61°Scattered Clouds

by Ethan Rothstein — September 19, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,863 0

Arlington is moving forward with a bike trail along Washington Blvd and has moved the placement of the trail to save trees.

The trail is expected to cost about $1.7 million, according to county Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel, but it has not been put out to bid yet. The trail has been approved and in planning stages for years, but its initial path would have necessitated digging up hundreds of mature trees.

This Saturday, the Arlington County Board is likely to approve a realignment of the trail to put it closer to Towers Park and S. Rolfe Street, north of Columbia Pike. If approved, the county would pay $8,000 to the federal government to acquire the easement for the trail. The trail will then be put out to bid. Construction is expected to begin next year and end by summer 2015.

Phase I of the trail has already been built, between Route 50 and S. Walter Reed Drive, according to the county staff report. The trail segment in question would run from Walter Reed Drive to S. Rolfe Street and Columbia Pike. The trail is being built to “provide a new opportunity for persons in the southeastern part of Arlington to bicycle, walk or run on a route apart from motor vehicle traffic,” according to the staff report.

Waiting for approvals from the Virginia Department of Transportation has delayed the project, McDaniel said. VDOT controls the space adjacent to Washington Blvd where a large part of the trail will be built.

by ARLnow.com — September 19, 2014 at 9:15 am 1,065 0

Taxis queued up at Reagan National Airport

‘Pups and Pilsners’ Photo Contest — Want to sample some brews and make your pet famous? Head on over to Crystal City’s Pups and Pilsners event from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, snap a photo of your pooch and tweet it to us and our sponsors, @CCBID and @BeckysPetCare. Pups and Pilsners is a free dog-friendly event featuring a massive beer garden and food from local restaurants. [Crystal City BID]

Planners: Bank Shortchanges Courthouse — The office building slated to replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse will have a Wells Fargo bank prominently located on the ground floor, and Arlington planners don’t like it. County staff says the bank use is “not appropriate” and should be at least moved so that a more active retail use can occupy half of the plaza area. Developer Carr Properties says the bank must stay, since Wells Fargo owns the land under the existing bank that will be torn down for the project. [Washington Business Journal]

Vihstadt Out-Raises Howze — Incumbent, independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt is out-raising his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze. Vihstadt raised $31,367 in July and August, compared to $20,607 raised by Howze. Vihstadt recently reported $58,746 cash on hand while Howze reported $16,906. [Washington Post]

Fugazi to Release ‘Lost Album’ — Fugazi is planing to release a “lost album” of 11 songs recorded in 1988. The legendary local rockers recorded the songs on the album, First Demo, at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. [Spin]

Road Closures for Clarendon Art Fest — Parts of Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, and N. Highland Street will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2nd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts. “Over 100 artists will showcase their works including glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry, and pottery; providing all sorts of opportunities to appreciate — and purchase — art,” according to the festival’s website. [Arlington County, ArtFestival]

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm 3,144 0

Arlington DUI checkpoint on St. Patrick's Day 2010 (via ABC7)The Arlington County Police Department is planning to conduct a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county Friday night.

The police department does not announce the location of DUI checkpoints in advance, but often targets arterial routes used by those coming from restaurants and bars.

“This enforcement effort is in support of [a] national crackdown program on drunk driving that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity,” ACPD said in a press release.

“Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers,” the press release continued. “Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation and possible testing for intoxication. The maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges.”

The Sheriff’s Office will also participate in the checkpoint.

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm 3,614 0

Police car lightsAn early morning birthday party took a turn for the worse Sunday, when a fight broke out and a guy was struck in the head with a bottle.

The fight took place in a hotel in Courthouse, two blocks from Arlington County Police headquarters.

From this week’s Arlington crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140914015, 1200 block of N. Courthouse Road. At 5:30 am on September 14, a physical altercation broke out at a birthday party in a hotel room between intoxicated subjects. The dispute continued outside where police encountered several subjects attempting to flee. A male victim sustained a laceration after being struck in the head with a bottle. Celina Berrios, 21, of Lorton, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. She was held without bond.

Meanwhile, in the Nauck neighborhood on Saturday, a man suspected of domestic violence bit a police officer several times and tried to disarm another, according to police.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140913040, 2400 block of S. Lowell Street. At 2:30 pm on September 13, officers responded to a residence for a suspect in a domestic assault incident. The subject attempted to flee through a rear door and was confronted by police. The subject struck and bit the officer several times. He also assaulted and attempted to disarm a second officer as he was being taken into custody. Mark Wanzer, 24, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, providing false information to avoid prosecution, assault & battery of a law enforcement and attempting to disarm an officer. The suspect also had an outstanding warrant out of Fairfax County. He was held without bond.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

(more…)

by Ethan Rothstein — September 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm 2,475 0

Hazmat teams respond to suspicious package in Ballston (photo via @Louis3E)Arlington County emergency personnel are responding to a reported suspicious package at the National Science Foundation’s headquarters in Ballston.

Hazmat teams have closed off 9th Street N. between N. Stuart and Stafford Streets to respond to the situation. The suspicious package was found in the mailroom of one of NSF’s two buildings, according to scanner traffic.

The Arlington Alert system sent out a message advising motorists and others to avoid the area while the Arlington County Fire and Police departments complete their investigation.

Photo via @Louis3E

by Ethan Rothstein — September 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm 886 0

Aerial view of the Pentagon and Pentagon City (photo courtesy Mary Dominiak/Experimental Aircraft Association)Another study has been released showing that Arlington is the top destination for young professionals to live in the country.

According to RealtyTrac, a real estate data and information website, Arlington’s millennial population has increased 82 percent from 2007-2013, the highest rate in the country over that timespan. The data comes from an analysis of U.S. Census data from 1,800 counties nationwide.

Alexandria ranks second in the list in millennial growth rate, at 81 percent, ahead of New Orleans and San Francisco.

“Naturally, millennials are attracted to markets with good job prospects and low unemployment but that tend to have high rental rates and high home price appreciation,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said on the company’s website.

RealtyTrac said Arlington’s unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, a little more than half of the national 6.1 percent rate. Arlington also topped the list in terms of percentage of the population made up of millennials, at 39 percent, and its median home price, $505,000, was third behind San Francisco ($950,000) and Manhattan in New York City ($850,000).

This ranking follows two Arlington ZIP codes ranking as the top two for millennials in the country and Clarendon being called the “best neighborhood for millennials” in the D.C. area, both released this year.

File photo courtesy Mary Dominiak/Experimental Aircraft Association

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 9:20 am 1,115 0

Helicopter over the Key Bridge

Metro Work This Weekend — Arlington’s Metro lines will be impacted by significant maintenance work this weekend. Riders on the Orange Line should expect trains to run every 24 minutes, while trains on the Blue Line will run every 20 minutes. The Yellow Line, meanwhile, will only run between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. [WMATA]

Bracket Room Expanding to DCA — Bracket Room, the upscale sports bar in Clarendon that opened last summer, is expanding with locations in Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. “The two new restaurants will mirror the Arlington location’s upscale, stylish environment complete with infinity-edge televisions making it the ideal spot to grab a meal and watch a game while waiting for a flight,” according to a press release. No word on an opening date. [PRWeb]

Library Lit Ball Will Have 007 Theme — Library boosters Friends of the Arlington Public Library are planning a James Bond theme for the group’s second annual “Lit Up Ball” fundraiser. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 at Artisphere and will benefit the library’s early literacy initiatives. Tickets are $30. [Friends of the Arlington Public Library]

Clarendon Apple Store Camper — Someone is already camping in front of the Clarendon Apple Store, in anticipation of tomorrow morning’s launch of the iPhone 6. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm 2,023 0

Rendering of a streetcar along Columbia PikeThe Arlington County Board on Tuesday is slated to consider a $26 million contract for preliminary engineering and design on the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar project.

Following a request for proposals (RFP) process, county staff is recommending the contract be awarded to Omaha-based HDR, Inc., which also handled planning and construction management on the District of Columbia streetcar project.

The contract will cover preliminary engineering and bring the streetcar project up to “30 percent design,” according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Eric Balliet. The county is still working on the streetcar system’s final design and construction plan.

So far, the county hasn’t posted the staff report for the contract award proposal. Balliet said there will be a comprehensive presentation at Tuesday night’s Board meeting.

Also on Tuesday, the Board is set to consider a contract for a companion project — the second phase of multimodal improvements along Columbia Pike. The $5.6 million contract, to North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn and Associates, would cover the final design of improvements on all Arlington segments Columbia Pike not covered in phase one of the project.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 10:30 am 1,419 0

Handball at Barcroft Sports Center (Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck)

Fmr. Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Murder — Lamont Deshawn Terry, a 39-year-old former Arlington resident, has pleaded guilty to the 1992 fatal shooting of a D.C. man at Hains Point. Terry had driven from Arlington to D.C. with plans to commit a robbery when he encountered victim Chet Hunter Matthews and his girlfriend in a parked car. [Washington Post]

Heritage Center in Courthouse? – An Arlington Heritage Center, hosting exhibits about Arlington’s history and cultural heritage, could eventually be built in Courthouse. Officials are looking at the redeveloped Courthouse Square area as a potential site for the long-sought center. A heritage center on Columbia Pike, which had been discussed previously, is apparently no longer being considered. [InsideNova]

Crystal City McDonald’s Lease Sells for Millions — A ground lease for the Crystal City McDonald’s, at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway, has been sold for $7.35 million, a possible record. The McDonald’s, which pays around $300,000 per year to lease the land, is expected to remain there through 2026. [Washington Business Journal]

ACFD’s 9/11 Response — Last Thursday, Arlington County fire chief James Schwartz recounted the department’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Arlington was uniquely prepared for the unfathomable attack, thanks to its location and response to other major disasters like the 1982 Air Florida crash, Schwartz said. He also lauded Arlington’s role in the evidence gathering effort, which included finding the terrorists’ drivers’ licenses. [Falls Church News-Press]

WJLA Takes Right Turn Under New Ownership — Rosslyn-based WJLA (ABC 7) has taken a rightward turn following its purchase by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The station now airs conservative commentary, critical of President Obama and “government waste,” during its newscasts. It has also fired much of its longtime management team. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm 5,451 0

A teen boy has been severely injured in a two-story story fall at the Arlington Mill Community Center.

A witness said the teenager had climbed on the other side of a railing two stories off the ground to do “pull-ups showing off for his girlfriend” when he lost his grip and “fell hard on his back.”

He was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another witness at the scene, who did not see the fall but saw the aftermath, said the teen was conscious but “in shock” after the fall.

Police are investigating the incident. One of the teen’s friends caught the fall on video and accompanied him to the hospital, police told ARLnow.com at the scene.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm 10,929 0

Brooke Chrzan (left, via ACPD) and the Meridian apartment complex (right, via Facebook)

The concierge at a Courthouse apartment building has been arrested and charged with stealing booze from residents’ apartments.

The alleged theft happened at the Meridian at Courthouse Commons apartment complex, at 1401 N. Taft Street. Police say the front desk concierge, 27-year-old Brooke Chrzan of Bethesda, admitted to breaking in to numerous apartments and drinking residents’ liquor.

Chrzan was arrested Monday morning after she was allegedly caught on a home security camera using a master key to enter an apartment and have a swig of alcohol inside. The residents of the apartment had purchased and set up the camera after they noticed “quite a bit” of liquor missing when coming home from work one day.

Residents of other apartments had also been complaining about a potential booze thief.

“There were numerous bottles that were mysteriously getting lower and lower in their level of alcohol,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “[Chrzan] admitted to police to entering multiple residences over a period of time.”

Chrzan has been charged with burglary and released on bond.

It was about a year ago that the Meridian building was in the news for another series of break-ins. In September 2013, a man broke into at least three apartments and rubbed the arms of women at they slept.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm 3,660 0

Three people have been arrested following a triple stabbing in Arlington’s Nauck neigbhorhood last night.

Police say a 21-year-old woman, a 24-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were stabbed near the Green Valley Pharmacy, on the 2400 block of S. Shirlington Road. The 21-year-old woman was rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital after she was found lying on the sidewalk with multiple stab wounds. The other victims were also taken to a local hospital. All three are expected to recover from their injuries.

“[A] police investigation revealed a physical altercation in the street escalated between two groups and several suspect’s brandished knives and stabbed the victims,” Arlington County Police said in a press release today. “Witnesses on scene were able to identify three suspects, who were taken into custody and transported to the Magistrate’s Office.”

Those arrested include 24-year-old Satin Jones of Arlington and 39-year-old Tawana Jones, who have been charged with malicious wounding. Arlington resident Timothy Lowe, 31, was charged with attempted malicious wounding. All three were held without bond.

“The incident remains under investigation by the Arlington County Police Department Homicide/Robbery Unit,” police said. “If anyone has information concerning the incident, please contact Detective Skeens at 703.228.4166 or gskeens@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

Video (above) via Fox 5/WTTG

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 9:00 am 1,936 0

Fighter jet lands at Reagan National for trade show (photo via Textron AirLand)

Stabbing Reported in Nauck — Three people, a man and two women, were reportedly stabbed in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood late last night. The stabbing followed an argument among a group of people. One man was taken into custody following the incident. [WUSA9]

Pedestrian Signal Coming to George Mason Drive — The County Board is expected to approve a new HAWK pedestrian signal for S. George Mason Drive at the Army National Guard Readiness Center. The safety device will cost about $300,000, 80 percent of which will be paid by the federal government. [InsideNova]

New ‘Pop-Up’ Menu for Water & Wall — Water & Wall is launching a new “pop-up” lunch menu, featuring dishes with southern and mid-Atlantic influences and ingredients. The launch of the new menu follows the Virginia Square restaurant’s successful pop-up Chinese menu in August. [Eater D.C.]

Photo via Textron AirLand

by Ethan Rothstein — September 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm 1,392 0

Arlington police carThe Arlington County Police Department will likely have 141 new gas masks at its disposal soon, courtesy of the federal government.

The gas masks come from a $81,958 “urban area security” grant, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DHS’ grant program came into focus in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, Mo., during which local police used military-grade equipment to try to disperse crowds of people.

The grant for the masks is part of $51.8 million that was allocated by DHS for the D.C. metro region in 2012. The gas masks were purchased from a subset of grant money allocated to the Alexandria Police Department, according to Arlington County staff, “to increase response capabilities of tactical teams” in the region. The County Board is scheduled to vote on the grant at its regular meeting this Saturday.

Alexandria has already purchased the masks and “related equipment,” the report says, and ACPD is simply waiting for Board approval before it can receive the masks. The masks are required for the ACPD to be considered a Type 1 tactical response team for responding to disasters, “including terrorism.”

The ACPD says there’s no known cost for maintaining the masks, which have a lifespan of 20 years. After 20 years, the county may have to pay for new masks from its own budget if it hopes for ACPD to maintain Type 1 status, according to the staff report.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm 3,728 0

A-Town Bar and GrillA-Town Bar & Grill could have its permit for live entertainment and dancing renewed this week, the next chapter in its tenuous relationship with the Arlington County Board and staff.

Thanks to a reduction in noise complaints, County Manager Barbara Donnellan has recommended the Board approve renewal of A-Town’s permit, with another county staff review in three months and another Board review in six months.

“Residents in the community have stated to staff that the site plan condition, which restrict the permitted hours the outdoor cafe can be in use, has significantly cut down on noise-related disturbances,” the county staff’s board report states. “However, disturbances related to overcrowding and over-serving of alcohol still have a negative impact on adjacent properties.”

County staff specifically mentioned an incident during the World Cup final on the afternoon of July 13, when the restaurant was found to be over capacity by “at least 100 people” and Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents “found a truck, parked on the patio, dispensing champagne to the crowd without the proper licenses to do so.”

The County Board last approved the permit’s renewal three months ago, with conditions on limiting the times at which patrons can be on the outdoor patio. The restaurant also planned to install “theater-style curtains” on the patio to reduce noise after the Board’s December use permit review, which saw several residents of the surrounding area complain about the noise the bar was generating. However, A-Town opted to simply close the patio area early instead of putting in the curtains.

A-Town is still waiting for the results of a Virginia ABC Board hearing for a February incident in which, at an employee-only party, police say one man slashed another with a broken beer bottle in the face and neck.

County staff said A-Town gets more police calls than any other “liquor-serving establishment,” with or without live entertainment, in the Ballston area. It also “continues to have issues with compliance with local and state laws and regulations.” The situation has improved since the June decision to close the outdoor café at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and even earlier during the week, but the County Board could still revoke the live entertainment permit at its meeting this Saturday.

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