It was revealed this week that Chipotle has begun offering an officially-sanctioned delivery service.
The food deliveries are being offered in a number of U.S. metro areas, including the D.C. area, through online delivery service Postmates.
While the idea of an on-demand burrito may sound appetizing, the cost of the service is less so. USA Today reported that the cost starts at $5, on top of the cost of the food. Re/code, which broke the story, was being asked for $12 in delivery and service fees, bringing the cost of an $8 order to $20 delivered.
ARLnow.com tested the ordering process using the Chipotle in the Pentagon City mall and was asked for $7.16 in fees for delivery to an address a couple of blocks from the mall, nearly doubling the cost of a steak burrito.
Can you see yourself ever using this delivery service for your Chipotle meal?
ACPD Patrolling Trails — Auxiliary officers with the Arlington County Police Department will be increasingly patrolling trails around the county this spring, to help keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe. [InsideNova]
Arlington Transit Survey — Arlington County is conducting an online survey of residents as part of its update of Arlington’s Transit Development Plan. The 10-year-plan is intended to identify transit goals and prioritize improvements. This latest update will include recommendations for future transit on Columbia Pike. [SurveyMonkey]
Forums Shut Down — Due to an influx of uncontrollable spam and an unresolvable technical glitch with the latest version of WordPress, ARLnow.com has made the decision to shut down our message board indefinitely. Thank you to our forum participants for four years of vigorous community discussion.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Police Answer Resident Questions About Murder — Arlington County Police held a community meeting in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood last night to answer questions about the murder of Bonnie Black. Police said that Black was stabbed in the chest and neck. Officers have been conducting extra patrols but police say no immediate danger to the community. Meanwhile, it was revealed that police are searching the home of Black’s estranged husband, who so far is not being named as a suspect. [MyFoxDC, WTOP]
Judge Considering Deaf Inmate’s Suit — A federal court judge is considering testimony in the lawsuit against the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office by a deaf inmate who says he was denied access to an American Sign Language interpreter during a jail stay last year. [Associated Press]
TDM For APS Teachers — Arlington County has launched the first transportation demand management (TDM) program in the U.S. for public school faculty and staff. The program is “aimed at reducing the drive-alone rate of the more than 5,000 employees of Arlington Public Schools (APS), one of the top employers in the county.” [Mobility Lab]
No ‘Bells and Whistles’ for Lubber Run — Arlington County is in the early stages of a plan to renovate the Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive), but the officials are already tamping down any expectations of gold-plated features. “We’re not going to build everyone’s wish list,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes on Tuesday. A community forum about the renovation project is scheduled for next Wednesday at 6:30 at the community center. [InsideNova]
Arlington Native Named People’s ‘Most Beautiful’ — Actress Sandra Bullock, a 1982 graduate of Washington-Lee High School, has been named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman of 2015. [Patch]
Photo courtesy @TheBeltWalk
(Updated at 7:45 a.m.) The Arlington County Police Department Special Victims Unit is seeking additional victims of a county home inspector who has been accused of inappropriately touching a woman during an inspection of her home.
Olaseni Cole, 54, was charged with sexual battery after allegedly groping a woman on the morning of Tuesday, April 14, according to Arlington County police.
The incident happened on the 3900 block of 8th Street S., in the Alcova Heights neighborhood. Cole, an Upper Marlboro, Md. resident and an Arlington County employee, was inspecting the woman’s house.
Cole was arrested and is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse. Police are asking anyone else who might have been a victim to come forward.
“Anyone who has had past inappropriate encounters with this suspect is asked to call Detective N. Brooks at 703.228.4169 or email email@example.com,” the press release continued. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
Olesani started working for the county in March 2014, according to Arlington Human Resources Director Marcy Foster.
This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Lane, a mixed-breed rescue dog who is afraid of floor lamps.
Here’s what owner Ryan had to say about his pup:
Lane is a 3-and-a-half-year-old mixed breed that I believe is a pitbull/whippet mix. Ryan, her owner, rescued her while he was getting his Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech, hence she’s named after the Hokie’s Lane Stadium.
Lane is a playful dog that loves having fun with other dogs and chasing after squirrels while going for walks on the Bluemont Junction trail behind her house. Lane’s favorite activity is going on hikes and running through the woods in the Blue Ridge Mountains while she is visiting her grandparents’ house during the holidays. She is a very quiet dog and hardly ever barks, unless it is at the mailman. The roommates in our house recently got several remote control helicopters and she enjoys watching them fly around and attempting to snag them when they fly too low.
For some reason, Lane’s biggest fear is floor lamps. She is always checking on them to make sure they haven’t moved. We spoil Lane by allowing her on the furniture, and she uses that privilege to its fullest extent. Unlike some other dogs, she is excellent in the car, she just curls up and enjoys the ride. Any time myself or any of my roommates come home from work, Lane gets extremely excited and always needs to pick up an item in her mouth while relentlessly wagging her tail. The first item she usually picks up is her bone, and if that is not within sight, she will pick up some very unconventional items, such as blankets, shoes, or socks.
Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) The Artisphere cultural center in Rosslyn will close and Arlington’s property tax rate will stay the same under the new Fiscal Year 2016 budget approved unanimously by the Arlington County Board last night.
The $1.16 billion budget will provide Arlington Public Schools with the extra $6.2 million it sought to deal with rising enrollment.
It also will fund a new internal auditor position, a campaign promise of County Board member John Vihstadt.
Other budget highlights include:
- An additional $1.4 million for economic development efforts, including an extra $200,000 for TandemNSI, $200,000 for tourism promotion and an extra $100,000 for the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization
- Five new sheriff deputy positions
- Salary supplement for the public defender’s office
- Additional jail-based mental health services
- An additional animal control officer for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington
- Funding for Affordable Housing Investment Fund remains steady at $12.5 million
- An additional $1 million for housing grants, for a total of $8.9 in housing grant funding
- The county manager’s proposed cuts to BikeArlington were eliminated. Funding for county bike and pedestrian programs remains at $812,121.
- A merit compentation increase for employees
- Funding restored to the “Live Where You Work” program for county employees
Under the budget, Arlington’s real estate tax rate will stay at $0.996 per $100 in assessed value. However, due to the 4.9 percent rise in residential property assessments and a 1.8 percent increase in the water-sewer rate, the average Arlington homeowners’ tax and fee burden will rise about $281 a year, to a total of $7,567, a 4 percent increase.
“Arlington’s real estate tax rate remains the lowest in the region,” a county press release noted.
County government spending will increase 1.1 percent and Arlington Public Schools spending will increase 4.5 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.
Under the budget, the per-pupil cost of Arlington Public Schools to taxpayers will drop to $18,558 per student from $19,040 per student during FY 2015.
The internal auditor position sought by Vihstadt will require $200,000 of funding. The auditor will be independent, reporting to the County Board as opposed to existing internal auditing programs that report to the County Manager.
“The auditor, and an advisory committee, will report directly to the County Board and will focus on tightening financial oversight and deepening program performance review,” according to the press release.
The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill this year giving the Board the authority to hire an auditor. The only other positions the Board can hire directly are the County Attorney, the County Clerk and the County Manager.
County officials say they were able to balance the budget without a tax increase and find additional funding for schools and other priorities by making budget cuts elsewhere, including Artisphere.
“The Board’s most significant cut was its decision to close Artisphere, a move that will save $2.3 million in net taxpayer support for the County’s critically acclaimed arts and cultural center,” said the press release. “The County has said that the center’s failure to consistently attract a large enough audience and its ongoing need for substantial County funding put too great a burden on strained County finances. The County is redirecting $496,000 of the money saved to fund alternative arts and cultural programming across the County.”
Artisphere is set to close June 30.
Mercedes Catches Fire After Lightning Strike — An Arlington man’s beloved Mercedes 430 CLK convertible was “burned to a crisp” Monday night after a lightning strike. The lightning apparently struck a power pole, which then fell over. A sparking power line ignited the Mercedes. [Washington Post]
Arlington Honors 16 Trees — The Arlington County Board recognized 16 “Notable Trees” around the county at its meeting yesterday afternoon. During the 10-minute ceremony, details about each tree were read individually as the tree’s owner came up to the front of the room to collect a plaque or certificate. Of the 16 trees, 14 are located in north Arlington and only 2 are located in south Arlington. [Arlington County]
Shirlington Apartment Building Loses Power — Io Piazza, an upscale apartment building in Shirlington, had been without power for more than 24 hours as of last night. An underground transformer that serves the building failed during Monday’s thunderstorms. [Patch]
Year-Round Gift Wrapping at Pentagon City Mall — Starting May 8, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be offering year-round complimentary gift wrapping service. The service is available for purchases of $250 or more at luxury stores. Previously, the service was only offered during certain holidays.
Fmr. Treasurer Endorses Fallon — Frank O’Leary, who retired as Arlington County Treasurer last year, has endorsed Peter Fallon for County Board. “Peter Fallon is a mature, thoughtful, fiscally responsible candidate with an amazing grasp of the issues that confront our county,” O’Leary said in a statement. “I enthusiastically support his approach to improving Arlington.” [InsideNova]
Cristol Published Buzzfeed Listicle — County Board candidate Katie Cristol has published a Buzzfeed listicle, complete with animated GIFs, highlighting “7 Reasons to Vote in Arlington Virginia.” Among the reasons are “housing is getting less affordable,” “over 50% of Arlington is under 35,” “women need a strong voice in Arlington” and “it’s fun.” [Buzzfeed]
(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) Arlington County Police will be holding a community meeting in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood Wednesday to provide anxious residents information about the department’s investigation into the murder of 42-year-old Bonnie Delgado Black.
Police confirmed Monday that they’re investigating Black’s death — at her home on 18th Street S. — as a homicide, saying that the 42-year-old single mother of two was stabbed to death. No other new details about the crime or the murder weapon were released.
Investigators were back at the house this morning, processing evidence. There is still no suspect in the case, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, and Black’s ex-husband, who lives a few blocks away, is “fully cooperating with the police investigation.”
“We’re continuing to remain on scene with a 24/7 security detail,” Sternbeck said, “and officers continue to canvas the neighborhood.”
Black’s children, ages 3 and 5, have been placed in foster care, according to police.
The community meeting will take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church (830 23rd Street S.) Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The police district commander, criminal investigations commander and acting police chief Jay Farr are among those expected to discuss the case. There will also be an open question-and-answer session with Chief Farr.
The meeting was arranged “to address the community safety concerns,” said Sternbeck.
“We were receiving a lot of inquiries from residents down there and we thought it would be appropriate to participate in this community discussion,” he said.
Australian Restaurant Coming to Clarendon — Oz, a new Australian restaurant, will be opening in the former La Tagliatella space in Clarendon late this summer. The restaurant is owned by Australian native Michael Darby, co-founder of Monument Realty, and his wife Ashley Darby, the 2011 Miss District of Columbia winner. [Washington Business Journal]
New Ballston Apartment Project in the Works — Saul Centers, which developed the Clarendon Center project, is planning a new residential and retail development on the Orange Line. The developer is in the early stages of proposing a 12-story, 431-unit apartment building to replace the Rosenthal Mazda dealership at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Wilson Blvd. [Washington Business Journal]
Parking Lot Hit-and-Run Case in Court — A court hearing was held Monday for Alexandra Mendez, the woman accused of running over a man in a Columbia Pike parking lot and then fleeing the scene. Prosecutors showed the court a cell phone video of the incident, which nearly killed 40-year-old Noormustafa “Noor” Shaikh. A doctor testified that Shaikh’s “bones were like shards” after being run over by Mendez in her SUV. [WJLA]
Arlington Highly Ranked by AARP — Arlington County is the 6th most livable place in the U.S. with a population between 100,000 and 500,000, according to a new survey by AARP. Also in the AARP survey, Arlington ranked No. 1 in the “Best Cities for Staying Healthy” category, thanks to an abundance of exercise opportunities. The survey targeted Americans age 50 and older. [WTOP]
VHC and County Considering Land Swap — Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington County have started discussing a possible land swap. The swap would trade soon-to-be-vacated county properties adjacent to the hospital — which would allow VHC to expand — for hospital property elsewhere in the county. Virginia Hospital Center, meanwhile, is getting kudos from the federal government. According to new hospital rankings from Medicare, VHC is the only “four star” hospital in the D.C. area. [InsideNova, Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by J. Peterson
Arlington County is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning through 8:30 p.m.
From the National Weather Service:
AT 742 PM EDT… DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM NEAR FAIRFAX TO NEAR TRIANGLE… AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON… COLLEGE PARK… VIENNA… FALLS CHURCH… BLADENSBURG… FORESTVILLE IN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY… PIMMIT HILLS… MANTUA… THE I395 AND I495… GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY… NATIONALS PARK… CLINTON… CORAL HILLS… WOODBRIDGE… THE I66 AND I495… LANGLEY PARK… ANNANDALE… DALE CITY… CRYSTAL CITY AND HUNTINGTON IN FAIRFAX COUNTY.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS… DESTRUCTIVE HAIL… DEADLY LIGHTNING AND VERY HEAVY RAIN. FOR YOUR PROTECTION… MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. HEAVY RAINS FLOOD ROADS QUICKLY SO DO NOT DRIVE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD.
Forecasters say severe storms are likely late this afternoon and this evening and that an isolated tornado is possible.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to reach the around the evening rush hour.
From the National Weather Service:
THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. A FEW OF THE THUNDERSTORMS MAY BECOME SEVERE WITH A THREAT OF DAMAGING WIND GUSTS…LARGE HAIL AND AN ISOLATED TORNADO.
LNN acquired Borderstan in March from Matt Rhoades and Luis Gomez, who co-founded the site in 2008. The company plans to relaunch Borderstan early this summer, carrying on the site’s community-based reporting in the Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods. As part of its relaunch Borderstan will add Columbia Heights to its coverage area.
Bethesda Now is being purchased by Bethesda Magazine and will be folded into the magazine’s online daily news publication, Bethesda Beat. Bethesda Now editor Aaron Kraut will join Bethesda Beat editor Andrew Metcalf as part of an expansion of the publication.
“Since it launched in 2012 Bethesda Now has set a high standard for local news reporting,” said Steve Hull, editor and publisher of Bethesda Magazine. “With Andrew and Aaron teaming up, Bethesda Beat will be able to provide even more coverage of Bethesda and the surrounding towns.”
“Selling the site was a hard decision, but it was made easier knowing that we were selling to a locally owned, independent media company with a long tradition of service to the Bethesda community,” said Scott Brodbeck, founder of LNN. “The sale will help our company focus our growth and pursue new opportunities.”
Borderstan co-founders Gomez and Rhoades will assist with the site’s relaunch, serving as advisors to LNN’s editorial and sales staff.
“We are thrilled that Local News Now purchased and will relaunch Borderstan,” Gomez and Rhoades said jointly, in a statement. “Scott Brodbeck and his team will maintain our commitment to community news coverage.”
“We want to thank our contributors again for their dedication and hard work,” Gomez and Rhoades continued. “Finally, we are grateful for the support we received from the community and local businesses over the years. We’re looking forward to that support continuing as Borderstan emerges from its two-year hibernation with a full-time editor, its own office and plenty of new neighborhood stories to uncover.”
The acquisition of Borderstan follows LNN’s successful launch of Hill Now, which covers the Capitol Hill area of D.C., this past fall. LNN now has offices in the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle neighborhoods, plus journalists in Reston and on Capitol Hill, reflecting the company’s commitment to community news coverage in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.
In addition to the Borderstan relaunch, LNN will be embarking on a web development project this spring and summer that will optimize its websites for mobile viewing.
“Our mobile audience continues to grow, so we need to optimize our sites to better serve those readers,” Brodbeck said. “At the same time, we will be finding ways to serve our local advertisers with innovative, mobile-optimized solutions. The rise of mobile is both an opportunity and a threat to online publishers, who are worried that smaller screens will mean smaller ad dollars. We’re confident that we can capitalize on the opportunities – without resorting to the all-too-common interruptive mobile ads that annoy readers.”
Founded in 2010, Local News Now is an online publishing company that’s building a sustainable business model for online local news. With offices in Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C., LNN publishes community-focused local news websites, including ARLnow.com (Arlington), HillNow.com (Capitol Hill) and RestonNow.com (Reston).
Record No. of Arlington Runners in Boston — An “all-time record” of 116 Arlington runners are registered to participate in the 2015 Boston Marathon today. [InsideNova]
Vehicle Overturns in Ashton Heights — A vehicle “pinballed off two parked cars” and overturned near the intersection of 6th Street and N. Lincoln Street in Ashton Heights Sunday morning. [Twitter]
H-B No. 1 in Challenge Index — Three Arlington high schools have made the top 10 of the Washington Post’s 2015 Challenge Index of local public high schools. The H-B Woodlawn secondary program ranked No. 1, Yorktown ranked No. 6 and Washington-Lee ranked No. 10. [Washington Post]
Complaints Against Towing Co., Questions About Video — While ESPN reporter Britt McHenry serves out her suspension for berating an Advanced Towing employee in Arlington, there’s some push back against the towing company and the video it produced of McHenry’s mean-spirited remarks. NBC 4 notes that there have been 155 complaints to police against Advanced from 2012 to 2014. Us Weekly, meanwhile, gossips that “a source close to the situation” says the video was edited “to make it look like Britt has gone on a one-way tirade as opposed to being in a two-way verbal spat with someone.” [NBC Washington, Us Weekly]
Net Migration Negative for Arlington in 2014 — More people moved out of Arlington than moved in last year, according to new census estimates. Arlington’s net migration in 2014 was -1,520, compared to +2,004 in 2013. That follows a broader trend of slowing growth in the D.C. region, which is still growing thanks mostly to births. [Washington Post]
County Board to Pay School Delays Costs — The Arlington County Board, which in January put the brakes on a plan to build a new elementary school in South Arlington, pledged last week to “take the financial hit” for the project’s delay, which is expected to cost up to $2.1 million. The County Board rejected the plan to build a new elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School after residents raised concerns about traffic and the school’s impact on a nearby park. [InsideNova]
‘Enhanced Risk’ of Severe Weather Today — The National Weather Service says there’s an enhanced risk of severe weather in the D.C. area this afternoon, including a 1-in-3 chance of damaging wind gusts and hail. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Arlington County and much of the surrounding region is under a Flood Watch tonight through Monday morning.
Forecasters say rain will start falling this evening and continue throughout the night, raising the possibility of flooding in flood-prone areas.
From the National Weather Service:
* FROM 7 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH MONDAY MORNING
* MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN WILL OVERSPREAD THE REGION THIS EVENING THROUGH TONIGHT… RAINFALL TOTALS AROUND ONE AND A HALF INCHES ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE GREATER BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METRO AREA. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE… ESPECIALLY ALONG AND IMMEDIATELY EAST OF THE BLUE RIDGE/CATOCTIN MOUNTAIN.
* EXPECT SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS TO RISE… POSSIBLY OVERFLOWING THEIR BANKS. IN ADDITION… FLOODING MAY OCCUR IN LOW LYING AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.
A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.
PLEASE 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.
A man was viciously punched in the hallway of a Columbia Pike-area apartment building early Wednesday morning, police say.
Two arrests were made in connection with the alleged crime. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 150415010, 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road. At 2:26 am on April 15, two subjects assaulted a victim in the hallway of an apartment building. The victim was repeatedly punched causing him to suffer a broken tooth that was embedded in his lip. Vannak Ki, 20, of Falls Church, VA and Joshua Hueston, 19, of Arlington, VA were arrested and charged with malicious wounding. They were held without bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.