Renovations will begin soon at Oakgrove Park and Tyrol Hills Park if the County Board gives the go-ahead for construction contracts at its meeting on Saturday.
In recent years, the Board approved funding for the earlier phases of the Tyrol Hills Park (5101 7th Road S.) renovation project, including more than $878,000 in upgrades in 2015. The current phase — phase four — is the final one and requires Board approval for a nearly $1.6 million construction contract.
The main upgrades include installing a new unisex bathroom, adding another picnic shelter and converting a sand volleyball court into a futsal court. The new court was an idea that came up during community outreach. The scope of work also includes stormwater management improvements, site furnishings, a paved plaza and landscaping.
If approved, construction on the phase four upgrades is expected to start before fall and should take about nine months.
The Board also is expected to approve the $795,000 construction contract for renovating Oakgrove Park (1606 N. Quincy Street). This is the second phase of upgrades for that park; the grass field and track renovations were completed in 2015.
This phase focuses on replacing the existing tot lot and adding play equipment for school-age children. Other improvements including replacing the picnic shelter, adding site furnishings, improving accessibility and improving stormwater management.
If approved, construction at Oakgrove Park is expected to start by the summer and last for about four months.
The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Arlington.
The warning is in effect until 8:45 p.m.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning including Washington DC, Arlington VA, Silver Spring MD until 8:45 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/jtE53mkcWP
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) April 21, 2017
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
805 PM EDT THU APR 20 2017
The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a
* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for…
The District of Columbia…
Southeastern Montgomery County in central Maryland…
Northern Prince Georges County in central Maryland…
Arlington County in northern Virginia…
The City of Falls Church in northern Virginia…
Northeastern Fairfax County in northern Virginia…
* Until 845 PM EDT
* At 804 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located over American
University, or near Rosslyn, moving east at 30 mph.
HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.
IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches
to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as
damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by
downed trees. Localized power outages are possible.
Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.
* Locations impacted include…
Arlington, Bethesda, Bowie, College Park, Greenbelt, Langley Park,
Beltsville, Forestville, Falls Church, Largo, Coral Hills,
Bladensburg, Pimmit Hills, Mclean, Byrd Stadium, Fedex Field, Fort
Totten, Rosslyn, Nationals Park and Howard University.
Get indoors to protect yourself from wind and lightning. Trees around
you may be downed from damaging winds, so if you are near large
trees, move to an interior room on the lowest floor. Don`t drive
underneath trees or in wooded areas until the threat has passed.
Arlington County police are assisting the Fairfax County Police Department in the search for a suspect who took off in the East Falls Church area after a chase.
Around 3:30 p.m. Fairfax police were called to Tysons Corner for reports of a possible fraudulent transaction at the Apple Store. Officers found two suspects in a car in a parking lot and attempted to stop them.
The suspects took off and a pursuit ensued along Route 7 and Interstate 66. During the pursuit the suspects’ vehicle struck another vehicle but nobody was hurt.
The chase ended near N. Sycamore Street and 22nd Street N. in East Falls Church. Fairfax police arrested one suspect but the other took off on foot. A resident on the 6500 block of 22nd Street N. reports seeing police confiscate bags that appear to be from the Apple Store.
A helicopter and K-9 units are assisting with an active search for the suspect in the East Falls Church neighborhood.
The suspect is described as a black man between the ages of 20 and 25 who is about 6 feet tall and 180-200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and white pants.
Police say homeowners in the area should lock windows, doors and garage doors and report anything suspicious by calling the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222, and they should not attempt to approach any person who seems suspicious. Police also recommend remaining alert into the evening because sometimes suspects emerge after they believe police activity has calmed down.
Photos courtesy Erin Donahue
Police have arrested one person for a trespassing incident that turned into a pursuit in Pentagon City.
Just before 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday police responded to a report of two suspicious people trespassing at a residential property on the 1200 block of N. Eads Street in Pentagon City. Upon arriving in the area, a K-9 officer saw the suspects fleeing on foot.
Police canvassed the area and briefly pursued the suspects on foot, then made one arrest. Further investigation revealed that at least one vehicle in the area had been tampered with.
Daikel Holsey-Stewart, 19, of Capitol Heights, MD, has been charged with tampering with an auto, trespassing and being a fugitive from justice.
The investigation is ongoing.
Lander Apologizes for Insensitive Comments — School Board member James Lander has apologized for making insensitive comments about domestic violence yesterday on the “Arlington in the Morning” radio show. Lander has taken flak for appearing to engage in victim blaming when discussing the 2010 murder of UVA student Yeardly Love. In a statement, Lander said he made a “terrible communication mistake.” [Facebook]
Airport Contract Workers Win Pay Increase — Contract workers at Reagan National and Dulles International airports won their two-year fight for higher wages. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board voted yesterday to require companies doing business with area airports to pay their workers a base hourly wage of $11.55 starting in January. Some of the workers currently make $7.25 an hour. [Washington Post]
More Passengers at DCA — More than 1.6 million passengers traveled through Reagan National Airport in February, which is a 2.6 percent increase over last year. [InsideNova]
Failing Air Grade — Arlington County earned an F grade in the American Lung Association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report. The region’s traffic created a lot of air pollution that contributed to a high level of smog in both Arlington and the District. Arlington did, however, receive an A grade in one category: particle pollution, also known as soot. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
And then there were three. The list of nine possible sites for Arlington County’s new public high school has been whittled down to three finalists.
At a work session last night, the School Board weighed constructing a 1,300-seat high school at the sites of Kenmore Middle School, the Arlington Career Center and the APS Education Center. The new school is expected to open at one of these locations in September 2022.
The options have been narrowed based on staff analyses of the pros and cons each site presents, along with feedback from the Facilities Advisory Council and the community.
The Board still must determine whether the school would be a specialized choice school, like Arlington Tech or H-B Woodlawn, or a community high school like Wakefield, Washington-Lee and Yorktown. The information gathered thus far from surveyed community members indicates that 44 percent favor a neighborhood school and 56 percent favor a specialized school.
Board member Tannia Talento brought up the importance of further examining the impact of traffic, parking and walkability at each site. She said that parking needs and traffic for extracurricular activities and special events come into play in addition to the daily school needs.
“How is it impacting the neighborhood? These things will come into play when we’re adding 1,300 seats at a site like the Ed Center or Kenmore,” she said.
School Board vice chair Barbara Kanninen questioned the feasibility of renovating or expanding any of the proposed sites rather than starting from scratch with building. That potentially could accelerate the project for completion before 2022. Regarding school overcrowding, “We really know we hit trouble in 2021,” she said.
Board chairwoman Nancy Van Doren echoed Kanninen’s sentiment about site renovation or expansion, adding that such an option could provide cost savings, perhaps even through a phased plan for adding seats over time.
“I would like to perhaps consider a hybrid option,” Van Doren said. “One of my personal criteria is cost and making sure we have enough money to build all the seats we need going forward. So if there are ways that we can provide additions or renovations at a lower cost than the total amount of money that we have currently allocated, then I’d be very interested in that.”
Site analyses will continue through mid-May, and final recommendations are expected at the Board’s May 15 work session. Final site approval is anticipated for June. Until that time, staff will continue to engage the community about the three high school site options, including through feedback received via the “Engage with APS” website.
“This is about our kids and about our families and it is emotional,” Van Doren said.
Children already are climbing on equipment at the two newly renovated playgrounds at Woodlawn Park, ahead of this weekend’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The ceremony will take place at the park (1325 N. Buchanan Street) this Saturday, April 22, at 4 p.m.
Members of the community — including kids — helped design the new playgrounds. As part of the renovation process, the new equipment was installed farther away from the creek than the previous fixtures had been.
Invasive plants were removed and the area along the creek has been reforested with native trees, shrubs and perennials. The park also now offers better accessibility. Lawn aeration and overseeding will be completed next week.
The County Board approved funding for the $795,000 neighborhood improvement project in 2014, and construction began last August. A federal grant funded part of the reforestation.
The park remains open and usable in the time leading up to the ribbon cutting.
This morning just before 4 a.m., police responded to a burglar alarm at the property and found that two men had entered the store. The suspects fled shortly after police arrived.
Although police do not release the names of affected businesses, Macy’s is the only remaining department store on that block while the Ballston mall undergoes renovation.
It doesn’t appear that the suspects took any items. More from the ACPD crime report:
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-04190032, 700 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 3:47 a.m. on April 19, officers responded to an audible burglary alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined two unknown male subjects entered a business. The subjects then fled the scene on foot shortly after. No items appear to be missing. The first subject is described as a black male, with a slim to medium build and was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt. The second subject is described as a black male, with a slim to medium build and was wearing a dark shirt. The investigation is ongoing.
More highlights from this week’s relatively thin crime report, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Rosslyn could be getting its own farmers market. The Arlington County Board is scheduled to take up the issue at its meeting on Saturday.
FRESHFARM has applied to operate a farmers market in the Central Place plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), which would run on Wednesday evenings from 4-8 p.m. from April to November.
FRESHFARM anticipates that up to 10 vendors would sell at the market for the first year.
County staff have not identified any issues with the request and recommend that the Board approves the permit for the farmers market, with a review in one year.
More Beds Likely at VHC — Virginia Hospital Center is likely to receive authorization to add more than 40 new beds. That’s less than its original request of 100 new beds, for which it received push-back. [InsideNova]
New Library App — Arlington Public Library has released a new app for iPhone and Android. Users can perform tasks including checking their accounts, searching the catalog, booking meeting rooms and checking operating hours. [Arlington County]
Kaine Staff to Hold Arlington Office Hours — Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D) staff will hold office hours at the Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Road) on Thursday from 1-3 p.m. They will be available for one-on-one meetings with citizens to answer questions or address concerns. Those interested in speaking with a staff member are encouraged to make an appointment in advance, but walk-ins also are welcome. [Sen. Tim Kaine]
On Friday, police will set up at the corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Kenmore Street from 3-5 p.m. to enforce traffic laws. They’ll ticket any driver, cyclist or pedestrian who commits a violation. On May 2, they’ll do the same at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Oakland Street from noon to 2 p.m.
ACPD will conduct the enforcement events as part of a larger D.C.-area safety campaign to reduce injuries and deaths by changing pedestrian, cyclist and driver behaviors. That campaign started yesterday and runs through mid-May.
Police note that cyclists and pedestrians make up nearly a quarter of the region’s traffic fatalities each year. They encourage everyone to safely share the roads and pay attention to one another.
(Updated at 10:45 a.m. on 4/19/17) CarPool only has been closed for two weeks, but we’re now getting a closer look at the building that will replace the long-time Ballston establishment.
Developer Jefferson Apartment Group has released new renderings and information about the structure that will occupy 4000 Fairfax Drive.
The 22-story luxury high rise will have up to 330 residential units and 264 underground parking spaces, along with a rooftop swimming pool and sundeck. The ground level will house 8,260 square feet of retail. Plans for the surrounding outdoor area include a landscaped plaza with seating.
Penzance originally had been the developer for this project when the County Board approved it in 2015, but it sold the site to Jefferson Apartment Group, who has partnered with Mitsui Fudosan America.
The property will be built and maintained to LEED Gold standards. The developers expect to break ground late this year.
Video of Weekend ATV Riders — For the second consecutive weekend, dirt bike and ATV riders took to county roads. This time, there’s clear video of the riders taking up all lanes of traffic on Route 50 and performing stunts. [WJLA]
Operation Firesafe in Full Swing — Arlington firefighters are hitting the streets for Operation Firesafe, which is the annual free door-to-door smoke alarm and fire safety canvassing program. Firefighters travel throughout the county on Saturdays from April through October to check residents’ fire safety and to install smoke detectors. Arlington residents can request a free smoke detector online. [Arlington County Fire Department]
Teen Leadership Program Applicants Wanted — The Leadership Center for Excellence is looking for motivated rising high school juniors and seniors for its summer Leadership Arlington Youth Program. [InsideNova]
The children in need of foster care come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and can no longer live in their homes because of abuse, neglect or severe family issues. Fostering is a temporary arrangement, but in some cases it can lead to adoption.
Families willing to take in teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are in particularly high demand.
The county has the following qualifications for becoming a foster parent:
- Able to accept a child who needs a lot of patience, understanding and love
Over the age of 21
- Married or single
- With or without biological children
- Employed inside or outside the home
- Living in a house or apartment in Arlington County or the surrounding Virginia area
Staff with Child and Family Services will hold an information session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The location will be sent to those who RSVP to [email protected]
Candidates Largely Favor Land Swap — During a debate, Democratic County Board candidates generally indicated they want the county to move forward with a land swap agreement with Virginia Hospital Center. VHC has offered the county various pieces of land in exchange for a 5-acre parcel of county-owned land on N. Edison Street, just north of the VHC property. [InsideNova]
Impact of Pike Streetcar Cancellation — There’s speculation that the county’s 2014 cancellation of the Columbia Pike streetcar plan may have contributed to stalling revitalization efforts in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County. [Washington Post]
New Assistant County Manager — Arlington County has named Samia Byrd as a new assistant county manager. Byrd has more than 20 years of planning experience and will serve as a senior adviser to County Manager Mark Schwartz. [Arlington County]
Historic District Proposal — Next month the County Board will consider a proposal to designate “The Hermitage,” a home at 4025 N. Randolph Street, as a local historic district. [InsideNova]