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by Chris Teale December 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

It’s been a busy week, filled with important decisions.

Only today, the National Park Service announced it will spend more than $200 million to repair and rehabilitate Memorial Bridge, while the County Board voted this week to allocate its closeout funds and encourage more “accessory dwelling units.”

Elsewhere, a survey found that more residents would cycle if there were more protected bike lanes available for use, and Second Lady Karen Pence will appear on community radio station WERA next week.

And ahead of the 2018 legislative session, Arlington’s lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly will have a go at renaming Jefferson Davis Highway and getting dedicated funding for Metro.

These were our most-read stories this week:

  1. Police Investigating Death in Pentagon City
  2. Morning Notes (November 27)
  3. Crime Report: Masked Man Seen Pleasuring Self in Courthouse
  4. Report Shows Disparities in Income, Health Care Across Arlington
  5. County Board Approves Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center Contract

Discuss anything of local interest in the comments below. Have a great weekend!

Flickr pool photo by The BeltWalk

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

2705 N. Yucatan Street 
Neighborhood: East Falls Church
Listed: $1,595,000
Open: Sunday, December 3, from 2-4 p.m.

This modern Craftsman home evokes soothing, natural tones throughout. Featuring 4,485 finished sq. ft., 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, this home has it all: dining room with pocket doors, gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, breakfast nook, laundry room and mud room, family room, master suite with walk-in closet, luxury master bath, basement entertainment room with wet bar and deck.

With contemporary features such as brushed chrome plumbing and light fixtures, stone accents, dark hardwood floors, grey cabinets against contrasting white countertops and custom white wainscoting and molding, this home exudes a refreshing and welcoming feel for your family, friends and guests. See it all for yourself this Sunday!

Available for immediate delivery, this home has its first open house this Sunday, December 3 from 2-4 p.m. Visit the builder’s website for blog info, video tour and full features description.

Listed by:
Gina Baca
Classic Cottages Realty, LLC
Phone: 703-256-1401 (Office) or 619-929-5585 (Cell)
[email protected]

by Chris Teale December 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Crystal City’s annual fashion show will return in early February.

Crystal Couture is set for Friday, February 2 (5 p.m.) and Saturday, February 3 (2 p.m.) at 2001 Jefferson Davis Highway.

The event includes a pop-up clothes store as well as the fashion show. Organizers said around 50 local boutiques, retailers and designers will be showcased.

“This one-stop shopping experience lets guests browse discounted offerings on the rack AND on the runway as models showcase select offerings while enjoying sips from the bar and free five-minute make-up and hair makeovers,” organizers wrote.

And for those who wish to get on the catwalk, casting got underway for Crystal Couture late last month. Planning has also started, including producer Maggy “Fancy” Francois.

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

(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) The National Park Service has approved more than $200 million in funding to repair and rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge.

NPS announced today (Friday) it will spend $227 million on the repair contract. U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) helped secure the funding, alongside U.S. Reps. Don Beyer (D-8) and Gerry Connolly (D-11) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

Construction will begin next fall on the 85-year-old bridge, with the project set for completion in 2021. At least three lanes of traffic will remain open at all times during construction, which — thanks to the project now being fully funded — NPS will finish in one phase rather than two, to save $35 million.

Officials estimate the repairs will increase the bridge’s lifespan by 85 to 100 years. Last year, the bridge won a $90 million federal transportation grant to help with repairs, matched by $60 million from NPS, after years of deterioration and neglect led to worries it could close by 2021.

Beyer, who represents Arlington in the House of Representatives, said earlier this year he would push hard for federal money to fund repairs on a bridge that carries 68,000 vehicles each day from the county into D.C.

“After years of work to secure funding to fix Arlington Memorial Bridge, today’s announcement gives us hope that the bridge will remain safe and serviceable into the 22nd century,” Beyer said in a statement. “Our tour of the bridge and press conference in 2015 crystalized the dire need for this funding. Since then I have worked together with my colleagues in Congress, leaders from Virginia and the District, and two Administrations to secure the money for these structural repairs. This truly is great news, and I thank everyone whose efforts brought us here.”

Federal officials are scheduled to discuss the project during a press conference in the District at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

The full press release is after the jump:

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 1, 2017 at 12:45 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:

2822 23RD Road N
6 bed/6 bath, 2 half bath single-family home
Agent: Terry Belt
Listed: $2,500,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1319 Barton Street N
3 bed/2 bath, 2 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Laura Lawlor
Listed: $989,900
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

3412 17TH Street S
4 bed/3 bath, 2 half bath single-family home
Agent: Sean Ragen
Listed: $799,900
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

4727 31ST Street S
3 bed/3 bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Robert Allen
Listed: $648,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1029 Stuart Street , #703
2 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: Christine Vanderhyde
Listed: $589,000
Open: Saturday 1-4 p.m.

 

961 Taylor Street
2 bed/2.5 bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Nancy Bossard
Listed: $439,999
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

4501 Arlington Boulevard , #412
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Billy Buck
Listed: $209,900
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 1, 2017 at 11:45 am 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 Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

The Oxford Companion to Beer defines Christmas ales as beers that are typically on the strong side and often contain dark malts, spice, herbs and fruits. Check. This week I have some holiday beers that go perfectly with dark evenings and chilly air.

American craft brewers may have resurrected the holiday ale by adding spices when Fritz Maytag’s Anchor Brewing Company made its Christmas Ale in 1975, but the earliest Western example is positively Medieval. One recipe that remains is for a brew called “lambswool.” According to The Oxford Companion to Beer, lambswool was made with roasted apples, nutmeg, ginger and honey.

Spicing beer continued on in England with the tradition of the “wassail,” a mulled wine, beer or cider. For the most part today’s holiday ales are relatively tame, but a welcome change from the squashy pumpkin ales and ubiquitous Oktoberfests.

Below are four holiday ales that will warm your belly. And for those who aren’t looking for spiced brown ales, I’ve got a tasty IPA here too.

Harpoon Brewery Winter Warmer Spiced Ale (5.9% ABV)

When I discovered this lightly spiced beer in 1995, Winter Warmer was already nearly 10 years old. Now approaching 30 years old, this brown ale made with cinnamon and nutmeg is a bit tamer than it seemed back then. There’s more competition and there are more extreme beers, but the consistency of this light holiday ale still pleases. What says the winter holidays better than aromas of cinnamon, raisins and graham crackers? And there’s the comforting malt forward flavor that finishes with a light but bright spice. This is the most sessionable of the beers covered here.

Great Lakes Brewing Company Christmas Ale (7.5% ABV)

Cleveland, Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Company first brewed their famous Christmas Ale in 1992. An early entrant in the spiced ale category, Christmas Ale has grown to be a 6-time medal winner at various world beer championships.

Brewed with honey from the region, cinnamon and ginger, this beer jollily evokes cinnamon graham crackers. But it’s flavor is so much more than a children’s snack — between the peppery ginger and the herbal hops, the sip is balanced between malt and slightly bittering ingredients. It’s good that Christmas Ale only comes once a year, because its delicious flavor and light body might make moderation difficult. Don’t wait until Christmas to open this tasty brew. (more…)

by Chris Teale December 1, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

(Updated at 11 a.m.) The chairs of the Park and Rec and Sports Commissions have criticized the Four Mile Run Valley Working Group for focusing on a planned arts district, comparing it to the push that led to the creation of the since-closed Artisphere.

In a letter to working group chair Charles Monfort, Caroline Haynes and Shirley Brothwell said they are “disappointed” to realize the working group’s outcomes “may not be as transformative as they could have been.”

The pair specifically critiqued the group’s key focus on a two-block area west of S. Nelson Street near Jennie Dean Park, which has been suggested as the location for a new arts district. Some group members wish to repurpose the properties as an arts district, which could include traditional arts activities like painting and sculpting, among others, as well as businesses to build up nightlife nearby.

That plan has already come under scrutiny from working group members and others in the community, and they said that more planning may be needed if this continues.

“Because of these issues, we believe the 4MRVWG runs a very real risk of missing the target altogether and doing a disservice to the County Board and residents,” Haynes and Brothwell wrote. “The Board may get a clear vision of what some members of the working group prefer for a tiny portion of the study area, but constituencies in the surrounding neighborhoods and in the parks, recreation, and sports communities already have challenged and rejected that vision.”

Instead, the pair urged any land acquired in that area be used to expand Jennie Dean Park — especially if purchased with bond funds intended for parkland acquisition — and that the group develop more specific information about how arts are supported in the county.

“When bond funds voted on by Arlington taxpayers and designated for park land acquisition have been redirected toward arts purposes in the past, the results have not been positive; specifically, $4 million of such funds were redirected to build out the Artisphere,” the letter said. “We note that the arts were pulled out from [the parks department] after it became apparent that the Artisphere was financially unsustainable.”

“It remains unclear how the proposed arts hub would be financed or managed over time to become self-sustaining,” said the letter writers. “We do not want to repeat a costly mistake.”

Photo No. 2 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale December 1, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

(Updated at 9:55 a.m.) Arlington’s representatives will push hard in the Virginia General Assembly on Metro funding, the authority to rename Jefferson Davis Highway and absentee voting, among other issues.

At a work session Thursday, Arlington County Board members discussed their legislative agenda — bills they would like to see passed and issues they would like to see emphasized — for the 2018 session with local Delegates and state Senators.

The General Assembly will convene in Richmond on January 10 and sit through March 10, with Gov.-Elect Ralph Northam (D) to be inaugurated on January 13.

High on Board members’ list of priorities is securing a dedicated funding source for Metro, and ensuring that state funding allows it to keep up with its rebuilding needs.

Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has committed to adding a dedicated funding source in his budget proposal later this month, and local representatives said they must do more to show their colleagues from outside Northern Virginia how valuable Metro is to the whole Commonwealth’s economy.

“A lot of work has been done to show this is not just a Northern Virginia giveaway, that this gives a lot of money and benefits to the rest of the commonwealth,” said County Board member Christian Dorsey.

Later, Dorsey noted that a study by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission made a “conservative estimate” that Metro brings in $600 million to state coffers every year through income and sales taxes.

All agreed on a plan to bring legislators into Northern Virginia and have them take a tour of the region’s various transit options, as well as experience rush-hour traffic congestion, something that state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30) said has been effective in the past.

State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31) urged cooperation between business and governmental groups in lobbying Richmond.

“We really need a united voice on this,” Favola said. “We can’t afford to have the Northern Virginia Chamber in opposition to a strategy you may like.”

Favola said she will file a bill to give localities the power to rename their primary highways, of which Jefferson Davis Highway is one in Arlington.

The question of whether to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway has swirled for several years, and Board chair Jay Fisette said the county is “exploring all options” on renaming.

Del. Mark Levine (D-45) disagreed with Favola, and said that in his opinion localities already have the right to rename primary highways. Fisette emphasized that no stone shall be left unturned.

“At this point, we believe we have multiple options, we’re just going to work them sequentially to do that,” he said.

The question of renaming Jefferson Davis Highway remains controversial. At the Board’s public hearing on its legislative agenda on Tuesday, local resident Bernard Berne derided a name-change as a “bad idea” that will stoke racial tensions and create division.

“It divides the community, and these historical things are part of our heritage. You don’t mess with it,” he said.

(more…)

by Rachel Sadon December 1, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

D.C.’s charter schools are inspiring some less than positive headlines, Howard is accused by another person of failing to adequately address sexual assault allegations, plus a peek into a beautiful new library, and other news of the day over in the District.

by ARLnow.com December 1, 2017 at 8:15 am 0

Fight Over Aquatics Center Operation Costs — Local budget hawks are worried that operating costs of the new Long Bridge Aquatics Center may take a chunk out of the county budget. The current staff estimate is about $1 million per year of net taxpayer support for operating costs, with a caveat that there may be a ramp-up period with less revenue and thus net higher costs. [InsideNova]

Arlington Honors ‘Fast Four’ Companies — Arlington County on Wednesday honored the fastest-growing local companies in four revenue categories. The companies honored were: Courthouse-based Mind Body Health, digital marketing company Knucklepuck, Ballston-based Deep Learning Analytics and another Ballston tech-oriented company, Apogee Research. [Arlington County]

Eastern Foundry Expanding Again — Arlington-based startup incubator Eastern Foundry is working with investors to launch Global Foundry, which will “provide international companies entrée to U.S. commercial and government markets, while exposing potential American customers to the innovation taking place overseas.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 1, 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.”

The Thanksgiving hangover may have slowed the pace of real estate activity this week in Arlington.  Only 29 sellers braved to put their homes on the market, and only 29 buyers ratified contracts this week.  That’s not unusual for the season. What was surprising is that only three homes sold within a week, and many homes that sold had been on the market a very long time, one as long as 655 days.  That raised the average days on market to 68. A lot of stale inventory got cleared out this week, and that’s a good thing.

Mortgage purchase applications were up 2% this week and 6% over the same week a year ago which could indicate increasing demand.  Meanwhile, refinance applications dropped to their lowest level since January indicating the refinance market may have run its course by now.

Watch for news in the coming days about household incomes finally starting to increase. This should have a considerable influence on consumer confidence that will translate into stronger housing demand.

Interest rates bounced around and ended up unchanged at about 4% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points.

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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