While we seek to cover all of the important stories that impact people’s lives in Arlington, not every story we publish is of the weighty variety. Some are just for fun — a glimpse at the silly and weird things that happen in our community.
Below are the top 5 most-read articles of the week.
- Police: Drunk Man Arrested for Tossing Wine Bottles Out of Whole Foods Window
- BREAKING: Man Stabbed in Jennie Dean Park
- A-Town Bar & Grill Turns a Corner in Latest County Review
- Large Power Outage in Clarendon Area
- Video: NYC Has Pizza Rat, Arlington Now Has French Bread Squirrel
Feel free to discuss those stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Have a nice weekend!
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on scene of a two alarm house fire in the Lyon Village neighborhood.
The fire was reported in both the basement and the attic of a home on the 3100 block of 17th Street N. The basement fire was quickly extinguished while firefighters used ladders, axes and lots of water to battle the flames in the attic.
The fire was out and the situation was said to be “stable” shortly before 5 p.m., according to scanner traffic.
The occupants of the home made it out safely. No injuries were reported among the firefighters.
Summer is officially here and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has some tips for reducing hassles at the airport during the summer vacation season.
MWAA, which operates Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport, says that travelers should plan ahead, keep an eye on the weather and monitor social media.
Among the tips from the airports authority:
- “Be aware of airport travel peaks and when to arrive: Passengers should arrive to the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. Peak travel times at the airports include the early morning (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.), mid-day (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and late afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).”
- “Check in online and print your boarding pass before coming to the airport.”
- “Follow airport social media accounts for up-to-date information. Passengers should follow @Dulles_Airport and @Reagan_Airport on Twitter and check out FlyDulles and ReaganAirport on Facebook.”
- “Confirm the status of your flight before coming to the airport. Weather here or even in other parts of the country may affect flight schedules.”
- “Pack wisely with no prohibited items in carry-on luggage and no valuable items in checked luggage. With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, passengers should remember that fireworks are prohibited at all times.”
- “Label your luggage so your name is clearly visible.”
- “Economy lots tend to fill quickly during the summer. Be sure to check parking availability for Reagan National online at flyreagan.com/parking.”
- Reserve a parking spot: “At Reagan National, ePark allows travelers to assure a parking spot. Travelers can make reservations from 24 hours to six months before their trip. Reservations can be changed or canceled online up to 24 hours before arrival time, free of charge.”
“Travelers should prepare ahead of time, make full use of airport websites and follow airport social media accounts to have the best experience possible,” MWAA said in a press release.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Arlington was just named the best city for millennials in the U.S. by the website Niche. Depending on how you define the millennial generation, it makes up between 30-40 percent of the county’s population of just over 220,000.
Yet when it comes to involvement with county government and civic organizations, millennials are underrepresented. Attend a County Board meeting, or a meeting of an Arlington commission or working group, and it is older residents typically speaking out or helping to shape policy.
To get millennials more involved, last spring Arlington County partnered with the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) and hosted a happy hour with County Board Vice Chair Katie Cristol, herself a millennial. More then five dozen young people attended the happy hour and discussed local issues with Cristol.
Along with the event, Arlington County launched an interactive forum called Engage Arlington where people can publicly post and discuss county issues. Focused on feedback from millennials, Engage Arlington has a voting system, similar to Reddit.com, where posts that receive “likes” from other users move up the list.
Within Engage Arlington there is a separate forum specifically for Arlington millennials to engage and discuss. Popular topics include expanding transit options and affordable housing solutions. As of today (Friday) at noon, the last post on the forum was 14 hours ago.
In a press release, the county said its goal is to “determine the areas of civic interest to residents in their twenties and thirties and connect them with convenient ways to engage — online or in-person– with plenty of time commitment options.”
“The common misconception is that millennials don’t care about government,” Melissa Riggio, a millennial living in Ballston, is quoted as saying. “What, to me, is more accurate, is that we connect to government in different ways than the generation before us, so it can go unseen by those who are unaccustomed to it.”
“Young people inject new life and energy into Arlington’s neighborhoods, businesses, culture and nightlife,” concluded the county’s press release. “By getting involved, millennials can help shape and develop the kind of Arlington they’ll want to call home for a long time to come.”
Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.
203 N. Trenton Street
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Heidi Burkhardt
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
801 S. Greenbrier Street #412
2 Bed/2 Bath Condo
Agent: Sean Ragen
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
517 S. Veitch Street
2 Bed/1 Bath Single-Family Home
Agent: Ryan Verey
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
3517 8th Street S.
2 Bed/2 Bath Single-Family Home
Agent: Kristin Mango
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
3936 N. Wakefield Street
5 Bed/3 Bath Single Family Home
Agent: Doris Brough
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
1706 N. Jefferson Street
4 Beds/3 Bath Single Family Home
Agent: Elizabeth Twigg
Open: Saturday 1-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m.
3548 N. Nottingham Street
6 Bed/4 Bath Single-Family Home
Agent: Susan Wisely
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
A Shirlington hotel is set for some major renovations, which are set to start later this summer.
The Hilton Garden Inn Shirlington at 4271 Campbell Ave will receive a refresh worth tens of millions of dollars. The bulk of the work is set to begin on July 30 and is expected to take until October to complete.
General manager Christopher Ng said the entire lobby will get new furniture, as will the bar and restaurant, the convenience store and all 143 guest rooms. Ng said that virtually everything “not nailed to the wall” will get a refresh, including guest beds, televisions and wall tiles.
Already, the hotel’s swimming pool and spa have been resurfaced, with Ng anticipating they will reopen for guest use next week.
Ng said the refresh is typical industry practice, and allows the Hilton Garden Inn to keep up with standards from its corporate office too.
“A renovation or a refresh every seven to eight years is really what the industry standard calls for, and we felt that it was really time for us,” Ng said. “Don’t get me wrong, the property is in fantastic condition compared to other properties that I’ve been to in Arlington and other cities that I’ve worked in, it just needs a little refresh.”
Ng acknowledged that the hotel has an “aggressive timeline” for its work, but said if the county approves the permits for construction, it can be achieved.
Anyone looking to stay in the hotel may find a guest room harder to come by while they are updated. But Ng said there should be minimal disruption to anyone staying in the hotel during construction, which will be staggered from floor to floor.
“The great thing about our hotel, when it was built it was built as a LEED property and the owners wanted to be very conscious of the environment and also build a hotel that would be… made to go through a renovation,” he said.
Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.
Come on, jump in! The water is fine. And just in time with the first really hot weather of the summer. So, for humans, we have many options to stay cool. But what about the wild birds in our backyards? Going to the movies is not an option.
During the hot, dry conditions of summer, wild birds will continuously look for reliable sources of water.
Water is crucial to birds, sometimes more so than food. Water is vitally important when it’s extremely hot, because birds do not sweat and must remove excess body heat through their respiratory system. So when temperatures rise, birds’ respiration rate increases, sometimes to the point where they can pant like a dog. This activity dehydrates birds.
A reliable source of water also allows birds to bathe regularly, a critical part of feather maintenance and staying in top-flight condition. However, offering water does not have to be difficult or expensive.
There are many ways to set up a water station to offer birds a safe and clean place to bathe and drink. From a simple plant dish to a 400-pound granite sculpture bath, any and all water features will be accepted. But they must be safe and they must be secure.
Attract more birds by offering water in a bird bath. These water sources are normally elevated to protect birds from natural predators. Bird baths with sloped sides permit visitors to move from shallow to deeper water, and they accommodate different sized birds that need to drink or bathe. The bird baths should be shallow so there is no accidental drowning; two-inch depths are the norm. Dark colored baths retain the heat in the winter whereas light colored dishes stay a little cooler in the summer.
Some people use misters and drippers to provide birds with water. These devices are connected to the hose bib on the side of the house with a Y connection. This allows for a separate hose to be attached for yard work and filling up the bath.
In my front yard, I have a six-foot slope with three baths in line. A water dripper is attached to the top bath and the excess water drips into the second and third baths. The excess water then drips onto my fern garden.
The baths are constantly receiving fresh water for the birds. The moving water prevents the mosquitoes’ larva, that may be deposited in the water, from hatching. When located near foliage, misters give birds the opportunity to “leaf bathe.” Birds exhibiting this behavior will flutter against wet plants or leaves to release droplets onto their feathers.
Open sources of water, such as bird baths, can cause a potential mosquito problem. For this reason, many people use a Water Wiggler, an agitator that creates ripples in water (mosquitoes cannot/do not lay eggs in moving water). Also, water in motion is far more attractive to birds than a stagnant pond.
Water is essential to wild birds’ survival and many people see that necessity as an opportunity to be entertained by the birds. Make sure your birds pool is open and filled with good clean water before they jump in. Then grab a “slushy” and enjoy. No lifeguard needed.
Despite a pair of arrests earlier this week, car break-ins are continuing in Arlington.
Someone broke into at least 16 cars — most of them unlocked — between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in the Madison Manor neighborhood. Items of value were stolen.
Arlington County Police have repeatedly advised residents to lock their cars and remove valuables.
More from an ACPD crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2017-06210061, 800 block of N. Nottingham Street. At approximately 7:20 a.m. on June 21, officers responded to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between 10:00 p.m. on June 20 and 7:10 a.m. on June 21, an unknown(s) suspect entered at least 16 mostly unlocked vehicles and stole items of value. A resident in the area called to report suspicious activity after witnessing an unknown suspect enter several vehicles. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male in his early twenties, approximately 5’9″ tall and weighed 150-160 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing. The investigation is ongoing.
One could argue that fighting climate change starts with local action and that, at the very least, there is positive symbolic value in the county’s resolution.
One could also argue that despite passage of its Community Energy Plan in 2013, there’s little Arlington County can legally do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, beyond providing incentives for greater energy efficiency in buildings.
What do you think? Should the County Board be taking the time to address the issue of climate change?
Photo by Tyler Zarfoss
Widening of W&OD Trail Studied — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is considering a proposal to widen the W&OD Trail in parts of Arlington, Falls Church and Fairfax County. The proposal also calls for separating pedestrians and cyclists along the widened portions of trail. [The Wash Cycle]
Stormy Weather Expected Over the Next 24 Hours — The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy are expected to bring heavy rain and scattered storms to the area between now and Saturday morning. Most of the rain is expected to fall early Saturday. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Lawmakers Confronted at DCA — Protesters confronted lawmakers returning home to their districts at Reagan National Airport yesterday. They were protesting against the proposed GOP health care bill, holding signs like “don’t take away our healthcare” and “Medicaid matters.” [The Hill]
Middle School Students Burning Books — Yesterday, on the last day of middle school in Arlington, the fire department was called for a report of middle school students burning books in a field. An ACFD spokesperson could not be reached for additional information. [Twitter]
Last Day of School — High school is already out and the Class of 2017 has held its graduation ceremonies. Middle school ended yesterday. Today elementary students will have their last half-day before Arlington Public Schools is officially on summer break until Tuesday, Sept. 5. [Arlington Public Schools]
The real estate market thinks it’s still spring time. Some 87 fresh new listings came on the market this week, while 74 homes sold with 25 of those selling within a week. That pace kept the days on market low at 37.
A Fairlington woman is honoring the anniversary of her sister’s passing in a unique way. Jennifer Pearce lost her sister Nicole seven years ago in a car crash caused by…
If the last time you got in your car you thought it was hot enough to bake a cake, you’re not far off! The internet is full of recipes for dashboard cookies and pizza, helping to keep your house cool and energy costs down when the heat rises, while also fueling your sugar tooth.
A water main break is affecting more than 100 customers in the Fairlington neighborhood. Video of the break, recorded by a local resident and posted on social media, shows a…
New York City had Pizza Rat. And now it has Trash Bag Rat. But Arlington now has something much classier: French Bread Squirrel. This ambitious squirrel was spotted in Fairlington…