Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
In Arlington, we benefit from great schools, transportation options, unique neighborhoods, urban amenities, community centers, open space and recreational facilities. Many of us were drawn to Arlington because of these community assets.
They did not happen by accident, but from careful planning, wise investments and sound decisions less focused on the passions of the moment and based instead on longer-term thinking and a vision of positive changes to last a generation and more.
Having benefited from those investments and decisions, we now face a new set of generational choices needed to keep Arlington vibrant, diverse and livable.
Housing, schools, transportation, open space — all are inextricably linked. Arlington has lost 15,000 units of market rate affordable housing in the past decade, and with it many working families that helped build this community. Schools are over-crowded. Indications are that the Class of 2027, this year’s kindergarten class, will require more than an additional high school’s worth of seats. Arlington has several master plans — land use, transportation and open space — but not a master plan for new schools.
We need to seize this generational opportunity and have a broad-based conversation about how best to use and invest in public land in Arlington; how best to balance competing needs and functions; how best to accommodate the needs of schools, recreation, public safety, and affordable housing options for all incomes while protecting — and hopefully expanding — open space.
Fortunately, that discussion is starting to happen. I recently joined about 100 Arlington residents to provide comment on the County’s Affordable Housing Study — http://housing.arlingtonva.us/affordable-housing-study/. A key topic was the Public Land for Public Good site evaluation process that is open for public comment until Oct. 31.
Most participants wanted to explore solutions where park land is not lost, while recognizing the demand for community centers, health facilities, libraries, fire stations, parking lots, affordable housing and new schools.
I have also attended Working Group sessions considering whether an elementary school should be built on a portion of County-owned land abutting the Jefferson Middle School and Thomas Jefferson Community Center — http://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/land-use/thomas-jefferson-site-evaluation/tj-working-group/. This well-defined and run process has frustrated some because APS named TJ as the preferred elementary school site, seeming to preclude a conversation about whether other South Arlington sites projected to have the greatest population increases in the next 10-20 years.
My participation convinced me to urge a more comprehensive look at our needs and how best to address them from a land use perspective.
That is why I was pleased to see Alan Howze, Nancy Van Doren and Barbara Kanninen issue a joint press release calling for a “… broadly, inclusive community process to examine how best to use public land in Arlington to meet our community’s needs.”
They emphasized the responsibility to our children to provide a great education, to residents to protect and enhance neighborhoods, and to taxpayers to be frugal and make prudent investments. (more…)
Periwinkle, a women’s clothing boutique in the Village at Shirlington, plans to close at the end of the year.
The shop, at 4150 Campbell Ave., is owned by Elizabeth Mason, who said she has decided not to renew her lease after being in the location for five years.
“Business is down and rent continues to go up, but it was always going to be a 5-year deal, the option to renew was never going to work for me,” Mason told ARLnow.com via email. “The landlord and I did discuss if I wanted to renew, but they wanted too much rent and as I said, this year sales have been down so it worked out to just let the lease end.”
Periwinkle also has a location in Old Town Alexandria, which Mason said is closing in November when her lease is up there. She plans to focus on Periwinkle’s online shop, her affordable online shop The Pink Armoire, and finding a new retail space in the area.
Periwinkle is the third storefront to close in the Village at Shirlington in the last two weeks, following Bloomers and Aladdin’s Eatery. Mason said “business is down” while a Bloomers employee told ARLnow.com the store may have shut down due to “a lack of foot traffic.” A manager in a nearby store told ARLnow.com that both companies have no one to blame for their closing but themselves.
“Bloomers always struggled in its execution,” the manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “The average female doesn’t look for lingerie and bras on the sidewalk. Periwinkle has struggled in the past year, but I heard from customers it’s because of the shop’s pricing and sizing.”
The manager, who said she had worked in the Village at Shirlington for more than five years, said foot traffic in the shopping and restaurant district has rarely been better.
“Shirlington has great foot traffic,” the manager said. “People never used to come to the side of the village with Bloomer’s and Periwinkle because they didn’t know it was there. It’s just been getting better and better over the years.”
Photo via Periwinkle
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
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.
Walk to Westover Village from this thoughtfully expanded, renovated center hall Colonial in the popular Tara neighborhood.
The home’s main level offers a living room with fireplace, adjoining den, formal dining room, powder room, large kitchen with cream cabinets, stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar and pantry. Walls of windows brighten the breakfast room which flows into the family room with doors to the deck and level rear yard.
Upstairs there are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, linen closet and pull down stairs to the huge floored attic. A delightful feature is the deck off the master bedroom.
The lower level offers a rec room with fireplace, built-in desk, Murphy bed, third bathroom and a wet bar tucked under the stairs. Additional storage is available in the large utility room.
The garage has been converted to a private space for a home office or a private retreat. It has separate heating and cooling, cork flooring, ceiling fans and media connnections.
Desirable details include wood floors, Kolbe & Kolbe or Andersen double pane windows, two zone heating and cooling, front and rear sprinkler systems and lighting to enhance the professionally landscaped, fenced yard.
Nearby Westover Village offers shops, library, restaurants and post office, while a bike path and two parks are a short distance from the home.
Located at 1700 N. Jefferson Street, the home is within the McKinley elementary, Swanson middle and Yorktown high school districts.
Listed at $1,195,000, this is a home in pristine, move-in condition and in a location you will value every day.
An open house will be held this weekend, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19. For more information, call Betsy at 703-967-4391, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arlington County Board will vote on Saturday to apply to the Virginia Department of Transportation for $4.2 million in funds to help complete seven transportation projects. In addition, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is ready to reimburse the county for four transportation projects worth a combined $18.8 million.
The Board is expected to request $4.215 million in matching funds from VDOT for the following projects:
- $1.45 million for rehabilitation of the Shirlington Road bridge over Four Mile Run
- $800,000 for reconfiguration of the Boundary Channel Drive/I-395 interchange
- $530,000 for sidewalks and bike lanes on S. Walter Reed Drive from Arlington Mill Drive to Four Mile Run Drive over Four Mile Run (with a $591,000 local match)
- $245,000 for sidewalks on N. Carlin Springs Road from Edison Street to Vermont Street
- $500,000 for reconstruction of the intersections of Arlington Ridge Road at S. Lang and S. Lynn Streets (with a $595,000 local match)
- $235,000 for sidewalk and crossing improvements to Pershing Drive between N. Barton and N. Piedmont Streets (with a $245,000 local match)
- $455,000 for sidewalk and crossing improvements to Military Road from Nellie Custis Drive to 38th Street N.
The NVTA, which manages the allocation of funds from last year’s HB2313 transportation funding bill, already approved the four projects for which Arlington will receive funding, but NVTA spokeswoman Kala Quintana that the project agreements have recently been reached, and the authority is finally reading to start “mailing some checks.”
The four projects: $12 million toward the Columbia Pike Multimodal Project; $4.3 million for the Boundary Channel Drive interchange; $1.5 million for significant improvements to the Crystal City Multimodal Center on 18th Street S. between Bell and Eads Streets; and $1 million to purchase four buses for the ART 43 route, to mitigate the impacts the Silver Line has had on Blue Line commuters.
“[Arlington] can submit bills for reimbursement once they start turning dirt, purchase the bus, etc.,” Quintana said. “The project list was approved last year but the Authority needed to work with the jurisdictions to create the funding agreements… We are now ready to distribute, or have distributed these dollars. All they have to do is send us the bill and we will send them the money.”
Quintana said the NVTA is beginning work on the next two years of its six-year funding plan, which will distribute an estimated $203 million in FY 2015 funds among all the jurisdictions in Northern Virginia: Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park.
The NVTA estimates Arlington will receive an additional $11.2 million in direct funding through the transportation package, which is likely to be allocated to its Transportation Capital Fund.
The Church at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street) is swapping the organ for a laptop and turntable this Saturday night when it hosts an electronic dance music (EDM) show.
The concert will be free and held at the church from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., according to church Community Ministry and Discipleship Director Stephen Taylor. The star of the show will be DJ Rick Solo, a Charlotte-based artist who holds DJ-led, Christian services in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C.
The Church at Clarendon says it’s trying to reach the younger demographic that lives in the Clarendon area. The church has expanded its community offerings to include yoga classes, game night and a concert series that included a performance from the Go Go Symphony earlier this month, as well as the EDM show.
“At all these events we are trying to serve the community and get people connected,” Taylor told ARLnow.com in an email. “The stereotype that church people are going to be pushy or impose opinions doesn’t fit the reality of the Church at Clarendon. For many people, church is no longer or never was part of their life. If someone wants to explore faith questions here or elsewhere, we welcome it. But if they are not interested, we are just as happy to make new friends and promote community.”
The church gained attention last year for its DJ-led Sunday morning services, and Taylor said Christian EDM is becoming more of a nationwide trend in the church community. DJ Rick Solo plays “similar music to what is on the radio or at a club,” Taylor said.
The former owner of Kitty O’Shea’s in Courthouse is bringing a new Irish Pub to Arlington, this time along Columbia Pike.
Danny McFadden owned the Courthouse pub until it closed in 2011 and he moved it to Tenleytown after a dispute with the landlord, the Schupp Companies. He no longer owns the Kitty O’Shea’s in D.C., according to his business partner, Mike McMahon, and has thrown his energy into The Celtic House, the pub that is planning to replace Manee Thai at 2500 Columbia Pike.
McMahon, McFadden and a former chef at Ireland’s Four Courts are the three founding partners of the restaurant, McMahon told ARLnow.com today, and he said the pub should be open “within a few weeks.” A new bar is being built and the remaining work is “just cleanup and waiting for permits,” he said.
“We like the area,” McMahon said in his Irish brogue. “It’s upcoming and there are a lot of young people here.”
McMahon said between the three partners, they combine for more than 100 years of restaurant experience, almost entirely in Irish pub-style restaurants. He said the menu will be “very broad,” and feels there’s enough room for customers despite P. Brennan’s Irish Pub being just a few blocks away.
“We’re going for very traditional Irish food with some American dishes, too,” he said. “We want it to be welcoming for everyone, to bring their families, children, grandparents and the like.”
Hat tip to @EmmaK84
The study, conducted by financial advice company NerdWallet using data from online event platform EventBrite, says Arlington’s “overall score for Halloween parties,” which is a combination of number of RSVPs and affordability, is 83.79 out of 100.
Arlington registered a seven out of 10 for its “party engagement score” and has an average party cost of $12.15, second-lowest in the top 10, behind No. 8 Nashville, Tenn., at $12.11. Washington, D.C., is the 17th-best city in the country for parties with an overall score of 81.73 and an average cost of $25.64.
The engagement score is on a scale of 1-10, according to NerdWallet, with a 10 meaning more than 20,000 people in one city have RSVP-ed to a Halloween party. The only city in the country to achieve a 10 was San Francisco, the top city on the list. Behind San Francisco, which had an overall score of 96.14, on the list are New York City, San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
(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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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
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
Halloween Bar Crawl Begins Discounting — Tickets for the Nov. 1 Halloween bar crawl in Clarendon are being discounted from $15 to $9 on LivingSocial. So far, 63 tickets have been purchased on the site. A police source tells ARLnow.com that ACPD is planning on having “a number of officers specifically detailed to Clarendon for the crawl and throughout the night until a little after closing time.” [LivingSocial]
APS Finds Ways to Make Kids Want Veggies – The Arlington School Board was flabbergasted to learn that the school system’s food services division has apparently found a way to make kids want to eat their veggies. The secret: creatively pairing veggies with other foods. For instance, while spinach alone had an anemic 8 percent selection rate, a spinach and strawberry salad was selected by 78 percent of elementary students. [InsideNova]
What Foreign Students Like About Arlington — A group of exchange students from Germany and Ukraine recently talked about their experience staying in Arlington. They said they liked Arlington’s Metro access and bike paths, and were impressed by how proud Americans are of their country. However, our food got mixed reviews: “The food, they said, tastes good but is ‘a bit unhealthy.’” [Falls Church News-Press]
Open House for TJ Site Evaluation — The Thomas Jefferson Working Group, which is charged with evaluating the feasibility of a new elementary school near Thomas Jefferson Middle School, will hold an open house Saturday, inviting the community to “learn about the process, review site materials, provide feedback and ask questions.” A vocal group of residents has spoken out against the potential loss of parkland at the site.
Kudos for Crystal City’s Startup Scene — Southern Alpha, a website that writes about startups in the southeastern U.S., is impressed with Crystal City’s recent entrepreneurial push. [Southern Alpha]
The man entered the store just past 8:00 p.m. and brandished a gun at the pharmacist, demanding prescription medications. The pharmacist was able to shield himself behind protective glass, foiling the robbery attempt.
The suspect took off on foot before police arrived.
“The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall and 160 lbs,” according to a crime report. “He was wearing a black long sleeve sweater, blue jeans and a white and orange baseball hat at the time of the incident.”