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by Katie Pyzyk December 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm 6,211 76 Comments

Vice President Joe Biden hosted a lunch at Arlington’s Metro 29 Diner (4711 Lee Hwy) this afternoon, to discuss the country’s trek toward the fiscal cliff.

Biden arrived at the restaurant around 1:15 p.m. to meet with seven people who say their finances would take a hit if the country goes over the fiscal cliff.

One of the attendees, Anne Marie Munos, lives in Falls Church. She was chosen based on her online response to the White House request for citizens to discuss why Congress should extend middle class tax cuts.

“I can’t see how we can afford to pay more taxes,” wrote Munos. “We certainly won’t be able to boost the economy because our buying power will suffer even more than it already has.”

Biden said it would take “15 minutes” for a bill to get finished if Congress agreed to let taxes on the wealthy increase.

“This is no time to add any additional burden for middle class people,” said Biden. “The downside of going down this cliff… is real.”

The lunch visit was not announced in advance, and other customers were not prevented from using the restaurant during the visit. Biden and his guests were taken to a separate section of the restaurant and guarded by security. Patrons were allowed to enter the restaurant after going through a security check, and a few dozen gathered around to listen to the Vice President speak.

After finishing lunch with his guests and spending some time taking photos with other customers, Biden left Metro 29 Diner around 3:00 p.m.


by Katie Pyzyk December 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm 6,005 19 Comments

Another dog based business has plans to set up shop in Shirlington. According to its website, The Board Hound (3520 S. Four Mile Run Drive) aims to provide “luxury” dog boarding services, saying “it’s not just boarding; it’s pampering.”

Its website says the mission is “to provide a fun, comfortable, clean and safe environment for dogs and peace of mind for their owners.” Pet owners can choose long or short term care services.

The business plans to provide cage-free doggie daycare with indoor and outdoor play areas. Pets are only confined to their “suites” during feeding, downtime and during the night. The website says the facility will play soothing music at night to “lull our guests to sleep.”

The facility boasts of heated and cooled floors to keep pups comfortable year-round, along with a front walkway that will be heated in the winter. It will also have a top-of-the-line security system to protect the dogs, clients and employees.

The Board Hound will join other nearby pet boarding businesses, including Wag More Dogs (2606 S. Oxford Street), Fur-Get Me Not (4140 S. Four Mile Run Drive) and Woofs! (4160 S. Four Mile Run Drive).

Although the website states “We are counting down to our opening day,” ARLnow.com was unable to reach the owners to find out when exactly The Board Hound will open.

Hat tip to Jason Peschau

by Katie Pyzyk December 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm 4,332 50 Comments

Although the overdue project to revamp the Clarendon Metro Plaza is expected to be completed this month, there’s a request for the County Board to approve funding for additional improvements.

In May, the Board approved a contract worth more than $760,000 to the Fort Myer Construction Company. The project involved improving the area around the Clarendon Metro station and part of the nearby park with new landscaping, irrigation, seating and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps. The construction was originally estimated to be finished before Clarendon Day in September, but the expected completion is now sometime this month.

The already approved upgrades end near the center of Clarendon Central Park near the Metro elevator. The new funding request is for more than $197,000 to allow Fort Myer Construction to begin improvements on the western part of the plaza. The county staff report states that not continuing westward with the construction “would create a disjointed appearance to the park.” It further states the contract extension “will allow the entire Clarendon Central Park to be visually unified while bringing the west end of the park into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.”

The main improvements to the west end would be to replace existing pavers with ADA-compliant, smooth rolling concrete surface pavers that will match those on the east end. The war monument at the far west end would not be affected, but the area surrounding it would be re-worked. The paved area approaching the monument would be flattened to improve accessibility, and a mulched bed would be installed around two existing trees. Additionally, the proposed project would replace existing curb ramps and benches, and upgrade the irrigation system.

County staff said approving the additional funding now would allow Fort Myer Construction to begin the next phase of improvements immediately after completing the improvements already underway. That would cut down on costs due to the contractor’s materials and equipment already being on site.

Staff members recommend the County Board approves the funding and contract extension at its meeting tomorrow (Saturday).

by ARLnow.com December 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm 4,112 10 Comments

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

As we approach the end of 2012, end-of-year retrospectives and best-of lists saturate all forms of media across all subjects, and your humble Beermonger is here to throw one more onto the pile. Through an intensely scientific process involving me thinking about beers I tried this year and deciding my favorites, I’ve narrowed down a list of the five beers that made the biggest impression on me this year. Please bear in mind – -this is not necessarily a list of the best beers available right now, though a couple on this list are — I’m just throwing my favorites out there. Without further adieu or qualification:

5. Mother Earth Window Pane Series Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Double Wit Blackberry: I didn’t need to run the whole name out there like that — I just kind of wanted to. I got to try this at SAVOR earlier this year and found it a harmonious, elegant expression of fruit, spice, and wood. What could’ve easily been a sweet or oaky mess instead was light in body for its 9% ABV, with expressive blackberry fruit and hints of the wine coming through from the barrel aging. This beer should have been ‘too much’; instead it was merely my introduction to the wonderful Mother Earth Brewery of Kinston, North Carolina.

4. Firestone-Walker Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA: Every trend breaches its watershed eventually, hitting a critical mass and becoming an annoyance on the whole rather than the charming distraction it once was. Such has been the case for the Black IPA over the past 2-3 years: with blinding speed the style went from innovative new expression of hops to an over-saturated market sector inspiring little more than a pedantic debate over what the style should be called. Then Firestone-Walker’s Wookey Jack came along. Wookey Jack isn’t just one of the best beers of 2012 — it may be the best Black IPA I’ve ever had. At the very least it’s the most cleverly though-out: by using the less sweet rye malt instead of the more cloying barley, the big hop character of Wookey Jack is allowed to shine through more while still adding the subtle dark malty touches that are the hallmark of the style. I brought in as many cases as I could of Wookey Jack while it was available; I’m hoping to see it again sometime in 2013.

3. Maine Beer Company MO Pale Ale: Two brothers running a tiny brewery in Portland, Maine have gotten me worked up in the span of weeks like few brewers have been able to do in years. I’ve selected MO because it’s been my favorite Maine Beer offering so far, but the brewery’s entire lineup earned itself the number three spot on this list. From the clean, classic Peeper Pale Ale to the fantastic Lunch IPA, the earthy hops of the Zoe Amber, and the roasty sweetness of the Mean Old Tom Stout, I’ve come away from every new Maine Beer I’ve tasting with a greater appreciation for their ability. I can’t say I’ve experienced a beer this year with the same level of clarity, structure, and boldness of its hops that MO presents. Dedicated to freshness above all else, supply of Maine Beers is low but slowly increasing; if you see any of them, don’t pass up the opportunity to try them.

2. Port City Downright Pils: With one variety of hop and one type of malt, Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company created an instant classic that has the important distinction of being a great ambassador for craft beer. With the general public’s awareness of craft beer growing, it’s beers like Downright Pils that can bring people into the fold who aren’t necessarily fans of hoppier stuff. I can’t tell you how many people came to me this year asking for a craft beer that everyone could enjoy, but more often than not I’d end up sending them home with some Downright. With its familiar style and unfamiliar level of craftsmanship, Downright Pils is the craft beer for those who think craft beer is nothing but Double- and Triple-IPAs. It also played a great role in saving my sanity during the process of buying and moving into my new home. With any luck, Downright Pils will join Port City’s year-round lineup sometime next year.


by Katie Pyzyk December 7, 2012 at 10:55 am 3,380 11 Comments

Aurora Highlands will get a little brighter tonight, during the annual “Miracle on 23rd Street” holiday celebration.

Linden Resources, Inc. is hosting the holiday festivies including a Christmas tree lighting and holiday music. Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive on an Arlington fire truck.

The event is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Linden Resources building (750 S. 23rd Street). In addition to the outdoor activities, guests are invited to take part in multi-cultural children’s activities inside the building.

Linden Resources employs and provides job placement for adults with intellectual, physical and mental health disabilities.

by Katie Pyzyk December 7, 2012 at 10:10 am 5,534 52 Comments

The man who was hit by a car while walking in Clarendon two months ago is making progress in his recovery, but there’s a long road ahead.

Just yesterday (Thursday), 27-year-old Michael Sizemore underwent another surgery to re-attach the section of skull that was removed to alleviate pressure on his brain. The accident had left him with a variety of serious injuries including a fractured skull, two broken legs and multiple lacerations. After being struck, Sizemore was in a drug-induced coma for days to give his brain time to heal. Sizemore’s father, Mark Sizemore, says yesterday’s surgery appears to have been successful.

“The injury to his brain was right above his left ear where the skull fracture occurred, and that’s your speech center,” Mark said. “The majority of the injury has affected him of course cognitively, and in his speech center. He is recovering his cognition and his speech is getting better every day.”

Doctors predict it will take about a year for Michael to rehabilitate his speech and his ability to walk. Mark said it seems as though his son understands what happened to him, but his focus is simply on getting back to living his life.

“Michael just wants to get back to living, is what he tells me. He’s not so much focused on what happened. I think that will come later,” Mark said.

Once he fully recovers, Michael is determined to return to his job as a lobbyist at the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards, which advocates for organizations that help people with developmental delays, substance abuse problems and mental health issues.

“He tells me that almost every single day. That’s what we’re trying to work towards with his rehab,” Mark said. “I think he’ll do it. I think he’ll rehab to the point where he can get back to that job. That’s what drives him.”

Mark says his son and the rest of the family don’t harbor anger toward Tyler Bruce Wills, the man accused of striking Michael. They believe that justice will be served in due time.

“He realizes it’s really a random event that happened to him,” Mark said. “Michael is not looking for revenge against this person, he’s looking for justice to take care of that.”

Meantime, Wills remains in jail on charges of DUI and DUI Maiming. Wills waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for last week, and awaits trial. Police say due to results from the alcohol test and multiple witness accounts, the evidence against Wills is quite strong.

As for Mark, he credits the doctors at George Washington University Hospital with saving his son. That’s where Michael was taken immediately after the accident, and where he had his surgery yesterday. Mark said the situation could have turned out far differently had the hospital and its head trauma experts not been nearby.

“Thank God it was there, because they saved his life,” Mark said. “If my son had not been close to that place, he would not have lived. It was a miracle.”

by Katie Pyzyk December 7, 2012 at 8:55 am 3,134 9 Comments

County Proposes Tax Cuts to Lure Advertising Firms — Arlington is proposing to eliminate its tax on media buy receipts in the hopes of luring a new advertising firm, and keeping the existing ones. Trying to reduce the tax in 2004 didn’t have the desired effect, and there are now fewer advertising agencies in Arlington than there were in 2004. The suggestion is to eliminate the tax by early 2013. [WTOP]

Gifts that Give Hope Fair — Fifteen locally based non-profit organizations will participate in the second annual Arlington Gifts that Give Hope Fair tomorrow (December 8) at Calvary United Methodist Church (2315 S. Grant Street). During the alternative gift fair, shoppers can choose to donate for a specific gift, such as an “apartment application fee for one family as they leave a shelter” or “a prescription for a sick child.” The fair runs from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and features holiday music, face painting, crafts, refreshments, special $5 items for children to contribute and a visit from Santa from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Professional Racquetball Tournament — Some of the world’s top professional women’s racquetball players will participate in the 2012 Christmas Classic this weekend, including #11 ranked T.J. Baumbaugh of Reston and #39 ranked Paola Nunez of Falls Church. The event will take place throughout the weekend (today through Sunday) at the Crystal Gateway Sport and Health Club (1235 S. Clark Street). A list of start times for each player is available online.

Library’s Holiday Tunes Released — The Arlington Public Library has released its fifth annual “Too Cool for Yule Blog,” which includes about an hour of holiday tunes. While some of the songs are standard holiday favorites, the blog offers versions by some non-traditional artists (such as Cee Lo Green singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch). Purists, fear not. The list also features classics from Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams and the late Dave Brubek, who passed away on Wednesday. [Arlington Public Library]

by ARLnow.com December 7, 2012 at 6:00 am 2,757 1 Comment

The following is today’s featured event from our newly-redesigned event calendar. Submit your event to the calendar here.

Book Fair to Support the Arlington Children’s FundToday (Dec. 07) from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. — Come help support the new Arlington Children’s Fund, established to help low income children and youth in Arlington. Barnes and Noble in Seven Corners (6260 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church) will be conducting a book fair to help raise money for the fund. Use Bookfair ID 10967693 at checkout, and 10–20% of the purchases on Dec. 6th and 7th, and online from Dec. 7th through 13th, will help grow the new Arlington Children’s Fund!


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