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ARLnow Weekend Discussion

It’s the end of a cold and snowy week; quite a way to start 2018.

Before we head out for the weekend, these were our most-read stories this week:

  1. DEVELOPING: SWAT Team Arrests Man in Crystal City Parking Lot
  2. Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge Open at The Board Room
  3. Crime Report: Man Breaks into Clarendon Home, Refuses to Leave
  4. County Offering Refunds on Tax Prepayments
  5. Arlington’s First Dedicated Poke Restaurant Open in Pentagon City

And these received the most comments:

  1. Morning Notes (January 2)
  2. Cristol Elected County Board Chair, Dorsey New Vice Chair
  3. Local Business Owner Warns of Biking Dangers on Columbia Pike
  4. Schwartz Gives Bicycle Advisory Committee a ‘Revamping’
  5. Morning Poll: 2018 Resolutions for Arlington

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

Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak

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Podcast: Dels. Rip Sullivan and Alfonso Lopez

Local Dels. Rip Sullivan and Alfonso Lopez (D) were at the forefront of last November’s wave of Democratic victories, from the governor’s race to the Virginia House of Delegates, where the party is near parity with the Republicans.

Sullivan served as House Democratic Caucus Campaign Chair, while Lopez is Chief Democratic Whip, and both represent sections of Arlington County in the House of Delegates.

On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, Sullivan and Lopez reflected on a momentous 2017 for Virginia Democrats, and looked ahead to the new year.

They discussed the role of outside progressive groups in helping shape 2017’s results, and the Democratic gains in the House of Delegates that have brought near-parity with Republicans and the promise of more bipartisan legislating.

And the pair looked ahead to policy they would like to work on, like a reliable funding source for Metro, Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, environmental issues, gun control and more.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

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Flying Colors: Facts for 2018

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.

We all have our theories. Most of them are based on facts and our emotional connection to those facts. But what happens when those emotions skewer those facts? Then a theory or feeling or philosophy can misdirect people who may not be as knowledgeable to the actual facts.

So, this year, my goal will be to share with you as much factual knowledge I have about the hobby of backyard bird feeding. For 26 years, my store Wild Birds Unlimited, has been bringing people and nature together through the hobby of bird feeding.

For 35 years, our CEO, Jim Carpenter, has been bringing people and nature together with over 300 stores in the country. His vast knowledge has led him to write the definitive book on this hobby — “The Joy of Bird Feeding.” With the information in this book and other scientific studies, we will explain what does and what does not happen in your backyards.

With that said, Mother Nature has a really good sense of humor and will shake things up just for kicks. So, if I tell you Nyjer/Thistle seed is really only for the Goldfinches, you can bet someone will have a Cardinal on their feeder eating thistle. So, I teach my staff and tell my customers there are absolutely no absolutes when it comes to the laws of nature.

One of the most common questions that is posed to me is, “do the birds need us?” My first gut reaction would be to say, “if we were not here, they would not need us.” They would be fine. But we are here and we — humans — have radically altered their environment. Birds do not go to the grocery store to get food. But we cut down their trees, dig up their shrubs, filled in their streams and built a store.

So, where is their food? It is broken and scattered and eliminated from their habitat. With that analysis, I would say, yes, the wild birds do need us. All the time? Not likely. The birds are always foraging for food. But to supplement what they can and cannot find, they come to the feeding stations that we put up.

Their visits will change based on their needs for the seasons and the seasons conditions. We are all aware of how cold it has been and continues to be. In this instance, for this season, there is a greater need for high fat food for the birds. Seeds, with a high concentration of oil which give the birds needed fat to fuel them through the cold nights, are something I strongly recommend for you to put in your feeders.

Rendered beef in the form of “suet cakes,” is a very valuable source of food during the Winter. It is easy to use and can be hung in numerous locations to give the birds plenty of options to feed. Suet cakes with seeds, peanuts halves and berries are very attractive to many of the birds in your yard.

Make sure you look at the label of the suets you buy and not just the price of the suet. There are many suets with many claims and promises. It is important that you study the ingredients list and the guaranteed analysis information. This information will tell you the percentage of crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber in the cakes. Remember the point of the suet cakes is to add fat and protein to the birds’ diet. No minerals or vitamins add any value to suet products.

Nyjer seed is also a very important food to have in your yard; especially in the winter. All of your flowers in your garden have long gone to seed and are withered. Coneflower, Blackeyed Susans and Sunflowers are favorites of the Goldfinch. You may not see any Gold flying around your yard anymore, but there are flocks of Goldfinches everywhere and they are looking for food and water. You will rarely see a Goldfinch on a suet feeder, but you will on the Nyjer feeder which will provide them with much needed fat from the seeds.

Goldfinches are also very attracted to small sunflower seeds that are shelled. You can mix those in a Nyjer feeder if they are very fine. You can also use a No Mess blend of food that is shelled. Most of the good no-mess blends on the market will consist of 50% or more of Sunflower pieces or chips.

Do the birds needs us? That is a question that will have many theories with answers. But looking out my sliding glass doors while writing this blog, I received a text from a Cardinal who was looking back at me and it read — fill up the feeders’ dude — it is cold out here! You tell me.

Stop into our store this weekend, January 5-7, and we will give you a FREE one pound sample of our No Mess Blend.

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Arlington Man Cited for Bringing Loaded Gun to Reagan National Airport

An Arlington man had what Transportation Security Administration officials called “a bad start to the new year” after he tried to bring a loaded gun onto a plane at Reagan National Airport.

TSA officers spotted the .32 caliber handgun (pictured above) in the man’s carry-on luggage yesterday morning (January 4). It was loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber.

After spotting the handgun on the X-ray monitors in the airport’s security checkpoint, TSA officers alerted Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officers, who confiscated the gun and cited the man on a state weapons charge.

Airport operations were not affected. The TSA said it was the first gun caught at the airport so far this year. In 2017, officers caught 13.

More from the TSA:

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. In addition, TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Photo via TSA

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Open Houses in Arlington This Weekend

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:

717 22ND Street N
6 bed/5 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Patrick O’keefe
Listed: $2,199,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

4020 Tazewell Street
4 bed/3 bath single-family home
Agent: Stephanie White
Listed: $1,137,500
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1881 Nash Street , #1208
1 bed/1 bath, 1 half bath condo
Agent: Valerie Kappler
Listed: $785,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

3404 8th Street South
3 bed/2 bath single-family home
Agent: Keri Shull
Listed: $649,900
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

4117-C Four Mile Run Drive
2 bed/2 bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Norman Odeneal
Listed: $429,900
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m.

 

2600 16TH Street S , #732
2 bed/1 bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Diane Duston
Listed: $339,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1741 Troy Street , 8-426
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Deborah Jenkins
Listed: $279,000
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.

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UPDATED: Police Investigating Bank Robbery in Clarendon

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a bank robbery that happened in Clarendon this morning.

Police were called to the TD Bank on the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd, just across from the Clarendon Metro, around 11 a.m.

A man entered the bank, passed a note to a teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The suspect did not display or imply a weapon. He remains at large.

ACPD issued the following press release Friday afternoon.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect captured on surveillance footage.

On Friday, January 5, 2018, at approximately 10:55 a.m., a male suspect entered the TD Bank located at 3101 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia and passed the teller a note, demanding money. No weapon was shown or implied. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, the suspect exited the bank and fled the area on foot.

The suspect is described as a black male in his mid-20’s, 5’8″ tall, weighing approximately 150lbs with a thin build. He was wearing a gray hoodie, a red knit hat and gray Nike sneakers at the time of the incident.

The Arlington County Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding this incident contact Detective R. Munizza at 703.228.4171 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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Clarendon Bakery LeoNora Closes Ahead of Move to Falls Church

A Clarendon bakery closed at the beginning of this year ahead of its move into local stalwart Northside Social’s new Falls Church location.

A sign posted on the door of LeoNora (1108 N. Irving Street) said it closed as it prepares to open a new bakery at the forthcoming Northside Social in Falls Church (205 Park Avenue).

“In preparation for the opening of our custom-built bakery at Northside Social Falls Church, LeoNora Bakery is closed effective immediately,” the sign reads. “Please visit us at Northside Social Arlington, just across the street at 3211 Wilson Blvd, for our freshly baked pastries and breads.”

The bakery, next to O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, described itself on its Facebook page as “the result of a never ending search for the best breads and pastries in terms of flavor, freshness and texture.”

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County Could Buy WETA Property for Jennie Dean Park Expansion

Arlington County is considering buying property owned by local PBS affiliate WETA in the Four Mile Run Valley, as part of a park expansion project and a plan to keep WETA’s headquarters in Shirlington.

Under a deal announced yesterday (Thursday), the county has an option to purchase the WETA studio at 3620 27th Street S., and use the land for the future expansion of Jennie Dean Park. If WETA’s Board of Trustees approves the plan, a sale could happen in the next two years.

Should the sale go through, per a letter of intent signed by both parties, the county would make $500,000 of urban design improvements in the area near WETA’s headquarters (3939 Campbell Ave), including improving pedestrian safety and signs.

The county would also provide WETA with a performance-based Economic Development Incentive grant of up to $150,000 per year based on reaching targets for job creation and square feet used.

WETA will soon “begin design and construction feasibility studies to explore relocating the studio next to the current headquarters located at 3939 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington Village,” according to a county press release. “The planned project would include building a new, state-of-the art studio in space adjacent to their headquarters building.”

“We’ve had a longstanding relationship with WETA, one of our most valuable community partners,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “This agreement allows WETA to move forward with envisioning their ideal television studio and headquarters as we move forward with planning for Jennie Dean Park’s future.”

The property has been identified as a way to expand Jennie Dean Park since 1994, while WETA has been looking throughout the region for new space.

The future of Jennie Dean Park has been a source of controversy among some members of the Four Mile Run Valley Working Group, tasked with making recommendations for the area’s future. An area near the park has been proposed as a possible arts district, a plan that has come in for some criticism from group members and commission chairs.

The full county press release is after the jump.

In a move that will benefit the Arlington community at large and a long-time Arlington institution, Arlington County and local non-profit PBS station Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Associations, Inc. (WETA) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) regarding an exciting future for the television station’s headquarters and the Shirlington community in which it is based. The agreement is designed to persuade WETA, which produces the national news and public affairs programs PBS NewsHour and Washington Week, to remain at its home in Arlington, where it has been located since 1961, as the station considers the possibility of building a new state-of-the-art production facility.

“We’ve had a longstanding relationship with WETA, one of our most valuable community partners,” Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said. “This agreement allows WETA to move forward with envisioning their ideal television studio and headquarters as we move forward with planning for Jennie Dean Park’s future.”

WETA’s existing studio may no longer serve the station’s mission. Among other options, WETA has been actively looking throughout the region to find suitable space that would combine the station’s studio with office operations. Arlington County has worked with WETA to identify a viable option to remain in Shirlington and for the County to purchase the desired future parkland.

The sale of the current WETA studio property has been identified since 1994 for park acquisition and would allow the County to expand Jennie Dean Park (located adjacent to WETA at 3630 27th St. S.). A park master plan is currently being developed as part of the Four Mile Run Valley (4MRV) initiative. The park master planning is expected to wrap up in summer 2018 and is then anticipated to be adopted by the County Board.

The first phase of park improvements is expected to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2021. The LOI supports a future phase of the park; the timeframe for implementing this phase is undetermined at this time.

Letter of Intent Details

The LOI lays out the framework for the County purchase of WETA’s current studio at 3620 27th Street South.

WETA will begin design and construction feasibility studies to explore relocating the studio next to the current headquarters located at 3939 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington Village. The planned project would include building a new, state-of-the art studio in space adjacent to their headquarters building. If the feasibility is confirmed and if approved by the WETA Board of Trustees, WETA would move forward with selling the land where the studio currently sits to the County. The purchase could occur sometime in the next two years. The County would use Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) funding for the parcel.

In conjunction with this option, the County would make urban design improvements up to $500,000 in the area near WETA headquarters. Urban design elements would enhance placemaking, improve pedestrian safety and add additional wayfinding features. In addition, Arlington County would provide WETA an Economic Development Incentive (EDI) performance-based grant up to $150,000 annually for the performance period based on achieving annual job and square footage targets. During that period, the County would net approximately $4.3 million in tax revenue.

If the project is found not to be feasible, WETA may still sell the 27th Street South property to the County, but the timing of the purchase would be unclear.

Background 

WETA is a non-profit public television station headquartered in Shirlington for 57 years, employs approximately 290 people, and occupies 89,418 square feet of office space in Shirlington Village and 30,685 square feet of studio space. WETA has been a community partner and a respected organization with a long-standing relationship with Arlington County spanning more than five decades.

The LOI is non-binding and is contingent upon both the WETA Board of Trustees and the County Board approving any necessary formal agreements to encourage WETA to remain in Arlington County.

WETA is working with commercial real estate services company Avison Young, represented by Marty Almquist and Nick Gregorios.

Photo via Google Maps.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Chamber Seeking State Help — Possibly in response to the push for housing conservation districts, “the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is asking the General Assembly to ‘serve as a backstop and a safeguard’ against overreach by localities on planning and zoning matters.” [InsideNova]

Reminder: SmarTrip Change Next Week — As of Monday, Metro riders will no longer be able to run a negative balance on their SmarTrip cards. [WMATA]

‘Meet the Chair’ Scheduled — Arlington residents will be able to meet newly-minted Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol on the evening of Jan. 18, when the Leadership Center for Excellence holds its annual Meet the Chair event. [Leadership Center for Excellence]

SoberRide New Year’s Record — A record 1,225 people used the free safe ride service SoberRide on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Thanks to its new partnership with Lyft, SoberRide’s organizer says it “has removed well more than two times as many would-be drunk drivers from Greater Washington’s roadways as compared with the previous year.” [PDF]

District Taco Continues to Expand — Five Guys may be given a run for its money as the most successful Arlington-born restaurant chain. District Taco is now opening a location in the Center City section of Philadelphia. [Eater]

Snow Shovel Contest Winner — “This is Susan. She won our snow shovel, writing that her favorite phase of snow treatment/removal is Phase 1. Brine makes her giddy. Susan’s old shovel is from Nebraska and cracking. Way to go, Susan.” [Twitter]

Photo courtesy @BoccatoGelatos

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Meanwhile in D.C.

Photo by Brandon Kopp

Another hit to local journalism, D.C. United announces date of first game at new stadium, renovations at Corcoran may be sickly, and other news of the day over in the District.

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Saturday: Release Party for New District’s New Brew


Arlington’s New District Brewing is rolling out its second-ever bottled beer this coming Saturday, and you’re invited to the release party.

The Shirlington-area brewery at 2709 S. Oakland Street is introducing Abbey, a spiced, smooth Belgian Dubbel. But it’s a limited edition: just 250 individually-corked and hand-labeled 750ml bottles.

New District expects to sell out of its stock within 2-3 weeks, so the best opportunity to get your hands on one is at the release party on Saturday.

The event is being held from 1-9 p.m. at the brewery. Each $25 ticket will get you:

  • One 2 Year Anniversary Dubbel 750ml limited release bottle (with option to buy a second)
  • One pint of 2 Year Anniversary Dubbel on Tap
  • One beef brisket taco from the famous La Tingeria food truck, braised in a chipotle garlic sauce with NDBC brewed street beer for 12 hours.

Several other events are being planned at New District this week: a live band — No Second Troy — on Friday, and fill specials on Sunday.

The preceding was written by ARLnow.com and promoted by New District Brewing.

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Just Listed in Arlington

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.”

Happy New Year! Team Cathell wishes you an outstanding 2018!

Arlington’s real estate market has already picked up steam this week with 26 new listings and 24 homes sold. Currently there are 346 active home sale listings in Arlington. At the current rate of absorption, that’s 3.6 months of inventory. That’s how we are starting off the year.

The Spring real estate market for our area starts mid January as buyers scour the low inventory in search of deals. The Spring market typically hits its peak about mid March and sustains that level until Memorial Day holiday weekend in May.

Mortgage rates bounced around a bit this week ending about 5 basis points lower following the drop in the yield on the 10-yr US Treasury bill this week. The 30-yr fixed rate mortgage is about 3.95%. Freddie Mac doesn’t expect to see much increase any time soon. On Wednesday, it reported that “there isn’t much upward pressure on long term interest rates at the moment.”

Memo to buyers: It’s a great time to buy, if you can only find that special home.

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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