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by ARLnow.com August 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

The surface parking lot of the Whole Foods in Clarendon has closed temporarily, and this afternoon it led to tempers flaring in front of the store on Clarendon Blvd.

Crews are currently working to mill and resurface the normally-busy parking lot. Customers, in the meantime, can attempt to find street parking or park in the Market Common Clarendon garage across the street. (Whole Foods validates up to two hours in the garage.)

While the lot is closed, customers have been competing fiercely for the few street parking spaces around the store.

Today, while ARLnow.com was checking out the resurfacing work, several drivers parked along Clarendon Blvd were engaged in a dispute about one vehicle parking too close to (and perhaps striking) two others.

While the parking dispute was going on, a pedestrian in a nearby crosswalk shouted curse words at a stopped driver he thought had honked their horn at him. (In fact, it was the car behind the first stopped vehicle.)

The lot is expected to reopen by Thursday, an employee said.

by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

A local nonprofit that helps encourage at-risk children and their families to develop a love of reading will close next week after 28 years.

The Reading Connection, which has offices at 1501 Lee Highway near Rosslyn, will close its doors on Friday, August 11. It will hold its last “Read-Aloud,” where volunteers read to children at shelters and community centers, on Wednesday, August 9.

The nonprofit is dedicated to providing low-income children and their families with opportunities to read and be read to, as well as giving them free books when they might otherwise not have any.

Its volunteers held Read-Alouds at over a dozen locations — mostly apartment complexes — across the D.C. metropolitan area, including at Columbia Grove, New Hope Housing, The Shelton, The Springs, Sullivan House, Virginia Gardens and Woodbury Park in Arlington. Other locations are in Alexandria, Annandale, Bethesda and D.C.

The nonprofit’s director of program operations Stephanie Berman Hopkins announced the closure earlier today in an email to volunteers, which was obtained by ARLnow.com.

“I am so proud of the work we have done together and all of the children we have inspired to love reading,” Berman Hopkins wrote. “The impact our programs have had will continue to live on. Thank you for your dedication to this organization, the Read-Aloud program and the kids and families we serve. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you all. Our programs would not have been as strong as they have been without all of your efforts.”

In the email, Berman Hopkins said The Reading Connection’s board of directors reviewed the organization and determined it is not financially viable. TRC’s annual budget was $600,000, according to its website.

Berman Hopkins and The Reading Connection’s executive director, Catherine Keightley, declined to comment on the review, citing privacy considerations for those involved, but Keightley said finding continued funding would have been too difficult.

“What lots of reports are telling us is that funding is going to become more challenging, I think locally and regionally,” she said in a brief interview. “There may be a shift in funding priorities given some of the actions with the new [presidential] administration.”

Prior to its closing The Reading Connection will hold a book and supply sale from Monday, August 7 until Wednesday, August 9.

The email to The Reading Connection volunteers is below, after the jump.

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by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

(Updated 3:15 p.m.) Police temporarily closed Wilson Blvd at its intersection with N. Danville Street in Clarendon after two cars crashed this afternoon.

The crash occurred around 2:40 p.m., involving a blue Toyota and a white car. The white car had its front bumper ripped off in the collision, while the Toyota was damaged on its left side. The intersection is near Whole Foods and Market Common.

Officers temporarily closed Wilson Blvd near the intersection and diverted traffic onto other streets. According to scanner traffic, one person suffered minor injuries.

by Brooke Giles August 1, 2017 at 2:25 pm 0

The Arlington County Fair will kick off on Wednesday, August 16 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).

For the 41st year, the county will host a variety of events for the community, including live outdoor music, a parade, fairground rides and game, food, floral and craft competitions, pig races and more.

This year’s exhibit theme is “Let’s Play,” which organizers said celebrates the “child-like joy and fun that the Arlington County Fair brings out in all of us.”

The fair’s outdoor programming begins August 16, with indoor programming beginning on Friday, August 18. The event ends August 20, with outdoor activities concluding at 10 p.m. that day. More details about the indoor offerings will be available closer to the time.

The fair’s full opening hours are as follows:

The Kids’ Court, which has various activities including a moon bounce and face painting, will be open during the following hours:

  • Friday 2-6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Competitive exhibits for participants to show off their abilities and compete for prizes include:

  • Honey, Beeswax and Food Preservation
  • Decorated Food Products and Baked Goods
  • Art Needlework
  • Crafts and Fine Arts
  • Photography
  • Herbs, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables
  • Flowers, Arrangements and Potted Plants

Local organizations and business can sign up to participate in the fair’s parade, which is scheduled to start at the Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) on August 19 at 10 a.m. It will travel from the Career Center and end at the fairgrounds.

There is no on-site parking at the fair, and street parking is limited to residents with permits. There are several other transportation options, including shuttle buses from the Ballston and Pentagon City Metro stations, the Career Center and the I-66 parking garage at N. Quincy Street and 15th Street N.

The fair’s live outdoor music schedule is below, after the jump.

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by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

A new wine store and gourmet shop is coming to Pentagon City, according to a Virginia ABC application.

The store, called Pentagon City Wine Merchant in the application, would be located at 1330 S. Fair Street, near The Millennium at Metropolitan Park apartment building and across from Costco.

It may replace the Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt store, which closed in 2015 and had gone unfilled until now. The new store will also be next door to the Epic Smokehouse, an upscale barbecue restaurant that opened in 2012.

As of Tuesday, August 1, no building permit applications had been filed with the county.

Calls to the phone number associated with the ABC application went unreturned.

In addition to facing competition from the Costco across the street, the store will also compete with the Whole Foods store a block away.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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!

Where is it? Clarendon is probably the most recognizable, well-known neighborhood in Arlington. Those outside of Arlington often refer to the entire Rosslyn-Ballston corridor as Clarendon.

Technically it is bound by Wilson Blvd to the north, 10th St N. to the south, Washington Blvd to the west, and N. Danville Street to the east (eastern border is based on the boundaries of the Clarendon Sector Plan).

Clarendon is known for its lively dining and retail scene, along with being host to a popular chains like an Apple Store and Whole Foods, where the parking line regularly overflows into the street.

From rooftop bars, numerous restaurants and high-end retail, Clarendon attracts people of all ages to its massive condo and apartment complexes, as well as droves of patrons from outside the neighborhood. Depending on your preference for entertainment, it’s either the place to be or the place to avoid on Saturday nights. The neighborhood is built around the Clarendon Metro station, which is located on the Orange and Silver lines.

About the interviewee: Tim Donaldson moved to Clarendon in 2014 after spending eight years in Los Angeles, and chose the area because it provides the walkability of a city, but he can hop in his truck any time and quickly be on the highway, which he can’t do from D.C.

He started as a renter in The Phoenix, a popular condo building at 1020 N. Highland Street, and loved it enough to buy a two-bedroom condo after one year. He loves the amenities, and chose to buy because of how well run it is due to the long tenure of its staff.

What do you love about Clarendon?

I love the balance of being able to walk to everything, but not having to fight through city traffic to get to a highway, which I do often for work and to fish. It’s a big city lifestyle, but more laid back. You also have the convenience and familiarity of successful chains like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Cheesecake Factory and Lululemon, but also some great non-chain places for music and craft beer/wine. I’m sad the record store closed!

Where do you shop, eat, and hang out?

My wife and I have a long list of favorites all within a few blocks. Green Pig Bistro is our date night spot, we’re regulars at Lyon Hall, I go to Fireworks for their great beer menu, Galaxy Hut for awesome music, Ambar’s all-you-can-eat is the best deal around, Texas Jacks BBQ is second to none (I agree), love the classics like Liberty Tavern and Bonchon, and the new Spirit of 76 is a cool, cozy bar! We love being able to walk to Whole Foods or Trader Joes for groceries.

Do you take advantage of nearby parks and trails?

I take weekly walks at Potomac Overlook and Zachary Taylor parks and love biking the WO&D, Four Mile Run, and Mount Vernon trails. I know there are parks closer by, but I love hiking and biking those areas.

How has your overall experience been in Clarendon?

Very positive! I’d love to be able to buy a single-family home in Lyon Park (adjacent neighborhood) so I can stay close to Clarendon. People mostly associate Clarendon with weekend partying, but it’s an incredible community with an art show, crafts fair, and bike race during the year. Most of the businesses put out water bowls for dogs in the summer and there’s always families out pushing kids in strollers, which gives the whole neighborhood a feel of closeness that I love being part of.

Thank you so much for your interview Tim! I’m sure this will help people considering a move into or within Arlington who are looking for a vibrant, walkable community like you described.

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 www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

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 Brooke Giles August 1, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

The Arlington County Police Department will hold National Night Out activities in neighborhoods across the county this evening (August 1).

Police will take part in a number of activities with local residents, including block parties, cookouts, safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.

National Night Out aims to better relationships between the police and the communities they patrol. Many police departments around the country participate.

“We are committed to building strong partnerships with those we protect and serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust.” said spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Events such as National Night Out are important because they provide us with another opportunity to interact with our community, hear about any public safety concerns they have and continue to use effective problem-solving methods to reduce and prevent crime and improve the quality of life of Arlington’s residents, visitors and businesses.”

Events will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Cathcart Springs townhomes (4600 4th Road N.) from 6:30-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Villages (3000 block of S. Abingdon Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condo Association (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 6-8:30 p.m.

by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

A method of repairing water pipes, utilized by Arlington County, could be exposing residents and workers to health risks, according to new research.

A report out of Purdue University in Indiana found that the procedure, called cured-in-place pipe repair (CIPP), can emit harmful chemicals into the air, which sometimes are visible as plumes of smoke. Those nearby could then be exposed.

The research found evidence of hazardous air pollutants — chemicals that disrupt the body’s endocrine system and can cause tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders.

Arlington uses CIPP, also known as pipe relining, to fix sanitary sewer pipes. It involves inserting a fabric tube filled with resin into a damaged pipe and curing it in place with hot water, pressurized steam, or sometimes with ultraviolet light. The result is a new plastic pipe manufactured inside the damaged one that is just as strong.

There have been several reported instances of the odors produced by the relining work prompting calls to the Arlington County Fire Department. Last year ACFD’s hazmat team responded to a Chinese restaurant in Falls Church after reports of an “unusual odor in the bathroom,” which was later determined to have been caused by relining work. In 2010, “numerous” residents of a North Arlington neighborhood called to report “a pervasive chemical odor,” also during relining work.

Andrew Whelton, an assistant professor in Purdue University’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering and the Environmental and Ecological Engineering program, led a team of researchers who conducted a study at seven steam-cured CIPP installations in Indiana and California.

“CIPP is the most popular water-pipe rehabilitation technology in the United States,” Whelton said in a statement. “Short- and long-term health impacts caused by chemical mixture exposures should be immediately investigated. Workers are a vulnerable population, and understanding exposures and health impacts to the general public is also needed.”

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said in an email that staff stays up to date on new research about its repair methods.

“The County is committed to ensuring the safety of its residents, workers and contractors,” spokeswoman Jessica Baxter wrote in an email. “CIPP (Cured-in-place pipe) is a national industry practice that is performed throughout the country and world to reline pipes. As new studies and findings come to light, the industry and the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety will need to determine if additional protection mitigation steps are needed — and we, as well as our contractors, will monitor this for any needed changes.”

Researchers said workers must better protect themselves from any harmful chemicals that are emitted, and local health officials must conduct full investigations when they receive reports of unusual odors or illnesses near CIPP sites. Baxter said the county already provides plenty of information to residents near such work.

“When the County plans work to reline a section of sanitary sewer pipe, residents whose homes are directly connected to the pipe receive a notice prior to the work explaining the process and how to prevent fumes from entering their homes,” Baxter said. “The County also has a list of recommendations for homeowners on our website.”

by ARLnow.com August 1, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

ACPD Says It Follows the Constitution — In a public statement of values, the Arlington County Police Department said yesterday that it “has always adhered to the Constitution and is committed to safeguarding the rights of all individuals.” The department continued: “We faithfully, and without bias, honor our obligations to the community and will continue to provide professional law enforcement services in accordance with our core values.” [Facebook]

Bistro 1521 Now Open — Filipino restaurant Bistro 1521 reportedly opened last night. The 7,000 square foot eatery is located in the former Applebee’s space at 900 N. Glebe Road in Ballston. [Washington City Paper]

District Taco Opening in Pa. — District Taco, which started as a tiny food cart in Arlington, is continuing to expand. DT is planning to open a location in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, its first restaurant outside of D.C., Maryland and Virginia. [Twitter]

Fmr. Arlington Resident Sexually Enslaved Housekeeper — A former American diplomat, who reportedly used to live in Arlington, “has for the second time been found liable for enslaving and sexually trafficking a housekeeper while posted at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.” [Washington Post]

ACFCU Branch Closed After Fire — The N. Glebe Road branch of Arlington Community Federal Credit Union is closed after a fire yesterday evening. “Thx for understanding as we work 2 make sure bldg is safe,” the credit union said via social media. [Twitter]

ACFD Battles Fire in Bailey’s Crossroads — The Arlington County Fire Department has had a busy couple of days. The department battled at least three fires yesterday afternoon and also, on Saturday, assisted on a blaze in an empty apartment at a three-story complex on Oakview Gardens Drive in Bailey’s Crossroads. Five people were displaced and $20,000 in damage was caused, but no injuries were reported. [Falls Church News-Press]

Photo courtesy Curtis Prathers 

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 1, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Serene Al-Momen and her team were in a different coworking office when she heard that WeWork was opening up a space in suburban Virginia. She had already seen what WeWork has to offer, so it didn’t take much convincing for her to book a tour of the new building in Tysons.

“We felt like it was a good place for the team,” says Al-Momen. “It was just perfect.”

Al-Momen is the co-founder of Senseware, a platform that helps building owners, operators, and managers to monitor everything about their facilities, from energy use to equipment status. Nine months ago the company moved into WeWork Tysons. Al-Momen says her staff tells her they feel right at home in the space just outside of D.C.

“I like the fact that the design is nice and modern,” says Al-Momen. “It feels good to our team to come every morning to a place like this.”

WeWork is a global network of more than 150 coworking spaces that are specially designed to foster creativity and collaboration. WeWork’s mission is to encourage members to “make a life, not just a living,” and it accomplishes that through modern workspaces, opportunities to network with other professionals in their field, and connect with potential customers all over the world.

In WeWork’s 10 locations in and around D.C., there are spaces to accommodate companies of all sizes, from one-person start-ups to well-established corporations with hundreds employees. Al-Momen’s growing company is right in the middle, occupying a 38-desk office.

Each WeWork location has its own personality, drawing different types of members. WeWork K Street, located on one of the best-known thoroughfares in Northwest D.C., has a wide range of members, including lobbyists to law firms. WeWork Dupont Circle, on the other hand, has quite a few tech startups and nonprofit organizations.

A 20-minute drive from D.C., WeWork Tysons is a convenient, modern workspace in a three-story glass building. It’s a LEED-certified facility, cutting down significantly on its carbon footprint. It’s a hub for business, with the headquarters for Hilton, Booz Allen Hamilton, and others corporations nearby. The space is perfect for companies in areas like tech and contracting, as well as former employees of larger companies who have left to start their own businesses.

On top of that, WeWork Tysons is surrounded by two world-class shopping centers and dozens of dining and nightlife spots. Easy access to parking and public transportation makes it great for commuters.

Al-Momen says WeWork provides everything a business owner could possibly need, from a front-desk staff and printing services to common areas and conference rooms where they can huddle with colleagues or meet with a potential new client. And, of course, there are extras like fruit water and freshly brewed coffee always at the ready.

“It’s great,” says Al-Momen. “I can’t think of anything I could want that’s not offered.”

The preceding article was written by Reesa Hylton and sponsored by WeWork.

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