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by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 11:30 am 2,401 0

"A Nod to History," the winning 2015-2016 vehicle decalA Yorktown High School junior has won the county’s annual vehicle decal design contest for his nighttime photograph of an office building in Ballston.

Tommy Casey’s decal, entitled “A Nod to History,” was voted the winner by Arlington residents, who chose from four finalists that were announced in December. The decal is named in recognition of the design of the 10-story 800 N. Glebe Road office building, which itself is a nod to to the former Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that the building replaced.

Later this year the decal will be mailed to residents and placed on windshields of more than 160,000 vehicles in Arlington County.

From an Arlington County press release:

The scene is a nighttime photograph of a distinctive 10-story building in Ballston, owned by the JBG Companies. Casey, a senior at Yorktown High School, creatively retouched the picture with dynamic lighting and light streaks to show more vibrancy. In his Decal Competition application, Casey wrote, “I wanted to create a photo that represents the modern city that Arlington has become while recognizing the importance of Arlington’s landmarks. The building at 800 North Glebe Road symbolizes this by incorporating the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership diamond design into its modern front.”

Panel reviewed 114 entries The competition’s 114 entries were narrowed down by a panel of Arlington residents. “Our Citizens’ panel worked diligently to pare down the submissions to just four finalists. This was not an easy task considering how many great entries were received,” said Treasurer Carla de la Pava. The four finalists were put to a County-wide vote conducted over a six-week period during which 2,913 votes were cast online and by mail. Casey’s design came in first.

Thanks to the generosity of John Marshall Bank, each of the finalists received a cash prize. As the winner, Casey received $750 and the others each received $500.

The other finalists were:

  • Marisa DeFranco, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Hats of Our Heroes”
  • Ingrid Jacobsen, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Barcroft Community House”
  • Lauren Graft, 10th Grader at Washington-Lee High School, with her design “A Day at the Farmers Market”

Arlington began requiring local licensing of vehicles in 1949, which took the form of a metal tag attached to the license plate. The first windshield decal was issued in 1967; decals were first produced with a color image in 2000. In 2002, residents were given the opportunity to vote on the decal image, and in 2005 the Treasurer’s Office started the Decal Design Competition for high school students.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 26, 2015 at 11:45 am 3,234 0

“Top Chef” contestant Mike Isabella’s first restaurant venture in Arlington is finally opening its doors tomorrow (Tuesday).

Kapnos Taverna was announced September 2013 and planned for summer 2014. As most openings in the local restaurant industry go, delays pushed Kapnos Taverna’s debut back significantly — Isabella said they were waiting for the building at 4000 Wilson Blvd to finish construction.

The two-story 165-seat restaurant will feature small plates of largely southern and coastal Greek food. (Kapnos in the District, sister eatery to the new Ballston location, specializes in northern Greek fare.)

Isabella said he wants people to think beyond gyros and souvlaki when they think of Greek food.

“My goal is to tell people what Greek food is,” he told ARLnow.com while taste-testing dishes last week. “I want to show people aspects of the cuisine people aren’t aware of. There’s so much more to it than people think.”

The menu for Kapnos Taverna includes shellfish “platters” and “towers” for $75 and $125, respectively, and Isabella said the sauces and spreads are being brought over from Kapnos. The small plates range in price from $6 to $15 and tables can also order spit-roasted chickens — one of Isabella’s favorite menu items, along with the swordfish kebabs — and full lamb shoulders.

There will be a full cocktail program, four beers on tap as well as a moschofilero white wine on tap.

Two more Isabella-owned restaurants in Kapnos Taverna’s building will soon be opening. Pepita, the Mexican cantina that Isabella calls more “drink-centric” is in the pipeline for this spring. Yona, a restaurant that will specialize in ramen, won’t have Isabella behind the menu and plans to open this summer.

“We’re going to focus on these three concepts for a while,” Isabella said. “This is going to be our hub, and after opening these, we’re probably done in Arlington for a while.”

by ARLnow.com — January 16, 2015 at 10:10 am 6,519 0

(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) A large fire department response has been dispatched to the Ballston Metro station for a report of smoke in a Metro tunnel.

Metro called the fire department, reporting smoke in one of the tunnels between the Ballston and Virginia Square stations. Power has been cut to the track as firefighters investigate.

Metro says trains are single-tracking between Clarendon and Ballston stations as a result.

Firefighters in the tunnel are reporting a smoldering pile of trash along the third rail. There’s also a report of an arcing insulator.

The large emergency response comes after Monday’s fatal Metro incident outside the L’Enfant Metro station, in which smoke filled a disabled Metro train in a tunnel.

As of 10:40 a.m., fire department units were starting to clear the scene. Metro maintenance personnel are now working on the track problem. No additional smoke or fire has been reported.

Metro is advising Orange and Silver Line riders to expect delays.

by ARLnow.com — January 14, 2015 at 9:00 am 9,829 0

Todd Lewis (photo courtesy ACPD)(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) An Arlington man has turned himself in to police after a bar fight in Ballston Monday night.

Police say 37-year-old Todd Lewis, whose LinkedIn profile identifies him as an attorney and “life coach,” got into a disagreement with a male acquaintance at Republic Bar and Kitchen (801 N. Quincy Street).

The disagreement led Lewis to smash a glass across the man’s face, according to police and, reportedly, surveillance video footage.

The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with a large cut on his face. Lewis fled the scene and was at large for a time but recently turned himself in, police said Wednesday. He’s charged with malicious wounding.

It’s unclear what the disagreement was about, but football is one possibility. Lewis is listed as a graduate of Ohio State University, which was playing in the college football playoff championship Monday night.

by ARLnow.com — January 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm 10,617 0

President Obama speaks at Washington-Lee High SchoolPresident Obama will tour a federal cybersecurity office in Arlington Tuesday afternoon.

Obama is scheduled to visit the Ballston-based National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which is part of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

The president “will talk about efforts to increase information-sharing between companies and the government and to improve collaboration against threats,” according to the LA Times.

The visit is expected to result in significant temporary road closures in Arlington. It comes a day after terrorist supporters hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts of United States Central Command.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 9, 2015 at 11:00 am 1,973 0

Sweet Leaf Cafe is preparing to open its second location in Arlington next month in the county’s most popular spot for new restaurants.

The location, at 650 N. Quincy Street, will be one building over from 4000 Wilson Blvd, which houses Taylor Gourmet, which opened in July, and upcoming restaurants Kapnos TavernaPepita Cantina and ramen restaurant Yona.

Sweet Leaf’s fourth cafe will have the same menu as the others — the original was in Vienna and there’s another in McLean — but owner Arita Matini said the menu for all of her restaurants will change next week.

Matini has been planning on opening in Ballston for a while — the Courthouse location surprised her with how quickly it became a popular lunch destination — and is excited about the other restaurants coming in.

“We welcome the competition,” she told ARLnow.com today. “It’s crazy, the whole area is really changing. The more that’s there, the more that people will be attracted to the area.”

Matini said she’s exploring opening more locations in Great Falls or potentially D.C.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 7, 2015 at 10:00 am 4,810 0

Commuters hoping to avoid icy roads were met with huge crowds and delays on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines this morning.

A disabled train outside Stadium-Armory at around 8:00 a.m. was when the problems began, resulting in single-tracking on all three lines. According to several commuters on Twitter, a Blue Line train passed Arlington Cemetery and turned around. Some trains were offloaded, forcing passengers back out into frigid weather at outside platforms.

Uber in Arlington was instituting surge pricing at four times the regular rate at one point.

WMATA reported that the train was clear at 8:53 a.m., but residual delays persisted well after 9:00 a.m.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm 2,706 0

A new store specializing in upscale Swiss watches is the newest tenant in Ballston Common Mall.

Watchstyle opened in November because, as owner Eric Kim said, he was “desperate to get open for the holiday season.” He found, however, that the Ballston Mall didn’t experience quite the holiday rush that he expected. Business was steady, and remained steady after Christmas passed.

Kim offers Swiss-made watches that aren’t the most recognizable brands, but, as a former Liljenquist & Beckstead watch buyer, he says the products he offers are the “equal or better” quality and more affordable.

“The watch market has changed so much,” he told ARLnow.com last week, “Swiss watch prices have gone up a ludicrous amount with no real increase in quality.”

Watchstyle’s watches start at around $200 with Mondaine styles and go up from there. Kim said he’s the only Mondaine dealer in Virginia. He also offers watches from brands like Ball and Maurice Lacroix. Despite the Ballston Mall’s negative perception and imminent redevelopment, Kim thinks he found the right place to start his business.

“It was definitely risky, but this mall is surrounded by the right demographic for luxury watches,” Kim said. “The mall may not be ready, but the market is.”

by ARLnow.com — December 23, 2014 at 11:30 am 4,185 0

Keith Moore (photo via ACPD)(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) Arlington County Police have arrested a man suspected of stealing dozens of packages from local homes.

There have been numerous reports of package thefts around Ballston this month. Yesterday afternoon, undercover cops patrolling the Ballston area, hoping to nab the suspect, observed a man acting suspiciously.

The man was seen “opening packages he took from doorsteps and removing the contents.” Keith Moore, 22, of District Heights, Md. and Washington D.C., was arrested and is now facing numerous criminal charges.

Police say Moore’s alleged Grinch-like behavior actually dates back before the holiday season.

“It is believed that the suspect is responsible for at least 40 thefts of packages over the last several months,” police said in a press release.

The police arrested Moore just in time for the holidays, it seems. ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm told ARLnow.com that some of the items Moore has stoled have “been recovered with their owners identified.” Many more unclaimed items were found, so the ACPD is encouraging those who have been victims of package theft to contact the department at its non-emergency number, 703-558-2222.

The full release, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — December 16, 2014 at 10:45 am 2,024 0

Last week, we reported on a gift shop in Ballston that had been robbed not once but twice by the same armed robber.

It turns out, the same guy has actually robbed the store three times in the past month or so.

Police say the man, pictured above, robbed the City News and Gift Shop inside 950 N. Stafford Street on Nov. 8, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. The first time, he displayed a handgun and demanded money. The second time, he displayed a “large kitchen knife” and demanded money and Newport cigarettes. The third time, he again flashed a gun and demanded money.

Arlington County Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the man. The police department’s press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying an armed robbery suspect who has robbed a Ballston convenience store on three occasions and has been captured on surveillance video.

On November 8, 2014, the suspect entered the City News and Gift Shop located inside 950 N. Stafford Street at approximately 3:10 PM. The suspect was wearing black pants and was layered in a Washington Nationals jacket over a red and white striped polo shirt which was over a black hoodie. The suspect displayed a handgun tucked into his front waistband and demanded money. After the robbery, the suspect fled towards Fairfax Drive.

On December 3, 2014, it is believed that the same suspect entered the City News and Gift Shop at approximately 2:55 pm. This time the suspect was wearing black pants and a black jacket layered over a tan hoodie. The suspect displayed a large kitchen knife, demanded money and Newport brand cigarettes before fleeing towards the Ballston Metrorail station.

On December 4, 2014, the same suspect entered the City News and Gift Shop at approximately 8:20 pm. The suspect appeared to be wearing the same clothing as the day before with blue jeans. During this robbery, the suspect again displayed a handgun before demanding money. It is believed that the suspect fled again towards the Ballston Metrorail station after the robbery.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s-30s, approximately 5’8″ to 5’10″ tall, with a medium build. In all three robberies, he appears to be wearing black and white soled tennis shoes, similar to Converse All-Stars, and a black beanie-style winter cap.

There were no reported injuries during any of these armed robberies

If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective P. Mulvaney of the Arlington County Homicide/Robbery Unit at (703) 228-4239 or pmulva@arlingtonva.us. Anonymous tips can also be provided through the Arlington County Crime Solvers Hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — December 12, 2014 at 11:00 am 2,823 0

Arlington police carLast week, a gift shop in Ballston was robbed twice in as many days by the same guy.

A man stole $450 at knifepoint on Wednesday, Dec. 3, then came back the next day and stole $400 at gunpoint, according to police.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 141203034, 900 block of N Stafford St, On 12/3/14 at 1501 hours, an unknown male entered the store and demanded money from the victim at knife point. The suspect was given $450.00 from the cash register then fled on foot towards the Ballston Metro. The victim confirmed this was the same suspect who robbed this store several weeks ago. The suspect is described as as black male, 5’08″-5’10″, medium build, 170 lbs, wearing a black coat with leather sleeves, black pants, a black beanie, a tan hoodie pulled halfway over the beanie, and black shoes with white soles. The knife is described as a large kitchen knife, 8-10″ in length with a black handle and silver blade. The suspect was seen entering the Metro platform through the handicap gate without paying and jumping on a train just prior to police arrival.

ARMED ROBBERY,141204049, 900 block of N Stafford St, On 12/4/14 at 2020 hours, an unknown male entered and robbed the gift shop at gunpoint. After the clerk gave the subject $400.00, the subject fled on foot towards the Ballston Metro. The subject is described as a black male, 5’08″-5’10″, medium build, a tan hoodie underneath a black leather coat, blue jeans, black beanie, and black shoes with white soles. The gun was held in the subject’s right hand. It is believed this is the same subject that robbed the store yesterday at knife point.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — December 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm 3,057 0

Package (file photo)Arlington County Police are investigating a series of package thefts from homes around Ballston.

The thefts took place on Monday the 1100 blocks of N. Randolph Street and N. Vermont Street, and on the 4100 and 4400 blocks of Washington Blvd.

Police say as many as 10 packages sent to those addresses were found opened and tossed into nearby bushes. The perpetrator may have been spotted by a local resident, but was able to flee the scene.

“A witness told police he observed a subject walking around in a narrow walkway typically used by residents only,” according to a crime report. “The witness initiated contact with the subject who provided vague answers then left the area quickly. The subject is described as a black male, early 20′s, 6’01″, thin build, wearing a dark colored winter hat with a thin white line around the top, and carrying a large black or blue duffel bag.”

A man roughly fitting that description was spotted by a resident in Ballston this afternoon, running with an Amazon.com box. Police are on the scene, looking for the suspect.

ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm says package thefts seem to be prevalent during the holidays.

“Our District Team is aware of these cases and will be working on notifying the community to be vigilant during the holidays for this type of criminal activity,” Malcolm said. “I have seen several stories in the media recently about ‘package thefts’ so these are not uncommon thefts during the holiday season.”

Malcolm noted that the call to police on Monday was placed too late, and asked residents to report suspicious activity when they see it.

“Unfortunately there was a substantial delay in reporting the suspicious person,” he said. “We would like to remind members of our community to report suspicious activity to the Emergency Communications Center, 703.558.2222, whenever they see something.”

by ARLnow.com — December 10, 2014 at 9:00 am 2,041 0

Sunset on the Potomac at Gravelly Point Park (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

Fmr. Pentagon Police Chief Dies — Richard Keevill, the former chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, died Saturday. Keevill served as chief of the Pentagon police agency from 2004 to 2013. Prior to that, he served with the Marines in Vietnam and later was the 1st Sergeant in charge of the Virginia State Police station on Columbia Pike. On Sept. 11, 2001, he ran into the still-burning Pentagon several times to search for survivors. Keevill died of natural causes. His funeral is planned for Saturday. [Facebook]

Redevelopment May Close Carpool — Developer Penzance and real estate investor Lionstone are working to close a deal to acquire and redevelop the Carpool property in Ballston. The long-time Arlington bar was previously slated to be redeveloped eight years ago but those plans fell through in part due to the recession. [Washington Business Journal]

Another Landlord Spat for Ray’s Owner — Ray’s Hell Burger Michael Landrum has gotten into another landlord-tenant dispute, this time with the owner of a building in D.C. that’s set to house his new restaurant, tentatively called Steaks in the City. Landrum was kicked out of his Ray’s Hell Burger locations in Rosslyn in 2013 following a dispute with his then-landlord. [Eater]

Christmas Beer Event in Courthouse — Fire Works Pizza (2350 Clarendon Blvd) in Courthouse will be hosting a tap takeover dubbed the 12 Beers of Christmas tonight. Starting at 5:00 p.m., the restaurant will offer holiday beers from St. Bernardus, Port City, Great Lakes and other brewers. The event is open to the public. [Fire Works Pizza]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber. Disclosure: Fire Works Pizza is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — December 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm 2,819 0

(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Arlington County’s hazmat team investigated a chemical leak this afternoon following an equipment malfunction at the Harris Teeter grocery store at 600 N. Glebe Road in Ballston.

Firefighters were initially dispatched to the store at 2:34 p.m. for a report of smoke coming from the rear of the building, a chemical odor and some reporting a burning sensation in their eyes.

According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Deputy Fire Marshal Brian McGraw, the problem came from a water treatment system that was filtering water for a tank of live lobsters. The system overheated and partially melted. In the process, a chemical — “a type of bromate,” McGraw said — heated and turned into a large vapor cloud.

The system was in a storage room in the back of the store and medics treated a vendor who “breathed in a large amount” of the vapor, McGraw said. The vendor declined an ambulance transport. McGraw said minimal exposure to the chemical is harmless, and customers and employees are now being allowed back into the store.

A health inspector is en route to evaluate whether any food might be contaminated.

by ARLnow.com — December 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm 1,456 0

Surveillance images of Ballston bank robber (photos via FBI )(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) The FBI is looking for a man accused of robbing banks in Arlington and the District over the past month.

The man robbed the Presidential Bank at 901 N. Stuart Street around 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10, according to investigators.

“The subject entered the bank through a set of doors closest to the Ballston Metro station, approached a bank teller and passed a note that demanded money,” the FBI said. “The subject exited the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.”

Most recently, around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4, the man is accused of robbing the Premier Bank at 1604 17th Street NW in D.C. He allegedly passed a note to a teller and fled after receiving cash.

Investigators say the suspect is about 30 years old, Middle Eastern and between 6’0″ and 6’5″.

“The suspect is described as having short black hair, unshaven, wearing a grey or brown suit, a white button-down shirt without a tie and sunglasses,” according to the FBI. “During the Dec. 4 robbery in Washington, D.C., the subject was wearing a scarf around his neck. During the Nov. 10 robbery in Arlington, the subject was described as carrying a black leather briefcase or laptop bag.”

The FBI is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the robber. Anyone with information on the crime is encouraged to call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or the Arlington County Crime Solvers tip line at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

The Presidential Bank in Ballston was last reported robbed on Nov. 29, 2011. The bank’s Rosslyn branch was robbed on Dec. 9, 2011.

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