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by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on scene of a two alarm house fire in the Lyon Village neighborhood.

The fire was reported in both the basement and the attic of a home on the 3100 block of 17th Street N. The basement fire was quickly extinguished while firefighters used ladders, axes and lots of water to battle the flames in the attic.

The fire was out and the situation was said to be “stable” shortly before 5 p.m., according to scanner traffic.

The occupants of the home made it out safely. No injuries were reported among the firefighters.

by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Despite a pair of arrests earlier this week, car break-ins are continuing in Arlington.

Someone broke into at least 16 cars — most of them unlocked — between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in the Madison Manor neighborhood. Items of value were stolen.

Arlington County Police have repeatedly advised residents to lock their cars and remove valuables.

More from an ACPD crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2017-06210061, 800 block of N. Nottingham Street. At approximately 7:20 a.m. on June 21, officers responded to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between 10:00 p.m. on June 20 and 7:10 a.m. on June 21, an unknown(s) suspect entered at least 16 mostly unlocked vehicles and stole items of value. A resident in the area called to report suspicious activity after witnessing an unknown suspect enter several vehicles. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male in his early twenties, approximately 5’9″ tall and weighed 150-160 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing. The investigation is ongoing.

by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

Widening of W&OD Trail Studied — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is considering a proposal to widen the W&OD Trail in parts of Arlington, Falls Church and Fairfax County. The proposal also calls for separating pedestrians and cyclists along the widened portions of trail. [The Wash Cycle]

Stormy Weather Expected Over the Next 24 Hours — The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy are expected to bring heavy rain and scattered storms to the area between now and Saturday morning. Most of the rain is expected to fall early Saturday. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

Lawmakers Confronted at DCA — Protesters confronted lawmakers returning home to their districts at Reagan National Airport yesterday. They were protesting against the proposed GOP health care bill, holding signs like “don’t take away our healthcare” and “Medicaid matters.” [The Hill]

Middle School Students Burning Books — Yesterday, on the last day of middle school in Arlington, the fire department was called for a report of middle school students burning books in a field. An ACFD spokesperson could not be reached for additional information. [Twitter]

Last Day of School — High school is already out and the Class of 2017 has held its graduation ceremonies. Middle school ended yesterday. Today elementary students will have their last half-day before Arlington Public Schools is officially on summer break until Tuesday, Sept. 5. [Arlington Public Schools]

by Kalina Newman — June 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A Fairlington woman is honoring the anniversary of her sister’s passing in a unique way.

Jennifer Pearce lost her sister Nicole seven years ago in a car crash caused by drowsy driving. The driver of the car Nicole was in fell asleep and ran off the side of the road in West Virginia. Nicole, who was wearing her seat belt, died in the hospital.

To honor her memory, Pearce — along with family and friends — hid over a hundred smiley-face painted rocks around Fairlington last night, and hundreds more around the D.C. area and beyond.

Pearce says raising awareness about drowsy driving has become a life mission.

“We have been very proactive about trying to get awareness awareness, my family will go to 95 and different rest stops and hand out coffee,” said Pearce. “I started doing this because the days just suck. My sister was such a bright and shiny happy person and it was so counter intuitive to try and live that way when your heart was broken.”

According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are an estimated 6,400 deaths per year from people nodding off while driving, with more than 50 percent of drowsy driving crashes involving drivers who are 25 years old or younger.

For the past four years, Jennifer has given away small tokens on her sister’s birthday.

“We started with filling up mylar balloons and we would just hand them out to strangers. Smiley faces were her thing and it’s become sort of a holiday that’s brought back her spirit.”

She gave away smiley face balloons because smiley faces were Nicole’s favorite. This year she’s doing something different and has painted about 700 smiley face rocks that have been hidden all over the D.C. area — “and way beyond including Paris, South America and many other states and cities,” she said in a Facebook post.

Many were placed throughout north and south Fairlington, where Pearce lives.

“I hid a hundred rocks in Fairlington, I tried to hide some that were a little easier for kids, there were some I randomly put on car door handles, I hid some in the crevices of tree bases and near the pools, the tennis courts, the dog park, they’re kind of everywhere,” said Pearce.

“My staff is out at the zoo today and we’re going to Georgetown for lunch so they’ll be there. Whoever finds them, what they do with them or why they might need them that day is totally between them and the universe.”

If you happen to come across one of the smiley face rocks, comment on Nicole’s Facebook post with a picture of it.

More information about Nicole and the impact of drowsy driving can be found on a website created in her memory.

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm 0

A water main break is affecting more than 100 customers in the Fairlington neighborhood.

Video of the break, recorded by a local resident and posted on social media, shows a large geyser of water coming up from the middle of the street around 1 p.m. Water was subsequently turned off and crews are now working to repair the burst pipe.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says repairs, on the 2800 block of S. Columbus Street, are expected to be complete by 9 p.m. DES says it is also working to repair a second water main break, in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood.

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

Alamo Drafthouse Coming to Crystal City — An Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be coming to Crystal City to anchor a residential redevelopment by the JBG Smith. The redevelopment will convert the aging office building at 1750 Crystal Drive to a gleaming glass-and-metal residential building while topping it with a six-story addition. Also planned is an as-yet unsigned “specialty grocer” — think: Trader Joe’s or something similar. [Washington Business Journal]

Home Prices Rise in Arlington — “Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. says the median selling price in Arlington County last month was $613,500, up 15 percent from May of 2016. The change was based on 350 closed sales in Arlington in May.” [WTOP]

County Looking for More Tech Grant Recipients — Arlington Economic Development is looking for more tech companies to lure to Arlington with its $1 million “Gazelle Grant” program. AED is seeking another 8-13 companies that are growing by at least 30 percent over a three year period and are willing to commit to at least a three year lease. [Technical.ly DC]

Yorktown Principal Says GoodbyeRetiring Yorktown High School principal Dr. Ray Pasi received a standing ovation from the Class of 2017 at YHS’s graduation ceremony yesterday. [Twitter]

It’s Still There — For those who were wondering, the now-famous stick of deodorant atop a Clarendon bus stop is still there two weeks later, despite wind, rain and publicity. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — June 21, 2017 at 11:55 am 0

A victim was robbed by two armed men along Columbia Pike last night after the trio met to exchange cash as part of a sale arranged online.

That’s according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

Police set up a perimeter and used a K-9 to try to track the suspects but they remain at large. More from ACPD:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-06200273, 1400 block of S. Queen Street. At approximately 9:14 p.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and the two unknown male suspects were connected through an online classified and had arranged to meet for a cash transaction. During the transaction, one suspect brandished a firearm and stole the victim’s cash. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. The first suspect is described as a black male, wearing a white tank top and shorts. The second suspect is described as a black male. The investigation is ongoing.

Also on Tuesday, police arrested two Falls Church men for a series of car break-ins in the Madison Manor neighborhood, near the East Falls Church Metro station.

LARCENY FROM AUTO(Series), 2017-06200005, 1100 block of N. Powhatan Street. At approximately 12:25 a.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of a tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined two suspects entered at least four vehicles and stole items of value. Officers located and apprehended both suspects in the area shortly after. Louis Earl Blount Jr., 18, of Falls Church VA, and David Evans-Herring, 20, of Falls Church VA, were arrested and charged with petit larceny and tampering with auto. Both suspects are being held without bond.

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

(more…)

by Chris Teale — June 21, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

More improvements are coming to Tucker Field at Barcroft Park after the Arlington County Board approved a 10-year extension to its partnership with George Washington University.

Under the agreement, unanimously approved by the Board at its meeting Tuesday, GW will fully fund the construction of a new clubhouse as well as indoor and outdoor batting cages, which are also available for community use. Earlier this year, the university received an anonymous $2 million gift to fund the new clubhouse.

GW’s baseball team has played home games at Tucker Field in the park at 4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive since 1992. It also contributes funding each year for the field’s ongoing maintenance and repairs.

“This public-private partnership with GW is a good deal for county taxpayers, for baseball and softball in Arlington, and for GW,” said County Board chair Jay Fisette in a statement. “The university’s home field has been vastly improved, and the community has access to a top-quality field. These new amenities will make Tucker Field even more useful — and fun — for all who play there.”

The two parties last signed an agreement in 2011, with GW upgrading the field and nearby facilities in time for the following year. It has invested more than $3 million in upgrades, including the county’s first synthetic turf diamond field, expanded seating, covered dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, expanded parking and more.

The field also hosts five camps in five weeks each summer, as well as tournaments for the county’s All-Star Babe Ruth League and the 2015 Atlantic-10 Conference baseball tournament.

“Our partnership with Arlington County has been mutually beneficial, and we are excited to extend our agreement with the county,” GW athletic director Patrick Nero said in a statement. “It has allowed us to provide an excellent home ballpark for our student-athletes, a ballpark that will be even better with the new clubhouse and enclosed batting cages. We look forward to hosting the Atlantic-10 Championship at Tucker Field in 2018. At the same time, Arlington county youth have the opportunity to play at a premier venue as they learn and grow through sports.”

by ARLnow.com — June 21, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Advertising for Capital Bikeshare? — The Arlington County Board has approved a policy that would allow an advertising sponsorship for Capital Bikeshare. A corporate sponsorship of the regionwide system could generate $750,000 over five years for Arlington County, which would be used to support, expand and promote the system in Arlington. [Washington Post, Washington Business Journal]

Board Approves Climate Resolution — The County Board last night approved a resolution expressing the county’s commitment to fighting climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting energy efficiency. The resolution also states “that Arlington County supports the principles of the Paris Agreement and will continue to… advance action in accordance with the goals outlined in [it].” [Arlington County]

Arlington Taking Action to Attract Pollinators — Workers planted flowering plants in Arlington yesterday as part of a joint effort to attract more pollinators — insects like bees and butterflies. The environmentally-friendly effort was sponsored by the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation, NOVA Parks and Dominion. [WJLA]

Arlington to Update Resource Protection Map — Arlington County will hold public hearings on updating its Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Map. “The more accurate map will help Arlington protect environmentally sensitive lands near streams and ensure that the County can comply with local and State regulations,” said a press release. “It will allow the County to review development projects fairly and provide accurate information to residents and other stakeholders.” [Arlington County]

Photos from Crystal City Car Show — The annual Crystal City Fathers Day Auto Festival was held this past weekend and featured more than 100 cars. This year the show was organized in part by Carsfera.com. [Facebook]

Williamsburg Neighborhood Plan Updated — The County Board has approved an update to the Neighborhood Conservation Plan for Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Per a press release: “Residents made recommendations for improving traffic and pedestrian safety, maintaining the neighborhood’s character, protecting the tree canopy and improving neighborhood parks.” [Arlington County]

First Day of Summer — Today is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. [Capital Weather Gang, Vox]

Photo courtesy Valerie O’Such

by Kalina Newman — June 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A new study has found that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Arlington have nearly doubled their impact on county coffers in the last five years.

The national study, “Arts and Economic Prosperity 5” by Americans for the Arts, found that nonprofit arts generate $189.2 million each year in Arlington and supports more than 5,000 full-time jobs. It also generates $13.9 million in tax revenues each year for state and local governments, the study found.

Of that, Arlington County receives approximately $7.5 million a year, up from $3.9 million in tax revenue recorded five years ago, when the last study was completed.

“Arlington has a vibrant arts ecosystem of 127 nonprofit arts and culture organizations that range from amateur theater to WETA, which is one of the largest producers of content for PBS, which is also headquartered in Arlington,” Michelle Isabelle-Stark, director of Arlington Cultural Affairs, said in a statement. “These numbers reflect the breadth and impact of that ecosystem.”

The study documented the economic contributions of the arts in 341 counties and regions across the country, including Arlington County. Only nonprofit organizations were studied, so calculations from for-profit organizations such as movie theaters or commercial concert venues were not included.

Some other notable local statistics from the study:

  • Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations provide 5,156 full-time jobs in Arlington
  • $118.6 million dollars of household income is produced annually
  • $170 million is spent annually to keep the organizations running
  • Audience members spend over $18 million each year on amenities such as lodging, child care, meals and transportation

“Not only do these non-profit organizations entertain residents with stellar performances, cultural events and heritage festivals, but they also generate $7.512 million in revenue for the county government,” said Janet Kopenhaver, chair of advocacy group Embracing Arlington Arts. “This translates into an economic powerhouse industry for our county and its residents.”

There are over 50 locally-focused art groups in Arlington County along with hundreds of independent visual artists, whose genres range from performing to media arts. In combination with heritage groups the represent countries such as Vietnam and Bolivia, over 4,000 programs are conducted annually that reach almost 600,000 people, according to the county.

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

A man was stabbed in Jennie Dean Park near Shirlington this afternoon.

The stabbing was first reported just before 2 p.m. Tuesday at the park on the 3600 block of 27th Street S. That’s near Shirlington and the PBS NewsHour/WETA studios.

A man was stabbed in the arm and reportedly bled heavily before medics arrived. He was taken via ambulance to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The attacker was said to be an acquaintance of the victim. He fled on a mountain bike, according to scanner traffic, and remains at large.

Arlington County park rangers and Virginia State Police assisted Arlington County police on the call.

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

The Arlington County Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint at an as-yet undisclosed location in the county.

The checkpoint is being conducted with the support of a federal anti-drunk driving campaign.

The last announced DUI checkpoint in Arlington happened this past September.

More from an ACPD press release:

On Friday, June 23, 2017, the Arlington County Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint. This enforcement effort is in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National campaign to combat drunk driving by combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers. Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation and possible testing for intoxication.

The maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges.

by Chris Teale — June 20, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

For the time being at least, A-Town Bar & Grill in Ballston appears to have turned over a new leaf after a troubled few months.

The bar had been ordered to have its permit for live entertainment and dancing reviewed by the Arlington County Board three months after its last review in March. That review took place days after a brawl nearby that ended with police officers tasing two suspects, including one dressed in a Pikachu onesie.

But a staff report on A-Town’s progress since then — presented to the Board on Saturday — noted no code, fire or ABC violations, and only eight calls to the police.

Of those eight calls, the report said, the only time an arrest was made was for an “intoxicated subject acting ‘confused,'” which was called in by a staff member on Friday, March 24 around 2:30 p.m. The other seven police calls, including one on Sunday, April 23 at 7:49 p.m. when someone asked where they could buy drugs, did not result in violations.

Since March’s brawl, part of what neighbors said was a litany of incidents in previous years and a strained relationship with the County Board and staff, A-Town and county officials have hosted a series of meetings with those nearby.

The police and Fire Marshal’s Office held a meeting with A-Town’s owners on March 28 to discuss training for preventing incidents like noise disturbances, over-serving customers and assaults. County staff also contacted the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association, as well as representatives of the Altavista and Berkeley Condominiums as part of this review.

“The president of the BVSCA noted that they have continued to have productive discussion with the A-Town owners, and reported no issues from other members of the BVSCA,” the report reads. “A representative of the Altavista credited the A-Town owners for a recent change in management that has resulted in patron behavior that was described as ‘much more restrained’ and ‘civil’ than in the ‘last many years.'”

The Board accepted the findings of the review as part of its consent agenda items, with no further comment from the public or members. A-Town’s next review will be before the Board in December.

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

ACPD Releases New Video of Sex Assault Suspect — Arlington County Police have released new video of the man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in her Rosslyn condo last month. Police are still seeking more information about the suspect. [Twitter, YouTube]

Big Brother Contestant Is From Arlington — One of the contestants on the upcoming season of CBS’ Big Brother is Matthew Clines, a 33-year-old renovation consultant from Arlington. The show premieres on Wednesday, June 28. [CBS, Hollywood Reporter]

Nam-Viet Closing in D.C. — The Cleveland Park outpost of Arlington’s Nam-Viet restaurant is closing, citing “competition to remain significant and relevant in this fast-paced D.C. restaurant market.” There have been a number of restaurant closings in the neighborhood as of late. [PoPville]

New Cafe in Takoma Park Draws Arlington Talent — A new coffee, beer, wine and cocktail spot called Takoma Beverage Co. has opened in Takoma Park, Md. The cafe features a bevy of Arlington restaurant vets, including alums of Northside Social and the former Sehkraft Brewing in Clarendon. Helping to fund the venture is Mothersauce Partners, the restaurant investment firm and consultancy founded by Nick Freshman of Spider Kelly’s. [Eater]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com — June 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

A customer of Amazon.com acquisition target Whole Foods had a special delivery for cars parked outside its Clarendon location Friday morning: wine bottles and loose change.

Police were called to the Whole Foods at 2700 Wilson Blvd around 7 a.m. Friday for a report of someone throwing objects out of a second floor window. When the arrived they allegedly found a 21-year-old Arlington man who was drunk and tossing wine bottles and change at a car below.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2017-06160070, 2700 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 7:09 a.m. on June 16, officers responded to the report of an individual throwing objects. Upon arrival, it was determined a male subject was throwing objects at an occupied vehicle from an upstairs window. No one was injured. Marvin Sosa Velasquez, 21, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with missile into occupied vehicle and drunk in public. He is being held without bond.

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