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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 14, 2013 at 8:35 am 96 Comments

BBQ smoker outside Whitlow's on Wilsom (photo by Katie Pyzyk)

Pentagon Shooter Sentenced — Yonathan Melaku, the ex-Marine who pleaded guilty last year to firing bullets at the Pentagon, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Melaku had planned a terror campaign that included spray painting Arabic statements on gravestones and leaving explosives in Arlington National Cemetery, according to prosecutors. [Washington Post]

Bad Reviews for Rosslyn Safeway — While getting high marks for friendly cashiers, the Safeway supermarket in Rosslyn has earned a dismal 1.5 out of 5 stars in 53 reviews on Yelp. Customers have called the store “disgusting,” “gross,” “cavernous” and the “worst grocery store ever.” [Ode Street Tribune]

Gala Celebration for Wakefield High — The Wakefield Alumni Foundation will be hosting a celebration in May to celebrate the high school’s 60th anniversary. A new Wakefield High School building is expected to open this summer, and the present 1950s-era building will eventually be torn down. [Sun Gazette]

Wakefield Routs Yorktown — The Wakefield Warriors boys basketball team defeated the Yorktown Patriots by the lopsided score of 74-41 on Jan. 11. Wakefield improved to a record of 10-4 overall, while Yorktown fell to 5-8. [Sun Gazette]

Photo by Katie Pyzyk

  • DarkHeart

    Looks like Wakefield hoops is avenging their football teammates.

    • ARL-VA

      Wakefield seems to be an ACC school at heart.

    • 120

      Just wanted to add that the Wakefield Freshman basketball team is 6-1. Also I believe that this goes to show that it is not the athletes but the coaching that made the football team what it was.

  • Hattie McDaniel

    No surprise about the Rosslyn Safeway. It is the worst grocery store ever.

    • Capp


    • WeiQiang

      wait. check the above article on Harris Teeter. THAT’s supposed to be the worst. you guys are confusing me.

      • DCBuff

        HT not the worst, just the crappiest.

    • Ballston

      It can’t be worse than the Bluemont Safeway

  • drax

    The Safeway comments should be taken with a grain of salt. As we’ve seen here, Arlingtonians are some of the most spoiled and arrogant shoppers around.

    • ARL-VA

      I’ve never been to the Rosslyn Safeway. But many of the other Safeways in the area would fit the description of the Yelp reviews. Same with Giant. I try to avoid both chains whenever possible, except maybe for the new Georgetown Safeway. (I used to go there many years ago, before the renovation. I haven’t been there recently.)

      Harris Teeter, Whole Foods and other groceries are better than the typical Safeway or Giant.

      • DarkHeart

        The Safeway at 7 Corners is quite nice, as is the CoPi Giant. Harris Teeter suffers from parking issues (I’ll go to the Safeway on Harrison vs. across the street) and Whole Foods is both a parking nightmare and its aisles are too cramped., not to mention the Portlandians who shop there.

        • Arlingtron

          The “Portlandian” description is hilarious, and right on. Why do all of those Portlandians shop at Whole Paycheck wearing exercise clothing? Some do smell like they just finished their workouts, the rest are just posers.

          • drax

            Go to the HT in Ballston. Same thing. Every other woman just got back from yoga class. And every other man is wearing something with “The North Face” on it.

          • Juanita de Talmas

            “The North Face” is ubiquitous everywhere. One doesn’t have to the grocery store to see that.

          • drax

            True, but there is an unusually high concentration of North Face at HT, and Arlington in general.

          • snarl

            can you be ubiquitous other than everywhere?

        • Josh S

          No one calls it CoPi.
          Nice try.

          • G Clifford Prout


          • FrenchyB

            Don’t you love the irony of someone mocking hipster “Portlandians” while using this ridiculous abbreviation?

        • BrownFlipFlops

          CoPi?? Please, don’t do that.

      • drax

        I generally agree, though some of the newer, bigger Giants are very good.

        My point is that the Safeway isn’t a hellhole. It’s not the nicest grocery you can find, but that doesn’t make it awful. You’d only think that if you were a spoiled rich Arlingtonian yuppie.

        • drax

          One of the complaints involves a bottle of some weird health drink with seeds floating in it called kombucha chia. That should tell you something. There was a problem with it, and the customer…was cheerfully given a new one.

          • Sim City

            Re=read the article. The Ode Street Tribune, certainly the finest news source in all of Arlington, or if not, at least all of Roslyn or if not, in all of Radnor/Fort Meyer Heights, or if not, in all of Westmoreland Terrace Condominium, was defending Roslyn’s secret Safeway for its handling of the kombucha chia scandal. The Ode Street Tribune would never criticize Roslyn, and rightfully so.

          • drax

            Ah, yes, I see that.

            Still a weird drink.

      • John

        I remember back in the day when Giant was the best grocery chain. The Hedi bakery made the best hot cross buns

        • KalashniKEV

          I can still play that on the recorder.

          • snarl

            k k s “not so evil” twin……..who knew?

        • arachne

          Those hot cross buns are my undoing every easter! As an ex-pat, I was delighted to find them, but my waistline would probably do better without them.

      • ARL-VA

        I guess I still have bad memories of the woeful old Giant on Wisconsin Ave., near National Cathedral. That place was a dump. I haven’t been there in many years. I guess they are renovating it now.

        The old Crystal City Safeway wasn’t too pleasant either. I’ve never been to the 7 Corners Safeway or the Giant on Columbia Pike.

        • DarkHeart

          Soviet Safeway?

          • Justin Russo

            Having lived by both, I think the Rosslyn one is even worse than the one on 17th.

      • A-Town

        Can’t agree with what you say about Giant. The one of Washington blvd and Monroe and the one near Lyon Village are very nice. (and recently redone). I go their on alternate weeks because they have household goods which trader joes doesn’t sell.

      • CrystalMikey

        Seriously, the Giant at Penrose is nice.

        • Josh S

          It’s OK. After waiting so long, it was a bit of a disappointment.

          And now they fail to have more than three or four checkers open even on a weekend afternoon. Which actually seems to be a problem pretty much every grocery store I go to. What’s up with that?

          • Wino

            And if they’re new (and most are) or aren’t 21, they have to wait for the manager to come over and approve your alkiehall purchase.

            Tres annoying.

          • Josh S

            Now I try to see if anyone in front of me has beer in their cart. If so, it’s on to the next line…..

    • 1RLI

      Drax, that is a very Steve-like comment!

      • drax

        Steve’s right sometimes.

        • DCBuff

          And that is a very unlike-Steve comment.

    • WeiQiang

      … and THE MOST properly corrupt

      • drax

        We will rise up and violently RESIST.

    • snarl

      amethyst bamboo, of course….

  • ARL’er

    I’m glad the Pentagon shooter received a lengthy sentence. I remember some of the commenters here saying that he should receive a light sentence because he was only engaging in political protest. Well, not if he’s shooting weapons in public, as well as leaving explosive devices.

    Many people bike, walk or run along the trail next to the 9/11 Memorial. I believe the shooter fired across that trail toward the Pentagon on at least one occasion. If so, he could have easily shot and killed innocent bystanders. So there was real danger in his actions, even if his weapon was unlikely to have seriously damaged the bullet-resistant glass at the Pentagon.

    Keep him in prison for a long time.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Call me optimistic, but I’m thinking anyone with a brain wouldn’t approve of shooting at buildings as “political protest”.

      • ARL’er

        You’d be surprised. There were people honestly defending that guy on the comments when ARLnow first reported his arrest. It wasn’t the usual snide and sarcastic remarks either. Although, to be fair, the part about the explosive devices hadn’t been reported at the time.

        I remember being stunned about the defense. It went on for quite a while, in detail. The posters were saying that it was a political protest because he was only shooting at the Pentagon, where it was unlikely that he would be able to shoot through the glass from such a distance. But the first thing that I thought about was the nearby bike/pedestrian trail. I ride there from time to time, so I could have easily gotten hit if I had happened to be riding there at the time of the shootings.

      • Josh S

        Sure it’s political protest. It’s all about the motivation.

        It’s also a crime. No reason the two have to be mutually exclusive.

    • drax

      Wait – someone here made a comment saying he should get a light sentence for that reason?

  • Greg

    The Rosslyn Safeway is lucky to get 1.5 stars. I went there one time 10 minutes before closing and they wouldn’t let me in because they decided to close early since it was a Friday.

    • Minor Threat

      Listen to this guy, he wanted everyone in Safeway to wait for him on a Friday night. Next time go an 30 mins before closing and stop the b*tching. Just like drax said “Arlingtonians are some of the most spoiled and arrogant shoppers around”

      • drax

        Actually, I’d be mad too if I showed up during a store’s stated hours of operation and they were closed. I don’t consider that to be spoiled.

      • Josh S

        It’s not like it’s some mom and pops on the street corner. One should expect a giant corporate chain like Safeway to honor its posted hours of business.

        I grew up on Safeway and it saddens me to realize it, but they are becoming a seriously second-rate grocery store.

        • Ralph T.

          I’ve been here since 2003 and the Safeway hasn’t gotten any worse, or better. It’s dark and gloomy and the produce section isn’t very good. Other than that, it’s an okay store.

    • Benj

      You know that’s why they were closing early, or that was your impression? And it seems your review of a place is based on someone not accomodating you b/c you waited until the last minute…

      • Greg

        I know because that’s what they told me.

        As for being “spoiled” I went during the stated hours to pick up one thing from the store.

        If everyone on here wants to give the store 5 stars, be my guest.

    • Arlingtron

      If you are open until 10 you accept customers until 10. You lock the doors and start to close (leave one register open) while the last customers finish their shopping. That is called customer service.

    • CrystalMikey

      Exactly, don’t be “that guy” who shows up right before closing…

      • drax

        When should he show up? A half-hour before closing? An hour?

        If they want to leave earlier, they should post earlier closing hours.

        • CrystalMikey

          No…but there should be some common courtesy (if you ever worked retail, I would think you would agree). Then again we live in world where it’s all “me, me, me…who care about anyone else”.

          • drax

            Common courtesy would be not staying in the store after closing time. It’s not the same thing as not shopping ten minutes before. I can see someone getting one or two items and getting out by closing time.

      • BBMS

        I used to work at the Lee Harrison Safeway. We had a woman who would come in late a lot of nights, we called her “10-after-10”, because at 10:10 she would always be the only customer left in the store. Highly annoying, because she came in before we closed but did a ton of shopping.

        There’s a reasonable grace period. Common courtesy says you don’t shop in a store past their closing time, but maybe you get 5 or 10 minutes beyond. Don’t show up 5 minutes before closing with 30 minutes worth of shopping to do. If you come in 2 minutes before closing, you better have less than 5 minutes of shopping.

        Don’t be that person.

        • John Travolta

          I worked in a nice restaurant of some reknown. One night, it had been very slow, and we were all ready to close early when a couple showed up. They stayed for 3 hours. The restaurant was totally empty, and it was well past midnight. My boss said “when I establish my ‘benevolent dictatorship’ the first rule will be “the last person to leave gets shot'”

          • drax

            He should have just grown a pair and politely informed them of the closing time.

    • Greg

      I just remembered the time they wouldn’t validate my parking because they didn’t have basil, shallots, cilantro, or avocado, and their tomatoes were all in various staged of spoilage. I would have bought a pack of gum but there were about 10 people in line for one cashier on a weekend afternoon.

  • bemused bystander

    When my neighbors and I had a block party, the permit specifically prohibited setting up grills and such in the street. Are the rules different for Whitlow’s?

    • drax


      Perhaps you need a restaurant license.

      I’ll bet you could hire a caterer to set up a grill at your block party.

    • malaka

      When does Whitlows have the smoker going? Is this a regular thing?

      • DarkHeart

        Ever parked behind Westover Market during the day? You don’t even notice the smokers from Forest Inn.

      • CW

        Whitlow’s has had it every saturday and sunday since roughly the start of football season. There was precedent in the area as Restaurant 3 used to do pig roasts in the street too.

        • Vicente Fox

          Aren’t they owned by the same people?

        • malaka

          Thanks..I’ll have to check it out…love some smokey BBQ.

  • Arlingtron

    The Harris Teeter on Harrison was having a bad day once. Produce section was a mess and the few items I came to get were not on the shelves. Manager heard my complaint, apologized, and covered my meager purchase. I still shop there.

    The Bluemont Safeway on Wilson (slated for redevelopment) is a store lost in time. The decor, staff, patrons, and products all seem to be trapped in 1965. They can use this as a set for a scene in “Mad Men” with no need for adjustments and complete with extras.

    • Penrosey

      That makes me want to go check it out, haha

    • Loocy

      I love the Bluemont Safeway. And they have bring your own container filtered water, which is a deal. I don’t need mood lighting to do my shopping.

  • Dr. Goodhead

    it’s a matter of location, location, location.
    Safeway & Giant on the NARCO orange line– ICK
    Giant in Mclean – AWESOME
    even the small re-newed Safeway in Pimmit is pretty nice. They haven’t remade the ones around here izall.

  • Dano

    I haven’t been to the Rosslyn Safeway, but there’s no way it was as bad as the one at The Watergate that closed in 2011. That was the worst grocery store of all time. It really turned me off to the chain in general though, so I’m not surprised the Rosslyn store is awful as well.

  • YTK

    I stay away from Safeway– the one in Bailey’s Crossroads had filthy aisles and reeking rest rooms. The one that used to be on Columbia PIke near Wayne had no refrigeration for its fruit and the majority of its checkout clerks were ill mannered. The store cop acted like he was looking for a fight.

  • KalashniKEV

    Should have been the Death Penalty for Yonathan. Bradley Manning too.

    It will be interesting to see what Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez gets.

    • Wayne LaPierre

      How DARE you turn your back on a fellow gun and explosive enthusiast.

      • KalashniKEV

        How DARE you post something so rude and offensive.

        • drax

          “How DARE you post something so rude and offensive.”

          Wait – you just posted that?

    • Constitutional

      Perhaps they should convict Manning before you hand out a sentence.

      • drax

        Constitution? LOL. Kev goes by his own person Konstitution.

      • KalashniKEV

        Well I’m not in a position to hand down a sentence, but given that the facts *in the media* are that be bragged of “exfiltratrating [sic] possibly the largest data spillage in american history” and as of just *last week* we found out that the docs he leaked were on Osama Bin Laden’s Personal Computer (!!!) I think death is an appropriate sentence.

        • drax

          Sure, but videos of silly cats were probably on bin Laden’s computer too. And Wikileaks data is on millions of other computers out there. Even you’ve read a story somewhere that contained data release by Manning. What matters is the value of the data.

          • KalashniKEV

            Drax- I’m not sure if you’ve ever held a Security Clearance with the United States Government, but it’s not the “Value” of the data that matters.

            If I got a flat tire on a patrol four years ago, and it was recorded as a SIGACT, with “SECRET” or even “CONFIDENTIAL” on the bottom, and you had Access and posted it to the internet, you would be facing Death or life imprisonment too. Regardless of whether Osama Bin Laden had it on his PC, or if the spillage was contained two hours later, or if it had any operational value at all.

          • DCBuff

            Porn. Don’t forget OBL had porn on his computer. That’ll get you the death penalty.

          • Carmen Turner

            If I got a flat tire on a patrol four years ago, and it was recorded as a SIGACT, with “SECRET” or even “CONFIDENTIAL” on the bottom, and you had Access and posted it to the internet, you would be facing Death or life imprisonment too

            If this is the kind of things our government is classifying as “Top Secret” then he did us all a favor and should be rewarded, not punished.

  • jackson

    I think the fact that it’s basically underground has a lot to do with it. The aisles seem close together, the store always seems to need restocking, and the selection seems poorer than other stores (including other Safeways). It’s not dirty or anything like that (that I’ve noticed) but it just seems cramped, which seems to make it emit this uncomfortable vibe. But the employees are always very nice, I agree.

    • KalashniKEV

      They need to get rid of that Starbucks kiosk and get a real bakery in there.

  • NoVapologist

    The hot topic on the Cherrydale listserv last year was the abysmal state of the Cherrydale Safeway. Never more than 2-3 checkout lanes open. Spoiled/expired food on the shelves. Regular discrepancies between scanned price and shelf price, employees with bad attitudes, etc… Many of those who could walk to that Safeway said they chose to drive elsewhere.
    Supposedly that Safeway is getting a major renovation. The new manager came to the last Cherrydale Citizens Association meeting to address all the complaints.
    Frankly, it sounds like most Safeways suck.

    Personally, I go to the McLean Giant. As someone posted earlier, it is simply awesome. I can hit Balduccis for any arcane gourmet goods that Giant may not have. And the Organic Butcher is right there as well.

    • Greg

      That Safeway is much much better than the Rossyln Safeway. It has several issues, but a fraction of those at Rosslyn.

  • Deadite

    I’m still baffled as to why Wegmans hasn’t expanded into Arlington yet.

    • NoVapologist

      Because the standard Arlington response would be to decry “yet another chain store” and then to complain about how bad traffic would become when the store opened.

      • Frog

        Wegman’s is not all it’s cracked up to be. I’d found expired meat more than once on the shelves.


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