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by Bridget Reed Morawski April 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Car rental company car2go is reducing its Arlington service area.

The northernmost six square miles of the county will not longer be serviced by the company as of May 1, according to an email the company sent to customers.

Car2go users will still be able to drive in that area, but won’t be able to begin or end a trip in the uncovered zone. According to Kendell Kelton, car2go’s North America communications manager, the removed area begins just north of Lee Highway and Interstate 66.

The section of the county that is losing service, the company wrote, is “a mostly suburban area with high car ownership rates and low free-float carshare usage.”

Car2go notified customers Thursday morning, saying that the change was, in part, “due to member and resident feedback,” but also from the company’s data analytics. Car2go representatives declined to comment on the exact figures.

“It should be noted that car2go continually analyzes usage data and member feedback and makes adjustments to our Home Area boundaries on that basis,” said Kendell Kelton, a car2go spokesperson. “If we ever see that this information indicates that expansion back into this area is warranted, we would certainly consider doing so.”

Staff at car2go wrote in the email to consumers that the company believes the service change “will allow [them] to improve car2go availability for the majority of county residents who rely on our service the most.”

The car rental company came to Arlington back in 2015 and experienced a surge in ridership in 2016.

by ARLnow.com April 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm 0

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

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 20, 2018 at 10:55 am 0

A Virginia Square lounge and restaurant may have a permit renewed at tomorrow’s Arlington County Board meeting despite outstanding code violations.

Darna Lounge was closed in February due to “numerous violations of the Building, Fire, Zoning and Environmental Health codes, affecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.” The structure was deemed unfit for habitation but has since reopened.

According to a county report, most of the violations have been corrected and the applicant is “diligently pursuing resolution of the outstanding issues.” But some still remain, per a county staff report.

The establishment was allowed to reopen after correcting the major violations that were identified during the coordinated inspection. The applicant was granted an extension to April 1, 2018 to come into full compliance. A building permit to correct the outstanding violations was submitted on March 12, 2018, for the purpose of addressing unapproved alterations to the building. However, the applicant was not able to meet the April 1, 2018 deadline. The Inspection Services Division (ISD) has provided comments to the applicant that require revisions to the drawings associated with the building permit. The applicant is in the process of addressing the comments and resubmitting the revised drawings.

Despite the building concerns, the County Manager’s office is recommending that the Board approve a renewal of Darna’s live entertainment and dancing permit, with an administrative review in three months.

“Staff finds that at this time the applicant is reasonably working to resolve the outstanding violations, which are not deemed to be of a life, health or safety concern,” the report said, “Therefore, staff recommends renewal of the subject use permit with a three (3) month County Board review (July 2018).”

Staff also notes that police reported no recent issues with the business and that Darna reps “attended the Arlington Restaurant Initiative training on April 7, 2018 conducted by ACPD officers.”

The lounge recently gained some national notoriety as the location where Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson was caught on camera cheating on his pregnant, reality TV star girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian.

Darna, at 946 N. Jackson Street, opened back in 2012.

File photo

by ARLnow.com April 20, 2018 at 9:55 am 0

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.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com April 20, 2018 at 8:55 am 0

Clement to Face Kanninen Again — “The 2018 Arlington School Board race is likely to be a rerun of 2014. Audrey Clement and incumbent Barbara Kanninen have qualified for ballot access, county elections chief Linda Lindberg told the Sun Gazette, setting up a reprise of their campaign from four years ago.” [InsideNova]

PenPlace Sketches Released — JBG Smith has released new sketches of its planned PenPlace development in Pentagon City. The development includes “two seven-story apartment buildings totaling 300 units, 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a future park.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Palooza Set for Saturday — The second annual Arlington Palooza,”a free outdoor program for all ages with live music, art, games and more,” is set to take place Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at Alcova Heights Park. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Arlington Historical Society Getting Donation — Per a press release: “The Arlington Historical Society will receive a significant donation this spring as Arlington welcomes National Capital Bank to the Courthouse/Clarendon area on Wilson Blvd. National Capital Bank President Randy Anderson, who grew up in Arlington, called to inform AHS President Johnathan Thomas that the Society was chosen as one of the charities the Bank will support with a grant award.”

Real Estate Inventory Crunch — “Long & Foster says… the number of houses and condos on the market, in D.C., Loudoun County and Arlington County was down 22 percent in March compared to a year ago.” [WTOP]

Live Construction Cam in Ballston — The new 672 Flats apartment building (an ARLnow.com advertiser) in Ballston set up a live camera to track the construction progress. The camera is viewable online and shows an aerial view of the apartments and a portion of the neighborhood. [OxBlue]

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm 0

An arrest has been made in connection to the sneaker store arson and burglary on Columbia Pike last Friday (April 13).

Jimmy Andrews, 44, of no fixed address, has been charged with arson, arson while committing a felony, burglary, and grand larceny.

He was arrested while “walking in the area of Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive,” according to police, at about 4 a.m. this morning (April 19).

Legends Kicks & Apparel, the business that was burglarized and set alight, is approximately 360 feet from where the suspected arsonist was arrested.

Patrol officers observed Andrews and noted that he matched the suspect’s description, according to the Arlington County Police Department. Andrews was “found to be in possession of an item of value allegedly belonging to the victim business,” according to an ACPD press release.

On Tuesday (April 17), police released a video showing the suspect walking along Columbia Pike and spilling merchandise along the sidewalk.

Andrews is being held without bond.

Photo courtesy of Arlington County Police Department

by ARLnow.com April 19, 2018 at 11:55 am 0

(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) A trash truck smashed into a half dozen cars near Rosslyn this morning.

The crash was reported just after 11 a.m., at the intersection of N. Nash Street and the Arlington Blvd access road, in Ft. Myer Heights.

The truck was going up the steep hill on N. Nash Street when it lost its momentum and started rolling down, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant.

On the way down it struck five vehicles, destroyed part of a stone wall and came to a stop in an apartment building parking lot. It also pushed at least one vehicle over a retaining wall and onto the street and sidewalk below.

Police and firefighters are on scene and the intersection is closed to traffic during the cleanup. The driver of the truck is currently being evaluated for injuries, O’Bryant said.

Photos via @idlelupino, Google Maps

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 19, 2018 at 10:55 am 0

A proposed child care center in Courthouse is likely to be approved by the County Board at this weekend’s meeting, but it is not without some controversy.

Residents of the Woodbury Heights Condominiums have raised concerns about the proximity of the proposed Bright Horizons child care center to Arlington’s Homeless Services Center, according to the county staff report.

Several tenants of the Courthouse condominium building publicly opposed the homeless shelter prior to its construction due to safety and property value concerns.

The 24-hour homeless shelter is at 2020 14th Street N., and the child care facility would be at 2000 14th Street N. That’s a distance of less than 330 feet, according to a Google Maps estimate.

Pending approval, the child care center would also be near Ragtime restaurant, as well as Arlington County Police headquarters, the county jail and the county courthouse.

The center is slated to have a maximum permitted enrollment of 136 children, but the number could be set lower by Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services if deemed necessary.

County staff concluded that “the proposed location of the Bright Horizons child care center is not anticipated to cause an undue adverse impact on the surrounding community and will provide a valuable service at the proposed location.”

The report added that the site has adequate parking spaces and public transportation access. The child care center would convert 10,868 square feet of office space into child care use. An outdoor plaza would be converted into a 4,645 square foot outdoor play space enclosed by a five foot fence.

The Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association did not object to the child care center and several nearby apartment buildings did not respond to county staff’s notification, according to county documents.

The child care center would help with the county’s lack of available child care services. The shortage of child care options — particularly affordable options — relative to demand prompted the launch of the county’s Child Care Initiative in December.

Bright Horizons has agreed to operate from Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. The child care chain has three locations in Arlington already — in Rosslyn, Ballston, and Crystal City — and has dozens across the country.

Attempts to reach a current representative of the Woodbury Heights Condominium Association were unsuccessful.

Photo via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com April 19, 2018 at 9:55 am 0

Petition in Support of Affordable Housing Project — The website Greater Greater Washington is helping to promote a petition that intends to counter resident complaints about a proposed affordable housing project on the former Red Cross site along Route 50. Neighbors are concerned that the project might “defile” the Buckingham neighborhood, with increased traffic and school overcrowding and a loss of green space. [GGW, GGW]

‘A Friend’ Writes Thank You Note to ACPD — From the Arlington County Police Department Twitter account: “To the citizen who left this unexpected note on one of our cruisers, thank you. ACPD is grateful for the support we receive from the community and small gestures like this mean a lot to our officers.” [Twitter]

Arlingtonian Places 23rd at Boston — Among other impressive finishes by Arlington residents at the Boston Marathon on Monday, Graham Tribble finished 23rd with a time of 2:30:06, the fastest among the D.C. area contingent at the prestigious race. [RunWashington, Patch]

High Schools Students Learning How to Spot Fake News — “At Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington, some high school seniors are bent over their laptops, engaged in a digital course called Checkology that helps them figure out what makes news and information real, misleading or just plain false.” [Voice of America]

Elementary Girls Heading to Int’l Problem Solving Competition — “An all-girls engineering team from Glebe Elementary School is heading to the 2018 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals where they will compete with students from nearly 25 countries… The team of fourth graders from Glebe, who are all ages 9 or 10, became state champions last weekend at the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind competition, which was held April 14 in Newport News.” [Arlington Public Schools]

ACPD Forms ‘Restaurant Liaison Unit’ — The Arlington County Police Department has formed a “Restaurant Liaison Unit” to work with local bars to tamp down on drunken and sometimes violent incidents. One Clarendon bar in particular had police responding to it for a call almost every other day in 2017. [Washington City Paper, Twitter]

Glebe Lane Closure Causes Backups — Commuters heading northbound on Glebe Road today faced major backups due to a lane closure near Ballston. Washington Gas has been performing emergency repairs in the roadway since Wednesday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Rex Block

by ARLnow.com April 19, 2018 at 9:00 am 0

(Updated at 1:05 p.m.) Two people were pepper sprayed and had a knife pulled on them in Rosslyn Saturday night.

The suspect was someone the pair knew and the incident happened after an argument, police said.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY CAUSTIC AGENT (late), 2018-04140296, 1500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 11:20 p.m. on April 14, police were dispatched to the late report of a malicious wounding. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 10:20 p.m., following a dispute between known individuals, the suspect sprayed the two victims with a caustic agent. The suspect subsequently brandished a knife before fleeing the area. Neither victim required medical treatment. Warrants for Malicious/Unlawful Wounding by Caustic Agent and Attempted Malicious/Unlawful Wounding were obtained for the suspect.

Early Monday morning, two men broke into Nova Armory in Lyon Park. Nothing was stolen from the gun store, police said.

BURGLARY, 2018-04160016, 2300 block of N. Pershing Drive. At approximately 1:53 a.m. on April 16, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that two unknown suspects forced entry to a business, causing damage. Nothing was reported missing from the business. The suspects fled prior to police arrival. Suspect One is described as a black male, approximately 5’10”-6’0″and 150-175 lbs., wearing a skullcap, gray pants and a dark jacket. Suspect Two is described as a black male, approximately 5’7″-5’9″ and 150-175 lbs., wearing a jersey. The investigation is ongoing.

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

(more…)

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

Aging speed bumps throughout the county are set to be replaced or repaired under a new contract.

The County Board is expected to approve a $246,275 contract for the maintenance work, which will focus on traffic calming fixtures from the 1990s and early 2000s that are badly deteriorated “due to weather and vehicular traffic.”

Speed humps and speed cushions are two of the ways by which the county calms traffic, and typically they are repaired when the street is repaved. However, according to county staff, “some devices’ conditions require substantial repair or replacement outside of the normal timeframe of the street repaving.”

The contract will go to Alexandria’s Kathmar Construction, Inc., which bid less than half that of the only other bidder for the project.

by ARLnow.com April 18, 2018 at 3:55 pm 0

Arlington County Police have released a composite sketch of a man who allegedly tried to abduct a woman in the Ballston area on April 1.

Police say a woman was walking along the 600 block of N. Oxford Street on a Sunday afternoon when a man “grabbed her from behind and attempted to pull her towards his vehicle.” The woman managed to get away and called police.

Police distributed a sketch and a description of the suspect Wednesday afternoon.

“The suspect is described as a black male in his 20’s, approximately 5’9″ to 6’0″ tall with shoulder-length deadlocks with red tips,” ACPD said in a press release. “He was wearing a black shirt, light gray zip up hoodie and dark gray sweatpants at the time of the incident.”

“Anyone with information on the identify of this suspect is asked to contact Detective G. Sloan at 703.228.4198 or at [email protected],” the press release added.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 18, 2018 at 2:55 pm 0

A black box theater is expected to be formally removed from the plans for a development in Virginia Square at this weekend’s Arlington County Board meeting.

The County Manager’s office has recommended that a new site plan amendment be approved that would remove the theater from the development’s required community amenities.

Mark Schwartz, the County Manager, moved to absolve the developer of the black box theater requirement last year. Though the theater was in line with the Virginia Square sector plan, its initial operational and financial costs, as well as ongoing operational costs that would rely on tax support, were deemed too high.

Considering those costs, the project didn’t align with “a shift in strategy which talks about delivering cultural programming with low-cost, high-impact investments,” said Schwartz.

The new site plan will convert a previously approved 3,180 square feet of ground floor retail space into office space, 2,725 square feet of retail space to office space, and add 2,725 square feet of office space at the penthouse level.

The proposed plan would also lower the building’s height by eight feet, eliminate a mezzanine level, and add an outdoor terrace at the penthouse level.

The mezzanine level is no longer necessary, as it was intended to support the black box theater. County staff found that “the proposed site plan amendments are reasonable adjustments in the approved site plan and respond to the removal of the black box theater.”

The site was previously home of the Arlington Funeral Home, which closed in 2011 after 55 years in business.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 18, 2018 at 10:55 am 0

Arlington may get two new Capital Bikeshare stations, at Roosevelt Island and Gravelly Point.

The County Board is set to approve a “memorandum of understanding” with the National Park Service, which has to approve the bikeshare stations since they would be located on NPS land.

The approval would further the goal of an expansion of the bikeshare network along the Mt. Vernon Trail.

Responsibility for the installation and maintenance of the bikeshare facilities on NPS land would fall on the county, according to the memorandum. It also restricts any advertisements on the stations, and sets requirements for site preservation and, should the stations be removed in the future, restoration.

The office of the County Manager has recommended that the memorandum be approved at Saturday’s County Board meeting (April 21).

Currently there are about 440 stations and 3,700 Capital Bikeshare bikes in the region. As of 2017, 85 Bikeshare stations were in Arlington.

by ARLnow.com April 18, 2018 at 9:55 am 0

A Virginia State Police SWAT team raided a home Tuesday in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Route 50, but no arrests were made.

A resident said the raid happened around 2 p.m., near the intersection of S. Garfield Street and 6th Street S.

It involved an “armored vehicle [and] 7 or 8 officers with rifles, pointing at basement windows ordering someone to come out with hands up,” the resident said. “[A] woman and girl only in towels were escorted out.”

VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the police activity “was related to an ongoing criminal investigation” and added that no arrests were made.

“Because it’s ongoing, I’m not able to provide any additional information at this time,” Geller said.

While most criminal matters are handled by local law enforcement, Virginia State Police has a mandate to investigate felonies statewide via its Bureau of Criminal Investigation, either at the order of the Governor or at the request of the Attorney General, commonwealth’s attorneys, chiefs of police, sheriffs and grand juries.

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