Voting is underway in the contest to decide which vehicle decal design will wind up on on the windshields of more than 150,000 vehicles in Arlington County next year.
Arlington residents can each cast an online ballot on the county treasurer’s website through Monday, Jan. 15. This year, voters are being asked to rank each of the four finalists from 1 to 4, with 1 being their favorite and 4 their least favorite.
(As in previous years, the designs are submitted by local high school students.)
Go get a sense of which design might emerge victorious, we are conducting our own informal poll of Arlingtonians. Vote below for your favorite and we’ll compare our poll results to the final results, when the results are announced late next month.
Chamber Calls for Pause on Housing Conservation District — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is calling for the Arlington County Board to pump the brakes on a proposed Housing Conservation District policy, set for a vote at tomorrow’s Board meeting. The Chamber says the policy would affect more than 450 privately-owned properties. “The County’s failure to provide any notice to property owners that would be affected by the Framework is inconsistent with Arlington’s established government process and the level of transparency the community has come to depend on,” said Chamber President Kate Bates. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Carlin Springs Bridge Work to Resume — Demolition of the Carlin Springs Road Bridge over George Mason Drive was curtailed by winter weather last weekend, but is set to resume this weekend. Drivers should expect a number of detours in the area. [Twitter]
Fisette Tribute Packs Local Church — “A Dec. 13 tribute to departing Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette was about 90 percent heartfelt thanks for his 20 years of service in elected office. And about 10 percent celebrity roast.” The event was so well-attended that the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington was filled to capacity by those whom Fisette has not yet convinced to take the Car-Free Diet. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Gossip: Britt McHenry Back on Local Airwaves? — A noted local Twitter user who goes by the name “Clarendon Bros” shared some local TV gossip last night, claiming that Britt McHenry was seen auditioning for a job at Fox 5. McHenry at one point lived in Arlington — it is unclear if she still does — and had a well-publicized run-in with local towing company Advanced Towing. [Twitter]
Fox Leaves Crystal City BID — “After more than a decade running the Crystal City Business Improvement District, Angela Fox is stepping down. The BID’s board of directors announced Fox’s departure Thursday, but has not named a permanent replacement.” [Bisnow]
Local Homebuilder Getting Bigger — “Arlington-based homebuilder CalAtlantic Homes is purchasing Home South Communities, a privately held homebuilder based in the Atlanta area. CalAtlantic itself is in the midst of a $9.3 billion merger with Miami’s Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), expected to close early next year.” [Washington Business Journal]
Realtor Group Extends Clothing and Food Drive — “Despite the weather, the first community wide drop off for the Arlington Realtors Care (ARC) initiative, held on Saturday, Dec. 9 was a great success. ARC is sponsoring a second community wide drop off date scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16 at RGS Title.” [Press Release]
Forecasters are warning of the potential for wintry weather and a hazardous Friday evening commute.
The snow threat prompted the National Weather Service to issue the following Special Weather Statement around 11 p.m. Thursday.
…POTENTIAL WINTER COMMUTING HAZARD FOR THE BALTIMORE / WASHINGTON METRO AREAS FRIDAY AFTERNOON…
There is a potential for hazardous commuting conditions for the Friday afternoon commute. Light snow (with potential large impact due to sub-freezing road temperatures) is POSSIBLE between 1pm and 5pm Friday afternoon. There is a 50 percent chance of snow for Washington and Baltimore. If there is accumulation, it is expected to be less than an inch.
If this threat of light snow on frigid roads does materialize Friday afternoon, the Friday afternoon rush-hour could quickly turn icy on untreated road surfaces. This could lead to hazardous traveling conditions, multiple accidents, and extensive delays.
If you plan on commuting Friday afternoon, be aware of the POSSIBILITY of travel disruptions and icy roads. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.
Stay tuned for updates on this potential winter weather episode.
The local NWS office also included a link to the following video, with more information about the threat.
Stepped Up Drunk Driving Enforcement — During the holidays, from Dec. 13-31, Arlington County Police will be increasing DUI patrols as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. [Arlington County]
Step Forward in Plan for Second Rosslyn Station — “Metro officials are taking a small but symbolic step in their hope of someday building a second station in Rosslyn. On Thursday, the Metro board is expected to approve an application to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to request $2 million in grant money that would help the agency study ways to increase capacity on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines in Northern Virginia.” [Washington Post]
More on Freddie’s Award — The Arlington Human Rights Commission is scheduled to present their 2017 Human Rights Awards today. Among the winners was Crystal City staple Freddie’s Beach Bar. Owner Freddie Lutz said of the award: “I’m just extremely honored having grown up in Arlington County and went from elementary school to high school in Arlington County to be recognized in this way.” [Washington Blade]
Grumbles About Delivery Trucks on the Pike — Delivery trucks often park on Columbia Pike, blocking one of two, including during rush hour. Frustration over delivery trucks parking on the Pike led one resident to tweet a short video illustrating the issue. [Twitter]
Starting in early 2018, ARLnow plans to create a new position of Morning Editor and Enterprise Reporter. The individual hired for this position will be responsible for executing key editorial strategies around email and memberships for our growing operation.
The job duties include:
- Researching and writing our daily Morning Notes post, which links to local stories aggregated from social media and other news outlets.
- Writing a new morning email, published daily at 7 a.m., that provides readers with a concise, informative and uplifting daily briefing of local news, events and other happenings in Arlington.
- Assisting with social media engagement on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Enterprise local news reporting, including scoop-driven coverage of local government, cops and courts. The reporter will primarily work out of Arlington County government headquarters, the first beat reporter based there in more than a decade, and will focus on publishing one impactful article per day.
We are looking for a hungry, self-motivated journalist who…
- …cares deeply about local issues.
- …builds relationships and doggedly pursues scoops.
- …is empathetic and knows how to connect with an audience.
- …has at least 2-4 years of professional news reporting experience.
- …writes clean, compelling copy and effectively self-edits and self-fact checks.
This position offers competitive compensation, health insurance, 401(k) and holidays off.
To apply, send a resume and links to some of your work to: [email protected]. Note any experience you have with WordPress, Mailchimp and Adobe Creative Suite. No recruiters, please.
Another series of catalytic converter thefts has been reported in Arlington.
This time around, two thefts were reported on the outskirts of Rosslyn. Both occurred some time Monday morning or early afternoon.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2017-12120142, 2017-12120130, 2500 block of 20th Road N. and 1700 block of N. Troy Street. At approximately 12:00 p.m. on December 12, police were dispatched to the report of two larceny from autos. Between 8:30 a.m. 2:45 p.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) removed and stole the catalytic converters from two vehicles. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Willow, a 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier.
Here is what she had to say about her life so far:
Hello! I’m Willow and I’m 2 years old. Some people say I look like an Ewok, but I’m actually a Yorkshire Terrier. Seeing as my mom is a huge Disney fan, she named me after Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas.
In my spare time I like to play with all my toys (as you can see in my picture) and lay down with my parents. My daily struggle is debating if I love playing with my rope or ball more.
I also enjoy dressing up. My favorite outfit of choice is my white lifeguard sweatshirt from Bethany Beach.
When people meet me they are surprised because I am a quiet Yorkie. I was taught as a puppy not to yap. But if we are playing with toys or you come knocking at my door, then you might hear a little bark or growl!
When I grow up, I hope to be a famous soccer player. My Aunt Bee taught me everything I know. In one of my pictures, I am practicing my soccer pose for when I become famous.
I hope to meet you around Arlington!
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 of 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.
Three kiosks were tampered with and two had cash and merchandise stolen.
Police are now investigating the thefts, which happened during the key holiday shopping season.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
LARCENY (Series), 2017-12110069, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 11:00 p.m. on December 9 and 9:00 a.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) tampered with three kiosks. Cash and merchandise were reported missing from two of the businesses. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
Arlington Ready for Possible Snow — The chances of “meaningful accumulation” have since gone down, but Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services crews started applying brine to county roads Monday night in anticipation a “potential snow/ice this Wednesday evening/Thursday.” [Twitter, Washington Post]
VDOT Pleased With I-66 HOT Lane Data — NBC 4’s Adam Tuss tweets: “Doesn’t look like @VaDOTNOVA plans to change anything about the I-66 toll lanes. They say their data shows commutes were faster and more reliable.” [Twitter]
Dems Want Satellite-Voting Centers — “The Arlington County Democratic Committee could again be at loggerheads with the county’s elections office over whether to provide satellite locations for absentee voting in non-presidential-election years.” [InsideNova]
ARLnow T-Shirt Now Available — Need a gift for the ARLnow.com fan in your life? Show your Arlington pride with this long-sleeved t-shirt from the county’s No. 1 local news source. [Amazon]
ACPD Officers Helping in Puerto Rico — The Arlington County Police Department is among the departments nationwide sending officers to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to provide emergency assistance. The third ACPD team to rotate in is working on the island through Dec. 18. Officers who’ve gone say many challenges remain but there are hopeful signs as well. [Arlington Connection]
Westover Townhouse Battle Continues — Arlington County is weighing both a historic district and a “Housing Conservation District” for Westover, to protect aging but affordable garden apartments from being redeveloped into $800,000 townhomes. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
A car is on fire on the righthand shoulder of southbound I-395 just past Washington Blvd.
Arlington County Police and Virginia State Police are on scene. Firefighters are responding.
Traffic on SB I-395 is down to one lane near the scene.
More on Axios Staying in Arlington — Media startup Axios, which just inked a 10 year lease in Clarendon, is getting a $60,000 performance-based “Gazelle Grant” from Arlington County. It is the fourth company to receive the economic development grant, joining Stardog, VideoBlocks and Phone2Action. “Axios is an excellent example of a Gazelle tech company here in Arlington — fast-growing and a leader in Arlington’s robust media industry,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “Axios’ decision to remain here in Arlington as it grows and expands is the true purpose behind the Gazelle incentive program and demonstrates how Arlington’s assets are truly paying off. We are thrilled to continue to work with Axios as a partner in our business community.”
County Giving Away Free Snow Shovel — Updated at 11 a.m. — As part of a social media promotion, the Arlington County Dept. of Environment Services is giving away a free snow shovel, courtesy of Twins Ace Hardware in Courthouse, to one lucky winner who “describe[s] to us [on Twitter] or on DES Facebook your favorite phase of Arlington snow treatment and why.” [Twitter]
Public Invited to Gutshall Swearing-In — “The public is invited to join the Arlington County Board on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 for the swearing-in of Board Member-elect Erik Gutshall… The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m., and will be followed by a reception outside the Board Room, Room 307 in the County Office Building, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA, 22201.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly feature that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) It’s less than a year old, but media startup Axios is growing fast and ready to put down roots in Clarendon.
Axios will soon start the build-out process for its new space on the 13th floor of the office building at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. It expects to move out of MakeOffices and into the new space by mid-2018.
Roy Schwartz, who co-founded Axios with fellow Politico veterans Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, says the new space will provide room for Axios’ growing team while also offering “monumental views” of D.C. and Northern Virginia.
The new office is expected to have all of the accoutrement of a startup company that bridges the media and technology worlds: bigger versions of its employee lounge, dubbed “Relaxios,” and its free snack bar, “Snaxios,” in addition to features like a video studio and a “live shot” camera for television interviews of its journalists.
Schwartz says Axios currently has 90 employees but will likely have 120 by the time of the move and 150 by the end of 2018. Last month the company announced that it had raised another $20 million from venture capital firms, NBC Universal, Laurene Powell Jobs and others.
Axios received an economic development grant from Arlington County to incentivize it to stay here, Schwartz told ARLnow.com. The amount of that grant was not immediately available.
There were other factors that led the company to launch and now stay in Arlington, according to Schwartz. For one, he and Allen live in the neighborhoods around Clarendon, while VandeHei lives in Alexandria, making for an easy commute. Beyond that, however, Schwartz praised Arlington and Clarendon for its proximity to bars and restaurants, ease of access to D.C., and comparatively lower rent and lower taxes than the District.
“We’re very excited to be in Arlington,” he said. The company also has satellite offices in New York City and San Francisco.
Axios covers a number of news verticals, including politics and policy, business, technology, media, healthcare, science, energy and the “future of work.” While plenty of other national news outlets cover the same topics, Schwartz said the secret to Axios’ success is its focus on “smart brevity.”
In a world where there is “too much noise” in people’s lives, Schwartz said, Axios stands out by publishing radically concise articles that include only the most important facts and no filler.
“We’re going to cut straight to the chase,” he said. “Here is the information and, even more importantly, here is why it matters.”
Smart brevity extends to the business side of Axios. The company eschews programmatic banner ads, which Schwartz says are ineffective, and instead publishes very brief pieces of sponsored content on its site and in its popular email newsletters. Some recent clients include Morgan Stanley, Koch Industries, Fusion Media Group and Boeing.
Axios also holds sponsored events, which take advantage of smart brevity by featuring brief one-on-one interviews with newsmakers and subject matter experts, as opposed to long panel discussions.
Schwartz says its advertising has been working, producing audience engagement that is “off the charts.” Readers, he said, appreciate that in its coverage and its advertising, Axios is respectful of their time.
While BuzzFeed, Mashable and other venture capital-funded, online-only media companies have stumbled this year in their quest for growth, Axios is exceeding growth expectations. Schwartz credits smart brevity for that, in part, but also attributes Axios’ success to having the three pillars of its operation — the editorial, business and technology sides — working in concert.
Despite the challenges faced by others in the digital media industry, Schwartz he is “very confident” that Axios’ model is scalable and that its growth will continue.
The Arlington County Board will consider a resolution at its meeting this week that could help pave the way for HOV or bus-only lanes on Columbia Pike.
The county took over management of the Pike from VDOT in 2010. The Board is considering an amendment to its agreement with VDOT that would provide for “active lane management practices and associated restrictions.”
Whereas the 2010 agreement specified that the county must maintain two through lanes in each direction, the amendment would allow “use by certain specified modes only, e.g., buses, high occupancy cars, and similar high capacity modes, in order to optimize person throughput during specified times of the day.”
Such restrictions may be in place during rush hour or any other peak demand period determined by the county. At least one lane in each direction “will be available for through traffic for all modes at all times.”
The language of the amendment was approved by VDOT’s oversight body, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, on Dec. 5, according to a staff county report. The County Board is now considering a resolution formally requesting the amendment from VDOT.
The overall goal, according to the staff report, is moving more people — but not necessarily more cars — along the constrained Columbia Pike corridor.
County staff has been reviewing options related to the County’s secondary road system for how the County can support the mutual goals of the Department and the County to use the existing public right-of-way to support transportation improvements and enhancements that move more people more efficiently. While the County has demonstrated its effectiveness in increasing mobility along Columbia Pike, the constrained right-of-way limits the extent to which the County can increase the movement of people. Because Columbia Pike has restrictions on how the County can use the public right-of-way, County staff, at the direction of the County Board, has been working with the Department to develop language that would provide the County with greater flexibility now and in the future to manage Columbia Pike in a way that supports the movement of people within and through the corridor.
The change could allow for a version of Bus Rapid Transit, which was often touted as an alternative to the since-cancelled Columbia Pike streetcar. The county said in 2016 that it was “looking at…the possibility of creating locations with dedicated bus lanes, along with other innovations” along the Pike.
The county has not solicited public feedback on the amendment itself, according to the staff report.
“Public outreach is not appropriate for an administrative amendment to the Agreement,” the report states.
Planning for Transportation Changes in Rosslyn — “Local officials are now partnering with developers to make more improvements to help convince the next big corporate tenant to pick Rosslyn.” [Bisnow]
Teavana to Remain Open — Set to close next year, the Teavana store at Pentagon City mall is now expected to remain open thanks to a judge’s ruling against parent company Starbucks. [Washington Business Journal]
Lopez’s Detention Center Work Criticized — “Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, a Democrat who has represented a Hispanic-heavy South Arlington district since 2012, was paid more than $5,000 a year in 2014 and more than $10,000 a year in 2015 and 2016 by Immigration Centers of America (ICA), which operates a detention center in Farmville, Va. , according to his state financial disclosure reports.” [Washington Post]
Holiday Events for Incarcerated Parents — Today and tomorrow, the Arlington County jail will be hosting a pair of “special events to allow incarcerated mothers and fathers to visit with their children during the winter holidays.” [Arlington County]
ACPD Show Goes On Despite Snow — The Arlington County Police Department’s “Operation Santa” performance, featuring cops donning costumes and dancing for children in the community, went on Saturday despite the snowy weather. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect, as of midnight, for Arlington and much of the rest of the D.C. area.
The National Weather Service says 4-6 inches of snow is possible throughout the day today (Saturday) inside the Beltway, but other forecasters say we could see as little as an inch.
Road crews were busy pre-treating local roads and highways Friday in anticipation of the snow, which is expected to begin falling soon.
10pm: Fredericksburg area added to Winter Storm Warning. Snow will spread northwest overnight. Travel will become challenging Sat AM. For more graphics, visit https://t.co/ZOlvESgJ2H. pic.twitter.com/K69MU6KykP
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) December 9, 2017
National Weather Service has increased expected totals to 4-6”…interesting, and I’m happy if we get it…but I’ll go on record and say I’m in the camp of I think it’s too high. I see why they did it (new NAM model right there) but I just think it’s a little high for I-95. pic.twitter.com/GmfxxJROgP
— Mike Thomas (@MikeTFox5) December 9, 2017
Bumped up our snow forecast. 1 to 3 inches becomes 1 to 4 inches. Up to 7 possible in winter storm warning area S/E.
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) December 9, 2017
The advisory from NWS:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM EST SATURDAY… * WHAT… SNOW, HEAVY AT TIMES SATURDAY MORNING. PLAN ON DIFFICULT TRAVEL CONDITIONS. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES. * WHERE… PORTIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN… UNTIL 4 PM EST SATURDAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL WILL BE BETWEEN DAWN AND NOON ON SATURDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… BE PREPARED FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1.