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by Chris Teale May 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm 0

The intersection of Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) and N. Irving Street is set to undergo a major safety transformation.

The County Board due to award a contract for the work on Saturday. Upgraded traffic signals, improved sidewalk connectivity, new and more accessible bus stops and marked turn lanes are slated for the intersection.

There will also be better connections to the nearby Arlington Blvd trail, while pedestrians will get new push buttons to help them cross the street, countdown signals and technology to detect vehicles and cyclists in the street.

The project is close to Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Community Center and what will, in two years, be a new elementary school.

The County Board will vote on awarding a contract worth an initial $729,000, with an additional $109,000 as a contingency. A report by county staff on the project notes that it is administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, with primary funding from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Under the current funding model, just over $650,000 will be covered by federal money, with the remaining $180,000 covered by the county’s Transportation Capital Fund, which allocates commercial tax revenues to transportation projects.

In their report, staff did not raise any issues with the project. It has already been presented to the Arlington Heights and Ashton Heights Civic Associations and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees.

If approved by the County Board, construction is set to begin this fall. There are no road closures planned for the project.

Kalina Newman contributed reporting.

by Chris Teale May 15, 2017 at 3:50 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.

A mobile app that allows customers to have their dry cleaning and laundry picked up, done and returned expanded its service into Arlington last month.

Cleanly, a Manhattan-based startup, now serves the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, including Clarendon and Courthouse. Since launching in 2015, it has cleaned more than 2.5 million pounds of laundry.

Company co-founder and CEO Tom Harari said Arlington is the perfect market for its service: full of professionals who commute to and from work each day who do not necessarily have time to do laundry.

Users are able to schedule pick-ups online and via the app in a few clicks, and can provide customized cleaning and laundering instructions to Cleanly’s vendors in minutes. Users can also use the app to a photo highlighting stains on clothes for attaching to the order.

Cleanly’s RUSH feature allows customers to designate their pick-up and delivery time to the hour and receive their clothes back the same day, while tracking their delivery on the app’s map using GPS.

Harari said the app was born to help those either too busy to do laundry, without facilities nearby or unable to drop their clothes off with a cleaning company.

“With so many of these services going towards app-based in the tech world, it seemed logical to me that this would become an industry that would be overturned by technology and made simpler,” Harari said. “It just wasn’t, there was nobody doing this at the time and it kept sitting on my head. I kept asking myself, ‘Why doesn’t someone do this?’ And finally I just said, why don’t I try this?”

And the technology in the app, like letting customers photograph stains to be removed, is to help what can be an arduous task simpler and try to remove any issues that might crop up.

“We start with the basic understanding that laundry is just not a fun thing,” Harari said. “People don’t like to do laundry, and if we can take that one task off of people’s task list or chore list of the week, then we’ve accomplished what we need to accomplish. So we’ve always tried to think of, how can we delight customers? It’s our No. 1 core value.”

Cleanly makes use of local wholesale cleaners in the region to carry out orders for customers, something he said is similar to dry cleaners, which generally do not do their own cleaning any more.

So far, Harari said business has been brisk, on the back of an advertising campaign on the Metro system, direct mail and social media.

“It’s been about two or three weeks already that we’ve been in Arlington and so far, so good,” Harari said. “We’ve already built up a sizable waitlist, so people from Arlington have already heard of Cleanly and are signing up…This is how we wanted it to work, so that by the time we were ready logistically and operationally to open up, we had a pool of users who were already interested in the service and could turn it on and get what they want.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 15, 2017 at 3:00 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.

When I first moved here six years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y., somewhere along the way my cats picked up fleas. With no money in my pocket, I had to deal with the issue myself instead of taking them to a professional. If you’ve never experienced giving three cats a flea dip, I don’t recommend trying. I was sure a neighbor would call the police to report a horrible crime was taking place from the sound of my cats’ yowling!

Cats by nature are clean animals. If you’re a cat owner, you know the two activities cats spend most of the day doing are sleeping and grooming.

So if cats are constantly grooming their fur, why do most of them dislike water?

Cats and Water

Although no one knows for certain, there are theories on why they freak out over a bath. When a cat’s fur gets wet, it feels heavier, making them very uncomfortable. Cats are naturally skittish and don’t care for surprises or change. When a cat is uncomfortable they’re not happy and won’t hesitate to let you know with a swift scratch or a piercing bite. Another reason is with wet fur, a cat experiences a loss of body heat, especially for those cats living in colder climates.

Another possibility is due to a cat’s sense of smell being up to 100,000 times stronger than ours. Perhaps they can smell the other nutrients or chemicals in our tap water and rebel against having that scent imbedded in their coats.

My personal favorite theory is that cats evolved from felines living in dry warm areas of the world, such as Egypt, and therefore saw very little water. As they evolved, water was something they never got used to.

Not all cats have a fear of water. Chimi, my first cat, often crawled into the shower with me to let the water run down on him. If a toilet seat were left up, I would find him sitting inside like it was his own personal bathtub. When I would run any tap in sinks he would crawl under the tap and submerge his head. He was an extraordinary feline, however, there are breeds of cats, such as the Turkish Van, often called the “swimming cat,” that love being in water.

If You Must…

Most cats don’t require baths on a regular basis, but if you must, here are a few tips for fellow cat owners:

  • Don’t add anything to the water like scented bubble bath or oils. Make sure the      water is warm and run the sink or bath before getting them in the tub. The sound of running water can add to their fear. Don’t rinse them under a running tap. Instead use a cup to rinse them after shampooing.
  • Stroke and talk to them in a soothing calm voice during the process.
  • Place a towel on the bottom of the sink or tub for them to stand on so they won’t feel as if they could slip.
  • Use a shampoo made specifically made for cats. Make sure it is unscented.

Consult a Professional

If you find your cat has fleas or needs a bath for other reasons, the best advice is take them to a professional. Our groomer, Lux, is amazing at grooming cats and has taught me how to handle them for any future baths, brush outs or nail trims to avoid potential emergency room visits. I sure could have used her advice six years ago.

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 ARLnow.com May 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm 0

Arlington County is now the No. 1 best “city” for millennials in the entire country, according to new rankings from the website Niche.com.

Last year Arlington ranked second on the same list. This year, as also noted by the New York Times, Arlington is at the top, ranked highly for nightlife, diversity, public schools, and being “good for families.”

Nearby Alexandria was ranked No. 4 on the list.

The rankings reflect that the millennial generation is getting older and having children. Last year’s list included grades for “access to coffee shops” and “access to restaurants,” which appears to have made way for the schools and families grades.

The top 10 cities for millennials in 2017, according to Niche:

  1. Arlington, Va.
  2. Cambridge, Mass.
  3. San Francisco, Ca.
  4. Alexandria, Va.
  5. Minneapolis, Minn.
  6. Seattle, Wa.
  7. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  8. Berkeley, Ca.
  9. Sunnyvale, Ca.
  10. Sandy Springs, Ga.

Depending on how you define the millennial generation, it constitutes somewhere between 30-40 percent of Arlington’s population, though some worry that many millennials starting families may be forced to move out due to the high cost of housing and childcare.

Previously, Arlington was ranked as having the most affluent millennials in the U.S. by Niche and Clarendon was ranked as being Washington’s best neighborhood for millennials by Zillow.

Image via Niche.com

by ARLnow.com May 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm 0

Update at 2:30 p.m. — The fire has been extinguished and Four Mile Run Drive is expected to reopen shortly. The access road is expected to remain closed until the fallen tree is removed.

Update at 2:15 p.m. — Electricity has been shut off to the fallen power lines and firefighters are now working to extinguish the brush fire.

Earlier: A tree has fallen on power lines and sparked a growing brush fire along Four Mile Run Drive.

The incident was first reported by a passerby just after 1 p.m.

Initial reports suggest a large tree fell across the Four Mile Run Drive access road, striking a power line. That sparked a brush fire in the dry grass below, which as of 1:20 p.m. continues to burn.

The fire department cannot extinguish the wildfire around the power line until Dominion Power crews arrive and shut off the power, according to scanner traffic. As of 1:40 p.m. the flames were nearing vehicles parked along the access road.

Residents should expect “a lot of smoke in the area,” according to a police officer on scene. Police have shut down traffic in both directions on the access road near S. Wakefield Street and are preparing to shut down the mainline Four Mile Run Drive.

Photo courtesy Alex Chamandy, John Chandler

by ARLnow.com May 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

Arlington County Police will again be stepping up enforcement of seat belt laws, starting next week.

ACPD’s enforcement campaign, part of the national Click It or Ticket program, will run through the Memorial Day holiday, from Monday, May 22 to Sunday, June 4.

More from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is once again reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement from May 22 to June 4, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older according to the NHTSA. That’s why motorists are encouraged to buckle up every time on every ride.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

by Chris Teale May 15, 2017 at 12:00 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.


Free Home Buyer Class *
Orange Line Living (1600 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 6-7 p.m.

Specialists including lenders and buyer agents will give an overview of the buying process, while attendees will learn Orange Line Living’s valuable home buying strategies that will save you 3 percent or more when you purchase.

Financial Scams: Just Say No!
Aurora Hills Branch Library (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Virginia Cooperative Extension presents an interactive session that covers common financial scams and with practical tips on how you can protect yourself, especially if you suspect a family member is the fraudster.


Surf Like a Sleuth
Arlington Independent Media (2701 Wilson Blvd #C)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Learn tips, tricks and tools used by private investigators for tracking down information using nothing more than a web browser and an internet connection. This course will cover the basics of records searches, and more.


U.S. Army Twilight Tattoo
Summerall Field, Fort Myer (247 Sheridan Ave)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

An hour-long military pageant featuring soldiers from The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment and The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Experience a glimpse into American history through performances by various ensembles and drill teams.


Special Screening: The Crucible
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:45 p.m.

Based on Salem’s infamous witch trials, “The Crucible” takes place in a small tight-knit community, where personal grievances collide with lust and superstition, fueling widespread hysteria.


Civil War Camp Day
Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.)
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

A Civil War living history event hosted by Arlington Parks & Recreation. The event recognizes the 156th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln ordering Union troops into Arlington on May 24, 1861 to defend Washington, D.C.

Lyon Park Spring Fair
Lyon Park (414 N. Fillmore Street)
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

A family-centered event with carnival games, pony rides, moon bounces, cake walk, face painting, cotton candy and more. Concessions, a bake sale and a plant sale are also part of the event. Bring the family and have some old school fun!


Taste of Arlington *
Ballston (Wilson Blvd from N. Randolph to N. Nelson Street)
Time: 12-6 p.m.

The 30th annual Taste of Arlington, presented by Courthaus Social and benefiting BallstonGives. The event transforms Wilson Blvd and neighboring streets into a street festival with dining, music and entertainment for all ages.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by Chris Teale May 15, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Thirty performances including big band, blues, soul and orchestral music as well as cabaret acts will come to the Lubber Run Amphitheater this summer.

The acts begin on June 16 with roots rock band The Grandsons, then children’s entertainer The Great Zucchini wraps things up on September 17.

The performances are being organized by Arlington’s Cultural Affairs division, with the cooperation of the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation, which funded the four family-friendly shows at the end of the season.

The amphitheater is located near the intersection of N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., about a 20-minute walk from Ballston. It is also accessible on Metrobus’ 4B route between Rosslyn and Seven Corners.

It almost closed five years ago but the foundation worked with the county to find a way to keep it open through some cost-effective renovations.

The full performance schedule is below.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman. Kalina Newman contributed reporting.

by Chris Teale May 15, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Around six months after it opened, a fast-casual Korean barbecue restaurant has closed in Crystal City.

KBQ Korean BBQ & Bar at 2450 Crystal Drive opened last November, next to Buffalo Wild Wings. But the eatery closed its doors earlier this month and now sits empty.

“KBQ is closed,” a sign on the door reads. “We appreciate your patronage, and hope you enjoyed it while it lasted!”

It allowed customers to build their own rice and lettuce bowls, lettuce wraps, tofu dogs and rice burgers, and offered six proteins and nearly a dozen sides. On Yelp, users lauded the service but gave middling marks to the food.

There was also a separate “bubble tea shop” offering a selection of bubble teas, including taro, chai and mango, and a bar serving cocktails, beer, wine and “bombs” — as in soju, Jager, car and cherry bombs.

Hat tip to Irina K.

by ARLnow.com May 15, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

World of Beer Gets Rebranded — The Ballston location of World of Beer is no longer part of the chain and has instead been rebranded as “Crafthouse.” The restaurant — along with former WoB locations in Fairfax and Reston — is now offering a full menu of American craft fare and a drink menu that includes local beers, bourbons, whiskey, wine and other spirits. [Reston Now]

County’s Stance on Rising Homeless Population — Via an Arlington County press release: “We believe that the increase in Arlington’s numbers this year do not reflect the long-term trend in our County,” said Arlington County Board Vice Chair Katie Cristol. “Since 2008, when we launched the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, Arlington has cut its number of homeless persons by more than half. We’ve made great strides in housing veterans and chronically homeless individuals and families.” [Arlington County]

Metro Changes Next Month — Starting June 25, Metrorail’s operating hours are being shortened while rail and bus fares are increasing, rush hour rail frequency is decreasing and some bus routes are being discontinued. [WMATA]

Freddie’s Named Top Brunch Spot — Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant, a gay bar in Crystal City that hosts a Broadway brunch on Saturdays and a Champagne brunch on Sundays, has been named one of the 100 best brunch spots in America by OpenTable. [OpenTable]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley


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