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by ARLnow.com May 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Update at 11:20 p.m. — The missing woman was found safely earlier this evening.

Arlington County Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing 77-year-old woman last seen in Pentagon City.

Police say Dorothy Getsey was last seen around noon today at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. She was there on a group bus trip of Vietnam War veterans, according to scanner traffic.

“She was wearing all black clothing, a gray cross-body purse and has long gray hair,” police said in a press release. “Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ms. Getsey is asked to call the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.”

by Chris Teale May 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

Representatives from the county and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority came together this morning to celebrate the Crystal City Multimodal Center‘s completion.

The center on 18th Street S. between S. Eads and S. Clark streets — next to the Crystal City Metro station — now has more bus shelters for use by local and regional buses, wider sidewalks, improved lighting, bike lanes and a kiss and ride zone where shuttle buses can also load and unload.

Funding for the $3.4 million project came a $1.5 million grant from NVTA, a grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, a developer contribution and money from the Crystal City tax increment financing area.

“With these infrastructure improvements, Arlington is making it easier and safer for people travelling to and through Crystal City — whether they are arriving by bus, Metro, on foot or by car,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said. “It’s the latest example of how the county continues to invest in Crystal City and continues to build on the community’s vision of enhanced access and connectivity.”

NVTA funds projects across four counties and five cities in Northern Virginia, and officials said improvements such as those in Crystal City help the entire region. NVTA board chair Martin Nohe gave the example that a stopped train in Arlington at 7 a.m. can cause parking problems in Woodbridge at 8 a.m., and the center will help ease congestion worries.

“The people of truly every Northern Virginia jurisdiction are benefitting not just from this project, but every other project throughout Arlington,” Nohe said.

Fisette said that such projects and an emphasis on transit helped Arlington be recently named the best city for millennials. Without planning and the community’s input combined with bodies willing to help with financing, projects like these could never come to fruition, he said.

“We can’t do it all ourselves,” Fisette said. “We have to partner to make things like this happen…That’s what makes a community good. You can’t do the last part [delivering a project] without the first part [money], and you can’t do the first part without the community and the vision.”

by Mark Kelly May 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Congratulations to Erik Gutshall for winning the Democrats’ County Board caucus. Now Republicans should nominate an opponent.

I have met Erik on a couple occasions since he first decided to run against Libby Garvey last year. We have children who attend Gunston Middle School together. In this politically charged time, we have shared in civil conversations. I like Erik.

But Erik is running his campaign on the same “progressive values” as the man he seeks to replace. His website could very well say, “if you elect me, the next four years will be just like the last 20.”

So here are four reasons Republicans should nominate a candidate or endorse an Independent who is committed to shaking up the status quo:

  1. Erik Gutshall supported Arlington’s efforts to give economic development handouts to large corporations. While we may not be able to stop the “me too” economic development giveaway approach right away, the primary focus of the next county board member should be to improve the business climate for job creators of every shape and size. The time for talk on making Arlington’s bureaucracy better is over. The next Board member should offer a comprehensive reform plan from zoning to the business license tax and call on the Board to start acting on it within the first six months.
  2. We need a Board member willing to ask tough questions on transportation decisions, like narrowing streets in a way that creates more traffic congestion. But the number one transportation priority for the next County Board member is to demand a Metro reorganization in exchange for additional Arlington tax dollars. Arlington has simply not demonstrated enough leadership on this critical system dating back to the years Chris Zimmerman served on the WMATA board.
  3. John Vihstadt needs an ally with a 100 percent commitment to spending within our means. Vihstadt has found a niche on the Board. He has worked with fellow members to achieve some positive results to hold the county accountable. But it is difficult to imagine a scenario where anyone else on the Board would support a year over year freeze in spending, even if you could demonstrate why circumstances warranted it (school enrollments significantly declined for example). There is simply a super-majority bias, four to one, to spend more. Erik would not change this ratio.
  4. Vihstadt also needs an ally committed to reforming the year-end closeout process. It essentially amounts to a slush fund for County Board members to spend every year. In the same light, a new Board member should bring transparency to the revenue estimates which are continually low, require the Board to raise taxes, and yet produces tens of millions in year-end surpluses every year. Libby Garvey has expressed a willingness to consider reforms to the process, but two votes for it only gets you a discussion, not a majority for reform.

A Republican (or an Independent committed to similar principles*) may not ultimately win, but they should run. Republicans have until June 13 to make a nomination.

*With all due respect to perennial candidate Audrey Clement, it should be someone new.

by ARLnow.com May 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm 0

(Updated at 3 p.m.) An under-construction replacement for the former Marymount University “Blue Goose” building in Ballston is on fire.

Firefighters are on the scene of a two-alarm apartment fire on the seventh floor of 1008 N. Glebe Road, according to scanner traffic. They’re reportedly having issues with water pressure in the building, though as of 2:55 p.m. the fire is said to have been extinguished. In addition to stairs, firefighters used a ladder truck to reach the apartment that was on fire.

Police have closed the southbound lanes and one northbound lane of N. Glebe Road between 11th Street and Fairfax Drive. Drivers should expect traffic impacts in the area.

The nearly-completed building, with more than 260 apartment units, was expected to be move-in ready this summer, according to the developer’s website.

by Peter Rousselot May 18, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

Peter Rousselot

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

As Arlington grows and urbanizes rapidly, conflicts are increasing among different users of our parks.

Arlington should give higher priority to open, un-programmed and natural parkland

The county government continues to demonstrate that it is not giving fair, transparent and due weight to the wishes of those who desire access to multi-use, un-programmed, open or natural spaces.

Instead, the percentage of open green space in existing parks is declining, while:

  • dedicated, programmed space is increasing despite usage data not being publicly available for a transparent analysis
  • uses of existing programmed space are intensifying through paving, turf, lighting, fencing, expansion, pay-per-use only and access restrictions
  • not enough parkland is being acquired to accommodate residents’ needs

Some examples of prioritizing organized recreational use over other needs include:

  • refusal even to consider community proposals to convert existing softball fields to un-programmed space at Virginia Highlands Park
  • initial proposal to fence off entirely the diamond at Bluemont Park
  • more dedicated playground space at Nelly Custis Park
  • proposals to install new lights at Discovery Elementary School/Williamsburg Middle School
  • a request to buy more land for open green space in Alcova Heights denied because the proposed acquisition in part was too small “which limits recreational opportunities”

These decisions are at odds with the results of the county’s 2015 Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey. That survey established that natural areas and wildlife habitats — as well as hiking trails — were two of the three most important outdoor facilities that Arlington residents want.

Best practices elsewhere do give higher priority to open green space

The best city park planning is based on the principle of the most uses for most of the community. Travel and Leisure magazine listed the World’s Most Beautiful City Parks where “for city dwellers and tourists alike, an urban park becomes a shared backyard.”

In New York City, many playgrounds and basketball courts are designed into urban space, e.g. on rooftops or located between buildings, and not into natural parkland.

New York is enormously more populated and denser than Arlington, but the principles of giving sufficient priority to natural, un-programmed spaces can and should be similar. Current efforts in Arlington appear to be designed to provide enough paved sports courts, playgrounds, and playing fields to accommodate every league, paying user and sports type – all occupying a larger percentage of our limited public parks.

In contrast, cities around the world place a high priority on their parks’ function as natural spaces interspersed and accessible throughout city landscapes: e.g., Atlanta’s BeltLine project and an excellent report from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority on sustainability and parks planning.

Conclusion

The POPS Update Advisory Group is currently working on an update to the Public Spaces Master Plan. The Parks and Recreation Commission should propose, and the POPS Group should be directed now, to develop principles giving due weight to open green space based on best practices elsewhere.

Pending adoption of such principles, the County Board should direct the Manager to report how to prevent open green space from being short-changed.

Continued shoehorning of single-use sports fields into our limited park space guarantees increasing conflict. Applying reasonable principles of equitable expectations of use, while simultaneously expanding our parkland to keep pace with population growth, are the correct solutions for a rapidly growing county.

by Progressive Voice May 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.

By Juan Arteaga

The gathering of so many Americans in Washington and around the country to demand action on climate change has inspired me to tell my personal story of moving to Arlington. I shifted my definition of success toward enacting values I learned as a youth to appreciate our environment — doing so through a job in which I now am able to support investment in energy generation that serves to protect our health and our planet.

An appreciation of nature became one of my core values early in my life. Growing up in Houston, Texas, I remember camping trips and visits to city parks. Those early experiences encouraged me to seek adventure and experiences rooted in a love for the outdoors and nature’s beauty.

One of the positives of moving to Arlington is that while living close to the Nation’s Capital, I can also enjoy accessible locations where I can explore more adventurous excursions such as rock climbing in the Shenandoah Valley and long hikes in national parks.

I am able to combine a professional career devoted to improving our environment in economically sound ways with a wide variety of outdoor activities. That balance has not always been how I defined success.

During my time in college, while I still loved being outdoors, I found myself increasingly caught up in a pursuit of financial success. When you are chasing success in Houston, that success is generally tied to money and the money is frequently tied to oil in some way. So when I landed a job with a large oil company while I was still in school, I was convinced that I had it made.

My work for big oil did not blind me to the effects of energy production on our environment, but signaled that the childhood value of appreciating nature and what I learned in history classes remained important to me.

I found myself paying more attention to the news, trying to put into context what I was learning and hearing at work with what I was seeing in the broader world.

As I witnessed environmental disasters either personally or through media reports, I became increasing concerned about how human activities were causing or exacerbating dangerous weather patterns. The lack of actions to counter these trends began to create serious cognitive dissonance for me.

I began to feel a direct conflict between the profession I was in and my desire to protect the natural spaces which had offered me so much throughout my life. The longer I worked with a major oil company, the more I felt certain that my own actions were making an impact — and not a good one. So I left the job.

As risky as that decision felt at the time, I was incredibly fortunate. I was hired for a position at a well-respected consulting company, a position I went after because the values of the organization match my own.

By letting go of a culture pushing money at the expense of the environment, I found a new definition of success. I am consistently able to learn more about the environment and our impact on it and I challenge myself to make sure that the actions that I take are making a positive impact. Now I’m part of a fight to get our community to commit to 100 percent renewable energy, something that I know is a huge part of protecting the outdoor spaces that have shaped who I am.

Anyone can change their definition of success. For me, it meant letting my fundamental principles guide me to greater involvement in the fight for our shared environment.

What is most important to you?

Juan Arteaga is an infrastructure analyst and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He moved to Arlington to become more active in environmental causes.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic and winner of a 2017 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

It’s that time of year again: everything is covered in a fine yellow layer of pollen, and we’re all rubbing our eyes and constantly sneezing. It’s spring in Northern Virginia and pollens are out en masse!

While we have addressed the topic previously, we often get asked if pets experience allergy symptoms, and the answer is a resounding yes.  While pets classically manifest their allergy symptoms more through their skin (which becomes itchy, and then often secondarily infected with bacteria and/or yeast) than through the eyes and upper respiratory tract, when the pollen burden is high enough, it’s quite common to see runny eyes and mild upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing in dogs and cats as well.

Some pets can even experience more severe symptoms such as coughing and exacerbation of conditions like feline asthma or canine bronchitis.

So, what’s to be done? And how to know if the symptoms warrant a visit to the veterinarian?  

Generally, if there are symptoms involving the eyes — increased tearing/discharge, redness, itchiness, rubbing of the eyes, or swelling around the eyes — we recommend an exam to ensure that there is nothing more serious going on with the eyes as many other ophthalmologic conditions can present similarly.

Eye problems can escalate quickly, so it is typically best to have them checked out before things progress.  However, in some cases, your pet’s veterinarian may be able to make recommendations for over-the-counter rinses or drops that would be appropriate.

If the symptoms are more more upper-respiratory in nature (i.e. sneezing or a clear nasal discharge) often this can be managed from home with an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or Zyrtec (cetirizine).

However, we always recommend checking with your veterinarian first for dosing information and to ensure these medications are appropriate for your pet.  If there is mucoid or yellow-green discharge from the nose, coughing, or any respiratory difficulties this typically warrants an exam.

The most common manifestation of environmental allergies, however, comes in the form of skin conditions, ranging from mild itchiness (scratching and often licking/chewing at the skin and feet) to serious secondary infections by the yeast and bacteria that would otherwise normally inhabit the skin in very small numbers.

There are many ways to manage the dermatologic manifestations of environmental allergies (because they are never cured, unless by moving away from the offending allergens!), but none that work in each and every patient, so sometimes it can be a bit of trial and error.

For mild symptoms, as with mild respiratory symptoms, an OTC antihistamine, fish oils and regular bathing (to keep bacteria and yeast numbers in check, and to rinse pollens and allergens from the skin) may be helpful.  In more moderate to severe cases, drugs that block the immune system’s response to allergens (such as steroids, Apoquel/oclacitinib or Atopica/cyclosporine) may be necessary to control symptoms.

There are also newer non-drug/immunotherapy options as that specifically target the itch cycle with minimal to no side effects; as well as older non-drug/immunomodulatory options such as allergy desensitization vaccines (based on skin or blood environmental allergy testing).

But even with all these supplements, bathing, OTC medication, prescription drug and immune targeted options out there we still find that every pet is different and likely to have different levels of responses to specific measures and their own combo of therapies to get them comfortable.

We often recommend keeping an “itchy” journal, on a scale of 1-10, on a regular basis (daily to weekly, depending on how symptomatic the pet is) in order to get a sense of when during the year or season a pet’s allergies tend to be the worst. With this scale, 1 is minimal to no itchiness, and 10 would be nearly constant itching, including occurring overnight and interrupting normal behaviors.

We also suggest having a good working relationship with your veterinarian to find that combination and be sure to let them know what is/is not working (which is where an actual journal comes in handy) so changes and modifications can be made quickly to reduce your pet’s discomfort.

by ARLnow.com May 18, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A number of vehicles were broken into in the Fairlington neighborhood earlier this week, according to the weekly Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The suspect — or suspects — stole airbags from the “at least five” vehicles, which, according to a police spokeswoman, were all Hondas and Acuras.

The thefts were centered around 29th Street S., between S. Buchanan and Columbus Streets, and were reported to police Tuesday morning.

More from the crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO(Series), 2017-05170092, 4800 block of S. 29th Street. At approximately 9:06 a.m. on May 16, officers responded to the report of a series of larcenies from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined at least five vehicles were entered and airbags were stolen. There is no subject(s) description.

The rest of the weekly crime report, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale May 18, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Fares for Arlington Transit and Specialized Transportation for Arlington Residents could increase next month, subject to County Board approval.

The plan would raise the ART adult bus fare from $1.75 to $2 and the ART discount fare for seniors, students and people with disabilities from 85 cents to $1.

Local STAR trips would increase in cost from $3.50 to $4, while trips inside the Capital Beltway and trips beyond would increase 50 cents each, from $5 to $5.50 and from $9 to $9.50, respectively.

All fare increases would go into effect on June 25.

Under the proposal, ART’s iRide program offering discounts for teens would be extended to elementary school students, while the program allowing free use of ART by personal care attendants accompanying MetroAccess-certified riders would also be extended. ART adult fare tokens would also be withdrawn from circulation, and could then be exchanged for Metrobus tokens or added to a SmarTrip card.

The fare rise would be in line with Metro’s decision to hike its Metrobus fares at the same level, and would offset increased operating costs of 6 percent for ART and 5 percent for STAR.

A report by county staff notes that other bus systems in the area like Fairfax Connector and Montgomery County’s RideOn have upped fares in line with any Metrobus increases.

Staff recommended the County Board adopt the proposed change at its recessed meeting on Tuesday.

by Chris Teale May 18, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The 24-hour Questival Adventure Race will arrive in Rosslyn on Friday as part of its 2017 tour of the Mid-Atlantic.

The race begins at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) at 7 p.m. on May 19. Teams of two to six will complete a series of challenges across 24 hours that could be about anything from fitness to food, with winning prizes worth up to $10,000.

Currently the quests are unknown and the challenge list will be sent out to teams 24 hours in advance.

“Whether it’s adventure & fitness, food, service, or teamwork, your quest will include challenges that push you out of your comfort zone,” the Questival website reads. “Anyone can do it, but only the slightly neurotic thrive.”

The race’s official website advises participants to bring gear such as swimsuits, tennis shoes and camping gear. Participants track their team’s challenge progress throughout the race on an app, where the judges will then decide on the winning teams.

Online registration is still open; entry costs $46 per person.

Photo via Questival. Kalina Newman contributed reporting.

by ARLnow.com May 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington’s Former Row House Ban — Responding to complaints from community leaders who “hoped to preserve Arlington’s then-suburban character,” Arlington County changed its zoning ordinance to ban row houses in 1938. That decision is one factor in the area’s “dramatic undersupply of missing middle housing.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Police Still Searching for Sex Assault Suspect — Arlington County Police are still looking for a man who posed as a maintenance worker and sexually assaulted a woman in her Rosslyn condominium on May 7. “This investigation remains a top priority of the department and detectives continue to follow-up on significant investigative leads,” ACPD said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Police continue to ask that anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or details surrounding this investigation call 703-228-5050.” [Arlington County]

Review of Synetic’s ‘Hunchback’ — “‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ gives a hyper-creative Washington group a source for one of its most beautifully realized productions,” theater critic Peter Marks writes of the new Synetic Theater production in Crystal City, which runs through June 11. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 18, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

4714 Washington Boulevard
Neighborhood: Waycroft-Woodlawn
Listed: $850,000
Open: Sunday, May 21, from 1-4 p.m.

Walk to Ballston from this 1930s four level, updated colonial with garage, nestled on a private landscaped lot in the McKinley, Swanson, Washington-Lee district.

Renovated kitchen with light wood cabinets, granite tops and stainless appliances; recently finished lower level offers open space to accommodate media, play, office, gym; renovated upstairs bathroom and main level powder room.

Three bedrooms upstairs and a large top floor room with dormered ceilings is ideal for guest space, office, play room or getaway.   Living room features woodburning fireplace flanked by whimsical windows, and the window style is repeated in the dining room. A main level den off the dining room offers heated floor, windows on three sides and a door to the deck, patio, and tranquil rear yard brimming with mature trees, shrubs, and perennials.

Desirable details: wood floors on three levels, resilient flooring in the lower level, fresh paint, pristine, move-in condition.

Take the adjoining bikepath to Ballston or Westover Village. A character-laden home in a location you will value each day.

Listed by:
Betsy Twigg
Washington Fine Properties
703-967-4391
[email protected]

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