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Top 10 Most-Read Arlington Stories of 2015

"Ballston Quarter" mall rendering

The moment you all have been anxiously awaiting is here.

That’s right, for all five of you who are actually at work this afternoon, it’s time to reveal the top ten most-read Arlington articles of 2015. Be sure to check out #11-20 and #21-30 from earlier this week.

And now, on with the countdown.

10. Ballston Mall Prepares for Mass Closures By Year’s End (17,164 views) 

In preparation for the start of major renovations next year, many stores within Ballston Common Mall will be closing. Replacing the mall will be a more open-air shopping center, to be called Ballston Quarter. Hopefully, it will do better than the current mall’s two-star Yelp rating.

Student on a pedal desk9. Oakridge Elementary Gets Desks With Pedals to Help Fidgety Kids Learn (17,626 views)

Once in a while, a genuinely great idea comes along. Earlier this year, we reported on one such idea: an Arlington elementary school that was experimenting with desks that doubled as exercise bikes, giving fidgety students something to do while sitting in class. If it ever catches on (and readership on the article suggests it could) pedal desks could enhance learning and fight childhood obesity.

8. Cussing Law Fears Are Bullshit, Say Arlington Police (17,464 views)

We took a bit of editorial liberty with the headline, but it was in the service of setting the record straight. News outlets both local and national piled on with a false narrative about Arlington “banning cursing.” The confusion stemmed from a minor technical update of the county’s public drunkenness and profanity statute. The law is on the books statewide and had been active in Arlington for years. The public cursing prohibition is rarely enforced, but is used in certain cases of disorderly suspects yelling curse words in public.

ESPN reporter Britt McHenry on video at Advanced Towing (image via LiveLeak)

7. Video: ESPN Reporter Berates Advanced Towing (17,972)

ESPN and former ABC 7 sports reporter Britt McHenry found herself on the wrong end of a national news story after Deadspin published surveillance video of her saying mean things to an Advanced Towing employee. actually was sent the video several days before Deadspin published it. We declined to release it at the time due to legal and privacy concerns. Deadspin, part of the Gawker Media empire, apparently was unconcerned despite the company facing a high-profile lawsuit for publishing a video of questionable origin.

6. Barcroft Kindergarten Teacher Found Dead (19,083 views)

A beloved 30-year-old Barcroft Elementary School teacher was found dead in her Cherrydale home in April, after she didn’t show up for work. The woman was believed to have suffered a medical emergency and no foul play was suspected.

5. Wakefield High School Football Player Dies (20,258 views)

The sign for Chingon Pollo in Buckingam4. Restaurant With Questionable Spanish Name Opening on Glebe Road (21,407 views)

The exact translation is still up for debate, but the fact that a new N. Glebe Road chicken restaurant’s name could be interpreted as “big f-cking chicken” attracted quite a bit of attention. As plenty of readers pointed out, the slang word in “Chingon Pollo” could also translate more innocently to “damn good chicken” or “hardcore chicken.”

3. Ebola Response in Clarendon (24,770 views)

As the hype over Ebola in the U.S. began to peter out, there was one last high-profile Ebola scare in Arlington. A sick person with “a travel history and symptoms consistent with a case of the deadly virus” prompted a hazmat response at a Clarendon apartment building. Ultimately, the individual was not diagnosed with Ebola.

2. Man Arrested for Doing Lines of Cocaine Off of Table at Clarendon Pizza Shop (32,715 views)

An early holiday gift for snarky commenters who had jokes about a “white Christmas” at the ready, this article was published on Dec. 21, usually an exceedingly slow time for local news and readership. The story of this 26-year-old Vienna, Va. resident — who allegedly snorted cocaine off a table at Goody’s pizza in Clarendon and then tried to fight the arresting police officer — traveled across social media faster than Santa’s sled on an icy night.

Advanced Towning Advanced (courtesy Matt H.)1. Morning Poll: Doing Their Job or Preying on You (177,903 views)

It started innocently enough. Britt McHenry tweeted one night that Advanced Towing was “corrupt” and we tweeted back, asking what happened. We incorporated that into a poll, asking what folks thought of trespass towing firms in Arlington. A whopping 84 percent of respondents said the tow companies were “shady predators.” Then, when video of Britt berating an Advanced employee was released (see No. 7, above), Deadspin and other national outlets linked back to this post to give some background about what happened. That traffic catapulted this simple poll into our most-read post of all time. (The number two most-read ARLnow post of all time is last year’s Ebola Scare at the Pentagon scoop, with more than 132,000 views.)

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