by Bridget Reed Morawski March 19, 2018 at 11:55 am 0

Arlington Cultural Affairs plans on surveying artists within a 50-mile radius of the county as part of a proposal to bring affordable artist housing to Arlington.

feasibility study said that such a survey would “definitively reveal whether a market for artist housing exists and whether an affordable housing-funded model… would be considered affordable by prospective, income-qualifying tenants.”

The survey will ask artists to “express their interest” in the affordable housing project and detail their “current and future needs in a live/work space,” according to an event page for a presentation and question and answer session which will kick off the “Arts Market” survey.

That presentation, on Thursday (March 22) from 6-8 p.m. at the Arlington Arts Center, will precede a reception where artists can take the survey and mingle.

The survey is expected to cost between $30,000 and $42,500 and would be paid for by the nonprofit Arlington Foundation for Arts and Innovation, which also paid for the preliminary feasibility study.

Artspace, the national arts non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minn., that is collaborating with Arlington Cultural Affairs, has so far led four focus groups to discuss area artist housing needs, according to the study.

The feasibility found that “affordable housing and live/work space was expressed as a need, particularly in the context of anticipated rising rents and the increasing lack of affordable for-sale housing” and cited community feedback that there wasn’t a central artistic gathering place.

That study pointed out four potential neighborhoods for the project — Virginia Square, Columbia Pike, Crystal City, and the Four Mile Run Valley — but specifically noted that central Rosslyn didn’t make sense for the project because of the density and traffic congestion.

Artspace has already finished two projects in the area, in Washington and in Mount Rainier, Md., and is set to launch another in Silver Spring, Md., later this year.

“It is clear that area jurisdictions are finding that communities are strengthened and made vibrant by a strong arts presence,” wrote Jim Byers, the Arlington Cultural Affairs marketing director, in an email to ARLnow.com.

“The Arts Market Survey is the next step towards determining how Arlington might best leverage the creative energies that exist in our region and encourage still more artists to make their home here.”

File photo

by ARLnow.com March 19, 2018 at 10:55 am 0

(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) The normally quiet Fairlington community woke up to an alarming sight Saturday morning.

According to residents, heavily-armed police officers raided a home on the 2800 block of S. Buchanan Street, in north Fairlington, around 8 a.m. Saturday. On the Nextdoor social networking site, neighbors described a scene that seemed like it was out of a movie.

“It was 8:30 a.m. when I heard the agents who surrounded the place with assault rifles yelling everyone to stay inside, and with a bullhorn instructing the residents of the unit next door to go to the basement,” one wrote. “Steady stream of people going in and out now. Very scary way to start the day.”

Arlington police spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed that a man was arrested but did not initially detail the circumstances involved. Monday morning, after this article was published, police issued a press release (below) announcing that they had arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that happened last week in Rosslyn.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a suspect for his involvement in an assault in the 1400 block of Lee Highway. Kevin Doherty, 46, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and two counts of Malicious Wounding. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.

At approximately 6:43 p.m. on March 13, 2018, officers were dispatched to a hit and run collision in the 1400 block of Lee Highway. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male victim was traveling on foot when he was struck by an unknown vehicle. The male victim was transported to a local hospital. The striking vehicle did not remain on scene.

During the course of the investigation, Homicide/Robbery Unit detectives developed a possible suspect description based on evidence located at the scene and witness interviews. Members of the Emergency Response Team took the suspect into custody without incident at a residence in the Fairlington neighborhood on the morning of March 17, 2018.

This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective C. Riccio at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

There was no further explanation for the firearm charge or the second malicious wounding charge.

“This is an ongoing criminal investigation and, at this time, there are no additional details for release beyond the information in the press release,” Savage said in response to an ARLnow.com inquiry.

Separately, on Friday afternoon, a police tactical team arrested two people at the Inn of Rosslyn motel. Savage said that officers were executing a search warrant but was unable to provide additional details.

File photo (top)

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 19, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

After initially fighting hard for increased density, an amended site plan for Pentagon City’s proposed PenPlace features drastically scaled back development desires.

The initial office-oriented plan called for five buildings between 16 and 22 stories high on a 10.2 acre parcel, including a 300-room hotel. Now, the plan calls for a more minuscule residential development of 300 apartments between two buildings at a height of seven stories.

A west building would have 171 apartments; an eastern building, 129. The density is much less than some on county staff desire, ARLnow.com was told.

“We will have to look at… in terms of height and scale and density, if this is appropriate,” said a county planner, adding that it was “highly unusual to see site plans coming in below an approved or allocated figure.”

According to the county planner, the applicant has said that they will reallocate the density, but has not yet explained how. The company could shift the approved density from one area to another, but will have to be more specific as to the impact on land use before getting county staff approval.

Another county employee familiar with the updated site plan noted that the plan would be less expensive for JBG Smith, which merged with original site plan applicant Vornado, to construct.

The employee explained that since steel reinforcement is only necessary on buildings that are more than five stories high, the building’s framework could be wood. The employee added that the first two floors in the site plan are concrete, so the additional five floors could legally be built atop of that with wood.

Matt Ginivan, JBG Smith’s senior vice president of real estate development, told ARLnow.com in an interview that he wasn’t aware of some county staff’s skepticism of the diminished density and that JBG Smith has not formally received any feedback or questions yet.

Ginivan said that rather than maxing out the PenPlace site’s capacity, they wanted to “improve the pedestrian experience” with a mix of ground floor options that aren’t just the larger projects that are already prevalent in Crystal City and Pentagon City.

Photos via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com March 19, 2018 at 7:35 am 0

GGW Boosts Gondola — “While [the proposed Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola] might not be the one, most important transportation project in the whole region, it’s a worthwhile way to help people reach jobs and shops and reduce single-passenger car trips.” [Greater Greater Washington]

USB E-Cig Banned at APS — “Schools in Arlington, Virginia, have specifically banned a new type of e-cigarette that has gained popularity among local teenagers: the Juul.” [WTOP]

‘Collision’ to Showcase N. Va. Tech — Arlington and Alexandria’s economic development agencies last week “announced their collaboration in showcasing the brightest and emerging startups on a national platform next month at one of the fastest growing tech conferences in the country.” [Alexandria News]

Beyer Unhappy With Military Helo Report — “A 400-page U.S. Army report on military-helicopter noise in the Washington area has failed to satisfy the member of Congress who authored legislative language requiring its compilation.” [InsideNova]

Snow Predicted for Arlington Tonight — “Expect a sloppy mix of precipitation that slowly transitions from rain to sleet to perhaps snow between early Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.” [Capital Weather Gang]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 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. 

Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates will be available through June 18. Time is limited to insulate your home or upgrade to a more efficient water heater, heating or cooling system!

Nothing motivates like a deadline, right?

Follow these simple steps to claim your rebate:

1. Make energy upgrades to your home. The following items are eligible:

  • Central air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and boilers and water heaters that meet the program’s minimum efficiency levels.
  • Duct sealing, air sealing and insulation projects.

2. Download, complete and submit your application, including your receipts or other proof of payment. Applications must be emailed or postmarked by the June 18 deadline to be eligible.

3. Receive your rebate check and enjoy your lower energy bills! It’s that easy.

Visit the rebate website for details.

You can also send your questions to us at [email protected]. We’re here to help!

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm 0

Arlington County Police are conducting an “active death investigation” in the Ballston area.

A man was found dead just after 7:30 p.m. in a residence on the 4100 block of 11th Place N., said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The scene is about a block away from Washington-Lee High School.

“Police remain on scene conducting an active death investigation,” the department said via Twitter. “There is no known threat to the community. Expect continued police presence in the area as officers conduct the investigation.”

Map via Google Maps

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm 0

Before you get set for a surely entertaining St. Patrick’s Day weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on ARLnow over the past week.

  1. Fairfax Teacher Arrested in Arlington on Child Pornography Charges
  2. Students Walk Out of School to Protest Gun Violence
  3. Ellen Surprises Arlington Woman Who is the Surrogate of her Best Friend
  4. Here’s What Happened When I Went to a Clarendon Bar Crawl
  5. New Restaurants Coming to West End of Clarendon

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great rest of your weekend!

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm 0

Frank O’Leary served as Treasurer of Arlington County for more than three decades and has seen it all.

During his time in office, O’Leary brought the tax delinquency rate down from 9 percent to less than 1 percent, but somehow managed to win friends in the process.

O’Leary, 74, is retired but still avidly follows and offers predictions about Arlington elections. We talked to him about his time in office, whether names like Jefferson Davis Highway and Washington-Lee High School need to change, his predictions for the upcoming November elections, and why restaurants are among the hardest businesses from which to collect taxes.

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

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington’s annual spring Artfest Week starts today (March 16) at Fort C.F. Smith Park.

An opening reception at the Hendry House this evening, from 6-8 p.m., will allow residents to meet local artists over light refreshments while kicking off a week of art shows, workshops, and sales. The celebrations feature 35 Arlington-based artists.

The week of events, in its fifteenth year running, will be held at Fort C.F. Smith Park, at 2411 24th Street N. All events are free admission.

Artistic workshops cover a variety of mediums, from watercolor to oil bars to canvas floor painting. A full list of workshops and kids activities can be found on the Arlington Artists Alliance website.

Organizers have advertised the following hours for the festival:

  • Friday, March 16, 6-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 18, 12-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, March 20-22, 12-4 p.m.
  • Friday, March 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm 0

Arlington County Police have investigated 30 school-related threats since the start of school in September, the department announced today.

The police department released the statistics after another series of threats against Yorktown High School and Williamsburg Middle School last night.

“The Arlington County Police Department continues to work with our partners at Arlington Public Schools to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff,” the department said. “[ACPD] encourages parents and guardians to talk to their children about the seriousness and possible consequences of making threatening statements.”

According to police, 13 of the 30 threats have been reported since the Parkland, Florida school shooting one month ago.

More from a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has investigated 30 school-related threats or complaints this academic year, with 13 having been reported since February 14, the day of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. These include alleged threats to commit serious bodily harm as well as reports from concerned parents and community members regarding individuals who have made suspicious comments or social media postings. Following a thorough investigation into each report, police determined there were no credible threats to the safety and security of the students, staff or schools.

The Arlington County Police Department continues to work with our partners at Arlington Public Schools to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. All allegations of threats and suspicious activity are taken seriously and each report is properly investigated and documented by police. We all play an important role in keeping our school community safe and students and staff are most well-acquainted with what activity may be suspicious at their schools. The community is encouraged to continue reporting suspicious activity by calling the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or by filing an online crime report. Tips can also be reported anonymously by calling Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

The Arlington County Police Department encourages parents and guardians to talk to their children about the seriousness and possible consequences of making threatening statements. Following an investigation by police and a review by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, those making threats to schools may be charged with Virginia Code §18.2-60 Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats to commit serious bodily harm to a person on school property, a Class 5 felony; Virginia Code §18.2-83 Threats to bomb or damage buildings or means of transportation; false information as to danger to such buildings, etc.; punishment; venue, a Class 1 Misdemeanor; and/or Virginia Code §18.2-427 Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods, a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

File photo

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

A federal grand jury indicted an Arlington man yesterday (March 15) on charges relating to alleged MS-13 gang involvement.

Luis Arnoldo Flores-Reyes, also known as Maloso or Lobo, 37, is alleged to have been engaged in “a racketeering conspiracy that included extortion, drug trafficking, murder and a conspiracy to commit murder” as a member of MS-13’s Sailors Clique.

He is charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion.

Prosecutors say Flores-Reyes trafficked marijuana and cocaine Langley Park, Md., and extorted illegal business owners in Langley Park and Wheaton, Md. He is also accused of ordering the murders of rival gang members in Houston, Texas.

MS-13 is an international gang with ties to El Salvador and is one of America’s largest street gangs.

More from a U.S. Justice Department press release:

A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging an alleged MS-13 member residing in Arlington, Virginia with

The indictment was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan; Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning for the District of Maryland; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; Chief Douglas Holland of the Hyattsville Police Department; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

Luis Arnoldo Flores-Reyes, aka Maloso and Lobo, 37, is charged in a four-count superseding indictment that alleges that from at least 2015 through January 2018, he was a member and associate of the Sailors Clique of MS-13 and that he engaged in a racketeering conspiracy that included extortion, drug trafficking, murder and a conspiracy to commit murder. The defendant is also charged with drug trafficking conspiracy and conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion. Flores-Reyes is in custody.

According to the indictment, MS-13 is a national and international gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland. Eleven other individuals were previously charged in this case with racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, drug trafficking conspiracy and conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion.

For a period of time beginning at least in 2015 through in or about 2017, members of the Sailors Clique, including Flores-Reyes, are alleged to have extorted owners of illegal businesses in the Langley Park and Wheaton areas of Maryland, with the extortion proceeds being sent to El Salvador to benefit MS-13. In addition, between 2015 and 2018, members of the Sailors clique, including Flores-Reyes, are alleged to have trafficked narcotics, including marijuana and cocaine in Langley Park, Maryland, with the proceeds benefiting the gang.

More specifically, in January 2018, Flores-Reyes gave directions to members of MS-13 in Houston, Texas that they should purchase a gun and shoot rival gang members who were believed to have killed a member of MS-13. On or about Jan. 28, 2018, members of MS-13 in Houston, Texas shot at and attempted to kill suspected rival gang members while Flores-Reyes and other MS-13 members, including MS-13 members in El Salvador, monitored the shooting by phone.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Daniel C. Gardner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland are prosecuting this case.

Photo via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Two left lanes along Reagan National Airport’s terminals B and C arrivals lower-level roadway will be closed through April, effective next Wednesday (March 21).

Lane shifts will block private vehicle passenger pickup lanes along much of the median. Congestion is expected at peak times, though the lane closures and construction will be around the clock. Per a construction site map, passengers arriving with American Airlines, JetBlue, United Airlines, Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines will be affected.

The lane closures will allow for the roadway excavation and heavy equipment foundation drilling that will allow construction crews “to make foundations for new columns” to support new security checkpoints. The billion-dollar airport renovation project, dubbed Project Journey, will also bring a new 14-gate concourse to the airport and an American Airlines members lounge.

Access to ticketing and check-in at Door 2 will be closed for several months starting Monday, March 19, and Door 5 will be closed beginning on Monday, March 26. Passengers will still be able to enter the terminal via doors 1, 3, 4, and 6.

To alleviate some of the congestion from the lane closures, terminal garages will be allowing up to an hour of free parking, though a Project Journey lane closure press release advises passengers to take Metro. Police officers will be stationed near the construction area, directing traffic through the work zone.

Photo courtesy of Project Journey/Reagan National.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 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:

1818 N. Cleveland Street
6 bed/5 bath single-family home
Agent: Ruth Boyer O’dea
Listed: $1,925,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

1511 N. Buchanan Street
4 bed/4 bath single-family home
Agent: Victoria (Tori) McKinney
Listed: $1,549,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

20 N. Jackson Street
3 bed/2 bath single-family home
Agent: Ronald Cathell
Listed: $930,000
Open: Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 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.

Two weeks ago, I talked about how more and more of Nature’s natural wardrobe is being removed by human actions. I discussed the impact it had on the birds and their challenge to find food and shelter.

Well, just after that, Mother Nature showed us how to really shake things up and walloped us with a WIND storm for the ages. I hope that everyone is safe and no one sustained any injuries. That was scary.

But what of the birds?  Where did they go? How did they survive? How many lost homes or potential homes with so many downed trees and broken limbs?  They did survive. Although my instincts tell me some did perish during the storm. But these tiny birds are very resilient.

Before the storm, every morning at 5:45, a Cardinal sang an eight–note song near my bedroom window. “Siri” did not have to wake me up for work! Then the yard would be silent until six o clock when the bird would start to sing.

So you can imagine my surprise when at 5:45 in the morning, when the winds were howling at 60 miles per hour, the eight-note song came on at exactly 5:45.  How, I wondered, could it survive out there when I was up all night scared to death in my house? And what of the simple wakeup call? How and why would that bird do that in the storm?

My answer would be that it needs to keep to its internal rhythm to make it through the day. The bird made it through Spring hatching and fledging.  It made it through the heat and drought of Summer. It made it through the cold and dark of Winter. Now it was time to herald in the light and love of Spring and the bird needed to test its songs.

I was up all night; but I gladly welcomed my familiar song; even if it was only for eight notes. I will have to research why this bird only sang eight notes and then did not sing another note for 15 minutes.

Nature does not take any rest. The world keeps spinning around, the sun and moon define the seasons with their visit every day. So too bird’s cycles go on. Weather patterns do not slow that down. Sure, a late Winter Nor-Easter can cause undue stress on all species. But migration, breeding and raising young must continue. All the birds are continuing to look for homes to raise their young.

You can be a vital key to their survival by keeping out those bird feeders filled with seed. Having a birdbath ready to bathe and drink from. Putting up nest boxes to watch them feed and raise their young. Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Titmouse and Bluebirds are some of the more common cavity nesting birds. Robins, Cardinals and Mourning Doves do not used this type of box. Robins and Doves will make nests on Nesting perch boxes.

If you already own a nest box, GREAT! If it’s looking a bit shabby it might be time for a new one. There are a few things to look for in a nest box, not all are the same. (more…)

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 16, 2018 at 11:00 am 0

Sen. Tim Kaine joined Wakefield High School students this morning (March 16) to discuss gun violence and school safety.

Students offered their own perspectives and asked Kaine questions ranging from what he would do regarding the Dickey Amendment to school security measures to mental health treatment.

Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Sociology students were invited to the hour-and-a-half long event, which was also attended by Wakefield’s Michelle Cottrell-Williams, Virginia’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Over 40 students sat in the classroom, surrounded by members of the local press, most raptly attentive and occasionally emotional as they asked detailed questions of their senator.

“You’re shaking us out of our complacency and challenging us,” Tim Kaine said while introducing himself and his legislative background.

One student asked the senator whether or not he agreed that protection is emphasized over prevention, or that there is more concern with adding security than preventative gun control measures, which the senator affirmed he did.

He mentioned several times a desire to allow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct public health research on gun violence, as well as expanded mental health services and funding. He also said he supports cutting down on the power that interest groups have over Congress.

Kaine focused many of his responses not over assault weapons but on high capacity magazines, at one point saying that it is easier to write a bill outright banning high capacity magazines with over ten rounds than it would be to describe every permutation of what is broadly called an “assault weapon.”

He added that “every constitutional amendment has reasonable limits within it,” emphasizing the “well-regulated” aspect of the second amendment.

“You won’t eliminate violence, you won’t eliminate gun violence,” he began.”But that’s not the goal, the goal is to reduce it.”


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