77°Rain

by Alex Koma June 22, 2018 at 9:00 pm 0

Some more showers are on the way this weekend, though Arlington seems set to avoid a total wash-out if you’re trying to get outside.

Storms will stick around tonight, even though more than a foot of rain has already plagued the D.C. region since mid-May, and could make Saturday a bit dreary as well. Sunday, however, should provide a few rays of sun.

Check out our event calendar if you need some ideas about things to do. If you’re headed to downtown Clarendon, be aware that some big drop-off and pick-up changes are now in effect. Or if you’re planning on swinging by the Arlington Cemetery, know that you won’t be able to get there by Metro.

And if you’re the owner of a wayward stuffed rabbit lost at the Taste of Arlington, county officials remain ready to arrange a reunion.

If you’re looking to wait out these storms, check out our most popular stories of the past week:

  1. I-66 Tolls Have Yet to Convince Arlington Commuters to Choose Transit
  2. Morning Poll: What’s Above the CVS in Clarendon?
  3. Rustico Ballston to Host Crawfish Boil, Open New Beer Garden Saturday
  4. New Ballston Quarter Pedestrian Bridge Delayed Until 2019
  5. Following a Maywood Roof Dispute, County Board Weighs Historic District Policy Changes

Head down to the comments to discuss these stories, your weekend plans or anything else local.

by Alex Koma June 22, 2018 at 5:45 pm 0

Arlington’s economic outlook is “so bright you need to wear shades,” according to Terry Clower, an expert on the D.C. region over at George Mason University.

As a professor of public policy and director of Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis, Clower can speak with some authority on just how Arlington is doing. But between Amazon’s potential arrival in Arlington and all of the problems surrounding the region’s transportation, Clower does see a few clouds on the horizon.

On this edition of the 26 Square Miles podcast, we discussed the county’s odds of landing Amazon, what would happen if the county is successful, and all manner of the hottest economic and transportation-related debates around Arlington.

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

Photo courtesy of George Mason University

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 22, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

Each Friday, Tim’s Arlington sets the table with deals and events for the weekend ahead in Arlington.

Highlights for the upcoming weekend include:

Event of the Weekend: The West Columbia Pike Food Truck Party is this Saturday @ Four Mile Run Drive & Columbia Pike from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m..

Friday: Outdoor Movies @ Arlington Mill & Rosslyn Gateway Park

Saturday: Farmers Markets @ Arlington Mill & Lubber Run

Sunday: Several new additions for Bottomless Brunch including Ambar & Wilson Hardware

Scroll through the entire list here:

Follow Tim’s Arlington on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, & his newsletter for new deals and events, posted regularly throughout the week (typically 10-20 new deals & events are added daily)!

Interested in special promotion as the Deal or Event of the Week or Weekend? Have a deal or event tip? Comments? Suggestions? Email Tim at [email protected]!

by Melanie Pincus June 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm 0

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Gallery Clarendon opened its doors Wednesday (June 20), using two floors of gallery and studio space to showcase the work of local artists.

Located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, the gallery is a temporary project of the Arlington Artists Alliance. It occupies the space vacated by Mexican restaurant Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in October 2016. Admission to the gallery is free, although pieces may be purchased, and there are plans to begin offering art classes within the next few weeks.

The length of Gallery Clarendon’s stay depends on when Regency Centers, which also operates the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, can find a permanent tenant for the site. Sandi Parker, managing director of galleries at the Arlington Artists Alliance, said they anticipate being open for at least a year.

“I always liken it to staging a house — it looks better when there’s something there,” Parker said. Regency Centers was “very generous to allow us to use the space,” she added.

The gallery is planning a grand opening for sometime in September, Parker said.

For both events, “we really want to engage with the Clarendon community,” Parker said. They plan to have “some of our potential teachers on site to work with kids,” and hope to partner with local businesses to elevate receptions, she added.

The art on display will change at opening receptions held on the second Friday of every month, Parker said. Reception attendees will have the opportunity to meet and converse with artists.

The gallery had aimed to open in April, but complications in obtaining an occupancy permit from the county caused delays.

“This is kind of a unique space in that it was originally a restaurant/bar… so it’s a change of use,” Parker said. Safety updates like replacing lights were also necessary after the space’s lengthy vacancy, she said.

Now that the gallery is open, Parker said they look forward to getting to know the Clarendon community.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’re going to meet a lot of Clarendon residents and… find a whole new market.”

Regency Centers operates several properties in Northern Virginia. Although Jan Hanak, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, said he wasn’t aware of any other arrangements like this one, the corporation is  “certainly interested in those types of uses because it creates a certain type of buzz at the property and brings new people in.”

by ARLnow.com June 22, 2018 at 3:35 pm 0

Tracy Gabriel, a D.C. urban planning official who formerly was a vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, has been hired as the new president and executive director of the Crystal City Business Improvement District.

Gabriel joins the BID as Crystal City is poised for a “dynamic transformation.”

Though saddled with a high office vacancy rate following the loss of large government and military tenants, Crystal City is among the leading contenders for Amazon’s second headquarters, known as HQ2.

Even if Amazon goes elsewhere, Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard are set for significant growth — plus $2 billion in private investment and $1.5 billion in public infrastructure projects over the next decade — which will help it become “the largest walkable downtown in Virginia and of similar scale to major U.S. downtowns such as Indianapolis and Austin,” according to a press release (below).

Meanwhile, an expansion of the Crystal City BID to include adjacent Pentagon City is under consideration.

More on Gabriel’s hiring, via a BID press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by Alex Koma June 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A new capital spending plan for Arlington’s burgeoning public school system calls for adding more than 4,200 seats through 2027.

The $631 million construction plan includes a new elementary school at the Reed School site and 1,650 new seats for high schoolers split between the Education Center site and the Arlington Career Center.

The Board has spent weeks working to strike a balance between the school system’s increasingly tight finances and its ever-rising enrollment figures, resulting in a new Capital Improvement Plan that left Board members optimistic, yet unsatisfied.

Debate over the plans at Career Center, in particular, dominated the Board’s discussions about the CIP. Parents living near the center, which is located just off Columbia Pike and will someday be home to another 1,050 high school students, raised frequent concerns that APS might not build the same amenities at the site as it has at its three comprehensive high schools.

“With all the pressures on the school system right now, some may say the plan is not perfect today,” said Board member Monique O’Grady. “But I believe it’s evolving in the right direction.”

The Board’s tight financial picture meant that it couldn’t quite meet all the parent requests, but members did work to speed up the construction of some features at the site by re-allocating some of the school system’s capital reserve money.

Under the version of the plan approved Thursday, the Career Center will now include a multi-use gym, a “black box” theater, a performing arts wing, a synthetic athletic field and a parking garage.

The field and parking garage will be constructed in 2o23 to make those features available to students as more high schoolers move to the site. APS will then simultaneously add an 800-seat expansion and the performing arts section in 2025.

That will address some of the concerns raised by local parents, including some who formed an advocacy group focused on the issue. But they remain wary of how the Board will ultimately decide which students attend the Career Center site high school — members have yet to decide if it will be a “neighborhood” school only for students who live nearby, or a countywide “option” school.

“No child should be zoned to this school described in this proposal,” said Christine Brittle, an organizer with Citizens for Arlington School Equality. “Arlington has never had a choice school of this size.”

Board members stress that such a decision is a long way off, and the county’s financial picture could someday improve and allow APS to add more amenities to the site. There’s broad hope among officials that tax revenues will rebound when it comes time for the next CIP update in 2020.

“When the inputs change, the plan will change,” said Vice Chair Reid Goldstein. “The CIP is a plan, not a promise.”

In the near term, the County Board still needs to sign off on the school system’s CIP as part of its own capital spending process.

County Manager Mark Schwartz has previously warned that the School Board was a bit too ambitious in its ask from the county, though at a work session Tuesday (June 19), he suggested the version of the CIP the Board passed “can work… with a few minor adjustments.”

The County Board is set to pass its CIP by July 14.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 22, 2018 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:

15 N. Jackson Street
6 bed/5 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Aaron Seekford
Listed: $1,485,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

2343 S. Meade Street
6 bed/6 bath single-family home
Agent: Virginia Smith
Listed: $1,250,000
Open: Saturday 1-4 p.m.

 

6425 26th Street N.
5 bed/3 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Barbara Nalls
Listed: $1,249,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

3837 26th Street N.
5 bed/3 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Jennifer Burns
Listed: $899,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2723 N. Edison Street
2 bed/2 bath single-family home
Agent: David Lloyd
Listed: $699,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1619 S. Hayes Street
2 bed/2 bath, 1 half bath condo
Agent: Rebecca Seekford
Listed: $585,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

4077 S. Four Mile Run Drive
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Francisco Barragan
Listed: $318,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1111 N. Arlington Boulevard
1 bed/1 bath Co-op
Agent: Russell Baum
Listed: $174,500
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 22, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Flying Colors column banner

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.

For the past 45 days, I have driven over the Chain Bridge to get to work. And for the past 45 days the Potomac River has been roaring like I have rarely seen in my forty years of living in Virginia and Maryland.

The amount of water, the depth of the water, the explosive energy and enormity of the size of the river, at Chain Bridge, has been mesmerizing. And scary when you are stuck on the bridge in rush hour traffic barely moving, as you peer over the river that your non-moving car is sitting fifty feet above! Wishing hard that the light turns GREEN!

This week the river finally calmed down. But you would think that with all the rain we have had, your backyard birds would be doing fine.

All this rain does keep the temperature down. Good for the fledgling birds and us. And all this rain will produce an abundance of insects and beneficial flowers that will later turn to seed.

Good for the birds — but bugs — not so much for us. And the rain is good for the grass which will grow and is good for… yeah we are going to visit this issue in a later blog.

But what happens as the hot sunny, DRY days hit?

Yesterday’s and yesterweek’s storms and water do not help the birds then. Water is vitally important when it is hot. Birds do not sweat. They must remove excess body heat through their respiratory system. A reliable source of water allows birds to bathe regularly, a critical part of feather maintenance and staying in flight top condition.

All birds need water and it does not have to be difficult or expensive.

Attract more birds by offering water in a bird bath. Elevated bird baths will help to keep the birds safe from “natural” predators.

Bird baths with sloped sides permit visitors to move from shallow to deeper water and they accommodate different sized bird that need to drink or bathe. A dripper, attached to the bird bath, will provide cool, clean water all day.

A mister when located near foliage, gives birds the opportunity to “leaf bathe.” Birds exhibiting this type of behavior will flutter against the wet plants or leaves to release droplets onto their feathers.

Whenever I am watering my flower garden or filling my bird bath dishes, I always look for a low leafy tree branch and spray, for a minute, the branch. Often, I will notice many different types of birds coming close to the branch for a chance to take a leaf bathe. It is a fun way to connect a little closer to the birds. (more…)

by Alex Koma June 22, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

Beer lovers will have not just one, but two Oktoberfest-themed events to enjoy in the Shirlington area this fall.

New District Brewing announced this week that it’s expanding its “Arlington ValleyFest” event to help pick up where Capitol City Brewing, long the hosts of an Oktoberfest celebration, left off after the brewpub closed this spring.

But restaurateur Reese Gardner tells ARLnow that he’ll also be hosting an Oktoberfest gathering along Campbell Avenue, in and around his Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue), ensuring that the Village at Shirlington will still have a fall beer festival even with Cap City gone.

Gardner is dubbing the event “Shucktoberfest,” as it will be co-sponsored by the Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, and it’s now set for Oct. 20. He says he secured an agreement from the shopping center’s landlord to host the event shortly after Cap City closed up shop in April, and recently finalized securing the necessary permits from the county.

Gardner said 19 Virginia breweries have committed to attend, many of which served up their suds at Cap City’s Oktoberfest events. Gardner says the event will feature “oyster tents” and other food options, as well as a “kids’ zone” and game area that will include cornhole.

Tickets will be available for the event on its website. Gardner is also looking for volunteers to help staff the festival.

by ARLnow.com June 22, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

A man is in critical condition after being rescued from a submerged car at the Columbia Island Marina.

Rescue personnel from Arlington, D.C. and Reagan National Airport were dispatched to the marina at 9 a.m. for a report of a vehicle in the water. Within minutes they rescued the man through the car window, treated him on the scene and rushed him to George Washington University Hospital, said an Arlington fire department spokeswoman.

The submerged vehicle was located near the marina’s boat ramp. There’s no word yet how it ended up in the water.

Divers searched but did not find any other victims. They were aided in the search by the D.C. fire boat and the U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter.

Rescue personnel are currently working to remove the car from the water.

One firefighter suffered an injury during the rescue operation and was treated on scene by medics. Access to the marina’s parking lot has been restricted due to the emergency response.

Update at 10:25 a.m. — The vehicle has been removed from the water, per scanner traffic.

Update at 5:35 p.m. — The man who was pulled from the submerged car has died, WTOP is reporting. It is still unclear as to how the car wound up in the water.

Photos courtesy @ArlingtonVaFD

by ARLnow.com June 22, 2018 at 9:15 am 0

Two ART Routes End Today — ART Routes 54 and 92 will cease operations after the end of the day today. Per a press release: “The two routes were eliminated as part of Arlington County’s FY 2019 budget and to improve efficiency of ART service. Both bus routes perform below ART’s minimum service standards of 15 passengers per hour.” [Arlington Transit]

Arlington Cemetery Station to Close This Weekend — The Arlington Cemetery Metro station will be closed this weekend so workers can install cables “for cellular communication,” WMATA says. Shuttle buses will be available but the Blue Line will only run from Franconia-Springfield to National Airport. [DCist]

Windy Run Improvement Project Complete — “There will soon be an official ribbon cutting to celebrate the renovated Windy Run. And in the meantime, the trail and park have re-opened and can be enjoyed by Arlington residents.” [Arlington County]

Suspected DUI Hit and Run in Clarendon — A man was arrested after an alleged DUI hit and run in Clarendon yesterday evening. At least two vehicles were struck, though the suspect’s SUV appeared to have suffered the most damage. [Twitter]

Arlington is No. 2 on New Livability Ranking — “Arlington placed second in its size category in the updated AARP ‘Livability Index.’ Arlington ranked behind only Madison, Wisc., in the ranking for communities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000. The survey, updated for the first time since 2015, used more than 50 data sources to score communities on areas ranging from housing and transportation to social engagement.” [InsideNova]

Photo by @thelastfc

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 22, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

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 real estate market showed signs of slowing this week with only 61 ratified contracts and 100 new listings.

Properties in good condition and priced correctly are still selling quickly. Some 28 of those ratified contracts were homes that had been on the market only seven days or less. The average days on market has remained steady at 31.

Mortgage applications jumped up 5.1% this week driven by refinances and ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages). Apparently home owners late to the refinance party realize the window of opportunity is closing.

When should you refinance? If your current rate is 0.75% (3/4%) over the current market, with many years left to payoff, then it likely makes sense to refinance. There are many variables at play, so talk with an experienced loan officer.

ARMs have become popular again as rising interest rates lower a buyer’s purchasing power. But ARMs offer lower rates than 30-yr fixed and are shorter term, typically 5-yr, 7-yr or 10-yr. So this loan product is attractive to first time home buyers who are likely to move anyway within five years. The lower rates allow them to buy a higher priced home.

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 Sponsor June 21, 2018 at 5:45 pm 0

Address: 4656 N. Dittmar Road
Neighborhood: Country Club Hills
Listed: $1,500,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

With generously sized spaces, practical circular flow and attention to beautiful architectural details, you’ll love coming home to this gracious Country Club Hills retreat.

Perfect for entertaining, the dining and living spaces open up to the lushly landscaped and private back yard with stone patio and attached screened-in porch. With three bedrooms and four full baths, this home is perfect as it is, or may easily be added onto to gain an additional two bedrooms and bath if desired.

The latest addition showcases spacious dining and family rooms with soaring coffered ceilings. On the second level is the master suite, a perfect haven with sitting room, walk-in closet, and spa-like bath.

Whether entertaining many or desiring a restful retreat, this home has it all!

For further info, photos, and floor-plans, visit www.CountryClubRetreat.com.

Listed by:
Donna Hamaker, Realtor
Buck & Associates
(703) 582-7779
[email protected]
www.DonnaHamaker.com

by ARLnow.com June 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm 0

Arlington County Police will begin issuing tickets as it enforces its new drop-off and pick-up zones in Clarendon tonight (Thursday).

ACPD made the announcement via Twitter this morning. It follows several weeks of public outreach about the new rules, which are intended to stop double parking, blocking of crosswalks and bike lanes, and other bad driver behavior.

The enforcement comes as an event has taken over Clarendon’s Metro plaza.

Make Music Day kicked off at 11 a.m. and is planned to run through through 9 p.m. tonight. Performers include Americana group Know1Else, who will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and 9:30 Club veterans Skyline Hotel, slotted for 8 p.m.

Make Music Day began in France in the early 1980s and takes place annually on the summer solstice. The event is now celebrated in 800 cities across 120 countries, said Carol Leonhart, co-director of Make Music Day D.C. and co-founder of Global Jam 4 Peace.

The event also featured booths for music organizations like the Songwriters’ Association of WashingtonCancer Can Rock and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation.

Melanie Pincus contributed photos and reporting

by Alex Koma June 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm 0

President Trump may have agreed to stop separating families at the Mexican border, but Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (D-Va.) fear the administration could soon concoct a plan to jail immigrant families indefinitely instead.

At a gathering of local faith leaders and immigrant advocates today (Thursday) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd), both senators expressed relief that Trump backed down from his policy of breaking up migrant families that attempt to cross the border illegally.

Yet Warner lamented that Trump’s executive order “raises as many questions as it answers,” and the senators are deeply concerned that the White House will now try to convince Congress to pass some sort of compromise legislation on the issue.

Trump’s order yesterday (Wednesday) required families to be detained together until their criminal and immigration proceedings are completed — but a federal court order requires children to be released after 20 days, and Kaine and Warner both worry that Trump could try to push through legislation to supersede that order and remove any limit on detaining families.

“We could see version two, or version three, of this, that will get presented as something that’s not as bad as what came before,” Kaine said. “But I’m not going to agree to something bad just because he’s being cruel.”

Priscilla Martinez, a fourth-generation Mexican American with Loudoun’s All Dulles Area Muslim Society, worried that such an approach by Trump might prove effective.

While she noted that the public may be outraged about the family separation policy now, she’s concerned that people could become “anesthetized” to less extreme versions of it. She drew a parallel to the public reaction to Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries — while the initial executive order prompted mass protests, the administration subsequently proposed less draconian versions of the same policy that gradually drew less attention.

“They could easily put something forward that’s still bad, but people accept it because it’s less awful that what came before,” Martinez said. “I’m concerned it’s so bad right now, people might run out of steam.”

That’s why Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, the legal director of the Legal Aid Justice Center’s immigrant advocacy program, urged the senators to not accept that this debate is over simply because Trump has changed the family separation policy. He suggested that they press the administration to allow children to be released to other family members instead of being held in a jail cell, a process he says Trump has worked to make increasingly difficult.

“Kids don’t belong in cages, and that’s the bottom line,” Sandoval-Moshenberg said. “Whether it’s the same cage as their mother and father or two separate cages… Any solution that results in kids being kept in cages is no solution at all.”

Kaine and Warner agreed to that request, and they’re pledging to visit Virginia’s detention facilities for immigrant children in Bristow and Staunton to inspect their conditions. They do take some hope from reports today that the Border Patrol plans to stop referring migrant parents who cross the border illegally with children for criminal charges, but they say they can’t be sure what the White House will do next.

“This administration has no plan,” Warner said. “As we’ve seen continuously, he zigs and zags on an hourly basis.”

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