82°Mostly Cloudy

Woman Falls Off Don Tito Rooftop, Suffers Minor Injuries

A woman fell off the roof of Don Tito in Clarendon Thursday night (Aug. 16), suffering minor injuries.

Arlington County Police were called to the restaurant, located at 3165 Wilson Blvd, around 11:30 p.m. last night, according to spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Fire department spokesman Ben O’Bryant says the woman “fell from one level on the roof to another level on the roof,” a distance of about 20 feet in total.

O’Bryant added she “only had minor injuries and was in good condition when care was transferred to hospital staff.”

File photo

0 Comments

Police Arrest Three in Connection with Penrose Car Thefts

Arlington police have arrested a Maryland man and two teens in connection with a series of car thefts in Penrose.

Police say they apprehended Malique Harden, 18, and two other juveniles early Tuesday morning (Aug. 14) after they broke into at least four vehicles in the vicinity of the 200 block of S. Adams Street.

Harden is now charged with grand larceny, tampering with a vehicle, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and marijuana possession. The two teens are also facing similar charges, though the department did not release their names.

Police add that they managed to arrest the three suspects after a man saw them rummaging through his vehicle. When the man approached them, they fled, but police managed to arrest them nearby shortly afterward.

Harden is now set for an Oct. 3 hearing in Arlington General District Court on his charges.

Full details from a county crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (APPREHENSION), 2018-08140005, 200 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on August 14, police responded to the report of vehicle tampering in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he observed two suspects inside his vehicle. When the victim exited his residence and approached the vehicle, he observed three suspects flee on foot. A lookout was broadcast based upon the description provided by the victim and responding officers located the three individuals in the area matching the suspect descriptions. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspects entered approximately three additional vehicles in the area and stole items of value. Malique Harden, 18, of Suitland, Md.,  was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, Tampering with a Vehicle (x2), Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (x2) and Possession of Marijuana. Petitions were sought for Tampering with a Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana and Grand Larceny for the two juvenile suspects.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

More School Renaming Committees on the Way — Though the Washington-Lee controversy gets all the headlines, the School Board will also soon kick off the process of naming two new buildings and renaming two others. Patrick Henry ES will likely draw the most scrutiny. [InsideNova]

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe Fundraising for de Ferranti — Virginia’s last chief executive will help Democratic County Board hopeful Matt de Ferranti fill his campaign coffers later this month. McAuliffe, a potential 2020 presidential hopeful, joins Attorney General Mark Herring as another statewide politician lending de Ferranti a hand in his bid against John Vihstadt. [Twitter]

County Treasurer Slashes Tax Delinquency Rate Again — Carla de la Pava has hit new highs by ensuring that more taxpayers are keeping up with their payments than ever before, recording the lowest delinquency rate in county history. [InsideNova]

Arlington Centenarians Still Dancing — The county has at least 47 residents who have passed the 100-year mark, and they say they feel as young as ever. [WAMU]

Flickr pool photo via Erinn Shirley

0 Comments

Arlington County Fair Pledges to Cover ‘Racist Caricature’

The Arlington County Fair says it will find a way to remove or cover an image that at least one fairgoer decried as “racist.”

The fairgoer tweeted an image painted on the “Monkey Maze” fun house that depicts a monkey with braids putting on lipstick.

“This is not OK at our county fair,” the man said in a tweet. “Racist caricatures don’t represent our values.”

Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol agreed.

“This is awful,” Cristol tweeted in response. “We’ll connect with the Arlington Fair Board about this vendor.”

Around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the fair followed up with a pledge to take action.

“We appreciate you reaching out us,” the fair said via Twitter. “We are working with our ride vendor to ensure the image is no longer visible.”

Monkey Maze fun houses are used by other traveling carnival companies, though photos posted online show different illustrations on the front of the trailer. A Google search did not turn up any other references to the Monkey Maze and accusations of racism.

The fair runs through Sunday on the grounds of the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (125 S. Old Glebe Road).

Photos courtesy David Rosenblatt (photo illustration by ARLnow.com)

0 Comments

ABC Officials, Lawmakers Pitch Reforms to Arlington Businesses

Virginia lawmakers are considering loosening some state alcohol regulations in the coming months — and that could be good news for Arlington’s bars and restaurants.

The General Assembly is weighing a bevy of changes to how the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control authority, commonly known as the ABC, hands out licenses and permits to better match the ever-evolving beverage business.

Changes could include a big reduction in the types of permits the ABC hands out, or perhaps even a change in regulations dictating how much food businesses need to sell if they’re also offering liquor. All that and more were tweaks offered up by ABC officials and state lawmakers to local business owners at a gathering hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Thursday (Aug. 16), as part of a bid to connect the business community to its regulators.

“We’re trying to look for a concept that does free up the market a little bit, without getting to the point that we have bars on every corner,” said Tom Kirby, ABC’s acting chief of law enforcement.

A particularly popular option offered up by Kirby and his colleagues: somehow adjusting ABC’s current requirement that businesses maintain a 45 percent to 55 percent split between food and mixed drink sales. Beer and wine sales are exempted from that requirement, yet some bars and restaurants still find themselves challenged by that standard.

Freddie Lutz, owner of Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, recounted that he’s had several slow winters where he’s bumped up against those limits, largely thanks to competition from bars in D.C. and Maryland. Accordingly, he’d be quite happy indeed to see those limits change, particularly as he prepares to open another restaurant in Crystal City.

“I just want to see that ratio tweaked just enough to not get gray hair over it,” Lutz said.

To that end, Kirby said his agency could work with lawmakers to bump the food standard down to 35 percent of gross sales, or even offer exemptions at certain levels of sales.

State Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-29th District, currently sits on a subcommittee examining ABC issues, which he says is weighing even more targeted fixes. For instance, lawmakers could measure how much liquor bars sell by volume to determine a balance between food and drink, instead of looking at the dollar amount of sales.

The goal of the limit in the first place is, after all, to prevent bar patrons from being overserved.

“What if you have a higher-priced shot that costs like $150?” McPike said. “Think about how much you need to sell to make up for that.”

ABC officials stressed that such a change would in the agency’s interest as well — Chris Curtis, secretary to the ABC’s board, noted its employees spend roughly “10,400 man hours” each year monitoring whether restaurants are complying with the food-drink split.

“But I’m sure that pales in comparison to the amount of time you all have to spend sending us this information,” Curtis said.

Another possible change the ABC could consider is issuing a new type of permit to let bar patrons bring their beverages outside into a common area shared by multiple businesses. McPike suggested that local governments, or even business improvement districts, could manage the process, allowing for more events drawing in a variety of restaurants in a small area.

Kate Bates, the chamber’s president and CEO, noted that Rosslyn businesses have long hoped to offer events pulling in all the neighborhood’s different bars, but have run into challenges letting people easily move between different establishments if they’re too far away from each.

Similarly, Cassie Hurley, events manager for the Crystal City BID, suggested that her group “would love to do something similar to 6th Street in Austin, [Texas] on 23rd Street” to let people bring their drinks into stores along the small strip.

Kirby says ABC is receptive to the idea, though he did caution that inevitably there will be enforcement issues to consider, considering that revelers could easily get carried away and leave the permitted boundaries for such activities.

Complicating matters further are the political realities of Richmond — the needs of Northern Virginia businesses are quite different from those in Southwest Virginia, where, as McPike pointed out, there are still some dry counties left.

Progress could certainly be slow in some areas, as lawmakers will only meet for a short legislative session next year with more elections on the way. And, as Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-30th District, noted “it’s rare that we rewrite whole code sections all at the same time.”

But Kirby underscored that ABC is willing to work with lawmakers to ensure everyone is a bit more satisfied with the entire regulatory framework.

“There is a lot of agreement that we need to do something differently,” Kirby said.

0 Comments

Woman Spots Worker Tattooed with Nazi Symbols at Ballston Quarter

Taylor Poindexter says she was weaving through the construction at the Ballston Quarter development when she saw something she could hardly believe.

Poindexter was bound for the Sport and Health gym early Tuesday morning (Aug. 14), when she spotted a group of workers near the former mall’s elevators. One of them, she noted, had Nazi symbols tattooed all over his arms and neck.

“I was just surprised a company would allow their worker to wear a tank top with such tattoos on his neck and arms,” Poindexter told ARLnow.

When her workout was wrapped up, Poindexter, who is black, made her frustration with the situation clear to a Ballston Quarter employee nearby. She then grabbed her phone and opened up Twitter to make it clear just how she felt about what she saw.

Because she mentioned the construction company overseeing the work at Ballston Quarter, Clark Construction, in the tweet she says she soon heard from the company that they were investigating the situation, but otherwise heard nothing.

Since then, however, the company says it determined that the man Poindexter saw was an employee of one of its subcontractors at the site. A spokeswoman for Clark did not offer additional details on whether it could confirm what Poindexter saw, but it seems she was not mistaken.

“Clark Construction became aware of a violation of its anti-harassment policy on a job site in Arlington, Virginia and immediately took steps to investigate,” Brian Abt, division president and CEO for Clark’s Mid-Atlantic region, wrote in a statement. “Clark engaged the subcontractor employee who was involved and has taken appropriate action to resolve the situation.”

A spokeswoman for Clark also did not clarify whether that action included firing or otherwise disciplining the employee involved.

File photo

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Power Outage at National Airport — Reagan National Airport went dark for several hours last night after a rare power failure. Emergency generators did kick in but only powered a portion of the airport’s systems. [NBC Washington, WTOP, Twitter]

More About Rosslyn’s Pop-Up Retail — “The Alcove, a 5,000-square foot storefront in Rosslyn’s Central Place opened last Wednesday with an activity-packed bang: think kombucha tastings, fabric-stamping, decoupage-making, and more… The Alcove was born when developer JBG Smith offered up one of their properties to the [Rosslyn] BID for a two-month period.” [Washingtonian]

Free Pet Adoptions This Weekend — Adoption fees will be waived at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Saturday as part of the annual “Clear the Shelters” event. [DCist]

Recess Changes at APS — “Many APS schools already provide at least 30 minutes of recess, and the new guidelines will help ensure consistency in recess time across all APS elementary schools… Unstructured play and physical activity are an important part of student learning and well-being, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity for our students.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Rep. Beyer on CNN — Arlington’s local congressman, Rep. Don Beyer (D), was interviewed on CNN’s Situation Room last night on the topic of President Trump stripping former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

0 Comments

County’s Resident Ombudsman Makes a Change, Prompts Search for Replacement

Arlington is now looking for a new ombudsman for county residents, a staffer dedicated to helping people sort out problems and access government services.

County spokeswoman Jennifer Smith told ARLnow that former ombudsman Robert Sharpe transitioned out of the role last week. He’s now serving as assistant division chief for the county’s public health division.

Sharpe took over as ombudsman back in 2016, as part of an expansion of constituent service offerings within County Manager Mark Schwartz’s office.

Smith says Sharpe “made significant contributions to the county’s constituent services efforts serving the community” during his tenure and will now be “responsible for operational and managerial aspects” of the public health division. He previously worked as an assistant director in the county’s Department of Human Services.

Brian Stout will serve as the county’s acting resident ombudsman while Schwartz searches for a permanent replacement, Smith added. She hopes to wrap up that process sometime next month.

The county is also currently looking for a permanent “business ombudsman” to work with local businesses to navigate county regulations, after Shannon Flanagan-Watson was appointed deputy county manager in May. Jeanine Finch is currently filling the role on a temporary basis.

Photo courtesy of Arlington County

0 Comments

Crime Report: Police Investigating Stabbing, Attempted Robbery in Lyon Park

Arlington police are searching for two men who allegedly attempted to rob a man and stabbed him in Lyon Park Monday night (Aug. 13).

County police say the man exited a car and was walking along the 2200 block of N. Pershing Drive, near the Shops at Pershing and the Sheffield Court Apartments, when two men grabbed him from behind “and attempted to steal his belongings.”

The man was able to wriggle free and run away, but suffered a “non-life threatening laceration” during the struggle. He was treated at Virginia Hospital Center, where he informed police about the incident several hours later.

Police don’t currently have more detailed descriptions of the suspects.

Full details from a county crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING (late), 2018-08130027, 2200 block of N. Pershing Drive. At approximately 3:22 a.m., police responded to Virginia Hospital Center for the late report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 11:00 p.m., the victim exited a vehicle and was walking in the area when he was approached by two male suspects who grabbed him from behind and attempted to steal his belongings. The victim was able to free himself and run away, however he suffered a non-life threatening laceration during the incident. None of the victim’s belongings were stolen. There is no suspect(s) descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

Here are the full highlights from the past week’s crime reports, including some we’ve already reported on:

BURGLARY (late), 2018-08140252, 1200 block of N. Rolfe Street. At approximately 9:41 p.m. on August 14, police were dispatched to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 3:40 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence, causing damage. Nothing was reported stolen from the residence. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-0811069, 2600 block of S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 8:05 a.m. on August 11, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking in the area when a vehicle pulled up next to her and the driver asked her for directions. The female victim was providing directions when she observed the suspect touching himself inappropriately and exposing his genitals. The victim yelled and the suspect drove away. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with black hair. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY (late), 2018-08100128, 3900 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 12:36  p.m. on August 10, police responded to the late report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:00 p.m. on August 9, the victim was walking in the area when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind, shoved her against a wall and stole her personal property. The suspect then assaulted her, however, the victim resisted and a brief struggle ensued before the suspect fled on foot with her property. The victim suffered minor injuries. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 40-45 years old, 5’8″-6’0″ tall, weighing 190-210 lbs., with brown hair. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2018-08090151, 6200 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 2:58 p.m. on August 9, police were dispatched to a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect(s) entered a residence and stole numerous items of value. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

0 Comments

Density, Development Debates Take Center Stage as Lee Highway Planning Nears

In many ways, the Lee Highway corridor is the last part of Arlington that looks like the rest of the Northern Virginia suburbs.

With high rises coming to define both the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and Crystal City, and neighborhoods along Columbia Pike becoming ever more dense, Lee Highway has remained persistently suburban in character with its procession of low-slung shopping centers and vast parking lots.

But should it stay that way as the county keeps growing? And if not, how should it change?

Those are the questions the community and county planners will try to answer as they embark on a years-long planning process for Lee Highway in the coming months.

With land-use policies last updated in 1955, Arlington officials have long seen the corridor as ripe for a new round of planning. Now, after years of back-and-forth, the county is set to hire a consulting firm and kick off the process in earnest this fall.

“The next big planning frontier is Lee Highway, from Rosslyn all the way out to East Falls Church,” said County Board member John Vihstadt. “The brewing consensus is that it’s appropriate for some increased density. We’re an urbanizing county, but we also have to be sensitive to the neighborhoods that flank Lee Highway.”

Certainly, the question of density along the highway will be among the most contentious issues to be resolved in the planning process. As Vihstadt puts it, “nobody wants to see the Clarendon-ization of Lee Highway,” considering that so many single-family homes sit directly behind the roadway.

Michelle Winters, the executive director of the Alliance for Housing Solutions and a board member for the Lee Highway Alliance, isn’t so sure about that.

The LHA, a coalition of civic associations and community groups along the corridor, helped spur the start of this new round of planning in the first place, largely out of concern that development was likely coming to the highway and needed to be managed appropriately. Winters reasons that there is room for dense, mixed-use developments along some sections of the highway — she feels it was only the “bad math” guiding the area’s current zoning that prevented the right mix of residential and commercial properties from moving to the corridor in the first place.

“Would the community want another Ballston? Maybe not,” Winters said. “But another Clarendon, especially if it looks like the less dense parts of Clarendon? Maybe.”

Natasha Alfonso-Ahmed, a principal planner on the county’s comprehensive planning team, allows that the county won’t know the best way to proceed until the process wraps up, noting that planners are “going to test every possible scenario” for the corridor.

But, as Winters suggested, Alfonso-Ahmed expects that certain “nodes” on the highway could be rezoned to allow for more density, perhaps creating more walkable communities on the otherwise car-heavy corridor.

In an initial “visioning study” in 2016, the community identified five such areas that could become home to taller buildings and mixed-use spaces — East Falls Church near the Metro station, the intersection with N. Harrison Street and N. George Mason Drive, the intersection with N. Glebe Road, the Cherrydale neighborhood near N. Quincy Street and Lyon Village near Spout Run. Alfonso-Ahmed believes the county could approach each of those “nodes” differently, allowing more density only where it makes the most sense.

“A lot of the communities in that area…want to be able to walk or bike to places like a restaurant or a coffee shop,” Alfonso-Ahmed said. “At the same time, they want to be able to get in a car and go to the supermarket or the cleaners. They’re not totally independent of the car yet, like in other parts of Arlington…The goal is to balance both.”

But what will become of the existing shopping centers on the highway? As Alfonso-Ahmed points out “it’s not like it’s a blighted corridor,” and is filled with plenty of successful small businesses that the county doesn’t want to lose.

That means Arlington officials will need to think critically about what “sort of incentives or tools will be needed for business owners to even entertain” moving, she added. Or perhaps the county could allow for the expansion of those existing commercial areas, which would then bump up into residential neighborhoods.

“Are they comfortable with the encroachment of the commercial properties?” Alfonso-Ahmed said. “If they are, how much of it are they comfortable with?”

Another possibility that intrigues Vihstadt is the expansion of affordable housing options in the area. County Board Chair Katie Cristol agrees, and suggested one “illustrative example” of a change the county might make is rezoning some areas meant for single-family homes to allow for “by-right duplex development” on the edges of neighborhoods.

But, once more, such a change would surely require extensive community engagement to allay concerns about the corridor’s changing character.

To that end, Alfonso-Ahmed expects the whole process will take three years in total, with both a large “community forum” and a smaller working group constantly weighing in on the effort and lots of chances for the community to see the county’s work.

It should all start “before the end of the year,” she said, once the county can pick a consultant to help guide the effort. Though the Board had to scale back some of the process’s funding, thanks to the county’s constrained finances, Alfonso-Ahmed says planners have everything they need to move forward, and are plenty anxious to do so.

“We really want to get it started,” she said. “We know it’s been too long.”

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Army-Navy Country Club Employee Alleges Supervisor Used Racial Slurs — A former golf cart attendant at the club claims that one of his bosses repeatedly used racist language to refer to him and former President Barack Obama. It seems the supervisor has been fired, and the club’s employees are receiving sensitivity training. [Falls Church News-Press]

Crystal City Hotel to Host Anti-Muslim Group’s Conference — ACT for America will hold its annual gathering at the Crystal City Hyatt this fall. The group has alleged that Muslims can’t be loyal citizens of the United States and held “anti-Sharia” marches across the country, prompting Muslim groups to call on the hotel to abandon the event. [DCist]

Man Accused of Indecent Exposures Around Rosslyn Previously Convicted in Alexandria — County police arrested Fairfax County resident Santiago Rodriquez Campos on indecent exposure charges Monday, and it seems he’s been convicted on similar charges in the past. Immigration officials also believe he entered the country illegally. [WJLA]

Arlington Police Chief Reviews Restructuring — Chief Jay Farr says all has largely gone smoothly with the county’s restructuring of the department to cope with a staffing crunch, which kicked off in May. The county even has its largest class of recruits ever currently in training. [Arlington Connection]

County First Responders Make a Special Delivery — Arlington medics were hoping to get an expecting mother to a D.C. hospital, but her baby had other plans. They made it to the Virginia Hospital Center in the nick of time. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk

0 Comments

Activists Blast Nestle’s Breastfeeding Marketing Practices at Rosslyn HQ

Tina Sherman says she was stunned to wake up one morning and discover that her country suddenly wasn’t interested in promoting breastfeeding around the world.

Sherman, a North Carolina organizer with the progressive activist group “MomsRising,” was disturbed and puzzled to see the New York Times reporting that American officials pushed back on a seemingly innocuous resolution supporting breastfeeding at a gathering of the World Health Organization’s governing body.

As a mother herself, Sherman couldn’t understand why the U.S. would seek to abandon its longstanding support for breastfeeding, which research has often shown is healthier than baby formula and considerably less expensive. But as she read on, it didn’t surprise her that some advocates saw the influence of major baby formula producers at play in the dust-up.

“We know the benefits of breastfeeding, and it just seems to be in direct opposition to everything that we stood for,” Sherman told ARLnow. “We don’t know, but we can guess who was involved.”

Nestlé, in particular, has come under fire for decades now for allegedly using misleading marketing tactics in developing nations to promote baby formula, en route to becoming the market leader in infant milk products worldwide. So Sherman decided to express her outrage to the company directly, and worked with several other advocacy groups to collect more than 80,000 signatures urging Nestlé to change its ways.

The advocates, who even earned the backing of actress Alyssa Milano, delivered the petition to Nestlé’s new Rosslyn headquarters today (Tuesday) and met briefly with some company representatives to discuss the issue.

Nestlé spokesman Josh Morton says the company “welcome[s] the opportunity for meaningful engagement” on the issue, stressing that “we prioritize the health and wellbeing of babies.”

The company has long denied any wrongdoing when it comes its formula marketing, and Morton added that “Nestlé believes that breastfeeding is best for babies. Full stop.”

Though other formula companies have been more reticent to denounce the Trump administration’s actions on breastfeeding, Nestlé has worked to distance itself from the controversy, and Morton stressed that the company supports the WHO’s current stance on the practice.

Sherman says she’s certainly encouraged that the company at least says it’s willing to hear her group’s concerns. Yet Julia Skapik, a practicing physician in D.C. and a MomsRising volunteer, said she can’t help but be skeptical of company’s clear “profit motive.”

“Especially in places that are resource-poor, the idea that families are being convinced that they should take what little resources they have and put it towards formula is really frustrating and it’s sad,” Skapik said.

Morvika Jordan, another volunteer from Manassas, sees the company’s priorities misplaced, with “the idea of profit superseding the idea of health.”

But between the article in the Times and Tuesday’s demonstration, Sherman thinks executives at Nestlé, at least, “know that we’re watching.”

“If they can turn that marketing around, we’ll be right back out here cheering them, thanking them,” Sherman said. “But if they don’t, we’ll be back here to let them know what we think.”

0 Comments

Police Investigating After Woman Assaulted, Robbed Near Ballston

Arlington police are investigating after a woman says she was assaulted and robbed near Ballston Thursday night (Aug. 9).

Police say the woman was walking near the 3900 block of Fairfax Drive around 9 p.m. Thursday when a man came up behind her and shoved her into a wall.

The man then proceeded to rob the woman and assaulted her, though he ran off after a brief struggle. Police say the woman suffered “minor injuries” as a result of the scuffle.

Police describe the suspect as a “white male, approximately 40-45 years old, 5’8″-6’0″ tall, weighing 190-210 lbs., with brown hair.”

Full details from a county crime report:

ROBBERY (late), 2018-08100128, 3900 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 12:36  p.m. on August 10, police responded to the late report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:00 p.m. on August 9, the victim was walking in the area when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind, shoved her against a wall and stole her personal property. The suspect then assaulted her, however, the victim resisted and a brief struggle ensued before the suspect fled on foot with her property. The victim suffered minor injuries. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 40-45 years old, 5’8″-6’0″ tall, weighing 190-210 lbs., with brown hair. The investigation is ongoing.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Family Surprised to Learn Pet Was a Snapping Turtle — “An Arlington family took in a box turtle to be the new family pet recently — only to find out that it was actually a snapping turtle. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington tweeted out a photo of the turtle, noting that their officers had seized the turtle from the unwitting family.” [Patch, Twitter]

APS Delays Release of Construction Cost Report — “Arlington residents will have to wait a little longer for an analysis of the reasons behind the high costs of school construction in the county. The audit committees of the County Board and School Board had been slated to meet Aug. 7 in a joint session to discuss a report by school-system auditor John Mickevice on school-construction costs. That meeting, however, was called off.” [InsideNova]

TSA Keeps Finding Guns in Carry-ons at DCA — Earlier this month, in two separate incidents, TSA agents at Reagan National Airport seized loaded handguns from two men trying to carry them onto planes. The guns were the seventh and eighth seized at the airport so far this year. The men are now facing weapons charges. [Patch]

Jail Holds Creative Writing Contest — A 26-year-old man who’s in jail on a heroin possession charge won the Arlington County lockup’s first-ever creative writing contest yesterday. His prize-winning poem, in part: “I dream about the future. I dream about the past. I dream about the mountains. I dream about the sea. I dream of all the places that I would rather be.” [NBC Washington]

InsideNova Not Available in Europe — More than 1,000 U.S. news websites are blocking users from Europe after the EU implemented strict new privacy regulations known as GDPR on May 25. Among the sites that are no longer accessible from Europe, as seen in this screen shot from last month: InsideNova, which publishes articles from the Arlington Sun Gazette newspaper. [Nieman Journalism Lab]

0 Comments

Bike Advocates Craft New Map of DC Region’s Cycling Trails to Promote Holistic Thinking

A coalition of bicycling and transit advocates has drawn up a new map of the entire D.C. region’s bike trails, in a bid to promote a more holistic view of the area’s biking options.

The Capital Trails Coalition released the “diagrammatic map” today (Monday), displaying not only the 436 miles of existing trails across the region but also another 302 miles of planned paths that will someday create even more connectivity for cyclists.

The coalition, which includes both local government transportation agencies and a host of advocacy groups, included bike trails in six jurisdictions around the region on the map: Arlington County, Alexandria, D.C., Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. Coalition Chair Jack Koczela hopes that will help people to see cycling as a viable option no matter where they live around the D.C. region, laying out a clear, unified guide to easily bikeable trails for commuting and recreation alike.

“We hope this comes to have the feel of the iconic Metrorail map,” Koczela told ARLnow. “This is so people can get an idea of what it is we’re talking about in terms of actual trails available to everybody around the region.”

Koczela says the coalition has spent more than two years now drafting the map, as the group sought to work with cyclists to identify trails that are both easy to ride and provide good access to the region’s activity and transit centers.

He’s hoping that the map will prove particularly useful to D.C. suburbs like Arlington. If commuters currently rely on cars or public transit to get to work because they aren’t sure how a trail that starts in Arlington connects with one in D.C., or even Maryland, he foresees this map being a vital resource to provide alternatives.

“A lot of people’s experience on trails is really hyperlocal, and a lot of people aren’t thinking of these trails as a way to connect them to other areas of the region,” said Carm Saimbre, communications coordinator for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, a coalition member. “The vision with this is to create connections and fill gaps in the network, so it becomes just as established as getting around the Beltway by car.”

With so many planned trails included on the map, Koczela notes that the document is certainly an aspirational one in many respects. In Arlington alone, the map includes not only trails currently under construction, like a new section of trail alongside Washington Blvd, but also ones still in the planning stages, like the extension of the Mt. Vernon Trail from Theodore Roosevelt Island.

But by showing just how adding more trails could better connect the region, Koczela thinks the map will be a valuable tool as his coalition lobbies for more funding for bike infrastructure going forward.

“Our goal for the next year is to increase awareness and get the political community engaged, thinking about the trails as a network,” Koczela said.

Photo via the Capital Trails Coalition

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list