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by ARLnow.com — February 5, 2016 at 4:50 pm 0

The 2016 Crystal Couture fashion show and boutique sale is underway in Crystal City.

This year, the show is taking place at the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive. It features models walking the runway, sporting cutting edge fashions from local designers. There’s also music from DJ Neekola, a bar with beer and wine, and pop-up shops from designers and retailers.

Above are some photos from Thursday night’s event.

Crystal Couture will be taking place Friday from 6-10 p.m., with television’s Paul Wharton hosting, and Saturday from 2-10 p.m., with 94.7 Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly hosting. Local media personality Sarah Fraser hosted on Thursday.

(Fraser will also be hosting ARLnow.com’s conversation with new County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey next week.)

Saturday’s event includes the option for indulging in a VIP experience.

Disclosure: Crystal Couture host Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by Tim Regan — February 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

APS Enrollment Report screenshot 2

The number of PreK-12 students enrolled in Arlington Public Schools is expected to surpass 30,000 in 2022 after steadily rising for years, according to APS in its newly released enrollment report.

School officials say 25,238 students were enrolled as of Sept. 30, 2015, the first time since 1969 that APS has reached the 25,000 student milestone. By 2017, the school projects 27,491 students will have enrolled, an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous year. And steady growth continues from there: The school says its student body will grow by at least 2.5 percent until the 2021-2022 school year, when it’s expected to surpass 30,700 students.

According to APS, the total number of enrolled students “has risen at an unprecedented high growth pattern since 2008.” Since fall 2005, the number of students has grown by more than 6,800 students, an increase of about 37 percent.

Growth will likely slow to 1.7 percent by 2023 and continue to wane thereafter, APS adds. By 2026, the school’s student body is projected to grow only by 0.6 percent and reach an enrollment total of 32,807.

Overall, the school expects to add nearly 7,600 students between now and 2026.

APS Enrollment Report screenshot alternative projectionsThough all other alternative projections put the school over 30,000 students by 2024 at the latest, APS says it’s possible that the number of enrolled students could shrink instead of grow by that time. One projection says the school could lose 1,181 students between 2021 and 2025. But the school cautions that such alternative projections “are not statistical confidence limits, but instead represent judgments made by planning staff as to reasonable upper and lower bounds.”

Among the factors used to project school enrollment was historic birth rates in Arlington County, which are used to project the number of future incoming kindergarten students.

APS Enrollment Report screenshot birth dataAn average of 2,800 live births per year were recorded in Arlington between 2004 to 2008. Between 2009 and 2013, a period APS refers to as “the wave,” about 3,100 births on average were recorded each year. As children born during “the wave” grow up, they’re expected to crowd schools as they advance through elementary, middle and high school.

In response, APS has in the past undertaken several actions to mitigate school crowding, like hiring 387 new teachers last summer and utilizing trailer classrooms.

Among the steps being taken by APS to add more capacity for the growing student body are adding an elementary school at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School site, expanding Abingdon Elementary in Fairlington and building the new Stratford Middle School while moving the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program to Rosslyn.

Graphs via APS Enrollment Report

by ARLnow.com — February 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Super Bowl 50 logoWhere can you watch the Super Bowl in Arlington, Virginia?

If you typed that into a search engine, we have a simple answer: pretty much anywhere that serves beer and has a TV. It’s a safe bet that if you walk into any bar in Arlington County at 6:30 p.m. Sunday — the time that the Super Bowl festivities are scheduled to start — the big game will be on.

There are, however, a couple of options in Arlington for those who are looking for a more unique Super Bowl experience.

Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon (3100 Clarendon Blvd) will be hosting Capital Riot, the D.C. area Carolina Panthers fan group.

“Mad Rose graciously hosted a subset of fans during Snowzilla and would love to welcome us back!” the group wrote on its website. “They will feature happy hour food and drink specials and the famous blue Panthers Punch shot!”

Mad Rose will also be hosting Broncos fans, but in a different wing of the bar.

There is no official Denver Broncos gathering in Arlington that we’re aware of — the big Broncos events are both in the District — however, if you’re a fan of either team and want to watch the game on the biggest possible screen, the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) has an event for you.

The Drafthouse’s Super Bowl viewing event is free and begins at 4:30 p.m.

“We will be offering regular table side service offering a full restaurant menu with full bar service,” the Drafthouse said on its website. “And of course our huge digital sports screen!”

by ARLnow.com — February 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The Johnny Rockets in the Pentagon City mall has apparently gone the way of sock hops and McCarthyism.

The 1950s themed burger-and-shake restaurant has been closed and boarded up for the past several days. While the Pentagon City location’s Facebook account is still publishing generic food photos, it has been removed from the company’s website and customers asking about the closure earlier this week have gotten no response.

There was no answer at the restaurant’s phone line. We’re still awaiting confirmation that the eatery has closed for good.

A Johnny Rockets in Shirlington closed last year.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 5, 2016 at 12:15 pm 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). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.

This week, Dave and I sat down with Ocelot’s founder and brewer Adrien Widman and Director of Sales Curtis Griffith in their beautiful tap room right in Dulles, Virginia.

Ocelot is one of Virginia’s newest and best breweries. We talked about Ocelot’s concept of making an amazing variety of craft beers and a recent collaboration with Jace Gonnerman, beverage director of Meridian Pint, Smoke & Barrel, and Brookland Pint.

The collaboration beer is a triple IPA called Talking Backwards and is on tap at all three of those locations now and will be on tap at Dominion Wine and Beer for growler fills sometime next week! Talking Backwards is extremely limited and will not last long so don’t miss out. Check out the video for more details.

by ARLnow.com — February 5, 2016 at 11:05 am 0

Students going back to school (file photo)Arlington Public Schools will soon no longer be sending paper flyers home in students’ backpacks.

The so-called backpack mail for parents of elementary and middle school students is being phased out in favor of an electronic system, following a successful pilot program, according to APS spokesman Frank Bellavia.

The system, called Peachjar, is specifically designed for schools. It sends electronic flyers to parents’ email inboxes, thus cutting costs and staff time that would otherwise be spent making paper copies and distributing them.

The new system is being rolled out to all elementary and middle schools “over the next few weeks,” Bellavia said.

Families can request that they keep receiving paper copies and paper flyers will be posted on school bulletin boards. Otherwise, there are a number of options for electronic delivery.

“Parents can access the flyers via weekly email notifications they receive, by checking the school’s website, or accessing flyers on the APS Mobile App,” said Bellavia. “Families like the Peachjar option because electronic copies stay online for at least 30 days, and are linked directly to the organization’s website where they can access more information or directly sign up for programs electronically, which is more convenient than keeping track of paper copies and following up on advertised services.”

The pilot program took place at six elementary schools and one middle school last fall and of the families surveyed about it, 86 percent said they wanted to keep the new system instead of returning to backpack mail, according to APS. Nonprofit organizations and PTAs also participate in backpack mail and APS received an enthusiastic response from them.

“More than 100 nonprofit organizations who participate in our backpack mail program were surveyed, and only one respondent indicated a desire to return to backpack mail,” said Bellavia. “APS, schools and PTAs can use the service for free, and nonprofit organizations pay a nominal fee that is less costly than making copies, to distribute their flyers electronically to families. Our PTAs are excited about the service because they can use it for free to distribute their flyers, saving time and the expense of printing paper copies.”

“This program supports the APS commitment to its core value of sustainability, and many families, community members and staff have urged APS to find a paperless (environmentally friendly) alternative to backpack mail,” Bellavia noted.

High schools do not have backpack mail and thus are not slated to get the new system. After the jump, a video about Peachjar.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — February 5, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Penrose Square bicycle racks (Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards)

Mt. Vernon Trail Unplowed After Snowzilla — The National Park Service did not plow the Mt. Vernon Trail, a major bicycle commuter route, after the January blizzard. The snow-covered trail was, however, used by cross-country skiers. Cyclists would like the park service to consider changing its no-plowing policy. [Greater Greater Washington]

Va. GOP Does Away With Loyalty Oath — The State Board of Elections has approved a request from the Republican Party of Virginia that the state discard the loyalty oath the party originally wanted voters to sign during the March 1 presidential primary [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Agencies Investigate Oily Sheen on Potomac — A number of federal and local agencies investigated an oily sheen spotted on the Potomac River yesterday from Gravelly Point down to Alexandria. The source of the oil has not been determined but efforts to contain it were deployed. [Washington Post, Patch]

No Local News in Washington Post App — Steve Thurston, founder of the defunct Arlington Mercury local news blog, isn’t pleased with the Washington Post’s decision last year to leave local news out of the official Washington Post iPhone and iPad app. Post subscribers who want to read local content via an app now have to download a separate “Washington Post Classic” app. [ipadreporter]

New Novel from ‘Beast of Barcroft’ Author — Arlington author Bill Schweigart has a new novel coming out. “Northwoods” is Schweigart’s sequel to supernatural thriller “The Beast of Barcroft.” Both books feature Arlington-based characters and other local references. The 277-page Ebook is being published by Penguin Random House on Feb. 16. [Penguin Random House]

Crystal City Office Complex Up for Sale — The so-called Polk and Taylor office buildings in Crystal City are up for sale. The Department of Defense is leasing the 912,000 square foot office complex along Crystal Drive and 26th Street S. until 2025, but owner Beacon Capital Partners is seeking to sell before the lease expires. The buildings are assessed at $351.2 million. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 5, 2016 at 8:45 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.”

Arlington’s February real estate market is starting off strong. This week 40 fresh new listings came on the market and 40 homes were sold.  Many of those sold homes were on the market only a few days or hours before receiving contracts. Listing agents this week reported high activity of buyer calls and showings. The overall inventory in Arlington remains low. This week’s sales were mostly in the mid to lower price range, bringing the average list price of sold homes to only $569,000. The average days on market also dropped to 58.

Mortgage interest rates continued to slide this week dropping another 11 basis points for a national average of only 3.72% for a 30-yr fixed rate. That’s the lowest rate since mid-2013. It appears that mortgage rates will continue to fall as long as money keeps pouring in to buy 10-yr US Treasury bonds. The increased demand on bonds has pushed the cost of bonds higher, which lowers the yield. And it’s the yield that influences long term interest rates. The stock market jitters here and abroad, coupled with plummeting oil prices and China’s slowing economy is causing flights of capital worldwide to seek the safety of US Treasure bonds.

For home buyers, lower interest rates is always good news. Add to that a new Zillow report saying that now is a good time for renters to become home buyers. The national average time it takes to break even on rent v. buy is only 2 years. So if you know that you’ll be staying put and renting for more than 2 years, you’d be better off buying. So what do you think will happen when there is low inventory and increasing pressure from buyers to purchase homes??

You can access all active listings in Arlington on the Cathell Team website.

by ARLnow.com — February 5, 2016 at 12:05 am 0

Snow falls on 3/25/14 (file photo)Arlington may be on the edge of some accumulating snowfall Friday morning.

The National Weather Service has included in a Winter Weather Advisory that includes mostly points east and south of D.C. The snow is expected to fall between 5 and 8 a.m., during the morning rush hour.

From NWS:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST FRIDAY…

* PRECIPITATION TYPE… RAIN CHANGING TO SNOW.

* HAZARD TYPES… ACCUMULATING SNOW LATE TONIGHT.

* ACCUMULATIONS… 1 TO 2 INCHES… WITH UP TO 3 INCHES NEAR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY.

* TIMING… RAIN WILL CHANGE TO SNOW BETWEEN 1 AM AND 5 AM FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST. A PERIOD OF MODERATE SNOW IS EXPECTED BETWEEN 5 AM AND 8 AM… ENDING QUICKLY BY MID-MORNING FRIDAY.

* IMPACTS… ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE.

* WINDS… NORTHWEST 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S… EXCEPT AROUND 30 NEAR THE MASON-DIXON LINE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

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