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by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 6:40 pm 0

Update at 9:10 p.m. — The Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been cancelled.

Earlier: The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Arlington, in effect until 11 p.m.

NWS said a line of showers and thunderstorms are moving west, and have the potential to bring strong to damaging gusts of wind this evening.

by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 5:35 pm 0

More than 100 dignitaries, students, faculty and staff braved blustery conditions Monday for the unveiling of the Bill of Rights Eagle outside the Antonin Scalia Law School on George Mason University’s Arlington campus.

Cast in bronze by sculptor Greg Wyatt, the 4,300-pound eagle has a seven-foot wingspan and was dedicated as part of the university’s Law Day celebrations.

It shows an American eagle standing on top of the Bill of Rights, protecting them with its enormous wings. In an interview after the ceremony, Wyatt said it was symbolic of standing against oppression and for freedom.

“It’s a permanent memorial to free speech and artistic practice, unlimited by your format and materials,” he said. “It’s something you want to pass from one generation to the next.”

Wyatt initially presented the statue in plaster in the U.S. Senate’s Russell Office Building in 1989, before it moved two years later to the southwest corner of the courtyard at Harvard University, near Dudley House.

After five years outside Dudley House, it moved to the courtyard by Harvard’s Winthrop House, just outside the suite where former President John F. Kennedy lived and studied. A renovation in that area forced it to return to Wyatt’s studio, then the law school was recommended for its new home.

And while university officials said the move was not because of namesake George Mason IV’s role as the author of the Bill of Rights, it is fitting nonetheless.

“I think Harvard Yard was an okay place for the Bill of Rights Eagle. I think the U.S. Senate was a better place,” said GMU president Angel Cabrera. “But I cannot think of a better place for the eagle than the law school that carries the name of the author of the Bill of Rights.”

“I just get chills,” said law school dean Henry Butler. “Here we are at the university named for the father of the Bill of Rights, being given an eagle named for the Bill of Rights.”

Wyatt has designed two other similar eagles on display in the U.S.: one with a three-foot wingspan on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and another with an 18-foot wingspan in the north courtyard of the State Department in the District, installed in 2000.

He said his research involved learning about how eagles are put together, from their bone structure to feather count and where their joints are.

“That kind of research is expected,” Wyatt said. “What’s not expected is adding something to the nation’s symbol. What that means in this instance is the idea that our freedom of speech and production and artists are showcase for the benefits of the constitutional rule of law under which all of us derive these precious freedoms.”

by ARLnow.com May 1, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

A collision between two cars that left one on its side closed two lanes of Lee Highway near the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn.

The crash happened around 4 p.m., near the intersection with N. Oak Street. A driver heading west on Lee Highway in a grey Audi collided with an Infiniti looking to turn right from N. Oak Street. The two collided, with the Infiniti left on its side.

Police closed the two outside lanes of Lee Highway, but left traffic through in the right-hand lane with an officer directing traffic.

Paramedics were dispatched for three reported injuries according to scanner traffic, none of them said to be life-threatening. Medics did not appear to require a stretcher, as it was removed with no one in it.

Just before 4:30 p.m., crews were preparing a winch to upright the stricken Infiniti. The Audi’s front was smashed in and it was still in the roadway.

by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Startup Monday header

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.

As the spring turns to summer, one of many certainties in the D.C. region along with the stifling heat and humidity is the influx of interns from across the country.

And those interns, either still in college or recent graduates, typically are in need of somewhere to stay.

That’s where Capstay comes in, offering short-term rentals for interns in addition to accommodations for international students studying in the D.C. area. The company also offers short-term housing for professionals on temporary assignments, including for those in the military.

It was founded in 2015 by Dilek and Emre Yenici, and the majority of its rental apartments are in Crystal City, with some also in Fairfax.

The pair said they began the business after doing some market research and finding a lack of intern-specific housing in some states like California and the D.C. metropolitan area.

“The Crystal City, Arlington and D.C. area is expensive for housing,” said Emre Yenici. “There are lots of interns in the area throughout the year, and they are looking for short-term housing. We are trying to provide them short-term, pre-furnished, all utilities included housing to interns.”

Tenants can either have a private or shared room, or an entire apartment. All properties are fully furnished and have a variety of amenities like laundry, cleaning services and bicycle rental. Utilities are also included in rent, which varies depending on the season.

Apartments vary in size between studio and three-bedroom, and include all the amenities of the private and shared rooms.

Emre Yenici said Capstay has been proactive in partnering with universities and other institutions like language schools, government bodies and agencies that help match up prospective interns with companies.

The diverse nature of their client base means that while summer is a busier time for Capstay, there are still plenty of customers year-round, enough to keep their residences filled.

“We are trying to fill all our gaps with different customer bases,” Emre Yenici said. “There are some interns starting their internships in different times of the year, and other small groups are interning in other different times. They need shorter-term housing, so we fill our gaps like that.”

In the summer, the Yenicis said, they expect around 100 tenants, and so expand their housing stock to take into account the higher demand.

And in the future, Emre Yenici said Capstay could expand into the District to take advantage of the need for intern housing across the Potomac River.

“About 95% of our properties are in Crystal City, but D.C. is a good market,” he said. “The next step will be D.C., and we will try to expand our business downtown.”

by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The new lounge and restaurant coming to the former Ri Ra space in Clarendon is shooting for a June opening.

Crews working on Wilson Hardware at 2915 Wilson Blvd recently removed the black wooden façade erected to obscure construction. The forthcoming bar’s co-owners previously said it would be removed once work is nearly done, then said last week they are confident that they will be able to open in June.

A license application filed with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control indicates that the new spot will have over 150 seats. And permitting applications filed with the county show the restaurant will have outdoor and rooftop seating.

Construction on the work-in-progress rooftop deck at the rear of the venue can be seen from N. Garfield Street. Inside, the venue is more expansive than its front entrance would suggest, with two levels, high ceilings and a brand new interior taking shape.

The bar’s name is an homage to Virginia Hardware, the hardware shop that occupied the storefront until 2005.

Representatives with Wilson Hardware declined to comment further with a more concrete opening date or with more details about the new restaurant.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark & Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

At Bark + Boarding, we’ve established a daycare evaluation process that works effectively. It’s a color-coded grading system to evaluate dogs on their first day of daycare. Green dogs are easy passes, while yellow dogs are those attendants need to watch more closely. Red is a dog that is currently not a good fit for our daycare environment.

What kinds of behaviors are we looking for and what does this grading system focus on?

Questions Before the Evaluation

Before we take your dog to the daycare area to begin the evaluation, we ask each client a series of questions. What are your reasons for daycare? Does your dog have off-leash social history? How old are they? Does your dog have resource guarding issues when sharing toys or food? Although we don’t allow food or toys in daycare, it tells us your dog could possibly become aggressive in other situations.

Does your dog have a strong prey drive? Most dogs see a squirrel or bunny and want to take chase. We want to make sure your dog knows the difference between a small dog and other small animals.

When they are upset, do they whine, bark or growl? It tells us if they listen when they’re being corrected on behaviors such as humping,  rough-housing, resource guarding or barking. If your dog listens to daycare attendants when being corrected on a certain behavior or moves on to another dog if the dog they first approach for play doesn’t wish to join in the fun, these are signs of a submissive dog. The more submissive the dog, the higher the score.

Green Dog

Green dogs are characterized as being easygoing, friendly, balanced, playful, and responsive to social cues with humans and other dogs. Generally speaking, the younger the dog, the more “green” they will be.  If you adopt a puppy and plan on using daycare, the sooner you bring them in, the more likely they will be successful in daycare. Puppies learn behavior from watching other dogs and daycare is the perfect puppy preschool.

Yellow Dog

Yellow dogs will exhibit behaviors like rough playing, humping, snapping, occasionally challenging authority, excessive barking, and/or door guarding. These are the dogs our attendants watch closely. Frequently, a yellow dog can become a green dog just by going to daycare on a regular basis.

Like puppies, they learn from observing the dogs who listen, are friendly, don’t get corrected as often and in return, gain more rewards with affection and attention from daycare staff. We encourage yellow dog owners to work on certain behaviors at home as well as making the commitment of frequent visits to daycare and dog parks.

Red Dog

This is a dog that isn’t right for a daycare environment at the time of evaluation. They growl, snap, bite and lunge at other dogs or humans. Raised haunches are another sign of aggression.

The first thing you should know, there is nothing wrong with your dog. Not all dogs are good daycare candidates. We give clients advice on how to change negative behavior, including suggestions on training classes. As an alternative to daycare, we offer in-home visits or recurring mid-day visits.

Our staff takes pride in working with dogs that need extra time or training. And won’t give up on dogs we believe can improve.

“If I have the slightest inkling that a dog can be molded into daycare material, I will take the time to work with them one-on-one as well as in the pack,” says Bark + Boarding daycare manager John Kasinger. “No dog is a hopeless case. They just need extra attention.”

In fact, we love dogs that need extra help. The work we do with dogs and their owners always seems to pay off and these dogs often become staff favorites. Daycare would not be the same without them.

By Sara Schabach, In-Home Pet Sitting Manager and Company Writer

If you have a question about your pet’s behavior, feel free to email [email protected]. If you, your pet, and behavior are featured in an article, you will receive $10 off any of our services.

by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Arlington residents may hear volleys of cannon fire tomorrow morning as a U.S. Army regiment goes through a routine training exercise at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

From 9 a.m. to noon, the Presidential Salute Battery Guns Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment — known as The Old Guard — will fire off 168 rounds from a dozen 75mm howitzers.

Each of the 12 teams operating a howitzer will fire seven rounds, spaced out at five-second intervals, then fire four separate 21-gun volleys spaced at three-second intervals for each round.

Those in the area should expect to hear loud noise during the exercise.

The battery will be set up in The Old Guard’s Regimental parking lot, close to the intersection of Arlington Blvd and N. Pershing Drive. They will be firing blank training rounds in the direction of Summerall Field, the base’s ceremonial field.

The platoon fires cannons at ceremonies to honor the President of the United States, for visiting foreign dignitaries, during official government ceremonies, regional celebrations and during military funerals.

by ARLnow.com May 1, 2017 at 11:25 am 0

Parents and community members are being asked to help choose the name of the new elementary school that’s being built next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

A naming committee has narrowed down the choices, which included suggestions submitted via an online survey, to five. The finalists, each with an explanation from the naming committee, are below.

  1. Alice West Fleet Elementary School — “A native Virginian, a granddaughter of slaves, and a long-time Arlington teacher, resident, community activist and leader… she broke down racial barriers, serving as the first black reading teacher in Arlington and the first black teacher to teach in an all-white school in Arlington.”
  2. Grace Hopper Elementary School — “Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was an acclaimed computer scientist, professor, and long-time Arlington resident… Ms. Hopper was key to the development of COBOL, a computer programming language that helped make coding more accessible.”
  3. Journey Elementary School — “The new elementary school building is designed with different levels and sections representing different biospheres… The name ‘Journey’ was recommended through the Community Input Form and represents the students’ journey through the building as they explore our diverse world as well as the educational journey that students and their families experience.”
  4. Liberty Elementary School — “The name ‘Liberty’ is a tribute both to Patrick Henry’s famous ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’ speech and to his support of the Bill of Rights. This option represents a name change that maintains a connection to the school’s existing name.”
  5. Patrick Henry Elementary School — “Patrick Henry Elementary School was given its name in 1925, renaming the original school name, Columbia Elementary School. Patrick Henry was a lawyer, orator, and statesman who served as the first and sixth governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was also a slave owner.”

The new school is expected to open in September 2019. Students and staff will be moving from the existing Patrick Henry Elementary, near the Columbia Pike Branch Library, to the new school.

The naming committee says it received input on both sides of the debate over the current school’s name.

The committee heard compelling arguments both for keeping and for changing the name of the school. Some felt that keeping the name would provide continuity and maintain a connection to the school’s history, while continuing to honor one of our nation’s founding fathers. Others thought that the school name should be changed in order to avoid confusion between the new and existing school, or to reflect the creative design of the new building. Some also felt that Patrick Henry’s name should no longer be used since he owned slaves.

The committee says it received more than 500 survey responses via its online form. Among the serious suggestions were at least a few from pranksters, we’re told; other name suggestions included Howard Stern Elementary and Pokemon Elementary.

This time around, the committee is hoping to only receive input from Patrick Henry Elementary and Jefferson Middle School parents, students, staff and nearby neighbors.

by ARLnow.com May 1, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Update at 10:40 a.m. — The westbound lanes have reopened.

Washington Blvd is currently blocked in the area of 2nd Street S. due to a large fallen tree, according to scanner traffic.

Police are setting up roadblocks at Columbia Pike and Route 50 to divert traffic.

According to initial reports, the tree — located along the eastbound lanes — fell across all lanes of traffic around 10 a.m. One car was possibly struck by the tree but no injuries were reported.

Police and VDOT crews are working to reopen the westbound lanes; the eastbound lanes are likely to remain closed for an extended period of time.

Image via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com May 1, 2017 at 9:20 am 0

A man led police on a chase down Glebe Road and Columbia Pike on Sunday afternoon.

The incident started around 3 p.m. when police were dispatched to the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. in Buckingham for a report of a “dispute in progress possibly involving a firearm.”

Police arrived on scene and located a man fitting the suspect description, but the man allegedly threw his car into reverse and sped towards an officer.

“The driver intentionally struck the officer but she did not sustain any injuries,” according to a police press release.

“A vehicle pursuit was initiated after the suspect fled from the scene traveling southbound on Glebe Road,” according to Arlington County Police. “The suspect turned onto Columbia Pike where he struck a vehicle at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. The suspect exited his vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.”

Police arrested 32-year-old Brian Williams and charged him with a number of crimes, including attempted malicious wounding on law enforcement, felony eluding, felony hit and run, misdemeanor identity theft and driving while suspended.

Williams was also wanted for other crimes in Arlington and in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Photo (top) via ACPD

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