35°Overcast

by ARLnow.com February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm 0

(Updated at 5:40 p.m.) A winter storm with mixed precipitation is turning out to be more snowy than expected inside the Beltway.

Arlington and the rest of metro D.C. has been added to a Winter Weather Advisory that had previously included points north and west of the city.

Around parts of Arlington and Alexandria surveyed by ARLnow.com, even treated roads and sidewalks were slushy as sleet and snow continued to fall in the early evening. A transition to rain is expected before the bulk of the precipitation moves out by midnight.

A number of crashes are being reported throughout the county, many attributed to slippery conditions. In Courthouse, police were considering closing 14th Street N. at N. Uhle Street due to cars “sliding down the hill.” On the northern end of Glebe Road, a crash was reported to be snarling traffic near Chain Bridge.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT… * WHAT…WET SNOW. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO TWO INCHES ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE…METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON DC. * WHEN…UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. BE PREPARED FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR WET SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF WET SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 17, 2018 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. 

Do you own an electric vehicle, or have you thought of purchasing one?

Electric vehicles, or EVs, offer a number of benefits over their gas-guzzling cousins: they’re cheaper to operate, easier on the environment and come flush with exciting new technologies. But if you live in a multifamily building, finding a place to charge your EV can be a challenge.

Enter Electrify America. As part of the Volkswagen settlement, Electrify America is installing $40 million worth of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. They’re specifically looking for suggestions of multifamily buildings and workplaces that could benefit from an EV charger.

That’s right, your multifamily building or workplace could have an electric vehicle charging station installed for free. Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit electrifyamerica.com/submissions before March 1.
  2. Select “Specific Site Location” from the first dropdown menu, where it says “Submission Type.”
  3. Fill in the rest of the form. This should only take a few minutes.
  4. Electrify America will weigh these suggestions over the coming months. If your site is selected, they’ll reach back out to you.

Make sure you submit your building or workplace before the March 1 deadline. If you would like assistance filling out the form or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 8:00 pm 0

Before we head off into President’s Day — or, as we call it here in Virginia, George Washington Day — weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on ARLnow in recent days.

  1. Arlington County Firefighter Arrested on Drug Charges at Fire Station
  2. Developing: Police Investigating Fall from Clarendon Building
  3. County Wins Top Environmental Award from U.S. Green Building Council (published 12/20/17)
  4. Arlington’s Sunniva Goes to ‘Shark Tank,’ Walks Away Without a Deal
  5. Taylor Elementary School Pleads Guilty to Marijuana Possession

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

We’ll resume our regular publication schedule on Tuesday, barring any breaking news. Have a great weekend!

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 16, 2018 at 5:15 pm 0

The Yorktown High School student rushed to the hospital last Friday died Thursday night. An Arlington Public Schools spokesman confirmed the death.

Police remained at the high school on Friday after the student was found unresponsive in a bathroom at approximately 9 a.m. Initial reports indicated that the injuries were self-inflicted.

Outside the school, students have painted her name and a heart on a large stone, as a memorial.

The following is the letter sent to parents this morning from the school’s principal, Bridget Loft. The full name of the child has been redacted to protect her identity and give the family privacy.

Dear Yorktown Families:

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that one of our 12th grade students passed away last night. She was a valued member of our community who will be greatly missed by all of us. While we are not in a position to release any more details at this time, many students are learning about this through social media. To that end, we shared the news with the entire school this morning and also let students and staff know that counselors are available should they need to talk.

Our counselors and staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning are available to meet with students who need support in dealing with this news. We will also provide additional support for staff

All Yorktown counselors, staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning and the counseling teams from Washington-Lee High School and Wakefield High School have joined us to support our students. They will be available from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday and throughout the coming week to talk with students who may need some added support.

Understanding death, especially the death of a peer, can be a very difficult experience. For that reason, we hope that you will listen to your son or daughter and talk with them about their feelings and reactions to this tragedy. We are taking every step we can to be responsive to the needs of our students and their families. Please keep us informed if there are ways we can further support your child.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and friends during this difficult time. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to call the school office at 703-228-5400.

Sincerely,

Bridget Loft

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911 or the Department of Human Services’ emergency services line at 703-228-5160. CrisisLink also has a 24-hour crisis hotline at 703-527-4077 or 800-SUICIDE, or text 703-940-0888.

by Anna Merod February 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) A bill prohibiting school officials from stigmatizing students who can’t afford school meals or pay off their debts is likely to pass the Virginia General Assembly, said bill sponsor state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31).

The SB 840 bill, which has already passed through the Virginia Senate, will ban school board employees from identifying students who owe a meal debt by, for example, requiring students to wear bracelets or hand stamps.

The bill also prohibits school board members from making students do chores or work to pay for meal debts. It also states that any communication about a meal debt must be written in a letter to the student’s parents to bring home.

“We want students to have as positive an experience as possible while they’re in school,” Favola said. “It doesn’t send the right message to children if they’re at all identified for being different because of an income inequality.”

Favola represents Virginia’s 31st District, which includes Arlington and Fairfax County.

A Virginia social justice group, Social Action Linking Together (SALT), approached Favola to sponsor the bill. After other constituents voiced similar concerns about the treatment of students with meal debts, Favola introduced the bill to the Senate.

One Arlington parent told John Horejsi, a SALT coordinator, that their child’s elementary school puts orange stickers on students’ shirts when they owe a lunch debt. The parent discussed the matter with ARLnow.com but did not wish to identify the school or speak on the record.

An Arlington Public Schools spokesman said that practice is not in place at public schools in Arlington.

“To our knowledge, this hasn’t happened in APS in a number of years,” said Frank Bellavia, via email. “Currently, staff only speak with parents directly about a student’s unpaid lunch account. Our Food Services staff is working now on a formal policy for School Board approval that will permanently address this.”

The state bill is highly likely to pass, Favola said, because a companion bill unanimously passed in the House. The bill is now being reviewed by the Committee on Education.

A similar piece of legislation was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives last May, and a similar bill also passed in New Mexico last April.

File photo

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

A new Indian restaurant, Urban Tandoor, is one step closer to opening its doors as it hangs it sign at the Ballston space.

There still isn’t a posted opening date, though construction has been ongoing since at least September 2017. The restaurant, at 801 N. Quincy Street, will replace a series of eateries, like Republic Kitchen & Bar and Leek American Bistro, which have closed in recent years.

The owner, Rajeev Mainali, told ARLnow.com in September 2017 that the food will primarily be Indian, with some subtle differences to “cater to the young crowd.” He called the expanding neighborhood an opportunity to expand the ethnic food options along the corridor. The restaurant, sitting at the intersection of N. Quincy Street and Wilson Boulevard, is directly across from a Bruegger’s Bagels, a Taylor Gourmet, and the recently opened &pizza.

“The area is growing so fast, we feel like it has been underserved as far as restaurants go,” Mainali told ARLnow.com. “We feel like there are not enough good restaurants there. There are some, but not enough to serve the growing clientele there.”

The restaurant will have 95 seats inside, and an outdoor patio will have the capacity to host another 40 guests. The windows are mainly covered in sheets of paper, but a peek through a side window that had not been taped up revealed several chandeliers and dangling, glass lighting fixtures.

by Anna Merod February 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Arlington residents can now take a five minute survey sharing their thoughts for the 10-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a blueprint for how officials will shape Arlington County from 2019-2028.

The plan focuses on “building, maintaining, upgrading or replacing County facilities and infrastructure” over that 10 year period, according to the County’s website. Some of those facilities include libraries, parks, community centers, and transportation infrastructure.

The deadline for public input on the CIP is March 16. In May, County Manager Mark Schwartz will release a proposed plan for public review, in which the public will again have another opportunity for comment until July. The County Board will adopt the final improvement plan this July.

The CIP for 2017-2026 totaled $3.3 billion for capital projects and infrastructure investment for both the County and schools.

The survey asks about funding for a myriad of topics ranging from schools to transportation, including:

  • Maintenance of roads (ex. paving, potholes)
  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity projects
  • Public art projects
  • New parks and/or playgrounds, maintenance of existing parks and playgrounds
  • New or expanded libraries, maintenance of existing libraries
  • Design and/or construction of public buildings (ex. recreation/community centers)
  • New or expanded public schools to address growing enrollment, maintenance of schools
  • Arlington Transit (ART) buses, bus stops or related facilities
  • Neighborhood Conservation projects
  • Metro

Photo via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 16, 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:


1040 Edgewood Street N
5 bed/4 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Ruth Boyer O’dea
Listed: $1,880,000
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m., Sunday 2-4 p.m.


3504 16TH Street S
5 bed/4 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Raymond Gernhart
Listed: $1,075,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.


3854 Upland Street N
3 bed/2 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Jill Burke
Listed: $829,000
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m., Sunday 1-3 p.m. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 16, 2018 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.

Wait? What? It is only February 16. What are you talking about? There is no April Fools in Winter.

But you can easily be fooled in Winter. When the thermometer skyrockets into the 70’s and short sleeved men and women whack little balls on the golf course. It’s easy to see how you can be fooled. In February in Winter. When Cardinals start their melodic songs before the first light of dawn and brown lawns show signs of sprouting new garden flowers, it is easy to be fooled. In February in Winter. When outdoor seating is filled to capacity in cafes and coffee shops and the brisk walk of Winter has slowed to a leisurely pace, it is easy to be fooled in February in Winter.

Oh, and don’t look now, but our temps are going to drop by 48 degrees in the next day, so no Winter is not over. Even if the cold and snow do not come back, all of your backyard birds are still in need of foods that you have been providing. While we are snuggling in front of the fireplace watching the Olympics, they are hanging on — literally — the branches and shrubs at night staying warm.

They can only do that if they are sufficiently filled in their stomachs, with high fat foods. Suet and tree nuts are two great sources of fat that your birds need. The nights are still longer than the days. Your chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and all the other wild birds need to eat a lot. Also, those early morning love songs are not for our pleasure.

Although who cannot be enthralled when those songs come floating down the street into your yard. Birds are beginning to stake their claim for breeding territory and to attract mates. You know how hard it was to race around town to get those flowers and chocolates! Well the birds have to stand out also or they will be left out in the cold. This requires a lot of energy to set up a breeding territory, attract a mate; fight for that mate; mate; and then with success, feed the mate and offspring.

That is were your feeders are invaluable. Multiple sources of high fat foods and foods with protein will help the songs in your backyard multiply. And multiply they will. Many of our birds will start breeding in the middle of March. By the middle of April there will be a tremendous amount of new activity flying around your yard.

Sadly, many species of birds are in a decline. After watching 250 robins eat every berry off many large holly trees in the last month you would think they are doing well. That is not the case for this iconic bird of our yards. It is in decline. Installing and monitoring their nest boxes can help this bird try to recover and build a healthy population. (more…)

by ARLnow.com February 16, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

Damn Good Burger Co. is planning to open tonight in Shirlington, employees said.

The sister restaurant to Ballston’s Big Buns burger shop, Damn Good Burger served some of its first customers Wednesday and Thursday nights as part of a soft opening. As of midnight last night, the restaurant was closed but employees were still working on the finishing touches inside.

Located in the former Johnny Rockets space, Damn Good Burger will serve burgers, shakes and craft beer, among other offerings. The eatery is scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Friday).

by Anna Merod February 16, 2018 at 10:15 am 0

Demolition is underway on an old office building in Courthouse.

The demolition of the building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd will allow the construction of a new, 15-floor condominium tower. The 18,380 sq. ft. site will also feature ground-level retail and a garage fitting 112 parking spaces.

The site is currently fenced off while the building is torn down.

Photo (third) courtesy @721tv

by ARLnow.com February 16, 2018 at 9:30 am 0

Northside Social Sued by Songwriters — Clarendon cafe Northside Social is being sued by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for “unauthorized public performance of its members’ copyrighted musical works.” [Patch]

Phil Vassar Visits Animal Welfare League — “We had a special visitor at AWLA today: country music singer Phil Vassar stopped by the shelter today to meet three neonatal kittens that are named after his hit songs; Deputy Ray, Carlene, and Amazing Grace.” [Facebook]

Focus on Arlington’s School Resource Officers — The Arlington County Police Department has thirteen School Resource Officers, whose job it is to connect with and protect the 27,000 students at Arlington Public Schools. [WJLA]

Arlington’s First Black Firefighters Faced Hardships — “The first of Arlington County’s black firefighters — members of the Hall’s Hill Volunteer Fire Department and the paid men at Station No. 8 — grappled with taunts and inequities in the days of Jim Crow, according to Arlington Public Library records.” [Arlington Fire Journal]

Dems Want More Social Followers — Arlington Democrats are pushing for more social media followers, particularly on Facebook, with the goal of having the most followers of any Democratic organization in the Commonwealth. At last check, Albemarle County Democrats had more followers than Arlington. [InsideNova]

by Christina Sturdivant-Sani February 16, 2018 at 8:35 am 0

Photo by DaleKid

A body-conscious bootcamp, Swings Coffee is back, James Beard award finalists, and other news of the day over in the District.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 16, 2018 at 6:00 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.”

Buyers enjoyed a tidal wave of new listings this week, but rising interest rates rained on their parade.

Some 92 fresh new listings came on the market in Arlington, and buyers ratified 54 contracts. An incredible 24 new listings sold within seven days. And 10 of the homes ratified this week were listed over $1m helping to strengthen the upper end market.

But buyers got hammered by a jump in mortgage rates. The 30-yr fixed rate is now 1/4% higher than it was last week ranging now at 4.5%-4.65% for a 30-yr fixed. In this volatile mortgage market, rates vary greatly among lenders so buyers should shop diligently, and quickly, once they ratify an offer and can lock in their rate.  A half point increase would cost roughly $90/mo on a $300k loan.

Rates are expected to continue their climb. Inflation surged last month by 1/2% to an annual rate 2.1% which will likely inspire the Federal Reserve to raise short term rates sooner than later this year.

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 February 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm 0

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Edith Wilson, president of the Shirlington Civic Association and a member of the Four Mile Run Valley Working Group, regarding plans for Jennie Dean Park.

On February 6, the Parks & Recreation Department provided the Four Mile Run Valley (4MRV) Working Group with the staff policy framework for Jennie Dean Park over the next 20 years. Here’s a different view of the situation faced by decision-makers.

This park concept is vastly improved over initial proposals, reflecting many compromises where there is no perfect solution, Markedly responsive to a wide range of sharply competing interests and community input, it does right by the environment by respecting the flood plain and resource conservation area (RPA) and planting many more trees. It increases total recreation facilities by creating a new rectangular field where soccer and other casual sports can be played. A brand new playground would be located in the center of the park amid greenery and away from noisy trucks and buses from County facilities and the cement plant. It leaves the majority of new parkland along S. Four Mile Run Drive for landscaping and open space.

There is a lot of history to our valley, but part of that history is the new elements too. Take us for example. Over the last 40 years, residential multi-unit housing was built along the south side of the stream from the Village westward to S. Walter Reed Drive. Twenty years ago Arlington County worked hard to create the Village of Shirlington, a landmark mixed-use urban village with a population that celebrates its diversity. The Shirlington neighborhood now has over 2,200 households with tens of thousands of regular visitors to its business areas. How can this work, though, since there is no park, playground, not even a school or church with open space, in this area? What was the County thinking?

The answer is that literally across the street, though not within the boundaries of the Shirlington neighborhood, are the parks our community depends on: the long landscaped strip along S. Arlington Mill Drive, the dog park, and Jennie Dean Park. Arlington residents from all over come here with their families and pets. Shirlington residents are out there every single day, often several times.

What makes the valley between Shirlington and Nauck special is our beautiful section of Four Mile Run stream. This is presided over by Marvin, the elegant Great Blue heron who lives on a small rocky island in the lower stream, a stretch few visit because it is blocked by a large softball field fence. The Great Blue heron is the largest of all the North America herons, If you are lucky, you can see Marvin gliding down the center of the stream at dusk, dipping like a trick pilot under the pedestrian bridge. There are raccoons, turtles, ducks, geese, snakes, fish and lots of other birds too. Providing public access to the stream and wildlife such as this was the guiding principle of the enormously successful 20-year-old stream restoration project from Shirlington Road eastward to the Potomac River. Now it’s time to extend that principle westward.

This area has a high risk of flooding. – why do you think WETA needs to leave its old production center in the middle of the park? Environmental rules and common sense mandate addressing these conditions but the current softball field location stands in the way. The proposal shifts this field away from the stream, leaving a large open space for many more water-absorbing trees, traditional picnic areas, a nature overlook and a riparian pathway. Moving this field, in turn, also creates space for a new rectangular playing field lying across the back of two slightly repositioned diamond fields. Again, two-thirds of the frontage along Four Mile Run Drive would still be turned into casual space with landscaping and room for an impressive park entrance.

As Arlington’s population and density increases, demand for park and recreation space is shooting up. No one neighborhood owns any of these parks, not even those of us close by. Let’s absolutely respect and honor the important history of this particular neighborhood – including the baseball and softball leagues that have been played here for decades — but let’s focus on the future we need to build together. Let’s share.

ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor for consideration, please email it to [email protected]. Letters may be edited for content and brevity.

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