On Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., behind the ballfield at the corner of S. George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run Drive, residents can show up with a ticket, printed out from the county’s Eventbrite page, and go home with a “whip,” or a baby tree planted in a two-gallon container.
The county offers six different species of tree: sweet birch, white oak, black gum, black haw, pagoda dogwood and sweetbay magnolia. As of this morning (Thursday), sweet birch and sweetbay magnolia were sold out, and reservations for black haw were running out quickly.
Only one tree is allowed per residential property, according to Nora Palmatier, president of the TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria.
County staff will be on hand to provide guidance on maintaining the trees, as well as to help carry the containers to vehicles. Residents of multifamily properties are encouraged to contact TreeStewards for information about planting trees on their property.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Development Proposed to Replace Courthouse Wendy’s — Developer Carr Properties is planning to propose an office building to be built at 2038 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse, replacing the Wendy’s. The building will be similar to Carr’s planned office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd, which was approved by the Arlington County Board in December. [Washington Post]
Questions Remain As Staff Works on Urban Ag Report — County Board Chairman Walter Tejada is pressing county staff to move faster on a report on urban agriculture. The report is expected to recommend a course of action on the controversial issue of urban hen raising, an issue for which many questions remain. [Sun Gazette]
Free Tropical Plants Today – Ferns, palms, ficus trees and banana plants will be given away for free this afternoon at the Crystal City farmers market. Used to decorate outdoor areas of Crystal City during the summer, the plants would otherwise be composted in advance of winter. [Crystal City BID]
Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser. Photo courtesy @BrianWohlert.
Z-Burger to End Free Burger Promotion — Z-Burger is ending its free burger promotion for furloughed federal workers. The local burger chain says they’ve given away more than $60,000 worth of burgers to more than 15,000 federal workers. The company says it’s losing too much money to continue, so the giveaway will end tonight (Thursday). “In order for us to stay in business, we had to make the hard choice,” said owner Peter Tabibian.
New Townhouses Coming to Westover — A new townhouse development is coming to the Westover neighborhood. The Westover Place townhomes are replacing a series of aging but mixed-income low-rise apartment buildings on N. Kensington Street. Prices for new homes in the development start in the $800′s. [Arlington Housing Report]
CivFed Calls for County Audit Staff — Delegates to the Arlington County Civic Federation voted 40-2 this week on a resolution that calls for Arlington to hire an independent, internal auditing and financial control staff. [Sun Gazette]
WRIT Buys Crystal City Building — Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has purchased The Paramount, a 17-story apartment building at 1425 S. Eads Street, for $48 million. [Globe St.]
Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography
More than a hundred people swarmed the Z-Burger near Clarendon this afternoon (Tuesday), hoping to make the best of the first day of the federal government shutdown by scoring a free cheeseburger.
Z-Burger (3325 Wilson Blvd) is one of several restaurants in Arlington offering specials to workers with government IDs to try to ease the burden of workers forced to take a furlough after government shut down at midnight tonight. Z-Burger is offering free burgers to workers with government IDs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Jaleo (2250 Crystal Drive) is offering free sandwiches to government workers with valid IDs from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. every day of the shutdown, owner/chef José Andrés tweeted last night. District Taco (5723 Lee Highway) also announced that their brick-and-mortar store at 5723 Lee Hwy would be offering a free taco to government employees on furlough.
The Washington Post has a full list of specials restaurants in the D.C. area are offering during the shutdown.
Many of those waiting in the line that snaked all the way around the shop said they had resigned themselves to the shutdown well before Monday’s deadline. When one Department of Defense worker, who declined to provide his name, was asked if he was frustrated, he shook his head.
“It happens so often that if you get frustrated every time, you’ll get an ulcer,” he said. Defense employees began their second furlough of the year Tuesday morning.
Another government worker said after all the deadlines Congress has waited until the 11th hour to avoid, the shutdown was almost a relief, he said.
“It’s about time they gave us a day off,” he said. “It does suck for people living paycheck to paycheck, but I don’t expect it to last more than a week.”
A National Science Foundation worker said multiple times that he wished that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) — a pivotal Senate Republican in the buildup to the shutdown — would “go back to Canada,” before lamenting the millions of dollars in grants in jeopardy at the NSF if the shutdown lasts an extended period of time.
“It’s so nice out, I want to use this time to go to the [National] Mall, some museums, maybe get my passport updated,” he said. “Oh wait, it’s all closed.”
Free Burgers for Feds — Because the federal government shut down early this morning, Z-Burger is following through on its offer to serve free burgers for all federal and D.C. workers who have been furloughed. The local burger chain, which has a location at 3325 Wilson Blvd, near Clarendon, says customers must present a government ID to get the free burger.
Task Force Recommends More School Buses — An Arlington Public Schools task force has recommended that the school system’s bus service be expanded, at least for elementary school students. Elementary students should be supervised on their way to school, said the task force, which also said that buses are safer and produce less traffic than cars. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Startup Raises $100 Million — Arlington-based Evolent Health has raised a whopping $100 million in its latest funding round. The health management company expects to rapidly hire and develop technology in order to meet heavy demand from the hospital industry, spurred on by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. [Washington Business Journal]
Crystal City Showing Resilience — Despite heavy military job losses caused by the Base Closure and Realignment Act, Crystal City is starting to bounce back and find new tenants to fill vacant office space. Property owners are also using the tough times to upgrade or redevelop older buildings. The office vacancy rate in Crystal City stands at 24.2 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011. [Washington Post]
Vintage Plane Flies Over Arlington – The photo above was taken from a Ford Tri-Motor, the first mass-produced airliner in the world. Built in the 1920s, the plane has been carefully maintained and, on Saturday, flew over Arlington in a flight organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association. [EAA]
Photo courtesy Mary Dominiak/Experimental Aircraft Association
On the first stop of her nationwide personal appearance tour, Cole will take part in a meet and greet from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Steve Madden store in the Pentagon City mall. She’s promoting her partnership with the shoe designer, which has resulted in the new shoe line.
Cole will be on hand to autograph free branded tote bags while a DJ provides music. Guests can meet and take photos with Cole. Anyone who purchases a product from the new shoe line during Cole’s appearance will get a free compact mirror and access to special surprise gifts.
The restaurant will give away the food in celebration of National Cheeseburger Day. The location in Virginia Square (3325 Wilson Blvd) is one of the three Z-Burger restaurants chosen to give away the cheeseburgers from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m.
“The employees are excited,” said Z-Burger spokesman Kenny Fried. “Hopefully we’ll have new customers coming in that never experienced Z-Burger before and this is the chance to show what great food and what a great place we have.”
Each customer may have one free cheeseburger, and Fried promises the restaurant we won’t run out of supplies. Owner Peter Tabibian said the restaurant will serve all customers who are in line by 1:00 p.m. for the early giveaway, and by 7:00 p.m. for the late giveaway.
The chain plans to do a similar giveaway during National Hamburger Day in about six months.
“Z-Burger just loves doing things to engage the community and have fun with its customers. We like to surprise and delight them,” Fried said. “It’s another opportunity to thank them for having us in the community.”
The free cheeseburger deal is also good at the chain’s Tenleytown and White Marsh locations.
Board Ponders Affordable Housing on Pike — County Board members are still deciding how best to pay for the 6,200 units of affordable housing they have pledged to maintain on Columbia Pike. One option is to use Tax Increment Financing, using the growth of real estate values (through redevelopment on the Pike) to fund affordable housing. However, a majority of Board members remain skeptical of that plan. [Sun Gazette]
Silver Line Delayed – The initial opening of the Silver Line has been delayed by eight weeks to allow for additional safety and performance testing. It was previously expected that the first phase of the Metro line, which will run to Reston and Tysons Corner, would open in late December. [MWAA]
Free Milkshakes Today — To help local residents beat the heat, Z-Burger will be offering free milkshakes today from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. to all who come in to the restaurant and use the password “ZHeatwave.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore
West Nile Detected at Fort McNair — West Nile Virus have been detected in mosquitoes across the river from Arlington at Fort McNair. Fort McNair is part of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall; West Nile was not found in the Fort Myer portion of the base. [U.S. Army]
Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven — Today, 7/11/13, customers can get a free small Slurpee from 7-Eleven stores from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This year, instead of 7.11 ounces, the free Slurpees have increased in size to 12 ounces. [USA Today]
ART Now on Google Maps – Google Maps now allows you to plan trips and get additional information on Arlington Transit (ART) bus routes. [Arlington Transit]
Favola Calls on McDonnell to Resign — Arlington state Senator Barbara Favola (D) is calling on Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to resign in the wake of accusations that he and his family received a series on undisclosed gifts while in the governor’s mansion. [WAMU]
Median Sale Prices Dropping in Arlington — According to numbers from Rockville-based data firm RealEstate Business Intelligence, the median home sales price in Arlington was $535,000 in June, down 2.7 percent from one year prior. The drop comes while prices in Fairfax and Alexandria were up significantly. Meanwhile, Arlington’s median sales price is also down 0.1 percent year-to-date. Possible explanations for the drop, other than potential weakness in the real estate market, include a preponderance of condo sales this year or a raft of high-end sales last year. [Washington Post, RBI]
Flickr pool photo by Eschweik
Using Cash to Entice Youth Civic Involvement — The Arlington County Civic Federation will spend $2,000 over the next year as cash incentives to get high school-aged youth interested in civic involvement. Organizers hope the program brings “an infusion of fresh thinking and new ideas” to the organization. [Sun Gazette]
More Metro Delays This Weekend — Metrorail riders should expect some delays this weekend. Trains on the Orange, Blue, Yellow and Green lines will run every 18 minutes due to track work, platform replacement and Silver Line testing (between East and West Falls Church). [WMATA]
I-395 HOV Closure — The I-395 HOV lanes will be closed from Friday night until 10 a.m. Sunday morning. The closure will allow work on the 95 Express lanes, weather permitting.
Free Donut at Dunkin’ Donuts Today — In honor of “National Donut Day,” Dunkin’ Donuts is offering a free donut with any beverage purchase.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Courthouse restaurant Toscana Grill is giving away free food tonight (Wednesday) before closing for emergency renovations.
On Friday, the Italian restaurant suffered a busted pipe that left three inches of water on the floor. Owner Joe Smith says the restaurant will have to close until mid-June for renovations, including a new dining room floor, new ceiling and new paint.
Not content to let the remaining food in the kitchen go to waste, Smith says he and his staff will be cooking it up and giving it away for free tonight. The free food giveaway will take place from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
“We will be giving away everything on the menu,” Smith told ARLnow.com via email. “One dish per person, to go only (but there is a patio to enjoy).”
There will also be tip jars set up for the restaurant’s staff. Smith said he’s hopeful that insurance will pay their wages while the restaurant is closed.
Toscana Grill will celebrate its second anniversary under current ownership in mid-July. The restaurant is located in the courtyard area of Courthouse Metro Plaza (2300 Clarendon Blvd).
Photo courtesy Joe Smith
A free blues concert will be held Thursday evening (May 16) at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike. The event is being held to promote the upcoming Columbia Pike Blues Festival.
Thursday’s concert will take place starting at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Karl Stoll and the Danger Zone and the Chris Polk Band. The concert, at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike), is free and open to the public.
The 18th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival will take place on June 15 and feature legendary guitarist G.E. Smith, who’s best known for being the musical director for Saturday Night Live and for being lead guitarist for Hall & Oates, Bob Dylan and other major musical acts.
As always, the Blues Festival will be held on S. Walter Reed Drive just north of Columbia Pike. The performance schedule on June 15 includes:
- 1:00 p.m. — BG and the Mojo Hands
- 2:00 p.m. — Clarence “Bluesman” Turner
- 3:30 p.m. — Chris Polk [Sound Check]
- 5:00 p.m. — Cathy Ponton King
- 6:30 p.m. — G.E. Smith
File photo. Disclosure: Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, organizer of the Blues Festival, is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
If the Washington Capitals win tonight against the New York Rangers, the new Z-Burger in Virginia Square will offer free burgers tomorrow.
The Capitals are facing the Rangers tonight in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The game is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at Verizon Center. The winner will advance to the semifinals, against the winner of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs series, and the loser will go home for the summer.
Should the Capitals win, the Z-Burger at 3325 Wilson Blvd will give away free burgers during lunchtime on Tuesday.
“If the Caps win tonight, the Z-Burger location in Arlington will be offering free burgers for fans during Tuesday’s lunch from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.,” Z-Burger said in a press release. “All the fans have to do is show up during these hours and say the secret password — ‘CAPZ’ and they will be treated to any single hamburger, veggie burger, turkey burger or single cheeseburger of their choice.”
The offer is only valid at the Arlington Z-Burger location and is good for one burger per person.
Memorial Bridge in Need of Renovations — The 81-year-old Arlington Memorial Bridge, which was once a functioning drawbridge, is in urgent need of repairs. The repairs could cost as much as $250 million and close the span for three months. [Washington Post]
Free Stuff on Tax Day — Among other Tax Day offers around town today, April 15, California Tortilla is offering free chips and queso to anyone who comes in and uses the secret code “1040.” The restaurant has locations in Courthouse and Crystal City. If you’ve procrastinated and need some free tax advice, check out our three Q&A sessions with local tax pro Bobby Grohs.
Recognizing Arlington’s ECC Staff — Arlington County is recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which runs April 14-20, and lauding the work of the county’s Emergency Communications Center staff — the men and women you talk to when you dial 911. “We commend these professionals on their tireless efforts to support emergency responders and to provide critical services to the citizens of our nation,” the county said in a press release. [Arlington County]
Arlington’s ‘Bicycle Man’ Dies — Arlington resident Randy Lokke, 62, died late last month. Lokke was known as a prolific follower of local high school sports, riding his bike to games in and around the District. Lokke was a graduate of Wakefield High School. [Georgetowner]
Ovie Returns to Arlington — Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammates are back on the practice ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. The Capitals and other NHL teams are expected to begin a 48-game regular season on Jan. 19. [Washington Post]
Chick-fil-A Offers Free Breakfast – D.C. area Chick-fil-A restaurants, including the locations in Ballston and Crystal City, are offering free breakfast entrees through Jan. 30 to those who make “reservations” online. [Chick-fil-A]
Catalog Opt-Out Service Saves Paper — Arlington County says Arlington residents have saved 35,855 lbs of waste by participating in the county-sponsored “Catalog Choice” service. The free service allows residents to opt out of unwanted mail, catalogs and phone books. [Twitter, Arlington County]
Arlington Couple Promoting Phone Holder — An Arlington couple who spent several years and $25,000 to design “DashIT,” a car dashboard hold for smart phones, is selling and promoting the gadget at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by GmdVT. Hat tip to Brendan Lilly.