Park Activists Taking It Too Far? — Residents pushing for the Arlington School Board to scrap a plan to build a new elementary school on parkland next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School might have taken their effort to preserve parkland too far. Activists reportedly placed “Save TJ Park” signs in the yards of some school board members overnight before the vote on a new Arlington Public Schools Capital Improvement Plan. School-related activism “seems to be getting out of hand,” writes Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey. [InsideNova]
HOV Enforcement Today — Virginia State Police, Arlington County Police and other D.C. area law enforcement agencies are conducting an HOV enforcement campaign today on I-395, I-66 and other local highways. The enforcement took place during the morning rush hour and will take place again during the evening rush hour. [Associated Press]
WETA Takes Ownership of ‘NewsHour’ — Shirlington-based public TV station WETA has taken ownership of the PBS NewsHour from longtime owner MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. The NewsHour is produced at WETA studios in Shirlington, but has lately been struggling to raise funds for its $25-30 million budget. [New York Times]
This evening, the running club is throwing its fifth anniversary party at its usual post-run watering hole, Bungalow Sports Grill (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive). The club’s runners participate in its 5K runs on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., then heads to the restaurant for happy hour.
Mirentxu Meyer and Shirley Santos founded the running club when Santos was training for a triathlon, and, seeing as how they “hated to run,” they figured they would start a community group to make it a little more fun.
“Shirlington is a really young place with new families,” Meyer said. “We [saw] a lot of cuties out at the grocery store and we wanted to bring them out.”
The club was designed as a “not too intimidating and not too easy group,” and it’s grown exponentially as runners sign up to have their attendance tracked, earn free T-shirts with attendance milestones and enjoy a few beers with their running counterparts at Bungalow. Meyer said people “don’t have to be a runner” to join the club, and their attendance will still be taken.
Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. the party will include raffles with prizes like free tickets to a show at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, a shoe fitting with New Balance and 10 vendors on hand to offer their wares to members both new and old.
There will be a rain date later this week — yet to be announced — if the run is cancelled due to the inclement weather in the forecast, but that won’t stop the carousing. Four years ago, at SRC’s first anniversary party, the skies opened up during the raffles, Meyer said.
“All of a sudden there was a big crack and there was a crazy downpour,” she said. “There was no power left, but the beer kept pouring.”
Photo via Shirlington Running Club. Morgan Fecto contributed to this report.
The Shirlala Music Festival begins June 12 with urban folk rock artist Justin Trawick, performing in the plaza in front of Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Avenue) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The concerts will take place every Thursday through August 21.
The festival will also include a weekly $5 wine tasting, with the proceeds going to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center. The concerts themselves are free for the public.
Here is the schedule of performers:
- June 12 — Justin Trawick (urban folk rock)
- June 19 — The Morrison Brothers (Southern rock)
- June 26 — King Teddy (swing)
- July 3 — Taylor Carson (acoustic rock)
- July 10 — Down Wilson (pop rock cover band)
- July 17 — Scott Paddock (jazz)
- July 24 — Ewabo (tropical steel drums)
- July 31 — The Shack Band (Southern funk)
- Aug. 7 — Paul Pfau (pop, rock & blues)
- Aug. 14 — Lloyd Dobler Effect (80s & 90s cover band)
- Aug. 21 — Dan Haas Trio (pop rock)
JetBlue Adding Service from DCA — JetBlue Airlines will begin direct service from Reagan National Airport to Charleston, S.C.; Hartford, Conn.; and Nassau, Bahamas on June 19. On July 2 the airline will add a second daily flight between DCA and Tampa. [InsideNova]
Beyer Accused of Using Car Dealership Ads to Boost Campaign — Del. Patrick Hope is accusing fellow Democratic congressional candidate Don Beyer of trying to “buy an election” and increase his name recognition by increasing ad buys for his eponymous Don Beyer Volvo dealership. Hope’s campaign says radio station WAMU has pulled ads for Don Beyer Volvo until after the June 10 primary. [Blue Virginia]
Celebrity Spotting in Shirlington — Actor and director Beau Bridges was reportedly spotted having dinner at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington this past Friday night. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber
Construction was being performed on the interior of the store today. That construction is expected to wrap up and the new Peet’s coffee shop is expected to open “in approximately 6 weeks,” according to Molly Hippolitus, a spokeswoman for the Village at Shirlington shopping center.
Minneapolis-based Caribou announced last year that it would be closing about half of its stores and converting the others to the California-based Peet’s brand.
The former Caribou location in Crystal City was originally expected to become a Peet’s store, but is instead becoming a new We, the Pizza location. The pizza shop from celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn is expected to open any day now.
‘Most Clarendon Craigslist Ad Ever’ — Is this listing for rooms in a house in the Clarendon-Courthouse area, which starts out with the greeting “Whasup Craiglist,” the “most Clarendon Craigslist ad ever,” as our tipster puts it? According to the listing, two people are leaving the four-person house and the remaining residents “are looking for new members [to add] to our wolfpack.” [Craigslist, Twitter]
Arlington Is 2nd Most Affordable for Car Insurance — A website says Arlington has the second most-affordable car insurance in the country. The ranking is based on the average insurance rate for a Ford F-150 as a percentage of the county’s median income. [Nerd Wallet]
SpringFest in Shirlington Tomorrow — Campbell Avenue in Shirlington will be closed to traffic tomorrow (Saturday) for the first annual Mid-Atlantic SpringFest beer festival. It costs $30 for tickets to sample the festival’s brews, which are being provided by more than 45 breweries. [Capitol City Brewing]
Summer Opening Eyed for Silver Line — After a series of delays, Metro is hoping to open the first phase of the Silver Line at some point this summer. [Reston Now]
ACPD Participating in Prescription Drug Take-Back — From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday), Arlington County Police will participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Those who have expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs lying around can bring them to one of three Arlington fire stations to have the medication safely disposed of, no questions asked. [Arlington County]
A new cajun seafood restaurant has opened in Shirlington Village at 4251 Campbell Avenue.
The restaurant is called Blue Sea Seafood and Bar, and it’s located in the former Bear Rock Cafe space. The concept behind it is “to make sure people were getting a great portion, great price and great food,” general manager Jonathan Theriault told ARLnow.com.
The restaurant opened to the public yesterday. Its menu features Cajun classics like pecan-crusted catfish and crab cakes, with entrees ranging from $18 to $31. The food and drink menu will change seasonally.
Theriault, who comes to Arlington from the Miami restaurant scene, said his team worked hard to create a cool, welcoming ambiance.
“I would like to think the restaurant has [a Miami vibe,]” Theriault said. “You walk in, you get the blue on the floor on the walls, so you feel a little Miami-ish but with a New Orleans background, too… The ambiance is hard to find something done this nicely anywhere around.”
Theriault said he hopes Blue Sea’s Shirlington restaurant is the first of multiple locations. The restaurant will eventually have outdoor seating and host live music on Saturday nights. Blue Sea plans to offer specials like all-you-can-eat shrimp and crab events and raw bar nights.
The site near Shirlington that was once eyed for an urban-style Walmart appears on its way to becoming a self-storage facility.
The site, at 2631 Shirlington Road, is currently occupied by Redman Fleet Services, a towing and truck service company that has a contract with the Arlington County Police Department. Big box retailer Walmart was thinking about building a store there in 2011, which prompted the County Board to change its zoning ordinance so it could regulate the design and plans for Walmart or other “big box” retailers.
The plans for the Walmart ultimately fell through, and the run-down two-story warehouse and large car storage lot on 2631 Shirlington Road remain. The building, however, has been approved for demolition and, in its place, a five-story facility referred to as “Shirlington Self Storage” has been proposed to take its place.
The self-storage facility’s building permit has been approved by county staff, but the zoning application was tentatively rejected in its last review by staff, which said an ongoing subdivision process needs to be completed before the zoning can be approved.
Hat tip to Preservation Arlington
Crow penned the music and lyrics while the movie’s writer and director, Barry Levinson, wrote the book (musicals’ version of a script), according to Variety. The entertainment publication reports that the musical will debut at Signature (4200 Campbell Ave.) from Dec. 9 to Jan. 25.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show was scheduled to open on Broadway twice before delays and may still end up there, depending on the show’s performance at Signature. The show will be directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (“Anything Goes,” “The Pajama Game,” “Wonderful Town”).
Set in Baltimore in 1959, the musical is based on Levinson’s 1982 debut feature about burgeoning adulthood, which follows a group of former high school buddies who reunite in their twenties at their favorite hangout as one of them prepares to get married. The movie’s ensemble cast included Kevin Bacon,Ellen Barkin and Mickey Rourke.
Levinson adapted the book for the show from his Oscar-nominated screenplay, while Crow wrote the music and lyrics, marking the first foray into musical theater for both.
A pre-Broadway tryout for Diner originally was announced to play San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in fall 2012, and a Broadway opening was scheduled to follow in spring 2013. That target was later pushed back to last fall, with an out-of-town tryout being scrapped in favor of further workshops. However, that plan also failed to come together.
Photo via Signature Theatre
Irish PM Visits Shirlington — Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny visited Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street) in Shirlington over the weekend to watch an Irish rugby game. The Taoiseach, as the position of Irish prime minister is also called, is in the U.S. celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. [Facebook, The Independent]
County Board Approves Ashlawn Addition Revision — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a revised plan for an addition to Ashlawn Elementary School but not before making Arlington Public Schools officials explain how the project went wrong. Local residents have complained about several aspects of the plan, including tree removal the building of a parking lot. [InsideNoVa]
‘Intersection of Doom’ Left Out of Rosslyn Planning — A draft Rosslyn sector plan framework doesn’t include any solutions for the so-called “intersection of doom” — the intersection of N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway that has been the site of numerous pedestrian and bicyclist vs. vehicle accidents. Some believe a pedestrian tunnel or bridge may be the best solution for the busy intersection. [Greater Greater Washington]
County Board Approves New Synthetic Field Surface — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved up to $701,000 to replace a 10-year-old synthetic turf field at Wakefield High School. [Sun Gazette]
Photo courtesy @mindpivot
The event, the inaugural Springfest, is planned for Saturday, April 26 from noon to 7:00 p.m. Forty-five breweries, almost exclusively from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, are expected to pour their brews at booths. According to Capitol City Director of Brewing Operations Kristi Griner, the format will be the same as Capitol City’s annual Octoberfest, but the event will be smaller.
Partygoers can pay $30, which will give them a wristband and 10 tasting tickets. Additional tickets are $1 apiece, but must be bought at least five at a time. The event will likely shut down Campbell Avenue in Shirlington Village, although specifics about road closures have not been determined.
In addition to the beer, Griner said she expects neighboring Shirlington restaurants, like Copperwood Tavern and Samuel Beckett’s to participate and offer food to the festival patrons. DJ Julius, who hosts Capitol City’s karaoke nights, will provide the music. The taps will be turned off at 6:00 p.m.
“We’re trying to do something to help stir up the first quarter,” Griner said. “But spring is here, and especially after this winter in particular, everybody is ready to get outside. It seemed like a good bookend to winter with our Oktoberfest.”
Capitol City’s annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest was most recently held in Shirlington on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Shirlington.
The robbery occurred around 12:15 p.m. at the BB&T Bank branch at 2700 S. Quincy Street. Two men in ski masks robbed the bank while armed with at least one handgun.
“At least one of the robbers was armed and jumped the teller counter to obtain money from teller drawers,” police said. “After obtaining the money, both subjects exited the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.”
Investigators could be seen on the ramp from Shirlington Circle to I-395 photographing and picking up a large amount of cash, stained red from a dye pack, on the side of the road. Police scanner traffic also reported that a gun was thrown out of the getaway vehicle on Shirlington Circle, as the suspects fled northbound on I-395 toward D.C.
Four bank employees and three customers were inside at the time of the robbery. Two customers who werethere spoke to reporters after coming out of the bank. They saw the men with their masks and a gun and said they were “very scared.” Customers and bank employees were herded into the bank vault during the robbery, the customers said.
Immediately following the robbery, police were told to be on the lookout for two black males, approximately 30-35 years of age, driving a large blue SUV with D.C. tags.
“Subject one is described as a tall male wearing a dark colored jacket, black ski mask that covered his head, grey or light colored gloves, grey pants and a black backpack,” police said. “Subject two is described as wearing a dark colored jacket with a grey hooded sweatshirt underneath that was pulled over his head and a ski mask covering his face and light colored gloves.”
From an ACPD press release:
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of these bank robbers.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Arlington County, Virginia, Police Department are investigating this bank robbery and request that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or Detective Cynthia Garcia with the Arlington County Police Department at 703.228.4195 or email@example.com To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Resolution Honors Arlington’s First Female Judge — The Virginia House of Delegates has passed a resolution honoring Eleanor Spence Dobson, Arlington’s first female judge. Dobson served in the General District Court from 1982 to 1997. She passed away on September 18, 2013. The resolution honoring Dobson was sponsored by Del. Patrick Hope (D). Another Hope-sponsored resolution, honoring the late Arlington civic activist Robert Atkins, is scheduled to come to the House floor on Friday. [Sun Gazette]
Chick-fil-A ‘Date Knight’ Returns — Missed your chance to go on a medieval-themed fast food date with your mom last year? Good news: Chick-fil-A is once again holding its Mother-Son Date Knight at Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Blvd). The food court eatery is one of the participating Chick-fil-A locations nationwide that are hosting the whimsical event. As of last night there were still a dozen reservations available for the event, which is being held the evening of Monday, Feb. 10. The Crystal City Chick-fil-A location has already sold out of its Date Knight reservations. [Chick-fil-A]
Starr Hill Brewing Tasting Tonight — Virginia brewery Starr Hill will be holding a complimentary tasting tonight. The event is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Ave). Reservations are required. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Blue Sea will specialize in “spicy Cajun seafood,” according to its website, offering such dishes as crawfish tails, fried frog legs (called “swamp wings” and tossed in a Creole BBQ sauce), catfish nuggets (served with “chef’s redneck sauce”), lobster mac and cheese, seafood gumbo and “breaded Florida alligator tail.” For the health conscious, there’s also a soup and salad menu.
Blue Sea’s general manager tells ARLnow.com that the restaurant is still hiring and is hoping to open in time for Valentine’s Day.
Chamber Doesn’t Support ‘Kings Dominion Rule’ Change — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is supporting two out of three items on Arlington Public Schools’ 2014 state legislative agenda. The chamber supports in-state tuition for immigrant students who are working toward legal status in the U.S., and higher state funding for Northern Virginia schools. It did not support, however, a change in the law that would allow Virginia school systems to start school before Labor Day. [Sun Gazette]
Another John Boehner Spotting at Guapo’s — Speaker of the House John Boehner was again spotted at Guapo’s restaurant in Shirlington last week, just a couple of days after a bipartisan budget deal was announced. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Satisfaction with ART Grows — An Arlington County-sponsored survey revealed that 90 percent of riders are satisfied with Arlington Transit bus service. “The survey results show that the investments we made to expand this service, not only in main arteries but also deep into residential neighborhoods, have paid off with riders,” said County Board Chair Walter Tejada, in a press release. [Arlington County]