Last week the County Board voted to advertise a change in its zoning rules that would require planned commercial buildings over a certain size to seek a ‘Special Exception Use Permit’ from the Board. As we exclusively reported, the move was in response to interest in the industrial sites along Four Mile Run — near Shirlington — by large-format retailers like Walmart.
After our article ran, we asked the leaders of two nearby civic associations what they thought of the Board’s action and the potential for large-format retail development in the area.
Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, Jr., president of the Nauck Civic Association, said he was happy that the Board took the first step to ensuring that large-scale development in the area is given due consideration by the community.
The Nauck Civic Association participated in the decision to seek a Special General Land Use Permit for the Rosenthal [car lot] site and two additional sites in the designated Shirlington Crescent/Four Mile Run Drive area. The community had undertaken years of study of the area, but the study was curtailed a couple of years ago due to budgetary restraints and never adopted. The Association supports the action of the County Board in that it will bring back a continuation of the study previously worked on for a number of years and especially the results of a traffic study that is not binding if the by-right option is exercised under the present zoning. A change in the GLUP will allow the residents of Nauck have a say in the future development of the area.
John Breyault, president of the Long Branch Creek Civic Association, echoed Dr. Taylor’s support of the Board’s action.
Given that property’s proximity to the Long Branch Creek Civic Association, I am very glad to see that the County short-circuited any attempt by Wal-Mart to develop the property “by right” without Board approval (and, presumably, community input).
A big-box retailer like Wal-Mart has a big impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. We are glad that the County Board has ensured that there is an opportunity for robust community input into the planning process for this property. We look forward to participating in that process.
We reached out to two entities that represent business and developer interests in Northern Virginia, but both declined to comment on the record.
Police are looking for a man who stole a dirt bike in the Shirlington/Nauck (Green Valley) area this afternoon.
The man allegedly stole the green and white dirt bike after being dropped off by another man on a moped. Both the moped driver and the alleged dirt bike thief then tried to flee the area.
Police eventually surrounded the Shelton apartments (3215 24th Street S.) and detained a man believed to the moped driver. He was handcuffed, led to an unmarked police car and taken to the station. The moped was found abandoned outside the building.
The other suspect was reportedly followed by one of the victims, who hopped on another dirt bike and chased the suspect through the streets of the Valley. The victim eventually lost sight of the suspect, but was able to describe his appearance to police.
Update at 2:05 p.m. on 7/8/11 — Two men have been charged with theft of the dirt bike, according to an Arlington County police report item.
GRAND LARCENY AUTO-ARREST, 07/07/11, 3800 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. On July 7 at 2:50 pm, two men stole a dirt bike from a business. Police apprehended both suspects. Reginald Jacobs, 25, of Arlington, and Raymond Young, 21, of Arlington were both charged with Grand Larceny of an Automobile. Young was held on a $500 bond and Jacobs was held on a $1,500 bond.
Community leaders marked the grand opening of The Macedonian (2229 Shirlington Road), a new mixed-use affordable housing development in Nauck (Green Valley), with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.
The $12 million development consists of 19 one bedroom and 17 two-bedroom apartments, as well as 2,000 square feet of commercial space for the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC) and a planned business incubator/shared work space. It was developed by AHC Inc. on land owned by the next-door Macedonia Baptist Church with county, state, federal, private and nonprofit financing.
While some of the attention surrounding the Macedonian is due to its environmentally-friendly features — it has a green roof and other energy-efficient accouterments, earning it the first EarthCraft Virginia certification for a multifamily development — the building’s real mission is the preservation and economic development of the diverse Nauck community against the pressures of higher rents and gentrification. The church, the county and BAJCDC have been fighting to keep Nauck affordable, and speakers today described the Macedonian as an important step in that continuing effort.
“There are more sheep to tend, there are more neighbors to help,” said David Bowers, Vice President of Enterprise Community Partners, which helped to fund the development. “Our work is not done.”
Attendees this morning included Rep. Jim Moran, County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin of the Macedonia Baptist Church and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker — a former Arlington resident and friend of Rev. Hamlin.
It’s easy to miss the unpretentious storefront of Margaret’s Soul Food and Catering Services, located at 2534 S. Shirlington Road in Arlington’s Green Valley (Nauck) neighborhood. But the down-home cooking inside the barred windows of the one-story brick building is worth the 10 minute walk from Shirlington.
The county-run Arlington Virginia Network recently visited Margaret’s and found a treasure trove of soulful cooking, including jerk chicken, BBQ ribs, pulled pork, Italian sausage, collard greens and potato salad — all made according to proprietor Margaret Gardner’s family recipes.
In the video, Gardner’s demeanor appears to be even sweeter than the tea she serves.
“In this business, honey, if you don’t crack a smile you won’t make a dime,” she told host Katie Greenan.
In addition to serving take-out customers (menu), Margaret’s caters events and is a regular vendor at the Arlington County Fair.
Despite his regular volunteer work, Salemme has apparently not entirely satisfied his do-gooding instinct. At age 59, the married father of five has embarked on a mission to volunteer in 50 states in 50 weeks, all before his 60th birthday.
“A friend of mine passed away recently and the pastor talked at the service about when we leave this earth there are two dates on your tombstone separated by a dash. He said that life is about what you do with the dash,” Salemme told the Mt. Airy News in North Carolina, where he’s helping to building a house. “I recently celebrated my 59th birthday and I wanted to do something big with the dash before I hit 60.”
Salemme, who lives in a Habitat home he helped to build in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood, is no stranger to publicity for his good works. In 2006, the Washington Post profiled him after he moved to Biloxi, Miss. to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Salemme, who had been working as a kitchen designer at the Home Depot in Falls Church, requested to be temporarily transferred to a store in Biloxi so he could spend his spare time rebuilding houses with the local Habitat chapter.
On his latest journey, Salemme has been to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. He often often relies on friends, churches and volunteers to help him find places to stay and food to eat.
So far Salemme has helped install kitchen cabinets for a family who miraculously survived a tornado, constructed an addition for a man paralyzed in a tornado and remodeled a foreclosed home for an unemployed truck driver. Through it all, Salemme has been maintaining a travel blog where he documents his experiences during his “year of service.”
Next on Salemme’s itinerary, according to the Mt. Airy News, is a a short stop back in Arlington before heading to Texas and points west.
Photo via TravelPod
Area Bars Ring In New Year’s With Ringing Cash Registers — Initial reports from the field suggest Arlington bars and restaurants did big business on New Year’s Eve. In particular, two Irish bars brought in plenty of green. Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse was crowded, he hear. Another tipster tells us that the cavernous Columbia Pike watering hole P. Brennan’s — which charged a $5 cover for an evening that included a champagne toast and live music — was so busy that it apparently ran out of glasses. Said our Pike partier: “Congrats to them… higher cover next year?”
HGTV Couple Moves to South Arlington – A recent episode of HGTV’s House Hunters featured a couple who ended up moving from a condo in the District to a house in the Shirlington Crest development, reports Shirlington Village Blog.
Arlington Man Arrested in N.C. Over Hair Gel Purchase — A 23-year-old Arlington man has been arrested in Burlington, N.C. and accused of trying to buy goods with counterfeit $100 bills. The man bought hair gel and conditioner at one store and was attempting to buy hand lotion at another store when he was arrested, police said. A local newspaper that reported the arrest listed an Arlington address for the man that, as far as we can tell, does not exist. More from the Greensboro News-Record.
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
A crew from Dateline NBC will be filming the evening mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in South Arlington on Saturday. The church is being featured for its upcoming humanitarian mission to Haiti.
A delegation of parishioners and Remote Area Medical volunteers will be leaving for a two-week trip to Medor, Haiti on Sunday. Together, the group will conduct a medical clinic for the cholera-ravaged town of 40,000. They will also repair roads and build an airstrip to allow air ambulances to deliver critical supplies.
“Medor has no running water, no sewage or trash disposal, impassable roads and inadequate agriculture,” the church said in a press release. “Like the rest of Haiti, the village has been devastated by a succession of hurricanes, earthquakes and now the deadly cholera epidemic this year.”
The earthquake and aftershocks that reduced Port au Prince to rubble earlier this year also damaged schools, medical clinics and churches in Medor. It also resulted in an influx of refugees to the area.
Our Lady Queen of Peace, located in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood, has supported missions in Medor since 1997.
The Dateline special is set to air on or around Jan. 12, the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.
(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) Bomb disposal crews used a remote-controlled robot to neutralize a suspicious device on 17th Street in Nauck, a block away from the busy intersection of South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
Explosive specialists determined that the device, which was white, cylindrical and had wires coming out of it, was a hoax, but only after they used an explosive charge to “interrupt” it.
Authorities were first notified of the device, which was placed between two cars on the side of the street, around 10:30 this morning.
The bomb squad arrived “and found what appeared to be an improvised explosive device,” according to Arlington Chief Fire Marshal Benjamin Barksdale. Authorities cordoned off the area and had dispatchers implement a “reverse 911,” which notified residents in the area about the situation and asked them to stay in their homes.
“From there we went through our normal procedures as to identifying exactly what we were dealing with… and from there neutralizing the object,” Barksdale said. Arlington first responders were joined by resources from neighboring jurisdictions, he said.
Barksdale said the last such bomb scare in Arlington happened 3-4 months ago in Crystal City, when a suspicious package was found and neutralized using the same procedures. That device also turned out to be a hoax.
Investigators will now focus on determining who might have been responsible for the device.
“We’ll be talking to people who live on the street to see if they saw anything suspicious, any individuals who don’t live in this neighborhood,” Barksdale said.
A tree trimmer had to be rescued by the fire department after a falling branch made contact with electrical lines. The incident happened around 12:30 this afternoon, near the intersection of 24th Road and Shirlington Road in Nauck.
The man was about 25 feet up in the tree when the branch made contact. Dispatchers were told that he was receiving electrical shocks every time he tried to move.
An Arlington County Fire Department ladder truck, rescue squad and medic unit were on scene as Dominion shut off power to the wires and the surrounding neighborhood. The ladder was then directed toward the man, and he was hoisted into the basket by two firefighters. Back down on the ground, the man handed his chainsaw off to firefighters and walked into the back of the ambulance, apparently in good health.
Outside Pardus’ home on South Kenmore Street in Nauck tonight, a steady stream of reporters and television news crews stopped by to interview neighbors about the man who just hours earlier was the biggest story on the national news.
Pardus had allegedly shot a doctor in the abdomen at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after becoming “emotionally distressed” about the prognosis for his ailing, elderly mother. Then, as police surrounded the hospital room he had holed up in, Pardus fatally shot his mother, then himself.
“It’s just unbelievable, it really is,” said Pardus’ next-door neighbor, Theresa Green. “He was a really nice guy.”
Neighbor Ronald Day said Pardus lived with his mother, was unmarried, had no kids, and was an only child. He said Day and his mother had lived in the small house on Kenmore Street for at least three years.
“He really loved his mother, he really did,” Day said. “He cared a whole lot about her… the only thing he was his mother.”
Day said the mother had become ill recently, prompting Pardus, a MetroAccess driver, to check on her often.
“He always came back to see if she was okay,” Day said.
But others weren’t as charitable in their assessment of the 50-year-old man who was only seen when coming or going from work or when doing yard work.
“He was just weird,” said Elaine Green. “We kept our distance.”
“It’s very surprising, but I wouldn’t put it past him… you never know what someone’s capable of,” she said.