Prosecutors say police began investigating Ogregory Hamilton after receiving a tip that the firefighter was dealing drugs. Earlier this year, police also received a tip that the Dumfries resident intended to sell cocaine near Carpool in Ballston on April 17. Detectives staked out the area and observed Hamilton arrive and park at the designated spot for the planned deal.
Police ended up detaining Hamilton and found cocaine inside the trunk during a search of his vehicle, according to a statement of facts entered as part of the plea. Police also searched his home and found a digital scale and baggies commonly used for packaging drugs. The baggies reportedly also had a white, powdery residue that appeared to be cocaine.
There is no indication that Hamilton dealt cocaine on county time or used any county resources to carry out any transactions, according to prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to a lower charge of cocaine possession earlier this month.
Hamilton’s sentencing is set for January 30, 2015.
Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.
This is the dog article for people who don’t like dogs, or are afraid of dogs, or just don’t want to be bothered by a dog at the moment. If you live in greater Arlington, which is very dog-friendly, navigating a walk to the Metro without coming into contact with a dog can be a challenge.
The most important thing to know if you do not want to interact with a dog is: do not make eye contact with the dog. Eye contact to a well-socialized dog is an invitation to say “Hi.” Looking up and away or past the dog, is your best bet, since that tells the dog, you are not interested in an interaction. It doesn’t guarantee the dog won’t be interested in you but it sends a clear signal that you are not interested in them.
Another effective way to deal with unwanted interaction is to stand still. This can be especially hard if you are afraid of dogs since yelling and running away are genetically pre-programmed responses to fear.
Unfortunately, yelling and running away is also a great way to get a dog to show extra interest in you. If you are in a situation where a dog is very close, standing still and looking up and away can encourage the dog to move on. Slowly moving away is also a great option.
I would also encourage people who are afraid of dogs to be a strong advocate for themselves. If a dog is approaching, clearly state to the owner of the dog that you are not interested in interacting. This can be a simple as saying, “Excuse, me, I’m afraid of dogs,” or “excuse me, please pull your dog back.” Most dog owners do not want to subject non-dog people to their pups affections either.
It is very easy for dog owners to forget that not everyone loves dogs. Dog owners need to remember that not everyone wants to say hello to your gorgeous pup and to try and remember to respect everyone’s space. Common courtesy and communication can go a long way in making sure that dog and non-dog people can all get along.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Two recently completed bridges along Route 50 — at 10th Street N. and N. Courthouse Road — now look more colorful, thanks to a public art installation. But if you want to catch a glimpse of the art in its full glory, you’ll have to wait until it’s dark.
Arlington Cultural Affairs partnered with VDOT on both the custom-designed concrete panels on the sides of the road and metal grillwork on the overpasses. Both were the work of artist Vicki Scuri, who also designed an LED light show that backlights the grillwork at night.
The light display is programmed as a 15 minute loop that fades and gradually transitions between sets of colors. The show contains intentional sequences and transitions with a “range of non-highway colors” that suggest stained glass, Scuri said. The new light programming went live Friday night.
“The lighting, the pattern elements and the landscape are site specific responses to inform place, creating a signature landmark promoting wayfinding for the Arlington entries at Courthouse Street [sic] and 10th Street,” said Scuri, adding that she designed the art installations to reflect Arlington’s “classical architecture.” She said wanted to make a clear entry to Arlington that complemented the county’s lively, refined streetscapes.
Scuri was in Arlington last week to collaborate with the VDOT contract lighting designer and Arlington’s Department of Transportation to balance the artist’s creative vision with practicality and safety for those areas. They worked on the color and intensity of the lighting, among other things.
“This is a collective effort to provide both beauty and safety. I think we’ve done it,” said Scuri. “The entire project is a response to the site, to the native landscape and to the classical ornamentation of Arlington and that of Washington, D.C.”
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.
They’re all on the small business social network app, YOPP, created and developed in Arlington as a way to help small businesses reach customers in the mobile-dominated technology landscape.
“We’re enabling small businesses to compete in a world that’s heavily in the mobile commerce space,” YOPP founder Shana Lawlor told ARLnow.com last week. “We feel we can give the businesses on our platform the ability to compete and stay relevant.”
YOPP fully launched in September. In January, ARLnow.com discussed the app — which was then called MainST — with Lawlor, who was preparing to launch the beta in the spring. Since launching last month, Lawlor said the user base has quadrupled over the last few weeks with customers finding deals for small businesses in Arlington and D.C.
The app allows its users to search for items they want and notifies small businesses when customers nearby are looking for something they sell. If an Arlington resident plugged in they were looking for leather bracelets, Covet at 5140 Wilson Blvd would be able to message the customer and tell him or her to come by, even offering a discount.
The message apparently is resonating with the app’s early users. Lawlor said she was projecting 500 users by the end of the year, but the app has already been downloaded more times than that, she said.
“In D.C. and Arlington, there are so many cool areas to shop that people don’t know about,” Lawlor said. “There’s a shift in people’s thinking about where they want to shop when they find these really cool places… The majority of users are looking for very unique things, and they’re really passionate about what they’re trying to find. Finding an alternative to the search engine is very exciting for them. it’d be increasingly cool if we can help people find these things all the time.”
YOPP will be powering Arlington Small Business Day, which Lawlor founded, this year on Nov. 29. The deals will be offered through the app, the participating businesses will be highlighted in the app’s map function, and those looking for the perfect Christmas gift will be able to ask their fellow users where to go.
The app “works everywhere,” but YOPP is focused on Arlington and its surrounding area at the moment. By the end of the year, Lawlor hopes to launch the app fully in New York City and 10 other markets.
“People love to go shopping in certain cities,” Lawlor said, “but there’s no resource telling them where to go once they get there.”
Lawlor has five part-time employees and expects to bring three of them full-time next year. The former exporting business owner has found herself in the heart of D.C.’s tech scene since launching YOPP, with an office in 1776 in D.C. and being named one of Bisnow’s Top 40 women in D.C. tech.
“I was very flattered to be among the women there,” she said. “When you’re a young startup and when you’re put in a group of successful women, it’s a compliment.”
ASBD and the Halloween and Christmas shopping seasons should be a boon to YOPP and, Lawlor hopes, Arlington businesses. She’s been working for years to create more of a community among the business owners in Arlington, and her company appears on the verge of doing just that.
Participants in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon were met with sunny, albeit breezy, conditions for Sunday’s race through parts of Arlington and the District.
Army Spc. Samuel Kosgei of Junction City, Kansas, finished first at 2:22:11. Two Arlington residents rounded out the top five finishers: Michael Wardian came in fourth with a time of 2:25:41 and Graham Tribble was close behind, finishing at 2:25:51.
Meghan Curran of Moorestown, New Jersey, led the women, with a time of 2:51:46. Lindsay Wilkins of Arlington was the second woman to cross the finish line, coming in at 2:52:19 and Arlington’s Erin Taylor came in fifth for women, at 2:52:53.
The Arlington County firefighters who participated in the race with full gear in honor of fellow firefighter Josh — who recently was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — were met with cheers and cowbells from bystanders.
When ARLnow.com caught up with Batallion Chief Dan Fitch during the race, he said he and the other team members were “pretty sore.” The firefighters spotted Josh at numerous points during the marathon, prompting Fitch to say, “He’s as much support for us as we are for him.”
Josh managed to meet a group of the firefighters toward the end of the course and finished the race with them. An email from one of the team members said, “This was something that will stay with us forever.”
The official MCM results page indicates more than 27,000 participants crossed the finish line for the marathon and 10K races.
Cary James, a 44-year-old Florida resident, was arrested by Montgomery County police on Thursday.
James robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Rockville, then tried to take a taxi to D.C., according to a police press release. Montgomery County officers were able to locate the cab and take James into custody without incident. Police say they recovered the stolen cash in the taxi.
Wakefield’s First Winning Season in 31 Years – The Wakefield Warriors football team has clinched its first winning season since 1983. Wakefield is 6-2 and expected to make the playoffs. [InsideNova]
Average First Snowfall at DCA — According to 30 years worth of National Weather Service data, the average date of the first measurable snowfall at Reagan National Airport is Dec. 18. [HillNow]
O’Leary Expects Howze Victory — Thanks to an influx of party-line voters — “the power of the sample ballot” — former county treasurer and local election prognosticator Frank O’Leary thinks fellow Democrat Alan Howze will defeat incumbent John Vihstadt on Nov. 4. If Vihstadt is defeated, Democrats worry he would run again next year and, with no congressional races on the ballot, win against Mary Hynes or Walter Tejada. [InsideNova]
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.
Community Meeting on Homelessness
NRECA Conference Center (4301 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Arlington County celebrates housing 100 previously homeless people around the county. Featuring guest speaker John Harvey, Virginia’s secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.
Special Twilight Tattoo
Summerall/Whipple Field (Sheridan Avenue, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall)
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
A special edition of the U.S. Army’s pageant, to honor four civilians receiving awards from the Army, will be held on Whipple field. The event is free an open to the public.
Defending the DREAM*
The Salsa Room (2619 Columbia Pike)
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) hosts state Attorney General Mark Herring to discuss Herring’s work for immigrant students in Virginia. Suggested contribution is $25 and you can RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 5:00-8:30 p.m.
The Drafthouse hosts a family-friendly haunted house, with the main theater dressed up as a zombie outbreak. A $5 ticket gets visitors a tour of the theater, a “treat” and a voucher for a free movie.
Bluemont Park (329 N. Manchester Street)
Time: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Families can run or walk in a 5K or 1K to benefit pet therapy programs. Costumes and leashed dogs welcome. The 5k is $40 to run and the 1K is $20. Register here.
Wounded Warrior Project Benefit*
First Presbyterian Church (601 N. Vermont Street)
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian’s fifth annual benefit concert earns proceeds for the Wounded Warrior Project. More than a dozen artists perform in this free show.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
The teen showed up at Virginia Hospital Center at 2:30 a.m. Thursday with a single gunshot wound, according to a crime report (below).
The circumstances behind the shooting are unclear. So far, police do not have a description of the suspect.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 141023003, 2200 block of S. Shirlington Road. At approximately 2:30 am on October 23, a male victim arrived at Virginia Hospital Center with a single gunshot wound. The injury is non-life threatening. There is no suspect(s) description and the investigation is ongoing.
Those frustrated with their morning commute on Columbia Pike aren’t likely to see relief come until the spring.
The backups that have caused rush hour delays for drivers going eastbound on Columbia Pike in the morning are likely due to the temporary traffic pattern that makes cars turn left to get on northbound I-395, Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jenni McCord said. The temporary traffic pattern shift is expected to be in place for the next six months.
After that time, the traffic will again go back to using a right exit off Columbia Pike to get on the interstate in the direction of D.C.
The complete project’s end date is Sept. 14, 2015.
The left turn isn’t the only headache Pike drivers will have to deal with as the $48.5 million construction of the Washington Blvd bridge over Columbia Pike continues. Scheduled to start in early December, McCord said, S. Queen Street will be closed to traffic at Columbia Pike for six months. “Local traffic will enter/exit Arlington View and Carrington Village via S. Quinn or S. Rolfe Streets,” McCord said.
On Washington Blvd, the temporary signal at the Columbia Pike exit ramp has been removed, and crews will be pouring the concrete deck for the second bridge on Monday after steel beams were installed in September, McCord said. There will continue to be daytime lane closures in the area until the project is complete in a year.
Thirteen Arlington County firefighters plan to run the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday in full gear that can weigh up to 45 pounds.
The firefighters are running the 26.2 miles around Arlington and D.C. to raise money for multiple sclerosis after a firefighter named Josh — who doesn’t want his last name released for privacy reasons — was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in June. Josh worked out of Fire Station 6 in East Falls Church with firefighter Jake Pike, who is organizing the run.
“Our brother Josh is the glue of our firehouse, the jokester, the infectious personality that always smiles and is always positive,” Pike wrote on the fundraising page for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website. “In June 2014, our Captain came into the room with very solemn news. The glue of the crew and our brother had been in the ER all night and was diagnosed with MS.
“It is the only time I have heard our firehouse completely quiet. Not a sound from 12 strong A-list personalities was heard. The room went dead silent. At that moment you could feel that something left the room. It was devastating news. For the next few days each one of us grappled with the news, studied and read as much about MS as we could and some went home and cried. We were in shock.”
Pike told ARLnow.com today that a few weeks later, he and the other firefighters at Station 6 had resolved to run the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for MS research and to support, as Pike called him, “our brother.”
“It wasn’t long enough to train for a marathon, but was kind of the perfect opportunity to do something,” Pike said. “We told him after the fact and he got mad at us because he didn’t want to draw attention to it. He’s a private guy, but I think he appreciates it. He’ll be there at the finish line for us.”
Some of the 13 participants will be wearing pressurized oxygen tanks and helmets, while others will just be wearing the suits, Pike said. The firefighters are nervous about the suits, Pike said, since they are designed to retain heat and weather forecasts are calling for an unseasonably warm day.
“None of us have run it before, and we’re not runners,” Pike said with a nervous laugh. “The biggest challenge for us is the weather. So if it’s hot and humid like it’s supposed to be, that’s going to be an issue. Then there’s the five-hour mark, you have the hit the [14th Street Bridge] in five hours or you’re not going to finish.”
Regardless of the result, Pike and his colleagues have already raised $5,630 for the MS society, and hope to raise even more Sunday when the tens of thousands of runners and spectators see the group of firefighters in full gear running alongside. A large contingent of the Arlington County Fire Department is expected to attend to support the group, and Josh.
“It’s really for the guy we wake up next to every day,” Pike said, “so hopefully it makes it easier for him.”
You can donate to their cause and help them reach their $30,000 fundraising goal here.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
I picked a hell of a day to get food poisoning this week — right before my birthday. Not that I’m a big birthday guy, mind you: I try to avoid people finding out about it, keep things low-key. Still, I was determined to open a couple special beers in my “cellar” (aka my basement fridge) and as your intrepid Beermonger felt a responsibility to do so. At least that’s what I told myself.
Anyway, the two beers I brought up were interesting both in how they’d changed, and how they made me consider cellaring in the future.
Evil Twin Christmas Eve At A NYC Hotel Room Imperial Stout: Absurdly long name for a tasty beer. This bottle was from the first run we got in Virginia (received during November of 2012), back when it was being brewed at De Molen Brewery in the Netherlands and retailed aroun $11 per 11.2-ounce bottle. Today, we see Xmas Eve every few months or so; now brewed at Two Roads Brewing Company in Connecticut, it comes in four-packs selling around $15 each — a marked improvement though still not cheap.
That price is well-earned: Evil Twin’s Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso has a special touch with Imperial Stouts, and it shows in this beer. Fresh, Xmas Eve is a robust take on Imperial Stout; 10 percent ABV, with bold cocoa and raisin flavors along with a touch of heat. Xmas Eve it full-bodied without being rich. With a couple years on it, a lot of the cocoa has blown off, but Xmas Eve retains the boozy kick and dark, “stewed fruit” notes of its youth. It’s still a great beer, but I think I missed some of its more robust qualities; I can’t say I’d cellar it again for this length of time. Perhaps a year or so would strike a nice balance, but today I’d say snag some and drink it as you see fit.
Founders Backwoods Bastard (2012 Bottling): In fairness to the 2012 bottle of Evil Twin, it’s a big beer but not one made for long-term aging. In contrast, the bottle of 2012 Founders Backwoods Bastard I opened is built from the ground-up for the cellar. A Scotch-style Ale aged in Bourbon barrels, Backwoods Bastard is one of those rare beer that geeks like me like to talk about, but don’t want to talk about too much. It doesn’t get the over-the-top hype and publicity that Founders Kentucky Bourbon Stout does, and that makes it easier to snag some of the supply that the Michigan brewery sends out every November.
I’ve shown remarkable restraint with this 2012 four-pack of mine — this is only the second of the four I’ve opened so far. While, like wine, the vast majority of beers are made for immediate consumption, Backwoods Bastard shows the potential in the rare beer that can benefit from some time put away. Where the smoky, boozy, and sweet mix of the malts and barrel influence would have felt a bit disjointed and cloying when released, today every element is integrated, working in harmony. Often unspoken in discussion of aging beers is how they can mellow, making something as strong as Backwoods Bastard (10.2 percent), with the heat of the Bourbon barrel, feel approachable and even elegant. I’m going to need another four-pack to replace this one, as I don’t think those last two bottles are going to survive the winter in my home. (more…)
The weather is predicted to be sunny and in the 70s this weekend. Considering it’s the last Saturday and Sunday before November, use the opportunity to get outside, and take in some open houses while you’re at it.
1300 S. Arlington Ridge Road
1 BD / 1 BA condominium
Agent: David Bediz, Keller Williams Capital Properties
Open: Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
2548 C Arlington Mill Drive
2 BD / 2 1/2 BA condominium
Agent: Peggy Parker, Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
6912 Little Falls Road
3 BD / 3 1/2 BA condominium
Agent: Andrew Musser, Keller Williams Realty Falls Church
Open: Saturday, Oct. 25, noon-2:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 26, noon-2:30 p.m.
2619 N. Pocomoke Street
4 BD / 2 BA single family detached
Agent: Denise Kaydouh, Long & Foster Real Estate
Open: Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
5806 Arlington Blvd
5 BD / 3 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Billy Buck, William G. Buck & Associates
Open: Sunday, Oct. 26, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
1819 N. Highland Street
4 BD / 3 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Michelle Sagatov, McEnearney Associates
Open: Sunday, Oct. 26, noon to 4:00 p.m.
That’s the message from the two candidates for County Board, incumbent John Vihstadt and Democratic challenger Alan Howze, in response to a questionnaire from the Arlington Parks Coalition.
Both Vihstadt and Howze said that Arlington needs more parkland and recreational space to meet existing needs, let alone future demands. Both said they would support the acquisition of new parkland by Arlington County.
In addition, Vihstadt floated a number of specific ideas, like “building up rather than out, in schools and public facilities construction and additions to maximize green space,” and “examining the feasibility of air rights over I-66 in Rosslyn and East Falls Church for fields development.”
On the topic of the “Public Land for Public Good” affordable housing initiative, both candidates rejected the idea of using parkland for affordable housing, schools or other purposes.
Howze, however, kept the door open to potentially redeveloping existing recreational facilities to include housing. His response to the Parks Coalition:
I do not support the development of existing parkland for other purposes. Parks are a public good that are available to all members of the community and it is important that we preserve these public spaces.
When current recreational facilities are renovated or rebuilt, I believe it is appropriate to engage in a community conversation about potential uses. For example, could pre-K and on-site childcare be integrated into a site – making it easier for parents to use a facility? Could housing for seniors be integrated on a site to make recreational amenities and wellness activities more accessible to them? There is no one size fits all answer to these questions – but by engaging the community I am confident that the appropriate solutions will emerge. In fact, it is this confidence in our community that led me to call earlier this year for a broad public process to bring people together to work towards solutions to address school overcrowding, park needs, affordable housing, and public safety infrastructure. By bringing the community together we can emerge with a broader consensus for how to move forward in protecting our parks – while meeting other important community needs in schools, recreational, housing and infrastructure.
Vihstadt said Arlington should find creative solutions for preserving affordable housing and building more school capacity that do not require the loss of parkland.
In my view, Arlington’s 149 parks and our many community/recreation centers are the very essence of “public land for public good” and should be preserved for their intended purpose and adequately maintained. It is both counterintuitive and counterproductive to locate housing, schools, or any other non-parks and recreation-related development on our increasingly precious parkland and recreational sites, and I will work and vote to keep our green space green. As we add ever more population and density to our County, we must more carefully assess how our development decisions are impacting the diversity and character of our neighborhoods and our public parks, as well as our schools and infrastructure. We must also endeavor to ensure that our core services, including our parks and recreation resources, keep pace with our population growth. Clearly, our County faces challenges in ensuring adequate school capacity and preserving our affordable housing stock, but I believe we also possess the resources and creativity to address these challenges while preserving and, indeed, enhancing, our parkland and recreational resources, including sports fields.
On a related note, I believe that our regional parks and nature centers should remain substantially as they are, absent community-driven upgrades and maintenance improvements.
Foo Fighters Release Arlington-Produced Track — The Foo Fighters have released a new track, “The Feast and the Famine,” which was recorded at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. The recording session will be featured on tonight’s episode of HBO’s Foo Fighters documentary series. [Pitchfork]
Arlington Recognized as ‘Smart Community’ — Arlington County has been recognized as one of the world’s Smart 21 Communities of 2015. It’s one of four U.S. localities to receive the honor this year. [WTOP]
Nixon: Arlington’s Favorite Top-of-the-Ticket Candidate — Arlington may be deep blue now, but it hasn’t always been a Democratic stronghold. Richard Nixon holds the honor of winning the Arlington vote more times than any other candidate on a presidential ticket. Arlington voted for Nixon five times, as a vice presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, and as a presidential candidate in 1960, 1968 and 1972. [InsideNova]
HillNow.com Launches — ARLnow.com has a new sister site, Hill Now, which covers local news in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and around D.C.’s Ward 6. Hill Now launched this week and held a launch party Wednesday at Capitol Lounge. [Hill Now]