For the past couple of years years, Quintana and girlfriend Ivana Danschin have spent their spare time outside of work doing whatever they could to give their daughter Arianna the ability to hear.
Due to birth complications, Arianna — now two-and-a-half years old — was born deaf. But Quintana and Danschin successfully applied for her to be part of a clinical trial for an experimental Auditory Brainstem Implant, a technology that allows those like Arianna, who could not benefit from a cochlear implant, to hear.
Arianna was the fourth child in the United States to undergo this next-generation Auditory Brainstem Implant surgery, Quintana says.
While insurance is covering most of the cost, Quintana and Danschin have still encountered tens of thousands of dollars worth of expenses, prompting them to move out of Arlington and launch a GoFundMe page. And this coming Friday, two weeks before Arianna is set to undergo another surgery, they will be hosting a fundraiser at Bar Bao — the successor to Mad Rose — in Clarendon.
The fundraiser will run from 5 p.m. to close. On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we asked Quintana about the fundraiser, about the first time he realized Arianna could hear after her initial surgery, and about why Arianna needs a second surgery.
Photo via YouTube
The Arlington County Board and school board agreed Tuesday night to further study three possible scenarios for the Buck and Virginia Hospital Center sites, as recommended by the county’s Joint Facilities Advisory Commission.
Of the options, whittled down from a list of 10, two could allow for a building to be used by Arlington Public Schools. They could also provide space for the Office of Emergency Management and other public safety agencies, while some offer bus parking for both APS and Arlington Transit (ART).
Two scenarios for the VHC property remain under consideration, while just one is now being examined for the Buck site.
JFAC also formally recommended that the county acquire both sites. The Buck property is located near Washington-Lee High School, while the VHC site is at 601 S. Carlin Springs Road, and the county holds options to either buy the land outright or swap for them.
During the further study on the three remaining options, JFAC will explore how best to make the bus parking fit in. But County Manager Mark Schwartz said his preference would be for Arlington to purchase the current ART bus parking area at 2629 Shirlington Road given that bus dispatch is run from that location. Schwartz and staff will assess their options on that site too in a separate process.
JFAC chair Ginger Brown said residents had raised concerns about using one of the two properties for bus parking due to extra noise, traffic impacts and the need for security lights.
“Thank goodness buses don’t have feelings,” joked County Board chair Jay Fisette. Fellow County Board member Christian Dorsey said bus parking is necessary, and it can work within a community.
“These really can fit very well, but I don’t want to give anyone the impression that we’re looking to dump anything in the Nauck or Shirlington area,” Dorsey said. “This is something that can fit in well with a revitalizing area with planned future development…It’s not an evil thing that is going to disrupt how people live their life.”
The possible swap of a swath of industrial land owned by Arcland Property Company in Shirlington remains on the table, and will be studied for possible long-term uses.
“Maybe there’s some negotiations, some things that can make people more comfortable, but we need that land in Shirlington,” said County Board member Libby Garvey.
Members of both boards agreed that the Buck and VHC sites could be used to help ease APS’ capacity needs, with enrollment set to keep growing.
School Board chair Nancy Van Doren asked that staff from the county and APS work together closely to plan for the sites’ futures. But several urged caution as the schools review their enrollment projections. All agreed on the urgent need to manage the enrollment growth and provide a seat for every student.
“We really need to come to grips with how we’re growing as a community, where we’re going and when we’re growing and the criteria we’re growing and what we’re getting in return,” said County Board member John Vihstadt.
JFAC will now evaluate the short list of three remaining options, develop some rough cost estimates and go into finer detail on what can be done there. That next phase is set to begin as early as next month.
The free event will run for 5 to 10 p.m. and features games, activities, music and fireworks watching.
From 5-8:30 p.m., the Department of Parks and Recreation will host free moonbounces, face painting and balloon art.
The department will host family games from 5-7:45 p.m. D.C. Fray, formerly United Social Sports, will provide free games like giant Jenga and giant Connect Four.
The fireworks on the National Mall are scheduled to start at 9:09 p.m. and last for 17 minutes.
On-site parking will not be available for attendees. Free shuttles are available from 4:30-10:30 p.m. between the park and the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations.
In addition to Long Bridge, several communities in the county will have their own celebrations that day, including:
- Albemarle parade and celebration
- Barcroft parade
- Bell ringing in the Bluemont neighborhood
- Douglas Park parade and picnic
- Fairlington Villages parade
- Lee Heights parade and celebration
- Lyon Village parade and celebration
Other places to watch the fireworks in Arlington include:
- Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
- U.S. Air Force Memorial
- Gateway Park in Rosslyn
- Gravelly Point
- Iwo Jima Memorial
- Key Bridge
- Pentagon Reservation
A 40-year-old Arlington resident was arrested on indecent exposure charges Tuesday night. The arrest follows a number of such flashing incidents in Arlington over the past month, though it’s unclear if the past incidents are in any way connected with this latest one.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-06270262, 4700 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on June 27, officers responded to the report of an exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined a male subject exposed himself to several victims. Officers located the subject in the area and took him into custody. Selemon Takele, 40, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Betty, a Lost Dog rescue pup that’s a mix of Corgi and Jack Russell.
Here is what her owner, Krista, had to say about her:
This sweet girl was adopted from Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in November. Although Betty originally hails from St. Croix, this island girl is happy to now be an Arlington pup!
Betty’s favorite place is the Shirlington Dog Park. She loves making friends with dogs of all sizes, but always seems to seek out the biggest dog at the park to play with! Betty also loves playing fetch, especially with her squeaky raccoon toy.
Much to her human’s dismay, the squeaky raccoon also must accompany Betty to bed each night (aka the human’s bed). She also enjoys car rides, belly rubs, people-watching from the window, moving shoes to different locations all around her house and scrambled eggs.
This snuggle monster’s unique look always manages to bring a smile to the face of strangers she meets in her apartment building or on her walks. Betty would love if you said hi to her if you see her around town!
Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!
Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.
Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.
In his final State of the County address before he retires at year’s end, Arlington County Board chair Jay Fisette said he is proudest of providing stable leadership during the county’s transformation.
Fisette, in his fifth annual address before the Arlington Chamber of Commerce as chair since coming onto the Board in 1998, said he believes his legacy will be the way Arlington has become more urbanized and expanded its population while staying true to its values.
“For me, it would be helping to guide the 20-year transformation of the community into an urban success story that we are,” he said. “Change is hard, and doing that in a way that has resulted in a community that’s a model in so many areas of public life, while at the same time protecting the connectedness and the compassion of a small town. There are a lot of things that have to happen to make that kind of recipe work.”
In his remarks before more than 100 business leaders, elected officials and other attendees Wednesday morning, Fisette touted various successes in his tenure as the current Board’s longest serving member.
He noted the 9.5 million square feet in new office space and 2.5 million square feet in new retail space, 2,700 additional hotel rooms, more than 29,000 new homes and other indicators, all while the unemployment rate stayed largely consistent at 2.5 percent, among the lowest in Virginia.
“In short, the state of the county is really good,” Fisette said. “In my view, Arlington works.”
But, Fisette said, Arlington faces numerous challenges, including on affordable housing, Arlington Public Schools capacity and an 18 percent office vacancy rate among others. He said the county has faced problems on his watch, like the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the loss of thousands of jobs through Base Realignment and Closure, but has always come through.
And despite those challenges, Fisette said the relationship between the business community and the county government remains strong, “[e]ven when our relationship is one where we don’t agree,” like the recent spat between the Chamber and Board over proposed changes to the towing ordinance.
Fisette had 10 recommendations for county leaders, after the jump:
Staff from the county’s Department of Environmental Services studied the feasibility of dedicated lanes along the Pike, but at a work session on Tuesday said they would likely not work.
Transportation director Dennis Leach described Columbia Pike as a “challenging corridor” for dedicated lanes and priority traffic signals for buses, like the Transitway between the Braddock Road and Pentagon City Metro stations. He said that the configuration of the road would not work for dedicated lanes, while they may also violate form based code that regulates development on Columbia Pike to make the area more walkable.
“There are no easy solutions. there are lots of tradeoffs, and some options would make things far worse,” Leach said. He added that giving traffic signal priority to buses might cause problems at some cross streets with Columbia Pike, especially those with heavy traffic.
Board members said they would like to see further study, and that such plans should not be ruled out even if in just one area of the Pike if it provides a benefit.
But the buses could be in for a unique look like the Transitway, which would mark them as separate from the other Metrobus and ART services along the Pike. Staff recommended pursuing a distinctive bus appearance, while using Metro’s standard stock of buses rather than ones powered purely by electricity or hydrogen due to cost.
Arlington’s buses could also be set for more advertising after staff issued a Request for Information last week. Responses are due from vendors by July 13 as staff gathers information about what could be done to generate additional transit revenue.
A separate suggestion by the Board to have buses arrive every six minutes on the Pike even in off-peak hours comes with a heavy price tag, as DES staff said it would cost an extra $2.5 million and require buying another bus. Staff also said demand might not be enough to help defray those costs.
But Board members said providing more service could help encourage more people to take the bus. Vice chair Katie Cristol said the idea is “also trying to induce demand,” especially when considering statistics provided by staff that show many bus riders in the area go to points along the Pike rather than beyond it.
“The objective here is not simply to meet current demand, but to create a transit system in which people can go to their bus stop, get on their bus and know they will be able to ride to where they want to go at some point,” Cristol said.
Board chair Jay Fisette agreed, noting that there is an “expectation” among Columbia Pike residents that transit improve. When the proposed streetcar was cancelled in 2014, Board members promised a system that would be just as good, if not better.
Cristol agreed, and asked why the county needed to wait for increased demand, or could “make a stretch, or place a bet?”
The new bus service is on track to open next summer. The county will engage in meetings with Fairfax County on the project, and is set to submit a version of it to WMATA’s Board of Directors to vote on ahead of finalizing a service plan later this year.
Also delayed but moving forward: the construction of 23 “premium transit stations,” along the Pike. The successor to the nixed $1 million “Super Stop,” the new stations will be factory assembled to save money.
The county will be issuing a Request for Proposals for the stations later this year, according to a staff presentation, with the goal of wrapping up installation by the second quarter of 2021 in coordination with multimodal improvements along the Pike.
APS Tells Staff to Stop Paying Sales Tax — As a public institution Arlington Public Schools is exempt from paying sales tax, but the school system’s internal auditor has found that some staff members have been placing orders for APS via Amazon without sales tax exempted. APS has since requested sales tax refunds for those orders. [InsideNova]
Arlington Resident Cited for Boating Incident — An Arlington man has been cited for operating a vessel while impaired after his 28-foot boat ran aground off the eastern shore of Maryland, south of Ocean City. [WMDT]
Notable Rivercrest Property Sold — A home and an adjacent vacant lot have been sold near the intersection of Military Road and N. Glebe Road in the Rivercrest neighborhood. The lot was the site of a “national debate over property rights and conformity,” when in 1969 an architect started to build a custom home on the lot but was ultimately stopped after a legal challenge by neighbors, who thought the home was ugly and would not “retain the very pleasant, beautiful nature of Rivercrest.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Flipper: Selling Home to the County Was a Pain — A real estate investor has penned a piece for the Post in which he recounts the sale of one of his properties to Arlington County. The sale, of a house near Fire Station 8, was “neither lucrative nor convenient” and was more trouble than it was worth, he writes. However, the owner of a run-down property next to his received a much better price by holding out, the piece suggests. [Washington Post]
Mouthwash on Clarendon Bus Stop — Updating the saga of the stick of deodorant atop a Clarendon bus stop, the deodorant has now been joined by an errant bottle of Listerine mouthwash. [ARLnow]
Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!
Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.
With June coming to a close, we’re halfway through 2017.
Pretty wild, right?
It’s a perfect time to check in on those “New Years Resolutions” and 2017 goals – how are they coming along? Perhaps your goal of hitting the gym seven days a week did not play out too well.
But, if you still have aspirations for homeownership in 2017, it’s not too late.
With summer in full force, local families are prepping and selling their homes, in an effort to settle in to a new spot before the 2017-2018 school year. We’ll likely see an influx of homes here in the coming weeks, meaning more options for you, the homebuyer.
So, even though we’re six months in to the year… don’t give up on your 2017 dreams! And when you’re ready to find that perfect home, my team and I are here to help you GET MORE out of your transaction.
As of June 27 there are 236 detached homes, 61 townhouses and 268 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 50 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.
Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:
- 1662 N. Quinn Street, 22209 – NOW: $1,150,000 (Reduced $35,000 on 6/27)
- 3625 N. Lancaster Street, 22207 – NOW: $1,100,000 (Reduced $90,000 on 6/26)
- 3917 N. Abingdon Street, 22207 – NOW: $1,050,000 (Reduced $45,000 on 6/26)
- 625 N. Buchanan Street, 22203 – NOW: $799,958 (Reduced $50,317 on 6/25)
- 5602 Wilson Blvd, 22205 – NOW: $700,000 (Reduced $14,900 on 6/26)
- 4191 Four Mile Run Drive #301, 22204 – NOW: $399,900 (Reduced $5,100 on 6/26)
- 1045 N. Utah Street #2-305, 22201 – NOW: $349,000 (Reduced $100,000 on 6/24)
Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.
ListingKey, the newest real estate brokerage to enter the DMV, provides cash rebates on each home sale, from both sides of the transaction. With the ListingKey Financial Advantage, sellers receive up to 2% back at closing.
On a $561,000 sale — the median price in Arlington in June — that’s $11,200 returned to the seller. Talk about real money in your pocket.
For buyers, a $561,000 transaction returns 1.25% back at closing, a bonus of $7,012. Perfect for funding future home improvements like a small bathroom renovation, a new roof, updated fencing or fresh landscaping. Or even just a nice vacation.
ListingKey is also launching a streamlined, automated buying and selling platform that reduce obstacles, save time and eliminate the stress involved in what is one of your most important transactions of your life — by connecting home sellers and buyers directly.
Consumers control every aspect of the transaction, and for sellers, that means driving negotiations with prospective buyers and the signing on the bottom line to close the deal. Plus, professional photography, 3D tours, MLS syndication marketing materials and more.
For buyers that means exploring up-to-the-minute new listings, scheduling home showings, drafting offers and even signing deals with electronic signatures. AND get 1.25% for your effort.
Behind ListingKey are real estate veterans who are there to support you through every phase of your search for a new home and to get the most money out of selling your current one.
At every step, a ListingKey professional is standing by to help. While cash back is the promise, quality service is their mission.
Thinking about selling? Find your home’s value here.
Looking for a home in Arlington? Call 571-363-4016 or email at [email protected].
Arlington County’s public libraries offer free access to online learning service Lynda, home to video tutorials on software, business, creatives skills, computer programming and more.
Now owned by Linkedin, Lynda offers more than 9,000 courses for use by individuals, schools and companies. Subscriptions start at $19.99 per month, but anyone with an Arlington library card can access it for free by setting up an account using their card number and PIN.
(On the library homepage there is also a link to the Lynda sign-in page that can be accessed by clicking on “Learning Tools” via the “Explore” tab.)
After an account is set up, users can fill in a profile and their interests, which enables Lynda to recommend relevant videos under its “My Interests” tab. Videos can also be found on the homepage or by using the search feature.
For those having trouble local library branches can provide assistance or you can call the Central Library for more information at 703-228-5959. The library offered an in-person tutorial on using Lynda Monday.
For those who want to ring in Independence Day with some backyard pyrotechnics, at least two fireworks stands are now open in Arlington.
With the Fourth of July a week away, stands along Columbia Pike and Lee Highway are offering various types of sparklers, whirligigs and other fireworks that are legal in Virginia.
The first stand is located in a parking lot near the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. The other is also in a parking lot, near the corner of Lee Highway and N. Harrison Street. Both have been offering fireworks at their respective locations, around the Fourth of July holiday, for years.
For those planning a year ahead, such fireworks stands will often offer deep discounts after the holiday.
Helpful reminder: fireworks will be on deep discount starting July 5. No need to buy right away.
— SRtwofourfour (@SRtwofourfour) June 26, 2017
(Updated 5:35 p.m.) A man was rescued by Arlington County firefighters after being pinned under a collapsed wall at a house on Old Dominion Drive this afternoon.
Crews responded around 2 p.m. Tuesday to a home on the 4700 block of Old Dominion Drive, where the man was pinned below his waist by a two-ton concrete slab. According to scanner traffic, he had been working on the wall when it gave way.
The man was conscious and being tended to by medics while a technical rescue team shored up the wall and removed the collapsed material. The man was extricated at approximately 2:55 p.m. and transported to the hospital.
Police closed Old Dominion Drive in both directions between Lee Highway and 23rd Street N. due to the emergency response. The road reopened shortly after 4 p.m.
According to scanner traffic, investigators from the police as well as the the state occupational safety agency will inspect the incident site.
(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) Neighbors of Virginia Highlands Park are accusing Arlington County of ignoring a proposal they put together for the park’s future.
Last year the Aurora Highlands Civic Association submitted a plan for the permit-only softball fields on the west side of the park at 1600 S. Hayes Street to be converted into open space, without any set programming.
“The fields are significantly underused relative to other facilities and especially to open space,” the proposal says, noting that use of the fields is seasonal. “Each field is used for approximately 600 hours per year out of a potential of 4,380 hours (12 hours a day), a total of less than 14% of the time.”
The county is at the beginning of what it says is a “community-wide conversation” about the park’s future and developing a comprehensive plan.
But some residents are critical of staff at the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, saying that staff has not adequately considered their proposal nor communicated with them, despite an “extraordinary effort” on the part of community leaders “to ensure that there was little to no miscommunication in this process.”
“Attempting to develop a long-term plan for the park that fails to openly and honestly consider the needs of all park goers over existing facilities and their usage, as well intentioned as it may be, will just reshuffle that poor planning with some prettying around the edges,” the group Friends of Aurora Highlands Parks said in its latest newsletter.
ARLnow columnist Peter Rousselot wrote in a recent opinion piece that a member of DPR staff said the softball fields “are needed” and would not be removed.
A county spokeswoman, however, said that while there is no set timeline for planning for the park’s revamp, the civic association’s proposal is still on the table.
“The Aurora Highland Civic Association did provide a plan for the neighborhood’s vision for the park,” the spokeswoman said. “When the county begins the framework plan for the park, the civic association’s plan as well as other community-wide inputs will be considered. County staff is now working with the County Board to determine next steps.”
The softball fields at Virginia Highlands Park are used by a variety of leagues across age groups, from youth to adult.
The D.C. Fray adult league — formerly known as United Social Sports — began a new eight-week season this week at the fields. Founder and CEO Robert Kinsler said the league “strongly supports maintaining and expanding the fields available for organized sports in Arlington and specifically at Virginia Highlands.”
“We permit and use the parks as much as availability and DPR allows and often have to turn away players due to lack of field space in the area,” Kinsler said. “Any loss of the softball fields would be a huge lost for the activity community that lives in the area.”
This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Where is it? Cherrydale is one of Arlington’s most sought-after neighborhoods, bounded by the intersection of Interstate 66 and Lee Highway to the east, N. Utah Street to the west, I-66 to the south, and Old Dominion Drive to the north, with an awkward configuration of boundaries just north of Old Dominion adding to it.
It is primarily served by Washington-Lee High School, with a small section north of Old Dominion districted to Yorktown High School. Cherrydale boasts a diverse housing selection, with a large number of single family homes dating back to the early 1900s mixed with homes from each decade, including new construction homes that have replaced smaller, aging homes.
In addition to single family homes, Cherrydale has some pockets of condos and townhomes. Most of Cherrydale is within a 15-minute walk of the Ballston or Virginia Square Metro stations.
About the interviewee: Jennifer Galloway and her husband moved to Cherrydale from a Ballston condo in 2016 to find community, more space and their target school district for their 10-month-old daughter. They moved into a beautifully renovated pop-top home that combined Jennifer’s love of older homes with her husband’s preference for new and were sold by the two beautiful magnolia trees in the backyard.
Hailing from Connecticut, Jennifer entered the D.C. scene working in politics and eventually leveraged her connections and fundraising experience to found the Wolcott Hill Group, a nonprofit consulting firm. Jennifer is a proud graduate of the 2016 Leadership Arlington cohort and 2016 “40 Under 40” winner.
What do you love about Cherrydale?
It’s such a close, supportive community. I think we’d met every one of our neighbors within the first month and everybody has been so helpful, which is invaluable for a young family like ours. We also love the generational mix in the community with everything from young families to retirees who have lived here for 40+ years.
My husband commutes into D.C. every day and I’m always going to appointments around the metropolitan area, so we both utilize the Metrobus system that runs through out the neighborhood and makes commuting easy.
Why did you move to Cherrydale?
We wanted to be in the Washington-Lee High School district and my husband needed a short commute into D.C., so we were focused on Cherrydale, Waverly Hills and Westover.
When we first started looking, we stopped by an open house in Cherrydale and ended up talking to the neighbor for a while. She told us they were considering a move, but loved the neighborhood so much that they invested in a major renovation/expansion of their home in order to stay in the neighborhood. That sold us.
What are some of your favorite places to go?
Our favorite restaurants are Cassats and Lebanese Taverna, which are both walkable. We spend a lot of time in nearby parks like Woodstock and Quincy Park and take walks along the Custis Trail. If you’ve never been to Arrow Wine, had pastries from Randolph’s, or empanadas from La Union Grocery, you have to go soon.
Are there any fun community events?
There’s a big July 4 block party every year at the top of N. Stafford Street with a George Washington impersonator who reads the Declaration of Independence. We also have an annual yard sale in the neighborhood that’s a lot of fun.
What do you think the next 10-15 years will bring for Cherrydale?
I’m sure we’ll continue seeing small, older homes replaced by larger new homes and a continuous flow of young families coming in. However, there are many families, like ours, who plan to raise their children in Cherrydale, so it will be exciting to see the community grow together over the years.
Thank you so much for your interview Jennifer! I’m sure this will help many families considering a move into or within Arlington who are looking for many of the same things your family wanted.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.