The Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has offered Arlington County the use of prime land in the Courthouse area at no cost. The County Board is scheduled to vote on the lease agreement at its meeting this Saturday, May 18.
The two parcels of vacant land run along Clarendon Blvd, between N. Adams Street and N. Barton Street. The ROK Arlington Embassy Annex building lies adjacent to the land, but faces Wilson Blvd. The land parcels up for grabs currently house nothing but fenced asphalt and gravel lots.
The embassy reports that the space is only used a few times each year during large meetings. It decided to offer the land to the county as a goodwill gesture.
Terms of the lease would allow the county to use the land free of rent as long as it maintains the parcels. The county may use the property for any legal use, provided it notifies the embassy prior to changing the land use. Any permanent improvements on the land would first require consent from the embassy.
The lease agreement would be in effect for a minimum of two years and would continue until terminated by one of the parties. The county staff report indicates maintenance costs associated with the lease would be minimal and no significant fiscal impact is expected.
Although the county staff report recommends the Board approves the deal, so far no firm plan has been developed for the future of the land. The county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) performed a preliminary land analysis and came up with some potential uses and improvements to the property. CPHD is prepared to solicit public input on possible uses for the site.
Editor’s Note: ARLnow.com will be highlighting the companies that join our Arlington Service Directory this summer. The Service Directory is a place where Arlington residents can discover quality local companies that provide necessary and useful services for people, properties, pets and possessions.
Always Best Care of Arlington, located in Lyon Park, provides in-home care for local seniors.
From the company’s Service Directory listing:
Since 1996, Always Best Care has helped families with non-medical in-home care and FREE assisted living facility placement services. With Always Best Care, every client receives extraordinary care in an inspiring environment with caring people. We have worked with more than 25,000 seniors across the country. We’re here to serve you!
Law enforcement personnel from Arlington, neighboring jurisdictions and locales as far away as London gathered outside the Arlington County courthouse this morning for the county’s annual observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Among those speaking at the ceremony were Police Chief Doug Scott, Sheriff Beth Arthur and County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. The ceremony honored the six Arlington officers who have been killed in the line of duty since 1935.
“Losing even one officer is too many,” said Chief Scott. Those who fell while in the service of Arlington County are:
- Special Police Officer Louis Shaw, killed on Dec. 6, 1935 when his vehicle was struck by a fuel tanker and burst into flames. A prisoner in the vehicle was also killed.
- Detective Russell Pettie, shot and killed on Jan. 20, 1954 while executing a search warrant.
- Officer Arthur Chorovich, fatally injured on Dec. 5, 1964 when his police motorcycle was struck by a vehicle.
- Officer Israel Gonzalez, shot and killed on Oct. 25, 1972 during a bank robbery in Crystal City.
- Officer George Pomraning, Jr., shot and killed on Sept. 2, 1973 while transporting a prisoner. The prisoner pulled a gun out of his boot while in the backseat of a police car and shot Pomraning several times.
- Officer John Buckley, shot and killed on April 15, 1977 during a bank robbery.
Also recognized were law enforcement officers who have died outside the line of duty over the past year.
The ceremony, part of National Police Week, included bagpipe music and the playing of Taps. The 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road was closed to traffic during the ceremony.
(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) Non-profit organization Preservation Virginia has named Arlington National Cemetery to its list of the state’s most endangered sites.
Each year the group chooses historical sites it believes have become threatened due to neglect, insufficient funding, inappropriate development or public policies and procedures. The cemetery made the list due to the Millennium Project, an expansion project requiring the removal of trees on 12 wooded acres, and the removal of portions of the red sandstone Seneca Wall, which was constructed during the late 1800s.
Around 800 trees would be removed from the cemetery as part of the plan, although about 600 would be replanted. Preservation Virginia’s concerns surround not only the tree removal, but also the amount of soil being moved, the extent of the new retaining walls to be constructed and the road to be built across a stream that is “likely to irreparably alter the topography and run counter to the objectives of Congress.”
This isn’t the first complaint about the Millennium Project’s plan for tree removal. Arlington residents and members of citizens groups, such as the Arlington Urban Forestry Commission, have voiced displeasure with the plan. In March, a number of people spoke out against the tree removal during an open house at the site.
Preservation Virginia said the following in a written statement:
“Preservation Virginia respects the mission of Arlington National Cemetery to provide for military interments, but along with other partner preservation organizations believes that there is a better way to create additional burial space while also respecting the significant contributions of Arlington House Woods and the existing, historic boundary wall to this sacred place… Preservation Virginia urges the Army Corps of Engineers to revisit the Environmental Assessment and to seek an expansion alternative that respects the historic significance of Arlington Woods, protects its historic landscape, and provides for additional burial space.”
Preservation Virginia’s full list of endangered sites for 2013 can be found on its website.
(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) Track work will close Metro stations along the Orange Line this weekend, for the third time in the past month. This time the Ballston and Virginia Square stations will be out of service.
The closures begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and run through closing on Sunday, May 19. Trains are expected to operate at normal weekend intervals even though service will be split into two segments — between Vienna and East Falls Church and between Clarendon and New Carrollton.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and Clarendon. Customers using shuttle bus service should add up to 25 minutes to their travel time.
The last trains of the night from Vienna to East Falls Church will depart 28 minutes earlier than normal — at 1:57 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 10:57 p.m. on Sunday.
The Orange Line closures are to allow for track circuit module replacement. There will also be work on the Red and Green lines this weekend. Information regarding those closures can be found on WMATA’s website.
The Ballston Business Improvement District expressed concern about the timing of the Ballston Metro station closure, considering the Taste of Arlington festival is expected to bring around 20,000 people to that area on Sunday.
Members of the BID have worked out a deal with WMATA. The station closures will remain in effect and passengers will still need to take shuttles between East Falls Church and Clarendon. However, starting around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, additional shuttles will be put into service to accommodate the heavier flow of passengers expected to travel to Taste of Arlington, which begins at noon.
“They will add a whole crew of buses to the schedule for Sunday so they can ensure that nobody is waiting too long and can get to their destination in a timely fashion,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone. “We’re not the first group this has happened to. They’ve assured us they will monitor the buses in making sure they’re arriving and leaving at a rapid rate. We’re just thrilled they were so responsive and so accommodating.”
Leone added that the bus trip is only about 10 minutes, so hopefully festival attendees won’t experience too many delays. Those who prefer to drive to the event should note that the cost is only one dollar for three hours to park at the Ballston garage.
Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Heavy Seas Alehouse to Open in Rosslyn — Baltimore brewer Heavy Seas plans to open a restaurant at the newly renovated 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. So far, the existing Baltimore location is the only other Heavy Seas Alehouse besides the one planned for Rosslyn. The restaurant is expected to open by the end of this year. [Washington Business Journal]
Army Ten-Miler Registration to Begin — Registration for the Army Ten-Miler opens at midnight on Wednesday, May 15. This year, 35,000 spots will be available for the October 20 race, instead of 30,000. General admission entries sold out within nine hours last year. [Army Ten-Miler]
Local Eighth Grader Named State’s Top Female Orator — Swanson Middle School eighth grader Dorothee Mulumba won the Virginia State Oratorical Contest on May 4. In total, her scholarship winnings from the local, regional and state competitions add up to $3,000. [Sun Gazette]
McDonnell Signs Transportation Bill — On Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the transportation funding bill into law. The law cuts the state’s 17.5 cents per gallon gas tax and raises the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.3 percent, in addition to adding a $64 registration fee for hybrid vehicles. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
The Arlington County Board is expected to vote this weekend to hold public hearings on the county’s proposed Community Energy Plan.
A draft of the ambitious plan calls for Arlington to significantly decrease energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a series of six goals and 14 policies. The goals include:
- “Buildings will be up to 60 percent more energy efficient, saving residents, tenants, and business owners on their energy bills.”
- “District energy systems will provide less expensive, more efficient cooling, heating and power to Arlingtonians in the highest-density development corridors.”
- “Arlington will be a ‘solar leader’ by deploying 160 megawatts of solar photovoltaics, which will supply enough electricity to power 40,000 homes.”
- “Arlington’s transportation infrastructure will be refined and expanded, providing residents and workers with more travel choices.”
- “Arlington County Government will lead by example, reducing energy costs by improving fleet and building efficiencies.”
- “Arlingtonians will rethink their energy use, taking advantage of new technologies to reduce personal energy consumption.”
Among the individual policies are:
- Enforcing higher energy efficiency standards in the building code (requires state legislative approval)
- Facilitating the creation and use of a district energy system with more than 100 megawatts of combined heat and power generation
- Reducing County government CO2 emissions by 76% by 2050 through various strategies
- Reducing automobile pollution by buying more efficient vehicles for the county fleet and requiring more efficient taxis
- Deploying modern traffic control technologies to reduce vehicle idling times
- Providing public recognition of people and organizations that help Arlington reach its energy goals.
The plan, county officials say, would improve Arlington’s business competitiveness, provide energy security, and help the environment.
The County Board is expected to vote this weekend to advertise a series of two public hearings which will be held in advance of Board consideration of the plan itself. The Board’s agenda item calls for the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on June 3, and for the County Board to hold a hearing on June 15.
Third graders from Glebe Elementary School in Arlington welcomed a special guest today: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
Students at the school had written letters to the Vermont senator “about conservation and what the students are doing here at Glebe to help in conservation efforts,” according to school principal Jamie Borg. Leahy, the grandfather of a Glebe student, “decided to respond to their letters in person.”
Leahy personally delivered letters to each third grade student, then engaged them in a conversation about the branches of government — a topic they had been studying.
“Senator Leahy was able to talk to the students about it in depth and explain his role in government,” Borg said.
“The children were very impressed!” said Borg.
Leahy’s wife, Marcelle, joined him for the classroom visit this morning. Leahy, 73, was re-elected in 2010 to a seventh term in the U.S. Senate.
The 11th annual “Rock the Row” summer concert series at Pentagon Row will start June 6, but in a different location than years past.
Thanks to major renovations at the shopping center’s plaza, this year the concerts will be held in the alley between Pentagon Row and the Pentagon City mall parking garage. The alley will be closed to traffic during the concerts. As before, the concerts will take place on Thursday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This year’s Rock the Row schedule is as follows:
- June 6: Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
- June 13: Hyjinx (90s cover)
- June 20: Uncle Jack Band (70s tribute)
- June 27: Gonzo’s Nose (80s tribute)
- July 11: Unity Reggae Band (Reggae)
- July 18: All Mighty Senators (Rock and Soul)
- July 25: The Crawdaddies (Roots Rock and Zydeco)
- August 1: Beach Bumz (Jimmy Buffett tribute)
- August 8: Higher Hands (Funk)
- August 15: Matt Hutchison Band (Pop Rock)
- August 22: Real Geniuses (80s tribute)
- August 29: Crowded Streets (Dave Matthews tribute)
The concerts are free and open to the public.
The renovations at the Pentagon Row plaza include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit. Construction on the project is expected to wrap up this fall.
If the Washington Capitals win tonight against the New York Rangers, the new Z-Burger in Virginia Square will offer free burgers tomorrow.
The Capitals are facing the Rangers tonight in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The game is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at Verizon Center. The winner will advance to the semifinals, against the winner of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs series, and the loser will go home for the summer.
Should the Capitals win, the Z-Burger at 3325 Wilson Blvd will give away free burgers during lunchtime on Tuesday.
“If the Caps win tonight, the Z-Burger location in Arlington will be offering free burgers for fans during Tuesday’s lunch from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.,” Z-Burger said in a press release. “All the fans have to do is show up during these hours and say the secret password — ‘CAPZ’ and they will be treated to any single hamburger, veggie burger, turkey burger or single cheeseburger of their choice.”
The offer is only valid at the Arlington Z-Burger location and is good for one burger per person.
The incident happened just before 9:00 a.m. Police responded to the station for a report of suspicious activity — a man seen walking around on the track bed. Power was briefly taken down to the station’s “third rail” as a precaution. The man eventually climbed back up to the platform.
Police questioned the man and it turned out that that he had hopped down to the tracks to retrieve a farecard he accidentally dropped, according to WMATA spokesman Dan Stesssel. The man was not injured and there was no malicious intent. Power was restored and trains were not delayed.
Stessel said the man’s actions were “incredibly ill advised.” If you drop something on the tracks, he said, don’t take matters into your own hands — contact a station manager.
“If you drop something on the tracks, the station manager can help you,” said Stessel. “The station managers have special equipment that can be used to safely retrieve an item without leaving the platform. Entering the track bed puts you at risk of electrocution (you don’t even have to touch the third rail for power to transfer) or getting struck by a train.”
Flickr photo by John Pastor
(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) A car flipped on its roof near Shirlington on Sunday after colliding with a parked police car.
The incident happened on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street Sunday afternoon. According to police, an Acura TL heading eastbound on Wakefield Street struck two parked vehicles — a Ford Mustang and an Arlington police cruiser — before flipping over. It damaged a third vehicle after overturning.
The police car “sustained major damage” to its rear axle, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The driver, identified as a 26-year-old Arlington man, was charged with reckless driving, driving with a revoked license and DUI. No injuries were reported.
(Updated at 9:15 p.m.) Incumbent School Board member James Lander has narrowly defeated challenger Barbara Kanninen in the Democratic endorsement caucus, which was held on May 9 and 11.
Lander won the Democratic endorsement by a caucus vote of 1,144 to 1,097. He will now run for reelection on Nov. 5. So far, no other candidates have announced for the race.
Via Facebook, Kanninen thanked her supporters.
“Congratulations to my opponent James Lander on winning a hard fought, positive election,” she wrote. “Thank you so much to all of my volunteers and supporters for your help, ideas and kind words of support. I hope you all stay active in our schools, community, and the political process.”
In a statement, Lander said he was “humbled” by the outcome of the caucus.
“This campaign has been a tremendous opportunity to re-connect with Arlington voters,” he said. “I appreciate Barbara Kanninen’s spirited and well run campaign, and I thank her for her work to engage the voters of Arlington on the important issues facing our schools. I am humbled to have another opportunity to be the Democratic endorsee for the School Board, and I hope to continue my service to the students and families of Arlington.”
Mike Lieberman, chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, said the party will be “working hard” to fend off challengers to Lander, if there are any, in November.
“James Lander has been a strong voice for Arlington’s students in his four years on the board, and today’s vote is an affirmation of his record,” Lieberman said. “We are proud to again have James representing us as our Democratic endorsee in November, and we will be working hard to ensure he has four more years on the School Board. I also want to thank Barbara Kanninen for running a thoughtful and energetic campaign, and giving Arlington voters a choice of two superb leaders.”
The agency says this weekend is a “working weekend” in its $5.5 billion maintenance initiative. Work is taking place on the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Red lines.
On the Orange Line, East Falls Church is among four Virginia stations that will be closed to allow for work on the Silver Line and rail infrastructure improvements.
“Shuttle buses will operate between Vienna and Ballston on two routes: Express buses will operate non-stop between Vienna and Ballston stations. Customers using express buses should add about 25 minutes to their travel time,” WMATA said on its website. “Local buses will operate between Vienna and Ballston, with intermediate stops at Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations. Customers using local buses should add up to 40 minutes to their travel time.”
On the Blue and Yellow lines, rail infrastructure improvements will result in single-tracking between Braddock Road and Pentagon City.
“Throughout the weekend, both Blue and Yellow Line trains will operate every 30 minutes,” said WMATA. “During daytime hours, additional Yellow Line trips will operate between Pentagon City and Mt. Vernon Square stations, resulting in service every 15 to 20 minutes between those stations.”
The Red Line work will result in trains running every 28 minutes. The service changes will be in place until system closing on Sunday night.
Give Mom the perfect give this Mother’s Day — her dream home. Check out these open houses in Arlington this weekend.
4829 28th Street South
2 BD | 2 BA condominium
Michael Korin, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Open: Sunday, May 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
3239 9th Street S.
3 BD | 2 BA single family detached
Michael Webb, Re/max Allegiance
Open: Sunday, May 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
6027 22nd Road North
4 BD | 2 Full BA, 1 Half BA single family detached
Heather Carlson, Re/max Allegiance
Open: Sunday, May 12 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
432 Nelson Street North
3 BD | 3 BA single family detached
Ronald Cathell, Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday, May 11 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
887 Kensington Street North
5 BD | 4 Full BA, 1 Half BA single family detached
Marty Merriam, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Open: Sunday, May 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.