Hotel Planned for Pike Development — Attendees at yesterday’s Columbia Pike Progress Luncheon learned that Orr Partners — which is redeveloping the Food Star grocery store and adjacent sites at Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive — has partnered with WhyHotel for the mixed-use project. WhyHotel touts itself as an operator of “pop-up hotels in newly built, luxury apartment buildings.” [Twitter]
County Launches LGBTQ Resource Website — Arlington County has partnered with the Human Rights Commission to develop a website with local, state and national resources for the LGBTQ community. The resources cover a range of topics including housing, domestic violence, sexual assault, health and youth needs. [Arlington County]
Mitten Departing for Illinois — Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten has accepted the job of City Administrator for Urbana, Ill. “I look forward to advancing common goals for a safe, healthy, sustainable city through thoughtful growth,” she said in a statement. [Smile Politely]
Location Named for Dominion Pint — The owners of Dominion Pint, the new restaurant from the team behind the District’s Meridian Pint and Brookland Pint, have signed a lease for their Northern Virginia establishment. The restaurant is scheduled to open in December at 6035 Wilson Blvd. in Dominion Hills. [PoPville]
VHC Employee Earns ‘4 Under 40’ Award — Virginia Hospital Center’s Taryn Overman, MSN, RN, CEN, has received this year’s “4 Under 40” Emerging Leader Award from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Overman is recognized for going beyond her management responsibilities to help her community, such as during a collaboration with A-Span in which two tons of cereal was collected, and in directing a program that helped train community members in hands-only CPR.
Man Struck, Killed by Blue Line Train — A man was struck and killed by a train at the Arlington Cemetery Metro station last night. Video appears to show that the man was intentionally on the tracks at the time he was struck, according to Metro. [Washington Post, WUSA 9]
Flickr pool photo by Jennifer Presser
This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Ollie, a 3-year-old Pekingese/Shih Tzu mix who enjoys stealing socks and chasing his ballerina hippo.
Here is what his owner, Georgina, had to say:
This is Ollie (short for Oliver), a hairy 3-year-old Pekingese/Shih Tzu mix from Rockville, MD. Ollie is a staple in the Clarendon area, often seen plopped on the busy sidewalks with his arms tucked in. Ollie is an independent three-year-old but loves to cuddle with mom’s friends and family.
Ollie’s favorite locations include James Hunter dog park where he chases the big dogs, is more interested cuddling up with the humans on the benches and drinking water as his leisure; the stores at Market Common where he can smell the treats behind the registers from far away and of course home.
You can find Ollie acting as the Chinese Emperor’s guard dog at home protecting his home, chasing after his ballerina hippo, stealing human’s socks, or sunbathing on the balcony.
His favorite place to hide is under his mom’s bed and favorite hangout spot is the Persian carpet in the living room.
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.
Roosevelt Island, Gravelly Point to Get Bikeshare — The County Board approved a deal with the National Park Service to allow Capital Bikeshare stations on Theodore Roosevelt Island and at Gravelly Point. Although the stations are on NPS land, the county will install and maintain them. [Arlington County]
Arlington, Falls Church Men Arrested in Drug Bust — Williamsburg police arrested 10 people at the College of William & Mary — including one student from Arlington, two from Falls Church and a professor — during a large drug bust during which they confiscated LSD, cocaine, mushrooms, opioids, amphetamines, steroids, hashish, marijuana and $14,000 in cash. Police launched a months-long investigation when they heard that increased drug use was causing unreported sexual assaults. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Tree Canopy Dispute Grows — Environmental activists have intensified their cries about the county providing misleading information on the size of Arlington’s tree canopy. Activists confronted County Board members at their Saturday meeting, armed with claims of “alternative facts” and a “war on science.” [Inside NoVa]
Outstanding Park Volunteers Honored — The County Board gave awards to Joanne Hutton, John Foti and Friends of Aurora Highlands Park for their efforts to support county parks and natural resources. The honorees have led service projects, helped to expand field use and promoted public open spaces. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) A restaurant called “Gorilla Taco” appears to be coming to the Pentagon Row shopping center.
The new Mexican restaurant has applied for a Virginia ABC permit to serve wine and beer at 1201 S. Joyce Street.
Gorilla Taco has a Facebook page, but it lists little information except for the address and a logo.
Basic Burger co-owner Jamie Mansy confirmed that Gorilla Taco will be a sister restaurant to Basic Burger and will be an “eight-month pop-up” restaurant based on a food truck the company had for special and private events. It will serve “authentic street tacos,” he said
Additional information about the the restaurant was not immediately available.
A large fire department response was dispatched to the school at 2600 N. Stuart Street. Students and staff have been evacuated, according to scanner traffic.
No fire or flames have been found and firefighters are investigating work on the roof as a possible cause, according to radio traffic. Police are blocking off roads around the school.
#Alert: Units on scene 2600 blk N Stuart Street for reports of smoke. Light smoke condition found. Building fully evacuated. Crews investigating source.
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) April 24, 2018
Arlington Among Top Cities for Recent Grads — According to rankings from the website Livability, Arlington is the No. 2 best place for recent college graduates. Champaign, Ill. was ranked No. 1 and Jersey City, N.J. ranked No. 3. [Livability]
Major Water Main Replacement Approved — “The Arlington County Board [on Saturday] approved a $1.9 million contract (including contingency) to Sagres Construction Corporation to replace a nearly century-old water main along South Arlington Ridge Road, between 23rd Street South and South Nash Street. The existing 8-inch water main was built in 1927 and has experienced frequent breaks in recent years.” [Arlington County]
Cemetery Investigates Suspicious Package — On Saturday Arlington National Cemetery’s main entrance was briefly closed to vehicles and pedestrians while a security team investigated a suspicious package in the Welcome Center. The package was determined to “pose no threat” and normal operations resumed at 4:50 p.m. [Twitter]
Yorktown Grad in NFL Draft — M.J. Stewart may be the first Yorktown High School grad selected in the NFL Draft: “The 6-foot, 205-pound defensive back, who played at the University of North Carolina the last four seasons and was a three-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, has been projected to be chosen in the second or third round. The draft begins the night April 26 with first-round selections and last through April 28.” [InsideNova]
Heated Dispute Over Amazon Fire Stick — “Overheard on the scanner: Police responding to a man and a woman arguing over which person owns an Amazon Fire stick.” [Twitter]
Yarn Bomb Featured in Video — A new video shows the creation of the “yarn bomb” in Clarendon. In captions, it explains that a yarn bomb “is a type of graffiti or street art of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint or chalk.” [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Dave Bentley
The Arlington County Board on Saturday unanimously passed a $1.276 billion balanced budget that includes a number of fee increases but no real estate tax rate hike.
The FY 2019 budget notably restores $70,000 in funding for Arlington Independent Media — County Manager Mark Schwartz proposed cutting about $90,000 in county funds for the community TV and radio broadcaster — after AIM collected more than 1,300 online petition signatures against the cut. The Board also boosted first responder pay, particularly starting pay which police and firefighter associations say is low and hurting recruitment, by $1.6 million above the manager’s recommendation, which already included a pay boost.
Funding the increased spending is the reallocation of $2.5 million from proposed renovations to the county government headquarters in Courthouse and the freezing of 16 vacant public safety positions.
Per the manager’s recommendations, the budget also increases parking meter rates and extends metered hours until 8 p.m., while increasing utility taxes, household waste fees and various departmental fees.
“The Board largely accepted the $8.4 million in spending reductions, $6.6 million in fee and tax increases and $5.5 million in funding realignments recommended by the County Manager in his proposed budget,” notes a county press release, below. County Board Chair Katie Cristol called the adopted budget “sustainably progressive.”
County funding for Arlington Public Schools will top the $500 million mark, as the school system continues to face pressures from enrollment growth and the opening of new schools. Metro, meanwhile, will receive a 3 percent increase in funding, receiving $73.1 million from the county’s coffers and state transit aid earmarked for Arlington.
In addition to AIM and first responders, the Board nixed the following cuts proposed by Schwartz, according to the markup record:
- $620,000 for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund
- $365,000 for Lee Highway planning and $25,000 for the Lee Highway Alliance
- $40,000 for the Legal Aid Justice Center, which serves immigrants
- $200,000 for a body scanner at the county jail
- $50,000 for the Arlington County Fair
- $20,000 for community shredding events
- $40,000 for the Arlington Neighborhood College program
- $184,000 for a youth mental health therapist
Among the proposed cuts not restored: the elimination of the printed Citizen newsletter, the elimination of two ART bus routes, the elimination of Arlington’s poet laureate and a $555,000 cut to the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy residential rebate program.
The latter drew some pushback from Board members.
“The cuts that we’re doing this year to AIRE — nobody’s going to die, there’s nothing fundamentally that any of us are going to lose sleep over or should be ashamed of,” said Erik Gutshall. “But while people don’t die, our planet is dying, its ability to sustain our life at least.”
“In future budgets, while we’re going to continue to make tough choices, we’re not going to let our commitment to the environment fall behind,” he added.
Despite the disagreements, the Board was unanimous in its vote on the budget, which Board members praised for prioritizing key areas while avoiding a tax rate increase. (The tax burden on the average homeowner will still increase by $296.)
“Despite the reductions, there are investments our community can be proud of in this budget,” Cristol said in a statement. “We prioritized funding our public schools, especially teachers, and investing in our workforce, especially public safety personnel. We preserved our social safety net and sustained funding for affordable housing and core services.”
“I see this budget really as a transition from the way we’ve been doing things to the way we’ll need to do things going forward,” said Libby Garvey. “This community has pretty much gotten used to having as much money as we need to do what we want to do. This year it’s starting to change. It’s likely to be even harder in the future with the stresses we have moving forward. I think it’s a good transition to what we’ll be doing moving forward.”
“What I think we’ve done is really weatherize our fiscal house for the inclement weather ahead,” echoed John Vihstadt. “It’s only going to get tougher as we move forward, but we took some important steps here that, while not greeted uniformly favorably, were necessary to be done.”
Arlington Independent Media and public safety associations, meanwhile, expressed gratitude for the additional funding.
Thanks to all our members, producers & supporters for sharing your stories with @ArlingtonVA County Board. Thanks to @kcristol @Arl_CDorsey @libbygarvey @jevarlington & @erik4arlington for listening! We appreciate the work you do. We look forward to the future! #ArlingtonVA
— AIM (@arlington_media) April 21, 2018
THANK YOU to the Arl CB for adopting the FY19 budget w/ enhanced public safety pay! This will help retain & recruit high-quality police officers & firefighters. #FairPayforFirstResponders @kcristol @Arl_CDorsey @libbygarvey @voteforvihstadt @erik4arlington https://t.co/yf3AWNI1Vn
— Arlington Police Beneficiary Association (@ArlPoliceAssoc) April 21, 2018
Yes…thank you to the Board and County Manager for listening and supporting us. This was a positive step forward for public safety. https://t.co/P2NytKBoJT
— IAFF Local 2800 (@IAFF2800) April 21, 2018
Arlington County’s press release about the budget, after the jump.
Crystal City Tops HQ2 Poll — The combined Crystal City-Potomac Yard site is the most likely D.C. area landing spot for Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an online poll conducted by the Washington Business Journal. Meanwhile, D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials are teaming up to promote the region as the HQ2 search continues. Amazon fever has even entered the world of local business conferences: an event dubbed “HQmania” is scheduled to be held in Rosslyn next month. [Washington Business Journal, WAMU, DCA Live]
Rosslyn Lands Nonprofit HQ — “It’s been a good week for Rosslyn. First came the news that Gerber, a Nestle subsidiary, would relocate its headquarters and 150 jobs from New Jersey to 1812 N. Moore St. And Friday, we learn that a D.C.-based global nonprofit has decided to cross the Potomac into Arlington.” [Washington Business Journal]
ART Bus Stop Vandalized — Someone smashed two of the windows on an ART bus stop in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood late last week. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Charged With Statutory Rape — A 47-year-old Arlington man was arrested at his home last month and charged with the statutory rape of a minor in North Carolina. The man arranged meeting the minor in North Carolina via the messaging app Kik, which is popular with teens. [Fox 8]
Local Columbine Survivor Addresses Student Protesters — “Salli Garrigan was in music class when the sound of gunshots reverberated through the halls of her high school… Garrigan, now 35 and an Arlington resident, stood Friday before a crowd of D.C.-area students gathered on the U.S. Capitol lawn and told them when she was their age, she didn’t know how to make her voice heard.” [Washington Post]
Long Bridge Park Field Renovations Starting — Work is set to begin today on new turf for Long Bridge Park’s heavily-used Field No. 3. The field is expected to be closed for 45 days. [Arlington County]
Past and Present School Board Members Gather — On Thursday, the Arlington School Board held its last meeting at the Arlington Education Center building next to Washington-Lee High School. The board room and administrative offices are moving to the Syphax Education Center along Washington Blvd. To mark the last meeting, past and current School Board members members gathered for a photo. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me
Arlington County firefighters extinguished a small mulch fire on the roof of an apartment building over the weekend.
The fire broke out around 4:15 p.m. Saturday on the roof of the new Latitude Apartments in Virginia Square, on the 3600 block of Fairfax Drive.
Smoke could be seen coming from the top of the building, prompting a large fire department response. The fire was extinguished and no one was hurt. The cause is under investigation, according to ACFD.
— Kevin (@surrrewhynot) April 21, 2018
#Update Mulch fire on roof of apartment building has been extinguished. Units are going in service. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) April 21, 2018
Photo courtesy @surrrewhynot
Arlington County Police have arrested a suspect in the attempted rape of a woman near Columbia Pike on Friday.
Police say Jermaine Johnson, a 30-year-old Arlington resident, broke into an apartment on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street, brandished a knife and tried to sexually assault the victim. She suffered minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital.
The perpetrator fled the scene of the crime, evading a police K-9 track and helicopter search, according to a police press release.
On Saturday police announced that Johnson was the suspect, “based on crime scene evidence collected and witness interviews.” Later that day, officers conducting surveillance in the Courthouse area saw him and gave chase. From ACPD:
While conducting surveillance in the 1700 block of N. Troy Street, officers observed the suspect flee from a residence. Following a foot pursuit, Jermaine Johnson was apprehended and taken into police custody. He has been charged with attempted rape and burglary and will be held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.
Again this week, we highlight select deals and events around Arlington, with help from Tim’s Arlington Directory. Some require a coupon or have more instructions, so be sure to click the link for details and any additional requirements.
This Week’s Deal of the Week:
Head to Tupelo Honey in Courthouse for your next workday lunch – newly debuting a $12 half-sandwich, half-salad, one side combo. Choose between options including new spicy avocado + chopped egg or fried green tomato burrata sandwich, Tupelo wedge salad and creamy tomato soup, among a variety of others. Three items, $12! Lunch begins at 11 and goes until 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 21:
- A-Town – Brunch
- Alcova Heights Park – Arlington Palooza
- Ambar Clarendon – Late Night Menu
- BABA – Brunch
- Barley Mac – Oyster Fest 1-5pm
- Carlyle – Brunch
- Cheesetique – Brunch
- Crystal City Wine Shop – Staff Pick Tasting
- Green Pig Bistro – Brunch
- Ireland’s Four Courts – 75 cents wings 10am-8pm & Live Music
- Ireland’s Four Courts – Kids Eat Free 10am-7pm
- Jane Franklin Dance – Border PERFORMANCE
- Liberty Tavern – Brunch
- Lyon Hall – Brunch
- MIND the MAT – Yo Kid Challenge
- O’Sullivan’s – LIVE Music
- Pepita & Cantina – $19 All You Can Eat Tacos 1130am-3pm
- Rosslyn READS! Spring Book Festival 10am-10pm
- TR Island – Weekly Park Run 9-10am
- Whitlow’s – Brunch
- Whole Foods – Taste of Whole Foods Market 12-4pm
Sunday, April 22:
- A-Town – Brunch
- BABA – Brunch
- Carlyle – Brunch
- Cheesetique – Brunch
- Cinema & Drafthouse – Spoons, Tunes, & Booze
- Copperwood Tavern – Brunch
- Courthaus Social – Brunch
- Green Pig Bistro – Brunch
- Guapo’s – Brunch
- Ichiban – $3 Off Special Roll
- Ireland’s Four Courts – Brunch, Wings, Pie Deals
- Jaleo – Brunch & Tapas Sunday
- Kapnos Taverna – All You Can Eat Brunch
- Liberty Tavern – Brunch
- Lyon Hall – Brunch
- O’Sullivan’s – All You Can Eat Brunch & Bar Bingo
- Pepita & Cantina – $19 All You Can Eat Tacos 1130am-3pm
- Rustica – Brunch
- Silver Diner – Brunch
- Tupelo Honey – Brunch
- Uncle Julio’s – Brunch
Expect delays heading from D.C. into Virginia via the 14th Street Bridge due to a crash on southbound I-395.
The four-vehicle crash, involving a pickup truck and three other vehicles, happened near the exit to Route 1 and is currently blocking three middle lanes. Traffic is squeezing by on either side, trying to avoid debris in the roadway.
Firefighters have arrived on scene to evaluate possible injuries.
Someone placed a mannequin alongside a busy road near Ballston this morning.
The female mannequin was wearing a knit hat, a t-shirt and a sign about being a “DoD based experiment,” a tipster told ARLnow. It was placed at the corner of N. Wakefield Street and N. Carlin Springs Road.
The sign on it referenced Secure Planet, a Ballston-based biometrics and facial recognition technology company. A phone number printed on the sign rings through to a company executive, though it was not answered when an ARLnow.com reporter called Friday afternoon.
At some point, someone placed another typed sign on the mannequin, criticizing the company for alleged privacy violations.
The mannequin, signs and all, appears to have been moved just before the end of the morning rush hour.
“Very bizarre,” the tipster concluded.
Update at 6:30 p.m. — The person who put the second sign on the mannequin discussed it on Twitter yesterday.
When the surveillance state enablers start using your street for selling their product. Mannequin on a tripod, left in the public right of way. "DoD Based Experiment – Please Do Not Disturb" So I called the number on the front. 1/ pic.twitter.com/DzSO3z7pgi
— Mark Blacknell (@Blacknell) April 19, 2018
[an address almost half a mile away], watching it."He says they're about to come pick it up, thanks for leaving it alone.
I gotta say, I'm a little conflicted about leaving it alone. This is a company that sells police/gov'ts the ability to do non-consensual face ID, at range 4/
— Mark Blacknell (@Blacknell) April 19, 2018
"This was placed here by people who treat your identity and privacy as if it were
to them to use and profit from.
It's a commercial demonstration of a product that will let law enforcement/governments/anyone who pays them identify people" 6/7
— Mark Blacknell (@Blacknell) April 20, 2018
More than 1,000 Dominion customers along Columbia Pike were without power around lunchtime Friday.
The outage is mostly affecting the Douglas Park neighborhood and the Glebe Road corridor between the Pike and Walter Reed Drive. A number of traffic signals, including the lights at the busy intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road, are reported to be out.
In total, as of 11:45 a.m. Dominion was reporting 1,246 customers without power in Arlington County.
Update at 12:10 p.m. — Power has been restored, according to Dominion’s website.
Image via Dominion Power
Update at 1:40 p.m. — The Arlington County Police Department has released a description of the man that police say attempted to sexually assault a woman in the Arlington Mill neighborhood this morning.
Police were unable to find the suspect despite an extensive search. More from an ACPD press release:
At approximately 9:05 a.m. on April 20, Arlington County Police were dispatched to the report of a late assault in the 800 block of S. Frederick Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., an unknown male suspect forced entry into a residence, brandished a knife and attempted to sexually assault the female victim. The victim suffered minor physical injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The suspect fled the area prior to police arrival.
The suspect is described as a black male, 20-30 years old, approximately 5’7″ tall with short cropped hair. He was wearing a black shirt and black jeans at the time of the incident.
Detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers established a perimeter, canvassed the area and spoke with possible witnesses. Arlington County canine units attempted a track of the suspect and the Fairfax County Police Helicopter Unit provided an aerial search with negative results. Officers will continue conducting extra patrols in the area.
If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective J. Echenique of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4241 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Earlier: Police are actively searching for a suspect following an attempted sexual assault this morning.
A man armed with a knife strangled and tried to sexually assault a woman in the Arlington Mill neighborhood, according to scanner traffic. A responding officer reportedly spotted a man matching the description of the suspect, but he was able to flee on foot.
Police officers, a K-9 unit and the Fairfax County Police Department helicopter are now searching the wooded area around Glencarlyn Park for the suspect.
Campbell Elementary School has been secured while the search is in progress.
Suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’7” tall with short cropped hair. He was wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 20, 2018
Campbell is on Secure the Building due to police activity in the community. Students are having regular classes and a SRO is present.
— Maureen Nesselrode (@CampbellAPS) April 20, 2018
The police have been searching a grassy area near this playground. pic.twitter.com/WchzWnRxxJ
— Tim Barber (@ABC7TimBarber) April 20, 2018
Photo via Google Maps