Press Club

Morning Notes

Rainy evening on Crystal City’s 23rd Street restaurant row (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

New Renderings of Days Inn Development — “The plans to replace the Days Inn on Arlington Boulevard with 251 multi-family units and around 3,000 square feet of retail are coming into focus. New plans filed with Arlington County last week provide the first renderings for The Arva, the eight-story project designed by STUDIOS Architecture.” [UrbanTurf]

Yorktown Girls Lax Wins State Tourney — “After qualifying for the state tournament for the first time in 2019 and enjoying success by going 1-1 and losing in the semifinals, the Yorktown Patriots were hungry for much more in that competition. This spring, the girls lacrosse team indeed got considerably more, by winning the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tourney with a 3-0 record and capping its best season in program history.” [Sun Gazette]

Woman Assaults Officers in Pentagon City — “1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 9:00 p.m. on June 11, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, officers met with security who advised the female suspect had been smoking inside the building and they wanted her banned from the property. Officers located the suspect and asked her to leave the premises. During the incident, the suspect became combative and struck an officer in the face. The suspect continued to attempt to strike the officers, and with the assistance of an additional responding officer, she was taken into custody.” [ACPD]

Buses Causing Damage in Ballston — “Another Arlington light pole bites the dust, this time in Ballston. Police are on the scene. A tour bus that was here earlier, possibly the striking vehicle, has since left… More bus mayhem in Ballston: a tour bus ran over and damaged some of the landscaping in front of the Westin hotel, per a reader who sent this photo.” [Twitter]

Cobbler Moving to Alexandria to Expand — “After twenty years in Pentagon Row, family-owned leatherworking shop Best Foot Forward is moving to the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria early next month… ‘My dad started it as a one-man business. Now we’re looking to expand and Bradlee would be twice as big.'” [ALXnow]

Va. Realtors Worried About Market — “Members of the Virginia Realtors trade group report declining sales conditions and more concern about the future, owing to higher interest rates, more inventory and perhaps the sense among some residents that it’s time to batten down the hatches rather than take on the responsibility of a new home.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Bear Now in Fairfax County? — “A bear was sighted in the Belle Haven area on Thursday (June 9), and one Nextdoor user snapped some photos of it crossing George Washington Memorial Parkway near Belle View Boulevard… The Fairfax County Police Department says its Animal Protection Police and wildlife management specialist were alerted to bear sightings in the area over the weekend. The department has also received recent reports of a young bear moving through McLean.” [FFXnow]

Missing Middle Modifications in Portland — “The Portland City Council unanimously approved a long list of seemingly technical zoning tweaks that ease the city’s rules on construction of… housing types like townhomes, fourplexes, and cottage clusters… The program got hearty praise at the time as the nation’s most ambitious low-density zoning reform. It’s spawned an infant industry of developers building smaller, more affordable ‘missing middle’ housing. Nevertheless, the results thus far have been fairly modest, producing only about 100 additional units since the program went into effect in August 2021.” [Reason]

It’s Tuesday — Rain and storms, potentially severe, in the morning. Clearing in the afternoon. High of 82 and low of 73. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:36 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Construction site in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Expanding Board Would Require State Action — “The Civic Federation’s TiGER (Task Force in Governance and Election Reform] body has recommended a number of changes to Arlington’s governance structure, including changing the election cycle. But the most basic tenet – increasing from five to seven the number of County Board members – could determine whether the Republican governor and House of Delegates want to play nice.” [Sun Gazette]

Serious Crash on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “Serious crash with one ejected on I-395S at Arlington Ridge Road. Fire, EMS & police appeared to be looking to make sure no else was thrown from the vehicle.” [Twitter]

Narcan Now Available at Arlington Libraries — “Starting this month, NARCAN nasal spray has been added to opioid overdose emergency boxes in all seven Arlington Public Library branches as part of the Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative. The boxes are in public access points near the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at most branches; at Aurora Hills and Glencarlyn, the boxes are in prominent places where employees can easily access them.” [Arlington County]

Cobbler Hoofing It Out of Town — “Sad to report that Best Foot Forward will move out of ⁦@PentagonRow⁩ at the end of June. Lease expires. They are relocating to Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria, about 5 miles from PRow. Good quality work + family-owned/operated.” [Twitter]

Doorways Partners with Doorbell Company — “A new initiative to provide enhanced safety tools to survivors of violence has been announced by Doorways. In partnership with Ring, Doorways – a social-safety-net agency in Arlington and Falls Church – will be distributing up to 1,000 video doorbells and security cameras to clients, along with a free subscription plan for the life of each device. In addition, Ring will also provide a monetary contribution to help amplify Doorways’ impact for survivors across the local areas.” [Sun Gazette]

Spotted in Venice — “The Gondola Now shirt has gone international.” [Twitter]

It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 79 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:35 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Police at Kenmore Middle School due to security incident earlier this month (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Expect extra police patrols around Arlington schools today in the wake of yesterday’s deadly elementary school shooting in Texas.

“ACPD officers are conducting extra patrols near Arlington schools,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to ARLnow this morning, noting that “there are no known threats to Arlington County.”

Montgomery County, Md. police and other local police departments have similarly stepped up security. The extra patrols also come a day after an Alexandria high school student was stabbed to death during a large fight at the Bradlee Shopping Center, near the Fairlington neighborhood.

Arlington’s School Board voted last year to remove School Resource Officers from school buildings, but Arlington Public Schools and ACPD still coordinate on safety issues and police still regularly respond to incidents at Arlington schools.

APS, meanwhile, told families today in an email that it has “support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events.”

“School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support,” the school system said.

The full email to families is below.

Dear APS Families and Staff:

Today is a sad day for schools and all of us nationwide as we all collectively mourn the tragic loss of life that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday. Late yesterday, we also learned of an incidence of violence closer to home in Alexandria where a high school student was killed. These events follow other recent tragedies in Buffalo and other communities.

We condemn these senseless acts of violence and offer our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones. I want you to know that the health and safety of our schools, and the students and staff in our care, remain our highest priority. We prioritize security in all our buildings, and our safety plans are reviewed by staff, in collaboration with local first responders, as we all work to maintain the safety and security of our schools.

We understand that our students and staff may need additional support during this time. We want to reinforce that we have support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events.

School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support. Staff should contact the Employee Assistance Program. Below are some resources that may be helpful during this time:

Let us continue working together to protect our children and community. Please remain vigilant and report any concerning behavior or other incidents you see or hear to your school administrator or supervisor.

Thank you for your partnership.

Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

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Morning Notes

“End Road Work” sign in Ballston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Welcome to Our Summer Interns — Two interns have joined ARLnow for the summer. Mavis Chan of the University of Missouri will focus on local news reporting while Pia Kramer, graduate of Virginia Tech and Arlington’s Washington-Liberty High School, will focus on audience engagement.

Passengers Spend Hours on Planes at DCA — “Thais Austin wanted to get home to the District after a weekend visit with family in Jacksonville, Fla. Instead, she said, she and other passengers were stuck on the Reagan National Airport taxiway for three hours Sunday night, unable to exit their plane… Hundreds of passengers on at least a half-dozen other flights reported similar delays after thunderstorms downed trees, flooded roads and left thousands without power in the Washington region.” [Washington Post]

Armed Robbery in Crystal City — “At approximately 10:02 p.m. on May 23, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the three victims were walking on the sidewalk when they were approached from behind by the unknown suspects. Suspect One brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s property, including their clothing. During the incident, Suspect One struck the victims with the firearm, causing injury. The suspects then fled into a parking garage with the stolen property which included cash, clothing and electronics.” [ACPD]

Signature Season Salutes Sondheim — “Signature Theatre announces its 33rd season today, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with the legendary Stephen Sondheim. Signature has produced 31 Sondheim productions in its 32 season history – more than any other theater in North America. The 33rd season will feature three more.” [Signature Theatre]

Michigan Election Fraud Has Arlington Link — A man at the center of a scandal over allegedly fraudulent petition signatures in the Michigan governor’s race was previously convicted of a similar crime in Arlington following an unsuccessful attempt to change the county’s form of government. [TPM]

Student Killed in Fight Near Fairlington — “A teenager from Alexandria City High School was killed during a ‘large fight’ at the Bradlee Shopping Center McDonald’s, police say. According to scanner traffic, the incident started around 12:21 p.m. with a call about a brawl happening at the McDonald’s at 3646 King Street. Police said one person was stabbed and critically injured, then pronounced dead at the hospital.” [ALXnow]

It’s Wednesday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 65 and low of 57. Sunrise at 5:50 am and sunset at 8:24 pm. [Weather.gov]

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It appears that Rosslyn is getting a new fast-casual dining option.

A permit application was filed yesterday for a new &pizza location in the Central Place development at 1800 N. Lynn Street.

It was not immediately clear which storefront the pizzeria would occupy, though the former Little Beet space at the corner of N. Lynn Street and 19th Street N. seems to be a likely candidate. The New York-based vegetarian restaurant chain closed its Rosslyn location last year after about three years in business.

The new &pizza will have competition from Wiseguy Pizza, which is just across Lynn Street.

There are two existing &pizza locations in Arlington, in Ballston and at Reagan National Airport. Just across the Arlington border are a pair of &pizza locations in Alexandria: in Potomac Yard and in a just-opened storefront at the Bradlee Shopping Center near Fairlington.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Morning Notes

Arlington Spots with Great Fried Chicken — Washington Post food columnist Tim Carman lists three Arlington eateries among the seven serving some of the best fried chicken sandwiches in the D.C. area. The Arlington locations on the list are Queen Mother’s Fried Chicken, Etta Faye’s Fried Chicken, and Fuku. The latter two are “ghost kitchens,” available via delivery only. [Washington Post]

Regional Real Estate Record — “Average home-sales prices across Northern Virginia reached an all-time high in 2020, and total sales volume was second only to the pre-recession boom of 2005, as the market shrugged off COVID and the resulting government-imposed lockdown to see its first year-over-year sales increase since 2017.” [InsideNova]

DCA Still Struggling During Pandemic — “Only three states in the nation are faring as poorly in an aviation rebound as Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, according to new data. In December, the year-over-year passenger count at the airport was down 74.3 percent from December 2019, according to figures from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Atlantis Restaurant Closing — “After nearly 40 years in business, Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant will close on Jan. 24… The Greek and Mediterranean restaurant at 3648 King Street in the Bradlee Shopping Center has been open sporadically throughout the pandemic, and has only served carryout.” [ALXnow]

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Arlington County and the City of Alexandria are applying for a pair of grants that would bring significant changes to the Mt. Vernon Trail and a portion of King Street near Fairlington.

The county and the city are supporting each other’s grant applications to the Virginia SMART SCALE transportation funding program.

Alexandria is asking the Commonwealth for up to $40 million for what it calls the Upper King Street Multimodal Improvement project. The project “would fund design, right-of-way and construction of traffic/multimodal and streetscape improvements along King Street (VA 7) between Quaker Lane / Braddock Road and Menokin Drive,” adjacent to Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood.

The car-oriented stretch is nonetheless a key pedestrian connection between Fairlington and the Bradlee Shopping Center. It has seen a number of significant crashes over the past few years.

“Today, there is a significant lack of multimodal facilities, contributing to safety needs along this corridor,” notes a county staff report, attached to a resolution supporting the application which will be considered by the Arlington County Board this weekend.

Also this weekend, the Board will consider its own SMART SCALE application, which asks for $20 million to widen and reconstruct 6.5 miles of the Mt. Vernon Trail between Roosevelt Island in Arlington and Jones Point Park, at the bottom of the Beltway, in Alexandria.

More from another county staff report:

This project would provide funding to the National Park Service (NPS) to improve and reconstruct approximately 6.5 miles of the Mount Vernon Trail in Arlington and Alexandria, from Roosevelt Island to near Jones Point Park. A portion of the 6.5 miles is within the District of Columbia; the SMART SCALE application is only for the portion in Virginia, with the District of Columbia portion funded separately. The National Park Service (NPS) will manage the project across all jurisdictions. The project widens the trail’s paved surface from between seven and eight feet to 11 feet where feasible, and makes other associated improvements including striping center and edge lines, signage, improved bridges, and realigned trail intersections. On June 23, 2020, the Alexandria City Council approved a resolution of support for Arlington to submit one project application for the trail portions in Virginia.

A recent National Park Service report recommended a widening of the trail due to heavy use and crash risks.

The county is also asking for $29.1 million in SMART SCALE funding to build two new street-level elevators to the Courthouse Metro station, including a replacement of the existing elevator.

The staff report, however, notes that the odds of any project being funded are relatively low.

“For this round’s pre-application cycle, 484 pre-applications were submitted for a total project cost of $7.5 billion, with nearly $3.1 billion in costs attributable to the VDOT Northern Virginia District,” county staff wrote. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately $700 million to $800 million in funding statewide was expected to be available for award in this round of SMART SCALE.”

“Generally, large projects that expand highway or transit capacity score well, with smaller projects scoring less well, but remaining competitive due to their comparatively lower costs,” the report adds.

Both the resolution and the application authorization are on this Saturday’s County Board agenda.

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Morning Notes

Fire Behind Restaurant in Crystal City — Firefighters responded to a small blaze outside a restaurant in Crystal City last night around 7:30 p.m. The fire, reported to be under a deck behind Andalusia Hookah, Bar & Lounge (525 23rd Street S.), was quickly extinguished, but not before a large fire department response swarmed the scene. Some smoke damaged was reported. [Twitter]

Santa, Carolers at DCA — ” Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport [is] ready to celebrate the holiday season with a variety of performances, giveaways and surprises for passengers throughout the month of December.” [Press Release]

Christmas Tree Fire Safety — “It’s the holiday season in Arlington, which means it’s time to put up your own Christmas tree in the living room. However, be aware you are bringing a major risk into your home… The Arlington County Fire Department says they don’t encourage a live tree in the house, but if you do have a live tree, keep it really watered. Also, make sure to keep any sources of ignition at least three feet away.” [Patch]

Arlington Resident Makes 30 Under 30 List — Adam Richelieu, a 29-year-old Arlington resident who works as a salary cap manager for the NFL Players Association, has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Sports list for 2020. [Forbes]

Impeachment Banner on Arlington Overpass — “Spotted [Monday]: a banner saying ‘Impeach for our country’ on the George Mason Drive bridge over Route 50. County staff said signs of any kind placed on country property like this are not permitted and will be removed.” [Twitter]

Nearby: New Restaurant Near Fairlington — “The tables are set and the staff at El Saltado Restaurant and Carryout (3616 King Street) say it’s just about ready to open in the Bradlee Shopping Center. The restaurant is replacing the Hong Kong Bistro on the east side of the shopping center.” [ALXnow]

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Morning Notes

Silver Spring Man Wins Soggy MCM — “Jordan Tropf just wanted to see what he could do. Turns out, he could win the Marine Corps Marathon. Leading from the start, the 27-year-old Silver Spring resident built a lead of a 1:26 at the halfway point and went on to win by 70 seconds in 2:27:43, much of the second half coming in a driving rain.” [Run Washington, Washington Post, WTOP]

Arlington World Series Surprise on ‘Today’ — The Today Show aired a segment on the Nottingham Elementary School crossing guard who was surprised with World Series tickets from parents and students. [Twitter]

Shirlington Employment Center Moving — “The Shirlington Employment and Education Center (SEEC) is gearing up for a two-digit move – from 22206 to 22204. Facing the need to decamp from its office space (and facility for day laborers to congregate) in its namesake Shirlington, SEEC has worked with the Arlington County government to obtain space in Arlington Mill along the Columbia Pike corridor.” [InsideNova]

Dorsey Pushes for Clearer Metro Refund Policy — “When one Metro train crashed into another soon after a Nationals playoff game, Metro decided to cancel its ‘Rush Hour Promise’ refunds for the following afternoon’s commute… Arlington County Board Chair and Metro Board member Christian Dorsey hopes for more discussion about how explicit the terms should be, even if it is not reasonable to foresee every possible event.” [WTOP]

Nearby: New Bank Near Fairlington — “A new Bank of America location is coming to the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria. The space at 3690G King Street was previously home to Queen Bee Designs.” [ALXnow]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

A Look at Bryce Harper’s Rosslyn Apartment — “For much of the time that Harper was in a Nationals’ uniform, he rented a two-bedroom, 2,000 square-foot loft condo at the Wooster and Mercer Lofts, a luxury residential development from Abdo Development in Arlington.” [UrbanTurf]

Crash Takes Out Traffic Signal Near Fairlington — Per Alexandria Police yesterday: “Use caution in the 3600 block of King St, the Bradlee shopping center. A vehicle crash caused a traffic light outage. Treat uncontrolled intersections as 4-way stops. Be patient & take turns.” [Twitter]

Car Careens Over Wall in Arlington Mill — A car somehow rolled over a low wall and onto a sidewalk across from the Arlington Mill Community Center yesterday. The circumstances surrounding the crash are unclear. [Twitter]

Big Hole in Road Near Shirlington — A main road between the Shirlington and Fairlington neighborhoods was blocked for a period of time yesterday due to large hole in the road. The closure happened on 31st Street S., where a new sound wall is being constructed, during yesterday’s nightmarish evening commute. [Facebook]

Ballston Startup Gets Funding — MotoRefi, an auto refinance startup we profiled earlier this week, has “announced a $4.7 million seed raise led by Accomplice with participation from QED Investor sand Motley Fool Ventures. Ryan Moore, co-founder of Accomplice, will join MotoRefi’s board of directors.” [MotoRefi]

Service Cut to Metrobus Line — Metro is reducing service to Metrobus Route 2A (Dunn Loring-Ballston), after a ridership drop. Metro increased service to the line a few years ago and that net increase is now being eliminated. [Twitter]

Nearby: Companies Worried About HQ2 — “‘Recently a company was looking to put 600 jobs in this area, and they decided not to come here because they were concerned about getting the workers they need,’ [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Chair Cathy] Lange said, not identifying the company. ‘Many of the companies are worried that their workers in Fairfax County are going to be hired by Amazon. And they are not going to be able to have their growth plans.'” [Washington Business Journal]

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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.

https://twitter.com/DASHBus/status/938086288271568896

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