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by Chris Teale June 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

One news story this week has divided Arlington, and promises to dominate conversation for days to come.

Everybody has an opinion, but there is seemingly no resolution in sight to a question vexing residents and non-residents alike:

How did a stick of deodorant get on top of a bus stop in Clarendon?

As of Friday, the stick was still there, on top of the bus shelter around 3100 Clarendon Blvd. The plot thickens.

Elsewhere, some of our other popular stories included news of a closure of a 7-Eleven in Cherrydale, a replacement for the former Applebee’s in Ballston, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington opening the first kitten nursey in the region and a new startup offering free rides along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

Feel free to discuss those and anything else of interest from this week in the comments. Have a great weekend!

by Chris Teale June 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

The streets of Arlington are being readied ahead of this weekend’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic, the arrival of thousands of competing bicyclists, support teams and spectators.

Races will take place Saturday and Sunday for amateurs and professionals alike, with police set to close roads across various neighborhoods to accommodate the festivities.

And in preparation, as of Friday afternoon crews have begun putting out traffic cones, tents and barriers for the competition, which begins early Saturday morning.

Saturday is the Clarendon Cup, which brings with it numerous road closures in Clarendon, while Sunday is the Crystal Cup in Crystal City, again with more closures in that neighborhood.

The Capital Weather Gang anticipates heat and humidity will descend on the area this weekend, so riders and spectators should be careful and stay hydrated.

by Katherine Berko June 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Kenmore Middle School was one of six sites in Virginia selected to have a solar panel installed on its roof as part of the Solar for Students program, which encourages hands-on learning about clean energy.

A 1.2 kilowatt panel will be installed on the school’s roof to convert sunlight into electricity, with real-time data displays to help classroom learning. It is estimated the panel will generate enough electricity to power 18 desktop computers, or 15 42-inch LED TVs.

In addition to the panel, the program comes with technical support, training for teachers and educational materials that will enable students to monitor, track and learn about solar power production.

In June 2015, Dominion Energy partnered with the nonprofit National Energy Education Development Project to launch the program. The program is for Virginia students, teachers and communities in areas served by Dominion, and gives them hands-on experience with solar power.

Kenmore will share the $150,000 solar panel grant with schools across Virginia and the Children’s Museum in Richmond, having been selected from 35 applicants statewide. Jeff Politzer, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) teacher at Kenmore, helped apply for the grant.

“We started the process months ago and then we had to meet with people form Arlington County,” he said. “We did a site supervise, we did a walk through. We wanted to see what location would be best.”

Around 750 students gathered in the school’s auditorium today to learn about their gift.

Scott Reamy, external affairs manager at Dominion Energy, built up to the announcement by having the students guess what the surprise was.

“I want to see if you all can figure it out,” he said. “It was created in 1958. It’s been to space and back.”

“Solar panels!” shouted a student in the back of the room.

The solar panel has not yet been installed at the school. At the event, officials had no further information on when the school can expect its new panel to be added.

by ARLnow.com June 9, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.

Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here are a few highlights:

221 N. George Mason Drive
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Evan Lacopo
Listed: $205,o00
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1300 S. Arlington Ridge Road #508
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Derick Hammond
Listed: $242,500
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

4201 Lee Highway #510
2 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Kevin Makowski
Listed: $299,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

5509 4th Street S.
2 Bed/1 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Ellen Heather
Listed: $625,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2239 N. Columbus Street
4 Bed/2 Bath Single Family Detached
Agent: Carol Mcewen
Listed: $735,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

1111 19th Street N.
2 Beds/2 Bath Condo
Agent: Susan Hand
Listed: $920,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

3104 N. Dinwiddie Street
5 Bed/4 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Bradshaw Chamberlin
Listed: $1,735,522
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

by Brooke Giles June 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

The Crystal Gateway Marriott hotel at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City showed off some of its recently-completed renovations yesterday.

The nearly 600-room hotel figures prominently into Arlington’s hospitality industry, hosting tourists, business travelers and large meetings.

Major upgrades were made to the guest rooms, imparting a more modern design and moving away from the hotel’s red and gold color scheme to a royal blue one.

Behind the renovation is general manager Regan Linke, who worked as a bartender when the hotel first opened in 1982.

“I came back about five years ago and the hotel was in need of some renovation,” said Linke.

The remodel also included the addition of the new M Club Lounge for Gold and Platinum Elite Marriott Rewards members. The 24-hour lounge area has coffee, snacks and wine for members.

The rest of the lobby will be completed later this year.

The hotel also gave a taste of its new restaurant 15th & Eads, named after the intersection it sits on. Included were mixed drinks served in mason jars, a selection of flatbread pizza, sliced meats and cheeses and made-to-order samples of New York strip steak.

It also follows a trend for the area, which has undergone significant changes within the last year, including a slew of new restaurants, businesses and the Transitway bus system and its new dedicated lanes in the neighborhood.

“It matches what happening in Crystal City,” Linke said. “Crystal Drive is expanded with restaurants. We’re attached to Metro and so everybody’s really thrilled about what’s happening at the hotel.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm 0

Flying Colors column banner

Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

For 25 years now, my business, Wild Birds Unlimited, has been helping bring people and nature together with the hobby of backyard bird feeding. All types of people, from very young to very old, have come into my retail store and purchased products to feed the wild birds in their yards.

When I first started my business, I found that people feed for various reasons. Many people grow up with this hobby learning from their parents. Many feed the birds as a way of helping the birds survive in an ever-changing urban environment. But year after year, from behind my counter I discovered many more reasons why people feed the birds.

We are very fortunate to have four seasons of different climates in our area. With each season, nature and the birds change. Winter, spring, summer and fall all bring different challenges for survival. Each season brings a different level and type of joy to our backyards. From 20 bright red cardinals on snow covered winter tree branches to four fuzzy bird heads peeking out of a nest in the spring, there are visual joys to absorb all year long. Bird feeding is a yearlong hobby.

We are all connected to nature, that is all around us, in different ways.  I, for one, find no pleasure in cutting grass every eighth day, in searing heat and dripping humidity, with 7 billion gnats, per square foot, attacking me. So, for the past 30 years, in the two homes I have lived in, I dug up my lawn and planted a hummingbird, butterfly and bee garden.

I enjoy the beauty the flowers give me, the sounds the many different types of bees give me and the joy of the hummingbird zipping around my Bee Balm and Cardinal flower. The eight feeders on my back deck give me nonstop action as I sit and write this story in my office. I am surrounded by natural life.

One of my customers told me every night he and his wife would pour a glass of white wine and sit in their small backyard and watch the birds. It was their church he said. It gave them peace and tranquility. This became so much more important in his later life when his health was fading.

One day, a familiar customer came into my store to purchase seed. When I asked how she was, she started crying. Tragically she has just lost her oldest son. But she said she had to feed her birds. For many of us there is an incredibly strong emotional connection, that cannot be broken, with the natural world around us.

Many of my customers feed the birds as a sense of environmental duty to help the different species survive. There is a weekly routine I have with some customers when they come into my store and ask me: “do the birds need us?”

I will look out my storefront window and tell them 100 years ago if we were standing in the same spot and looking, we would see fields and trees and flowers. Now all we see looking out the window is concrete and asphalt and wires and buildings. With that perspective, it becomes clear that the more the natural habitat is removed, the more the wild birds will be challenged to find food and survive.

In that way, yes, the birds do need our help. That does not mean you cannot take a two week vacation this summer to go to the beach. The birds will find other sources of food. They will also readily come back to the little restaurants you have in your yard once you fill them up again.

My customers — my friends — have created and embraced the hobby of bird feeding in their yards for their own special needs.  Be it emotional, spiritual, environmental or physical, the feeding of the wildlife including chipmunks and squirrels, along with the birds, fulfills a need which enhances their lives. It is only natural that nature does that. For we are just a part of our natural world. It is just that the birds sing better.

With apologies to Mick Jagger, Bono, Beyonce and Willie Nelson!

by Katherine Berko June 9, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

From politicians to fashion bloggers, Arlington is home to a variety of social media influencers. One common thread among them? Many run their social media feeds like a business.

Angelica Talan, a resident of the Courthouse-Clarendon area, created the blog Clarendon Moms in 2011. Talan often frequented restaurant launches or book signings in the area but noticed she was the only mother present. She created Clarendon Moms as a resource for other Arlington-based mothers to learn about these free events.

The blog eventually expanded to include travel, fitness and fashion advice, and two years later, she began to profit from sponsored posts.

“It was never my intention,” Talan said. “I really just wanted to connect people with what was going on. Never in a million years would I have guessed that you could combine your passion for writing, photography, mingling with people and connecting people, create a blog and make money.”

In 2016, Talan’s friends helped her realize she needed to create a second blog, Angelica in the City, which is geared towards single women instead of mothers. Both of Talan’s blogs strive to promote positivity and an educational purpose.

Talan’s Instagram account has 21,500 thousand followers.

Virginia Square couple Blake Davenport and Leah Virbitsky, initially started their Instagram account, Discover Arlington, as a way to enhance Davenport’s real estate business.

The couple is very particular about the images they share on Instagram; the account now has 5,719 followers.

“On Instagram if you don’t have a good picture people are going to go right past it,” Daveport said.

They launched a website last September, which has the best places to eat, explore and buy a home. The couple started hosting events with local businesses in January.

Sarah Phillips of Arlington’s Penrose neighborhood and Michelle Martin, who lives in Los Angeles, began their fashion blog 52 Thursdays as a hobby.

Both women studied fashion in college, where they were sorority sisters. In 2013, they decided to create a business revolving around that shared passion.

“We came up with 52 Thursdays because our wine nights were on Thursdays,” Phillips said.

At first they did not share the website with anybody. Months went by and the women decided to give their web page a makeover: they organized a photo shoot at a studio and hired a professional photographer.

Now, the women partner with various brands to make a profit. They enjoy working with small businesses in Arlington such as South Block and LavaBarre. The women also offer fashion, blogging, branding and social media consultations as well.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com June 9, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A teen driving a car with no license plates sped away from police but then crashed shortly thereafter.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of Route 50 and Fillmore Street. Police say they didn’t pursue the car, in accordance with Arlington County Police Department policy against chasing suspects for traffic violations alone, but the driver was soon involved in a single-vehicle crash.

More from today’s daily ACPD crime report:

ELUDING, 2017-06080029, Arlington Boulevard at S. Fillmore Street. At approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 8, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling with no license plates and attempted to conduct a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The driver refused to stop, increased their speed and fled from the officer. A vehicle pursuit was not initiated. Shortly after, the Emergency Communication Center was notified of a single vehicle crash involving the suspect vehicle. The juvenile suspect was taken into custody and petitions were obtained for felony eluding, possession of stolen property, no operating license and no registration.

by Chris Teale June 9, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated 1:10 p.m.) Construction in Rosslyn has led many people on foot to make a dubious choice after the temporary closure of a pedestrian walkway: walking in a busy street.

Crews closed the temporary walkway on Wilson Blvd between N. Lynn and N. Moore streets, adjacent to the Central Place development, where work is ongoing on the new CEB Tower.

And during lunchtime Thursday, numerous people made the risky decision to walk on the outside of the walkway along Wilson Blvd, just inches from cars traveling west on that major thoroughfare.

A reader emailed to say that pedestrians had been “forced” to walk in the street, although the sidewalk on the other side of Wilson Blvd remains open for use.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Dept. of Environmental Services said the closure will last until June 29 for utility work. She said signs direct pedestrians to the opposite sidewalk.

by ARLnow.com June 9, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

Road Closures for Bike Races — As a reminders, there will be significant road closures in Clarendon and Crystal City on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, for the Armed Forces Cycling Classic.

Arlington Woman Invented ‘Monopoly’ Precursor — An Arlington woman may have been the “real” inventor of the board game Monopoly. Lizzie Magie, who died in Arlington in 1948, created a board game very similar to Monopoly. Three decades later, Charles Darrow, taking inspiration from Magie’s game, created Monopoly and sold it to Parker Brothers. [Arlington Magazine]

I-66 Tolls Expected to Start in December — New tolls on single-occupancy vehicles on I-66 are now expected to take effect in December. Electronic toll signs have started going up near I-66 on-ramps. [Twitter, NBC Washington]

Krupicka Having Fun Running Donut Stores — Former member of the Virginia House of Delegates Rob Krupicka is enjoying his second act: owning Sugar Shack donut stores in Arlington, Alexandria and now D.C. [Washington City Paper]

Wages Drop in Arlington — Mirroring regional and national trends, average weekly wages in Arlington dropped 1.4 percent, to $1,677, in the last three months of 2016. Arlington ranked as the seventh-highest average weekly wage in the country. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 9, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Arlington has slid comfortably into a summer market this week. Activity picked up from last week’s slow pace. This week 73 new listings came on the market and 68 homes sold. Days on Market jumped to 44 pushed by some outliers that finally sold after over 500 days on market. I’ll bet that owner is happy.

Arlington’s market is stable and sustainable. Interest rates are helping. They slipped another 5 basis points this week as investors moved to the safety of 10-yr Treasury notes influenced by the uncertainty of political news coming out of Washington this week. The 30-yr fixed rate now stands at about 3.93% with no points. It’s a good time for both buyers and sellers to take action.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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