Another Dem Enters Congressional Race — Derek Hyra, an associate professor in Virginia’s Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning program, has thrown his hat into the ring for the June 10th Democratic primary to replace Rep. Jim Moran in Congress. Hyra is also a member of the Alexandria Planning Commission. [NBC Washington]
Young Dems Hold Meet and Greet – Arlington Young Democrats will hold a meet and greet with some of the Democratic congressional candidates tonight. The event is taking place at 7:00 p.m. at Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 N. Wilson Blvd). [Facebook]
Cost of Police Reports May Rise — County officials are considering raising the price of accident reports and criminal checks from $3-5 to $10 apiece. The increase in fees could bring in an additional $32,000, which would offset the police department’s cost of supplying the reports. [Sun Gazette]
Marymount Signs Ballston Lease — Marymount University has signed a lease for 87,000 square feet of space in the office building at 4040 N. Fairfax Drive. The building was renovated last year after it sole tenant, the Dept. of Defense, moved out due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act. [Federal Capital Partners]
Registration Open for Fairlington 5K — Registration is now open for the Fairlington 5K Run and Walk. The non-competitive event will take place at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 5. It will benefit Abingdon Elementary School and Ellie McGinn, an Abingdon student who’s battling a degenerative mitochondrial disease for which there is no known cure. [Fairlington 5K]
Flickr pool photo by lifeinthedistrict
Repair crews are still working to repair the 16-inch water main that burst yesterday morning in Shirlington.
According to Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher, water pressure was normal for the Fairlington Community Center as of 1:00 p.m. However, just before 4:00 p.m., Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation announced that the community center would remain closed all night Wednesday.
Repair work is running into complications and crews are widening the pit size for safety reasons. We are estimating a minimum of 4 hours away from completion. Traffic is still in the mode of one lane for each direction on Arlington Mill Drive. Valve crew confirmed that water pressure was normal for the Fairlington Community Center at about 1 p.m.
Update at 6:00 p.m. — Repairs are now expected to continue into Thursday.
Crews have halted repair work today due to the unstable bank, warranting unsafe operation. Repair work will resume tomorrow morning with the equipment needed to reshape the bank. Pumps will run overnight to prevent residual water damage. Traffic remains open with one lane on each direction on Arlington Mill Drive. There is no change on the condition of the Fairlington water pressure from the last update.
Repairs to a burst 16-inch water main in Shirlington have resumed after crews took a break for the night.
Arlington County is hoping to complete the repairs — and restore water pressure to the Fairlington neighborhood — by 5:00 p.m. From Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher:
The crew resumed repair work at 9 a.m. today. The traffic on Arlington Mill Drive will be partially open with one lane on each direction. If there are no complications, crews should complete repairs in 6 to 8 hours and traffic will be back to normal. Fairlington area will remain on low water pressure until the 16-inch main resumes operation. The crew is continuing work to get additional sources of water for Fairlington.
The Board unanimously approved the plan, which updates a previous plan that was passed in 1987. The new plan seeks to protect the communities from traffic impacts, maintain public infrastructure and foster a sense of community. It was created over the course of eight years with the help of community input.
“The program reflects the County’s belief that no one understands what a neighborhood needs better than the people who live there,” County Board Chair Walter Tejada said in a statement. “The County Board thanks the residents of Fairlington-Shirlington for working for eight years to produce this thoughtful, realistic plan to help ensure this area of the County will remain a great place to live for decades to come.”
Fairlington, with a population of 8,000 residents, is southwest of Shirlington, population 1,500, and bisected by I-395.
Fairlington was created as a publicly-financed housing complex for defense workers during World War II. Shirlington was a swampland before becoming a shopping center in the 1940s. The current Shirlington began to take shape, with high rise housing and and an “urban village” of retailers, after being purchased by Federal Realty Investment Trust in 1995.
The new Neighborhood Conservation Plan contains 35 service and infrastructure recommendations. The full list, which can be found below (after the jump), includes recommendations ranging from increased speed enforcement to new bus shelters to efforts to curb helicopter noise.
“In the coming year, County staff will be working with the association and residents to help identify priority improvement projects for funding,” the county said in a press release.
Photo courtesy Arlington County
An elderly man is dead after becoming trapped during a fire in his apartment in the 2900 block of S. Buchanan Street in Fairlington.
According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl, smoke was coming from the top level apartment when crews arrived on the scene. Capt. Karl said because the investigation has just begun, it’s unclear exactly what started the fire and whether the man died from burns or smoke inhalation.
According to a law enforcement source, the fire is not considered suspicious. The victim was reportedly a hoarder and clutter prevented him from escaping from his apartment when the fire broke out. We’re told he was the only person in the apartment at the time and was found dead on the scene when rescue crews arrived. Nobody in any neighboring units was hurt.
About 10 residents have been displaced from their apartments while the investigation is underway, according to Capt. Karl. They are being allowed to seek shelter at the Fairlington Community Center until they receive word about being able to head back to their apartments.
Courtesy photo (top)
The townhouse near S. Buchanan Street and 29th Street was vacant and undergoing renovations.
Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl says the fire started in the basement where construction work was taking place, and spread to the first level. The first and second levels sustained heat and smoke damage.
The fire is currently out and crews are beginning to be released from the scene. The Arlington County Fire Marshal’s office has a representative at the townhouse to begin the investigation.
No construction workers or fire fighters were injured.
Photo courtesy @gogogaryo via Twitter.
Update at 4:40 p.m. — Chlorinated water leaking from a water main near Shirlington has seeped into Four Mile Run and killed “dozens” of fish, an Arlington County official told ARLnow.com this afternoon.
We first reported the leak near 2400 S. Walter Reed Drive this morning, after Claremont and Fairlington residents reported widespread low water pressure in the area. Now we’re told that the leak — in a 12-inch pipe — has resulted in a significant fish kill.
From Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel:
Residents may notice dead fish in portions of Four Mile Run downstream of the break due to the chlorinated water being released. This water is not harmful to humans or pets, but unfortunately resulted in a fish kill. Residents should follow the County’s normal precautions for safe use of urban streams.
McDaniel said repairs on the water main are expected to continue into tomorrow. Residents may continue to experience low water pressure but “no one is expected to be without water,” she said.
Police on Thursday identified the man and woman killed in Tuesday’s murder-suicide at the Park Shirlington Apartments on the 4500 block of 31st Street South, near the Fairlington neighborhood.
Xiomara Aracely Benitez, 30, of Arlington was pronounced dead at the scene along with Juan Carlos Mox Mox, 30, of Arlington, according to a press release from the Arlington County Police Department. Police identified Benitez as the victim and Mox Mox as the subject. They were married with two children.
Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said a family member took in the two children after the incident, which police have officially ruled a murder-suicide. The cause of death has not yet been determined, according to police.
A family member discovered the victim and subject in a back bedroom of their apartment and police received a 911 call at 2:43 p.m. on Tuesday.
This last homicide in Arlington County happened on March 14, 2010, when a man was stabbed to death in the Lyon Park neighborhood.
(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Police are investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide at the Park Shirlington Apartments on the 4500 block of 31st Street South, near the Fairlington neighborhood.
Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says it appears the man and woman, both 30-years-old, had some sort of relationship and lived together in the apartment where they were found. An adult female family member who also lived in the apartment found the bodies in a back bedroom and called 911 around 2:45 p.m.
One resident told ARLnow.com that the apartment was home to a couple with two children and a woman who also had a child. The children were all between the age of 7 and 9, she said.
“Nothing like this has happened here before,” said Cecilia Rodriguez. “I’ve lived here for 26 years and I’ve raised my kids here… It’s scary for me.”
Rodriguez said she believes a car police towed from the apartment’s parking lot belonged to the female half of the couple.
Police were seen taking items out of a dumpster near the apartment building, such as a rolled up rug and bags of trash. Initial reports suggests evidence might have been found in the dumpster.
The last homicide in Arlington County occurred on March 14, 2010, when a man was stabbed to death in the Lyon Park neighborhood.
We hear that lightning from last night’s storms most likely sparked the fires, though as of this afternoon an Arlington County Fire Department spokesman was unable to confirm any details about the cause.
ACFD spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl did reveal, however, that there was “significant damage to both attic areas.”
Photo courtesy @VolunteerHappy
Many residents spent this past Saturday taking part in the various Neighborhood Day events throughout Arlington.
The weather cooperated, providing warmth and sun for the outdoor activities. From yard sales to cook outs to petting zoos, residents came out to connect with their neighbors and partake in the festivities. As you can see, kids’ activities took center stage at most of the events.
Here’s a look at the festivities at Highland Park Overlee-Knolls Family Fun Day, Bluemont Neighborhood BBQ and Fairlington Day.
An open house will be held tonight to discuss the next big step in the development of Long Bridge Park: a planned aquatics and fitness center.
The Aquatics, Health and Fitness facility is expected to be built in two phases. A concept plan posted on the county’s website lists features of the proposed facility like cardiovascular and weight training equipment, an Olympic sized pool, a hot water therapy pool, a play area with slides and a lazy river.
Building the first phase of Long Bridge Park cost $31 million, and the aquatics facility is anticipated to cost around
$50 $70 million. If bond funding is approved this year, construction on the aquatics and fitness center could begin as soon as next year and the facility could open by 2015.
The open house is tonight from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).
Students told police a male suspect approached them, carrying a gun with an orange tip. Police radio traffic reported that while displaying the weapon, which was at first thought to be real, the suspect asked the children if they were ready to die.
The suspect and children all left the scene. However, when police arrived, some of the children returned to describe the suspect and incident.
A short time later, police found a 17-year-old boy in the area matching the students’ description. The teen was arrested and charged with brandishing a firearm on school property, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Although he did not have the weapon with him at the time of the arrest, it was later recovered and revealed to be a BB gun.
Nobody was hurt during the incident. The suspect, who police say is an Arlington Public Schools student, was released to his parents.
Water Main Break in Fairlington — A large water main break shut down the intersection of 31st and S. Abingdon Streets in Fairlington last night. [WUSA 9]
Joe Paterno Hires Clarendon Firm — Before he was fired by university trustees last night, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno hired Clarendon-based TMG Strategies to handle media inquiries. TMG specializes in crisis communications. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Green Party’s Fortunes Tied to GOP — Green Party candidates in Arlington seem to do significantly better on election day when there’s no Republican in the race. [Sun Gazette]
New Art on ART Buses — There are a few new whimsical illustrations on the county’s ART buses. The art was created by Nigerian-born and Alexandria, Va.-based artist Victor Ekpuk, as a joint venture between Arlington Transit and the Artisphere. [CommuterPage Blog]
Deal on Romeo and Juliet Tix — The Washington Post is offering $55 tickets to Synetic Theater’s Crystal City performance of Romeo and Juliet for $25. Synetic, which only recently established its home base in Crystal City, is a physical theater company — its shows substitute intense physical acting for dialogue. The deal expires at midnight tonight. Romeo and Juliet opens on Nov. 25. [The Capitol Deal]
Pat Foreman, co-host of the “Chicken Whisperer Backyard Poultry and Sustainable Lifestyles Talk Show,” will be addressing members of the Arlington Egg Project (motto: “Give Peeps a Chance“) on Thursday night. Foreman has written books like “City Chicks,” “Chicken Tractor” and “Day Range Poultry,” which promote the benefits of small-scale hen-keeping. She will teach interested Arlingtonians the ins and outs of “keeping micro-flocks of laying hens as garden helpers, compost makers, bio-recyclers and local food suppliers.”
Foreman, who lives near Lexington, Va., will provide chicken supporters additional ammunition in their quest to get Arlington to relax rules that prohibit the vast majority of residents from keeping egg-laying hens in their backyards. Among the poultry-powered benefits she promotes: “enhance backyard agriculture… divert food and yard ‘waste’ out of landfills… decrease oil consumption… lower carbon footprints… improve national defense and emergency preparedness.”
Foreman will also be selling autographed books.
The event, co-sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street). The public is asked to pre-register by calling 703-228-6414 or by emailing email@example.com.
Following Foreman’s talk, the Arlington Egg Project plans to discuss the “next steps” in its advocacy effort. The group has told members that it’s nearing 1,000 signatures on a petition it plans to present to the Arlington County Board.