With another week over, let’s take a look back before heading into the weekend.
These were our most-read stories of the week:
- Ballston Quarter to Be ‘Entertainment Hub’ With Addition of New ‘Experiential’ Tenants
- Bada Bing Bemoans Business Bummers, Bureaucratic Blunders; Believes Binghamton Bodes Better
- Nude Woman Wanders Into Building Lobby
- Police: Woman Robbed in Westover
- County Removes Confederate Memorial Near Bluemont Park
Feel free to discuss anything of local interest in the comments. Have ideas on what we should cover? Send tips to [email protected]. Have a great weekend!
Why did the salamander cross the road? To get to the vernal pool breeding grounds, of course.
Most people wouldn’t laugh at that, but the joke might have killed at Thursday’s salamander patrol training session at Arlington’s Long Branch Nature Center.
The nature center holds yearly salamander training sessions to educate volunteers on the dangers that salamanders and other vernal-pool-dwelling amphibians face during the annual migration.
Amphibians generally live in ponds but some, like the spotted salamander or wood frog, only live in vernal pools — watering holes that dry up in the fall. These are ideal spots for the critters to thrive in, because predators like fish and other amphibians prefer year-round pools.
But because only two or three vernal pools remain in the increasingly urbanized county, hundreds of salamanders and wood frogs have no choice but to cross the pool-adjacent driveways and sidewalks, according to Jennifer Soles, an Arlington County naturalist and long-time Arlington resident.
Soles began the salamander squad program in 2013 after attending a master naturalist training the year prior. As Long Branch Nature Center volunteers were leaving the class, salamanders and frogs began their breeding ground migration — across the parking lot, and under a lot of car tires.
“They’re all there because they love nature and it’s their master naturalist training,” said Soles. “And everyone is running over the frogs and salamanders.”
Soles grabbed a flashlight and began escorting the unhurried salamanders off of the pavement, joined by other horrified naturalists.
Arlington’s naturalists have since tried to prevent further amphibian annihilation through the salamander training sessions. At the Feb. 8 training session, at least 16 community members learned how to protect their local croakers from another Arlington County naturalist, Rachael Tolman.
The session focused on frog and salamander biology and breeding habits, and taught volunteers safe handling practices. Tolman walked volunteers through filling out scientific forms that allow on-site naturalists to predict travel patterns.
“If it’s a little squish, it’s a [spring] peeper, if it’s a medium squish, it’s a wood frog,” said Tolman, explaining how to fill out the alive-or-dead count portion of the form for the rundown animals. “If it’s kind of a spotted, long squish, it’s probably a spotted salamander.”
A salamander patrolman is nothing without his or her tool kit, which includes a reflective vest, headlamps, pens — and a garden spade for scraping squished salamanders off of the road.
While the event was intended to be for ages 13 or older, few teenagers were in attendance. Most volunteers were much older with a more developed environmental interest.
Peter Hansen, a Federal Reserve Board researcher, is a 24-year-old Arlington resident and one of the county’s master naturalists.
“I saw the email blast about the salamander patrol, and it sounded really hype,” said Hansen, noting that several of his friends are nature enthusiasts that he admires for their vast knowledge of the environment.
“I can add a lot of color to my experience in nature,” said Hansen. Most likely, he’ll be returning to serve on the salamander squad.
Single-lane, overnight closures will continue on I-66 inside the Beltway through the end of March, according to VDOT.
Crews are completing survey and “geotechnical investigation work” related to the I-66 eastbound widening project.
The single lane closures are scheduled for between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. nightly between I-495 and Fairfax Drive (Route 237). Shoulder closures are intermittently planned from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.
Real-time traffic information and lane and shoulder closure locations are available online.
More from the Virginia Department of Transportation press release:
The survey and geotechnical investigation work is needed prior to the start of construction that will add an additional through lane along four miles of eastbound I-66 between the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) and Fairfax Drive (Exit 71) in Fairfax and Arlington counties. Other key project features include constructing a new bridge over Lee Highway for the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail and providing direct access from eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro station by constructing a new ramp connection between two existing ramps (eastbound I-66 to Route 7 and the eastbound I-66 collector-distributor road adjacent to the station’s parking garage).
The additional lane will be open to traffic in fall 2020 and the overall project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.
Separately, VDOT has also announced additional overnight lane closures on Route 110 near the Pentagon.
On Monday night, Feb. 12 and Tuesday night, Feb. 13 between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night, the northbound right lane of Route 110 at the Route 27 interchange and then the southbound right lane of Route 110 will be closed to allow crews to demolish and rebuild bridge piers, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The closures will remain in place for approximately two months.
The work is part of the Route 27 over Route 110 project, which is scheduled for completion this summer.
Photo courtesy of Michael Coffman
The annual Love the Run You’re With 5K is returning to Pentagon City this Sunday, prompting some road closures.
Runners can register as a couple, as singles, or can run without signaling their relationship status. Solo registration currently costs $45 and couples’ registration is $80.
The race will begin and end at the Pentagon City mall, with after-race deals at Shake Shack and nearby Commonwealth Joe. The course runs up S. Joyce Street and along Army Navy Drive to 23rd Street S. and back.
ACPD has provided a list of road closures for the race, below.
The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures to accommodate the race:
- South Joyce Street, between South 15th Street and Army Navy Drive, will be closed from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM.
- South 15th Street, between S. Hayes Street and S. Joyce Street, will be closed from 6:00 AM until 11:00 AM (The southern entrance to the Pentagon City Mall Garage will be closed for the duration of the event).
- Army Navy Drive, between South Joyce Street and South 23rd Street, will be closed from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM.
Street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs, and illegally parked vehicles will be subject to ticketing and towing. If your vehicle is towed from a public street during this event call the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.
Race attendees are strongly encouraged to use Metro or other forms of transportation services. Participants arriving by car can park in the Pentagon City Mall garage, which will be accessible via the Army Navy Drive entrance.
Photo via Pacers Running
A new pet store is coming to Arlington County.
Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming, at 4550 Lee Highway, is holding its grand opening this Saturday (Feb. 10) at 10 a.m., where it will be offering gourmet dog treat samples and premium dog food, said a Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming press release.
The first 20 dogs to enter the store at the grand opening will receive free pet treats for a year. There will also be prizes, giveaways, and light refreshments.
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will bring ready-to-adopt rescue animals to the store.
Besides treats, Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming offers self-service and grooming services. Customers can choose to use the store’s facilities to bathe their pets or pay to have the staff do it.
The store has more than 90 locations across the country, including one in Alexandria, Va.
Photo via Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming
Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.
3663 N. Monroe Street
7 bed/5 bath, 2 half bath single-family home
Agent: Michael Albrittain
Open: Sunday 12-2 p.m.
1317 N. Glebe Road
5 bed/4 bath single-family home
Agent: Donald Weaver
Open: Saturday 12-2 p.m.
3830 N. Abingdon Street
3 bed/3 bath single-family home
Agent: Ann Petree
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
822 N. Buchanan Street
3 bed/1 bath single-family home
Agent: Keri Shull
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
3183 S. Stafford Street
3 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: Thomas Arehart
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
103 N. George Mason Drive, 103-2
2 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: Sandra Mcconville
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
1806 Key Boulevard, #9477
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Paul Greenfield
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
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.
In 2013, Jake Endres and Lee Rogan took to popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise capital to start their brewery.
Both brewers had been home brewing for several years, and agreed that the time was right open their dream brewery. Starting as a “nanobrewery” — a brewery that only brewed in small batches — out of their downtown Leesburg location, Crooked Run first brewed a classic English pale ale and a Belgian ale. They even held the distinction of being the youngest brewery owners for a time.
In 2017, Crooked Run expanded to nearby Sterling, opening a 10 barrel brewhouse, a tap room and even a taqueria — a joint venture with Leesburg’s Señor Ramon’s Taqueria.
In addition to adding space and brewing capacity, they’ve added a coolship — a special vessel for fermenting beers that is open — for sours and spontaneously fermented beers. They have been producing beers using the coolship for nearly a year and are looking forward to releasing some mixed-fermentation sours this summer. Also coming soon are some strong, barrel-aged beers.
Crooked Run has also begun to rack up recognition, namely taking gold at the 2016 World Beer Cup for their Supernatural Saison and silver at the Virginia Craft Beer Cup for their Dulce De Leche Stout.
Whether through awards or by word of mouth, they are having success. With the opening of the Sterling brewery, Crooked Run began canning their most popular beers. Now available at local bottle shops, like Dominion Wine & Beer, the cans come in four packs. They aim to increase the production of their canned offerings based on the response.
I’m going to look at three of their cans.
The first thing you have to do when drinking one of these is take in that guava pink color. Then go ahead and inhale deeply — you’ll find an aroma of berries and pinot Grigio with a distinct earthiness.
Sour IPAs can be exciting beers. For one thing, they tend to be slightly less tart than most sours. And, it’s interesting to taste how the hops interact with the sourness.
In this case, the beginning of the sip is distinctly fruity and tart. Midway, that fruit is offset by a bitter herbal flavor right before finishing with a biscuity malt. This is a tasty and flavorful sour that would be a welcomed beverage on a hot summer day. (more…)
Update at 4 p.m. — Arlington County Police released the following press release Friday afternoon.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on February 9, police responded to Yorktown High School for the report of a CPR in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a student was located unresponsive in a restroom. Arlington County Fire Department medics transported the student to Virginia Hospital Center in critical condition. [Redacted]
This remains an active investigation however, there is no known threat to the school community. 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).
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, you are not alone. Help is available through the Crisis Link Hotline at 703-527-4077.
(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A letter has gone out to Yorktown High School families this morning after a student was found collapsed in a restroom at the end of first period.
A school nurse attended to the student while staff contacted emergency services. Passerby told ARLnow.com that a large number of emergency vehicles were parked outside the school but that the streets weren’t closed off.
Bridget Loft, Yorktown’s principal, wrote that a student has been transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Initial reports from police suggested the medical condition could be life-threatening.
At approximately 9:00 AM police responded to Yorktown High School for the report of a CPR in progress. Medics transported one juvenile to the hospital in critical condition. Police remain on scene investigating. There is no known threat to the school community.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) February 9, 2018
The student’s family has been notified, and additional counselors are available on-site for distressed students.
Loft noted in her letter that the school had been placed on a “modified secure” status. Police are investigating the incident and will be present at Yorktown throughout the day.
Here’s the full letter that was sent out this morning to families:
Dear Yorktown Families:
I wanted to let you know that a student was found at the end of first period collapsed in a restroom. Our school nurse responded and staff immediately called 911. The Arlington County Fire Department arrived to provide medical aid to the student who was eventually transported to the Virginia Hospital Center. While this was happening, the student’s family was notified, and the school was placed on modified secure the building status.
At this point, I don’t have any other details to share. Our main focus at this time is on the student and family. Once details that we can share are available, we will pass them along.
We will have additional counselors available in the office, should your student need to talk with someone. I want to ensure you that there is no risk to students and staff, but we also wanted to let you know that police will remain at the school throughout the day to investigate what happened.
I want to thank our students and staff for the way that they handled the incident this morning. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the school at 703-228-5400.
Bridget Loft, Principal
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is calling the bipartisan budget deal, which passed early Friday morning after a five-hour government shutdown, “good for the country and good for Virginia.”
The deal, which adds billions of dollars in federal spending for military, disaster relief, and domestic programs, comes weeks after a historic package of tax cuts championed by President Trump and the GOP was signed into law.
Kaine is touting several portions of the spending bill as Virginian victories, such as the $3 billion for 2018 and 2019, respectively, that the budget sets aside to tackle the national substance abuse epidemic. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been funded for an additional four years, which a press release from the Senator’s office states will benefit 66,000 Virginian children.
A two year funding extension of federally-qualified community healthy centers was included in the spending bill. The Senator’s press release states that “approximately 300,000 Virginians receive health care at more than 100 community health center locations in underserved communities” across the state.
“I am proud to have worked with a bipartisan group of my colleagues last month on negotiations to reopen the government that led us toward this deal, but our work isn’t done. We now must build on this bipartisan progress and immediately proceed to debate and pass legislation that permanently protects Dreamers,” stated a press release quoting Kaine.
The bill ends military sequestration, which Kaine says has been “painful” to Virginia’s military community. It also increases national security and military spending by $80 billion in 2018 and $85 billion in 2019. Domestic spending will be increased by $63 billion in 2018 and $68 billion in 2019, which will fund education, health, and non-defense national security programs.
Other Virginia “wins” cited by Kaine, via press release, include:
- Veterans – $2 billion for FY 18 and $2 billion for FY 19 to reduce the VA health care maintenance backlog
- Child Care – $2.9 billion for FY 18 and $2.9 billion for FY 19 for child care, including for the Child Care Development Block Grant program;
- Higher Education – $2 billion for FY 18 and $2 billion for FY 19 for programs that aid college completion and affordability, including those that help police officers, teachers, and firefighters;
Drug Addiction and Mental Health – $3 billion for FY18 and $3 billion for FY19 to combat the substance abuse epidemic;
- Infrastructure: Transportation, Clean Water and Broadband – $10 billion for FY 18 and $10 billion for FY 19 to invest in infrastructure, including programs related to rural water and wastewater, clean and safe drinking water, rural broadband, roads, rail and bridges;
Photo via Sen. Tim Kaine’s office
A 360-unit luxury apartment complex has broken ground in Potomac Yard.
The new 12-story building, to be called The Sur, will have 16,000 square feet of retail space and another 25,000 square feet of shared amenities space. Units range from 557 square foot studios to 1,419 square foot three bedroom apartments. High-end features include a dog spa, a rooftop spa and a “party room.”
Situated on the site of the neighborhood’s namesake former major railroad switchyard, The Sur will be across from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s south end.
On-site construction hours on the site at 3400 Potomac Avenue have been approved from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
The development was originally approved in 2007, but Courthouse-based developer Erkiletian Development Co. sought minor modifications to the plan this past September. The site plan amendment was ultimately given the greenlight by the Arlington County Board.
Valentine’s Day card making, deal grabbing, and underwear running, plus an inclusive yoga studio, eaglet happenings, and other news of the day over in the District.
- Police say man intentionally threw himself under the bus near the National Mall. [NBC]
- Snowy owls on the National Mall. [WTOP]
- A third Gregory’s Coffee location opens. [Popville]
- Make some Valentine’s Day cards at the National Postal Museum. [Popville]
- Cupid’s Undie Run is this weekend. [Washingtonian]
- Black entrepreneur takes on D.C.’s white-washed hot yoga space. [AFRO]
- Capitol One Arena is getting a $40 million facelift. [Post]
- You can pop bon bons by day and sip rare chocolate-infused bourbons by night at the Watergate’s outdoor pop-up. [Eater]
- Eaglet watch update. [WTOP]
- Local athletes inspire DCPS girls. [AFRO]
- D.C. attorney general talks about policing in black America. [AFRO]
- Lawmakers can’t decide how to implement carbon tax. [WCP]
- Petworth, a decade later. [Urban Turf]
- Bar specials for singles around Valentine’s Day. [Post]
- On the hunt for Mardi Gras deals? [Eater]
- The death of funeral homes. [Washingtonian]
Democratic County Board Field at Two — Military veteran Chanda Choun was the only candidate for County Board to announce his candidacy at the Arlington County Democratic Committee last night. Choun joins fellow Democrat Matt de Ferranti in the race to challenge incumbent John Vihstadt. A primary will be held June 12, ahead of the general election contest against Vihstadt in November. [InsideNova]
Affordable Housing Stats for FY 2017 — “Arlington County added or preserved 556 affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income households during its 2017 fiscal year, bringing the Countywide total to more than 7,700 units.” [Arlington County]
Government Shuts Down Briefly — The government was shut down overnight as Congress failed to pass a bipartisan budget bill until around 5:30 a.m. [Politico]
HERricane Applications Accepted — Applications are being accepted in February for Arlington County’s HERricane program, which helps girls ages 13-17 to pursue careers and leadership roles in emergency management through a week-long summer camp. [Arlington County]
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.”
Home sellers finally out performed home buyers this week in Arlington. While buyers ratified 51 contracts, sellers listed 69 properties on MRIS this week. That has helped the chronic problem of low inventory. At the current pace of absorption, and with only 332 homes actively for sale, the “months of inventory” has risen from 1.02 last week to 1.6 this week.
Economists consider a market to be in equilibrium when there is 5-6 months of inventory. So, Arlington should be experiencing an extreme sellers’ market with crazy bidding wars and skyrocketing prices. But it’s not. Instead the market is more often performing like a buyer’s market.
Even in multiple contract situations, buyers are reluctant to offer much over list price, or even less than list price. The market appears schizophrenic. There is high demand in Arlington, yet those buyers seem reluctant to commit unless they perceive they are getting a great deal, which is difficult to achieve in a seller’s market.
Time is not on the buyer’s side. Interest rates rose another 10 basis points this week to their highest levels since 2014. The 30-yr fixed rates is now at 4.35%-4.5%. And rates are expected to continue their steady climb, slowly eroding buyers’ purchasing power.
Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.
- 3830 9TH ST N #307E, ARLINGTON, VA 22203 – $375,000
- 2834 ABINGDON ST S #A1, ARLINGTON, VA 22206 – $395,000
- 1001 VERMONT ST #303, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $447,500
- 4865 28TH ST S #B, ARLINGTON, VA 22206 – $549,900
- 2911 23RD ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $769,900
- 2541 MILITARY RD, ARLINGTON, VA 22207 – $1,299,000
- 2008 LINCOLN ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22207 – $1,460,000
- 1040 EDGEWOOD ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $1,880,000