28°Snow

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Light snowflakes fell on Arlington County in the early afternoon, with some sticking to grassy areas.

The snow began around lunchtime, and at 1:30 p.m. the National Weather Service tweeted that the main concern is a “thin slippery layer on untreated roads.” Anyone driving home this afternoon and evening should be careful of any slick conditions.

Snow accumulated mostly around the bases of trees and on places where people were not walking, with many sidewalks slick but not seeing much accumulation.

NWS issued a Special Weather Statement around 11 p.m. yesterday (Thursday) warning of a hazardous commute.

The Virginia Department of Transportation pre-treated roads earlier today, and will continue to do so as needed through the evening rush hour, as will local crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services.

In a press release, VDOT urged drivers to:

  • Continue to check weather forecasts as storm timing, area, and intensity can change. Temperatures are below freezing now and are only predicted to peak at 33 degrees around 4 p.m. before immediately dropping below freezing again.
  • Remember that Friday afternoon rush hour begins much earlier than the rest of the week. Consider making your trips early, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, and if conditions are icy, avoid driving for safety.
  • Watch for plow trucks. They are very heavy and drive slower in order to treat roads effectively.
  • Do not overdrive conditions. Assume all roads that appear wet are slick.
  • Reduce your speed and always use your headlights.
  • Take it slow on bridges, ramps, and overpasses, and other known trouble spots.
  • Ensure gas tanks and windshield wiper fluid tanks are full.

The Capital Weather Gang reported that snow could continue to fall for another couple of hours in some areas.

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Construction crews have moved into the Dominion Arms apartment building as major renovations begin.

The building at 333 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights is set for renovations inside according to permit applications filed with the county. This will include converting 2,400 square feet of retail space on the building’s first floor into amenity space for residents.

Six laundry or storage areas will be converted into residential units, while the sprinklers and fire alarms will get an upgrade and the building’s roof will be repaired. Several trees will also be removed.

To prepare for the project, which appears to have shuttered the entire building, first-floor businesses have moved out. That included the likes of a barber shop, dry cleaners and convenience store. The entire site has been fenced off by the construction crews.

Several readers had asked whether the building would be “razed,” but no demolition permits have been filed.

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

The amphitheater at Fairlington Park is set to be replaced by a playground in the park’s final phase of renovations.

The final phase for the park at 3308 S. Stafford Street includes a playground for children in the 2-5 and 5-12 age groups, outdoor fitness equipment, a picnic area, improved ADA accessibility, furniture, landscaping, and improvements to drainage and stormwater management.

It marks the completion of a project that began in 2010 with the first round of renovations to the park. The Arlington County Board will vote on the final phase at its meeting tomorrow (Saturday).

During construction, the athletic field would be closed. County staff said they are “working with the Fairlington Creative Preschoolers Program and Fairlington Cooperative Playgroup to identify other spaces in the park that can be used for children’s play while the new playground is being constructed.”

“The outdoor amenities for Fairlington Park are past their life expectancy and are in need of replacement,” staff wrote in a report on the project. “Through meetings with program staff and feedback during the public engagement, it was determined that the existing amphitheater does not get much use. Rather than replace the amphitheater, it was determined that it will be removed as part of the project to make additional room for the playground.”

The Board will vote on whether to award a contract worth just over $1.9 million for the park renovations, with just over $190,000 in contingency for change orders. Staff recommended approval.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm 0

Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.

Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here are a few highlights:

3117 1ST Street North
7 bed/6 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Molly Branson
Listed: $1,599,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2014 Westmoreland Street
3 bed/2 bath, 1 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Keri Shull
Listed: $925,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

822 Buchanan Street
3 bed/1 bath single-family home
Agent: Keri Shull
Listed: $749,900
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

3409 Wilson Boulevard, #605
2 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: Gerard Muskus
Listed: $614,900
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

1029 Stuart Street , #703
2 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: Christine Vanderhyde
Listed: $579,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

3737 Four Mile Run Drive
3 bed/2 bath single-family home
Agent: Dina Gorrell
Listed: $399,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2911-D Woodley Street , #4
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Bradley Wisley
Listed: $249,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 15, 2017 at 11:55 am 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery (LCCB) — “Virginia’s Farm Brewery” — opened its doors in September 2013 northwest of Richmond in Goochland, VA; and has continued growing its capabilities and offerings ever since. I first became aware of LCCB in 2013 when they grew a large Instagram following with nothing but photos of their first plantings and the construction of their brewery building. It was clear then that this was a unique brewery.

The brewery and its farm is “water-conscious and biologically friendly,” they use well water and they reintroduce purified waste water back into the Lickinghole Creek watershed. A main aspect of their mission is to begin with their farm for the ingredients they need, then outsource for those that they cannot get. In fact, its Estate Series was created to use as many LCCB-grown ingredients as possible. While their other beers may not be made from ingredients grown on their own farm, they are often sourced from local farms or providers.

Their conscience doesn’t stop at their borders either. In fact, philanthropy has its own page on LCCB’s website. According to the page, 2017 saw donations of $5,000 to benefit the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services’ Domestic Violence Prevention and Housing Program. They go on to list the even longer list of beneficiaries from 2016 and 2015. It’s a core value for LCCB. Now, they are canning flagship beers that are each linked to a cause that is near and dear to LCCB’s heart. With these new year-round cans, craft beer drinkers can do good and drink good all year long.

Maidens Blonde Ale (4.5% ABV)

Named for the Maidens Landing James River watershed, the area that Lickinghole Creek feeds into. In fact, portions of the proceeds of this beer go to funding the clean up of the James River. Blonde ales always seem like the light lagers of the ale world. Do you know what I mean? They’re usually simple and malty. Refreshing, but never terribly exciting. LCCB’s new flagship blonde is like the style’s cooler cousin. Pear and green apple team up with frosted flakes in the aroma. This ale is clean and crisp — malt balanced by floral hops. Maidens is a pleasant beer fit for just about any beer drinker.

Scarlet Honey Hoppy Red Ale (4.9% ABV)

An ode to the main pollinator of our food crops, bees, Scarlet Honey uses honey from the Lickinghole Creek Estate. This beer is helping to protect Virginia’s bees. The key word here is “hoppy.” Very pleasantly, Scarlet Honey smells of Christmas trees and wheat bread. That doesn’t sound that great, but for a red ale — typically malty — this is tasty. The piney hops overpower the malt, resulting in an ale that’s essentially a red IPA. I could see stocking up on this sessionable ale throughout the Winter to off set the strong, seasonal beers. (more…)

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A Ballston-based burger restaurant hopes to open its second location in Shirlington early next year.

According to its website, Big Buns Damn Good Burgers & Bar will open at 4251 Campbell Ave in January. In the build-up to its opening, Big Buns is offering various gift cards to its new location, including a year-long membership for $150.

For $5,000, someone can buy free burgers for life and burger naming rights on an “epic new Designer Burger for Shirlington.”

“Oh it gets better, every time you visit Big Buns Shirlington to see your name and in the bright big burger lights, you eat for free, forever,” the website reads.

Big Buns — not to be confused with existing Shirlington bakery Best Buns — serves customizable burgers, “designer” burgers with pre-chosen ingredients and burger bowls, where the meat and toppings are served without buns.

Elsewhere in Shirlington, Dudley’s Sport and Ale (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive) continues to move steadily towards an opening.

Yesterday (Wednesday), owner Reese Gardner posted on the sports bar’s Facebook page that the steel columns and beams have been installed, and that it passed two of six county inspections.

“Once the rest of the structure is assembled and inspected we will be able to have a very clear timeline,” Gardner wrote. “Thanks for hanging with us.”

Construction Update:The steel columns & beams have been delivered and partially installed. We passed two of the six…

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

by ARLnow.com December 15, 2017 at 10:35 am 0

Voting is underway in the contest to decide which vehicle decal design will wind up on on the windshields of more than 150,000 vehicles in Arlington County next year.

Arlington residents can each cast an online ballot on the county treasurer’s website through Monday, Jan. 15. This year, voters are being asked to rank each of the four finalists from 1 to 4, with 1 being their favorite and 4 their least favorite.

(As in previous years, the designs are submitted by local high school students.)

Go get a sense of which design might emerge victorious, we are conducting our own informal poll of Arlingtonians. Vote below for your favorite and we’ll compare our poll results to the final results, when the results are announced late next month.

by ARLnow.com December 15, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Chamber Calls for Pause on Housing Conservation District — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is calling for the Arlington County Board to pump the brakes on a proposed Housing Conservation District policy, set for a vote at tomorrow’s Board meeting. The Chamber says the policy would affect more than 450 privately-owned properties. “The County’s failure to provide any notice to property owners that would be affected by the Framework is inconsistent with Arlington’s established government process and the level of transparency the community has come to depend on,” said Chamber President Kate Bates. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Carlin Springs Bridge Work to ResumeDemolition of the Carlin Springs Road Bridge over George Mason Drive was curtailed by winter weather last weekend, but is set to resume this weekend. Drivers should expect a number of detours in the area. [Twitter]

Fisette Tribute Packs Local Church — “A Dec. 13 tribute to departing Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette was about 90 percent heartfelt thanks for his 20 years of service in elected office. And about 10 percent celebrity roast.” The event was so well-attended that the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington was filled to capacity by those whom Fisette has not yet convinced to take the Car-Free Diet. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Gossip: Britt McHenry Back on Local Airwaves? — A noted local Twitter user who goes by the name “Clarendon Bros” shared some local TV gossip last night, claiming that Britt McHenry was seen auditioning for a job at Fox 5. McHenry at one point lived in Arlington — it is unclear if she still does — and had a well-publicized run-in with local towing company Advanced Towing. [Twitter]

Fox Leaves Crystal City BID — “After more than a decade running the Crystal City Business Improvement District, Angela Fox is stepping down. The BID’s board of directors announced Fox’s departure Thursday, but has not named a permanent replacement.” [Bisnow]

Local Homebuilder Getting Bigger — “Arlington-based homebuilder CalAtlantic Homes is purchasing Home South Communities, a privately held homebuilder based in the Atlanta area. CalAtlantic itself is in the midst of a $9.3 billion merger with Miami’s Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), expected to close early next year.” [Washington Business Journal]

Realtor Group Extends Clothing and Food Drive — “Despite the weather, the first community wide drop off for the Arlington Realtors Care (ARC) initiative, held on Saturday, Dec. 9 was a great success. ARC is sponsoring a second community wide drop off date scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16 at RGS Title.” [Press Release]

by Christina Sturdivant December 15, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

Photo by Tim Brown

Young poet has advice for Trump, Dupont Circle restaurant will close after 10 years of service, beer and wine approved for Soviet Safeway, and other news of the day over in the District.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 15, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Even in the holiday season, people still need to buy and sell homes. Between shopping and hanging decorations, 34 buyers ratified contracts this week while 28 sellers listed their homes for sale. Arlington’s real estate market just never stops. Of the 34 homes sold, seven sold within a week and six sold for $1 million or more.

Interest rates remained virtually unchanged with just a slight drop by two basis points to 3.98% for a 30-yr fixed rate. The Fed raised its short term rate for only the third time in 2017 to 1.5%. This doesn’t directly affect mortgage rates, but it does affect consumer rates like credit card debt.

The elephant in the room this week effecting the housing market is the latest tax reform plan in Congress. The House and Senate have reached a compromise plan that could be put to a vote next week. Key elements are:

— Allow mortgage interest deduction up to $750,000 debt on owner occupied home
— Double the estate tax exemption up to $11.2 million
— Keep deductions for medical expenses and student loan interest
— Keep deductions for teacher expenses for school supplies

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

by ARLnow.com December 14, 2017 at 11:35 pm 0

Forecasters are warning of the potential for wintry weather and a hazardous Friday evening commute.

The snow threat prompted the National Weather Service to issue the following Special Weather Statement around 11 p.m. Thursday.

…POTENTIAL WINTER COMMUTING HAZARD FOR THE BALTIMORE / WASHINGTON METRO AREAS FRIDAY AFTERNOON…

There is a potential for hazardous commuting conditions for the Friday afternoon commute. Light snow (with potential large impact due to sub-freezing road temperatures) is POSSIBLE between 1pm and 5pm Friday afternoon. There is a 50 percent chance of snow for Washington and Baltimore. If there is accumulation, it is expected to be less than an inch.

If this threat of light snow on frigid roads does materialize Friday afternoon, the Friday afternoon rush-hour could quickly turn icy on untreated road surfaces. This could lead to hazardous traveling conditions, multiple accidents, and extensive delays.

If you plan on commuting Friday afternoon, be aware of the POSSIBILITY of travel disruptions and icy roads. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.

Stay tuned for updates on this potential winter weather episode.

The local NWS office also included a link to the following video, with more information about the threat.

by Chris Teale December 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A wood fire kitchen and whiskey bar on Columbia Pike will close at the end of the year, staff confirmed.

Marble and Rye at 2501 Columbia Pike will close on December 31. A staff member said it will shutter after Sunday brunch that day. Staff in the restaurant declined to comment on a reason for the closure.

It opened in late 2015 at the Penrose Square property, replacing RedRocks Neapolitan Bistro.

The menu features pasta, pizza and seafood dishes as well as sandwiches and burgers. It has more than 150 different whiskeys and whiskey-based cocktails, in addition to its wine and beer selection.

When it opened, Marble and Rye had been hailed as part of a growth of whiskey bars on Columbia Pike.

Events company Magnolia Open Mics will host its final open mic night at Marble and Rye this Sunday (December 17), in conjunction with the Songwriters Association of Washington. The event begins at 6 p.m., and includes a raffle.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm 0

ARLnow is co-sponsoring Santa Paws, a holiday event this Saturday at Latitude Apartments in Virginia Square.

Bring your pup — or your cat — and enjoy pet photos with Santa, a grooming raffle courtesy of Puppy Luv, an apple cider bar and some ARL stickers (and potentially other fun, pet appropriate ARLnow stuff).

When: Saturday, December 16 from 1-3 p.m
Where: Latitude Apartments, 3601 Fairfax Drive

The event is free, but register here to reserve your spot.

This events supports the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which cares for more than 2,000 animals each year. Latitude is accepting doggy donations at the event on behalf of AWLA. Check out their Christmas wish list for regularly used items that are in need at the shelter.

by Mark Kelly December 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Those of us with kids in school are just one week away from the start of our break, but there is still a lot going on in the world of politics.

Congress continues its work to finalize tax reform and spending bills. The County Board will meet two more times before saying goodbye to Jay Fisette.

Recounts are ongoing to finalize the November 7 election results for the General Assembly. And Governor-elect Ralph Northam is continuing his transition.

Let’s be honest. Most of us are much more worried about finishing, or starting, our Christmas shopping. After we take part in our holiday celebrations, we will move on to some reflection on the year gone by as well as to making those hopeful New Year’s resolutions, plans and goals.

Number one for many of us might be to put down our phone for 30 to 60 minutes more each day to have better personal interactions with family and friends. It might keep some out of pointless political arguments on Facebook. It might prevent you from tweeting something you later regret. Or maybe it will just help lay off the cat videos on YouTube.

For the elected leaders in Arlington, could you just one time acknowledge that holding tax rates the same does not mean you are not raising taxes.

Our county is really flush with taxpayer dollars for you to spend, so can you eliminate “shortfall” from your budget vocabulary? Or maybe could you resolve to not borrow money just because you can and maybe pay for things we can afford now.

For the General Assembly in Richmond, it looks like you will have one vote margins in both the House and Senate. Can you resolve to spend your time and political capital on the things that have the most impact on our everyday lives?

Transportation, education, and moves that help our economy grow so people can find well paid jobs that have healthcare benefits rather than relying on Medicaid or Obamacare would be a good place to start.

Last week the Progressive Voice, included this paragraph about positive leadership from our elected officials:

On a national level, perhaps not. But in Virginia and Arlington, we have an opportunity — an obligation, even — to lead in just that get-it-done way, despite the harmful policies some office-holders are pushing nationally. Democratic elected officials in Arlington hold the majority, Virginia’s new governor and newly-elected crop of state delegates have buoyed our spirits and options for problem-solving.

I hope this was not a suggestion that only Democrats can solve problems. Not only would it not be true, but it would not be helpful in achieving the stated goal. Maybe we can all resolve to look for the good in our political opponents whenever possible and trust that we share the common goal of advocating for the best interests of the people even when we disagree on how to get there.

by Progressive Voice December 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.

By Matt de Ferranti

In August, I wrote a column outlining positive progressive ideas for our County to keep Arlington a great place to live.

In today’s column, I offer a second set of proposals to address our needs in transportation, for our parks and open space, and for energy efficiency policies to confront climate change.

For many Arlingtonians, location and accessible transportation brought us here. Generations came to Colonial Village or Lyon Park and stayed. Others remained in the County, but moved west from their apartments, condos, and homes along the Orange Line in Rosslyn or Ballston, or in Crystal City, or on Columbia Pike. To keep our transportation network strong, I suggest several actions.

A Dedicated Funding Stream for Metro: Metro has been at the heart of many decisions to move here. Because this service is indispensable for so many Arlingtonians and our economy, we should be steadfast in our commitment to a dedicated funding stream for Metro.

Data Driven, Common-Sense Transportation Decisions: As we make decisions on County transportation issues, such as improvements to bus service on Columbia Pike or Lee Highway, the relocation of the Virginia Rail Station stop near the Airport, and the balance between parking and bike lanes in Crystal City, we should base our decisions on data and common-sense analysis.

Arlington should also be willing to consider new ideas such as, for example, whether agreements with ride-services such as Lyft may be cost-effective on little used bus routes. We should always ask: What works and where are smart investments most needed?

Make Good on our Commitments to Columbia Pike Bus Service: Four years ago, we committed to improving bus service on Columbia Pike. Last month, the County Board approved funding to begin the work to make that happen. We should accelerate that work and look to off-board fares and multiple doors as ways to speed up the Pike’s bus service. Both would require investment and need further analysis, but neither implicates a dedicated lane and they show real potential.

Continue with I-66 Express Lanes, but Use Data to Adjust if Necessary: Tolls on I-66 have been controversial. Before we rush to judgment, let’s acknowledge that it is only in its first weeks. I agree with the The Washington Post‘s argument that we should stick with the toll system.

The funding for improvements that Arlington’s transportation system will receive through the toll revenue generated by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission will include roads, bus service, and other multimodal transportation improvements. We need these improvements and should stick with the plan, while being ready to seek changes to the timing of rush hour, for example, if necessary.

The quality of our parks has been a hallmark of Arlington and a shared source of joy. From those who walk our trails, to bicyclists on the Loop, to the fields that so many Arlingtonians use to play their sport of choice, to open space in increasingly short supply, we care about our environment.

Balance All our Needs: Space is costly in Arlington, so we must invest wisely. The Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP) currently under consideration has and will identify new needs and ideas, and will help clarify a big-picture sense of the competing needs we face – including lighted sports fields and the need for free open space.

Aquatics Center at Long Bridge Park: The County Board made the right decision late last month to fund a significantly more cost-effective proposal for a swimming facility and improvements at Long Bridge Park. Demand for a swimming facility has been widespread for a long time. Arlington voters have already approved the funding for construction via bond measures. We should fund operations for this facility that will benefit County residents for years to come.

Climate Change: Underlying our choices on open space and parks is a defining challenge of the 21st Century — climate change. Arlington’s energy plan was adopted in June 2013 to provide “a long-term vision for transforming how we generate, use, and distribute energy.” The plan calls for using locally generated alternative energy and energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gases and the cost of energy. Its goal is a 75 percent lower carbon footprint by 2050. Significant progress has already been made. We should continue to work to meet our 2050 goal.

Conclusion

Arlington can and should be both fiscally sound and supportive of wise investments in transportation, parks and open space, and policies to address climate change.

Matt de Ferranti is a member of the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission, is Chair of the Budget Advisory Council to the Arlington School Board, and Vice Chair of the Housing Commission.

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