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by ARLnow.com — March 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm 1,668 0

Shirlington Spring Beer Festival Event FlyerCapitol City Brewing will host its second annual Mid-Atlantic Spring Beer Festival in Shirlington next month.

The event will take place outdoors, closing down a portion of Campbell Avenue. It will feature tastings from 35 area craft brewers, all of which will be from Virginia, Maryland or the District, including “several newly opened breweries.”

“New this year, all participating breweries will sport their own exhibition tents that showcase their company creations and colorful brand designs,” organizers said in a press release. “A variety of Shirlington Village restaurants and local eateries will feature their favorite springtime fare with music provided by a popular local DJ.”

The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 25. Much like Capital City’s Shirlington Oktoberfest event, the Spring Beer Festival will run from noon until 7:00 p.m., rain or shine, with taps closing at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets to the event will be available for purchase the day of the event, starting at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $30 and include a wristband, tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional tasting tickets will be sold for $1 each, with a $5 minimum.

Non-drinkers and children can attend for free.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 24, 2015 at 11:30 am 2,105 0

Staff's proposal for the Western Rosslyn Area Planning StudyArlington County appears ready to move forward with selling Rosslyn Highlands Park to a developer in exchange for a new fire station, and some residents are protesting the deal.

This Saturday, a new group called Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park will host a rally at the park (1555 Wilson Blvd) to try to garner support and more signatures for its petition to the Arlington County Board. The rally will run from 10:00 a.m-noon and the group says it has invited all members of the County Board and the six announced candidates to attend and listen to park advocates’ concern.

Of particular concern to the group: the revelation that Arlington signed a letter of intent with developer Penzance to trade the piece of land for a new fire station in January 2013, six months before the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) was launched.

“Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park, along with neighboring civic associations and countless citizens, are dismayed that a negotiation behind closed doors would threaten, and in effect predetermine the fate of, one of Arlington’s cherished neighborhood parks,” Katie Elmore, spokeswoman for Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park, said in a press release. “Such action by the County Board corrodes public belief in the ‘Arlington Way’ and the viability of future public processes.”

Rosslyn Highlands ParkThe WRAPS Working Group was formed by the County Board to determine the best mix of uses for the area between 18th Street N., Wilson Blvd, N. Quinn Street and the edge of the 1555 Wilson Blvd office building. The WRAPS group has met regularly since the summer of 2013 and the County Board will vote on the area’s future next month.

The park currently includes a small playground, basketball court, parking lot and some open green space; a total of 30,182 square feet. It’s adjacent to a 45,000 square foot playing field behind the Wilson School that will stay in place when the site becomes the future home of H-B Woodlawn.

The proposal that county staff recommended to the Board earlier this month would reduce county park space to 11,500 square feet, but add a publicly-accessible plaza in between new high-rise, mixed-use office and residential buildings.

The daughter of Anna Duran, leader of the Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park groupThe proposal also calls for Penzance to construct a N. Pierce Street extension between Wilson and 18th, even though some residents said they preferred an extended N. Ode Street, slightly farther east. County staff say Ode Street would interfere with traffic from the new fire station and the new school.

While preserving open space and parkland has been a stated County Board priority, the panel has made it clear that it would be willing to sell the land in exchange for fulfilling other priorities. Residents say not only is the county selling one of the last remaining green spaces in Rosslyn, but it’s not even getting a good deal.

“This is trading a public good for private gain, the sale price of the land is significantly undervalued, the financial trade off is short-sighted and not ‘fiscally responsible,’ and the board has been deaf to the input of residents on this issue,” Elizabeth Schill, who lives nearby, told ARLnow.com in an email. “This is not a NIMBY issue, but rather one in which we are opposed to the sale of rare and irreplaceable parkland to a private, commercial developer at below-market rates for purely private gain.”

Some of county staff’s proposals for Rosslyn Highlands Park’s replacements include more urbanized versions of playgrounds, or basketball courts integrated with plaza seating like the new plaza on 19th Street N. But the Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park say it just won’t be the same as the park they’ve been bringing their children to for years.

“The park is a second backyard, a friendly place,” Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park leader Anna Duran said in an email. “The park for us is a place to relax, a place to nod in humanity at other humans, perhaps unknown at the time, but just a moment away from friendliness. There, we’ve gotten much further with making friends than in passing each other on the street — and much further than in passing through a jungle of tall business buildings.”

Photo, bottom, courtesy of Anna Duran

by ARLnow.com — March 24, 2015 at 10:30 am 6,797 0

A cyclist was hurt this morning in Rosslyn when the backseat passenger of an Uber car opened a door in his path.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. on N. Lynn Street, just south of Wilson Blvd. Initial reports indicate that the white BMW was stopped next to the bike lane when the Uber rider opened the rear passenger-side door just as the cyclist was about to roll by on a Capital Bikeshare bike. The cyclist slammed into the door.

Police and paramedics were called and the cyclist was treated on scene. He refused treatment to a local hospital.

The BMW’s door was damaged and would not fully close. No damage was visible to the Bikeshare bike. The cyclist was visibly shaken but did not have any outward sign of injury. No other injuries were reported.

The cyclist declined to comment to ARLnow.com, except to confirm that the car was moved closer to the curb after the accident.

Police took statements from the driver, the passenger and the cyclist. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed.

The incident happened as Arlington County Police officers were conducting a pedestrian safety detail just a couple of blocks down Lynn Street.

by ARLnow.com — March 24, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,842 0

Early spring in Westover Village

Advocates Decry Proposed Bike Cut — An optional budget cut floated by Arlington County Manger Barbara Donnellan in her proposed FY 2015-2016 budget is attracting some push back from cyclists. Donnellan said the County Board should consider a $800,000 cut in funds for the county’s BikeArlington program if it wants to make additional cuts beyond her base budget. Bike advocates say the cut “would be a huge mistake.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Condo Fence Mowed Down — A car ran through the fence of a condominium complex next to Long Branch Elementary School Sunday evening. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]

Resident Survey to Be Mailed — Arlington County is planning to mail its fourth resident survey to 3,600 randomly selected residents. “This survey will help us find out how we’re doing across many different service areas – and also pinpoint where we need to improve,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement. [Arlington County]

Custis Trail Added to Beer Guide — A guide intended to show D.C. area cyclists where they can grab craft brews near local trails has added Arlington’s Custis Trail to its directory. [Bikeable Brews]

A-SPAN To Help Meet Homeless Goals – Arlington County has signed on to a pair of ambitious goals: to house all homeless veterans in the community by the end of 2015 and end chronic homelessness by 2016. The Arlington Street People’s Network, the nonprofit organization that will be running Arlington’s soon-to-open year-round homeless shelter, is preparing to do its part to help achieve those goals. [InsideNova]

by Ethan Rothstein — March 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm 1,755 0

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Cowork Cafe, a new coworking concept in Boccato in ClarendonA Monday in Boccato Gelato & Espresso in Clarendon looks vastly different now than it did two months ago, thanks to a new Arlington startup called Cowork Cafe.

Founded by David James and Ramzy Azar, Cowork Cafe is a partnership between the two entrepreneurs and Boccato (2719 Wilson Blvd) owner Christian Velasco in which James and Azar rent out Boccato’s lounge for 9 hours on weekdays, and offer it to members for $200 a month. Those members get souped up WiFi, $50 in food and beverage credits, soundproofed phone booths and, soon, personal lockers for storage.

From 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Velasco puts stanchions through Boccato’s lounge separating a dozen or so tables — including bars that function as standing desks — for Cowork Cafe members, and keeping a small handful for walk-in Boccato customers. During the cafe’s busiest times in the evenings and on weekends, the stanchions are removed and it’s a full-fledged coffee and gelato shop once more.

“I totally understand the challenges of a food establishment; it’s dependent on volume,” Azar told ARLnow.com over coffee at the cafe. His parents own restaurants, he said, which is party of why old friend James asked him to cofound the venture. “As soon as I understood what coworking was about, it seems like a great way to contribute to the establishment.”

James came up with the idea after years of working at home as an independent software developer left him feeling “a little isolated.” He ventured to coffee shops with his laptop, but those started to become too crowded, too noisy and too distracted. Walking by Boccato’s empty lounge space on a weekday spawned the idea.

Cowork Cafe co-founders Ramzy Azar and David JamesNow, Cowork Cafe has 20 paying members, and two other restaurant businesses have reached out to become the home of the next Cowork Cafe.

“It’s something that could be a lot bigger than here,” James said. “We’re excited about the ability to scale quickly. Restaurants already have space, and we can just plug in and go. That means we can try out a place with low risk.”

Of course, some might raise their eyebrows at the idea of charging $200 a month to work in a space that was previously free, but James said the advantages to membership and the price hit a sweet spot for teleworkers and self-employed professionals.

“Most of the people that work here don’t need to go to a place to work,” James said. “But people can see the benefit of being around a community. If you haven’t worked form home a lot, it’s probably hard to understand.”

The 20 members are a hodgepodge of writers, developers, self-employed professionals and teleworkers, James said. Some have routines and come in most of every weekday. Others float in and out and use it more like a regular coffee shop. With the $50 in food credit, any member can go to the counter and get a coffee or empanada without taking out their wallet; Azar called it a country club-like system.

“Self-employed folks come to these spaces anyway,” he said. “It’s not an office. It has a rustic feel and a great sense of community.”

“A place like this encourages abstract thinking,” James added.

James and Azar didn’t just show up and launch the cafe on Feb. 2 — they put in some key infrastructure, like four soundproofed phone booths for phone calls and video conferencing. James said they installed about 50 plugs and business-class WiFi. They also didn’t quite know what to expect — they put a sign on the retail storefront on Wilson Blvd, held a few open houses and hoped for the best.

The expansion plans are underway sooner than either expected, but James and Azar aren’t saying yet where or when the next Cowork Cafe will be.

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm 3,284 0

FBI training exercise (file photo courtesy of Lucy Brookover)(Updated at 5:35 p.m.) FBI agents raided an apartment — apparently connected to a bank robbery suspect — in Arlington’s Buckingham neighborhood Friday evening.

The agents were “executing search warrants as part of a bank robbery investigation,” according to FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin.

The agents arrested Woosen Assaye, Godwin said, suspected of robbing the Apple Federal Credit Union on Sir Viceroy Drive in Alexandria on Friday, March 20. He appeared in federal court in Alexandria today.

The raid happened at an apartment building near the intersection of Carlin Springs Road and N. Thomas Street around 4:00 p.m. Friday. The law enforcement show of force attracted considerable attention from neighbors, who emailed and tweeted ARLnow.com asking for additional information.

“About six suburbans of FBI with military fatigues just pulled into that area where the apartment building is on Carlin Springs and Thomas,” a resident, John Broehm, said in an email shortly after the raid. “There were lots of Arlington sheriffs there too. Although from their demeanor it seemed like it maybe was an exercise. No one seemed to be concerned about anything.”

“FBI turned from northbound Glebe onto Carlin Springs and pulled into the lot at that church between Glebe and Vermont/Park Drive,” Broehm said in a follow-up email, referring to the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington. “The guys in military gear got out and walked across the street to the apartment building where Arlington County Sheriff already was. But they were letting traffic and people go by on Carlin Springs.”

File photo (courtesy of Lucy Brookover)

by Ethan Rothstein — March 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm 1,860 0

An EasyPark device(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Arlington residents can once again pay for parking with an electronic device they keep in their car.

County Treasurer Carla de la Pava announced today that the county is offering EasyPark devices to its residents, the “successor” to the iPark devices it stopped selling because the manufacturer declared bankruptcy in 2013.

The devices are currently available to be ordered online and can be used immediately, we’re told. Anyone, not just Arlington residents, can purchase the devices and use them to park in the county.

“The iPark was very popular, and EasyPark is even better,” de la Pava said in a press release. “It makes metered parking simple and easy. We are pleased to partner with the manufacturer, OTI America, to make EasyPark available to everyone who parks in Arlington.”

The EasyPark device costs $30, and comes with $10 of parking pre-loaded. The device works like the former iPark devices: customers enter which parking zone they are in, turn the pre-paid device on and leave their car. When they return, the driver turns off the device, paying only for the time he or she parked.

The devices can be refilled online at EasyPark’s website and at the treasurer’s office at 2100 Clarendon Blvd, window 215. Each time a device is refilled, EasyPark charges users a $2 fee.

The devices will be displayed on the driver’s side window, and sound a tone every 60 seconds to prevent drivers from paying for unused parking. In addition, meters can be set to “on” overnight, and will automatically turn on at 8:00 a.m. and off at 6:00 p.m.

For those still clinging to their iPark devices, those can still be used and refilled at the treasurer’s office.

Image via EasyPark

by Ethan Rothstein — March 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm 803 0

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) held a roundtable discussion on the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act today at Arlington Mill Community Center.

McAuliffe and Beyer joined federal Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to host about a dozen healthcare professionals, customers, legislators and healthcare business leaders and talk about the impacts of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, and the future of Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

“This is Virginia, the birthplace of our nation in 1607,” McAuliffe said. “We have a responsibility [to expand health insurance coverage].”

Dels. Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez were in attendance, as were state Sen. Barbara Favola and Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada. Hope pointed out that an expansion of Medicaid in Virginia would immediately cover 5,000 Arlington residents.

“We have got to solve this problem in Virginia,” Hope said.

Much of the discussion centered around the impact felt by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, not the absence of an expanded Medicaid. Beyer told a story about a worker at his car dealership who, before the ACA’s passage, couldn’t put his sick wife on health insurance because she had a pre-existing condition. The ACA made it illegal for insurance companies to deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions.

“I really think the Affordable Care Act will be remembered as the most significant moral legislation of the early 21st century,” Beyer said. “There was the Emancipation Proclamation, women’s suffrage, Social Security and now the Affordable Care Act.”

Burwell touted numbers that she say prove the ACA has started to accomplish its goals. Since 2010, 16.4 million fewer Americans are uninsured, she said, and hospitals saved $7.4 billion in 2014 in uncompensated care costs — what happens when a patient cannot afford to pay their medical bills.

Still, Burwell said, more than 60 percent of the uncompensated care savings came from states that have approved Medicaid expansion. That’s money McAuliffe said would go back into the Virginia economy if the legislature were to approve his recommendation.

“Talking to governors from states that have expanded, it’s not only given them healthcare, it’s a huge job creator,” he said.

McAuliffe pushed hard to get the Republican-controlled General Assembly to pass Medicaid expansion during its legislative session, but his attempts failed — partly, he said, because of GOP legislators’ fears of being beaten by a Tea Party candidate in a primary. Next year, McAuliffe believes the legislature will be more willing to close the coverage gap.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm 4,055 0

3400 Columbia Pike, the potential location of a Chipotle  3400 Columbia Pike, the potential location of a Chipotle

A Chipotle Mexican Grill could be coming to the ground floor of an apartment building on Columbia Pike.

A construction permit has been filed with Arlington County to build out a Chipotle restaurant in the new Pike 3400 building, at the corner of the Pike and S. Glebe Road. The building is being developed by the Penrose Group and managed by Kettler.

The permit is in the early stages — the first application was submitted on Friday — and does not necessarily mean Chipotle has signed a lease. Spring Mill Bread Co. was in talks to come to Pershing Drive in January when the property owner filed for construction permits on the business’ behalf, and RA Sushi in Clarendon is in the same situation.

The location would be Chipotle’s sixth in Arlington, with locations already in Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City, the Pentagon City mall and along Lee Highway.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — March 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm 783 0

Berry&Berry2

This is a biweekly sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

The Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA) was enacted in September 2000 and designed to provide relief to federal civilian employees who were placed in the wrong federal retirement system for at least three years of service after Dec. 31, 1986.

Typically, FERCCA errors arise when a federal employee experiences a break in service, especially during the mid-1980s when the Federal Employees Retirement Systems (FERS) plan was created. In some cases, FERCCA has provided federal employees and annuitants placed in the wrong federal retirement system with the opportunity to choose between FERS and the offset provisions contained within the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

In order to determine if you are in the correct federal retirement plan, you need to know the type of appointment you have and your work history. Federal retirement rules governing retirement plan placement are complex and contain many exceptions that are hard to follow. If you find that you fit in any of the situations described below, you could be in the wrong federal retirement system. However, keep in mind that there are exceptions to the general rules.

If you currently have CSRS coverage, then you may be in the wrong plan if:

  • You worked for the federal government before 1984, but not on a permanent basis;
  • You left federal employment for more than a year at any time after 1983;
  • You have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less, a term appointment, or an emergency indefinite appointment;
  • You have no federal civilian employment before 1984; or
  • You do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis (see the work schedule block on your SF-50).

If you currently have CSRS Offset coverage, then you may be in the wrong plan if:

  • You have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less, a term appointment, or an emergency indefinite appointment;
  • You have no federal civilian employment before 1984;
  • You do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis (see the work schedule block on your SF-50); or
  • You did not work for the federal government for a total of five years before 1987 (not including your military service). Exception: If you worked under CSRS, left the federal government, and your agency placed you in CSRS Offset upon your return, your CSRS Offset coverage is probably correct if you had five years of federal government service when you left.

If you currently have FERS coverage, then you may be in the wrong plan if:

  • You have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less;
  • You do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis; or
  • You have worked for the federal government for at least five years before 1987 (not including military service) unless you elected to transfer to FERS during a FERS Open Season or after a break in service.

FERCCA can also provide 1) reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses paid as a result of a coverage error (e.g., attorney’s fees, costs, etc.); 2) an ability to benefit from certain changes in the rules about how some federal service is credited toward retirement; and 3) make-up contributions to the federal employee’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and receipt of lost earnings on those contributions, among other provisions. (more…)

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2015 at 11:00 am 3,566 0

Some 3,700 people participated in Saturday’s Shamrock Crawl, an annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed bar crawl in Clarendon, according to police.

That’s down from nearly 5,000 attendees for last year’s crawl. Unlike last year, however, this one resulted in relatively few arrests.

Police say they arrested two people in direct connection to the crawl — one for assault and battery, and the other for drunk in public. That compares to more than two dozen arrests during last year’s event, including a bar crawl attendee who was arrested for allegedly showing up naked at the Arlington magistrate’s office in search of her incarcerated husband.

The Arlington County Police Department credited planning and cooperation among police, bars, event organizers and neighbors for the largely drama-free afternoon.

“It was a lot smoother of an operation,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “We have to credit the bars that participated as their staff refused to let people who were highly intoxicated in. There was a great working partnership for this event between police and the participating businesses.”

“It was a year-long planning process… there were constant meetings among county staff, the civic associations, the businesses and the bar crawl hosts,” Sternbeck added. “It showed positive results in terms of behavior.”

Sternbeck said police “could have arrested quite a bit more for drunk in public” but instead focused on getting those individuals home safely via taxicabs. New this year, Sternbeck and another police department employee live-tweeted the bar crawl and set up an outdoor photo booth — complete with props including a McGruff the Crime Dog mascot head — where they mixed fun with a bit of public outreach.

“We definitely spoke to them directly about responsible partying, appropriate behavior and transportation usage,” he said.

Despite helping to drastically reduce crime, police did take note of one area for possible improvement.

“The biggest problem I saw was people darting into the street before waiting for the appropriate time to cross,” Sternbeck said. Several police department tweets showed attendees dressed in green crossing in the middle of busy roads, in front of cars.

Per new bar crawl regulations that were approved last year, bar crawl organizer Project DC Events was to pick up the tab for police overtime associated with security for the event. Sternbeck was unable to say what the bill was for this weekend, though the Washington Post previously reported that the cost to police was between $15,000 and $20,000.

Photos courtesy Arlington County Police Department

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2015 at 9:05 am 4,290 0

Arlington County Police Department motorcyclesArlington County police will be handing out traffic tickets and jaywalking citations tomorrow as part of a spring pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign.

The enforcement detail will take place during the morning rush hour and around lunchtime, at intersections in Rosslyn, Courthouse and on Columbia Pike.

Among the intersections where officers will be stationed is the so-called Intersection of Doom at Lee Highway and N. Lynn Street.

In addition to issuing citations, police personnel will be handing out safety information to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

From ACPD:

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. and again from noon to 1:00 pm, officers with the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will be out promoting the 2015 Spring Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Awareness Program. The pedestrian safety enforcement detail will be held in the Rosslyn, Courthouse and Columbia Pike areas. This campaign will run from March 23, 2015 through April 19, 2015. Officers will enforce traffic, bicycle and pedestrian laws at the intersections of Lee Highway and N. Lynn Street, N. Courthouse Road and N. 15th Street, Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street and Columbia Pike and S. Scott Street.

The detail is part of the 2015 Street Smart Pedestrian, Driver, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign and the Arlington Police Department’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Awareness Program to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety across the region. These programs are set up to carry out education and enforcement campaigns throughout the year in order to ensure everyone shares the roads safely. Approximately 25 percent of the traffic fatalities in the Washington area are pedestrians and bicyclists, with nearly 90 deaths per year.

Officers will ticket motorists who violate traffic laws or do not yield for pedestrians in crosswalks. In addition, pedestrians will be cited for jaywalking. Public Service Aides will hand out safety information to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who commute through these busy intersections.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 23, 2015 at 5:00 am 360 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday

SignageShirlington_tapeStorytelling for Young Children
Busboys and Poets (4251 Campbell Ave.)
Time: 9:30-11:00 a.m.

D.C.-based singer-songwriter — and mother of three — Marsha Goodman-Wood performs songs for children 5 and under. $5 admission is required. This is a weekly event.

10801772_10203445985141472_515625299417422453_nWeddingWire RecruitingHappy Hour
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Tech startup WeddingWire is looking for new salespeople, and is hosting a happy hour to try and find them. Any “work hard, play hard” candidates can find more info here.

Wednesday

healthy-happy-hour-logoHealthy Happy Hours
Heavy Seas Alehouse (1501 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 4:00 p.m.-midnight

Heavy Seas is partnering with the Arlington Free Clinic and the Shannon McGowan Breast Health Fund to offer an eight-hour long happy hour. Ten percent of all proceeds go toward the two nonprofits.

Thursday

Free Concert: The U.S. Navy Band
Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 7:00-8:15 p.m.

The U.S. Navy Band will be honoring veterans during a free concert featuring wind ensemble standards, soloists, marches, and patriotic favorites.

Friday

14302-UrbanArias_BlueViola-Title-472x394Live Music: Blues opera “Blue Viola”*
Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 8:00-9:00 p.m.

A blues opera about a blue viola, found on the street, and the upended lives of the people who discovered it. Tickets are $28. It is UrbanArias’ last show at the Artisphere.

Saturday

Baron VaughnLive Comedy: Baron Vaughn
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 10:00 p.m. (also performing on Friday)

Baron Vaughn has performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, had a role in USA’s “Fairly Legal” and is doing two shows in Arlington this week. Tickets here.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm 3,447 0

County Manager Barbara Donnellan presents her FY 2014 budget on Feb. 20, 2013

(Updated at 8:15 a.m.) Almost half of Arlington’s elected officials will have retired or resigned by Jan. 1, 2016, starting with Chris Zimmerman’s retirement from the Arlington County Board in February 2014.

At the same time, the leadership of the county’s staff is having a major changing of the guard, losing four department heads since last March, not including the impending retirement of County Manager Barbara Donnellan, effective June 30.

“The only constant in life is change,” County Board member Jay Fisette told ARLnow.com yesterday. In January of next year, Fisette and Libby Garvey will be the only Board members to have begun to serve before April 2014.

The list of leaders who have left or are leaving county government reads like a who’s who of Arlington agenda-setters in recent memory:

Rep. Jim Moran, Del. Bob Brink, Board members Zimmerman, Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada, Del. Rob Krupicka, School Board members Sally Baird, Noah Simon and Abby Raphael, Treasurer Frank O’Leary, Donnellan, Community Planning, Housing and Development Director Bob Brosnan, Arlington County Police Chief Doug Scott, Department of Human Services Director Susanne Eisner and the late Terry Holzheimer, Arlington Economic Development Director, who died last year of a heart attack.

“I don’t know that we’ve ever seen so much change at once,” said Eric Dobson, a former Planning Commission chairman and Arlington native who serves as the Northern Virginia government liaison with the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

While the staff turnover is staggering — five of the county’s 14 department directors will be replaced — many county officials say the transitions will be seamless. Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz, who will become interim county manager on July 1, said that’s partly because of Donnellan’s forward thinking.

Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes speaks to the Arlington Civic Federation“I think we have great bench strength,” the Boston native and avid Red Sox fan said. “Barbara has always talked about succession planning. You need to have that security. At the same time, I think it’s a good thing that an organization renews itself.”

Donnellan’s departure will have lasting effects, colleagues said. Many offered effusive praise of her work over the past 31 years, particularly her five years as county manager.

“She will be sorely missed,” said Kevin Shooshan, chairman of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and vice president of Shooshan Company, a Ballston-based real estate firm. “Everyone in Arlington County was a fan of Barbara Donnellan. People underestimate what that job entails, which is running that entire billion-dollar organization. It’s a big job and a big budget, and she’s done a great job for several years. Everyone’s going to be very sad to see her go.”

Confidence does not abound, however, regarding the future of the Arlington County Board. Hynes and Tejada represent a combined two decades of Board experience, and when the dust settles in November’s election, the future of Arlington could look different.

“That is a far more significant issue than the administrative staff, which has a deep pool,” Fisette said. “Three people set the direction for the Board. The community’s vision can be changed in subtle and harsh ways.”

Five Democrats have announced their candidacy for the two open seats — Peter Fallon, Christian Dorsey, School Board Chair James Lander, Katie Cristol and Andrew Schneider — and one independent, longtime Arlington Green candidate Audrey Clement. No Republicans have declared, nor has any candidate like John Vihstadt announced his or her intention to run.

Still, Vihstadt’s election and resounding re-election last year is fresh in the minds of many in Arlington politics. No one seems to know who — if anyone — will try to emulate Vihstadt’s combination of fiscal conservatism and progressive stances on social issues. Some Democrats running are championing platforms of change, but few have offered specifics of how they would operate any different from Hynes or Tejada. (more…)

by Ethan Rothstein — March 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm 2,023 0

Arlington County Police Department officersIt’s been more than 50 years since Arlington County experienced less crime than it did last year, according to the Arlington County Police Department.

Arlington’s rate of Part I offenses (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) dropped 8.22 percent from 2013 to 2014, and the total of 3,863 Part I offenses was the lowest in the county since 1961, ACPD said.

“The historically low crime rate is a true testament to the partnership among the community and Police Department,” Police Chief Doug Scott said in a press release, his last as ACPD chief before his retirement became official this week. “We will continue make these partnerships even stronger as it has made our community safer.”

Arlington had one homicide last year — a domestic murder-suicide in December — and rape incidents increased from 26 in 2013 to 27 in 2014. Other crime categories all fell year-over-year:

  • Robberies decreased 12.7 percent
  • Burglaries decreased 14.17 percent
  • Larcenies decreased about 7 percent
  • Motor vehicle thefts decreased about 7 percent
  • Aggravated assaults decreased 19.4 percent

“Even with crime rates at historic lows, the Arlington County Police Department will continue to actively patrol and maintain safety, and will attempt to identify causes for crimes so that they may be addressed,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said in the release.

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