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by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

Erik Gutshall and Libby Garvey debate at an Arlington Young Democrats eventThe two candidates for the Democratic Arlington County Board nomination will face off in a candidates forum on Monday, May 16.

The forum is being organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. It will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Hyatt in Rosslyn (1325 Wilson Blvd). ARLnow.com, a Chamber member, is the event’s media sponsor.

During the forum, incumbent Libby Garvey and challenger Erik Gutshall will be asked a variety of questions, with a special focus on local business.

Arlington Chamber of Commerce logo“This business-themed candidate forum will feature a moderated discussion of topics important to the Arlington business community, and will provide each candidate with the opportunity to engage with local business leaders and address the key issues for the business community,” the Chamber said. “This event will also offer attendees the chance to gain an inside look into the candidates’ views on business in Arlington County.”

(Perennial independent candidate Audrey Clement, who has qualified for the ballot again this year, has also been invited to participate.)

In a debate earlier this month, Gutshall lamented that Arlington County’s economic development efforts are “geared towards the types of businesses that are going to fill office buildings,” more so than helping small businesses. Garvey said the county is “aware that small businesses are having issues” and is holding a small business summit next week.

Meanwhile, the county’s high office vacancy rate — some 8 million square feet of office space is vacant in Arlington — remains a significant issue.

This candidate forum is open to the general public. Registration is $10. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Arlington County Democratic Committee is planning its own candidate debate from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4. The debate will be held at GMU’s Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive).

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Police car lightsA pizza delivery driver’s car was stolen while he was making a delivery in Courthouse yesterday afternoon.

Working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police say there were able to locate the vehicle in D.C. and take the suspect into custody.

From an ACPD crime report:

GRAND THEFT AUTO, 160428031, 1400 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 1:10 p.m. on April 28, a pizza delivery vehicle was stolen while the driver was on a delivery. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in Washington D.C. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Warrants were obtained for grand larceny auto for James Lee Thomas III, 38, of Washington D.C.

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm 0

Testy-Fest-2016-Logo-FBThe ever-popular Montana State Society Testicle Festival is only two weeks away.

Now in its 12th year, the festival is taking place from 6-11 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. As usual, it’s being held at the American Legion hall at 3445 Washington Blvd, in Virginia Square.

The event is, of course, all about the all-you-can-eat Rocky Mountain Oysters, but for those who aren’t fans of “swinging beef” — also known as “cowboy caviar” or “Montana tendergroins” — there are other options thanks to food trucks that will be parked behind the hall. And then there’s the beer and Crown Royal.

Here’s how the pun masters at the Montana State Society are promoting their big day.

You’d be NUTS to miss this! The Montana State Society would like to invite you to have a ball (literally!) at the 12th annual D.C. Testy Fest – “Members Only” – to be held from 6:00PM – 11:00PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2016 at the Arlington American Legion.

Last year over 600 people flocked to the event to enjoy live music provided by the Wil Gravatt Band and graze on all-you-can-eat Rocky Mountain Oysters! Thirsty? Wash them down with a limitless supply of Crown Royal (A.K.A liquid courage) & beer – all for the bargain price of $25 bucks! While the theme this year is “Members Only,” all are welcome at this great event.

Our Rocky Mountain Oysters are prepared by legendary chef Frank McGraw, and shipped fresh from the Rock Creek Lodge in Western Montana. Not your ‘bag’? Don’t worry baby! We will have food trucks there selling delicious grub. Get there early, the first guests will also get a T-Shirt to forever memorialize the event.

What: 12th Annual DC Testicle Festival “Members Only”
When: Saturday, May 14th 2016, 6:00PM – 11:00PM
Where: Arlington American Legion, 3445 N. Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA (metro accessible via Virginia Square or Clarendon stations)
TICKETS: $25 online OR $30 at the door. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2540264
**MUST BE 21+ years of age!

Prepare to go Ballistic! For more information and to see all of your friends who are attending please visit our Facebook page for the event! https://www.facebook.com/events/104383383301895

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Reagan National AirportReagan National Airport is holding a large-scale emergency preparedness exercise Saturday morning.

From 9 a.m. to noon, emergency responders will swarm “a remote area of the airfield” as part of a a simulated aircraft accident. The exercise will include a period of fire and smoke, 120 volunteer “victims,” multiple support helicopters and a river rescue response.

Nearby residents can expect to hear and/or see the exercise in progress.

“The full-scale emergency preparedness exercise, which is the culmination of months of planning and coordination across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines, is part of Federal Aviation Administration-mandated safety training to ensure airports are prepared for real-life aircraft emergencies,” notes a press release. “Airports are required to conduct a full-scale exercise every three years in order to be certified by the FAA.”

The rest of the press release is below.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will hold an emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to approximately 12 p.m. A simulated aircraft accident will give the airport’s first responders an opportunity to put their emergency plans into action while providing hands-on training to airport and airline staff, hospitals, local jurisdictions and other emergency personnel. During the exercise, emergency personnel will respond as in a real emergency, including the use of sirens, firefighting equipment and helicopters.

The exercise will be held in a remote area of the airfield and will not affect normal airport operations or flights. Although the site will not be visible to most passengers, reminders about the exercise will be announced on Saturday morning via flyreagan.com, @Reagan_Airport on Twitter and public address systems in the airport.

Specifics of the exercise scenario have not been shared in advance with responding participants. The exercise will include the following elements to add realism to the simulated emergency:

  • Participation by Airports Authority Fire and Rescue, Police and Airport Operations personnel
  • Numerous emergency vehicles responding as mutual aid support from surrounding communities
  • A brief period of fire and smoke
  • Conversations between dispatchers and responders on emergency radio frequencies
  • About 120 volunteer role players, moulaged to simulate injuries sustained from the incident
  • Support helicopters responding to the emergency exercise
  • A river rescue emergency response

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the exercise elements may be seen or heard on Saturday morning from areas surrounding the airport – especially in Arlington and Alexandria near U.S. Route 1, George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-395 and along the Potomac River near the airport.

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Historic marker in Fairlington

Cooley Joins DJO Football Staff — Former Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley has joined the Bishop O’Connell High School football staff as the offensive line and tight ends coach. Cooley, who currently co-hosts the afternoon drive radio show on ESPN 980, is shifting to a morning slot at the station, thus allowing him to coach. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Arlington Tech Light on Female Students — Only 21 percent of incoming freshmen at the new Arlington Tech high school program are female. That number is “not high enough,” an administrator told community members. [InsideNova]

North Arlington Road Closure — N. Sycamore Street is scheduled to be closed from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today between Little Falls Road and 27th Street due to water service installation work. [Arlington County]

Architect Chosen for Gondola Study — Portland, Oregon-based ZGF Architects has been selected to conduct the feasibility study for a gondola system between Rosslyn and Georgetown. ZGF, which also has offices in D.C., worked on the preliminary concept for the Portland Aerial Tram, which opened in 2006. [Georgetowner, Urban Turf]

Real Estate Firm Raises $100,000 for Free Clinic — McLean-based Stewart Commercial Realty has helped to raise more than $100,000 for Arlington Free Clinic’s dental program. The program provides dental care to low-income, uninsured Arlington residents. The company held a fundraiser for the program in Courthouse last weekend. [Facebook]

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Arlington police carThe Arlington County Police Department will be collecting unwanted prescription drugs at several locations on Saturday.

It’s part of the National Take-Back Initiative, which is aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse. It also helps prevent accidental ingestion and the contamination of water supplies.

“The Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs,” ACPD said in a press release. “Bring your medications for disposal to the designated collection sites. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.”

The event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the following locations.

  • Fire Station #1 (500 S. Glebe Road)
  • Fire Station #8 (4845 Lee Highway)
  • Fire Station #9 (1900 S. Walter Reed Drive)

“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” the press release notes. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.”

“If residents are unable to participate in this event, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services advises residents to throw unwanted prescription drugs in the trash.”

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm 0

Stephanie StudentA couple of weeks ago, a rep for Instrata Pentagon City, a high-end luxury apartment building on 15th Street S. near the Fashion Centre mall, reached out to us about a unique amenity the building offers its residents: a “lifestyle concierge.”

Having not heard of such a thing before — most local news reporters do not live in buildings with a lifestyle concierge — we asked Stephanie Student, who holds that position, what a lifestyle concierge does and why an apartment building should have one.

Here are some excerpts from that interview.

ARLnow: In your own words, what does a lifestyle concierge do?

Stephanie: As a lifestyle concierge, my job is to make residents’ lives easier! I’m here to take care of their needs, no matter how big or small, and assist wherever I can. Another big part of my job is organizing resident-exclusive events — everything from cake-decorating classes and oyster shucking to beer-tasting and fitness classes. These events and classes really help create a sense of community among residents and I’ve seen some wonderful friendships blossom between residents who had never met before but attended the same event and really hit it off.

ARLnow: Why is it important for Instrata to have a lifestyle concierge?

Stephanie: Luxury lifestyle apartments are not uncommon in most metropolitan areas, but Instrata has recognized that renters want more than just high-end finishes and nice common spaces. They also want a place where they feel they have friends and connections–a place that feels like its own “neighborhood.” By providing residents with a concierge who can act at a “go-to” for questions and assistance, and fun events that encourage interaction, they get all of that plus the more typical perks of high-end buildings.

ARLnow: What are some of your personal favorite activities in the neighborhood?

Stephanie: Pentagon Row is full of fun shops and restaurants, not to mention amazing venues and events! There’s a skating rink in the winter, 5K Fridays through the month of April, and outdoor movie nights in the summer. This August and September, the movies will be a complete run of the Star Wars series. I can’t wait!

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 4:20 pm 0

A man robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of N. Quaker Street and Fern Street, just across from Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood, this morning.

The man passed a note to a teller shortly before noon, Alexandria Police said in a press release (below). He was wearing a gray coat, dark pants and a “Brooklyn Nets” hat.

Other bank customers can be seen lined up behind the man in one of the surveillance photos released by police.

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank located at 1711 Fern Street. On Thursday, April 28, at 11:40 a.m., a man entered the bank and passed the teller a note. He demanded money, the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.

The suspect is described as a male with a medium complexion, approximately 5’6″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a baseball cap, glasses and a gray coat. Investigators believe this is the same suspect from the bank robbery on April 18, 2016.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this bank robbery.

Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Christine Deibes at 703.746.6819.

Update at 5:50 p.m. — The same bank robber struck in Alexandria 10 days ago, says the FBI.

FBI bank robbery wanted poster

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

SpinFire co-owners Fouad Qreitem and Pierre Garçon. Photo credit: Joy Asico.Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon will be holding an NFL Draft day party tonight in Rosslyn at his pizza restaurant, SpinFire.

“Garçon and his teammates will help welcome in the new class of professional players with a watch party for football fans and pizza aficionados alike,” according to a press release (below).

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature a $20.16 pizza and wing special.

The event is taking place starting at 6 p.m. at SpinFire, which is located at 1501 Wilson Blvd.

Wide receiver Pierre Garçon will celebrate the 2016 Draft Day with a special party at SpinFire Pizza’s Rosslyn location on April 28 at 6 p.m.

Garçon and his teammates will help welcome in the new class of professional players with a watch party for football fans and pizza aficionados alike.

SpinFire, which Garçon founded with his business partner Paisano’s Pizza founder Fouad Qreitem, will offer partygoers a $20.16 special which includes one large pizza and eight wings.

Guests can also try SpinFire’s seven delicious new menu items, including buffalo and barbecue chicken wings, garlic breadsticks and signature SpinFire salads, including The Greek, which features romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, banana peppers, kalamata olives and feta cheese and The Spinach Salad, topped with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, candied pecans and dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

SpinFire, with locations in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood and Ashburn, Va., specializes in made-to-order individual pizzas, gourmet salads and hearty calzones, all freshly served in 90 seconds.

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 11:15 am 0

Arlington Public Schools administration buildingArlington Public Schools says around 40 more employees have been victims of a data breach that compromised employee tax information.

That’s in addition to the 28 employees APS said were affected last week.

APS said an unknown party or parties were able to login to APS’ secure data system, STARS, via use of “personally identifiable information… from an unknown source.”

Employees were given the latest update on the data breach Wednesday afternoon, said Assistant Superintendent Linda Erdos.

APS is taking steps to better secure its systems, employees were told.

In addition to the steps we took last week to contract with cybersecurity experts to assist with our on-going investigation, we have put in place several more precautions to protect all employees’ personal information.

1.       We have changed the STARS password for all accounts that may have been compromised.

2.       We have disabled the “self-service password reset” feature in STARS. Now, if you need to reset your password, you need to call the Help Desk at x2847.

3.       We also have added a new requirement for logging into STARS with a device that is outside of the APS network.  The system will now require you to provide your APS network username and password first before you can log into STARS.

With the help of the outside organizations and experts that we have hired, our entire team in the Department of Information Services continues to focus on the ongoing investigation.  In addition, we have obtained the services of an outside cybersecurity expert to advise us on additional steps that can be taken to further ensure our network security.  We have also contracted with an outside organization to perform regular security audits of our network in the future.

Shortly after our first article on the data breach was published last week, a tipster told ARLnow.com that the problem was bigger than APS had admitted.

What the ‘announcement’ did not say was that multiple APS employees have been informed by the IRS in the last two weeks that fraudulent returns for 2015 have been filed with their name and social security number along with that of their spouses and children, information beyond W2 information. This is beyond the supposedly 28 employees breached by the exposure of their W2s.

Here’s what the same tipster said earlier this week.

In a follow up to your story of a week ago. In addition to the 28 employees, there are over 90 APS employees who have been impacted by a data breach with many having fraudulent tax returns filed using their names and social security numbers along with their dependents.

Said APS: “We will continue our investigation of the most recent event and update everyone if we obtain additional information.”

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 10:40 am 0

A two-vehicle collision resulted in an SUV overturning on Route 1 (Jefferson Davis) this morning.

The crash happened in rainy weather around 10:15 a.m., at the 27th Street S. intersection in Crystal City. An SUV flipped on its roof and a car suffered heavy front-end damage in the wreck.

Two ambulances have been called to the scene, but none of the injuries are reported to be life-threatening.

Northbound Route 1 is down to one lane as crews continue to clean up the wreckage and spilled fluids.

Hat tip to @SRod17

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Potomac River calm (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Residents Supportive of Cemetery Expansion Plan — The military held a meeting yesterday to reveal preliminary plans to expand Arlington National Cemetery and realign Columbia Pike. Local residents were generally supportive of the plan and the need to expand the cemetery. [Washington Post]

Arlington Woman Turns 100 — The Sunrise senior living community in Arlington has celebrated the 100th birthday of a resident, Kathleen Hanawalt. Hanawalt celebrated the event with her daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Hanawalt’s husband died in 1969. [InsideNova]

Endorsements for Gutshall, Talento — Arlington County Board challenger Erik Gutshall has picked up a trio of endorsements from state lawmakers. State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Rip Sullivan have endorsed Gutshall in his primary challenge against County Board Chair Libby Garvey. Meanwhile, School Board candidate Tannia Talento has received the endorsement of School Board member Reid Goldstein. [Blue Virginia, InsideNova]

Sexual Assault Awareness Event at the Pentagon — All branches of the military were represented at a recent event to raise awareness of and combat sexual assault in the military. “Walk-a-Lap for a Survivor” was held in the Pentagon courtyard on April 20. Also participating in the event were members of Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families. [Pentagram]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Marymount Farmers Market logo (image via Facebook)A launch date has been set for the new farmers market at Marymount University.

The market will launch on Saturday, May 21, according to its website. It will be held at Marymount’s surface parking lot at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive, on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., through Nov. 19.

Free parking is available at Marymount’s Blue Garage.

The market, which was organized by local residents, is billing itself as the only farmers market in Arlington north of Lee Highway.

“Featuring a fresh, delicious, organic, and healthy variety of foods, the Marymount Farmers Market was created and developed by your North Arlington neighbors and Civic Associations in partnership under the Lee Highway Alliance,” the website notes. “It is hosted by Marymount University and managed by Field to Table.”

“The Marymount Farmers Market is a local producer-only market. Each of our vendors grows, bakes, roasts, cooks, or prepares all of their products within 125 miles of Arlington County. Produce is usually picked within a day or two of the market so it is as fresh as possible.”

Photo via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Duchess, a hound mix who’s a total daddy’s girl and the scourge of rabbits everywhere.

Duchess knows that her grand-dog-parents are total pushovers when it comes to table scraps and has some refined tastes when it comes to wineries and vacation destinations.

Here’s was adoptive dog mom Andrea had to say about her.

Duchess (Dutch for short) is a 7-year-old hound mix who is a sweet, talkative, and cuddly lady from Dublin, VA. Her dad — and favorite of her two parents — Devin stopped by a local shelter one day while visiting his family and couldn’t help but take her home after she sat on his foot and gave him a look that said, “let’s hit the road.” Devin and Dutch moved to Arlington in 2014 where they met Andrea (me!) and we’ve been living the Three’s Company life ever since.

Dutch misses the country life but stays in touch with her roots by chasing after the Arlington bunnies (don’t worry, she’s too slow to catch them.) She loves long walks, but seems to think she’s in charge and is determined to walk aimlessly around Arlington for hours. Usually this ends in a tug-of-war between her and whoever is on the other side of her leash making it look like Duchess is trying to run away and find new owners, but we’re working on it. I promise.

Like any dog, Duchess loves treats and scraps. She gets more than enough of both from her grandparents, who spoil her rotten. She is also a big fan of road trips (aka sitting on my lap in the car until my legs go numb) and wineries (good news, we do too!) She’d do anything to stay outdoors and lay in the sunshine (she’s also a total beach bum) and convincing her to leave our sunny patio is always an epic contest of wills.

Dutch is the highlight of our days and we are usually the highlight of hers (it depends on how good the treats were on any given day.) If you see me being dragged down the street by this adorable, one ear up/one ear down gentle lady, feel free to say hello and fall in love with her as quickly as we did.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

2001 Clarendon Blvd (file photo)(Updated at 11:33 a.m.) A new hardware store is coming to Courthouse.

Fairfax-based Twins Ace Hardware will open an Arlington location on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon apartment building late this summer, according to a company announcement

The store will sell a “wide variety” of products and span 5,560 square feet, the announcement reads.

A building permit application for the new business was filed on Monday.

A hardware store is one of the most often-requested retail amenities for the Clarendon-Courthouse area, following the 2005 closure of Virginia Hardware on Wilson Blvd.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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