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by Chris Teale December 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Tens of thousands of volunteers will again head to Arlington National Cemetery later this month to honor veterans’ graves with wreaths this holiday season.

The annual Wreaths Across America ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 16, as part of a nationwide effort by the nonprofit to lay wreaths at veterans’ gravesides.

Organizers hope to lay a wreath at all 245,115 veterans’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery. And according to its website, more than 29,000 volunteers have already committed to laying more than 196,000.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer can sign up online, and anyone wishing to donate to sponsor a remembrance wreath can do so, to honor a veteran, alive or dead, or to have a wreath placed at a specific marker.

The opening ceremony for the day of wreath-laying begins at 8:15 a.m. From the event website:

For those wanting to observe the arrival of the Wreath Truck Convoy, which will arrive at approximately 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, ANC will begin their screening process at 7 a.m. at the ANC Welcome Center. Those screened early will be directed to holding areas near the Opening Ceremony location which will be held in front of the Women In Military Service for America Memorial at the end of Memorial Drive starting at 8:15 a.m. All gates into Arlington Cemetery grounds will be opened to the general public at 8:30 a.m. after all Wreaths Convoy Trucks have been staged. Wreath placement will begin at 9:15 a.m.

If you are interested in attending, there will be special wreath layings conducted at the Columbarium at 10 a.m.; at the President William F. Taft Monument in Section 30 at 10:30 a.m.; at the President John F. Kennedy Memorial in Section 45 at 11 a.m.; at the USS Battleship Maine Monument in Section 24 at 11:30 a.m.; and a formal Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 12 p.m. (noon).

The cemetery’s welcome center garage will open at 7 a.m. that day, but only those with an authorized ANC Family Pass and vehicles with valid Handicap Permits will be allowed to park there. Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. that morning, and organizers are encouraging attendees to take the train to the Arlington National Cemetery Metro station instead of driving.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A man suspected of robbing a store on Columbia Pike was arrested while trying to steal a car in the Rosslyn area, according to a pair of ACPD crime reports.

The alleged crimes happened over the weekend.

Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, police say 54-year-old Arlington resident Donnell Cook held up a store on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike by implying to the clerk that he had a gun, before fleeing on foot. The store was not named in the police report.

The next day, just before midnight, police say they responded to the 1800 block of N. Quinn Street, in western Rosslyn, for a report of a man tampering with a vehicle. They say they found Cook inside a car that had “extensive damage,” and identified him as the previous night’s robbery suspect.

Cook is now facing a litany of charges, including robbery, attempted grand larceny auto, destruction of property and providing false identification to law enforcement. Earlier this year Cook was arrested and charged with public intoxication.

More from the Arlington County Police Department crime reports:

ROBBERY, 2017-12020258, 5500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a business and approached an employee behind the counter, implying he had a gun. The suspect forced his way behind the counter and stole money from the cash register, before fleeing on foot. Units set up a perimeter and a K-9 track yielded negative results. During the course of the investigation, officers developed a suspect identification and obtained an arrest warrant. Upon hearing the broadcast suspect lookout in the below attempted grand larceny auto (2017-12030251) case, officers responded and confirmed he was wanted on the outstanding robbery warrant. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Robbery and Providing False ID to Law Enforcement to Avoid Arrest.

ATTEMPTED GRAND LARCENY WITH APPREHENSION, 2017-12030251, 1800 block of N. Quinn Street. At approximately 11:57 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the report of a suspect tampering with a vehicle. Upon arrival, a suspect was located inside of the vehicle, which had extensive damage. Arriving officers identified the suspect as being wanted in a robbery case that occurred on December 2. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Destruction of Property, Possession of Burglarous Tools and Attempted Grand Larceny Auto.

by Chris Teale December 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The stars of the Arlington County Police Department’s viral synchronized swimming video will again be showing off their acting skills.

This coming Saturday, December 9, ACPD’s “Operation Santa” will visit at least 10 neighborhoods throughout December, spreading holiday cheer to children and adults in the community. Among the stops is the parking lot at Nottingham Elementary School (5900 Little Falls Road) at 11 a.m.

A blurb on the event said it “features many popular characters including, Santa, Rudolph, the Grinch and others. This event will offer members of the public an opportunity to experience the show, get to know the officers who make it happen each year and take photos with the characters and officers following the performance.”

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the same officers who starred in the swimming video will don costumes for the performances, which are free to attend. Members of ACPD’s Community Policing District Teams work with neighborhoods to designate dates, time and locations and help promote to the children in the community.

“It is an opportunity for the Department to give back to the community, spread holiday cheer, share an important message about the holidays and give the community another opportunity to get to know the men and women of the Arlington County Police Department,” Savage said.

Savage said the officers involved are all currently working nights, so were not available for additional comment.

by Chris Teale December 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A CVS in Rosslyn will close early next year.

A sign on the door of the pharmacy and store at 1555 Wilson Blvd says it will shutter on January 3.

The CVS is on the first floor of a soon-to-redevelop office building, alongside the now-shuttered Quiznos Subs and Domino’s Pizza.

Developer Penzance is planning to raze the current building and replace it with two apartment buildings, ground-floor retail and the new Fire Station 10.

The site is also close to the Wilson School, future home of the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, where construction is underway. Both properties are a part of the broader Western Rosslyn Area Plan, a vision for development in that section of the neighborhood.

The other CVS in Rosslyn is located at 1100 Wilson Blvd.

Hat-tip to Allix H.

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

ARLnow.com is an advertiser-supported independent local news website.

Our advertisers allow us to hire reporters and bring their local reporting to the entire community. Please join us in supporting local organizations that support local journalism.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 5, 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!

Question: Can you provide insight into how much a tear-down home costs in Arlington and how lot size effects sale price of a single-family home?

Answer: Breaking News… land is very hard to come by in Arlington. Only 11 homes sold in the last ten years had one or more acres, and it’s going to cost you over $1M to buy one. The average lot size of a single-family home in Arlington is about 8,400 sq. ft. or .19 acres with about 70% of homes on 6,000-10,000 sq. ft. lots.

Here’s a look at the impact of lot size on sold prices of single family homes over the last three years broken out by zip code:

Cost Of Arlington Homes By Lot Size

The data above takes homes of all sizes and condition into account so it doesn’t do a great job of isolating the actual market price of the land or how much people pay for tear-down lots in Arlington.

To summarize that data, I pulled out the cheapest 15% of sales in each zip code over the last three years. I felt that the cheapest 15% of sales in each zip code were probably good bets for homes being bought for the land/location with the intention of tear-down or major renovations. Note: 22209 didn’t have enough sales to include in this table.

Cost Of Land In Arlington

(more…)

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2017 at 11:50 am 0

Several lanes of King Street are blocked near Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood due to a crash involving an Alexandria DASH bus.

At least three vehicles, including the bus, appear to have been involved in the crash, at the intersection of King Street and Menokin Drive, between I-395 and the Bradlee Shopping Center.

So far, there is no word on injuries, although numerous ambulances and fire trucks from Alexandria and Arlington responded to the scene following the crash.

by Chris Teale December 5, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Crews will pre-treat the Washington & Old Dominion Trail for the first time this winter when accumulating snow or ice is in the weather forecast.

Officials behind the 45-mile paved trail between Shirlington and Purcellville announced the change in a series of tweets last week.

When snow or ice is in the forecast, crews will pre-treat the trail “in Arlington heading west.” The change comes after discussions with staff from Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation, who have been pre-treating trails for at least the past few years.

The Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority, which is responsible for the trail, purchased a tanker trailer to do the pre-treating, which will likely involve putting salt down hours before snow or ice is due to hit. NOVA Parks will continue to use its snow blowers to clear the paths.

“The pre-treatment working in tandem with our snow blowers should help reduce trail down time so to speak with snow & ice on the trail,” the trail’s Twitter account tweeted.

The new regime may be needed later this week. The Capital Weather Gang reports that there will be a “decisive flip to cold,” which may bring snow flurries.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Two Taylor Elementary physical education teachers are facing charges and a third is being investigated after a drug bust at the sought-after north Arlington school.

In a letter to parents, school principal Harold Pellegreen said that P.E. teachers Michael Diaddigo and Luke Lloyd have been charged with possession of marijuana and have been suspended from the school. Another has been “placed on administrative leave, pending further investigation by the police.”

TV news reports, citing court documents, said that police were told by an informant that the three teachers regularly smoked pot in their school office. They were also told that Diaddigo distributed marijuana to other teachers on school property. Students were reportedly unaware of the activity.

On a staff page that has since been removed, Taylor Elementary’s website said that Diaddigo was new to Taylor after two years of part-time P.E. teaching at Arlington’s Campbell and Tuckahoe elementary schools. Diaddigo is a Loudoun County native while Lloyd attended high school and college in Fairfax County, the page said.

The full letter from Pellegreen to parents is below.

Subject: APS School Talk – A Message from the Principal
A message from TAYLOR ELEMENTARY

Dear Taylor Families:

I wanted to update you on an incident that occurred at school earlier today. Based on information received by the Arlington County Police Department, this morning we cooperated with the police on their investigation into a matter involving three Taylor staff members. As a result of their investigation, Michael Diaddigo and Luke Lloyd have been charged with possession of marijuana and have been suspended. One additional staff member has been placed on administrative leave, pending further investigation by the police.

As educators, we are obviously shocked and dismayed by this news, and our first concern has been for our students. While I can’t share the details about the investigation with you because it is an ongoing personnel and police matter, I want to share how we are rallying to support our children, families and staff:

We believe the investigation is only focused on the adults and does not involve any of their interactions with our children. We met with the Taylor staff this afternoon to share this news, and we all remain committed to maintaining our focus on our primary goal of providing the best academic and personal support for all Taylor
students.

Counselors will visit these classes next week to share with students what has happened in age-appropriate ways, and our counselors will be available to help any students who may have questions or need to
discuss this change.

Our administrative team is working with our Human Resources staff and we are following all APS personnel policies and procedures to deal with this matter appropriately.

We will continue to work to ensure that we have qualified replacements in place for these positions so that instruction can proceed without interruption.

This is a disheartening situation for Taylor and the entire APS community. Please be assured that we will continue to work together to ensure that Taylor’s students, families and staff are supported during this transition.

As always, don’t hesitate to call me if you need to discuss specific concerns about your child.

Sincerely,

Harold Pellegreen
Principal

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

TechShop Expected to Reopen — Crystal City’s TechShop location, closed last month as a result of the company’s bankruptcy, is expected to reopen under new ownership. [Washington Business Journal]

RIP Bill Bozman — “He was ‘one of the community’s greats,’ in the words of former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, and while the death of William Bozman was not unexpected, it still created a ripple of emotional outpouring from several generations of Arlington civic leaders who had relied on him for counsel and good humor.” [InsideNova]

Library Director’s Annual Xmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released the 2017 version of her annual holiday music playlist. [Arlington Public Library]

ARL Sticker Opportunity — If you missed out on the the first batch of free ARL stickers, there is another opportunity to get your hands on some. We’ll be bringing the stickers to Thursday’s Speakeasy Evening With Dr. Rixey, which is happening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the The Rixey apartments in Ballston (1008 N. Glebe Road). Register for the free event, which features local art, live jazz, gin cocktails and great rooftop views, here.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by Rachel Sadon December 5, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Photo by Jim Havard

The Washington City Paper’s possible new overlord has a Trumpian relationship to the truth, NoMa nabs the new Peace Corps HQ, why there are two Metro stations at Farragut Square, and other news of the day in the District.

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