by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. 

Two weeks ago the Rethink Energy program had the honor of partnering with Arlington’s Department of Technology services for a panel discussion on the Future of Energy in Arlington. This Digital Destiny series has taken Arlington on a conversational journey to look at the past, present and future of aging independently, mobility, learning and now energy.

Two questions immediately struck us at the event:

  1. How will we generate, store and use energy?
  2.  Can you predict the future of energy in Arlington?

How will we create, store and use energy?

Arlington’s electrical energy is generated far outside the Beltway, sent through transmission and distribution lines and arrives to power the device that you are presently using. More than half of the raw energy used to create electricity is lost during electrical generation.

Conversely, Arlington’s Discovery Elementary school generates as much solar power as it uses over the course of a year. This is a net zero energy school and it shows what is possible. APS is looking at how other schools may harness solar power and use it as a learning resource for students.

By mid-century, 2 of every 3 people on the planet will live in cities, or counties that resemble cities. Since cities are where people are and so much economic activity takes place, they are also the perfect place to generate and use energy. Renewable energy like solar power is an increasingly preferred power source. No fuel must be brought in, fewer additional long distance transmission lines will need to be built and the cost to install solar panels is dropping quickly.

In the past 24 months more than 120 Arlingtonians have participated in the solar co-op which has more than doubled the amount of solar on homes in Arlington. As electric vehicles increase in prevalence and are connected to homes with a solar array, opportunities exist to store solar power and even use a car to power your home.

We could go on and on about other emerging technologies, but folks, what you need to know is that things are changing quickly and the future of energy generation, storage and use is unfolding before our eyes.

Can you predict the future of energy in Arlington?

Not exactly, but here are a few things we see that may be in Arlington’s energy future.

  • Home values will increasingly be tied to energy efficiency and solar exposure
  • Electric vehicles (and eventually autonomous vehicles) will rule our streets
  • Time-of-use utility charges are likely coming, but will require the utility to expand the use of smart meters throughout the state. Energy is more expensive and dirty to produce when demand is highest, such as the middle of the day and especially during the dog days of summer.
  • Your home’s devices (e.g. dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, thermostat, air conditioner, lighting) will increasingly include microchips connected to the internet, turn things off when you leave, adjust their operation to run when energy is cheaper (as noted in tie-of-use item above), order things for you and notify you when they need service.
  • Smart grids or micro grids will become a critical piece of community infrastructure. Right now when your home’s energy goes out, you likely have no other choice for power unless you have a generator. Micro grids are small electrical grids that can be separate and isolated from the overall grid. This could afford Arlington more control to operate in the event of a power interruption (e.g. derecho, snowmageddon, the great earthquake of 8/23/11).

We had a great time discussing Arlington’s energy past, present and future! If you are interested in attending or watching future Digital Destiny events in 2018 on Place and Livelihood, stop by the Digital Destiny page as more information is firmed up.  Also, take a look at the archived event videos while you’re at it.

by ARLnow.com December 9, 2017 at 12:15 am 0

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect, as of midnight, for Arlington and much of the rest of the D.C. area.

The National Weather Service says 4-6 inches of snow is possible throughout the day today (Saturday) inside the Beltway, but other forecasters say we could see as little as an inch.

Road crews were busy pre-treating local roads and highways Friday in anticipation of the snow, which is expected to begin falling soon.

Via Twitter:

The advisory from NWS:


by Chris Teale December 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

It’s the weekend, and tonight and tomorrow might bring our first snow of the season.

This week has been dominated by talk of the new I-66 HOT lanes, and accusations against two elementary school teachers.

These were our most read stories this week:

  1. Taylor Elementary P.E. Teachers Accused of Smoking Marijuana in School
  2. Tolls High As I-66 Express Lanes Launch
  3. Virginia State Police: Get Ready for I-66 Changes Monday
  4. Italian Store Seeking Return of Stolen Vespa
  5. Shots Fired Sunday Night in Nauck

And these received the most comments:

  1. Tolls High As I-66 Express Lanes Launch
  2. Taylor Elementary P.E. Teachers Accused of Smoking Marijuana in School
  3. Morning Poll: What’s the Most You Would Pay for I-66 Tolls?
  4. Morning Notes (December 6)
  5. Virginia State Police: Get Ready for I-66 Changes Monday

Discuss anything of local interest below. Have a great weekend!

Flickr pool photo by eschweik

by ARLnow.com December 8, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Arts organizations in Arlington need additional support from Arlington residents, says Janet Kopenhaver, founder and chair of Embracing Arlington Arts.

The group was founded earlier this year and counts Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) and County Board vice chair Katie Cristol among its supporters.

Embracing Arlington Arts describes itself as “an independent citizens group comprised of Arlington arts supporters whose mission is to inform others about the importance and diversity of the arts, artists and arts organizations in our community.” It also helps to “spread the word about the extremely diverse performance and cultural events held in Arlington.”

On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Kopenhaver about her organization, her recent radio interview with Second Lady Karen Pence, the economic impact of the arts in Arlington, the mistakes made with Artisphere, why the number of arts groups in Arlington are dwindling, and how local residents and organizations can support the arts.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com December 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington County Police are still investigating a drive-by shooting in the Nauck neighborhood this past Sunday night.

Three male suspects in a dark van or SUV opened fire on a group of four juvenile near the intersection of 24th Street S. and Shirlington Road around 8:15 p.m., according to police. A resident who lives nearby emailed ARLnow.com and described a chaotic scene.

“Around 8:12 a series of approximately eight gunshots were heard followed by several individuals seen running through the neighborhood,” she said. The resident added later that she’s skeptical that no one in the neighborhood was able to give a better description of the vehicle or the suspects.

Police are treating the shooting as an “attempted malicious wounding” rather than attempted murder. ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the incident “remains an active and ongoing investigation by the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit.”

“Police have collected crime scene evidence, canvased the area and spoken with witnesses,” Savage said. “The events that preceded the shooting remain under investigation.”

“The Third District Community Policing Team has been in touch with community members since the incident occurred and is attending a tenants meeting in the community next week,” Savage continued. “Anyone who has information regarding this investigation is asked to call Detective Bertollini at703.228.4243 or [email protected]. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

Photo via Google Maps

by Chris Teale December 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Two outdoor ceremonies are planned in Arlington next week to mark the start of Hanukkah.

The Jewish holiday begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12, and concludes on the evening of Wednesday, December 20.

Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington will light a six-foot Menorah on Wednesday, December 13 at Clarendon Central Park (3140 Wilson Blvd) at 6 p.m. Attendees can eat hot potato latkes, chocolate gelt coins and play with dreidels. The event will also include live traditional music.

The following day, Thursday December 14, from 6-8 p.m., Pentagon Row will host the annual Chanukah On Ice celebration at its outdoor ice rink (1201 S. Joyce Street).

The evening will include the lighting of a six-foot Menorah, hot potato latkes, kosher hot dogs and a free raffle. Reservations are required.

In Alexandria, meanwhile, Chabad Lubavitch will light its six-foot Menorah in a public celebration on Monday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown will light the Menorah at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria), with live entertainment and traditional food included.

File photo

by Chris Teale December 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Police Department cited 20 drivers yesterday (Thursday) on Columbia Pike for failing to yield to pedestrians, as part of an active enforcement effort.

Officers stationed themselves at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Oakland Street in Alcova Heights and an officer in a bright orange shirt crossed the street as cars in the distance started to approach. ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said they cited 20 people for failing to yield.

The enforcement effort is part of its 2017 Street Smart Pedestrian, Driver, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign. A similar enforcement by police officers took place in mid-November.

The program aims to change road users’ behavior while reducing the number of crashes and injuries. Officers ticketed motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violated traffic laws.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 8, 2017 at 12:45 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:

6827 28TH Street N
6 bed/6 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Arcenious (Wylie) Bean
Listed: $1,695,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.


1861 Adams Street N
3 bed/3 bath, 1 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Diane Lee
Listed: $849,900
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.


3207 South Glebe Road
3 bed/2 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: James Larsen
Listed: $749,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.


3183 Stafford Street S
3 bed/2 bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Thomas Arehart
Listed: $619,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.


4929 7TH Road S, #4929
3 bed/2 bath, 2 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Janice Brangman
Listed: $442,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.


2101 Monroe Street, #317
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Lucinda Beline
Listed: $344,000
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m.


1315 Walter Reed Drive S, #15101
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Kari Steinberg
Listed: $255,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 8, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

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.

Every Fall, many customers come into my store and ask me what is the matter with the birds. They tell me they do not see them in their yards or at their feeders. They have become concerned that maybe there is some disease that has reduced the number of birds.

If you are new to feeding the birds, it is alarming to all of a sudden see the birds almost disappear. At best the birds only intermittently come to the feeders. And yet this is a perfectly normal event that occurs in the Fall. Some people think the birds have all migrated. Most of our backyards birds do not migrate. We lose the hummingbirds and warblers and some robins (although they seem to be staying around all winter now. We also receive a lot of Winter visitors like Juncos, White Throated Sparrows and Purple Finches. They will be in very large flocks usually bouncing around the ground and on platform feeders, picking up millet, sunflower chips and peanut pieces.

When Fall comes, the bounty of natural food is exploding. In our yards and gardens, in parks, in the forests, in meadows and even in the median area of our highways; there is an abundance of food. Flowers produce seeds. Shrubs and bushes produce fruit. Trees produce nuts such as acorns. And the wild birds in our yards notice and take advantage of the bounty. With all of the different sources of food to choose from, our feeders are visited less often.

That does not mean they are not coming to your feeders. But it will take a little longer for the food to be eaten. It is important to keep the food fresh. It is never a good idea to let the food stay more than a couple of weeks in the feeder if the birds have not been visiting.

But this phenomenon always occurs in the early part of Fall. For the past two months, the natural food has been eaten down. Days are getting shorter.   Nights are getting longer and colder. The birds in your area are eating more to survive.

Twenty-five years ago, I heard someone describe wild birds as flying furnaces. That description has always stayed me and I use it often to help customers visualize the challenges of birds in the wild. They need to fill up their stomachs with enough food to burn off and stay warm throughout the ten, eleven or twelve-hour nights. The more fat, in the form of nuts and suet’s, the more calories the birds can pack in and burn off at night. The longer the night, the colder the night, the harsher the night in the form of ice, snow, wind — the more birds will need the fat to survive. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 8, 2017 at 11:00 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.”

Listings and sales picked up a little this week over last week. Sellers listed 41 homes, while buyers ratified 37 contracts on homes priced from $140,000 to over $2.2 million. The upper end market also saw a boost with seven sales over $1 million. And nine of the new listings sold within seven days.

Interest rates bounced around this week ending about four basis points lower at about 3.96% for a 30-yr fixed rate.

The Republican Senate and House are now trying to reconcile their two different tax reform bills and some of the provisions effecting homeowners may be dropped or modified. Watch the news to see what happens and how it will effect your wallet.

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

(We apologize, but we are having issues with our website links this week. The individual links have been temporarily removed due to technical difficulties. You can use this link to get some information on the properties.)

  • 1304 MEADE ST #APPT #1 ENG4, ARLINGTON, VA 22209 – $299,000
  • 2605 WALTER REED DR #B, ARLINGTON, VA 22206 – $319,900
  • 4073 COLUMBIA PIKE, ARLINGTON, VA 22204 – $599,888
  • 2216 CULPEPER ST S, ARLINGTON, VA 22206 – $639,000
  • 1200 HARTFORD ST N #211, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $659,000
  • 2819 21ST RD S, ARLINGTON, VA 22204 – $739,000
  • 4418 7TH ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22203 – $755,000
  • 3611 3RD ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $1,190,000

by Chris Teale December 8, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County and the wider D.C. region could receive its first dusting of snow this winter, as early as tonight.

The Capital Weather Gang reports that as Friday night wears on, the chances of light snow, or a mix of snow and rain, will increase. A mix of snow and rain is likely to fall during Saturday, with as much as an inch or two expected to accumulate depending on the severity of the storm.

County government has been planning all year for any winter weather, including budgeting $1.4 million for snow removal, stockpiling 9,200 tons of salt and spending 1,950 hours training snow crews. The team is made up of 92 drivers and 46 trucks.

Crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services were out this morning with liquid de-icer to pre-treat some county streets.

Work on snow-affected roads is broken into four phases, per a county press release:

  • Phase 1: Snow crews pre-treat main roads before a storm.
  • Phase 2: During the storm, the priority is to keep main arteries passable for emergency vehicles and public transportation.
  • Phase 3: Plowing of residential streets and trails begins. It’s important to know that these streets may only be passable with one lane and you may not see bare pavement.
  • Phase 4: After the storm, cleanup operations begin, which includes treating ice on the roadways.

As well as more than 1,000 lane miles of county streets, crews will also clear nearly 350 bus stops and shelters, 35 miles of sidewalks and 21 pedestrian bridges or overpasses. Ten miles of trails and three miles of protected bike lanes also will be cleared.

And residents can play their part in helping make snow clearing as easy as possible:

  • Coordinate with neighbors to park cars on one side of the street, where feasible, or avoid on-street parking so snowplow operators can efficiently clear more of the streets
  • Don’t park “head in” on cul-de-sacs so plows have more room to maneuver
  • Clear your sidewalks and scoop snow towards your house, not the street, BUT
  • Wait for snow plows to come by before clearing snow from the front of driveways, to minimize the amount pushed back by plows
  • Stay home, telework or use mass transit to reduce the number of potentially stranded vehicles
  • Apply only the recommended amount of chemical de-icers on sidewalks to attain a safe and passable way
  • Stay connected through the Snow and Ice Central webpage and DES social media platforms for updates on snow phases, transportation, trash and other important notifications. Follow on Twitter @ArlingtonDES and on Facebook at Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation will also be pre-treating roads ahead of any snow. VDOT urged drivers to give their trucks room to work.

by Rachel Sadon December 8, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Photo by John Winder

GOP once again ignores the wishes of D.C.’s elected leaders to push their own agenda, Ward 1 finally has a homeless shelter site for the D.C. General closure plan, and other news of the day in the District.

by ARLnow.com December 8, 2017 at 8:35 am 0

ACFD Responds to Overturned Truck — Rescue crews responded to the intersection of George Mason Drive and 27th Street N., in the Yorktown neighborhood, just before 6:30 last night for a crash involving an overturned vehicle. At least two vehicles, including a minivan, and a pickup truck that overturned, were involved. [Twitter]

Apartment Fire in Ashton Heights — Firefighters quickly extinguished a small fire in the storage room of an apartment building in Ashton Heights yesterday afternoon. The fire happened on the 500 block of N. Piedmont Street and was “kept small by sprinklers.” [Twitter]

I-66 Tolls Not as Bad as You Might Think — According to VDOT, tolls on the first day of HOT lanes on I-66 were, on average, not too bad: “The average round-trip toll price was $14.50, with the average morning toll paid of $10.70 and average afternoon toll paid of $3.80. This average toll rate is lower than the estimated average toll rate of $17.00 round-trip discussed in 2015.” Also, Friday morning’s tolls were lower than those of previous days. [VDOT, Washington Post]

Kaspersky Closes Arlington Office — Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs has closed its government sales office in Arlington as a result of the government banning use of Kaspersky antivirus software on federal computers. The company “came under tough US scrutiny after US officials became concerned about the company’s links to the Russian government.” [Buzzfeed]

Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman

by Chris Teale December 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm 0

More than 100 students were out sick today (Thursday) at McKinley Elementary School after a stomach bug swept through campus.

An Arlington Public Schools spokesman said 135 of the school’s 800 students were out, after about 85 were absent yesterday (Wednesday).

The spokesman said that while it sounded like a “typical [stomach] bug that makes its way around this time of year,” he said he could not be sure that all the absences were related to it.

Multiple anonymous tipsters reported the spread of the illness through the school at 1030 N. McKinley Road in Madison Manor.

The School Health Bureau within the county’s Department of Health sent a letter to parents warning of an “increase in reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness,” and urging parents to make sure children wash their hands and stay home if they develop vomiting or diarrhea.

Parents throughout APS can expect to receive a letter soon about winter illnesses in the community, which the spokesman said is “typically sent each December to our families as a reminder.”

The School Health Bureau’s letter to McKinley parents is after the jump.


by Chris Teale December 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm 0

Two years after being put on hold, construction will resume next year on the Liberty Center’s final building in Ballston after it signed an office tenant.

AvalonBay Communities, a publicly-traded apartment developer and real estate investment trust, will relocate its headquarters to 4040 Wilson Blvd, which is set to be a 22-story mixed-use building with offices, retail and residential. It will be Ballston’s tallest building.

AvalonBay, which is already in the neighborhood at 671 N. Glebe Road, signed a lease for 73,000 square feet of office space on three floors — the eighth, ninth and 10th as well as a portion of the seventh — at the site owned by developer The Shooshan Company.

It joins VIDA Fitness, which will open its first non-D.C. location at the building. With this new signing, the building’s office space is 50 percent pre-leased.

Construction is now expected to start in the first quarter of next year. AvalonBay is projected to move in around mid-2020.

“When we decided to amend 4040 Wilson to a mixed-use building consisting of roughly a 50/50 split of office and residential and increased retail last year, we did so in an effort to adjust to the recent market trends which consisted of more prospective tenants in the [around] 75,000 [square feet] range, and more retail demand along Wilson Blvd.,” Kevin Shooshan, leasing director at The Shooshan Company, said in a statement. “Just about a year after county approval, we’re honored to have executed a pre-lease with a company as prestigious as AvalonBay, securing their headquarters location here in Arlington County for years to come.”

Previously, Shooshan told ARLnow that construction had been paused during a period of high office vacancies in Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region.

Image No. 1 via The Shooshan Company


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