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.
The children, elementary students at Patrick Henry, Barcroft and Randolph schools, were chosen to receive a refurbished bike from the Arlington-based nonprofit Phoenix Bikes shop. The presentation will be made at Arlington Presbyterian Church (3507 Columbia Pike).
From Phoenix Bikes:
Working with the three South Arlington elementary schools — Patrick Henry, Barcroft and Randolph — approximately 25 children from low-income families have been selected to choose a refurbished bike to keep. Each has been repaired and inspected by the staff at Phoenix Bikes. The children will also be given new helmets.
This inaugural event is an effort to spread the wealth of bikes donated to Phoenix Bikes to the communities that need them most. “We get many children’s bikes donated that often need just a little work,” said Henry Dunbar, Phoenix Bikes Executive Director. “This holiday season we felt we would see how many we could repair quickly and put back into the community with children who might not have one otherwise.”
The cost of the new helmets has been generously sponsored by Nick Kuhn and McEnearney Associates, Inc.; and the Arlington Presbyterian Church.
Budget Cuts May Hurt Local Economic Growth — With looming budget cuts and the possible implications of the fiscal cliff, the D.C. area economy is starting to look more vulnerable and more like the rest of the country, according to economists. The federal government and information job categories have seen losses recently, and slower economic growth is expected over the next two decades. [Sun Gazette]
Residents Still Wary of Homeless Shelter — Residents have of the Woodbury Heights condominium in Courthouse, who have been speaking out against the county’s planned year-round homeless shelter at 2020 14th Street N., have been working with Arlington and its contractors on changes to the design of the building. Residents want the entrance to the shelter to be as far away from their building as possible. One homeless advocate, frustrated with the residents’ continued opposition to the shelter, called the attendees at a recent community meeting “the biggest group of snobs I’ve ever seen.” [Patch]
Library Recommends Audiobooks for Holiday Trips — Arlington Public Library has some recommendations for family-friendly audiobooks to make your holiday road trip go faster. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool by John Sonderman
The closures will be in effect on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1, for Arlington County offices, libraries and human services offices. Courts are also closed those days; Arlington Circuit Court will be open from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on December 26, and Arlington General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts will be open from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on December 26.
The ART Information Center and all Commuter Stores will be closed on the previously mentioned four days. On December 24 and 31, ART 41, 42, 51, 77 and 87 will run on a Saturday schedule. On December 25 and January 1, ART 41 and 51 will run on a Sunday schedule. The STAR Call Center will be closed all four days and all standing order rides will be cancelled.
Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center will be open from 6:00 a.m.-noon on December 24 and December 31; all other community centers will be closed. On December 25 and January 1, all community centers, including Barcroft, will be closed.
Arlington Public Schools will be closed from December 24-January 2.
Trash and recycling schedules are as follows:
Dec 24 & 31
- Trash & recycling: normal operations
- Special collection: brush, metal, electronics – normal operations
- No cart repair or mulch delivery service
- Leaf bag collection – normal operations
Dec 25 & Jan 1
- Trash & recycling: regular services not provided. Services available for Tuesday customers on Wed 12/26 and Jan 2
- Special collection: scheduled services not provided
- Leaf bag, brush, metal, electronics, cart repair services available for Tuesday customers on Wed Dec 26 and Jan 2
- Call Center: closed
Dec 26 – 28
- Trash & recycling: normal operations – all services completed by COB 12/29
- Special collection: normal operations – all services completed by COB 12/19
- Call center: normal operations
- Trash & recycling: normal operations – all services completed by COB 1/5
- Special collection: normal operations – all services competed by COB 1/5
- Call center: normal operations
Metrorail will run on a regular weekday schedule on December 24. It will be open from 7:00 a.m.-midnight on December 25 and January 1, and will run on a Sunday schedule. MetroAccess subscription trips are cancelled for those two days. On December 31, Metrorail will run on a normal weekdays schedule, but will remain open until 2:00 a.m. to accommodate those celebrating New Year’s Eve.
Christmas has been saved for one Arlington household, after a raccoon tried to block Santa’s impending arrival.
As the video above shows, the Humane Society was recently called to a home to help “evict” the raccoon from the chimney. Said Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman Kaitlin Sanderson:
“As stockings are being hung, trees decorated and children anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus, one home owner in Arlington needed help making sure Santa could deliver presents Christmas morning. The Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Wildlife Services was called to help an Arlington family with ‘Raccoon Claus,’ a little raccoon who decided to turn Santa’s entry-way into his home for the winter.”
Thieves Steal Wheels from Hotel — Two suspects were seen stealing tires and rims from two vehicles parked at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway) early Thursday morning. A security guard tried to intervene but the suspects fled. Arlington, particularly south Arlington, has seen an apparent uptick in wheel thefts recently. [NBC Washington]
Santa Coming to Clarendon Saturday — Santa Claus will be coming to Clarendon on Saturday evening. The Jolly Old Elf will arrive at Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) on a “big red sleigh,” otherwise known as an Arlington County fire truck, at 4:00 p.m. He will be on hand for photos until 7:00 p.m. There will also be strolling carolers and other family-friendly entertainment. It’s the shopping center’s 12th annual “Winter Wonderland” event. [Market Common Clarendon]
Last Westover Farmers Market of 2012 — The new Westover Farmers Market will hold its last market of the year from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The market, located at the corner of Washington Blvd and N. McKinley Road, will go on a holiday hiatus before returning on Jan. 13, 2013. The market’s winter hours run through April. [Westover Farmers Market]
Brink Commends Funding for Blind Students — Del. Bob Brink (D-Arlington) is praising Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) for his proposal to add $4.9 million in funding for blind and visually impaired students to the upcoming Virginia budget. The funds will help localities cover the cost of teachers, teacher’s aides and staff for blind and visually impaired students. [Alexandria News]
Bike Advocates Call For Plowed Trails — Bicyclists are calling on Arlington County to start plowing snow from bike and pedestrian trails. “By failing to plow the trails, [Arlington's Department of Environmental Services] puts more people onto the streets in cars,” said one bicycle advocate during yesterday’s county-organized online snow chat. “Is that really what you want, during a snow event?” [Along the Pike]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99