39°Rain

by ARLnow.com — March 24, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

7-Eleven store on S. Wakefield Street in the Shirlington area (Photo via Google Maps)A convenience store was robbed in the Shirlington area Wednesday night.

The 7-Eleven at 2815 S. Wakefield Street was robbed by a group of three suspects, one of whom had a gun, according to police. No one was hurt during the robbery.

The same store, located down the hill from the Fairlington neighborhood, was robbed by a pair of suspects in October 2015.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ROBBERY, 2017-03220254, 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street. At approximately 10:49 p.m. on March 22, officers were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Three unknown suspects approached a store, however one remained outside while the other two suspects entered. Once inside, one suspect displayed a firearm and demanded money from the register. All three suspects then fled the area with an undisclosed amount of cash and items of value. The first suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, approximately 5’05”-5’11” tall, weighing approximately 150-180 lbs, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants and white shoes. The second suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, approximately 5’05”-5’11” tall, weighing approximately 150-180 lbs, wearing a tan jacket, blue jeans and white shoes. There is no physical description for the third suspect.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — March 24, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

Rosslyn Highlands park (photo via Arlington County)Two people have been arrested after police interrupted their very public lovemaking in Rosslyn.

The incident happened behind Fire Station 10, in Rosslyn Highlands Park, according to scanner traffic.

“At approximately 3:32 p.m. on March 22, officers were dispatched to the report of two subjects allegedly engaged in sexual activity in public view,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report. “As officers were conducting the investigation, the female subject charged at the officer and struck him repeatedly.”

“Nicole Faircloth, 42, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with assault and battery on police and performing a sexual act in a public place,” the crime report continued. “Petko Ubiparipovic, 42, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with performing a sexual act in a public place. Both were held on bond.”

by ARLnow.com — March 24, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Texas Jack's BBQ in Lyon Park (Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok)

Arlington Population Continues to Rise — The latest Census Bureau estimate of Arlington’s population is 230,050, a 0.9 percent rise over the previous year. [InsideNova]

LaHood to Review WMATA — Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been tapped by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to conduct an independent review of Metro’s “operating, governance, and financial conditions.” The review will “develop recommendations for potential WMATA reforms, including mitigating growth in annual operating costs and sustainable funding.” [Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington Post]

Private Investigators Set Up Shop in Arlington — A group of private investigators is trying to solve the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July. The group, which does not have the support of Rich’s family, is working out of a “war room” in Arlington as it tries to piece together clues about the fatal shooting in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. [DCist, WJLA]

County Board Hears Complaint About Poo — A resident’s complaint at a County Board meeting, about a homeless man “appropriating” a bus stop in Rosslyn, led to the following sentence in the Sun Gazette: “County-government spokesman Mary Curtius said it was ‘exceedingly rare’ to find human waste at bus stops.” [InsideNova]

Schaeffer’s Favorite Arlington Things — Eric Schaeffer, co-founder and artistic director of Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, recently shared some of his favorite local spots. Among them: French store Le Marche and Irish pub Samuel Beckett’s, both in Shirlington, along with Pupatella pizzeria in Bluemont and P.F. Chang’s in Ballston. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

John Fitzgerald (photo courtesy ACPD)An Arlington County Police officer was stabbed in the neck and saved from further injury by his ballistic vest during a confrontation with a man suffering an apparent mental health crisis.

The incident happened on the 800 block of N. Irving Street, two blocks from Clarendon.

Crisis Intervention Team trained officers were serving an emergency custody order on a 28-year-old resident around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to an ACPD crime report, when the man pulled out a knife and tried to tried to stab officers and take their weapons.

The officers, who are trained in non-lethal ways to deal with combative suspects, used a Taser to subdue him and take him into custody.

“One officer suffered a non-life threatening wound to the neck and numerous strikes to the body were obstructed by his ballistic vest,” according to the crime report, below.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2017-03220058, 800 block of N. Irving Street. At approximately 6:57 a.m. on March 22, officers were dispatched to the area to serve an emergency custody order on a subject. As the Crisis Intervention Trained officers made contact with the subject inside the residence, he advanced towards them, reached behind his back and produced a knife. The officers were able to block the initial strike and take the subject to the ground where he continued to be combative and repeatedly attempted to disarm the officers. A taser was deployed and the subject was taken into custody. One officer suffered a non-life threatening wound to the neck and numerous strikes to the body were obstructed by his ballistic vest. John Fitzgerald, 28, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with malicious wounding on law enforcement, assault and battery on police and attempt to disarm an officer.

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Arlingtonwood is a tiny, affluent neighborhood nestled near the GW Parkway and Chain Bridge in the far northern corner of Arlington.

Amid what is otherwise an idyllic suburban scene along N. Richmond Street, one house stands out: a low-slung brick home covered in handwritten signs and Sharpie-scrawled writing on the white siding and doors.

“POISONED HOUSE, DO NOT ENTER – KEEP OUT,” reads the writing next to the main entrance. “DO NOT TAKE AND DO NOT REMOVE ANY POISONED ITEMS FROM MY POISONED HOUSE.”

The note goes on to claim that the house was poisoned in 1999 with various “dangerous substances” and that the “poisoning was proved to the FBI and Arlington police including other U.S. government agencies.”

“U.S. President Clinton was informed in 2000 and U.S. President Bush in 2001,” the sign continues.

Needless to say, neighbors are not happy with the signage.

“I have contacted the [county] and Arlington states there is nothing they can do because the signs are on private property,” one resident told ARLnow.com. “These signs affect everyone in the area as this home is stating there are poisonous gases everywhere (in the ground, her house, etc.). People stop all the time and ask if it is safe to be in the area.”

Gary Greene, Code Enforcement Section Chief for Arlington County, confirmed that there is basically nothing the county can do about the signs and writing. He said that the county has received seven complaints about the home in the past 12 years and that the only actionable code violations found — like an overgrown lawn — were corrected by the homeowner, who does not live in the house.

There is one outstanding “minor” code violation, Greene said, but it has nothing to do with the house being vacant or covered with signs. The signs are not in violation of Virginia law or county ordinance, he said.

“The signs, letters and wall writings visible on the front façade of the property were placed there in 2005 by the property owner; they have been a primary driver for complaint calls,” Greene said. “The signs, letters and wall writings are not of a commercial or political nature and have not been found in violation of any of Arlington’s property related ordinances.”

The house, which was recently assessed by the county at $862,500, was nearly auctioned by Arlington County in 2015 for non-payment of property taxes — but the taxes were eventually paid along with a penalty fee and interest, county records show. It is currently in good standing with the tax office after $8,570.16 in property taxes were paid in 2016.

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Rosslyn tunnel (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Pike Booster ‘Disappointed’ By Transit Delay — Cecilia Cassidy, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, said the group is “very disappointed” by the latest delay in bringing enhanced transit service to the Pike. Cassidy said the cancellation of the streetcar cancelled much of the planned development along the Pike and that the delays in providing a viable transit alternative have put other development into a holding pattern. [WAMU]

More on DCA Plans — The airports authority has released more details about “Project Journey,” its $1 billion plan for upgrading Reagan National Airport. “Scheduled to mobilize in summer 2017, Project Journey includes construction of two new security checkpoints that fully connect the concourse level of Terminal B/C to airline gate areas, buildout of an enclosed commuter concourse to replace the 14 outdoor gates currently serviced by buses from gate 35X and future improvements to roadway and parking configurations.” [Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority]

Good News, Bad News About Tech in Arlington — Arlington has risen in the rankings of the best places in the U.S. for women in tech, from No. 34 to No. 22 this year. However, women in tech in Arlington still earn less than men, there are significantly more men than women employed in tech in Arlington and overall tech job growth in Arlington over the past four years is flat. D.C., meanwhile, ranked No. 1 on the list. [DCInno]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — March 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Police car (file photo)A man has been arrested and accused of damaging two cars by throwing stuff off his apartment balcony in Pentagon City.

Police responded to the 1200 block of S. Eads Street around 6:20 a.m. this past Saturday morning after getting a call about items being thrown from a balcony.

Among the objects found damaged on the street were two fire extinguishers belonging to the apartment building and a clay statue, according to police.

Officers arrested a 26-year-old man and charged him with reckless endangerment and other crimes.

“The suspect advised he had been consuming alcohol prior to the incident and did not provide an explanation for his alleged actions,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

More from an ACPD crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY(Significant), 2017-03180081, 1200 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 6:20 a.m. on March 18, officers responded to the report of a subject throwing items from a balcony. Upon arrival, officers located several items in the roadway and on the sidewalk which appeared to have come from one of the residences. During the investigation, officers located two vehicles damaged by the items thrown. Gregory Matthew Pencosky, 26, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, petit larceny, and destruction of property. He was held on a $3000 secured bond.

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

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by ARLnow.com — March 22, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

Police car lights(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Police are talking to a man who was allegedly involved in a stabbing in Arlington’s Douglas Park neighborhood this morning.

The stabbing happened shortly before 10 a.m. in an apartment on the 1300 block of S. Taylor Street, near Doctor’s Run Park and Randolph Elementary School.

The male victim was stabbed in the back, according to scanner traffic. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Police… remain on scene investigating,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.com. “We have identified and are speaking to the other party involved and are not looking for any additional subjects involved in this incident.”

“There is no threat to the public,” she added.

by ARLnow.com — March 22, 2017 at 10:35 am 0

Reeves farmhouse (image courtesy Arlington County)

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously yesterday to move forward with the sale of the historic Reeves farmhouse in Bluemont.

Despite a last push from a group that wants the farmhouse converted into a learning center for students, the county says that selling the farmhouse to a private buyer, who will be required to “maintain its historic integrity,” is the only economical way to preserve it for future generations.

“The County’s goal is to preserve the historic character of Reeves farmhouse and to preserve the site’s two acres of open space, the raised gardens, sledding hill and milk shed,” the county said in a press release.

“The County’s efforts to achieve the sort of successful partnership to restore the Reevesland farmhouse that it has achieved with other projects have been hampered by the estimated, and increasing, cost of renovating the farmhouse and bringing it up to code for public use, estimated to be in the range of $2.5 – $3 million, as well as an unspecified amount for ongoing maintenance and operating costs.”

The full press release, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — March 22, 2017 at 9:55 am 0

Claude Williamson (photo courtesy Arlington County)Following the departure of Steven Cover, Arlington County has named an Acting Director for Community Housing, Planning and Development.

Claude Williamson, who has been with the department for 20 years, will lead it on an interim basis as the acting planning director. Last week County Manager Mark Schwartz said that a search would be starting soon for a permanent replacement for Cover.

Williamson’s long tenure at CPHD contrasts with Cover’s attempts to shake up the department and streamline its processes, which have been the subject of grumbles from the business community. Cover was named CPHD director in 2015.

More on the appointment from a county press release:

Claude Williamson has been named Arlington County’s Acting Director for Community Housing, Planning and Development (CPHD).

Williamson joined CPHD in 1997 and has served as the Comprehensive Planning Supervisor for more than 11 years. His broad experience in planning, management and civic engagement has influenced a multitude of major planning initiatives and projects. He has been instrumental in the development and implementation of both sector and area plans across Arlington, and has provided significant leadership during zoning ordinance reviews and updates, inter-jurisdictional planning efforts and other key planning activities.

“Claude brings a wealth of experience and tremendous professionalism to the Acting Directorship of this critical County department,” said Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz. “He has a deep understanding of our community and of the planning principles that have successfully guided Arlington for decades.”

In his new role, Williamson will lead all the department’s efforts, including the development review process; comprehensive planning; neighborhood services; zoning administration; inspections and code enforcement and data analysis. The department is responsible for planning both in Arlington’s neighborhoods and in the densely developed, transit oriented Metro corridors. CPHD is the lead department in implementing the County’s Smart Growth planning vision.

Prior to joining Arlington County in 1997, Williamson worked for the New Orleans City Planning Commission on a variety of planning projects and initiatives. He holds a Master of Community Planning from the University of Maryland School of Architecture.  He also holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Science from Suffolk University in Boston.  Williamson is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.  He lives in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington D.C. with his husband Michael and 11-year old son Evan.

by ARLnow.com — March 22, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

Sofar Sounds music performance by Chris Scholar in Crystal City 3/21/17

Metro PD Searching for Sexual Battery Suspect — Metro Transit Police are trying to identify a man who may have touched another rider inappropriately on an Orange Line train near the Clarendon station last week. [NBC Washington]

Local Tax Relief for Seniors — Last year 929 Arlington residents took advantage of the county’s real estate tax relief program for seniors, together saving $4.1 million in taxes. [Falls Church News-Press]

County Honors Transportation ‘Champions’ — “The Arlington County Board today honored 22 businesses as Platinum Level Champions for their commitment to operating and enhancing sustainable transportation programs for employees and tenants.” [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

Clarendon appears to be getting its first dedicated outdoor beer garden.

Alternately called “The Lot,” “The Beer Lot” or “Lot 10” in filings and online posts, the beer garden is coming to what’s currently a used car lot on the corner of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N., at the western tip of Clarendon, according to sources and a Virginia ABC filing.

We’re told the beer garden will feature an expansive outdoor seating area, some indoor or tented space, food — perhaps provided by a rotating cohort of food trucks — and a focus on local beers. It’s expected to open by this summer.

Social Restaurant Group, which recently opened Pamplona and is opening Bar Bao, both in Clarendon, is the company behind The Lot. A company representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Beer gardens, which have popped up all over the District in the past couple of years, are also coming soon to Rosslyn and Columbia Pike.

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

The following Letter to the Editor was written by Arlington resident Matt Rizzolo regarding the county’s potential purchase of the Buck property, across from Washington-Lee High School, and the land use decisions that will accompany the purchase.

With over 8,000 people per square mile, Arlington is one of the most densely populated areas in the country. It’s no surprise, then, that Arlington is often held up as a model of walkability and smart growth, and the county government rightly champions such accolades. But being such a small, highly populated and growing county presents unique challenges–with transportation and facilities issues, including schools, high on the list.

This is where the county’s possible purchase a six-acre parcel of land in North Arlington comes into play. This plot, known as the “Buck property,” is in a central, high-value location: for example, it’s within walking distance of three different Metro stations, including Ballston and Clarendon. The size of the land–rarely available in Arlington–understandably has Arlington leaders champing at the bit to see how best to use this property to satisfy some of the county’s many needs. Arlington’s growing population requires more schools to educate students, more storage for school and county buses, more emergency and municipal facilities, and more open space for playing fields, to name just a few. A few months ago, I wrote a piece for the Washington Post urging the county to think big about this property–including exploring decking over I-66–and not simply take the path of least resistance. To me, the first step in this process is elementary–as in, elementary school.

Despite being located in one of the most densely populated parts of Arlington, houses near the Buck Property have no nearby neighborhood elementary school–most nearby children either walk nearly a mile to Glebe Elementary School (crossing busy Glebe Road), or most take buses to Taylor or Ashlawn Elementary Schools, both several miles away. (Arlington Science Focus School, located a couple blocks from the Buck property, is a choice school that offers no geographic preference to nearby households.) The location of the Buck property and the density of the surrounding neighborhood provide the county with an opportunity create a new, “walkers-only” elementary school–an opportunity the county should seize.

Building an elementary school on the Buck property would allow Arlington to “walk the walk on walkability,” and also to satisfy multiple county needs at once. Arlington doesn’t provide transportation for elementary school students who reside less than a mile from their school–here, a new elementary school could likely be filled with students who live within just a half mile from the site. A walkers-only school, drawing from the current boundaries of Glebe, Taylor, and Ashlawn, would obviate the need for these children to ride buses or walk long distances to school. Such a school would obviously hew to Arlington’s mission of smart growth and walkability, and could be used as a model for elsewhere in the region (and possibly, the nation).

Students’ health would benefit from walking even short distances to school instead of taking buses. A new elementary school would also alleviate the pressure on the already-stressed school system, which is currently forced to use over 100 trailer-type portable classrooms countywide. Arlington would be able to construct a new school without the expense of purchasing, housing, and servicing new buses to support the student population; the county would likewise be able to re-route or re-purpose buses currently used to transport students to Ashlawn or Taylor. Fewer buses moving students through the county’s busy corridors means reduced traffic and less pollution.

Finally, this new school could be just the first step in a larger, long-term project for the surrounding area. The school grounds could be combined with nearby Hayes Park and provide additional green space playing fields for students and the Arlington community. With so many schools and the David M. Brown Planetarium nearby, the county could explore partner with a private entity to establish a children’s learning center or athletic facilities. And the decking of I-66 should be analyzed, to possibly stitch back together the neighborhoods of Ballston-Virginia Square and Cherrydale (split by I-66 back in the early 80’s) with development above the highway.

The possibilities are many, but the first step here is for Arlington to walk the walk on walkability. Let’s examine the potential for walkers-only elementary school on the Buck property.

Matt Rizzolo
Arlington, Va.

ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor for consideration, please email it to [email protected]. Letters may be edited for content and brevity.

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Puddle at Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road (Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards)

Big Changes Coming to DCA — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has revealed updated designs of the coming changes at Reagan National Airport. Among the changes are a new commuter terminal, replacing the outdoor commuter gate 35X, and a new structure to house security checkpoints, which will be positioned before travelers enter the airport’s main terminal B/C hallway. [WTOP, WTOP]

Ethiopian Restaurant Coming to Courthouse — Chercher Ethiopian restaurant is expanding from the District to a new location at 2000 14th Street N. in Courthouse. It will be the first Virginia outpost for the acclaimed Ethiopian restaurant. Its owner says he chose Courthouse because the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor lacks Ethiopian dining options. [Washington Business Journal]

Tornado Drill Today — Yesterday was the first day of spring and today, at 9:45 a.m., Virginia is holding its annual statewide tornado drill. The drill is “a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies and to test public warning systems.” [Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management]

Va. Pols Speaking at Arlington Dems Dinner — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello and state Attorney General Mark Herring will be the headline speakers at the Arlington Democrats’ annual “Blue Victory Dinner,” formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, on April 8. The other Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, “had a conflict and will not be able to make it.” [InsideNova]

School 5K to Close Streets — Roads will be closed in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood Saturday morning for the second annual Discovery/Nottingham Friendship 5K. [Arlington County, Discovery Elementary School]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Arlington Ridge Road was shut down between 23rd Street S. and S. Glebe Road this morning due to emergency water main repairs.

The AM rush hour closure affected those dropping students off at Gunston Middle School and Oakridge Elementary.

As of 9 a.m. crews were said to be wrapping up the repairs.

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