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by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

George WashingtonArlington residents and visitors will be able to remember our first president Monday by exercising their freedom to park on the street without feeding a meter.

Monday is George Washington Day in Virginia. Others know the holiday, long associated with mattress and appliance sales, as Presidents Day.

Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and other facilities will be closed Monday. Parking meters will not be enforced.

Trash and recycling collection, however, will go on as normal.

by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

If you’re looking for a new home, Arlington has several domiciles to walk through this weekend.

Check out our real estate section for a full listing of open houses this weekend. Here are a few highlights:

5216 8th Road South5216 8th Road South
2 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Michael Webb
Listed: $170,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2927 C Woodstock Street2927 C Woodstock Street
2 Bed/2.5 Bath Townhome
Agent: Joan Sutton
Listed: $399,950
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1600 Oak Street1600 Oak Street
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Zabrine Watson
Listed: $399,990
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

5225 7th Road South5225 7th Road South
5 Bed/3 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Keri Shull
Listed: $660,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1530 Key Boulevard1530 Key Boulevard
2 Beds/2.5 Bath Condo
Agent: Raymond Zakka
Listed: $777,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2356 Pierce Street2356 Pierce Street
4 Bed/3 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Virginia Smith
Listed: $1,050,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

Real estate agents, if you don’t see your listings in our real estate section shoot us an email and we’ll let you know what your office needs to do to get listed.

by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

A bike tire is all that remains of a bike parked in Shirlington (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Albino Squirrel Sighting — There has been another sighting of an albino squirrel in Arlington. Video of the snow white squirrel was posted to Arlington County’s social media accounts. [Facebook]

‘Day Without Immigrants’ Hits DoD Food Court — Yesterday’s “Day Without Immigrants” strike resulted in multiple restaurants being closed in the Pentagon food court and long lines at the restaurants that remained open. [Fox News]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

Arlington firefighters are battling a house fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Wakefield High School.

The blaze was reported at a residential property the 1000 block of S. Dinwiddie Street just after 4:15 p.m.

The Arlington County Fire Department tweeted that it is dealing with “heavy smoke and fire” on the property. The fire broke out in the rear of a two story home and, as of 4:35 p.m., has been extinguished, according to scanner traffic.

Police have closed S. Columbus Street at Columbia Pike due to the large number of fire department vehicles in the area.

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Rosslyn skyline and birds (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Restaurants Closed for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ — A number of restaurants in Arlington will be closed for the pro-immigration “Day Without Immigrants” strike. Among the expected closures: Jaleo, Busboys and Poets, Pupatella, Capitol City Brewing, Circa and Sweetgreen. [Washingtonian, Twitter, Facebook]

New Photos of Bank Robbery Suspect — The Arlington County Police Department has released additional photos of the suspect in last Friday’s Navy Federal Credit Union bank robbery in Ballston. [Twitter]

Arlington Rapist Charged in D.C. Case — Ronald Berton, who was convicted of raping a woman in Lyon Village in 2010, “has been charged with kidnapping and raping a woman in Northwest Washington in 2007, according to police and court documents.” Berton is only serving 10 years in prison for his Arlington rape conviction, after the initial conviction was overturned and he was retried for the crime. [Washington Post]

Resolution Commending Wardian — A joint resolution in the Virginia General Assembly commends superhuman Arlington marathoner Michael Wardian for his World Marathon Challenge record, which he set last month. [Virginia Legislative Information System]

Facilities Committee Goes on a Ride — Last Saturday morning, Arlington officials and the county’s Joint Facilities Advisory Committee boarded an ART bus and went on a tour of sites that “could help the County Government and Arlington Public Schools resolve pressing capital facilities needs.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: More Potomac Paddling — “The National Park Service said it plans to expand public access for kayaking and rowing on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia’s Georgetown neighborhood,” according to the Associated Press. “The agency said in a statement this week it has approved a plan for the phased development of 42,000 square feet of facilities near the confluence of Rock Creek, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 8:35 pm 0

Jim Vandehei (photo courtesy Axios)Jim VandeHei was a political writer for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post before co-founding Politico in 2006.

A decade later, Politico is a major force in the news industry and VandeHei has moved on to found another media startup: Axios.

Launched in January and based (for now) at MakeOffices in Clarendon, Axios has made some big hires, broken some big stories and is growing rapidly, thanks in part to investment from major media companies.

In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Jim about his vision for Axios, the current state of the media industry and his take on what’s happening inside the Trump White House.

Some of the initial headlines about Axios, before it launched, revolved around a number VandeHei threw out as a potential price for a subscription: $10,000 per year.

“It could be that number, it could be higher,” VandeHei told us. Large companies and lobbying groups, he said, have that kind of money to pay for information that’s valuable to their business.

For those of us who don’t have thousands to spend on enterprise-focused news and analysis (the subscription service will be launched at a later date) the site and its email newsletters, from marquee names like co-founder Mike Allen and former Fortune columnist Dan Primack, are free. The first thing you’ll notice: the emphasis on brevity. It’s a key ethos at Axios and VandeHei says the goal is to give busy people only the facts they need — “long enough to give you what you need but not so long that it bores you and turns you off.”

In addition to the subscription business, Axios is making money by holding events and by selling advertising to blue chip advertisers like Bank of America, Walmart and BP. VandeHei said that at a time when Facebook and Google are vacuuming up many of the dollars streaming into digital advertising, a diversified revenue stream is important.

On the topic of Trump, VandeHei was candid about what he described as “an unprecedented presidency.” We asked him what might happen to Arlington and the D.C. area under Trump, given the president’s rhetoric about “draining the swamp” and reducing the size of government.

“I don’t know, and I don’t know because the president doesn’t know,” VandeHei said. “I think people assume he came with a very specific plan and a very team that would carry it out, and none of those things is true. They’re making it up on the go.”

VandeHei, who together with Allen interviewed Trump last month, said the president does not have “a strong ideology” outside of immigration and trade. Other issues, he said, are “fully negotiable.”

Lest an optimist think that Trump will get his administration to stabilize and function more like those before it, after a rocky first few weeks in office, it probably isn’t going to happen, according to VandeHei.

“People need to pinch themselves,” he said. “This is not normal.”

“Having had pretty good visibility into this White House, it’s a mess and I’d say it’s arguably worse than you think it is,” VandeHei said. “It’s just competing factions, no trust… it’s a tough way to run a White House. We’re three weeks in, half the people at the senior level think they’re on thin ice and going to lose their job, the other half are angling for a better job that they can have, and none of them are focused on carrying out an agenda that’s going to be awesome for America.”

“The idea that he’s going to suddenly change and that he’s suddenly going to run a more stable White House or that he’s going have a very clear vision of where he wants things to go… there’s a very low percentage chance that that happens. I would just anticipate this level of volatility and this level of insanity until further notice.”

That all said, VandeHei defended Axios’ Trump Tower interview and Mar-a-Lago visit from others in the journalism world who criticized it for appearing too cozy with the incoming administration.

“I find a lot of these arguments silly,” VandeHei said when asked about that and about the turmoil over the news organizations pulling out of the White House Correspondents Dinner now that Trump is president.

“Most reporters are liberal, no doubt about it. Most of them are being egged on to take a very hostile stand against Trump and Republicans,” he said. “But guess what, Republicans run town, they have the House, they have the Senate, they have the White House, they’re about to have the judiciary, they have almost every state government. This is a Republican-run country and you darn well better figure out what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.”

VandeHei had the following advice for journalists in the Trump era: focus on facts, hold people accountable, avoid media “self-flogging” and “maybe stay off Twitter.”

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

Photo courtesy Axios

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 6:45 pm 0

Route 50 was temporarily blocked at Fillmore Street during the evening rush after multiple crashes that might have been the result of an attempted hit-and-run by an impatient driver.

It started with a crash near the intersection of S. Fillmore Street and 2nd Street S. around 5:15 p.m. A resident who lives near the intersection described what happened, in an account that matched police radio traffic.

“A car attempted to pass another car on [a] narrow street [with a] cop coming the other way,” said the resident, Casey Phillips. The driver “tried to go between the two cars and hit a pregnant lady driving an SUV. Then [the] vehicle fled and wound up causing [a] much larger accident at the intersection of Fillmore and 50.”

At least four vehicles were damaged in the crashes, including the Toyota sedan driven by the suspected hit-and-run driver. Another witness, who spoke to police and to ARLnow.com, said the man tried to push through traffic at Route 50 and Fillmore and almost struck his van, as well.

The suspect was stopped just north of the intersection and handcuffed, reportedly by the officer whose cruiser was nearly involved in the first crash. An Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman could not immediately confirm whether he was arrested and will face charges.

The spokeswoman said that one person — understood to be the pregnant woman whose vehicle was struck near 2nd Street S. — was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

While the Route 50 closure lasted only a few minutes, N. Fillmore Street was blocked between Route 50 and 1st Street N. for at least an hour while multiple tow crews worked to haul away some of the vehicles involved in the incident.

Update at 4:55 p.m. — The driver, a 27-year-old Alexandria resident, was arrested and is facing multiple charges. From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, 2017-02150218, Arlington Boulevard at N. Fillmore Street. At approximately 5:15 p.m. on February 15, an officer on routine patrol was driving south in the 200 block of S. Fillmore Street when a vehicle crossed the double yellow line and allegedly attempted to strike the marked patrol vehicle. The officer was able to avoid the collision and activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle continued on, striking a vehicle traveling northbound. The suspect vehicle continued to drive north on S. Fillmore Street and entered the intersection with Arlington Boulevard against a red light. The suspect vehicle then struck two other vehicles. The officer was then able to stop the vehicle and take the driver into custody without further incident. Sulaiman Kanu, 27, of Alexandria Va, was arrested and charged with Attempted Malicious Wounding of a Law Enforcement Officer and Attempted Malicious Wounding (3 X).  He is being held without bond. One victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm 0

Police car lightsA man punched a rideshre driver in Clarendon this past Saturday night after an argument about where he was being picked up.

Police say the incident happened around 7:40 p.m. on the 2700 block of Clarendon Blvd, near the Whole Foods store.

“The victim was a rideshare driver and, following a verbal altercation over the phone regarding the pickup location of the fare, the suspect assaulted the driver,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

More from this week’s ACPD crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-02110254, 2700 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 7:40 p.m. on February 11, officers responded to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male victim rolled down the window of his vehicle to speak to the male suspect, when the suspect began assaulting the victim through the driver side window. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Medics arrived on scene and treated the victim. Warrants have been obtained for malicious wounding. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm 0

Virginia Square restaurant Water & Wall (3811 Fairfax Drive) has closed its doors for good.

The restaurant, which opened in November 2013 and served “creative American cuisine,” announced the closing on Facebook today.

“After 3 1/2 years, we have decided to close Water & Wall,” said the Facebook post. “We hope you’ll visit us at Kyirisan and Chase the Submarine. We have loved being a part of your lives.”

Water & Wall served its last dinner customers last night, the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema said on his “Ask Tom” chat today.

A year ago, during an ARLnow.com-organized panel discussion on the local restaurant industry, Water & Wall owner and acclaimed chef Tim Ma was asked about keeping customers coming back after the initial excitement of a restaurant’s opening.

“Everybody was coming through the door on day one, two years later, it’s all about retention,” Ma said. “Staying relevant is probably the hardest thing. There are so many new restaurants opening, so many different areas coming back to life, staying relevant is hard.”

The restaurant has previously launched limited-time, “pop-up” menus, offering new dishes for diners to try. It brought on a new chef in June.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Oliver, a playful mutt who loves to please everyone. Here is what his owner, Mark, had to say about him:

Oliver is a short-haired Collie/Retriever mix who came to us via the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation of Arlington when he was an 8-week-old pup. He is now a 3.5-years-old, healthy as can be, little “dudeman.” His mother was a rescue and Oliver was born in the shelter, so he has been cared for with love and affection his entire life. We were looking to adopt a pooch for several months before finally meeting Oliver at a PetSmart adoption event. It was love at first lick!

Oliver’s temperament and playful attitude towards humans and dogs alike is a true blessing. He is very submissive and is eager to please. When it’s time to play, he wants to play. When it’s time to watch a movie and relax, he wants to snuggle up close and take it easy. We could not have asked for a more perfect dog for us.

Some of Oliver’s favorite activities include playing with tennis balls and racquetballs, puppy play dates and going anywhere so long as he is with mom and dad. Oliver has been a wonderful addition to our family and there is never a dull moment with such a playful, loving mutty-mutt in the house. We’ve heard comparisons to the Target dog and Wishbone (if you don’t know, it was a TV show from the 90’s), but regardless of whom he might resemble, you have to admit, he is pretty darn cute!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email arlingtonnews@gmail.com 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 — February 15, 2017 at 11:20 am 0

Rescuers work to free driver from SUV that fell off the side of a I-395 overpass near the Pentagon (courtesy photo)

(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) A vehicle ran off the side of an I-395 overpass last night and landed on S. Rotary Road at S. Eads Street, a main entrance to the Pentagon reservation.

I-395 overpass at S. Rotary Road (photo via Google Maps)The incident was reported around 12:40 a.m. Arlington County firefighters responded and worked to extricate the driver, who was trapped inside the vehicle.

Once freed, the driver was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital for “further evaluation,” according to ACFD.

The vehicle — described as a hatchback or hybrid SUV — was heavily damaged in the 25-50 foot fall from the highway to the roadway below. It also took out a “large light pole” on the way down, according to a fire department Facebook post.

No other vehicles were reported to be involved.

Courtesy photo (top), photo (middle) via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 10:10 am 0

A Nespresso boutique is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The store is located adjacent to the mall’s main entrance off of S. Hayes Street, in the former Belmont Jewelers space. Demolition of the store’s interior started last month.

Belmont is relocating to a different storefront on the first level of the mall and is expected to reopen March 1.

The Nespresso store is scheduled to open at some point this spring, offering “a world of unique coffee experiences.” There are four existing Nespresso boutiques in the Washington area, according to the brand’s website: two in Tysons, one at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, and another in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of D.C.

Before it was Belmont Jewelers, the storefront was home to the Tourneau high-end watch store, which was robbed by four hammer-wielding men in 2013.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

"Spring in Midwinter: Arlington Forest, Arlington Virginia 7:20 a.m. 2/8/17" (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Median Home Sales Price Ticks Down — “Prices, sales and contract signings for home sales all hit 10-year highs for a January in the Washington metro.” according to WTOP’s Jeff Clabaugh. However, in Virginia, “Falls Church, Arlington County and Alexandria were the only three jurisdictions with lower median sales prices from a year earlier.” [WTOP]

Primary Challenge for Del. Levine — Del. Mark Levine, who represents part of Arlington, is facing a Democratic primary challenge from Alexandria School Board member Karen Graf. Levine has been endorsed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe while Graf has the endorsement of state Sen. Adam Ebbin. The primary will be held in June. [InsideNova]

Remodeling Reveals Historic Headlines — A couple in north Arlington made a surprise find inside a wall while remodeling their home: “yellowed newspapers detailing the stock market crash of October 1929.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — February 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm 0

Screen capture of controversial sign at YorktownOn Tuesday afternoon, Yorktown High School principal Dr. Ray Pasi sent a letter to students and families regarding the ongoing sign controversy at the school.

While the “Patriots Know” signs remain up in classrooms, according to an Arlington Public Schools spokesman, Pasi apologized for the “distress” the issue — which has received national attention from conservative media — may have caused.

“We sincerely regret any distress this may have caused our students, parents or anyone in the Yorktown community,” Pasi wrote. “We want our focus to continue to be instruction, while at the same time providing a safe and supportive environment for discussion, consistent with the YHS and APS mission, vision and core values.”

Pasi said that Yorktown has adopted sign policies in place at other Arlington high schools, although he did not elaborate on the specifics of those policies nor their application to the current controversy.

The full letter is below.

For many years, Yorktown High School’s philosophy and goal has been to work deliberately, daily and collectively on fostering respect for ALL. Our long standing social-emotional learning (SEL) and ROCS (Respect for Others, Community and Self) programs are designed to help foster a positive, respectful school climate for ALL. It’s a feature of our educational program we take seriously and have worked on each day. We want every student here to feel valued, supported and respected.

We all know that we live in a challenging and sometimes difficult political climate. With that, many schools (including Yorktown) are dealing with new situations and issues. Here at Yorktown, one of those issues has been signs that have been posted with good intentions that some members of our community have supported while others have taken exception to for one reason or another.

We sincerely regret any distress this may have caused our students, parents or anyone in the Yorktown community. We want our focus to continue to be instruction, while at the same time providing a safe and supportive environment for discussion, consistent with the YHS and APS mission, vision and core values.

Last year, some APS high schools experienced a few difficulties with how and when students could post signs equitably because so many student clubs and organizations were interested in promoting their activities and events. To help provide clarity, a set of procedures and guidelines for posting materials in high schools were developed by a team of high school staff that is also consistent with the APS Printed Materials Policy.

While this was not a concern for Yorktown at that time, last week we experienced confusion over how to determine what should be posted. Moving forward, we have decided to use the same guidelines and process here at Yorktown that the other APS high schools are following so that all high schools are approaching these decisions in a uniform way.

On Friday, I met with teachers and many of our students to discuss this and we have revised our processes to be consistent with the other high schools.  We also will be meeting with representatives of each YHS student organization so that everyone knows and understands our process as we move forward.

In the future, there may be differences of opinions on one issue or another. We need to recognize that it is in the best interest of our entire community that we work together to create our future.  That comes through cooperation and understanding our similarities as well as accepting our differences.  We will continue to strive to create a school climate that is inclusive and supportive of all students.

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