The Stratford School building in Cherrydale will expand as it transitions to a middle school.
The County Board unanimously approved a plan Saturday to add 40,000 square feet to the school, which currently houses the H-B Woodlawn secondary program. The addition will include a new library, an auxiliary gym, classrooms, science labs and other teaching spaces and a new student common area.
A design for the 1,000-seat middle school was first approved last year by the County Board.
Also in 2016, the County Board designated the school as a local historic district. In 1959, when Stratford was previously a middle school, it was the first Virginia public school to be integrated.
“This plan ensures that Stratford School building, perhaps Arlington’s most significant local historic designation so far, will be preserved — and will be adapted to serve the changing needs of our growing student population,” County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said. “We have to meet our county’s current needs while remembering and honoring the important role Stratford played in 1959, when it became the first public school in the commonwealth to be integrated.”
Ben Bergen, assistant director of design and construction for schools, said Superintendent Patrick Murphy has formed a group to discuss an “interpretive experience” to recognize the school’s history.
The school’s athletic field will be re-graded and rebuilt. Arlington Public Schools staff agreed to try redesigning the field to meet Ultimate Frisbee requirements, as in current plans it is too short for that sport. H-B Woodlawn currently offers an Ultimate Frisbee program for its students.
Bergen said construction should begin early next year, with the major work being done in the summers of 2018 and 2019. H-B Woodlawn students will stay in the building during construction, while the Stratford program will move into temporary buildings.
School Board chairwoman Nancy Van Doren said once finished, the new Stratford School will be a facility everyone can be proud of.
“We broke so many new boundaries with this, and I think we’re going to end up with a fabulous, fabulous project,” she said.
The County Board voted unanimously Saturday to revisit the proposed ban, with some modifications, at its June 17 meeting after more public discussion.
A previous version of the proposal had included hedgehogs among the banned species. Lyn Hainge, assistant division chief of the county’s public health division, said she received feedback from several hundred people, many of them pro-hedgehog, after the ban plan was publicized.
Snake owners, however, might still run afoul of the new rules.
Hainge said the original plan to ban non-venomous snakes that measured more than 4 feet in length has been changed. Now, those that weigh more than 10 pounds would be banned.
But Jennifer Toussaint, the county’s chief animal control officer, said that switch did not take into account different snake species.
“It can be confusing for individuals as to what they can and cannot legally acquire,” she said. “We have snakes that would fall into that list that pose minimal risk to the public.”
Bonnie Keller, operator of Virginia Reptile Rescue, Inc., said she has previously brought snakes that are 14 feet long and weigh 175 pounds to birthday parties for 4- and 5-year-olds. She offered to help educate the public about any risks.
Board member John Vihstadt asked for statistics on injuries caused to first-responders by such pets. Hainge said they are still being compiled and will be available at the next public hearing.
Vihstadt also said he wanted to see a “stronger foundation” for the new rules, and asked staff if they had talked with neighboring jurisdictions who have done similar work, and those who have not.
“What is the real foundation for this?” Vihstadt asked. “What is the problem we’re trying to solve?”
Board member Libby Garvey asked if there can be greater flexibility in registering existing animals, like if people move to work for the State Department and bring a favorite pet with them.
“We can’t imagine all the different circumstances there are, and I would like to have some wiggle room if there’s a way of doing that,” Garvey said.
The code change will be revisited in June, after further public comment.
“This issue has stirred a great deal of public interest and valuable comments,” said County Board Chair Jay Fisette, in a statement. “Staff has incorporated enough changes into the proposed ordinance that it needs to be re-advertised and we need to give people an additional chance to provide feedback.”
Photo courtesy Kelly
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
First Home Buyer Seminar *
Orange Line Living (1600 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
The Orange Line Living and Keri Shull Team will have specialists on hand, including lenders and buyer agents, to give you an overview of the buying process. Attendees will learn valuable home buying strategies that will save 3 percent or more.
Help Design The New Lubber Run Community Center
Barrett Elementary School (4401 N. Henderson Road)
Time: 6-9 p.m. Wednesday; 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday
The process to design the new Lubber Run Community Center began in February, with nearly 200 children, adults and seniors. See how the design has evolved, and help the project move forward. Childcare offered during Saturday’s work session.
Ways To Support Your Anxious Child
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.
This free lecture will feature an expert speaker who will address the modern day parenting challenge of supporting an anxious child. The expert is Christina Tripodi Mitchell, founder and clinical director of The Child & Family Practice in D.C.
Community Meeting on Homelessness
Marymount University Reinsch Library Building (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Join the partners of Arlington’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness for this annual informational session on homelessness in the community.
25th Annual Tossed and Found Rummage Sale *
Crystal City (2200 Crystal Drive, 6th Floor)
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Shop thousands of quality pre-owned housewares, fashions, books, sporting goods, electronics and furniture. Free garage parking is available at the Crystal City Shops. Cash or check only will be accepted for merchandise purchases.
8th Annual Move Me Festival *
Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
A free family-friendly celebration of arts and culture. This festival promotes healthy lifestyles through movement and a love for dance. More than 20 artists and dance groups will perform to a culturally diverse audience.
National Chamber Ensemble – The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla *
Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
The National Chamber Ensemble presents The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla. The evening will include readings by County Board Chairman Jay Fisette.
Dr. Seuss Birthday Party
St. John’s Episcopal Church (415 S. Lexington Street)
Time: 2:30-4 p.m.
A gathering featuring Dr. Seuss stories, crafts and games, along with ice cream and cake to say happy birthday to the beloved children’s author. Children under age 8 must be accompanied by a parent.
Wine Dinner: Emilia-Romagna *
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6-9 p.m.
With wine provided by Tre Monti, enjoy pairings with food from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, including Vigna Rocca, Thea Bianco, Thea Rosso and Vitalba. Admission costs $75 per person, and includes all five course of food and wine.
Evil Cyborg Sea Monsters
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7 p.m.
Cartoonist Mike Capozzola presents a “live multimedia nerd comedy” show about superheroes, action movies, sci-fi, monsters and secret agents. The show is “PG-14,” runs about an hour and tickets are on sale for $10.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Dog Paws n Cat Claws, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, DPnCC offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.
Our new full-time professional groomer, Lux, has a gift when it comes to working with dogs. When her longtime clients arrive for their appointments, the dogs are clearly happy to see her. As soon as they come in, they pull towards her, jump up to say hello or roll over for their customary tummy rub.
Many dogs don’t find a grooming experience pleasurable and may display severe anxiety upon entering a salon. But when it comes to Lux, every day I witness dogs looking forward to the time they share with her.
“You have to keep calm in order to keep them calm. Pay attention to signs of discomfort or stress and give them a break. Talk to them. Reward them. Give them extra love,” Lux explains.
If you’re the owner of a dog who suffers from grooming anxiety, there are several things you can do to help them become more comfortable with grooming services.
When bringing home a new puppy, Lux suggests, “Take them for a groom before they’re three months old.” The younger the dog, the less chance of them developing a fear of the process as they mature.
Adult Dog Grooming
If you’ve rescued an adult dog you may need to do some introductory training, starting at home. Vetstreet.com’s resident trainer Mikkel Becker advises getting your dog familiar with being touched in sensitive areas before their first grooming appointment, specifically the muzzle, eyes, ears, paws, tail, rear, and groin.
Brush your dog frequently so they’re familiar with how it feels. Go slow at first. Your goal is to make the experience pleasurable for them. Being touched by you — someone they trust — will make them feel more comfortable when handled by a groomer.
Stressful Car Rides
I had a friend whose dog was only taken in the car to go to the vet or a grooming appointment. By only taking him to places where he was poked and prodded, her dog understandably associated the car with bad experiences. Make sure you take your dog for car rides to do fun things, too! This way they won’t automatically associate a car ride with a grooming appointment.
Introduce Them to the Salon
Before their first groom, Lux recommends introducing your dog to the grooming salon. Ask employees to spoil her with attention and give her several treats. When she comes back for the appointment, your dog will associate the salon with treats – something to look forward to!
Another suggestion is to make sure your pup gets 20-30 minutes of exercise right before their appointment. This will tire them out and make it easier for the groomer to finish in a timely manner.
Muzzles and Sedation
You can choose to muzzle your dog, but we recommend purchasing one with holes in the front so the dog can be rewarded with treats. Ask your groomer if they’re willing to give treats for good behavior. Lux is more than willing to oblige to this request from clients.
A dog with a severe case of anxiety may need to be sedated but we urge you to attempt other options before heading to the pharmacy. Try using a homeopathic stress stopper or an Adaptil collar, which contains a calming pheromone. If approved by your vet, try Benadryl and be sure to ask for dosage instructions. Melatonin is also worth trying with your vet’s approval.
Most dogs require regular grooming every 4-6 weeks. Taking the time and effort to get him ready to enjoy the grooming experience will pay off in less stress for you and your dog and make the groomer’s job easier in the end.
Lux is in the office weekly, from Wednesday through Sunday. She grooms cats, too! Call us to book an appointment.
In-Home Pet Care Manager
Ludvin Estrada, 41, was convicted of killing 27-year-old Eva Veliz on May 11, 1999. Police found Veliz dead inside the trunk of a car parked on the 1300 block of N. Pierce Street.
The pair were seen leaving together, after a night out, at approximately 2:45 a.m. on the day of the murder. At some point, the pair started arguing and Estrada strangled Veliz to death, prosecutors say.
Estrada then immediately fled to Guatemala.
Police issued a warrant for Estrada’s arrest, but were unable to find him in Guatemala. The Arlington County Police Department’s cold case unit took over the case in 2012.
A combination of case files, laboratory results and evidence from the crime scene led law enforcement authorities to Estrada in September 2016. He was then extradited to the United States.
More from ACPD:
A man who fled to Guatemala following the 1999 murder of Eva Veliz in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood of Arlington County was sentenced in the Arlington County Circuit Court on Friday, March 17, 2017. Judge Daniel Fiore imposed the maximum judgement permitted by the plea agreement and sentenced Ludvin Estrada, 41, to forty-five years in prison.
On May 11, 1999, at approximately 4:33 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to the report of a 27-year-old female victim located deceased inside the trunk of a vehicle parked in the 1300 block of N. Pierce Street. The investigation revealed that on the evening prior the victim, Eva Veliz, and the subject, Ludvin Estrada, had been out dancing and were seen leaving together at approximately 2:45 a.m. on May 11, 1999. At some point during the evening, a verbal altercation ensued between the two and the subject strangled the victim causing her death. Estrada immediately fled to Guatemala.
A warrant was issued for Estrada in 1999 but efforts to locate him in Guatemala were unsuccessful. In 2012, the case was assigned to the Arlington County Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. Through a review of the case files, crime scene evidence and laboratory results detectives located additional information that verified Estrada’s involvement in the murder.
In September 2016, following a joint investigation by the Arlington County Police Department, the United States Department of State, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the United States Marshals Service and Guatemalan Law Enforcement, Estrada was extradited to the United States to face charges in the 1999 murder of Eva Veliz.
“Today’s sentence is the culmination of years of dogged work and perseverance by Arlington’s law enforcement community. A special thank you goes to Detective Rosa Ortiz who never, ever forgot about our victim. Together with two dedicated prosecutors, Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys’ Stephanie Siegel and Lindsay Brooker, this defendant was finally brought to justice.” said Theo Stamos, Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, “More than a decade ago, Eva Veliz was taken from her loving family in a senseless act of domestic violence. While this case was never a whodunit, Ludvin Estrada’s decision to flee the country made this investigation much more complex. This case demonstrates our commitment to pursue cases, no matter how much time has passed. The message to criminals and the families of the victims is clear — Arlington County will not waver in our commitment to investigate and prosecute cold case homicides.”
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) After staying open for months on borrowed time, Ballston bar CarPool is preparing to close for good.
The popular local watering hole will serve its last customers in Ballston on Monday, April 3, says co-owner Mark Handwerger.
The announcement, below, comes seven-and-a-half months after the first reports that CarPool was about to close after it was sold to make way for a large redevelopment. That development was approved in 2015 but subsequently delayed.
More on the “closing night” plans from CarPool’s management:
Please join us on Monday, April 3rd, for Closing Night. It should be a grand day as we simultaneously celebrate Baseball’s Opening Day (and the start of the Nationals pursuit of a World Series crown), the culmination of another wonderful and wacky March Madness (and the crowning of this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion: UCLA?!?!), and one final Last Call for CarPool. Please stop in and say “goodbye” one last time before the taps run dry.
Handwerger says the owners of CarPool expect to open a new location in the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax County as early as July or August.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Want a way to impress friends with a wild video camera trick, à la “The Matrix”? OrcaVue will spin your camera right round, baby, right round to create a professional-looking effect.
The idea was born in October 2014 when Daniel Rosenberry and his brother, Jonathan, owned a small production company and wanted to pull off a 360-degree camera shot, but they didn’t have the proper equipment and didn’t have the money to hire a crew.
Rosenberry came up with some rough sketches for a device and showed his father, who constructed the first protype from “a bunch of stuff from our garage,” Rosenberry said. “A coffee can, a lazy susan and random stuff… he essentially built the very first ‘garage’ version of what the OrcaVue is.”
The Rosenberrys told their friend, Adam Boussouf, about the camera rig idea and he suggested patenting it. “Really, we weren’t thinking about it as any sort of business endeavor” and didn’t know how to go about that, Rosenberry said. So Boussouf came on board and took care of the business aspects.
“My brother had the initial vision. I designed everything. Dad put it together. And our friend pushed us to form a business. So we’re the four co-founders,” Rosenberry said.
Soon after officially launching the business in early 2015, orders quickly piled up. “It was definitely chaotic,” Rosenberry said. “We started getting a lot of orders coming in… and we didn’t quite know what to do.”
They realized they had to manufacture a lot of units in a short time span and did research to find a machine workshop. They found TechShop in Crystal City, which still is OrcaVue’s home base and where the devices are manufactured.
As for the name, OrcaVue is an acronym, of sorts, for “orbiting camera view.” The team wanted to have an animal on its logo and they did an internet search for animals that are known for circling, to reference the product’s circling functions. Fittingly, they learned that orcas — also called killer whales — swim circles around their prey. Thus, the OrcaVue name and logo came full circle and was adopted.
The business has evolved to become less about selling the camera rigs and more about selling services. The OrcaVue employees now spend most of their time on equipment rentals and event production. They show up at weddings, red carpet events and new product launches to work the machine and shoot video of the events.
OrcaVue doesn’t simply have local customers, either. The device has been used to shoot videos for numerous high-profile national clients including Olympian Simone Biles, Twitter, the Golden Globe Awards, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks and the TV show Dancing with the Stars.
OrcaVue employees continuously work on product improvements to devise a bigger, better, lighter system that can go faster and support heavier cameras.
As far as general business goals, Rosenberry would like further expansion, both in terms of the number of employees and in product and service reach. “I’d like to… grow the business regionally as well as internationally,” Rosenberry said. He’s working on that by setting up a partnership in Sweden and Australia to more easily cater to international clients.
“We’ve already surpassed anything we imagined that could happen,” Rosenberry said. “We’re a pretty relaxed company. We basically hired my friends and we all work together on it and have a great time.”
The crime happened around 12:35 a.m., early Sunday morning, on the 4000 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive, according to police. Retail businesses on that block include a pair of gas stations with mini marts.
No one was injured during the robbery. More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-03190011, 4000 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 12:35 a.m. on March 19, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred. Three masked male suspects entered a store and confronted the employee and a customer inside. One suspect brandished a firearm and demanded money from the register, while another suspect demanded money from the customer. The suspects then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. The first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10”-6’00” tall and weighed 140-170 lbs. He was wearing a black winter coat, dark jeans, dark colored shoes, black gloves, and a black mask. The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’03”-5’06” tall and was wearing a black coat, black pants, black shoes, black gloves, and a black mask. The third suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’03”-5’06” tall and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, dark shoes, black gloves, and a mask. The investigation is ongoing.
(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Those who live and work along Columbia Pike will have to wait another year for the implementation of a “Premium Transit Network” along the corridor.
ARLnow.com has learned that the plan for enhanced bus service along the Pike has been pushed back from 2018 to 2019 due to “WMATA’s focus on SafeTrack and core operations.”
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services issued the following statement on the delay.
Originally proposed for summer 2018, implementation of the Columbia Pike Premium Transit Network is now planned for summer 2019. Much of the new service for this network depends on Metrobus, but Metrobus service improvements have been hampered by Metro’s SafeTrack program and the need for Metrobus to focus efforts on moving passengers around rail disruptions. The County is still working to improve local ART service on the original schedule, and we’ve started the purchase process for new buses needed for future service improvements.
Arlington’s Transit Bureau is working with WMATA and Fairfax County to develop an implementation plan for Columbia Pike service improvements. Metrobus has executed a contract to begin the planning and combine improvements included in both Arlington and Fairfax County’s Transit Development Plans.
The Premium Transit Network was criticized as not ambitious enough when it was approved last year, especially compared to the Columbia Pike streetcar plan it essentially replaced. County staff was directed to consider other enhancements to transit along the corridor to supplement it.
The streetcar project was cancelled in 2014. At the time, Arlington County Board member and streetcar critic Libby Garvey promised a transit replacement that “will do everything the streetcar could and more.”
The transit network is intended be “fast, frequent, reliable and easy to use, with features including simplified routes, increased weekday and weekend service, and a new one-seat bus ride from Skyline to Pentagon City-Crystal City,” according to a county press release last year. “In addition to new service, the Premium Transit Network includes new transit stations along Columbia Pike that will provide near-level boarding, longer platforms, real-time bus arrival information and off-vehicle fare collection.”
Although the transit network implementation has been delayed, Arlington County and WMATA have already implemented a number of planned enhancements to bus service along Columbia Pike and elsewhere in Arlington, according to slides from a Dept. of Environmental Services budget presentation that were posted online.
Florida Men Arrested for Credit Card Skimming — Three men from Miami, Florida were arrested earlier this month on the 5600 block of Columbia Pike, in Fairfax County. They’re suspected of using Bluetooth-enabled credit card skimming devices to steal credit card numbers from gas station customers. [Falls Church News-Press]
School Board to Consider Wakefield Modifications — The Arlington School Board is expected to approve a $4 million internal modification project at Wakefield High School that will increase its student capacity to 2,300 from 1,900. [InsideNova]
School Board Members Can Now Get Raises — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a state bill that removes a cap of $25,000 on the salaries of Arlington School Board members. Arlington was the only jurisdiction in the state the salary cap applied to; school board members will now have the ability to approve a salary increase in 2021. [InsideNova]
Northern Virginia Restaurant Week Kicks Off — Nineteen Arlington restaurants are participating in Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, which starts today and runs through Monday, March 27. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Top 10 Shirlington Area Restaurants — Eater has compiled a list of the top 10 restaurants to try in and around Shirlington. And yes, the Weenie Beenie is on the list. [Eater]
It’s the First Day of Spring — “While warm spring days will be tough to come by in the short term, the equinox is a reminder that the sounds of chirping birds and humming lawn mowers aren’t too far off.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Advon Real Estate and Green Drinks Arlington of Falls Church, VA, for the seventh year in a row has organized a benefit to inspire the community to think about local and free-trade artists while bringing awareness to a wonderful cause, the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Gathering together local and free-trade artisans as well as makers and crafters for an evening to benefit the wonderful non-profit, AFAC, Advon Real Estate is hosting the 7th Annual Heart+Pints Bazaar on Thursday, March 23rd from 5pm-9pm.
This fantastic opportunity for our local artists to showcase their talents and contributions to sustainable efforts while being able to give back to the community — hence the donation to AFAC and an otherwise free event for the community is what the 7th Annual Heart+Pints Bazaar is all about. With such a successful event in the years past, we have added more local artisans and hope to arouse the senses with food, fun and creativity while bringing awareness to the AFAC’s ever present mission of feeding the hungry in our community — which happens to be a good portion of Arlington County residents who need extra help with food not just seasonally, but throughout the year.
The event will be held in the artist inspired Pallette 22 at 4053 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206 on Thursday, March 23rd from 5pm to 9pm. A non-perishable food item is recommended to gain entrance to the event and will directly benefit AFAC. Pallette 22 is generously donating a portion of the bar to AFAC and holding Happy Hour specials for the duration of this public event. Various local artisans will be proudly displaying their creations which include items ranging from fine art, fused glass, pottery, photography, jewelry to paintings. A silent auction to benefit AFAC will also be held during the event. Please bring cash or checks; as only a few vendors will accept credit cards. Entry can be gained with the suggested donation of a non-perishable food item and all proceeds from the silent auction sales, as well as the non-perishable food items will be donated to AFAC. Last year over 500 lbs of food were donated and $2,500 was raised for the program. Over the last seven years, over $17,000 has been raised across all charities highlighted at this event.