Today we begin our annual countdown of the top stories in Arlington in the past year.
The list reflects the articles with the most page views in 2012. Crime was a major theme this year, whereas the story selection was a bit more varied last year. Unlike in years past, not a single restaurant-related article made it on our list. (At #28, with 9,687 views, the news that World of Beer was coming to Ballston was our most-viewed restaurant story.)
Note that this year the view count in the articles themselves might be significantly different from the page view numbers listed here; ever since our website redesign, the public view counts have been much lower than the actual view counts (as measured directly by Google). Our web developers are still working to fix this.
Our list will be divided into three parts, with the other two parts to be published Thursday and Friday. Here are top stories No. 11-15:
15. ACPD: Woman Raped on Four Mile Run Trail (11,547 views) — A 23-year-old woman was jogging along the Four Mile Run Trail near Glencarlyn park when a man with a kitchen knife grabbed her, pulled her into some tall vegetation and sexually assaulted her. The suspect was reported to have a small head and a high-pitched voice.
14. Police Investigate Murder-Suicide (11,897 views) — Two people were found dead in an apartment near Fairlington, in what was determined by police to be a murder-suicide. The victims were later identified as Xiomara Benitez, 30, and Juan Carlos Mox Mox, 30, both of Arlington. Police identified Benitez as the victim and Mox Mox as the subject. They were married with two children, according to police.
13. Major Accident on Washington Blvd in Ballston (12,003 views) — Three people were sent to the hospital after a serious ten-vehicle wreck in Ballston. An out-of-control SUV ended up on top of a convertible as a result of the accident, which snarled evening rush hour traffic. The SUV driver was later charged with reckless driving.
12. Police Investigate Stabbing Near Clarendon (13,115 views) — A man suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of a brutal stabbing in broad daylight near Clarendon. The victim was stabbed outside the Pio Pio restaurant on Wilson Boulevard after police say he chased a man who was trying to break into his car. In November, police arrested 28-year-old Elin Daniel Reyes of Arlington for the crime.
11. Englin Blasts GOP Bill for Requiring ‘Vaginal Penetration’ (13,197 views) — Del. David Englin (D) spoke out against a bill that had just passed the Virginia House of Delegates, in what would become the signature state legislative controversy of 2012. Del. Englin issued a statement blasting Virginia Republicans for the bill, which would have required women seeking an abortion to undergo an invasive “transvaginal” ultrasound. After a furor that made national news, the state legislature would later pass a watered-down version of the bill which only required an external ultrasound. Englin would later resign after admitting to an extramarital affair.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the D.C. area Thursday.
Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour could make travel treacherous throughout the day and could result in downed trees and power lines, forecasters say.
…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 6 PM EST THURSDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 6 PM EST THURSDAY.
* TIMING…THURSDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON
* WINDS…NORTHWEST 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.
* IMPACTS…DOWNED TREES AND POWERLINES WILL BE POSSIBLE FROM THE HIGHER WIND GUSTS.
A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS OF 45 TO 55 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT… ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
Arlington County’s annual Christmas tree collection will begin on Jan. 7. The collection does not take place until the first full week of January.
Holiday tree collection will run from Jan. 7-18, on residents’ regular trash collection day. The trees will be picked up by county crews and recycled into wood mulch for garden use.
“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day and to remove all decorations, nails, stands, and plastic bags,” the county said on its website. Those who miss their pickup day or who live in townhouses, apartments or condominiums without curbside recycling service can haul their tree to the county’s Solid Waste Bureau near Shirlington during the collection period.
“Please call (703) 228-6570 to schedule an appointment Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m,” the county said. “The Solid Waste Bureau is located at the Arlington Trades Center, 4300 29th St. S. Residents will need to show proof of residence in Arlington, such as a driver’s license. Trees may also be dropped off the first Saturday of each month 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Trades Center without an appointment.”
After Jan. 18 trees can still be picked up by trash crews, but will not be recycled.
This periodic sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.
Question: My wife and I recently purchased a house in Arlington and plan to make some improvements to it over the next couple of years. Can you recommend which improvements will bring us the most value when it comes to resale value?
House flipping isn’t just a popular TV show genre (Flip This House, Flip That House, Flip Men, Flipped Off, etc.), it can also be a profitable mindset to adopt when considering home improvements.
Here is a list of the top 5 improvements in order of what I think Arlington home buyers will value most. Each of these improvements can have wildly varying degrees of style and quality. You will have to weigh the options against your budget when making these choices.
1) Kitchen — A nice kitchen is not just a box the potential home buyer is checking off, it is often where the emotional attachment to the home begins. Granite counters and stainless steel appliances used to make a home stand out from the crowd. Now they have become a minimum standard in Arlington real estate.
If you are on a tight budget, I recommend exploring some of the options available at Ikea. If you are not on a tight budget I recommend choices that will help your home stand out such as eco-friendly materials or exotic stones and woods. Amicus Green Building Supply in Kensington, Md. is a great source for eco-friendly options.
2) Bathroom — I’m sure it is no surprise that bathrooms are a close second to kitchens. Many home buyers appreciate a nicely updated bathroom. The level of your bathroom upgrades should correspond to your target audience and your “competition.” Consider the homes you looked at while shopping for the one you ultimately chose. Which bathrooms stood out to you?
Some savvy shopping can save you a lot of money on this category. I’ve even spoken to builders who are now relying on the internet to purchase vanities from places like Overstock.com.
3) Flooring — There are people out there who want carpet, but they are in the minority. Whenever possible go with a hard surface. Hardwood is usually the preferred option. Alternatives like bamboo and cork are also very nice. I would stay away from ceramic and marble in the living areas of your home. They are expensive and not appealing to the masses.
Be sure to research the durability of the flooring you are considering. Nothing is worse than investing a lot of money only to have it damaged by pets and high heels.
Board to Hold New Year’s Meeting — The Arlington County Board will hold its traditional New Year’s Day meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. At the meeting, Walter Tejada is expected to be elected County Board chair. Tejada and the other four Board members will then outline their policy goals for 2013. In a press release, Arlington County billed itself as “the only local government that “gets to work” on the New Year’s holiday.” [Arlington County]
Cemetery Expansion Concerns Tree Lovers — A plan to expand Arlington National Cemetery has some tree lovers crying foul. The cemetery is projected to run out of additional burial space in 2025, prompting the need for the expansion. Some Arlington residents, however, have been critical of one particular part of the expansion plan, which calls for the clearing of 890 “old-growth” trees. The cemetery plans to replant 600 trees and to preserve a stand of 220-year-old trees. [Arlington Mercury]
Bike Arlington’s Top 10 List — Staff from Arlington County’s Bike Arlington program has published a list of their “top 10 favorite topics from 2012.” Among the entries in the top 10 list: Capital Bikeshare’s expansion, Bike Friendly Business awards to local shops, and the county’s Predictable, Alert and Lawful (PAL) safety campaign. [Bike Arlington]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
There have been numerous accidents reported on local roads and highways, including several on the 1700 block of Lee Highway, near the intersection with N. Scott Street. Among those was a serious one-vehicle crash involving a minivan that ran off the road and into a wall along I-66.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 1:00 p.m. In an Arlington Alert, the county asked residents to drive carefully.
“The weather should turn to all rain after 10 AM,” the alert said. “Please drive with caution.”
Meanwhile, a water main break has shut down the eastbound lanes of Columbia Pike at S. Buchanan Street. Repairs are expected to “last into the afternoon.”
Photo courtesy @CAPT258