Cherry Trees Planted at Library — As part of its Neighborhood Tree Planting Program, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Japan-America Society of Washington planted three cherry trees in front of Arlington Central Library yesterday. The program “is an effort to celebrate and share the gift of cherry blossom trees throughout the DC-metro region… and helps create new National Cherry Blossom Festival traditions beyond the Tidal Basin,” festival organizers said in a statement. [Facebook]
Whole Foods Deli, Chicken Counter Stay Closed — The main grocery store and much of the prepared foods sections at the Clarendon Whole Foods (2700 Wilson Blvd) are open following Tuesday’s fire, but county officials say the market deli and chicken counter will stay closed until the health inspector approves its reopening.
County to Consider Privatizing Volunteer Agency — Changes may be coming to Volunteer Arlington, the county’s volunteer agency. Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan is establishing a new advisory task force “to look into whether Arlington’s volunteer office is the right business model to meet community needs.” The task force will consider whether outsourcing Volunteer Arlington “would enhance volunteer activity in the community.” [Arlington County]
Restaurant Exceeds Kickstarter Goal — SER, the winner of Ballston’s Restaurant Challenge, has exceeded its $15,000 Kickstarter goal. The Spanish comfort food restaurant, coming to 1110 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, has so far raised $17,145. It also received a $245,000 interest-free loan as the prize for winning the Restaurant Challenge. [Kickstarter]
Arlington GOP Blasts Olympic Bid — Arlington Republicans do not share Democratic officials’ enthusiasm for the regional bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. “It’s not a great idea,” said local GOP chairman Matt Wavro, citing costs and security concerns. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”
We’ve had another good week for buyers, with 70 new listings coming into the inventory ranging in price from $125,000 to $2.4 million. Buyers now have a total of 648 active listings to choose from in Arlington.
But the pace of sales was slow this week. Only 47 properties went under contract, compared to 70 last week. The average price of ratified contracts this week jumped to $711,000 with the average days on market also increasing to 51. One good trend: of the 47 ratified contracts, 8 of them were over $1 million. The listing of the week for best price/value: 804 S. Veitch Street.
- 1881 NASH ST #1812, ARLINGTON, VA 22209- $2,400,000
- 1800 JACKSON ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $795,900
- 804 VEITCH ST S, ARLINGTON, VA 22204- $749,000
- 855 FREDERICK ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22205- $699,000
- 3800 FAIRFAX DR #214, ARLINGTON, VA 22203- $550,000
- 1021 GARFIELD ST N #312, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $459,990
- 2400 CLARENDON BLVD #810, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $419,000
- 4659 28TH RD S #C, ARLINGTON, VA 22206- $299,900
The Arlington County Board passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to rename the bridge in Vernon’s honor. Vernon was killed Aug. 4, 1988, after pulling over an HOV violator on a nearby stretch of I-395 when, while speaking to the driver, a Metrobus struck and killed her.
Vernon, who was born in West Virginia during segregation in 1955, was the first woman and first African American Virginia state trooper to be killed in the line of duty.
The resolution erroneously calls for “the Glebe Road bridge over I-395″ to renamed, but there is no such bridge. According to the county’s legislative liaison to the General Assembly, Pat Carroll, there was a mistake in the resolution, and the I-395 bridge over Glebe Road is what’s actually expected to be renamed.
Vernon’s family was in attendance during the resolution on Tuesday afternoon, and County Board Chair Jay Fisette read a letter written by Vernon’s brother, Ron, transcribed after the jump.
Vernon’s family had been trying for years to get a bridge or stretch of road named after her, and their efforts appear likely to pay off. Fisette said he “can’t imagine” the General Assembly wouldn’t approve of naming the bridge after her during their 2015 session.
After the jump is Ron Vernon’s letter, “Sacrifice.”
It was a relatively quiet seven days in Arlington, at least according to this week’s Arlington County crime report.
In one notable incident, two men reportedly assaulted a man near Ballston Common Mall early Saturday morning, stealing his prescription medication, cash and a cell phone.
ROBBERY, 140920013, 600 block of N. Randolph Street. At 2:26 am on September 20, two subjects assaulted a 29 year-old male victim and stole his prescription medication, cash and cell phone. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’5″ tall and 220 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing and a black baseball hat. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’9″ tall and 160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans at the time of the incident.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Mathew B. Tully of Tully Rinckey PLLC, an Arlington firm that specializes in federal employment and labor law, security clearance proceedings, and military law.
Q. I have a disability, and my employer is trying to remove me because it claims I cannot perform the “essential functions” of my position. How do you tell the difference between essential and non-essential functions?
A. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations, such as a part-time schedule or reassignment to a vacant position, so long as they are able to perform their position’s essential functions. In addition to being able to perform these essential functions either with or without a reasonable accommodation, employees seeking ADA protection must have a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
What qualifies as an “essential function” is largely a matter left to the discretion of employers. The ADA states, “consideration shall be given to the employer’s judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job.” But that does not mean an employer’s assertion that something is a position’s essential function is not open to debate.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulation states that essential functions include “fundamental job duties of the employment position the individual with a disability holds or desires” and exclude “marginal functions of the position.”
When trying to determine whether a particular task qualifies as a position’s essential function, employees should ask whether the position “exists… to perform that function;” whether there is a “limited number of employees available among whom the performance of that job function can be distributed;” and whether the function is “highly specialized so that the incumbent in the position is hired for his or her expertise or ability to perform the particular function,” according to the regulation.
Evidence that courts will consider when determining whether a function is essential include written job descriptions, time spent performing the function, collective bargaining agreement terms, consequences of the function not being performed, and the work experience of people who previously held the position or those who hold similar positions, according to the EEOC regulation. It should be noted that job descriptions in advertisements may not alone be sufficient to dispute an employer’s claim that a function is essential.
For example, Thompson v. Heiner’s Bakery (2012), involved a delivery truck driver who, due to his heart defibrillator, was not able to obtain Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certification needed to operate any of his employer’s carrying-capacity-upgraded delivery trucks. The employee requested — and the employer refused — an accommodation in the form of a suspension of the delivery truck fleet upgrade and allowing him to drive a non-upgraded vehicle. The employee claimed driving a higher capacity truck was not an essential function for his position, and to support this claim he presented as evidence an employer truck driver job advertisement was silent on the subjects of gross vehicle weight ratings or DOT medical certification. (more…)
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
After decades of using public funds to pay the maintenance costs of a Lyon Park sewer line, Arlington County staff and lawyers suddenly are spinning fanciful theories to avoid paying to replace the line.
In late Fall 2013, 11 residences in Lyon Park were notified by the County that because of a failing sewer line behind their properties (900 block of N. Danville and N. Daniel Streets), they would be financially responsible for connecting to the County sewer system at a County estimated cost of $10,000 to $20,000 per homeowner. The homeowners were forced to retain a private attorney.
In an Aug. 15, 2014 letter, Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz argues that because the County cannot find in its own files any record of a deed of conveyance of this specific sewer line to the County, the County is not the owner. Therefore, the County has no obligation to pay to replace the line.
In a Sept. 12 reply, the homeowners’ attorney explains that the County assumed ownership of this and other similar sewer lines when it acquired all of the assets of a series of community sewer systems. Because the County acquired all of the assets of each system as a whole, there never were conveyances of individual sewer lines.
Why is County staff taking such an antagonistic and legalistic position against these 11 Lyon Park residences?
This issue is not unique to this one sewer line. County attorneys and officials have stated in meetings with these homeowners that there may be other such sewer lines in Arlington. That shouldn’t matter because Arlington should be stepping up to the plate and assuming its rightful obligation to pay to maintain and replace all such lines.
It does cost a lot more to replace a sewer line than to maintain one. But, sewer lines are a core government service just like water mains. These are the government services to which Arlington should be assigning the highest priority in spending our tax dollars.
Yet, even though Arlington property owners already have the highest tax bills in Northern Virginia, County bureaucrats are trying to offload all of these sewer replacement costs on a small group of Lyon Park homeowners who are already paying those high tax bills.
If Arlington wants to be the “world-class community” to which it aspires, using our tax dollars to provide first-world sewer service would be a good place to start.
Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Last night, Arlington Republicans passed recommendations on the bond questions Arlingtonians will see on the ballot this year.
In terms of dollars and cents, voters will be asked to approve just over $218 million in new debt on Nov. 4. That is roughly $1,000 for every man, woman and child in Arlington — plus interest. It is part of a $2.7 billion, 10-year spending plan on infrastructure projects.
For further perspective, in FY 2015 we will pay $60.7 million to service our current debt obligations. That is roughly 9 percent of our general fund budget.
Republicans recommended a “no” vote on the parks bond. With the aquatics center in an indefinite holding pattern, there are millions of unallocated dollars that were passed by voters under the guise of “parks and recreation.” The Board may have them earmarked for a pool, but this currently available bond authority can be used for the 2014 projects.
Once the Board sorts out the new plans for the pool complex, they can come back to the voters and ask them to approve the final amount. The Board could even try a novel concept, a straight up or down vote on the pool, rather than lumping it in with other “parks and recreation” projects.
Arlington Republicans recommended a “yes” vote on the other three bond measures — each recommendation coming with reservations.
We have a capacity problem in our schools that must be addressed, but a $105.78 million blank check to the School Board is disconcerting to many. Parents and local neighborhoods are feeling left out of the planning process. And, with millions just lying around to buy MacBook Airs for students, many are questioning the way our schools put their budgets together.
The Metro and transportation bond is a lot like “parks and recreation.” Voters vote for it in large part because they support Arlington’s commitment to the Metro. The other transportation projects have often proven questionable. The County Board’s transportation priorities and funding streams should be under a microscope as the Board just approved a $26 million contract for the Columbia Pike trolley. A better way to do transportation bonding would be to approve the Metro bond separately, so that the other transportation projects included could be evaluated on their own merits.
The community infrastructure bond will fund things like 911 communications — certainly tough to vote against. But one could ask why at least some of these items could not be paid for out of the millions in annual closeout funds available to the Board, rather than added to our indebtedness?
Arlingtonians would be well-served to educate themselves on how the County plans to spend their tax dollars and arrive at their own conclusions on the merits of these bonds. They should also consider asking County Board members why controversial projects are often lumped in with other bonds rather than standing on their own merits.
Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
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.
The outcomes will impact everyone in the community. We will see reduced or increased congestion on our streets, a wise use of Arlington County’s resources or wasteful spending, and either increased access to services for everyone or only concentrated benefits.
Because of the importance of this process to all of Arlington, the best outcomes will occur through close cooperation between Arlington County government and Arlington Public Schools . Before us is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to come together to both meet the urgent capacity needs of today and lay the foundation for the next generation of Arlington families.
A new, collaborative planning process should make use of both the County’s award-winning expertise in transportation and smart development and our school system’s award-winning expertise in educating children. I am confident that active involvement by our talented APS and County staffs, elected officials and interested residents in developing this new process will lead to success. A broad, inclusive public process will work.
Arlington is a great place to raise a family. It has incredible parks, bike paths, charming neighborhoods, and some of the best public schools in the nation. These characteristics are no accident, but rather the result of decades of award-winning planning and smart development by the County and APS.
It is for these reasons that I have chosen to raise my family here. And I am not alone. Arlington’s public schools are bursting at the seams and continue to grow rapidly. As this growth has overwhelmed school system capacity, the processes we have relied on to plan school capacity in the past are no longer sufficient.
In the past, long-range planning by APS and County government have largely been separate efforts with different time horizons. The County’s long-range planning considers how corridors or study areas are used over 20 or 30 years. Schools, on the other hand, base their planning efforts on shorter-term projections, and are focused more on the classroom.
In the face of a shortage of public land and our rapidly-growing population, we must do a better job of integrating these processes. We must plan, locate, fund, and build school facilities to serve the long-term interest of all our children and community members. We need to look at the system as a whole rather than ad hoc discussions that consider only one location or need.
Our historically separated planning processes have resulted in historically separated budgets. As we consider the schools’ master planning process, it will be important to look at costs and benefits to Arlington as a whole, whether expenditures are going to be part of the APS budget or the County’s budget.
For example, if a particular school location would require many buses that would increase maintenance costs for our roads, those costs should be considered when evaluating that site. We should also consider costs and benefits not immediately quantifiable that we know will have a significant impact on County and APS budgets over time.
This new, improved collaborative master planning process should be guided by shared values and solid principles. Here are some values and principles that I believe should guide the process. (more…)
An alumni group is asking the Vatican to look into a slew of incidents they say has tarnished the private Catholic school’s reputation.
The group, led by former basketball player Brian Culhane, has sent a “fat package of allegations and grievances” to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees issues of morality in the Roman Catholic Church, according to an investigative report by the sports gossip website Deadspin.
The allegations surround the varsity basketball team and its head coach, Joe Wootten.
Deadspin reports that Wootten sought the transfer of Congolese basketball player Junior Etou, who was the key figure on the team’s 2013 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. The site found that Etou was very likely 21 years old when he played for O’Connell, two years too old to be eligible for high school play.
Etou, who was living with Malone at the time, produced a passport and visa that said he was born in 1994. While he was living in the Congo, however, he had earlier provided a birth certificate to basketball’s governing body stating he was born in 1992.
The report also alleges a cover-up by school officials after two basketball players allegedly filmed a sex act with a female student at the school. The players transferred before the last school year. Via Deadspin:
The talk was that Wootten’s latest exiles had left under an ugly cloud — that one of the players had shot a video in which a female student performed oral sex on the other player inside the school, then, according to an O’Connell employee, “posted his work on Instagram.” All of those alleged to be involved were juveniles and underclassmen.
Students found to have committed what is described in memos from O’Connell alumni to school and local Catholic officials as “a sexually immoral act” on campus are generally expelled, Culhane says; however, according to the rumors, the two boys were allowed to leave without any formal finding, while the girl alleged to have been involved remained enrolled at O’Connell. Culhane says alums who inquired about the incident were told by school administrators that she faced no punishment because “the [sex] act was not consensual.” Yet no charges were ever filed.
The Arlington County Police Department investigated the video, but spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said no charges were filed and the identity of the subjects could not be revealed because they were minors.
The confluence of events – without a satisfactory response from O’Connell administration of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington – prompted Culhane and his alumni to request Pope Francis step in. If the CDF and the Vatican decide it’s worth pursuing, according to Deadspin, it will compel Bishop Paul Loverde to investigate the school and the program.
O’Connell administration has not responded to a request for comment.
Update at 4:20 p.m. – The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has provided ARLnow.com with the following statement:
The Diocese of Arlington regrets that concerns about the basketball program at Bishop O’Connell remain a source of frustration for some members of the school community.
As stated previously in 2013, Bishop O’Connell received official documentation regarding the age of former student Junior Etou, confirming his eligibility to participate in athletics during the 2012-13 academic year.
With regard to any allegations involving other students, the Diocese of Arlington cannot comment on individual disciplinary matters. As a matter of policy and practice if a school has reason to believe a student’s actions have violated the law, the proper law enforcement agency is contacted.
Photo via Facebook
Two locals are opening a veterinary clinic on N. 10th St. between N. Garfield and N. Highland Streets. Set to open in early 2015, Clarendon Animal Care will provide a range of treatments.
“We’ll be a full-service general practice doing everything from wellness care to geriatric treatments to management of chronic conditions,” co-owner Kayleen Gloor said.
Gloor, 32, and co-owner Natasha Ungerer, 34, will also perform basic dentistry and have X-ray machines. The office will focus on making both human and animal clients comfortable and helping pet owners understand how to keep their companions healthy.
“I can’t count the number of times people have told me they wish I were their own medical doctor because I explain things so clearly,” Gloor said.
Gloor, an Arlington resident, and Ungerer, a McLean resident, met during an internship at a veterinary emergency office in Gaithersburg. They believe Clarendon Animal Care will be the only all-woman-owned veterinary clinic in Arlington. The majority of veterinary students are women, yet few own their own practices, Gloor said.
“It’s a bit of an old boys’ club.”
APS Graduation Rate Rises to 92 Percent — Arlington Public Schools’ graduation rate rose to 92 percent for the Class of 2014, up from 85.2 percent in 2010. The dropout rate declined to 3.8 percent this year and the graduation rate for Arlington’s three comprehensive high schools reached 98.7 percent. “This steady improvement is a reflection of the teamwork of everyone working together to ensure that our students succeed,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, in a statement. [Arlington Public Schools]
Company Promises In-N-Out Delivery — As a publicity stunt, food delivery service OrderAhead is offering to deliver frozen In-N-Out Double Double burgers from California today to addresses Arlington and D.C. Even though In-N-Out is famous for food that’s never frozen or pre-packaged, the offer is apparently proving popular for those with a craving for the west coast chain. Currently, a website set up to provide more information about the promotion is down. [Eater]
County Board Supports Nonpartisan Redistricting — The Arlington County Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to support nonpartisan redistricting of state legislative boundaries. Democratic Board Chairman Jay Fisette said partisan redistricting leads to “stagnation and gridlock,” while independent Board member John Vihstadt said it produces “toxic partisanship in Washington and Richmond.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The left two lanes of the bridge were blocked by the accident, though as of 8:05 a.m. only one lane remained closed.
In addition to the traffic crawling on northbound I-395, heavy traffic could be seen approaching the 14th Street Bridge from the north and the south on the George Washington Parkway.
Traffic on eastbound I-66, meanwhile, was relatively clear through Arlington until the Rosslyn tunnel.
A gorgeous, newly-constructed 5 BR, 4.5 BA home is on the market in sought-after Maywood.
This new home at 2346 N. Fillmore Street, listed at $1,225,000, offers over 4,000 square feet on four finished levels.
The beautifully appointed main level features 9-foot ceilings. The spacious kitchen comes equipped with 42-inch Shaker-style cabinets, marble counters and a large island.
Other features include:
- Gleaming Brazilian cherry hardwood floors
- Great room with beamed ceiling and gas fireplace
- Lovely, light-filled spaces for living and entertaining
- Four upper level bedrooms
- Luxurious owners’ suite with separate vanities, soaking tub, separate shower and two walk-in-closets
- Granite counters in bathrooms
- Upper level laundry room
- Standing seam metal roof
- Enclosed patio
- Extensive landscaping
- Parking pad
An open house will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates DCA and Dulles International Airport, announced today that it would be opening five new restaurants, including Kapnos Taverna, a Greek restaurant also planning to open in Ballston, and Clarendon’s upscale sports bar, Bracket Room.
The five eateries will go with recently opened Ben’s Chili Bowl, Legal Seafood, Vineyard Vines, American Tap Room and Pinkberry, plus under construction Taylor Gourmet, &pizza and Grille District as part of MWAA’s efforts to spruce up the airport’s food options.
“From the beginning of the Concessions Redevelopment Program at Reagan and Dulles, the Airports Authority has been committed to enhancing the passenger experience at both Reagan and Dulles,” Steve Baker, MWAA’s vice president of business administration, said in a press release. “Whether passengers are looking to recharge themselves or their cell phones, we are providing bright, enticing opportunities with exceptional service for our customers’ shopping and dining pleasure.”
In addition to the new food options, MWAA is planning to overhaul three food courts, at Terminal B (gates 10-22), Terminal B/C (gates 23-34) and Terminal C (gates 35-45). Each food court will offer “grab and go snacks,” alcohol and express eating options, like Say Si Bon Gourmet Market, crêpe shop Magic Pan and Asian shop Wow Bao. The food courts will be similar, MWAA says, to the larger redevelopment that is underway at Terminal A.
Forecasters say heavy, drenching rain is moving up from the south in the form of a nor’easter. The storm may produce localized flooding in low-lying areas through early Thursday.
From the National Weather Service:
… FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TONIGHT…
THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR
* PORTIONS OF MARYLAND… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA… INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS… IN MARYLAND… ANNE ARUNDEL… HARFORD… BALTIMORE… HOWARD… MONTGOMERY… AND PRINCE GEORGES. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA AND FAIRFAX.
* FROM 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
* LOW PRESSURE APPROACHING FROM THE SOUTHERN ATLANTIC STATES WILL BRING PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE AREA LATE THIS EVENING AND CONTINUE OVERNIGHT. ONE TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED BY EARLY THURSDAY.
* PERSISTENT MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN MAY CAUSE FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS… ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS AND LOCATIONS 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.