Two of Three Dem Candidates Endorse Streetcar — Two of the three Democratic candidates for County Board — Alan Howze and Peter Fallon — have voiced support for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The third Democratic contender — Cord Thomas — has concerns about the proposal. [Sun Gazette]
Lack of Decal in Fairfax Affects Arlington — Eight years ago Fairfax County became the lone jurisdiction in Northern Virginia to abandon car tax decals, and Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary believes that’s costing Arlington $300,000. O’Leary said it’s too labor intensive to check every single vehicle parked in Arlington without a decal to determine if the vehicle is from Fairfax or if the owner didn’t pay Arlington taxes. [Sun Gazette]
Civic Leadership Program Deadline Extended — Arlington County has extended the deadline for residents interested in signing up for the eight week Neighborhood College program. Participants will learn communication and influencing skills, how to organize for action and how to give and receive feedback, among other things. The deadline to sign up for the free series is now January 10, and classes begin February 13. [Arlington County]
Police Officer Profiled — A member of the Arlington County Police Department — Capt. Kamran Afzal — has been profiled in Asian Fortune. The Pakistani American studied economics in college before turning to a life in law enforcement. He has been with the department for 20 years. [Asian Fortune]
Christmas Tree Collection Begins — County workers began collecting discarded Christmas trees yesterday. The trees are collected curbside until January 17 and will be turned into mulch. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by wolfkann
Starting Monday, Jan. 6, trees will be collected on residents’ regular trash day. Trees should be placed on the curb no later than 6:00 a.m. on trash day, and all lights, decorations, stands, nails and plastic bags should be removed.
Trees taken with the trash before Jan. 17 will be recycled by being ground into garden mulch. Trees will still be collected with the trash after Jan. 17, but they will be trashed, not recycled.
Residents who live in apartments or townhouses and don’t have curbside recycling services can drop off their trees at the county’s Solid Waste Bureau (4300 29th Street S.) by calling 702-228-6570 on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment.
With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, it presents a choice to those fortunate enough to have such a choice: take the entire week off of work, or simply let Christmas be a one- or two-day, mid-week break.
Of course, those who work in certain industries may not have a choice, and may even have had to work on Christmas day.
It’s Christmastime, again.
As of noon today Arlington county government offices were closed and libraries were preparing to close at 1:00 p.m. Most everything government-related will remain closed tomorrow.
As Arlington residents gather with family and friends — either looking forward to presents under the tree or a relaxing day of movies, Chinese food and light traffic — ARLnow.com wishes our readers across the county and around the world the happiest of holidays.
For those working in retail, restaurants, delivery, public safety, national security, and elsewhere today and tomorrow, simply: thank you.
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
All offices, courts, libraries, schools, community centers and pools will be closed. There will also be no trash collection and only ART bus routes 41 and 51 will operate. Parking meters and permit parking will not be enforced.
In addition to the Christmas and New Year’s closures, some facilities will also be closed or will closed early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Courts and the Sheriff’s Office will be closed. Community centers and pools will operate on a modified schedule.
The County Board will hold its traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Jan. 1. The meeting will be held at the County Board Room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.
The top 8 retail centers in Arlington, including the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and Ballston Common Mall, alone house 644 stores. Arlington retailers recorded a total of $3.27 billion worth of taxable sales in 2012.
The holidays are obviously a crucial time for retailers, providing on outsized portion of annual sales and profit. But with retail sales growth sluggish compared to the growth in online sales, and with the large regional malls in Tysons Corner and outlet stores elsewhere continuing to lure shoppers, the holidays could be a struggle for some local stores.
ACPD reminds drivers to use seat belts, drive safely and pay attention to the roads. In addition to an increase in drunk drivers and distracted drivers around the holidays, police report 32 percent of drivers are more likely to drive more aggressively during this time.
Police had noticed an uptick in drunk driving incidents last month, just before Thanksgiving. During the Thanksgiving weekend alone, Virginia had 11 traffic fatalities. The ACPD hopes drivers will heed its safety message in order to avoid a similar scenario around the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays.
Here are the safety tips offered by ACPD:
- Buckle up — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than half of the people killed nationwide in traffic collisions were not wearing seatbelts.
- Protect Child Passengers — The safest place for child passengers is in the back seat. Be sure they have a child safety seat and that it is used the correct way.
- Don’t Drink & Drive — Every 45 minutes in the U.S., someone dies from an alcohol-related crash. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you do drink, designate a sober driver or take a cab or public transportation. The Arlington County Police Department is participating in the annual “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” enforcement initiative that continues through the New Year’s holiday.
- Avoid Distractions — 10% of fatal crashes and 18% of injuries caused by crashes were distraction related in 2012. Distractions to avoid while driving include, but aren’t limited to, cell phone use, texting, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies or portable electronic devices.
- Prepare for Inclement Weather — Last year, 4% of car crash fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend were weather related. Be sure your car is weather ready and fully serviced. Should the weather be bad, avoid driving. If you are driving, be sure to drive slowly and know your vehicle.
The department added the following greeting: “From our family to yours, the Arlington County Police Department wishes you a safe, happy, and accident free holiday season.”
Rosslyn Holiday Market Open Today — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District will be hosting a “pop-up” holiday market today from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 1500 Wilson Blvd. The market will feature boutique shopping, gift wrapping as well as snacks, sweets, cigar and spirits tasting and massages. Disclosure: As you can tell by the temporary site background, this event is being advertised on ARLnow.com.
New ‘Aerial Yoga’ Studio Opens — Spark Yoga, an “aerial yoga” studio, has opened at 2201 N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park. [Washingtonian]
Woman, Friends Arrested in Towing Dispute — Updated at 9:20 a.m. — A woman and her two friends were arrested Tuesday night after a dispute over towing. The woman tried to block her car from being towed from a parking lot and called police. When police arrived, the officer tried to remove her from her vehicle, and she allegedly fought back. Police say her friends also physically confronted the officer. The woman and one friend were charged with obstruction of justice and the the other friend was charged with assault and battery of a policy officer. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) A “Holiday Bazaar and Crafts Fair” will be held at the new Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) this weekend.
The event is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. More than 50 vendors, many of them local and regional artisans, will be selling their wares at the fair. International food and delicacies will be served.
The free event will also feature live music from the Wakefield High School Chorus and Orchestra and from jazz musician Charles Wood, as well as a traditional Mexican dance performance and a jewelry making demonstration.
The fair is being organized by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.
Photo via CPRO
The Linden Resources “Miracle on 23rd Street Celebration” will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Linden office at 750 23rd Street S.
The event is free and open to the public, will include a Christmas tree lighting, a brass band and children’s activities, including photos with Santa.
The event will kick off with a vendor gift fair from local businesses and will feature “local dignitaries,” according to a press release.
Linden Resources, a company devoted to helping those with disabilities find employment opportunities, will also collect donations for its “Vets Ready2Work” program that helps place military veterans with disabilities with jobs.
One of the county’s best-known Christmas tree sellers, the Optimist Club of Arlington, is expecting a record number of sales this year, according to the Sun Gazette. The club has ordered 1,200 trees from forests in North Carolina — 100 more than last year, when all trees were gone by Dec. 18.
The Optimist Club sells its trees from the parking lot of the Wells Fargo bank at Glebe Road and Lee Highway. Other Christmas tree sellers around town include the Boy Scouts (6000 Wilson Blvd), the Lions Club (Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive), and the Knights of Columbus (830 23rd Street S.), according to a recent forum thread.
Of course, not everybody opts for the real deal. Freshly-cut trees require water, care and some sort of vehicular transportation, in addition to an annual investment. Artificial trees, on the other hand, can be purchased once, stashed in a closet and set up year after year with nary the risk of getting tree sap all over one’s hands.
Board to Consider Mall Expansion Plan — The Arlington County Board is expected to vote on the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s expansion plans at its Saturday meeting. County staff is recommending approval of the plan, which would about 50,000 square feet of space for 5-7 new retail tenants to the front of the mall.
Shopping Center Cost $250k in 1940 — The strip mall at the northeast corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road represented an investment of $250,000 in 1940. At the time, traffic volume on Columbia Pike was about 12,000 cars per day and traffic volume on Glebe Road was about 600 cars per day. [Ghosts of DC]
Reminder: Yellow Line Closed This Weekend — The Yellow Line will be shut down this weekend for the annual safety inspection of the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River. The closure will begin at about 10:00 tonight (Friday).
Optimist Club Christmas Tree Sale Two Weeks Away — The Optimist Club of Arlington will kick off its annual Christmas tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 30. The sale will be held in the Wells Fargo parking lot at the corner of Lee Highway and Glebe Road. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
A 21-year-old Alexandria man has been charged in the Christmas Eve death of a pedestrian in Ballston.
The victim, 30-year-old Shabnam Motahhar-Tehrani of Nokesville, Va., was standing on a sidewalk around 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve when the suspect ran a red light, according to police, causing a crash.
Motahhar-Tehrani was struck by the suspect’s vehicle as a result of the crash. She was transported to a local trauma center where she was pronounced dead at 8:00 p.m.
The suspect, Farhan Mohammad Khan, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after an investigation by the Arlington County Police Department. He’s being held without bond and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has taken a 21 year old Alexandria man into custody on an involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from a Christmas Eve fatal pedestrian accident. Farhan Mohammad Khan, 21, of Alexandria, VA is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.
Khan was traveling northbound on N. Glebe Road at 4:30 p.m. on December 24, 2012 when he ran a red light and struck a vehicle in the intersection of N. Randolph Street. The accident caused his vehicle to spin out of control, striking 30 year old Shabnam Motahhar-Tehrani of Nokesville, VA as she was standing on the sidewalk. She was pronounced dead at INOVA Fairfax Hospital at 8:00 p.m. that evening.
The involuntary manslaughter charge is a Class 5 felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years.
Photo (top) courtesy “Dixie.” Photo (middle right) courtesy ACPD.
Arlington County’s annual Christmas tree collection will begin on Jan. 7. The collection does not take place until the first full week of January.
Holiday tree collection will run from Jan. 7-18, on residents’ regular trash collection day. The trees will be picked up by county crews and recycled into wood mulch for garden use.
“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day and to remove all decorations, nails, stands, and plastic bags,” the county said on its website. Those who miss their pickup day or who live in townhouses, apartments or condominiums without curbside recycling service can haul their tree to the county’s Solid Waste Bureau near Shirlington during the collection period.
“Please call (703) 228-6570 to schedule an appointment Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m,” the county said. “The Solid Waste Bureau is located at the Arlington Trades Center, 4300 29th St. S. Residents will need to show proof of residence in Arlington, such as a driver’s license. Trees may also be dropped off the first Saturday of each month 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Trades Center without an appointment.”
After Jan. 18 trees can still be picked up by trash crews, but will not be recycled.
As we approach the new year, we have a sincere wish for 2013. We have noted with disappointment the increasingly negative tenor of some comments on the site, and we hope that in 2013 those commenting here keep in mind that while the people on this site may be using online aliases, they are our neighbors in this relatively tiny, 26 square mile county.
ARLnow.com staff has been doing our best to actively remove comments that contain personal insults, racially or ethnically insensitive remarks, or even vitriol directed at children who are part of a news story. We will continue to do so to make sure ARLnow.com is a safe place for a robust but respectful community discourse. We also hope that readers understand that the moderation of comments is an imperfect process, and refrain from cursing at or berating our staff who are making an honest effort to prevent discussions from degrading to the the level of discourse found on some other, popular news websites.
On a happier note, we expect to continue to expand the scope of our local coverage and our business operations in 2013. We owe a very big thank you to our readers and our clients for helping to make that happen.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas. We’ll bring you three additional days of news coverage starting on Wednesday, before going on a brief New Years hiatus.