Fairfax May Be ‘Big Winner’ From Streetcar — The Columbia Pike streetcar may be an economic boon to Fairfax County. Fairfax is planning to use its portion of the future streetcar system to lure office tenants to the Skyline and Baileys Crossroads areas. Already, promise of the streetcar might be helping to sway the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move to Skyline from Ballston. [Sun Gazette]
Office Absorption Down as Sequester Takes Hold — The D.C. region, particularly Northern Virginia, is shedding office tenants. The region typically “absorbs” about 900,000 square feet of office space per quarter, but posted a negative 100,000 square foot absorption figure between April and June. Tenant downsizing and federal job losses and budget cuts are being blamed for the poor absorption figures. [Globe St]
Brink Unopposed in Upcoming Election — Arlington’s Del. Bob Brink (D) is running unopposed for reelection in November, after the Libertarian candidate he was set to face dropped out of the race. Del. Patrick Hope, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Rob Krupicka, all Democrats, area facing a Libertarian, an Independent Green and and independent candidate, respectively. So far, no Republican challengers have been announced. [Sun Gazette]
Library Seeking LEGO Artists — Arlington Public Library is seeking LEGO builders ages 18 and under to help design and build LEGO structures for display at a library. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The suspect, 58-year-old Ibrahim Abdullah, was arrested by Fairfax County police at a house on the 1700 block of N. Quebec Street. The arrest happened around 1:40 p.m. on Thursday and prompted some curious neighbors to question why police from another jurisdiction were carrying out an arrest an Arlington home.
According to Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell, Abdullah is accused of swiping a credit card from a victim’s purse or wallet. The alleged theft happened at a Panera Bread restaurant in the Tysons Corner area on Monday, May 27.
Police say Abdullah then used the credit card to make purchases at several Tysons Corner stores. He has been charged with credit card theft and credit card fraud, Caldwell said.
Woodbridge resident Joshua Terrell Franklin, 24 was charged last week with the December 2012 rape of a prostitute in a Crystal City hotel room.
“The suspect, in response to an online advertisement, hired a woman to perform sexual acts,” police said in a press release. ”Shortly after arriving at the victim’s hotel room, the suspect forced the victim to perform sexual acts at gunpoint. ”
Franklin has been charged with Rape, Robbery and Forcible Sodomy in connection with that incident. He is currently awaiting trial in Fairfax County for a similar crime, the alleged sexual assault of two women in a Springfield hotel room in January.
Police believe Franklin might have assaulted other women, and are asking for additional victims to come forward.
“Information revealed in the investigation indicates that there are potentially other victims or persons with information regarding this subject,” police said. “Anyone who has information about this suspect is asked to call Detective Angela Comer at 703.228.4243 or email email@example.com. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
Firefighters are packing up and leaving the scene of a two alarm apartment fire on the 3400 block of Carlyn Hill Drive, along the Arlington/Fairfax border.
The call came in a little before 8:00 p.m. for a fire in an apartment on the third floor of the residential building. Firefighters managed to contain it to that one apartment.
According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl, at least six units from Arlington assisted the Fairfax County Fire Department. Units from Alexandria and Annandale also offered aid.
Part of Columbia Pike just west of Carlin Springs Road was down to one lane as crews responded to the fire in the building, which is offset from the main road.
Medics on scene were spotted tending to people and wrapping a few in blankets, but there are no reports so far of serious injuries. There’s also no word on the cause of the fire.
Campbell Students Allowed Back on Bus — Students who were bused to Campbell Elementary School last year but were judged to be in the “walk zone” this year will be allowed back on the bus. Arlington Public Schools made the decision to diverge from its controversial Transportation Modernization Plan after 20 families threatened to pull their children from Campbell and enroll them at their neighborhood school, Carlin Springs Elementary, which is over capacity. [Arlington Mercury]
Fairfax Wants Say in Arlington School Expansion — Officials in Fairfax County want to review and analyze the Arlington Public Schools plan to add 300 middle school students and 600 elementary school students to the Williamsburg Middle School campus, which is near McLean. Fairfax officials are concerned about the traffic impact to McLean neighborhoods. [Sun Gazette]
County Approves New Fiber Optic Contract — On Saturday the Arlington County Board approved a $5.37 million contract to build an additional stage of the ConnectArlington fiber optic network. The fiber optic project approved over the weekend will connect 50 county and school facilities. [Arlington County]
Ballston Restaurant Has ‘Best Wings’ — First Down Sports Bar and Grill, at 4213 N. Fairfax Drive in Ballston, has some of the best wings in the D.C. area, according to the Washington Post’s Going Out Guide. First Down offers some 40 flavors of wings and an all-you-can-eat wing night on Wednesday. [Washington Post]
High School Football Update — Bishop O’Connell’s football squad won its homecoming game against Bishop McNamara on Saturday, by a score of 31-14. Yorktown trounced Falls Church on Friday, with a 48-0 win that brought the school’s record to 8-0. Washington-Lee and the winless Wakefield Warriors both lost Friday night.
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
Fairfax Approves Pike Streetcar — By a vote of 7-2, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to build a streetcar line along Columbia Pike from Pentagon City to the Skyline area of Fairfax. The vote gives Fairfax and Arlington, which approved the project last week, the opportunity to apply for federal funding. Fairfax Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said of the project: ”The streetcar will relieve congestion and present economic development opportunities for the Skyline area and serve a population with the demonstrated support and need for transit.” [Washington Post, Washington Examiner]
Moran Leads Fundraising Race — Incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D) has out-raised his Republican opponent by a factor of more than eight. As of June 30, Moran raised $813,000 and had $308,000 cash on hand, compared to the $98,000 raised and $55,000 cash on hand for Republican challenger Patrick Murray. Independent candidate Jason Howell had $1,900 cash on hand. [Sun Gazette]
Defense Contractors Rally Against Cuts — Worried about the $500 billion in automatic defense spending cuts which will go into effect next year unless Congress acts, defense contractors held a rally in Crystal City on Monday. Among those in attendance was Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who joined local congressmen and business leaders in decrying the potential for more than 200,000 job losses in Virginia as a result of the cuts. [Patch]
Update at 4:50 p.m. — At this point we’ve heard at least
three four ACFD units dispatched to assist with swift water rescues.
Several squads from the Arlington County Fire Department have been dispatched to Fairfax County to assist with swift water rescues.
The first mutual aid call came in just after 3:00 p.m. Units have been dispatched to locations like Oakton and Great Falls.
While Arlington has remained fairly dry for much of the afternoon, a line of heavy rains has been soaking parts of Fairfax County for several hours. Via Twitter, there have been several reports of flooding on portions of Route 50, Route 123 and the Dulles Toll Road.
A new analysis of county employee compensation, prepared by county staff, says that Arlington employees earn less than their counterparts in Alexandria and Fairfax County.
The Washington Examiner reports that veteran employees often earn thousands of dollars less than employees in Alexandria and Fairfax, the county’s two biggest competitors in terms of hiring. Despite the fact that Arlington often hires employees at higher starting salaries, the staff analysis recommends raising county employee salary ceilings in Arlington to compete for the best workers.
What do you think?
Arlington County Police have been alerted to a bank robbery that occurred in McLean within the hour.
According to a police lookout, the Wachovia Bank at 1300 Chain Bridge Road was robbed by a man wearing a white mask and holding a black handgun.
It’s standard procedure for police departments to be notified about bank robberies in surrounding jurisdictions.
Update at 1:40 p.m. — Police describe the suspect as a black male in his mid to late 30s, about 5’8″ and between 150 and 170 pounds. He was reportedly wearing an “elderly white man” costume mask and dark clothing, according to the Falls Church News-Press.
Fairfax County may be a bit jealous of Arlington’s bike friendliness.
With bike travel growing in both counties, one Fairfax cycling advocate is saying publicly that his county should take Arlington as an example and go farther than just paying lip service to bike-related concerns.
“Somehow Arlington was able to find $1 million a year for their bike program,” Bruce Wright lamented to the Fairfax Times. If Fairfax County leaders truly cared, “they would find the money to fund it.”
The article goes on to cite Arlington and Portland, Ore. as inspirations for bike-friendly policy making in urban areas.
A group called Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling “would like to see increased requirements or incentives for office buildings to include bike parking and shower facilities to accommodate bicycle commuters, similar to Arlington County,” the article says.
Arlington has 113 miles of bike lanes and trails.