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by Chris Teale June 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

It’s the end of another news-filled week for Arlington.

Here are the top five most-read news stories from the past few days:

  1. Police: Man Filmed Woman While in Bathroom of Clarendon Restaurant
  2. Wawa Considering Arlington As Part of D.C. Area Expansion
  3. Columbia Pike Beer Garden Opening Nears
  4. ACPD Officer Rescues Kitten From Car Engine
  5. Record Democratic Gov. Primary Turnout in Arlington

Feel free to discuss those topics and anything else that happened locally this week. Have a great weekend!

Flickr pool photo via GM and MB

by ARLnow.com June 16, 2017 at 5:45 pm 0

Christian Dorsey joined the County Board in 2016 and now also represents Arlington on the WMATA Board.

On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked to Dorsey about whether SafeTrack and new train cars are improving Metro. We also discussed schools, parks, land use, development, the Shirlington Dog park controversy, issues with the Arlington Way, gentrification, affordable housing, and a proposed pedestrian walk from Crystal City to Reagan National Airport.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com June 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

(Updated 6/17/17) A Barrett Elementary School student was struck and injured by a driver in front of the school, just after dismissal Friday.

The crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. along N. George Mason Drive. The student was assisted by crossing guards and parents after being struck by the vehicle, before medics arrived.

The student’s injuries are being described as non-life-threatening, but the student was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital and police investigators briefly photographed the scene.

Part of N. George Mason Drive was blocked during the emergency response.

On Saturday, a police spokeswoman said no charges would be filed as a result of the crash.

“The investigation determined that the juvenile entered the intersection of N. George Mason Drive at N. Henderson Road against the traffic signal and was struck by a vehicle,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The driver of the vehicle remained on scene. The juvenile was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No charges are pending.”

Barrett principal Dan Redding sent the following email to parents about the crash.

I am writing to provide information regarding a student pedestrian accident that occurred at dismissal time today, June 16, 2017. A Barrett student was struck by a vehicle at 4th Street and Henderson Street, and Police and EMS responded immediately. The injuries are not life-threatening, and the student has been transported to the hospital for treatment. Police are investigating the accident.

This is an opportunity to remind families to review safety procedures with their children, and to practice them when they walk, bike or ride the bus to school. As always, we are grateful for our amazing crossing guards and for the Barrett families who stopped to provide assistance.

Map via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com June 16, 2017 at 3:25 pm 0

The police officers who shot and killed a man during a traffic stop last month acted properly and within “established guidelines,” according to the results of a preliminary investigation.

The shooting happened Monday, May 17 during a traffic stop on the Glebe Road off-ramp of I-395. In a statement released Friday afternoon, the Arlington County Police Department said that the suspect was shot after he used his truck to pin an officer against another vehicle.

The full ACPD press release is below.

The preliminary investigation into the officer involved shooting on May 17, 2017 has been completed. Chief M. Jay Farr announced today, “this incident remains an active police investigation, however, based on the information revealed during the preliminary investigation, we believe that our officers’ actions were prudent, reasonable and within our established guidelines.”

To summarize this incident, at approximately 4:32 p.m. on May 17, 2017, Arlington County Police attempted a traffic stop on a wanted suspect traveling on I-395 at Jefferson Davis Highway based on a lookout received from a license plate reader. The suspect initially stopped for officers, but fled the scene and maneuvered around the officers and continued traveling along I-395. The officers continued to travel in the same direction as the suspect vehicle but no pursuit was initiated. The suspect exited I-395 at Glebe Road where he encountered heavy traffic and officers again attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Based on officer accounts as well as independent witnesses and crime scene evidence, when officers approached the vehicle on foot, the suspect initially stopped the vehicle and opened the door but then made a decision to close the vehicle door, place it in drive and ultimately struck an officer pinning him against another vehicle. At that time, shots were fired by officers, injuring the suspect. Officers were then able to move the suspect vehicle and free the officer. Officers performed life saving measures on the suspect before he was transported to Virginia Hospital Center where he later succumbed to his injuries. The officers involved were Officer S. Yanda and Corporal M. Chattillion.

We are committed to protecting and serving the citizens of Arlington County and remaining transparent with the public. Upon completion of our investigation, the findings will be provided to the Commonwealth Attorney for independent review and additional information may be released at that time.

by ARLnow.com June 16, 2017 at 2:00 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:

1121 Arlington Blvd #505
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Lee Guerry
Listed: $165,o00
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

2665-D S. Walter Reed Drive
2 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Morgan Willemsen
Listed: $318,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

2310 14th Street N. #304
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Carrie Shokraei
Listed: $399,999
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1612 S. Oakland Street
2 Bed/1 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Brad Kiger
Listed: $485,000
Open: Saturday 1-4 p.m., Sunday 12-2 p.m.

 

2625 S. Veitch Street
2 Bed/2 Bath Townhome
Agent: John Schmidt
Listed: $526,453
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2117 N. Lincoln Street
3 Beds/3 Bath Townhome
Agent: Christine Rich
Listed: $629,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

6227 19th Street N.
3 Bed/2 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Shawn Battle
Listed: $829,900
Open: Sunday 12-3 p.m.

by Kalina Newman June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

A number of roads will close this weekend for the Columbia Pike Blues Festival.

The Blues Fest stage is located near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. The free event will include several performers, food vendors, activities for children and other vendors.

The festival is taking place on Saturday, June 17. The closures, below, are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to a county press release.

  • S. Walter Reed Drive from Columbia Pike to 9th Street S. (Motorists can use 7th Street S. to S. Highland Street as a detour)
  • 9th Road S. from S. Garfield Street to S. Walter Reed Drive
  • 9th Street S. from S. Highland Street to S. Walter Reed Drive

There will be temporary “No Parking” signs placed around the area and illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed or towed. If you are towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Arash Takafor.

When it comes to Rosé wine, vintage is more important than most people think. Rosé recently has become the cool thing to drink outside amongst friends. I mean, why not? It’s fresh, fruity and goes down extremely easily. Even men will slug a couple glasses of rose instead of their usual craft beer these days.

However, there is much more to Rosé wine than just a light refreshing summer drink. Simply put, producing a great bottle of Rosé takes skill by the wine maker to decide when the grapes are perfectly ripe to pick based on the weather the region had that year.

The amount of sun and rain and other important factors determine how good or bad the vintage will be. More sun and less rain equals more concentrated flavors, while less sun and more rain equals diluted flavors. Winemakers love a balance between the amount of sun and rain the grapes are exposed to, but timing of these events is important as well.

When it comes to Rosé, the grapes used are generally riper than others. The fruit flavors of the grapes show better, especially in Rosé, which is all about the juice since it’s made to drink fresh.

In Provence, France, the 2016 vintage was a dry vintage, which producers say turned out to be great for quality but bad for production. Given that 2016 was a dry year for Provence, the grapes were smaller and more concentrated but yielded 25 percent less juice than normal. Since almost every wine region produces Rosé wine now, picking the right Rosé can be difficult, but it all comes back to how good or bad the vintage of that particular region was.

Here are some of our 2016 Rosé recommendations at Dominion Wine and Beer.

2016 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix Rosé, Provence, France

One of the most old school, well known Rosé producers out of Provence, this estate was founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century.  This delicious Rosé is full of ripe red fruits, is bone dry, crisp and ready to drink. It showcases the quality 2016 vintage of Provence.

2016 Wõlffer Estate “Summer in a Bottle” Rosé, Long Island, New York

Similar to Provence, Long Island had an abnormally dry vintage resulting in wonderful ripe, lush fruit full of aromas and ideal to make great Rosé. Hints of melon and lychee fill the glass; the mouth feel is lush and vibrant with bright fruit and lively acidity. Most importantly, the bottle is beautiful.

2016 Margerum Riviera Rosé, Santa Barbara County, California

A warm dry summer with a few heat spikes made these grapes ripen earlier than usual, which is great for grapes destined for Rosé. This popular Grenache-based Rosé is light and almost effervescent in the glass. Tastes of lime, watermelon and peach make this a delicious choice for your next Rosé.

by ARLnow.com June 16, 2017 at 11:20 am 0

(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) Swanson Middle School, McKinley Elementary and Ashlawn Elementary were placed in “secure the school” mode Friday morning due to an armed robbery in Fairfax County.

The robbery happened just before 10:30 a.m. in the Willston Center, on the 6100 block of Arlington Blvd. While each are about a mile or more away from the robbery scene, the schools were nonetheless secured as a precaution.

More from Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Harris:

At approximately 10:30 a.m., Swanson, McKinley and Ashlawn enacted our “Secure the School” protocol due to nearby police activity. Students and staff remained safely inside our school buildings for approximately 45 minutes. There was never any danger within the school buildings. A “Secure the School” exercise is not a “Lockdown” protocol. This exercise was in response to police activity within the outside community.

No one was hurt in the robbery, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

by Kalina Newman June 16, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) will host a forum on the future of net neutrality in two weeks.

The event is happening on Monday, June 26 from 7:30-9 p.m. Beyer will be joined by former Federal Communications Commission chair Tom Wheeler and former FCC general counsel Jonathan Sallet.

The forum will take place in George Mason University’s Founders Hall (3351 N. Fairfax Drive) and is free to attend, though registration is strongly advised.

Net neutrality is a principle that prohibits internet service providers from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content. For example, without net neutrality rules a cable company could intentionally slow down the Netflix video streaming service as a way to force people to use its own streaming service instead.

Advocates worry that if the FCC rolls back net neutrality protections, companies like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast could have control over internet content. Currently the FCC is soliciting comments to its email inbox at [email protected], to better understand the potential impact net neutrality abolition could have on internet users.

by Chris Teale June 16, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated 11:30 a.m.) Almost 300 Wakefield High School students had to re-take a Standards of Learning test after staff discovered what they described as an “irregularity” during testing.

A letter to parents from Wakefield principal Chris Willmore said that on May 30 and 31, students had to move examination rooms after two-and-a-half hours of taking a test that does not have a time limit.

But, Willmore said, some students began talking while moving to the new testing area. Willmore said staff immediately reported what happened to the Virginia Department of Education, but a VDOE spokesman challenged that assertion and said it was reported after regular business hours on June 8. VDOE decided earlier this week that students had to re-sit.

Those re-sits took place yesterday and today. An Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman said around 280 students were affected.

Willmore’s full letter is below.

Dear Wakefield Families:

I am writing to let you know about an irregularity that we experienced during Standards of Learning (SOL) testing a week ago that affects your student. As you may know, some SOL tests have no time limits which means students may take as long as they need to complete the test. During SOL testing on May 30 and 31, some students needed more than the two and a half hours that had been scheduled in the rooms where they were taking tests. Although the state allows schools to move students to another location when this occurs, we experienced some talking among students while they were moving. Because talking is not allowed when students are regrouped, the APS staff who were serving as the Wakefield testing monitors immediately reported this “testing irregularity” to the APS Office of Planning and Evaluation staff who alerted the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) as required.

Although this was reported to VDOE a week ago, we did not learn until yesterday afternoon that the state has decided to void all of the student scores for these tests because of the irregularity. This means that your student is among the group of students who will need to retake an SOL test.

The SOL retakes will be given on Thursday and Friday this week. Students will be informed by their classroom teacher today about the retake. For those students who have a final exam during the time when they need to retake the SOL test, they will be excused from their final exam and their final grade will be calculated using the fourth marking period grades. Also, because Friday is an early release day, for those students who need more time, regular transportation will be available in the afternoon at our normal dismissal time.

Finally and most importantly, I want to sincerely apologize to all of our Wakefield students and families for this error. We have had an amazing year with great progress and achievement and I regret that we have experienced this mistake during our administration of some tests this year. Please know that we will do everything possible to support our students and help them finish the year successfully.

Sincerely,

Chris Willmore, Principal

In a second letter sent Thursday, Willmore took full responsibility, and urged parents not to contact VDOE with their concerns, but him.

Willmore wrote:

Yesterday, we learned that Wakefield parents and staff have been contacting VDOE about the need to retest some students.  I need to urge you again to instead direct your concerns to me.  For those I have already spoken with, I appreciate the time you have taken to share your thoughts and feelings about what has happened.

In the end, Wakefield is required to follow the procedures set in place for all schools by the state and, unfortunately, that did not happen this year. I want to assure everyone that we will implement a corrective action plan so we learn from this year’s testing difficulties and can ensure that this type of irregularity does not occur again.

An anonymous tipster said students that needed to re-take the tests had been put at a significant disadvantage, and they called on the Virginia Department of Education to let their scores stand.

“They’ve been away from the subject for two-three weeks, putting them at a distinct disadvantage,” the tipster wrote. “Someone should put pressure on the state to let the scores stand.”

The APS spokeswoman said an irregularity during a test can be defined in any number of ways, and that staff are trained to report anything that happens.

“[A] ‘testing irregularity’ is anything that happens outside the norm,” the spokeswoman said. “A student getting sick and throwing up during the test is an ‘irregularity’ and test scores are thrown out by the state for the class. Same thing if there’s a fire alarm or power outage. We have monitors in all schools during testing who must share anything that occurs with our head of testing and, then our head of testing reports that to the state.”

by ARLnow.com June 16, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

Fairlington Named ‘Top Value Neighborhood’ — Fairlington and Shirlington are together the No. 3 “top value neighborhood” in the D.C. area, according to real estate website Trulia. No. 1 is University Park in Maryland and No. 2. is Kingman Park in D.C. [Curbed]

Market-Rate Affordable Housing Disappearing — In 2000 there were 19,740 homes in Arlington affordable to those making 60 percent of Area Median Income. That dropped by 86 percent, to 2,780 units, by the end of 2016. [Washington Business Journal]

Police Focused on Opioid Abuse — Yesterday the Arlington County Police Department “participated in a discussion on regional law enforcement efforts aimed at reducing the growing heroin/opiate epidemic.” There are at least three addiction treatment facilities in Arlington and ACPD “strongly encourages substances users and their family members to seek assistance.” [Arlington County]

Native Plants Return Thanks to Management of Invasives — “Native plants are on the comeback trail in Arlington – particularly along the W&OD Trail in Bluemont and Glencarlyn parks. Last month Dominion Energy mowed green space beneath powerlines along the trail, helping the County manage invasive plants like Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose.” [Arlington County]

Amazon Buying Whole Foods — Arlington’s two Whole Foods stores, in Clarendon and Pentagon City, will soon be owned by Amazon.com. [CNBC, Wall Street Journal]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 16, 2017 at 7:00 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.”

As the summer begins, Arlington’s real estate market remains vibrant. Sellers were busy listing 76 homes, and buyers were busy ratifying 69 contracts. Some 22 of those homes sold within a week. The average days on market dropped to just 35. There are now 584 homes actively available on the market. At the current absorption rate, that’s only 2.1 months supply of inventory, nearly the same as the peak of the Spring market.

If you haven’t already refinanced, NOW might be a good time. Mortgage interest rates ended lower this week by just 2 basis points, the 5th week in a row of lower rates. But the Fed on Wednesday raised short term rates that affect consumers, and more importantly signaling that they will scale back on their holdings of 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage backed securities. This move is expected to result in higher long term rates like mortgages. So it is a good time to refinance.

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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