With another week over, let’s take a look back before heading into Super Bowl weekend.
These were our most-read stories of the week:
- Freshbikes Has Closed in Ballston
- Morning Notes (January 30)
- Bluemont Pizza Pupatella Warns Against Online Ordering
- Market Common Redevelopment Plan Goes Before County Board Tuesday
- ‘Little Community Pantry’ Helps to Feed the Hungry in Ballston
Feel free to discuss anything of local interest in the comments. Have a great weekend!
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Who’s going to win the Super Bowl on Sunday?
If the the food bowl preferences of puppies at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington are any indicators, the New England Patriots are destined to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
AWLA posted a video of the puppies making their decidedly unscientific prediction on the shelter’s social media accounts.
In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, a dozen Arlington County Police officers volunteered to head down to Puerto Rico and assist law enforcement on the island.
The officers first arrived in November and were greeted by grateful residents. They came back with unforgettable stories to tell of their service to the community.
Among those featured in the video above is Det. Rosa Ortiz, who grew up on Puerto Rico before moving to the United States in 1984.
More on ACPD’s efforts during the Puerto Rico recovery effort, via a police press release:
In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria, one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes on record, roared through Puerto Rico. It completely destroyed the island’s power grid and caused catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities.
Some 1,560 miles away, the Arlington County Police Department answered the calls for help.
Twelve Arlington County Police officers volunteered to deploy to Puerto Rico, roughly a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean. ACPD’s officers deployed in three staggered teams between November 10 – December 18, 2017, and served the Puerto Rico community for 16 days each.
The officers directed traffic at critical intersections impacted by power outages, relieving this burden from the local officers, who could then focus on other law enforcement responsibilities. They made themselves a part of the community, offering support and comfort in desperate times. They selflessly served a community in need, and represented ACPD’s values of Duty, Honor and Commitment. But mostly, they wanted to help.
“I am proud that our officers are willing to dedicate their time to provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with an added sense of security in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Police Chief M. Jay Farr. “Our officers take an oath to serve and protect and their willingness to deploy shows their commitment and dedication, not just to the Arlington County community, but to citizens everywhere.”
The request for assistance came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the national emergency management mutual aid system. Each of ACPD’s three teams provided traffic direction at the intersection of Route 66 and Route 3 in the town of Rio Grande, roughly 24 miles outside the capital city of San Jaun. Throughout their deployment, they served the Puerto Rico community, and were joined by other Virginia Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) teams from Prince William and Hampton, as well as teams from, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Florida, Houston and Montana.
The Stand, a food stand in Crystal City that has been open since November, has some new offerings.
The food stand, which is located along Crystal Drive, adjacent to the Crystal City water park and an entrance to the Mt. Vernon Trail, has a rotating menu reflecting new food trends in the area.
Here is what The Stand is offering throughout February:
Long-time Arlington food truck Bada Bing is calling it quits.
The truck, one of the first of its kind in Arlington, starting serving cheesesteaks and spiedies to customers in 2010. It helped to kick off a wave of mobile dining options that captured considerable public attention and eventually prompted changes to county regulations.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Bada Bing owner Nicholas Terzella blamed unscrupulous fellow food truck owners, parking problems, and issues with county regulations and communications for his decision. He said he will be moving to the Binghamton, New York area and opening a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.
“The restaurants and restaurant lobby has a huge stranglehold on the govt and are making it very difficult for trucks to operate,” he wrote. “That among other issues is why we REFUSE to continue to do business in Arlington and collect tax for them anymore.”
“Please come visit us if you are ever in the Binghamton area,” he added. “We love you all so much and appreciate you more than you may ever know.”
Hat tip to Christina R.
Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.
1717 22nd Street N.
6 bed/5 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Patrick O’keefe
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
1600 Clarendon Boulevard, W310
2 bed/2 bath, 1 half bath condo
Agent: Brad House
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.
2227 N. Powhatan Street
5 bed/2 bath single-family home
Agent: Coral Gundlach
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m. Sunday 12-2 p.m.
1200 N. Nash Street #537
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Keri Shull
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
1205 N. Garfield Street #409
1 bed/1 bath, 1 half bath condo
Agent: Helene Ivey
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
2301 25th Street S. #4-401
2 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: Dawn Wilson
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m. Sunday 1-3 p.m.
205 N. Trenton Street #205-4
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Elisabetta Young
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.
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.
So, your mom wanted you to be a doctor or a lawyer. Well how about a scientist. Well you can be. We all can be!
How can I do that you ask? I am only eight years old. You can become a scientist for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).
Each year, for the past 21 years, the Cornell Lab has been recruiting volunteer scientist to help them study the wild birds all over the world. All you need is a pen, a piece of paper and internet access, and you can help them with this study. You will need to set up an account at http://gbbc.birdcount.org.
This year the GBBC takes place from February 16-19. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
- Find a comfy spot, grab some snacks and hang out for 15 minutes. Have a pen and paper ready and jot down what species you are seeing. You can sit and hang out longer if you like, just keep track of how long you recorded the birds.
- Keep a tally of the birds you see, if there is a large flock just try for your best estimate. Make sure to account for gender.
- Finally hop online and enter your data. Voila! You are a scientist.
You don’t have a feeder you say? No problem. You can also go out hiking or just walk your local neighborhood and keep a tally that way too. Or better yet stop on in and we will get you started on the best hobby ever.
There is no better way to start your “Year of the Bird” like helping out and being a scientist. In 2017, Great Backyard Bird Count participants in more than 100 countries counted more than 6,200 species of birds on more than 180,000 checklists.
Why do we count the birds? Scientists keep track of the birds with our help to answer many questions. How will their migration this year differ from last years? How will weather and climate change affect the bird population? Why do large numbers of winter finches show up one year but not the next?
While you are on the GBBC site, check out their tab marked “Explore Data.” Under this tab you can check out other peoples check list, who knows maybe your neighbor three blocks over has a bird different from you. You can also watch the map for live updates, and there is a tab where you can search for sounds.
Are you a skilled photographer? You can enter the 2018 photo contest located on the home page of their site. There are gifts for the winners: a squirrel proof feeder and a finch feeder are just two of the great prizes you can win!
We hope you will help the Cornell Lab this February and count the birds. We look forward to helping you find the perfect set up for your yard. Stop in our store and you can get a FREE one-pound bag of our No-Mess seed blend with any purchase.
Arlington Public School officials are considering unblocking the website of Planned Parenthood on APS computers.
The site for the nonprofit organization that provides reproductive care healthcare is currently blocked on all student computers because it is considered sex education, according to the school system.
After ARLnow contacted the school system about the ban, a school spokesman said the county was considering plans to lift the content filter.
Frank Bellavia, the school system’s communications coordinator, said a decision is expected within the next week. The school system began reconsidering the block after receiving several inquiries, he said.
“Part of the determination is determining if we do unblock across all grade levels,” Bellavia said. “We are still evaluating the site for age appropriateness and for instructional content.”
One parent who contacted ARLnow.com pointed out that Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services, is blocked while the website of anti-abortion group National Right to Life was not blocked.
The block has been in effect “for quite some time,” according to Bellavia. The school system contracts an external provider that filters content on student computers.
Update at 11:40 a.m. — Bellavia says National Right to Life has now been blocked. “Because it was brought to our attention previously, IT staff blocked that site,” he said.
Anna Merod contributed reporting.
Choun, who lives in the Buckingham neighborhood, announced his candidacy this morning with a press release on his website.
Highlighting his background as a Cambodian refugee, an Army veteran and a cybersecurity professional, Choun says he wants to be “a new face for Arlington and a different voice at the table for good jobs, affordable housing, fast transportation, strong schools, security and safety, and service to the community.”
Though he was not born here, Choun says Arlington is “the love of my life.”
“I will get married in Arlington. My children will run through the parks of Arlington. I will die in Arlington and be buried in Arlington National Cemetery,” he wrote on this website.
Choun will face Matt de Ferranti, and any other Democrat who enters the race, in June’s Democratic primary. The winner of that contest will challenge incumbent Board member John Vihstadt, who is running as an independent, in the November general election.
More about Choun from his press release:
Chanda Choun (pronounced CHAHN-duh CHOON), a resident of the Buckingham neighborhood of Arlington County, filed his campaign committee Statement of Organization and unveiled his campaign website in February, making public his run for the Arlington County Board in 2018.
Choun declared that he wants to “Make Arlington the North Star of Virginia.”
“I am running for the Arlington County Board this 2018 because there is no immigrant, military veteran, or technology professional in our local government leadership today. I want to be a new face for Arlington and a different voice at the table for good jobs, affordable housing, fast transportation, strong schools, security and safety, and service to the community; a 21st century approach in a rapidly changing world, but still holding on to the values that made our community great.”
Chanda Choun lives in the historic, diverse Buckingham neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia near the Ballston Metro Station and works as a senior business manager and engineering leader for a cybersecurity software company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. He is also a part-time Army Reserve soldier occasionally on duty with the United States Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland. His community involvement includes being Vice President of the Buckingham Community Civic Association, Delegate to the Arlington County Civic Federation, Lifetime Member of the John Lyon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3150, Parishioner of St. George’s Episcopal Church of Arlington, and previous Executive Board Member of the Arlington Young Democrats.
“Every day I wake up and ask myself: ‘How do I make us happier, healthier, and wealthier?’ I run to serve the County. I run to serve the Commonwealth. I run to serve the Country.”
Choun will make his first public remarks as a candidate at 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 7th at the Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, held at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203). The Democratic Primary Election is scheduled for June 12th.
Arlington Tree Canopy Increases — “Arlington’s tree canopy increased slightly from 2011 to 2016, according to new data, but remains below levels of a decade ago. A total of 41 percent of Arlington’s acreage was filled with tree canopy when evaluated last year, an improvement from the 40 percent from the last time it was studied.” [InsideNova]
Police: Drive Safely This Weekend –Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and predicted six more weeks of winter, and the Patriots and Eagles will be facing off in Super Bowl LII on Sunday — both are occasions for the Arlington County Police Department to remind residents to drive safely. [Twitter, Twitter]
Thank You to Quantum — Staff from Clarendon-based recruiting firm Quantum Search Partners helped ARLnow’s team move some heavy furniture as we expanded into a new office yesterday. Thank you for lending a hand!
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Free coffee, upcoming events, why hotels are being built far from downtown, and other news of the day over in the District.
- Washington Post employees finally get free coffee in the office. [Washingtonian]
- Chick-fil-A is coming to Union Station. [Popville]
- Free WaWa coffee on Sunday. [WTOP]
- This week in jazz. [Washingtonian]
- Why hotels are being built away from touristy spots. [WBJ]
- More things to do in the city. [NBC]
- A raving review by Tom Sietsema for new Indian restaurant in Navy Yard. [Post]
- How driverless cars could affect the city’s housing market. [Urban Turf]
- Synchronized swim team is looking for participants. [NBC]
- Why the D.C. Public Schools scandal has national significance. [Post]
- Another co-working space that caters to parents. [Washingtonian]
- Can you be an addict if you’re taking the medicine that doctors have prescribed to you, never exceeding the dosage? [WCP]
- Most homicide victims this year are teens. [NBC]
- Several historic sites have been demolished by neglect. [WBJ]
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.”
It’s been a great week for buyers. Some 84 new listings came on the market in Arlington this week, and buyers ratified 59 contracts.
An incredible 27 new listings sold within seven days, all but two priced under $1 million. The upper market appears to be rebounding from last fall’s slump. Of the 59 homes that sold this week, eight were priced over $1 million. The average days on market has now dropped to just 43.
At this week’s current high pace of absorption, and with ONLY 343 homes actively for sale (including condos and townhomes), Arlington currently has a remarkable ONE month’s supply of inventory. This is the lowest level that I can recall in the last 20 years.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday voted to keep its short term rate unchanged but signaled increases in coming months. The Fed cited an improving economy, tightening labor markets and an unemployment rate of just 4.1%, the lowest in 17 years.
Long term interest rates however continue to increase for a fourth week in a row. Freddie Mac reported the average 30-yr fixed rate is up over a 1/4% from the first week of the year. Increased borrowing by the US Treasury is putting upward pressure on rates. The 30-yr fixed rate ended this week about 9 basis points higher at 4.34%, but rates vary widely among lenders so be sure to shop around.
Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.
- 3515 WASHINGTON BLVD #317, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $305,000
- 5722 8TH ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22205 – $549,900
- 4635 20TH PL N, ARLINGTON, VA 22207 – $699,900
- 1716 12TH ST S, ARLINGTON, VA 22204 – $799,000
- 4612 24TH ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22207 – $919,000
- 6016 1ST ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22203 – $932,800
- 2420 NELSON ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22207 – $1,100,000
- 3418 PERSHING DR N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $1,195,000