Facility Helping Families Supervise Visitation Is Seeking Volunteers

The Arlington Juvenile Court Services Unit is looking for volunteers to help with a new program helping families affected by domestic violence.

The Safe Havens Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center opened in January and supervises children during visits with parents accused of abuse. It’s also a safe meeting place for parents with shared custody who need to exchange children for visits, but may need to be kept separated from each other.

Safe Havens is seeking volunteers to spend eight hours a month at the center helping with tasks like escorting children between rooms.

The center is hoping volunteers can also help answer phones, assist program coordinators with record keeping, and keep an eye on supervised visits after being trained in the center’s procedures by staff.

The goal of the facility is to “improve safety for the community at large, eliminating the need for families in conflict to meet in public places” per the county’s January announcement of its opening.

The Safe Havens center is located at the county’s Stambaugh Human Services Center (2100 Washington Blvd) in Penrose. During the weekdays, the facility is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. On weekends, it’s open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

A county spokeswoman said the center is especially in need of volunteers who speak Spanish, and have experience working with children and families in crisis.

Judge George D. Varoutsos, who is Chief Judge of the Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, previously said he was “thrilled” to see the center open.

Arlington’s Project PEACE, a group dedicated to ending sexual and domestic violence at the Department of Human Services, was tasked by Varoutsos to create Safe Havens after the judge said he realized supervised visitation “has been missing from the array of services that we can provide victims of domestic violence in Arlington courts.”

Interested volunteers are asked to contact Safe Havens coordinator Joanne Hamilton at 703-228-4021.

Photo via Arlington County

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County Asking for Feedback on Trades Center Ahead of Plans to Address Overcrowding

Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools are asking residents to share their thoughts about the Arlington County Trades Center, near Shirlington, as the county prepares to address longstanding space issues.

The online survey asks county residents questions about how close they live to the Trades Center, whether noise from the county-owned industrial site bothers them, asks for their feedback on services offered at the lot, as well as what residents would like to change.

Many county departments stored equipment and operated maintenance facilities on the 38-acre site since the 1950s.  However, the “siting of operations and offices developed when space was abundant. Now, room for growth is limited given the developed surrounding area, while service levels have increased in size and complexity” according to the county’s announcement about the survey

Residents will be able to fill out the survey until Thursday, April 4.

Currently the grounds are home to a bevy of county vehicles and offices including:

  • Arlington Public Schools (APS) buses and vehicles
  • Firefighting training site
  • Animal Welfare League of Arlington
  • Police impound lot
  • Solid Waste and Traffic Engineering offices
  • Road salt storage

The county has discussed ideas to free up space at Trades Center for years, particularly for APS which added 40 buses to its fleet between 2011 and 2016 as enrollment continues to grow.

County staff warned that overcrowding was “impacting service delivery” for APS buses and other vehicles in a 2016 presentation.

Last June the County Board approved a five-year agreement letting APS park maintenance vehicles and staff’s personal vehicles at the county’s “Buck site” property at 1425 N. Quincy Street in Virginia Square instead of the Trades Center. In May, the Board also greenlit a plan allowing APS to park its “white fleet” of special vans and buses at Buck site.

But shifting some APS parking to the Buck site was “not a long-term vision” to solve the chronic crowding at the Trades Center, Board Chair Christian Dorsey said after the 2018 vote.

The county has hired Canadian-based engineering consulting firm Stantec for help surveying Arlington residents and county employees to find that solution.

The Board is scheduled to present potential solutions publicly this summer, and following a several-month review period, is scheduled to present their final plan this fall.

Photo via Arlington County

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Friday Races to Return to Crystal City in April

Crystal City’s 5K Fridays are just around the corner for those looking for a “low key race” each week.

The race series returns to Crystal City for its 10th anniversary this year. Starting on April 5, runners can race each Friday starting 6:30 p.m. Billed as the area’s “fittest happy hour,” Crystal City 5K Fridays give race participants tickets for exclusive bars after they finish.

The race itself starts and ends at the Crystal City Courtyard Green (2121 Crystal Drive), looping along Crystal Drive and Long Bridge Drive.

Attendees can register here and pay $25 for one race, or $75 for all the races which comes with a free T-shirt.

Crystal City 5K Fridays is organized by Pacers Running store and sponsored by the Crystal City Business Improvement District and JBG Smith.

Runners can check their bags with race attendants before the 5K begins and will have access to restrooms in the Crystal City Shops (2100 Crystal Drive), per the organizer’s website.

Participants can use a water station at the start line to fill up water bottles and will be able to refill at another water station organizers say will be outside Long Bridge Park.

Current course records for the Friday race are 15 minutes, 10 seconds for men set by Bert Rodriguez in 2011, and 16 minutes, 22 seconds for women set by Susanna Sullivan in 2016, according to the Pacers website.

Photo via Pacers Running

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Rosslyn Safeway Upgraded With New Starbucks, Seafood, and Shelves

The long-awaited upgrades to Rosslyn’s aging Safeway are almost done, store staff say.

Customers may have already noticed several changes in the store at 1525 Wilson Blvd, also known as the “Subterranean Safeway.” The Starbucks counter is now located by the front doors, rebuilt with the coffee company’s trademark white subway tiles.

Today (Thursday) people queued in long lines for coffee at 8 a.m. and a store employee joked that customers were already “wearing the new Starbucks out.”

Inside the Rosslyn store is also a seafood department — the location’s first — situated in the rear next to the new “Butcher Block” section with sliced meats.

The frozen section also has new freezers. Shelves in several aisles were also replaced with new ones placed wide apart and lit by LED strips. New self-checkout machines have joined the check-out aisles.

Store managers have also expanded the produce section, housing the fruits and vegetables in new wooden displays.

Construction continues in the deli and bakery section of the store, which staff told ARLnow is being expanded to include a flower section and curve around the wide alcove under the street windows.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District said previously that the upgrades would be completed this spring.

Safeway replaced the tile floor with concrete, added the self check-out machines, and began replacing the raising aisle shelves in January “to provide more space for a greater variety of products.”

Rosslyn residents has long requested renovations on the store, which has operated out of the location since 1962.

Neighborhoods previously told the BID that “better grocery stores” was a top priority for the neighborhood.

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Long-Time Jeweler at Courthouse Plaza Now Closed

Courthouse Jewelers at Courthouse Plaza is now closed “permanently,” according to a tipster and online business listings.

The shop on 2200 Clarendon Blvd bought and sold jewelry and was known for its watch repairs.

“It was a venerable institution,” said the tipster. “Bet they changed thousands of watch batteries for county staff over the years.”

As of today (Thursday) the inside of the small shop is empty. The only light left on is the white, block-lettering sign on the awning outside.

The shop’s website also appears to have shuttered. Courthouse Jewelers’ owner could not be reached, the shop’s phone number has been disconnected and its Facebook page has been inactive since 2012.

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County’s Recycling Costs Continue to Rise, Glass’s Future Still Uncertain

(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Arlington County’s costs for recycling is continuing to rise after a Chinese ban last year, officials say, but most of what residents place in the recycling bin is still getting recycled.

Costs for processing recyclables have risen from $15.73 per ton to $28.62 per ton in the last six months as the value of things like paper and plastics is plummeting, Arlington’s chief of solid waste Erik Grabowsky told ARLnow today.

Recyclables remain cheaper than trash, which costs the county $43.16 per ton, but the industry lost the primary way items get recycled.

Recycling is a $200 billion global industry with China importing as much as 70 percent — that is, until the country abruptly stopped in January 2018 over pollution concerns. The loss of such a big buyer has plummeted the value of some plastics and low-grade paper, forcing many cities to nix recycling all together, the New York Times reported last week.

“The China Ban has negatively impacted recycling commodity markets around the world. As a result, the value of the recycling material collected in the county has declined,” Gabrowsky said.

Another ongoing problem for the county is glass.

Glass may seem like an easy material to reuse, but “single-stream” recycling systems like Arlington’s often shatter bottles. The result are mixed-up colored glass shards, which makes it difficult to separate from other recyclable materials.

County officials announced in October that Arlington might end glass recycling, but a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Services said today that the county “is still studying the issue and has not made a decision on whether or not to remove glass from the recycling stream at this time.”

Today, he says the county is sending almost all the glass collected from people’s recycling bins to landfills. (Paper and plastics are still being recycled, Gabrowsky said.)

The only exception is glass delivered to the county’s two drop-off centers at N. Quincy Street and Washington Blvd and 2700 S. Taylor Street.

Glass from those two containers is shipped to Fairfax County where local officials are experimenting with a pulverization machine that smashes glass into sand they hope can be used to repair roads.

While the future of Arlington’s glass is uncertain, he said the county will “continue to collect the same recyclable material list, but would ask that residents adhere strictly to the list and not place items into the recycling cart that are not recyclable like plastic bags.”

More advice on recycling smart and reducing waste from DES, below:

  • “By far the best way to manage our waste is to generate less waste to begin with. Consider reusing, repairing and donating items before you dispose them.”
  • “Make sure food and beverage containers are empty and free from food and other residue before you place them into the blue cart. It is a good idea to do a quick rinse to containers that held anything that can spoil.”
  • “When you recycle, include only correct materials. Leave out things like plastic bags, plastic foam cups and plates, food residue, liquids and miscellaneous garbage.”
  • “To find out how to properly dispose of items, check out our Where Does It Go? directory.”

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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‘Bark Madness’ Brings Basketball and Puppies to Ballston BID

(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) It’s the eve of the big NCAA basketball tournament and the Ballston Business Improvement District is planning to mark the occasion with puppies.

The BID is hosting an event dubbed “Bark Madness” from 5-7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday), with pizza and drinks — and puppies looking for a home. The event is being held at the BID’s office at 4600 N. Fairfax Drive.

“The BID office will be filled with pups and dogs of all shapes and sizes ready to be drafted into a permanent home,” said a spokeswoman for the BID.

Proceeds from the event will go to Arlington’s Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, which teams up with other rescues to help home animals from kill shelters. Homeward Trails is also where many of our Pet of the Week stars come from.

Attendees are asked to make a $25 donation to Homeward Trails to attend.

As for the cat lovers, don’t despair: Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is hosting a cat adoption event at noon this coming Saturday, March 23 at the Ballston Unleashed by Petco (3902 Wilson Blvd).

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Trees Cut Down Near Long Bridge Park to Some Residents’ Dismay

(Updated at 12:33 a.m.) A row of trees lining the railroad tracks near Long Bridge Park in Crystal City is no more after CSX crews began removing them last week, upsetting some residents who say they were an important part of the park’s aesthetic.

Dominique Williams lives nearby in Crystal City and says she comes to the park every day for an afternoon walk. After not visiting for the last week, she was shocked to see the trees gone when she went on a stroll earlier this week.

“When I saw it this morning I said what is going on?” said Williams, gesturing at the pile of broken limbs once a part of the trees she said gave a je ne sais quoi to her daily stroll.

“This takes a lot away from the park,” she said. “It had a vibe, really, and now it’s not there anymore.”

Crews could be seen cutting up stumps and gathering timber for the shredder along the train tracks on Tuesday.

Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish told ARLnow that CSX is removing the trees, not the county, as the land where the trees were growing belongs to the freight rail company.

CSX spokeswoman Sheriee S. Bowman said the company to aims to “positively impact the environment” but had to remove the trees due to an ongoing construction project to build a road running parallel to the tracks.

“This project was designed with the goal of disturbing as few trees as possible, but due to property limitations parallel to the tracks, some tree removal on CSX’s right-of-way was unavoidable,” said Bowman. “Upon completion of the road, CSX will plant 220 new trees and 188 new shrubs in the project area – more than the 217 that will be removed.”

More from CSX’s statement:

“We have chosen native tree and shrub species which will provide a more robust green space than what was previously in place. Additionally, crews will clean trash and debris that has accumulated in this area. The project has been scheduled in close coordination with Arlington County and CSX has maintained open lines of communication with the Crystal City Civic Association and local residents on local impacts. Construction for this project began on March 4th and should be completed by early May.”

Late last year the company notified the Crystal City Civic Association that it intended to remove trees for the construction of a planned access road near the park.

More from the civic association, via a December Facebook post:

CSX has submitted plans for County permits to install an access gate at the 12th Street entrance to Long Bridge Park and an access road along the tracks. This replacement is needed since the current access at the northern end of Long Bridge Park will end when the County’s construction of the Aquatics and Fitness Center starts. The issue will come before the County Board this Saturday, December 15, for approval.

CSX has shown that the gate and road will be built on its property. There will be no changes to the entrance to the park, 12th Street, or Crystal Drive. Beyond the end of the map shown, the road will run parallel to the tracks for about a half mile up to the signals. It will be asphalt from the gate down to the track level and gravel the remainder to the signals.

CSX designed the project with the goal of disturbing as few trees as possible, but due to the limited property parallel to the tracks, some removal on CSX Right of Way is unavoidable. However, the plan includes extensive tree and shrub replanting after construction with more trees and shrubs than are there today. After construction, the new access road (which will be on CSX ROW parallel to the tracks) will be used by light pickup trucks for the signal maintainers and track inspectors. Under normal circumstances, they would probably use the access road 2-3 times a week.

Another Crystal City resident said it’s important to balance business needs with the community but that her family will miss the trees when they come to the park now.

“You can’t stop progress but we would have liked if they kept the trees,” she said

Jim, a retired Fairfax resident who also uses the park, said “overall it’s a positive” that the trees are gone because it also led to the removal of litter and construction debris — what he described as a “garbage dump” — next to the tracks.

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After Amazon, Developer Adds Units to Planned Apartment Building Near HQ2

What was first proposed as a 280-unit apartment and retail development in the Crystal City/Pentagon City area has grown to more than 300 units.

Last fall, developer LCOR Inc. filed a preliminary site plan application for a 285-unit multi-family and retail development at the intersection of 12th Street S. and S. Eads Street, on the site of a low-slung Verizon building and parking lot.

In February, three months after Amazon announced that it would be building its massive “HQ2” across the street, the developer upped the requested number of units in the 19-story building to 306 units, according to county records. LCOR has said that it will provide additional community benefits in exchange for the added density.

The revised February application also reduced the planned retail space on the ground floor from 12,194 square feet down to 10,908 square feet.

The proposed building will be located at 400 11th Street S. and will feature a mix of one and two bedroom apartments, along with a rooftop recreation space. LCOR Inc. is calling the multi-family and retail development the “12th Street Apartments” and plans also includes a three-level parking garage with 114 spaces, with parking for both cars and bikes.

LCOR purchased the land from Verizon this past summer for $9.5 million, the Washington Business Journal reported, and has said it hopes to break ground in 2020. LCOR Executive Vice President and Principal Harmar Thompson told the Journal he hopes to lease the retail space to a “two-story bar-and-restaurant.”

The developer has been active in the area, previously acquiring the nearby former Department of Defense Inspector General “Paperclip” building, where it built a high-end, 451-unit apartment building called the Altaire.

In December, LCOR teamed up with Crystal City BID to set up an interactive art display on the site of the new development.

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Arlington to Host Conference for Women Entrepreneurs

This week Arlington is hosting conference dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington area.

The We Thrive Women Entrepreneurs’ Conference will be held on Thursday at Founders Hall at George Mason University’s Arlington campus (3351 Fairfax Drive) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and aims to provide business growth and social media training and opportunities to network for female entrepreneurs.

Keynote speakers include Melinda F. Emerson of the Pennsylvania-based marking consulting firm Quintessence Group who will share lessons from her 20 years growing and advising small businesses. Other keynote speakers include attorney Nicole Cober and Jen Pilcher of MilSpouseFest.

The all-day event includes break out sessions on topics like raising your capital, federal contracts, marketing tips, and pitching.

Arlington Strategy CEO Jennifer Mulchandani will moderate a workshop on marketing tips. The workshop will also include panelists Romona Foster, a social media consultant, Evelyn Powers who co-founded website design company Design Powers, Inc., and Maritza Lizama of brand developer LiMon, LLC

Tickets sell for $150 and those interested in attending can register here.

Also happening Thursday in Arlington is East Coast VentureCON 2019, which is billed as a conference for “VCs, angels, and entrepreneurs on the East Coast” looking to network, attend events, and check out the an “innovation showcase” with speed pitches from startup companies.

The conference is being held at Marymount University in Ballston (1000 N. Glebe Road) and ticket prices range from $159 to $3,000.

Photo via Flickr user Marco Verch

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Police: Man Knifes Victim’s Neck After Confrontation in Clarendon

(Updated on 3/19/2019) Arlington police are searching for two men they say were involved in a knife attack early Friday morning.

Police say someone approached officers patrolling on the 2900 block of Clarendon Boulevard — the same block as the Cheesecake Factory — with a knife wound on their neck.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that as of Monday at 4:45 p.m. the investigation is still ongoing and the suspects had not been arrested.

The attack happened just after 2 a.m. Friday after the victim asked their friends to stop talking to two men as he or she wanted to leave, Savage said. The two men then began following the group and “following a verbal altercation, one suspect produced a blade and struck the victim in the neck,” according to police.

The victim reportedly suffered a superficial laceration to the neck which did not require medical aid.

Police described the suspects as two 5’8″ white men — one balding, tattooed, and weighing 140 lbs, and the other with “an athletic build” who wore a black T-shirt and jeans during the incident.

If apprehended, the suspect who wielded the knife could be charged with malicious wounding, which under Virginia code carries a penalty of between 5 and 20 years behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000.

Full details from the county crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-03150030, 2900 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 2:09 a.m. on March 15, officers on routine patrol were approached by a victim suffering from a superficial laceration to the neck. The victim did not require medical attention. Upon investigation, it was determined that the victim’s friends were speaking with two unknown males when the victim approached them and told them it was time to go. The unknown male suspects began following the group and following a verbal altercation, one suspect produced a blade and struck the victim in the neck. The suspects fled the scene prior to police notification. Suspect 1 is described as a white male, bald with tattoos, between 5’8″ – 5’9″ tall and approximately 140 lbs. Suspect 2 is described as a white male, approximately 5’8″ with an athletic build. He was wearing a short sleeve black shirt and light colored jeans at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Arlington Agenda: March 18-24

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, March 18

SCREENAGERS – Growing Up in the Digital Age
Saint Ann Parish Hall (5300 1oth Street N.)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The film SCREENAGERS addresses the most pervasive parenting issue of our time head on-depicting teen struggles over social media, video games and internet addiction.

Wednesday, March 20

Toastmasters Open House*
Arlington Mill Community Center (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 5:30-6:45 p.m.

Seeking people interested in communication and leadership: Hear from experienced guest speakers and learn how Toastmasters helps members develop leadership skills and gain confidence.

Tea and History: A Look at the Women’s Suffrage Movement
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 2-4 p.m.

Come join us for afternoon tea and to learn the fascinating history of the fight for women’s voting rights as the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment to the Constitution nears.

Aquatics Forum
W-L Little Theater (1300 N. Stafford Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Learn how Arlington’s FY 2020 budget affects admission fee and the current and future operations of the Arlington’s schools pools. Join us March 20 from 7-9 p.m.

Thursday, March 21

Dry Shade Gardening “Made in the Shade”
Little Falls Presbyterian Church (6025 Little Falls Road)
Time: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Learn about design choices, soil amendments, proven plant choices and inventive space substitutions for gardening in dry shade conditions.

Friday, March 22

Saint Agnes Lenten Soup Suppers*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The Lenten suppers will take place on Fridays through April 5 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Parish Hall. It will be followed by confessions and stations of the cross in the church.

Saturday, March 23

“Backyard Critters,” A Photo Exhibit Opening Reception and Artists’ Talk*
Cherrydale Branch Library (2190 N. Military Road)
Time:  2-4 p.m.

Sightings of foxes, deer, hawks, owls and even flying squirrels have proliferated in Arlington in recent years. This exhibit comprises photographs taken by three local photographers.

Sunday, March 24

National Chamber Ensemble — The Viennese Classics*
Gunston Arts Center (2700 S. Lang Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Experience the musical era obsessed with clarity, charm, balance, form and the works of Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Cherry Blossom Tea
The Ritz-Carlton (1250 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 2-4 p.m.

Enjoy cherry blossom-inspired creations and Japanese-influenced delicacies, including unique teas and signature cocktails. Prices start at $42 per person.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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County Board Amends Zoning Regulations in Bid to Make Childcare More Affordable

The Arlington County Board has approved zoning rules they hope will help parents afford rising childcare costs by increasing local childcare options.

The Board voted unanimously during its Saturday meeting to change several zoning ordinances as part of a mission to overhaul the regulations on childcare centers, with the goal of making it possible for more providers to open up shop.

“These carefully crafted changes will be welcomed by our hard-working Arlington families who need access to high-quality child care,” said County Board Chair Christian Dorsey.

The amendments target regulations that childcare business owners and county staff have said makes it hard to run daycares or open new ones.

One change allows small, in-home daycare providers to care for up to nine kids by right, meaning providers no longer need to go through the county’s extensive use permitting process now reserved for homes caring for 10 or more kids.

Summer camps are now allowed to operate with by right process, rather than having to seek a use permit like a daycare provider, thanks to the Board’s Saturday vote.

The vote also reduces parking requirements for childcare centers after business owners complained they were expensive and county staff found parking spaces often went unused. Zoning ordinances previously required one parking space per employee, but the amendment will change that requirement to one space per eight children. The Board also approved a reduction in the parking requirement if the the daycare is near Metro or bus stations.

The Planning Commission’s Zoning Committee approved the amendments in January after they had been discussed for months. Now that they have the Board’s approval, the changes are set to go into effect on July 1.

A 2017 draft action plan noted there are “significant gaps between supply and demand” for childcare in Arlington, stating in its findings Arlington had 6,984 licensed spaces for 13,435 kids under the age of five.

Officials think the gap might be one of the reasons why the average yearly daycare bill for Arlington families is $42,705 — $2,000 higher than the average bill in D.C., and one of the highest in the country.

“The District has just as much supply-demand pressure, yet we’re more expensive,” Dorsey said in July. “I’m not interested in Arlington exceptionalism when it comes to this.”

More from a county press release:

The proposed changes arise from recommendations included in the Child Care Initiative Action Plan the Board accepted in July 2018, after a year-long community engagement process. The plan’s short-term recommendations include increasing flexibility in Zoning Ordinance provisions that regulate center-based and family-based child care programs in Arlington, and examining local child care regulations to incorporate Virginia state standards. The proposed changes are meant to eliminate perceived and actual barriers to child care in the County.

“The Child Care Initiative’s research, particularly the ‘Risk and Reach’ Study, confirmed that Arlington’s childcare crunch isn’t just an anecdotal challenge for individual families, it’s a systemic problem that affects Arlington’s economic competitiveness, and our goals of achieving equitable outcomes for all our kids and families,” said Board Member Katie Cristol, who proposed the initiative as the Board’s 2018 Chair. “These proposed changes to our Zoning Ordinance and Childcare Codes represent a coordinated, comprehensive approach to the problem, and reflect nearly two years of dedication, analysis and compromise among stakeholders in the initiative.”

The proposed changes are the result of a comprehensive outreach and engagement process that included parents, child care program staff, and other local stakeholders.

“The hard work of a lot of people in this community, in partnership with our Department of Human Services, has produced proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance and County Code that, if adopted next month by this Board, will improve child care options in Arlington for all our families,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. “As a father, I know how stressful the hunt for high-quality, affordable child care can be. I am so proud of the creative, can-do approach of all those who participated in the Child Care Initiative. Arlington families, for years to come, will thank you for your efforts.”

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Construction Underway at “The Lot” in Clarendon

Construction is now underway at “The Lot,” a long-awaited outdoor beer garden in Clarendon.

A red, enclosed deck and pine picnic tables are being built at the site, at the corner of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N. The Rebel Taco food truck is now parked on the site behind a fence.

The site has been in the works for two years on a former used car lot in Clarendon. Since then progress has been slow: a wooden fence erected in October last year was the first major work. In February, crews replaced the site’s old Prime Auto Group signs with two black billboard-style signs reading “The Lot: Beer Garden.”

The company behind The Lot is Social Restaurant Group, which also opened Pamplona and Bar Bao. Originally, they planned to open The Lot in March 2017 but were delayed until the summer, then the following spring, citing a lengthy permitting process.

The Lot’s permit application asked for at least 150 seats, an enclosed deck, and a kitchen.

Social Restaurant Group co-founder Mike Bramson told ARLnow last year he hoped The Lot would offer “a vast variety, from Belgian to German to local craft beers” as well as frozen drinks, food from the Rebel Taco food truck, and games like cornhole and giant Jenga.

The beer garden’s website is currently blank and its Facebook page has no information yet on when it may open.

 

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Police Increasing Security Around Houses of Worship After New Zealand Terror Attack

Arlington police have increased patrols around houses of worship following the recent terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the department has stepped up patrols and “conducted public outreach to our faith-based communities” in the county.

“Since the attack in New Zealand, we have been in contact with the leaders of Muslim faith-based communities in Arlington County to address any concerns they may have and ensure open lines of communication,” Savage said, adding that “officers are conducting increased patrols for all faith-based communities.”

Police are also offering “safety presentations” for community groups on active shooter situations, reporting suspicious activity, and the “risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities” in houses of worship.” Groups interested can schedule a training by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

Muslim houses of worship in Arlington include the Baitul Mukarram Masjid mosque on S. Nelson Street in Nauck. There are also Muslim prayer services held at some local churches and hotels, according to listings found online.

The beefed up security comes after at 50 people were killed in shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Friday. The 28-year-old suspect in custody is an Australian man who reportedly posted an 87-page white supremacist memo prior to the killings.

Savage stressed that while “there are no known threats in Arlington County” people are encouraged to report suspicious activity to department by calling the non-emergency line — 703-558-2222 — or 9-1-1 in an emergency

Police in D.C. and Fairfax and Montgomery counties have also increased patrols around mosques in their communities, WTOP reported.

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