. It also is vulnerable to an errant driver and eliminates a lane used by cars turning onto 23rd Street. Finally, those returning and checking out bikes at the station may come into conflict with those using the bike lane.

Do you like or dislike the placement of the station?

Flickr photo (left) by Euan Fisk. Photo (right) via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com — January 29, 2015 at 9:15 am 2,155 0

Snowy Dark Star Park and path in Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen)

Arlington Named No. 3 Best Place to Live — Arlington has been named the No. 3 “best small to mid-sized city” to live in the U.S. The county scored high marks for civic engagement, education, amenities and diversity. Topping the list were Madison, Wis. and Rochester, Minn. [Livability.com]

County Still Winding Down Streetcar Project — Arlington County still is on the hook for about $60,000 worth of contract work associated with the canceled streetcar project. Most of the county staff members working on the project have been transferred to other departments, County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in an update to the County Board regarding the project wind down. [InsideNova]

Fmr. Rep. Moran to Lobby — Recently retired congressman Jim Moran has been hired by the Washington law firm McDermott Will & Emery. Moran plans to join the firm’s lobbying practice, lobbying primarily for defense contractors. [Washington Post]

Development Tracking Report — Arlington County has released its quarterly development tracking report for the fourth quarter of 2014. Notably, no new office construction was approved or started during the time period, although 761 new residential units were started and another 73 were approved. [Arlington County]

Drone Company Disables Flight in Arlington — Following a recreational drone’s crash landing at the White House, drone manufacturer DJI has pushed out a firmware update for its robotic vehicles that prohibits flight within a 15.5 mile radius of downtown D.C. [Engadget]

Making Business Easier in Arlington — Arlington County is taking some small steps toward making it easier to do business in the county. Arlington recently introduced online business license registration and a streamlined process for paying building permit fees. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm 4,040 0

Walter Tejada, speaking at a panel discussion on immigration at Kenmore Middle SchoolArlington County Board member Walter Tejada has announced that he will not seek reelection this year.

Tejada, a Democrat, made the announcement on his Facebook page this afternoon. He thanked his supporters and promised that “a more comprehensive statement will be forthcoming.”

An advocate for diversity, affordable housing and Latino issues, Tejada has served on the Board since 2003. He said that he intends to serve out his current term through the end of the year.

At least four — probably more — Democrats are expected to announce their intention to run for County Board in the coming weeks, with many announcements expected to happen at February’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. County Board Chair Mary Hynes is also up for reelection this year — she has not yet said whether she intends to run.

Tejada’s full announcement is below.

Amigos/Friends, I want to let you know that I have decided not to run for reelection to the Arlington County Board. I want to THANK ALL OF YOU as well, regardless if you live in Arlington or not, as your support has always been and will always be important to me. Please also know that I’ll continue involved in the causes I believe in specially helping our community.Here is the statement I sent to the Chair of the Arlington Democratic Committee:

Kip Malinosky, Chair
Arlington County Democratic Committee

Dear Kip,

It has been and continues to be an enormous privilege to serve in elected office and I’m very proud that during my tenure, Arlington has been recognized time and again as one of the best run governments and one of the best communities in the country. After proudly serving the Arlington community for twelve years on the County Board, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for another term.

Serving on the County Board has allowed me the opportunity to tackle a broad range of issues that have strengthened our community. It has also been a real privilege and honor to seek ways to empower low income, minority and immigrant residents in Arlington, the region, the state, and across the country, and to encourage their participation in our society. I remain committed to all of Arlington, in particular ensuring that the least privileged are heard, protecting our safety net, fighting for affordable housing, and providing a voice for many who frequently go voiceless. I have enjoyed upholding these core values, and will continue to do so in the future.

A more comprehensive statement will be forthcoming, but for now I wanted to let you know of my intentions. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the February ACDC monthly meeting, but look forward to addressing the committee in the future, perhaps at the March meeting.

At the moment I do not anticipate a need for a special election for my seat as I’m planning on fully serving my current term through December 2015.

I am, and always will be, grateful to the Arlington County Democratic Committee and to the Arlington community for their support. While on the County Board I’ve tried to serve as an unapologetic progressive, and will look forward in another capacity to always continuing to support those Democratic values. Please feel free to share this message as appropriate.

Sincerely,

J. Walter Tejada

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm 1,171 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Buddy, a dog who showed up at his owner’s door on Christmas and never left.

Here’s what owner Sarah had to say about her :

Hi, this is Buddy. We believe he is between 3-4 years old and a Beagle/Lab mix.

Last year on Christmas night we were visiting family in Pennsylvania when this little guy wandered up to the house searching for food. It was 11 degrees and his nose was frozen over. He was freezing and seemed like he hadn’t eaten anything except garbage for a few days. We brought him inside for the night and he slept by our sides without making a peep.

The next day we had found his owner and she claimed that he was out in the cold for four days. She also said she no longer wanted him and we could have him if we wanted. So, needless to say we brought Buddy back to Arlington with us.

Buddy enjoys walking/running, sniffing, cuddling, and watching the neighborhood through the front window. He loves playing with other dogs, especially his lady friend Callie and cousin Izzy. He is a huge Dallas Cowboys and Penn State fan and loves to watch the games with his parents.

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 — January 28, 2015 at 11:30 am 2,168 0

"A Nod to History," the winning 2015-2016 vehicle decalA Yorktown High School junior has won the county’s annual vehicle decal design contest for his nighttime photograph of an office building in Ballston.

Tommy Casey’s decal, entitled “A Nod to History,” was voted the winner by Arlington residents, who chose from four finalists that were announced in December. The decal is named in recognition of the design of the 10-story 800 N. Glebe Road office building, which itself is a nod to to the former Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that the building replaced.

Later this year the decal will be mailed to residents and placed on windshields of more than 160,000 vehicles in Arlington County.

From an Arlington County press release:

The scene is a nighttime photograph of a distinctive 10-story building in Ballston, owned by the JBG Companies. Casey, a senior at Yorktown High School, creatively retouched the picture with dynamic lighting and light streaks to show more vibrancy. In his Decal Competition application, Casey wrote, “I wanted to create a photo that represents the modern city that Arlington has become while recognizing the importance of Arlington’s landmarks. The building at 800 North Glebe Road symbolizes this by incorporating the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership diamond design into its modern front.”

Panel reviewed 114 entries The competition’s 114 entries were narrowed down by a panel of Arlington residents. “Our Citizens’ panel worked diligently to pare down the submissions to just four finalists. This was not an easy task considering how many great entries were received,” said Treasurer Carla de la Pava. The four finalists were put to a County-wide vote conducted over a six-week period during which 2,913 votes were cast online and by mail. Casey’s design came in first.

Thanks to the generosity of John Marshall Bank, each of the finalists received a cash prize. As the winner, Casey received $750 and the others each received $500.

The other finalists were:

  • Marisa DeFranco, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Hats of Our Heroes”
  • Ingrid Jacobsen, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Barcroft Community House”
  • Lauren Graft, 10th Grader at Washington-Lee High School, with her design “A Day at the Farmers Market”

Arlington began requiring local licensing of vehicles in 1949, which took the form of a metal tag attached to the license plate. The first windshield decal was issued in 1967; decals were first produced with a color image in 2000. In 2002, residents were given the opportunity to vote on the decal image, and in 2005 the Treasurer’s Office started the Decal Design Competition for high school students.

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 11:05 am 579 0

Update at 12:10 a.m. — All lanes have reopened.

All lanes of the northbound George Washington Parkway are being temporarily diverted due to an earlier accident, according to D.C. police.

The accident happened this morning just prior to Route 123.

“Recovery operations” related to the accident have prompted the temporary closure. Traffic is being diverted onto the Spout Run Parkway, police said.

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,936 0

WJLA ticker in Rosslyn

County Board Nixes TJ Elementary Plan — The Arlington County Board voted last night to refuse to allow Arlington Public Schools to build a new elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, at least for now. Libby Garvey, a former school board member, was the lone dissenting voice on the 4-1 vote. She agreed with the school system that new elementary school seats are urgently needed in South Arlington. The board majority said the school system needs to go back and study alternatives again, since the elementary school could have negative impacts on the surrounding community. “You have to be a little more crowded for awhile,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes told school officials. [Washington Post, Arlington County]

Board Approves Overnight Gas Sales at 7-Eleven — Just down the street from Thomas Jefferson Middle School, on S. Glebe Road, exists a 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station that heretofore has not been allowed to sell gas from midnight to 6:00 a.m. The condition was put in place by the County Board in 1992, due to concern about traffic, noise and other neighborhood impacts. On Saturday the Board approved, with neighborhood support, a use permit change that will allow gas to be pumped 24/7. [InsideNova]

Board Approves Pentagon City Apartment Building — Also on Saturday, the County Board approved a new 20 story, 453 unit apartment building at 400 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. The developer of the project agreed to a nearly $10 million community benefits package and to building to LEED Gold sustainability certification standards. [InsideNova]

Jury Duty Phone Scam Returns — Once again, someone is calling Arlington residents, claiming to be a law enforcement officer and demanding payment over the phone because the call recipient supposedly failed to appear for jury duty. As it did last March, the police department is reminding residents that this is a scam. [Arlington County Police]

Octogenarian Still in the Marriage Business — Our Man in Arlington columnist Charlie Clark has a profile of Gerald Williams, who at age 82 is still performing 25-30 civil marriage ceremonies per week from a basement office in Courthouse. Williams was also profiled in a short documentary called “Arlington is for Lovers?” that was produced in 2010. [Falls Church News-Press]

by ARLnow.com — January 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm 443 0

ARLnow.com is holding its fifth anniversary bash in Crystal City tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, you can still do so through 5:00 p.m. on Eventbrite. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The event, at the ever-expanding headquarters of the Crystal Tech Fund and Disruption Corporation, will feature two hours of all-you-can eat food from Ruth’s Chris and plenty of wine and beer, thanks to our friends at the Crystal City BID.

To help celebrate our fifth anniversary (which technically is on Thursday), we’re recounting some of the top stories of 2010.

Coming off of the depths of the Great Recession, the year that was 2010 was especially active for business openings in Crystal City. Here are some of the memorable openings in our first year:

See you tonight, Arlington!

by ARLnow.com — January 27, 2015 at 11:00 am 9,459 0

Arlington Public Schools tweetArlington Public Schools wants students to stop launching expletive-filled tirades at its Twitter account.

Yesterday @APSVirginia tweeted a “friendly reminder” for those mentioning it in tweets to “be respectful.”

“We remove followers who don’t,” the school system said. “Our technology policies apply in the Twitterverse.”

Via email, school spokesman Frank Bellavia says the tweet was specifically aimed at students who have been complaining about snow cancellation and delay decisions.

“We have had a number of students use inappropriate language or make inappropriate comments on twitter over the last few weeks,” Bellavia said. “This is the second time we have posted this message asking students to be respectful on Twitter or we will block them.”

APS’ internet policy states that student and staff must be courteous, use appropriate language, must not harass or attack others, and must not “view, send, display, or use profanity, obscenities, sexually explicit, or offensive materials.”

Violations of the policy may result in school suspension, but so far APS has apparently just been blocking offenders.

Today, when APS decided on a two hour delay instead of a school cancellation — like Fairfax County Public Schools — students did not seem to heed the warning.

Student tweets at @APSVirginia 1/27/15

More tweets from this morning, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — January 27, 2015 at 10:00 am 2,642 0

Snow in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Encouraging Residency for Top County Staff — Top Arlington County officials should be encouraged to live in Arlington, County Board members said over the weekend, but they stopped short of saying that it should be a requirement. The Board responded to a resident’s concern about non-county residents on staff. County Manager Barbara Donnellan, County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac and outgoing Police Chief Doug Scott all live outside the county. [InsideNova]

For Rent: Tiny Two-Story Cottage — A 450 square foot, 1 BR / 1 BA cottage is for rent just off of Lee Highway, near District Taco, and one blogger thinks it’s the “coolest rental in Arlington.” The tiny, standalone house features a living area and kitchenette on the first floor, and a second floor loft bedroom. It’s listed at $1,200 per month. [Real House Life of Arlington]

Millennial Complains About Housing Costs — A member of the millennial generation has written an op-ed in the Washington Post complaining that while his mom was able to buy a house in Arlington as a young photographer in 1976, he is unable to afford one today, as are many other so-called millennials. Nonetheless, millennials currently make up 39 percent of the county’s population. [Washington Post]

Arlington Flag Team Makes National Finals — The Arlington 13-14 girls NFL Flag football team has made the national final game in Arizona, set to be played tonight. The game will be live-streamed on the internet. [Twitter, NFL Flag]

Snow Cancellation Map — How much snow does it take to cancel school in Arlington? About three inches, according to a map created by a Reddit user, which shows cancellation stats by county across the U.S. The map indicates that just a couple hours to the northwest, it takes a foot of snow to cancel school, while a couple of hours to the south “any snow” will result in a cancellation. [Imgur, Reddit]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — January 27, 2015 at 7:05 am 895 0

Arlington Public Schools are opening on a two hour delay this morning due to concerns about icy conditions.

From APS:

APS schools and offices will open two hours late today and all schools will end at the normal dismissal time. Essential school employees should report on time. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late. There will be no early release and all morning field trips are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

Snow on Columbia Pike Monday nightAPS joins D.C. and Alexandria, among others, in setting a two hour delay. Fairfax and Montgomery County schools have closed for the day.

Arlington’s STAR paratransit system, meanwhile, is opening at 10:00 a.m. and all rides before that are canceled, except for those that are for dialysis.

So far, few accidents are being reported on the roads around Arlington. The county says it’s treating both main roads and residential area this morning.

The National Weather Service is reporting 0.5-1.7 inches of snow accumulation around Arlington since Sunday night.

Photo courtesy @ezequieeeel

by ARLnow.com — January 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm 6,205 0

Richard Hilliard (photo courtesy ACPD)A drunk Arlington resident tried to kiss the driver of his Uber ride then stole her phone when his unwanted advances were rebuffed, according to Arlington County police.

The incident happened just after 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening, on the 2200 block of S. Garfield Street in Nauck. Police say 31-year-old Richard Hilliard, who was intoxicated, became belligerent after trying to kiss the Uber driver.

“When she resisted the subject assaulted her and prevented her from calling police,” according to a crime report. “The subject stole her phone and left it on the front steps of his residence.”

The woman’s phone was “recovered by a witness.” Police arrested Hilliard at his home shortly thereafter. While being hauled off to jail he allegedly tried to kick out the rear window of the police cruiser.

Hilliard has been charged with robbery, preventing a 911 call and attempted destruction of property. He was held without bond.

Update at 11:15 a.m. — An Uber spokeswoman has issued the following statement about the incident to ARLnow.com:

“This is an appalling and serious crime. We are in contact with our valued driver partner and will continue to provide support. Upon learning of the incident we immediately and permanently removed the rider from our platform, and stand ready to assist authorities.”

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