Arlington, VA

Civil War Lecture Planned

With the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War upon us, events are planned in Arlington to mark that dark time in our nation’s history.

On Thursday, Warren Nelson, chair of the of the Arlington County Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Committee, will speak at the Arlington Career Center on what the county is doing to preserve the history of the civil war.

The lecture will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and will also feature Ron Cogswell, Chief Operating Officer of the Civil War Trust.

Caught in the middle, Arlington was considered the northernmost point in the Confederacy and seen as the southernmost point in the Union territory.

A website depicting Arlington’s role in the Civil War has been created so residents can keep in the know about events during the 150th Celebration.

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Old House Set for Demolition

An older house on South Glebe Road is set for demolition, except the company that states they will tear down has no record of it.

The dilapidated house sits in the 2000 block of South Glebe Road, near Shirlington Drive next to a group of occupied town homes.

Bright orange signs are posted on the structure ordering everyone to stay out, and that the building is not safe to be inside by order of an Arlington County building official.

The side of the house that faces the road has a sign that states Tyson’s Service Corporation – company that advertises asbestos removal and building demolition – said they had no record of any services that had or will take place at the property when ARLnow.com called its main offices at 2 p.m. Monday.

So the abandoned house still sits, bright orange signs ordering all to stay away.

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The Great Star Flag was on display Monday at a home in the 1400 block of N. Lincoln Street, in the Virginia Square neighborhood.

As the older version of today’s American Flag waived proudly in the winter air, a small white board set inside a front window of the house it hangs on.

On the board in green marker was written “Today’s Flag: Great Star Flag 1836,” as if to give a brief history lesson on what flag is on display next to the door. No one was home early Monday afternoon to answer questions about the flag, or why it hangs there with its brief description.

Other flags have been known to hang in the same spot, all with their descriptions spelled out on the white board.

The outside walls of the house are pained a mixture of blue and white, and the door a fiery red, clearly matching the flag that adorns the façade. While the flag had the same red and white stripes we’re used to seeing on the flag today, the stars in the field of blue were all arranged into a larger star pattern.

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Isn’t it Romantic Music?

Who said the music had to be romantic around Valentine’s Day? IBIS did, and they want to you come and see them perform for free.

The chamber music society will appear for its “Isn’t it Romantic” performance at 4 p.m. Sunday February 13 at the Rock Spring Congregational Church at 5010 Little Falls Road in Arlington.

They’ll be performing a quartet of numbers, including “Liebeslied and Liebesfreund” by Fritz Kreisler, “Aeolian Harp” Etude and Ballade No. 3 in Ab by Chopin and “Piano Trio No. 1” by Brahms.

The music will be romantic, with flutes, strings and piano, according to IBIS.

Free street parking will be available for the performance.

IBIS was formed in Florida but now calls Arlington home.

Members of the seven-person group work with the likes of the Boston POPS Esplanade Orchestra and the Kennedy Center Opera House.

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Amy Hornbeck ordered Beef Shawarma for lunch Friday from the Sauca food truck in Rosslyn.

It was one of the few things on the menu with ingredients she recognized, and because it was the first time she’d seen the truck in the neighborhood she wanted to give it a try.

Last week was the first week Sauca had set up shop in Virginia, offering dishes like Mumbai Butter Chicken with garam masala and saffron rice, the Mexicali Fish Taco with mango pico de gallo and hot chili sauce, and the Medi Veggie with hummus, kalamata olives and dill yogurt sauce.

“I came because it looked interesting to me and I wanted to try it, and it’s close to my work,” said the Hornbaker, a consultant.

Before coming to Rosslyn, the Sauca truck spent its days in Washington’s Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods, building buzz and a loyal group of eaters with a taste for international flair. They hope to do the same here. Read More

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Those who own and operate apartment complexes and multi-family residences must now provide their residents more opportunities to recycle materials.

The Arlington County Board in December voted to change its recycling regulations and now requires businesses and multi-family homes to accommodate the recycling of additional materials like mixed paper – cardboard, office paper, junk mail, food boxes – along with metal cans and other metal objects, glass, aluminum, and plastic.

County officials say business owners have 90 days, beginning Feb. 1, to get a recycling program in place or they will be in violation of the new ordinance.

“By stepping up education and recycling requirements in the County, we plan to capture more recyclables while reducing trash – which ultimately will provide cost savings for County businesses and residents while helping to preserve our resources,” said Arlington Department of Environmental Services Director William O’Connor in a press release.

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A food truck with atmosphere and sandwiches with strange names had office workers in Rosslyn lining up Friday to get a taste of the “Bing.”

Bada Bing DC parked near the Rosslyn Metro station, offering their assortment of cheese steaks and Spiedies – cubed meat marinated in herbs and spices, cooked over a flame and then sandwiched with toppings in between a submarine roll.

Mozzarella cheese, tomato, barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese were just some of the ingredients available for Spiedies.

The sandwiches on his menu all have their own names like The Don Ho, with soy ginger glaze, carrots, green onion and crispy rice noodles.

With its unique menu and being in operation since October by a former New York City chef, the Italian-themed Bada Bing DC is a quick escape from the ordinary. Read More

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Red, Red Wine at EatBar

Wintertime temperatures for wine drinkers mean red wine, and EatBar will have plenty of it available Saturday.

The popular gastropub will present its Viva Le Rouge! Red, Red Wine tasting from 1 to 4 p.m., offering those who may be new to drinking wine to the most experienced wine drinkers the chance to try something new, and to buy their favorites at reduced prices.

“Over the years, we’ve learned people love to taste new things and they like to stock up for Valentine’s Day,” said EatBar spokeswoman Jennifer Eberline.

Nearly 20 wines will be offered during the tasting and the obvious catch for the Red, Red Wine Tasting: they’re all the same rougey color. Read More

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An Arlington man drowned outside a riverside restaurant in Dumfries, Va. early Saturday morning.

Police were called to Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant at 1:32 a.m., after the man walked away from a group he was with and had not returned for at least half an hour, Prince William County police spokesman Jonathan Perok said.

Members of the department’s marine unit and dive team found the man’s body floating in the Potomac River near the restaurant, Perok said.

Police identified the victim as 74-year-old Shelton Carl Burstrom of Arlington.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed this afternoon to determine the cause of death. Police do not suspect foul play.

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Virginia Republicans got a major boost last month from those vying to build toll lanes on Interstates 95 and 395.

The Texas-based engineering firm Fluor and Australian toll road developer Transurban collectively donated $20,000 to Virginia’s GOP in May, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Neither company donated to Democrats in the most recent reporting period, according to VPAP records.

The money comes as Governor Robert McDonnell and state transportation officials are pushing to resurrect a plan to replace HOV lanes with High Occupancy Toll lanes on both highways. The lanes on I-95 would then be extended from Dumfries to Spotsylvania County to make a 56-mile toll road, which would compliment HOT lanes now being built on the Capital Beltway, between Springfield and Dulles Toll Road, by the same two companies.

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.

Fluor was also a major contributor to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s 2009 campaign. The company’s $25,000 in donations made Fluor one of McDonnell’s largest contributors, according to VPAP records.

VPAP also shows Fluor donated $15,000 to McDonnell’s inaugural committee in January, making for a total of $307, 235 in donations to Virginia Republicans since the introduction of the I-95/395 HOT lanes project in 2002. During the same period, Fluor donated $146,200 to state Democrats.

The I-95/395 HOT lanes project stalled last August when the companies said they didn’t have enough private investors to back the project and after Arlington County filed a lawsuit against the state and federal government over the project. It claimed the necessary environmental impact studies that needed to be completed before the lanes could be built were never done. Officials also said the lanes would have an adverse affect on Arlington residents who live along the I-395 corridor.

The suit could now end up in federal court.

If the I-95/395 HOT lanes are finally approved, it’s not clear how much drivers would have to pay to use the lanes or how long the two companies would lease the lanes from the state.

When the Beltway HOT lanes open in late 2012, Fluor-Transubran will lease the lanes for 75 years.

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Area business leaders are urging Arlington to drop its lawsuit against High Occupancy Toll lanes on Interstate 395 and 95.

Twenty professionals, including Arlington Chamber of Commerce president Richard V. Doud, Jr., signed a memo urging county board chairman Jay Fisette to embrace the toll lanes project.

“The primary obstacle to advancing this innovative, multi-modal improvement is the Arlington County Board’s lawsuit that precludes the project from securing any private or public sector funding,” the letter stated.

Alexandria and Prince William County business leaders also signed the letter, despite opposition to the project from elected leaders in those jurisdictions.

When Arlington filed the suit in August 2009, officials said the lanes would create more traffic, would lead to more pollution and would have an adverse affect on Arlington residents who live along I-395. They said Virginia transportation officials were allowed move forward with the project without conducting the necessary environmental studies.

Arlington officials also said the lanes would benefit mostly affluent, white residents from Stafford and Spotsylvania counties. Wednesday’s letter called those allegations absurd.

“Charges that the Obama administration and Governor Tim Kaine’s Secretary of Transportation acted with the ‘implicit intent’ to harm minority and vulnerable populations and benefit predominantly Caucasian Virginians are not credible and frankly an embarrassment to this region,” the letter stated.

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