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by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A pet store and grooming center will replace a longtime seafood shop near the Lee Heights Shops, according to county permits.

American Seafood at 4550 Lee Highway closed on December 31 last year after nearly 35 years in business.

And while none of its signs have been removed yet, permits indicate that work will be done to completely renovate the building. County planning staff approved the business license for the new pet store on September 12.

The Lee Heights Shops have seen some turnover in recent times, with long-time local stores Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes and Lemon Twist closing late last year.

Lemon Twist was replaced by women’s clothing and accessories store Lemoncello Boutique. Bradshaw’s still has not been replaced.

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A planned redevelopment project in Clarendon has yet to have its groundbreaking.

It was nearly two years ago that the Arlington County Board approved developer Shooshan Company’s plan for a two-phase redevelopment of the Red Top Cab headquarters in Clarendon. Billed as an “ambitious redevelopment,” the project will replace low-slung commercial buildings and surface parking lots with up to 580 housing units and 3,477 square feet of retail space while significantly reshaping the western end of Clarendon.

As of today, it is still business as usual at Red Top Cab, which promised to continue serving Arlington after it eventually moves its headquarters. No construction equipment or other signs of progress are visible.

A Shooshan executive did not respond to a request for comment. A Red Top Cab rep said that “work is still being done on development plans.”

by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

For the first time in its decade-long history, the National Chamber Ensemble will play concerts at venues other than Rosslyn’s Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street), starting next month.

Arlington Cultural Affairs Division director Michelle Isabelle-Stark said the county’s lease on the theater expired in July, and they took “immediate steps” to help find new spaces in which the group can perform.

So instead of performing at the theater, which it has done since its founding in 2007, the NCE will perform its five 2017-2018 season concerts at the Gunston Arts Center (2700 S. Lang Street) and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd).

The ensemble performs chamber music — classical music composed for a small group of instruments in a more intimate setting.

NCE’s season of concerts begins on Saturday, October 14 at Gunston Arts Center with a program called, “Night in the Garden of Spain” featuring a celebration of Spanish classical music and dance.

For NCE leaders, finding space similar to the Spectrum proved challenging.

“It was hard to find a space comparable to the Spectrum, because the Spectrum is a perfect size for chamber music,” said NCE artistic director Leo Sushansky. “Most of the other auditoriums in Arlington, they’re very large school auditoriums. So the Gunston Arts Center is probably the closest to the Spectrum in size, but it was only available for two concerts.”

The Spectrum Theatre is set to be torn down during the first phase of the Rosslyn Plaza Project along with two apartment buildings and four office buildings.

In its place would be 2.5 million square feet of space across five buildings, including 1.8 million square feet of office, 550 residential units, 200 hotel rooms and 45,000 square feet of retail space. And the space once occupied by Artisphere in the same building is set to be a co-working space, opening this fall.

But Sushansky said while having to play in new venues incurs extra costs from rentals, transporting instruments and the like, it will help them show off their talents to more people.

“I’m hoping it’ll bring us into different neighborhoods, bring attention to a different audience,” he said. “It will help bring about some interesting collaborations.”

But the closure of the Spectrum left Sushansky to bemoan the lack of dedicated performance spaces in Arlington outside of the county’s schools.

“The county has been very supportive all these years, and they continue to be so,” he said. “It’s just there’s a problem in Arlington with not enough performance spaces. There’s really no concert hall in Arlington. The Spectrum was the only one. Now that has gone and all that are left are school auditoriums.”

Isabelle-Stark said that such groups can be creative with their venue choices, as it gives them different environments to perform in and introduces their work to more people.

“As they say when one door closes another one opens,” she said. “[Alternative] venues for performance, such as churches, shopping malls, and airports, to name a few, provide opportunities for performers to stretch creatively and cultivate new audiences.”

Photo No. 1: courtesy photo. Photo No. 3 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

A new hotel replacing the former Colony House Furniture Store in Rosslyn is starting to take shape, several years after its approval by the Arlington County Board.

The Hilton Homewood Suites at 1700 Lee Highway will be eight stories high with 168 rooms. Below ground will be two levels of parking, containing 102 spaces. The Board approved the plan by developer B.F. Saul in 2013.

As of Tuesday, the hotel’s main structure appeared to be finished, with work continuing inside on the future guest rooms, parking garage, loading bay and front entrance area. The hotel is close to the Rosslyn Vue condo building, but the trees between the two properties act as a shield of sorts between them.

On a web page about the project, B.F. Saul said the hotel is “scheduled to open in the near future.” Representatives with the company did not respond to requests for additional comment.

B.F. Saul said guests can expect “a focus on comfort and functionality” in an extended-stay hotel designed to be “guests’ home away from home while in the DC region for business or pleasure.”

“Sustainability is at the forefront of its design, construction and operation,” the page reads. “The suites offer large work areas, well-appointed bathrooms, digital flat screen televisions, fully-equipped kitchens, and an upscale, yet warm, home-like décor. The hotel will feature 1,400 square feet of highly flexible meeting space, and a best-of-class, 1,100 square foot fitness facility with state of the art equipment. The hotel will also feature a pool, spa, trail bicycles, and an outdoor patio equipped with a gas fireplace and built-in grill.”

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

A man ran up to a jogger on the Mt. Vernon Trail and groped her, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The incident happened around lunchtime last Wednesday, on the trail near Rosslyn.

Police searched for the suspect but were unable to locate him.

More from the ACPD crime report:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2017-09130162, Mount Vernon Trail. At approximately 2:07 p.m. on September 13, police were dispatched to the intersection of Lynn Street at Lee Highway for the late report of a sexual battery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:30 p.m. on September 13, a female victim was running on the Mount Vernon Trail when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and inappropriately touched her. Once the victim called out for help, the suspect fled the area on foot. The suspect is described as a light-skinned Hispanic male, 30 – 40 years old, approximately 180 – 220 lbs with an average to medium build. The suspect is clean shaven with short black hair. He was wearing a light blue long-sleeved shirt, tan khaki pants and brown sneakers at the time of the incident. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Sophie, a black Labrador mix.

Here is what she had to say about her life so far:

Hi everyone! My name is Sophie, and I’m a black lab mix. I was born in South Carolina, but my mom and dad adopted me from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue when I was about one year old.

I was underweight, stinky and sick with heart worm, but after a few months I felt much better. I have lots of doggy cousins, and my best friends are Petey and Louie. I don’t have a fur sibling yet, but I’m keeping my paws crossed that I’ll get one soon!

I have a ton of energy and lots of hobbies. Here are some of my favorite things to do: swim, run, jump, get tummy rubs, play with tennis balls, obsessively lick stuff, stalk squirrels, bark at strangers and watch Bravo with mom.

I also enjoy dirty socks, clean socks, pup-sicles, sleeping in the sunshine, and listening to my parents make up songs about me.

Because I had a hard life before I was adopted, some things still scare me. I hate loud noises, cardboard boxes, guitars, golf clubs, Roomba, thunderstorms, maintenance people, and men wearing hats. My mom and dad always comfort me when I’m scared though– that’s one of the reasons I love them.

All in all, I have a great life, and I’m looking forward to a lifetime of trips to the dog park, cuddles, and walks!

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.

by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

Local nonprofit Phoenix Bikes will rent space in the Arlington Mill Community Center after the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a five-year lease Tuesday night.

Phoenix Bikes will lease just over 1,800 square feet of space for its bike repair shop on the center’s first floor at 909 S. Dinwiddie Street. It will also rent office space on the fourth floor and some storage space.

The nonprofit, which lists its mission as promoting bicycling, building community and educating young people, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

It moves into first-floor space that had been vacant since the center opened in 2013. Phoenix Bikes had previously planned to build an education center along S. Walter Reed Drive near the W&OD Trail, but ran into significant opposition from nearby residents concerned about tree removal, parking and unsavory people visiting the public restrooms.

“This is a great location for Phoenix Bikes and a great way for the county to fill vacant retail space at Arlington Mill,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “Phoenix Bikes’ award-winning program of mentoring youth through bicycle repairs and sales will thrive in this high-visibility location on the west end of [Columbia] Pike. We’re happy to have them.”

Phoenix Bikes has one year from the execution of its lease to build out its retail space, and 21 months to build out its office space. It will pay just under $9,000 a year in rent. It is estimated the build-out will cost $170,000.

Phoenix Bikes executive director Meg Rapelye said the new space will help the organization add to its programming and help serve more people.

“We are so grateful for Phoenix Bikes’ new home at Arlington Mill Community Center,” she said in a statement. “This move is the most significant event in Phoenix Bikes’ 10 years of existence and will dramatically increase our organization’s capacity to serve the community. We look forward to augmenting the afterschool and summer teen programming the Center currently provides and helping activate Columbia Pike’s West End.”

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. is scheduled to swing by Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood tonight as part of a bus tour ahead of Virginia’s gubernatorial election.

The tour is described as “a non-partisan, voter-registration drive across the commonwealth.”

Jackson and the bus tour are expected to arrive in Nauck around 6 p.m., in time to attend a Community Empowerment Rally at the Macedonia Baptist Church (3412 22nd Street S.) at 6:30 p.m.

A press release about the bus tour from Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition is below.

As Virginia prepares to hold its high stakes gubernatorial election – a contest widely seen as a bellwether of the crucial 2018 midterm elections – the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, the Virginia Conference of the NAACP, the New Virginia Majority and The Gary Flowers Show will add three days and 14 stops to a non-partisan, voter-registration drive across the commonwealth, from Monday, Sept. 18 through Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The “Healing and Rebuilding” tour kicked off with two days of rallies last Thursday and Friday, including stops at the University of Virginia and George Mason University. At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Thursday, dozens of students answered Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.’s call to register to vote on the spot.

“You must register to vote today,” Rev. Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, told the students. “We marched too much, bled too much and died too young” for any American eligible to vote to sit on the sidelines.

Virginia’s gubernatorial election is Nov. 7, 2017, and its results, according to The New York Times, will “inevitably to be read as a harbinger for the 2018 midterm elections and President Trump’s fate.”

During the expanded tour – starting in Roanoke in southwest Virginia and ending in Arlington in northern Virginia – Rev. Jackson will encourage Virginians to support Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) legislation, which was recently passed in Illinois and could add up 1.13 million new voters to the rolls in the Land of Lincoln. Nationally, AVR could increase the rolls by 50 million new voters.

“Everything we’ve fought for the last 50 years is under attack – voting rights, LGBTQ rights, worker’s right, women’s rights, children’s rights, environmental protections,” Rev. Jackson, a two-time presidential candidate, said.  “But if we, the people, register and vote our interests and vote our numbers, we have the power to change the course of the country and history.”

The additional tour stops include voter registration and voter empowerment rallies at colleges, churches and community halls across the state.

As Rev. Jackson puts it, “The stakes are sky high.”

Photo via Twitter

by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Arlington County residents are now prohibited from keeping various “wild and exotic” animals as pets, including alligators, squirrels and skunks, but can keep non-venomous snakes and hedgehogs.

Anyone who already owns a banned animal will be grandfathered in but must immediately contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington to register their pet. Current owners will then be able to legally keep their pets through the registry.

The County Board voted unanimously on Tuesday for the new restrictions, which take effect immediately. Anyone found in violation of the new rules could be fined up to $500 a day.

The following animals are banned, according to Arlington County.

  • Non-human primates (monkeys, chimpanzees, etc.)
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Wolves or wolf hybrids
  • Coyotes
  • Squirrels
  • Foxes
  • Leopards
  • Panthers
  • Tigers
  • Lions
  • Bears
  • Wild cats including hybrids (like bobcats, lynx and caracals)
  • Ratites (flightless birds)
  • Crocodilians
  • Venomous snakes, venomous reptiles
  • Any other warm-blooded mammal that can normally be found in the wild state
  • Scorpions other than those in the Pandinus groupwhich are permitted
  • Centipedes of the Scolopendra group
  • The following spider groups: Latrodectus (widow spiders); Loxosceles (recluse spiders); Dipluridae (funnel-web spiders); Phoneutria  (banana spiders aka wandering spiders); Ctenizidae (trap-door spiders); Sicarius (sand spiders); and Theraphosidae (tarantulas), except for Theraphosids native to North and South America and Brachypelma smithi (Mexican redknee tarantula), which are not permitted

Non-venomous snakes are not banned, but the Board set standards for care, handling and enclosures for snakes that weigh more than 25 pounds. That is a change from the previous iteration of the ban in March, which had intended to ban ownership of non-venomous snakes weighing more than 10 pounds.

Each snake must have a microchip and have an enclosure that prevents escape but allows freedom of movement within it.

“What began as a seemingly straightforward effort to ban exotic pets in Arlington became much more complex and nuanced as the process evolved,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “Ultimately, through a lot of conversation with the community, we were able to adopt a Code amendment that reaches a practical balance of the input received from all sides and is enforceable.”

Rabbits, rats, mice, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and guinea pigs bred in captivity are permitted as pets. Also allowed as pets are all domestically bred or legally imported birds — other than flightless ratites — plus non-venomous snakes, non-venomous reptiles, amphibians and fish.

County staff said the decision aligns county and state law, and now allows local animal control officers to take actions that previously could only have been taken by state officers.

Photo No. 1: File photo via Facebook/Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Photo No. 2 courtesy Kelly.

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Residents Irked at App-Directed Traffic — Residents who live just west of Crystal City are upset that map apps like Waze keep directing cut-through traffic down S. Fern Street as an alternative to S. Eads Street or Route 1. A resident who spoke at Saturday’s County Board meeting said her complaints to Arlington County staff have not resulted in any action. [InsideNova]

Army Ten-Miler to Close Roads Next Month — A number of roads around Crystal City and Pentagon City will close on Sunday, Oct. 8 for the annual Army Ten-Miler race. [Arlington County]

Lions Club Scrambling to Find Xmas Tree Lot — The South Arlington Lions Club is not even sure they’ll be able to hold their annual Christmas tree sale in South Arlington this year. The club’s usual location in the parking lot of the former Food Star is under construction and the club just learned that county land is off-limits to nonprofit fundraising. [InsideNova]

Colorado Has Its Own Serial Pooper — A bizarre situation that’s drawing comparisons to Arlington’s own serial pooper of 2016 is playing out in Colorado. Residents in Colorado Springs say a female jogger has been repeatedly, unapologetically defecating in their neighborhood. [Deadspin, Washington Post]

Nauck Leaders Lauded — A pair of community stalwarts were honored by the Nauck Civic Association in a ceremony this past weekend. “Wanda Pierce was lauded for her tenure leading the Arlington Community Foundation,” while “Cleveland ‘Bubby’ James Jr., another longtime resident, was honored for his work with the youth and young adults of Nauck and the entire county.” [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 20, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Reduced banner

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. 

Today is September 20, which means that it’s National Pepperoni Pizza Day and Punch Day (the drink, not the action… so please don’t physically punch anyone).

We hope you make the most of it!

And on that note, what a perfect time to reflect on all of the wonderful dining, entertainment and shopping options we have here in Arlington. From the mom and pop shops that line 23rd Street S. here in Crystal City to the big-time retailers scattered throughout Clarendon, Arlington County truly does offer it all.

There are so many perks that come with living a stone’s throw from our nation’s capital and in the heart of a thriving market. And when you are ready to make the most of it and purchase a home of your very own, our team is here to help you GET MORE out of your transaction.

As of September 20 there are 244 detached homes, 71 townhouses and 298 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 63 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

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.

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Arlington County’s only Jerry’s Subs & Pizza is closed temporarily for what a sign on the door describes as “remodeling.”

A sign on the door of the eatery at 2041 15th Street N. in Courthouse does not say when it will reopen, and calls to the restaurant’s phone number were not returned.

On Tuesday afternoon when a reporter stopped by, a workman was on a step ladder doing what looked like painting of some light fixtures.

Jerry’s serves pizza, hot and cold subs and a variety of cheesesteaks. It is across the street from Arlington County jail, next door to a bond office and is a block away from an entrance to the Courthouse Metro station.

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Efforts by residents to remove a requirement for a public courtyard behind their Ballston condo building was unanimously rejected on Saturday by the Arlington County Board.

Members of the Berkeley Condo Association (1000 N. Randolph Street) applied to remove the requirement for 24-hour public access to the courtyard, citing concerns about safety and public nuisances.

Peter Schulz, a staffer at the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development, acknowledged that the easement for the courtyard — which also serves as a cut-through to the Ballston Metro station — had not been properly recorded by county staff. But county staff recommended against removing the easement, arguing that without it “there is no guarantee that the space will remain open to the public.”

The issue came to light after the association erected gates at entrances to the courtyard without a permit and someone complained about it to the county. A notice of violation was issued and then upheld by the Board of Zoning Appeals; the case is pending in Arlington County Circuit Court after the applicants sued to keep the gates.

Residents said there are problems with nuisance behavior like littering, public drunkenness, drug use and loud music playing in the courtyard, exacerbated by the presences of nearby bars like A-Town Bar & Grill, on the opposite side of Fairfax Drive. Residents said problems persist day and night, and are not confined to bar patrons.

“We’ve really had to put up with a great deal of noise,” said resident Charles Richter. “It’s sometimes at very uncomfortable hours, both from people who have had too much to drink in the evening, and in the day we’ve had several dog fights [and] people fights.”

“When people come out after an evening of drinking, they help themselves to our rear yard,” said William Lawson, the attorney for the condo association.

Police, however, did not report any significant issues associated with the space.

“Staff has only been able to find one (1) police report concerning the outdoor space in the past year,” said the staff report.

In letters to the County Board, both the Parks and Recreation Commission and members of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association opposed closing off public access to the park.

While County Board members were sympathetic to the condo owners, and promised to look again at finding ways to improve public safety in the area, they said they could not get rid of the public space requirement.

“This was an easement granted to the people of Arlington County,” said Board member Libby Garvey. “We can’t just give it up willy-nilly because there were some mistakes made.”

Fellow Board member John Vihstadt said there were “dirty hands here all around.” Schulz, the county staffer, said with better coordination between plan reviewers on staff, such mistakes are unlikely to be repeated.

“It was an unfortunate case of too much silo-ing in county staff at the time,” he said.

Photos via county presentation

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

 

No matter how fascinated we are by the beauty of a new language, it seems like there is always a critical period where we encounter many excuses that deter us from even starting the process!

We have all been there; one minute we are excited about the idea of learning a new language, and the next, we make all kinds of excuses and pause from the initial excitement.

Read about three popular language learning myths that we create in order to justify our procrastination when it comes to learning a new language.

1) Age

  • “I am too old for this; I will never learn.”

While there are some studies that support the idea that children have an easier time learning a second language, there is nothing to suggest there’s an age at which learning abilities disappear for good. So, put this myth to rest and start learning that language that you have been meaning to study for years.

Also, here is an extra incentive: Think about the advantages that your age gives you, you have been speaking your native language for quite some time, and your innate knowledge of its grammar and sounds will be helpful when trying to learn a new language from scratch. So what are you waiting for? Go try it now (Actually, hang on, let’s finish this article first!).

2) Time

  • “I’m too busy; I don’t have time to waste.”

Let’s start by making it clear that time spent learning a new language is not time wasted. There are many advantages to learning a new language. That’s an entirely different article in itself. It’s true that, as adults, we have a lot on our plates and often find it difficult to make time for learning. In this case, it helps if we change our perception of learning from being “a waste of time” to being “an investment” that will bring us personal, social and even economic benefits in the future.

Also, it is important to realize that learning is not exclusive to classrooms, nor does it need to be time-consuming. You can try to listen to language podcasts while walking to work, or when you’re working out, or you can also squeeze in a mini-lesson while waiting for an appointment. Remember to make it fun, and not see it as an obligation or as homework. Once you see your own progress, oftentimes that’s all you need to keep pushing forward.

3) Money

  • “Learning a new language is too expensive; I don’t have that kind of money.”

This excuse is probably the one that’s used most often, but it is also the easiest to solve. Just as learning a new language doesn’t have to be a boring burden, it doesn’t have to break the bank as well. Thanks to the Internet, we now have access to many affordable, helpful resources. Make use of these and take advantage of the many sites and applications designed to make learning easier for you.

(more…)

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

It’s official: signs are going up for a new kabob restaurant in place of the former Pio Pio restaurant between Clarendon and Virginia Square.

Naan Kabob at 3300 Wilson Blvd will serve Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food and offer carry-out and catering services. Its parking lot is currently taped off for renovations, while work is getting underway to revamp the inside too.

A copy of the menu suggests it will have kabobs, Karahi dishes (cooked in thick, circular pots) and curries, as well as traditional desserts. As of Monday, signs had gone up advertising its new name and food offerings.

Employees at the restaurant declined to say for sure when it would open, but are hopeful of getting underway “soon.”

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