Three Vying for County Board Nod — Three candidates for the upcoming Arlington County Board special election kicked off their campaigns at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. Among them are Alan Howze, president of the Highland Park-Overlee Knolls Civic Association; Peter Fallon, former Planning Commission member; and Cord Thomas, who helped found Envirocab and Elevation Burger. All three will compete in a two-day Democratic caucus, to be held Jan. 30 and Feb. 1. [Sun Gazette, Washington Post]
Remembering the Ballston Skulls — Up until the 1940s, the Ballston Skulls, a semi-pro football team, played at Ballston Stadium, on the site of what’s now Ballston Common Mall. The Washington Redskins also conducted work outs from the facility. [Ghosts of DC]
Attorney General Recount to Start Dec. 16 — The recount process in the election of the Virginia Attorney General will take place from Dec. 16-19. Currently, Democrat Mark Herring has a 165 vote lead over Republican Mark Obenshain. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by @ddimick
Repair crews are still working to repair the 16-inch water main that burst yesterday morning in Shirlington.
According to Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher, water pressure was normal for the Fairlington Community Center as of 1:00 p.m. However, just before 4:00 p.m., Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation announced that the community center would remain closed all night Wednesday.
Repair work is running into complications and crews are widening the pit size for safety reasons. We are estimating a minimum of 4 hours away from completion. Traffic is still in the mode of one lane for each direction on Arlington Mill Drive. Valve crew confirmed that water pressure was normal for the Fairlington Community Center at about 1 p.m.
Update at 6:00 p.m. — Repairs are now expected to continue into Thursday.
Crews have halted repair work today due to the unstable bank, warranting unsafe operation. Repair work will resume tomorrow morning with the equipment needed to reshape the bank. Pumps will run overnight to prevent residual water damage. Traffic remains open with one lane on each direction on Arlington Mill Drive. There is no change on the condition of the Fairlington water pressure from the last update.
On Friday, Dec. 13, all day long, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District will host a “#HolidayReady” pop-up market at 1500 Wilson Blvd. Billed as a “day-long, music-filled, party-like atmosphere,” there will be boutique shopping, gift wrapping as well as snacks, sweets, cigar and spirits tasting and massages.
Rosslyn BID also encourages shoppers to bring gently-used clothing to donate to the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. New Rosslyn coffee shop Caffe Aficionado will be giving coffee roasting demonstrations and handing out free samples. Several D.C.-area confectioners will also be selling their wares.
“It’s part of our job to build community in Rosslyn and create retail opportunities here,” Rosslyn Business Improvement District President Mary-Claire Burick said in a press release. “As Rosslyn gradually transforms into a vibrant urban community with a strong retail presence, this #HolidayReady Market fills an important need for Rosslyn residents and workers to shop, socialize and just relax and have fun.”
In addition, the Rosslyn BID, after canceling its annual Light Up Rosslyn celebration, will start lighting rooftops in Rosslyn tomorrow (Thursday), according to the BID’s Lee Anne McLarty.
The incident happened Friday afternoon at a residence in the Alcova Heights neighborhood. The upper portion of man’s ear was severed, but he was “very uncooperative” and wouldn’t tell police what happened, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Police do not have any suspects in the case.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 3600 block of S. 3rd Street. At 2:00 pm on November 29, an intoxicated male subject’s ear was severed in a fight. An investigation is ongoing.
Earlier this week, someone lit a field marker flag on fire at Long Bridge Park, causing minor damage.
ARSON, 400 block of S. Long Bridge Drive. Between 3:00 pm on December 2 and 7:00 am on December 3, an unknown subject lit one of the field markers on a soccer field on fire. No suspect description is available.
Police are also investigating a report of a woman being sexually assaulted after leaving a bar in the Courthouse neighborhood last Sunday night.
The woman was intoxicated at the time, can’t remember details of the alleged incident and reported it three days later, according to Sternbeck. There are no suspects in the case.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Sternbeck said.
SEXUAL ASSAULT, 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road. Between 10:30 pm on November 24 to 12:07 am on November 25, a female victim reported she was allegedly sexually assaulted after leaving a bar. An investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Note that ACPD is now including case numbers and basic details of minor incidents in its crime report.
A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide following a fatal crash on Memorial Circle.
The crash occurred in the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 11. According to police, a vehicle was heading outbound on the Memorial Bridge when it “lost control and overturned for unknown reasons” at the circle. At the time, the deceased — 36-year-old Katharine Jane Rahim of Reston — was said to be the vehicle’s sole occupant.
However, police now say the vehicle’s driver, 24-year-old Carlos Joel Alonso, fled the scene prior to the arrival of first responders.
“United States Park Police investigated the crash which revealed negligence of the operator resulting in the fatality of passenger,” according to a Park Police news release. “Alonso… left the scene [and] was found several hours later at Columbia Island Marina.”
Alonso, a Maryland resident, was arrested yesterday (Dec. 3) on charges of negligent homicide. He surrendered his passport and was released on bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 13.
There’s a new addition to our Arlington real estate section.
Our technology partners are still working out a couple of kinks (for instance, the 12-month view of price decreases appears to have incomplete data) but for the most part the page provides an interesting and useful look at market trends by analyzing real estate listings in the county.
According to current listings, the average price for a home in Arlington is $695,155, while the median price is $549,900. The number of listings is on a seasonal downswing, as is average price per square foot.
Among neighborhoods indexed in the listings, Rock Spring has the highest average sale price ($1,524,500) while Columbia Heights West had the lowest ($225,493).
Repairs to a burst 16-inch water main in Shirlington have resumed after crews took a break for the night.
Arlington County is hoping to complete the repairs — and restore water pressure to the Fairlington neighborhood — by 5:00 p.m. From Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher:
The crew resumed repair work at 9 a.m. today. The traffic on Arlington Mill Drive will be partially open with one lane on each direction. If there are no complications, crews should complete repairs in 6 to 8 hours and traffic will be back to normal. Fairlington area will remain on low water pressure until the 16-inch main resumes operation. The crew is continuing work to get additional sources of water for Fairlington.
Starting at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, the Blue line from Franconia-Springfield will travel across the Yellow Line bridge to Mt. Vernon Square. Meanwhile, a second Blue Line segment will run from Rosslyn to Largo Town Center.
Buses will run between the Pentagon and Rosslyn stations, and between Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery.
The closure is due to “NTSB-recommended track circuit module replacement and improvements to third-rail infrastructure and track conditions,” according to WMATA.
Meanwhile, on the Orange Line, trains will run every 20 minutes due to station platform work in D.C. Yellow Line trains will run every 15 minutes as a result of work on the Blue and Green Lines.
Normal service will return Monday.
Second Leaf Collection Pass Starts Today — Crews will begin their second (and final) vacuum leaf collection pass through Arlington’s neighborhoods today. Leaf collection is scheduled to wrap up on Dec. 20. [Arlington County]
Arlington, State Fund Innovation Initiative — Arlington County and the Virginia are jointly funding a $500,000 initiative that will “connect startups with national security agencies, aiming to both foster commercialization of federally-funded technology and open a new market for entrepreneurs.” It will be helmed by Jonathan Aberman, managing director of Amplifier Ventures. [Washington Business Journal]
Human Rights Award Winners Announced — Arlington County has announced its 2013 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award winners. Among them are the Hon. Leslie M. Alden, “a former Fairfax County Circuit judge who has spent her career devoted to gender rights;” Pastor Richard Cobb of Arlington’s Central United Methodist Church, who launched a program to serve meals to the homeless; Thomas Kelley, who “has dedicated his life to ensuring that schools provide equal access to children with disabilities;” and Margaret Patterson, who “has provided opportunities to abused children and their families.” [Arlington County]
Arlington ‘Villages’ To Launch in March — In March, Arlington will be debuting its “Neighborhood Villages” program for helping the elderly age in place. “The Arlington Neighborhood Villages will debut as a nonprofit corporation aimed at helping senior citizens “age in place” – as long as possible in their own homes – by creating neighborhood-based networks made up mostly of volunteers,” reports columnist Charlie Clark. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
A plan to build a new headquarters for Phoenix Bikes has picked up some neighborhood opposition.
Phoenix Bikes is a nonprofit focused on empowering youths by teaching them bicycle repair and entrepreneurship. The organization wants to move from its present cinder block building in Barcroft Park to a new location on county-owned land adjacent to the W&OD Trail, near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Four Mile Run Drive.
The new facility will feature education space, public restrooms, a drinking fountain, a water bottle refill station and an air pump.
A second public hearing on the proposal will be held tomorrow, Dec. 4, at the Park Operations conference room (2700 S. Taylor Street). Fliers sent to condo associations around the neighborhood suggest that some residents will be attending to voice opposition to the plan.
“Arlington County plans to remove trees… to build a replacement facility in what is now a wooded area for the nonprofit Phoenix Bikes, which will be used for training teens in bicycle repair,” the flier says. “The facility will provide only 3 parking places and thus its visitors will be parking on streets near your homes. The facility will be lighted until 9:00 p.m. and may provide public bathrooms attractive to drunks.”
Susan Kalish, spokeswoman for the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation, says it’s too early to determine how many trees would have to be cut down to make way for the facility. She said any trees that are removed will be replaced per county policy.
“It’s way too preliminary to know how many trees are impacted because the exact location of the building, its size or the size of an associated parking lot have not been determined,” she said. “That said, when the building plans are finalized the County will use its standard tree replacement formula.”
The flier makes reference to County Board member Libby Garvey, who sits on the board of Phoenix Bikes. It also accuses Arlington County of not giving enough notice to residents about the first public meeting.
Phoenix Bikes is currently raising money for the new headquarters, which is projected to cost $1 million. As announced today, proceeds from next year’s Crystal City Diamond Derby will be used to help fund the headquarters.
The text of the full opposition flyer, after the jump.
Projected Subsidy Soars for Aquatics Center — The planned Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center could require more than $4 million per year in subsidies from the county government, according to new projections. That’s up from projections as low at $1 million per year. “Certainly there are other priorities that arguably should come before building a luxury pools facility,” said local fiscal watchdog Wayne Kubicki. Construction contracts for the aquatics center are expected to be awarded early next year. [Sun Gazette]
County May Allow Less Office Parking, For a Fee — Arlington County is considering a system that would allow office developers to build less than the currently-required amount of parking, in exchange for a per-parking-space fee. The fee would then be used for public improvements in the area around the building, or for Transportation Demand Management Services for the building’s tenants. [Greater Greater Washington]
Memorial Bridge Could Have Looked Like Tower Bridge — The Arlington Memorial Bridge was originally proposed as a memorial to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, complete with a series of “medieval”-looking towers and turrets. [Ghosts of DC]
Arlington Carpenter’s Intricately-Carved Birds — Arlington carpenter Jeff Jacobs, 59, carves intricate wooden hummingbirds out of a single block of wood. He sells the birds at Eastern Market and the Clarendon farmers market. [Washington Post]
Flickr photo by Eschweik
Construction on the Pentagon City Multimodal Project on S. Hayes Street is expected to wrap up this spring, county officials say.
The project has been under construction since the summer of 2012. It’s expected to bring numerous streetscape improvements to the stretch of Hayes Street between 15th Street and Army Navy Drive. The stretch includes entrances to the Pentagon City Metro station and the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
Some residents have been asking ARLnow.com when the project and its associated lane and sidewalk closures would end. Arlington County spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman says the end is near.
“Crews are currently working on traffic signal installation and landscaping in the median, which includes plantings, bioretention areas to manage stormwater runoff, and installation of porous pavement,” she said via email. “We expect construction to conclude by spring 2014.”
That’s within the project’s expected two-year timetable.
The $9 million project was approved by the County Board in April 2012. The features planned as part of the project include:
- Upgraded traffic signals with improved timing at each intersection
- Clearly designated mid-block crossing areas
- New, upgraded street furniture
- New street lighting and accent lighting
- New sidewalks, crosswalks and lane markings
- New ADA ramps and pedestrian crossing equipment at all intersections
- Bioretention and rain garden landscape features to manage stormwater runoff
- Improved landscaping including street trees and ground cover throughout the project area
- Improved amenities for bicyclists, transit riders, pedestrians and visitors to the Pentagon City area
The Red Mango frozen yogurt shop in Clarendon has closed.
We’re told the store’s last day was Friday. The sign has been removed and the interior has since been almost completely emptied out. Workers could be seen changing the locks today.
Red Mango opened at 2831 Clarendon Blvd on May 21, 2010. It was the first store of its kind to open in Arlington during the most recent frozen yogurt craze. A competitor, Pinkberry, opened one block away in 2011. It remains in business.
The franchisees of the Clarendon Red Mango location could not be reached for comment.
The incident happened just past 11:00 a.m., near the intersection of 16th Street S. and Glebe Road. A man struck his nephew in the head with a baseball bat following a verbal argument, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The victim was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, including a “significant laceration” on his head. He was alert and conscious when police arrived.
The victim’s uncle surrendered to police without incident, Sternbeck said. He’s expected to be charged with malicious wounding.
Sheriff Sees Former Inmates Around Town — Arlington Sheriff Beth Arthur gets recognized by former inmates when out and about in Arlington. “I’ll be in the grocery store, and they’ll come up to me and say, ‘Hi, I was in your jail,’” she said in an interview. [Washington Post]
Metro Sends Ad Out to Alert Subscribers — Subscribers of MetroAlerts received an ad from WMATA — selling tickets to the BB&T Classic basketball tournament — in their inbox last week, upsetting some customers. Opined a Greater Greater Washington writer: “Spamming riders with promotions unrelated to Metro service reduces the value of MetroAlerts and it wastes riders’ time.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Dems to Control All Elected Offices — Assuming Virginia Attorney General-elect Mark Herring survives a recount following his razor-thin victory, a Democrat will be in every local, state and federal elected office in Arlington for what may be the first time ever. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann