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by Chris Teale — May 2, 2017 at 5:35 pm 0

Revelers enjoying Arlington’s Cinco De Mayo celebrations this weekend will be able to take a free ride home as part of a regional effort to combat drink driving.

The nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program has partnered with ride-hailing service Lyft to provide free rides home from 7 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday.

During that time, area residents aged 21 and older celebrating with alcohol can download Lyft to their phones, then enter the code CINCODC in the app’s “Promo” section to receive a ride worth up to $15. The code is valid for the first 1,500 Lyft users who enter it.

The program, known as SoberRide, made the switch in March from using local taxicabs to Lyft, a competitor of market leader Uber.

“In 2015 and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a third of all U.S. traffic fatalities during Cinco de Mayo involved drunk drivers,” said WRAP president Kurt Erickson in a statement. “Worse, 51-percent of male drivers ages 21-to-34 killed in U.S. Cinco de Mayo crashes over the last half-decade were drunk.”

WRAP said that 225 people participated in its Cinco de Mayo SoberRide program. The charity also offers SoberRide on St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween and from December 15 through and including New Year’s Eve.

That same day, the Arlington County Police and Fire Departments will host a joint interactive event to highlight the dangers of drink driving. The event will take place at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Blvd in Clarendon beginning at 6 p.m. and is free.

Police will close N. Hudson Street from Wilson Blvd to 1200 N. Herndon Street in front of The Clarendon apartment building from 5 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday to accommodate the event. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be in the area, and illegally parked cars may be ticketed or towed.

by Chris Teale — May 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm 0

Just days after local parents launched a petition favoring building a high school next to Kenmore Middle School, others have begun a petition of their own against the plan.

The petition against the Kenmore plan raises concerns about the impact on traffic on S. Carlin Springs Road, which it says would increase the number of students that attend nearby schools from 2,200 to approximately 3,500.

“Carlin Springs Road is one of the County’s few north/south arterials and a major commuter thoroughfare,” the petition reads. “There is no reasonable alternative to Carlin Springs Road for many people using this route. Adding students would add vehicular traffic in the form of school buses, and cars for students and staff. The increase in traffic and the increase in the number of students crossing Carlin Springs Road will increase the threat of accidents involving students.”

The School Board recently whittled down a list of nine possible sites for the county’s new public high school to three. Under the Kenmore plan the current middle school would remain on the 33-acre campus, and adjacent property would be used to build a new 1,300-seat high school.

The other two options remaining are to develop a ninth-grade academy on the site of the Education Center next to Washington-Lee High School, with the International Baccalaureate program expanded and a World Languages site created, or build at the Arlington Career Center site to co-locate with Arlington Tech.

The petition was also critical of the process to determine the site of the new high school.

“The planning process by the County and the School Board to engage in more proactive planning is appreciated,” it reads, “but it appears that the effort to site the 1,300 [seat] high school seats is short circuiting the process.”

Another School Board work session is scheduled for May 15 at the Education Center, with the Board set to discuss the options and adopt one in June.

by Chris Teale — May 2, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

By the time she was 9 years old, Isabel Graham had earned a black belt in mixed martial arts and, with a younger brother around, has always enjoyed being in charge.

So it seemed like a natural fit when she began umpiring in Arlington Little League earlier this season.

Out of an officiating roster of dozens of teenagers and a handful of adults, Graham is currently the only female ump in the league. (An older female umpire is out with an injury.)

But the 14-year-old Graham, an eighth-grader at St. Thomas More Cathedral School, said that her gender has never been an issue for anyone as she takes charge of games at the AAA and Majors levels for children up to the age of 12.

“At this age the players don’t actually know that it’s different, so they treat me like anyone else,” she said before a recent game at Fort Scott Park. “The only people who know it’s different are the parents, so the moms always give me a smile.”

Graham combines her umpiring with playing travel softball for Arlington Sage, and also plays basketball during the winter. She was introduced to umpiring by her friend and St. Thomas More classmate Nicolas Lopez-Riveira, now in his third season overseeing Little League games.

And she seems to have taken to the umpiring quickly. She said it is very similar to playing catcher on her softball team, as she is in charge and sees a lot of action behind home plate.

“It’s exciting, but I guess I’ve seen her in so many things where if she’s not in charge, she’s at least constantly aware of what’s going on,” said her father Michael Graham. “I’m not surprised that she enjoys it, mostly because of the interest in softball and baseball. I’m glad that she’s doing it.”

To become an umpire, Isabel Graham went through training on the rules of the game and how to handle situations on the field. League umpire-in-chief Steve Sundbeck said he has approximately 65 teenagers and seven adults, including himself, that umpire. The league has approximately 1,500 children as young as 4 that play baseball.

Sundbeck said he looks to use the training program to teach new umpires good sportsmanship and confidence, something that is helped by a league culture in Arlington that emphasizes earning respect and doing your best, regardless of age.

“It really is a matter of doing the best job you can in the first place, because they’ll know when you’re getting lazy and not getting in position,” Sundbeck said. “And you just know what to ignore and what to call out that you’re not putting up with. We try to teach them the rubric.”

And while Isabel Graham said she gets nervous before games start, once the batter settles into the box, it feels natural.

“They’re really just trying to have fun, and they often don’t understand what’s happening, they just want to get out there and play,” she said. “I don’t think there’s that much pressure. Mostly I’m just pressuring myself. I’ll always think I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll have to get over it.”

Isabel Graham will start at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria in the fall and said she hopes to continue umpiring and maybe move up to the 50/70 level, the highest in Arlington Little League.

“She’s always been a fairly focused, confident kid and loves all things baseball as well as being in charge,” said Michael Graham. “So being an umpire seems to be a really good fit for her personality and interest in sports. Whether she’s the only girl or the first girl to do anything has never really been of concern to her.”

by Chris Teale — May 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

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.

Thursday

Special Screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 p.m.

May the Fourth be with you as local fans celebrate Star Wars Day with a special discount screening of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Guests will be greeted by stormtroopers and the evening will feature costume contests and Star Wars trivia.

Law Enforcement Officer Of The Year Awards*
The Salsa Room (2619 Columbia Pike)
Time: noon-1:30 p.m.

Arlington County Crime Solvers’ annual awards luncheon, which includes remarks by county officials, a keynote address by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and the presenting of awards to local law enforcement officers and the Chamber of Commerce.

“Shed Your Coat” at Rocklands Arlington*
Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co. (3471 Washington Blvd)
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Officially kick off patio season with a special evening of food and drink to benefit Doorways for Women and Families. Guests will mingle on the patio munching on pork pulled from a whole roast pig, and fresh oysters roasted over a wood fire.

Magnificent Movie Music*
Spectrum Theater (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

A three-part multimedia lecture series presented by concert pianist and film music expert Rachel Franklin. Dr. Franklin will delve into some of the greatest film music ever composed and discuss the relationships between films and their scores.

Friday

Market Common Clarendon Kids’ Concerts
Market Common Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Kids’ concerts every Friday from May 5 through October 27 in The Loop. Mr. Knick Knack! is back with special appearances by: Mr. Skip, The Bubbas, Oh Susannah!, Kidsinger Jim and Tracey Eldridge. Admission is free for children and adults.

Saturday

CWP Spring Fling*
Children’s Weekday Program (716 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 9 a.m.-noon

Join the Children’s Weekday Program for a fun morning of activities for children and families. Activities include creative games, a face painter, bounce houses, a bake sale and special visitors to celebrate spring. All the community is welcome.

Arlington Community Foundation Home Tour*
Various locations
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tour elegant homes in the Country Club Hills neighborhood of Arlington and support the Arlington Community Foundation in the process. Attendees will see six homes at the event, presented by Washington Fine Properties. Tickets cost $35.

Sunday

George Washington’s Forest Walking Tour
Ball-Sellers House (5620 3rd Street S.)
Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.

The Arlington Historical Society and Ball-Sellers House invites you to a guided walking tour led by local historian, Kevin Vincent. On the walking tour you’ll trace George Washington’s steps through a property he bought.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

President Donald Trump tweeted this morning that the government needs “a good ‘shutdown'” in September.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who counts some 77,000 federal employees among his Northern Virginia constituents, wasted no time in responding. Beyer issued the following statement shortly after the president’s tweet.

There is nothing ‘good’ about a government shutdown that would furlough 800,000 federal employees indefinitely, including nearly 70,000 in Northern Virginia. The federal government does not turn on and off like a light switch. Critical medical and scientific research is put on hold; shipping container inspections at our ports are halted; Social Security and Medicare benefits are delayed and mortgages are missed.

I can think of no worse example of leadership than to call and hope for such an unmitigated disaster. President Trump might think this is the art of the deal, but it is not how government functions, not what the American people demand of their political leaders, and not what this country asked for in November.

Beyer represents more federal workers than any other member of Congress, according to his office.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Ask Eli banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: I’m getting ready to purchase a home and have been watching the market over the last few months. I find that most homes I like go under contract quickly. How long are most homes on the market in Arlington and do you have guidance regarding offer price based on how long a home has been on the market?

Answer: Good properties move quickly in Arlington, so if you’re in the market you need to prepare to act fast when the right home hits the market. I pulled some helpful data to highlight how quickly most homes go under contract and how much they sell for relative to asking price.

Description Of Data

The following data represents all 15,200+ home sales in Arlington since January 1, 2012, broken out by the percentage of homes that sell within a range of days on the market (number of days from listing to going under contract). Within each range, I provide the average net sold price as a percentage of the original asking price (100 percent means the seller got the full ask). Not included are homes sold with zero days on market (6-7 percent of total sales) because most of those are off-market deals.

Key Findings

  • About 20 percent of homes in Arlington sell in the first five days
  • About 50 percent of homes in Arlington sell in the first 30 days
  • Be prepared to pay full price if you’re making an offer in the first 10 days of a listing
  • There is a consistent, direct correlation between days on market and how much of a discount buyers negotiate from the original asking price
  • Q1 is generally the slowest time for real estate but Q1 2017 shows a high percentage of homes being sold in the first five and 10 days. Expect these percentages to increase as the year continues.
  • Not shown: about 60 percent of homes sold in the first five days are sold on the fourth or fifth day
  • Most homes are listed on Thursday, so odds are that even a hot home will make it through the weekend

In a hot market, preparation is the most important thing buyers can do to position themselves to land a contract on the home they want. If you’re considering a purchase and would like to discuss the best ways to prepare, feel free to reach out to set-up a meeting with me. You can reach me directly at [email protected] or (703) 539-2529.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at http://www.RealtyDCMetro.com.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2017 at 11:40 am 0

Police and firefighters are on scene at the Virginia Hospital Center emergency room investigating a suspicious package.

The hospital and the emergency room have remained open during the investigation.

No significant safety hazard has been reported but those heading to the hospital should expect police and fire department activity in the area.

Update at 2:15 p.m. — The incident was prompted by a “suspicious package received in the mailroom” of the hospital, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Update at 1:10 p.m. — The “all clear” has been given.

File photo

by Chris Teale — May 2, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

More details are filtering out about Clarendon’s first dedicated outdoor beer garden, which hopes to open this summer.

“The Lot” beer garden, at 3217 10th Street N., will replace the used car lot once operated by the Prime Auto Group. Signs remain up for the car seller, but its telephone number and website have been deactivated.

Inside, work appears to be in the early stages on The Lot, which, according to a permit application filed with the county, intends to add a small kitchen and enclosed deck to an existing building, in addition to the outdoor seating. A license application filed with Virginia ABC indicates it wishes to have over 150 seats.

The site is currently zoned for a general commercial district and is close to other beverage-serving establishments like Northside Social and cold-pressed juice bar JRINK.

Owned by the Social Restaurant Group, The Lot is listed as one of six upcoming ventures for the group, alongside Bar Bao in the former Mad Rose Tavern space in Clarendon, which appears close to opening. SRG already operates Pamplona, also in Clarendon.

Staff with the Social Restaurant Group referred all requests for additional information to their media relations representatives. Those representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

Construction has begun on new, more aesthetically-pleasing road medians in Ballston.

Work kicked off yesterday on the medians along Fairfax Drive, from N. Quincy Street to Glebe Road. The improvements include a decorative fence, solar-powered “gateway signage” and “more plantings of annuals and perennials while maintaining the stately Bald Cypress trees.”

The Ballston Business Improvement District is spearheading the initiative as part of its placemaking efforts.

More from the BID:

A new pedestrian fence inspired by Ballston’s distinctive brand will increase pedestrian safety, solar-powered gateway signs will welcome all to the neighborhood, and an artistic design will be created on the median noses using the iconic Ballston-orange.

Initial work will include some demolition, repair and replacement of existing medians. The pedestrian fence installation will commence mid-May, and the final stages of work including painting, signage and plantings will follow in early June. Work will take place after morning rush and before evening rush hours with a vehicle lane closure on each side of the medians from Glebe Road to Fairfax Drive.

First image via Ballston BID. Second image via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

McDonald’s to Open Next Week in Rosslyn — The new McDonald’s restaurant in Rosslyn is expected to open on Monday, May 8. It will feature “mobile and kiosk ordering, with six touch-screen kiosks,” as well as “table service, with servers bringing customers their food after orders are placed using the screens.” [Washington Business Journal]

Petition Against Proposed APS Policy — Among those signing a petition against a proposed new school enrollment and transfer policy is former U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra. He writes: “We need to be expanding, not restricting access to Arlington’s award-winning, integrated elementary school science curriculum! Counter to the data-driven ‘Arlington Way,’ this proposal is inappropriately rushed with debate or impact analysis. Sad!” [Change.org]

ACPD Officer to Be Added to Memorial — Arlington County Police Cpl. Harvey Snook is being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C. Snook died last year of cancer caused by his service during the recovery effort at the Pentagon following the 9/11 attack. Snook will also be added to Arlington’s Peace Officers Memorial on May 10, the first name added since 2005. [WTOP, Arlington County]

Arlington Woman, 109, Still Stays Up Late — Viola Graham, a 109-year-old resident of Arlington, says she still feels young and still doesn’t go to bed until midnight. Graham also “takes no medicine, besides the occasional Tylenol.” [WUSA 9]

Britt McHenry Goes Off the Air — Arlington’s own Britt McHenry is among the mass layoffs at ESPN. Though the sportscaster is going off the air, she said last week via Twitter that her fans would see her again on TV “soon.” McHenry formerly worked for WJLA (ABC 7) in Rosslyn. [Florida Today, Twitter]

Gubernatorial Candidates in Arlington — Democratic candidates for governor in Virginia, Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello, will be debating at a progressive forum in Ballston tonight. [Facebook]

Flickr pool photo by GM and MB

by Katie Pyzyk — May 2, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Visiting the Arctic might sound like an extreme way to change up your routine, but visiting Arlington-based ArCTIC could offer a cool breath of fresh air for your health and fitness regimen.

Sometimes maintaining personal wellness can seem like a hassle, which ultimately saps your motivation. For example, relying on one business to provide personal training, another for nutritional coaching and yet another for injury prevention and rehabilitation gets old quickly. Arlington’s Coaching-Training and Injury Center (ArCTIC) provides a whole-package solution to make staying healthy and fit easier.

The doctors at Schreffler Chiropractic launched ArCTIC, and they bring decades of combined experience to the new center. They provide individual client care to prevent both new injuries and flare-ups from existing problems. If an injury does occur, the doctors are fully equipped to assess, treat and manage the issue.

ArCTIC also has certified running, inline skating and personal training coaches, in addition to a registered dietician. Bringing together all of these professionals at one location creates a unique one-stop shop for sustaining a fit, healthy lifestyle through personal training and coaching.

Let’s face it, our lives are busier than ever. That makes the temptation to resort to frozen or packaged foods really tempting. But what you eat has a huge impact on how your body performs daily, both physically and mentally. ArCTIC’s nutritional coach can help to improve your relationship with food through discussions of what, how and when to eat to maximize your personal performance. Plus, you can get ideas to simplify eating healthily and avoid the draw of unhealthy food when you’re on the go.

Running is a high-profile activity that millions of people around the world enjoy, but only some know how to do properly. ArCTIC’S running coaches aim to help both beginner and seasoned runners reach their goals, but more importantly, they help to achieve such goals without injury.

Another calorie-burning — yet sometimes overlooked — exercise for which ArCTIC provides coaching is inline skating. The activity’s lateral movements help to offset the repetitive, straight-ahead movements of many other exercises. Inline skating isn’t quite as intuitive as running, though, so coaches can help you master proper moving, turning and stopping to optimize performance and avoid injuries.

Trying to figure out exactly which wellness plan is best for you can be overwhelming. But a fitness assessment using the state-of-the-art FitQuest determines exactly which exercises best suit your needs for improving personal weaknesses and imbalances. ArCTIC is the first and only business in the country to own this measurement tool, and the center’s personal trainers use it to completely customize your training program.

Do you feel like solo wellness programs aren’t for you? Maybe being among peers during exercise boosts your motivation? Not a problem. To complement its one-on-one personal training and coaching, ArCTIC often provides group training sessions, such as before local races. Right now, for instance, the Master the Miles program helps clients train to run an upcoming summer 5K or 10K. Another option is the Fitness Inline Training (FIT) Program that helps inline skaters train for a half marathon.

ArCTIC also provides services to other fitness facilities, such as the recent partnership with OrangeTheory Fitness. The six-week weight loss challenge incorporated ArCTIC’s FitQuest testing, and it promoted improvements in participants’ overall fitness and wellness beyond just the numbers on a scale.

Conquering fitness challenges and keeping your wellness on track has never been easier than by taking an integrated approach with ArCTIC.

Contact the experienced doctors and coaches online or by calling 703-465-1213 to set up your first appointment.

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