81°Overcast

by ARLnow.com — July 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Update at 4:05 p.m. — The suspect has been taken into custody on the back porch of a home on the 1100 block of N. Taylor Street, according to scanner traffic.

Arlington County Police are searching for a suspect who took off on foot after a traffic stop in the Ballston area.

The car was stopped by police on Washington Blvd. The suspect ran off and officers gave chase, but they lost sight of him in the area of 9th Street N. and N. Stuart Street, near the Metro station.

Police are establishing a perimeter in order to try to find the suspect. Officers are also investigating the possibility that the car was stolen or, at minimum, was improperly registered.

by Jackie Friedman — July 26, 2016 at 1:25 pm 0

(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) A construction vehicle is currently draped with downed power lines near Virginia Square.

The incident occurred shortly before noon at 3700 6th Road N. as the truck was being hauled through the Ashton Heights neighborhood.

Firefighters and police were called to the scene and currently have the sidewalk and the road closed for safety, as the lines were believed to be live electrical lines.

No injures were reported, but at least one neighboring home was reportedly damaged.

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2016 at 10:55 am 0

Police car (file photo)Arlington County Police reported two sexual assault incidents in the Rosslyn area in its Friday crime report.

One incident happened near the Iwo Jima memorial, as a woman was walking home from the Rosslyn Metro station around 10 p.m.  Police say a man in a ski mask approached the woman, possibly exposed himself and grabbed her inappropriately.

From ACPD:

SEXUAL ASSAULT, 160721005, 1200 N. Meade Street. At approximately 10pm a female was walking from the Rosslyn metro to her residence when she was approached by a white male wearing a ski mask. As the suspect approached he lifted his shorts up, possibly exposing himself. The victim walked away from the man, who then groped her in the crotch area. The man fled the scene and is described as a White or Hispanic male, 5’8″ with an athletic build, wearing a black ski mask, long sleeve shirt, silver basketball shorts, and black Vans sneakers.

The other crime happened around 6:30 p.m. on the 1700 block of Clarendon Blvd, near the intersection with N. Quinn Street.

SEXUAL ASSAULT, 160721043, 1700 N. Clarendon Blvd. At approximately 6:30pm a female was walking on Clarendon Blvd. near Quinn Street when a man on a bicycle approached her from behind and grabbed her breast. The suspect is described as a husky White male wearing a dark colored bike helmet, maroon shirt, gray khaki shorts and white shoes.

The rest of the notable items from the Friday’s and today’s Arlington crime reports, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Ziina flower in the Four Mile Run community gardens (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Ultimate Frisbee at APS — The Arlington School Board is expected to vote to make Ultimate Frisbee an official co-curricular sport in middle schools and high schools. Arlington is already a hotbed of Ultimate play at the high school club level. It’s likely to be years before the sport is recognized by the Virginia High School League, the statewide intramural sports governing body. [InsideNova*]

Adoption Event Success at AWLA — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington reported 28 adoptions as part of the national Clear the Shelters pet adoption event over the weekend. [Twitter]

Development Before and After — A series of before and after photos, via Google Street View, show some of the more dramatic changes from the last decade of development in Arlington. [Rent Cafe]

Local White Supremacist Quoted — The Associated Press yesterday quoted Richard Spencer, a 38-year-old white supremacist who reportedly lives in Arlington and believes that African-Americans, Hispanics and Jews should be removed from the United States. Spencer, an alt-right figure, attended the Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump. [Associated Press]

Few Proven Towing Violations — Out of 18,642 trespass tows in Arlington last year, only 7 — or 0.04 percent — were found by authorities to have violated local towing ordinances. [InsideNova*]

Watts Finishes Another Race — Jamie Watts, a fixture in the local running scene, has finished another race. Watts, who has cerebral palsy, completed Saturday night’s Crystal City Twilighter 5K despite sweltering conditions. [WUSA 9*]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley.

*Denotes website that employs pop-up ads, autoplay video or other disruptions to the user experience.

by Tim Regan — July 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Update at 8:15 p.m. — “We traced the discoloration to an active construction site, which is the likely source,” said Arlington DES spokeswoman Jessica Baxter. “A light-colored sediment had discharged from the site and into the storm drain system.”

Why did this stretch of Four Mile Run turn yellow?

That’s a question officials with Arlington County’s Dept. of Environmental Services are trying to answer.

The Arlington County Fire Department was called to investigate a yellow substance in a portion of the stream behind The Brittany condominium complex at 4500 S Four Mile Run Drive around 2:35 p.m. this afternoon.

Though the firefighters concluded the mysterious discoloration is not hazardous, the substance has county officials scratching their heads.

“We don’t know how long it had been there,” said DES staffer Mark Wisdom. “We can’t make a determination until we can find the source.”

Wisdom said he planned to search for discarded paint cans or other substances near the creek.

Photos and additional reporting by Lindsay Smith

by ARLnow.com — July 22, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Slowly but steadily, the former DoD Inspector General’s Office in Pentagon City is being demolished floor-by-floor.

Also known at the “Paperclip building,” the structure is being torn down to make way for a new 20-story condo tower known at “The Altaire.”

“Bordering Crystal City and Pentagon City, The Altaire, referencing the double star in the constellation Aquila, will offer 450 condominium homes to the growing region,” says an older website for the forthcoming development. “With expected unobstructed views of The District, The Altarie will be one community to not miss.”

The website pegs the price range of Altaire condos at $300,000 to $2.5 million. It’s unclear if those prices have since been updated.

A groundbreaking for the project is expected to be held later this year.

At its meeting on Wednesday, the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a permit for use of the county-owned “teardrop parcel,” adjacent to the property, for temporary construction storage, staging and parking.

by ARLnow.com — July 22, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Roosevelt Island (Flickr pool photo by xmeeksx)

Military Base: No Pokemon Players, Please — Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is advising visitors that hunting Pokemon is not a valid reason for visiting the base, even though Pokemon supposedly abound there. “There’s multiple Pokestops and gyms on post,” noted a military police officer, who added that she has played the game “to learn more about it.” [Pentagram]

‘Oasis’ For Runners Near Key Bridge — Amid sweltering temperatures, local running store Pacers is setting up an “oasis” Saturday morning from 7-10 a.m. near the Key Bridge and the Mt. Vernon and Custis trails. The oasis will offer “nutrition, hydration, and a shady place to take a break.” [Pacers]

Twilighter 5K Saturday — Crystal City will hold its annual Twilighter 5K race Saturday evening. The race starts at 8:30 p.m. Expect lane and road closures in the area. [ARLnow]

Flickr pool photo by xmeeksx

by Jackie Friedman — July 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

A plan to put a 16-bike Capital Bikeshare station at Westover Library has been delayed, according to Arlington County.

The bike rental service delayed installing the Westover Library station because construction crews are using the site as a staging area while they renovate the Westover Branch Library’s windows, according to Arlington County spokesman Peter Golkin.

“Instead, we’ll be installing this station at Westover Park over the next month and installing at the Library in the fall when construction is supposed to be completed,” a Bikeshare representative said in a statement Golkin shared with ARLnow.com.

Three Capital Bikeshare stations are planned for Westover, according to county staff. In addition to the Westover Libary and Westover Park stations, another hub is slated to be installed at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Patrick Henry in 2018.

by Tim Regan — July 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Police car (file photo)Arlington County Police have arrested two men for using a pellet gun to shoot holes into a kiosk window outside of the East Falls Church Metro station and shatter a glass enclosure at a nearby bus stop last night.

The crime occurred at the Metro station just after 11:30 p.m. last night, police said.

Two men shot a pellet gun at a kiosk window at the Metro station, puncturing the glass three times, police said. They also allegedly fired the pellet gun at a bus stop on North Sycamore Street, breaking its glass enclosure.

Officers originally responded to a report of two suspicious men looking into vehicles on the 2200 block of N. Somerset Street. When they arrived, they heard a gunshot and located the two suspected shooters.

In addition to the pellet gun, one of the men had a loaded gun in his possession at the time of arrest, police said.

From an ACPD crime report:

POSSESSION OF CONCEALED WEAPON (Significant), 160721003, 2200 block of N. Somerset Street. At approximately 11:38 p.m. on July 20, officers responded to the report of suspicious males looking into vehicles. Arriving officers heard the discharge of a firearm and located two suspects. Nico Wilson, 32, of Fort Washington MD, was arrested and charged with possession of a concealed weapon and discharge of a firearm. Carlos Parker, 18, of Temple Hills MD, was arrested and charged with destruction of property and possession of a concealed weapon.

by ARLnow.com — July 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

The real estate investment trust that owns the Wellington Apartments on Columbia Pike has received the go-ahead to build three new apartment buildings on its parking lot.

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously last night to approve a use permit for the new apartments, to be located on a section of the property that borders Army Navy Country Club and a block of homes in the Arlington View neighborhood.

Each of the three buildings will be six stories high, with a total of 401 new market-rate apartments. The property owner also agreed to convert 105 of the existing apartments in the Wellington to committed affordable units, at no cost to the county.

Other features of the planned development include:

  • A nine-level garage (six levels will be above ground) with hundreds of new parking spaces and bike spaces
  • Streetscape improvements and new street connections (S. Rhodes Street and 12th Street S.)
  • A new public “mini park” on the new 12th Street
  • LEED Silver energy efficiency

“Our efforts to revitalize the Pike through innovative approaches to land use and zoning, while striving to preserve its stock of affordable housing, continue to show results,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a statement.

The county press release on the approval, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — July 21, 2016 at 11:20 am 0

Arlington County public service issues mapArlington County is the top “digital county” among those with a population between 150,000 and a quarter million.

That’s according to the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties, which gave Arlington high marks for its tech related to “open government, transparency, citizen engagement, security and operations.”

This is the first time Arlington has achieved the honor.

“We’re proud of this award and for the work that was done this year to help create a more streamlined, responsive and inclusive government using technology,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a press release (below). “Arlington will continue to innovate and explore new technology tools with the goal of creating the best possible experience for residents and businesses when they interact with the County.”

The county is ahead of the curve in tech in a number of ways. In the past couple of years Arlington has launched a dark fiber network that’s open to businesses, a data-driven smartphone app, online streaming of commission meetings and an “open data portal.”

The full press release from Arlington County, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — July 21, 2016 at 9:10 am 0

Looking to D.C. from the Courtland Towers apartment building in Courthouse

Competing Convention Watch Parties — The Arlington GOP and Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans are hosting a Republican convention watch party tonight at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill in Courthouse. The Arlington Young Democrats, meanwhile, are holding their own watch party for the last night of the GOP convention. That event is being held at Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon. [Facebook, Facebook]

Youth Hockey Team Profiled — As part of its “Harris’ Heroes” segment, TV station ABC 7 yesterday profiled the NOVA Cool Cats, a hockey team for youth with developmental disabilities. The team plays at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. [WJLA]

Road Rage Incident in Rosslyn — A man allegedly brandished a handgun and followed two women during a road rage incident on Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, after the female driver honked her horn while the man’s vehicle blocked her path. [Arlington County]

Weekend Woes on Metro — Expect delays on all six Metrorail lines due to track work this weekend. That includes the ongoing “surge” work between Ballston and East Falls Church. [WMATA]

Lighting Task Force Needs More Time — A task force trying to determine whether to add lighting to the Williamsburg Middle School athletic fields says it will present its findings in January. The task force, chaired by former County Board primary challenger Erik Gutshall, was originally expected to wrap up its work in June. [InsideNova]

by Tim Regan — July 20, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

July 19 County Board meeting screenshotThe County Board has given the go-ahead to a plan from the U.S. Department of Defense to install equipment around Arlington that could detect explosions and provide forensic data to investigators after an attack.

The board’s members voted unanimously last night to approve a license agreement between the County Board and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to install the equipment on county property.

According to a county staff report, the nature and location of the equipment will be kept secret and exempt from Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, a fact that worried ACLU of Virginia’s executive director, Claire Guthrie Gastañaga. Speaking before the board, Gastañaga argued that it was “important that the capabilities of the equipment be public.”

“We don’t think think that… those capabilities of this kind of equipment are any real secret,” she said. Additionally, Gastañaga urged the board to ask the Defense Department to agree not to install listening devices or other active monitoring equipment.

County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac replied that the board has some of the same concerns as the ACLU, and added that its members have had an opportunity to examine the plans to assure “that the nature of the equipment is not the kind of thing that can record audio or visual activities.”

“It is dormant equipment that is only activated when an event occurs and it does not record audio or video,” MacIsaac said. “You can have a high level of confidence that the equipment they’re putting out there is not capable of doing the sorts of things that there is concern about.”

Board member John Vihstadt agreed with McIsaac and said that “the county has a high degree of control over exactly what DTRA is doing and what they’re putting out on county property.”

“I think a big distinction here is that we’re not turning over any part of our county’s infrastructure or geography or territory to DTRA, we’re simply entering into a licensing agreement to deploy the kind of sensors that they have described,” added board member Christian Dorsey. “That gives me great comfort that many of the civil liberties issues that Ms. Gastanaga have brought up are not going to be ongoing issues here.”

Furthermore, board chair Libby Garvey said the county could choose to cancel the agreement if it ever became concerned with the new equipment.

Screenshot via County Board video

by ARLnow.com — July 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Power outage map on July 20, 2016More than 1,700 Dominion customers are without power in south Arlington due to a widespread power outage.

The outage was first reported around 2:30 p.m. Numerous traffic signals along Columbia Pike and Glebe Road, including the signal at the busy intersection of the Pike and Glebe, were reported to be dark, though most have since come back online.

The outage also briefly caused some issues at the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant along Glebe Road, according to scanner traffic.

The outage is currently affecting power customers in Fairlington, Shirlington and along portions of the Pike, according to a power outage map and social media reports. More than 100 customers are also said to be without power in Alexandria.

by Adrian Cruz — July 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm 0

Fire Station 8 (Courtesy of Arlington County Fire Department)The Arlington County Board voted yesterday to approve a plan that would rebuild Fire Station 8 at its current Lee Highway location.

The 4-1 decision was made as part of the Board’s deliberation on the adoption of the county’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which includes the replacement of Fire Station 8.

The vote, based on a recommendation from the board’s Fire Station No. 8 Task Force, marks the likely end to a long and contentious saga over the station’s future.

The sole dissenter in yesterday’s vote was County Board Chair Libby Garvey, who argued that building the station on 26th Street N. and Old Dominion Drive near Marymount University would serve more residents by reducing the amount of time it would take for the fire department to respond to calls north of Lee Highway.

County Board meeting on July 19, 2016Garvey’s argument mirrored what supporters of the relocation have said in the plan’s defense.

“Far and away the most important criteria about where we site the fire station is getting as many people as possible that can be reached as quickly as possible in an emergency,” Garvey said. “If we move it further north, we can get more people we can reach in time in an emergency. It really may mean life and death.”

Other board members, such as Christian Dorsey argued that the current location, along busy Lee Highway, better serves the needs of the majority of calls to the fire department than a lower density location like 26th Street.

“It’s pretty clear that we should keep the fire station at its current location in order to meet people where they actually are, recognizing that the greatest number of calls required of our fire and EMS crews is to help people with EMS distress,” Dorsey explained. “It’s a crapshoot. There’s no way we can guarantee what’s going to happen in the future but if I’m going to have to make an allocation based on our best judgment and best data, it’s got to be where people are… versus static residences that are only used for a certain portion of the day.”

Board member John Vihstadt pointed to future development in the area as reasons to keep the fire station at its current location.

“We just approved a large new Ballston corridor development, which is serviced by the station closest to it, Fire Station 2 at George Mason and Wilson Blvd,” he said. “Fire stations south of Fire Station 8 are going to be increasingly called upon to deal with the increased density that is looming in our future.”

Vihstadt also said the location of Virginia Hospital Center played into his decision. “Why would we degrade service for so many to marginally improve service for a much fewer number?” he concluded.

Further planning on the new station will begin next year. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2019, according to a press release from Arlington County. While the construction is underway, the fire department will operate from an interim station for two years at a location that has not yet been determined, officials said.

The Board directed the County Manager to determine possible locations and expected costs for the temporary fire station by the end of 2016. The added costs of keeping the station on Lee Highway are expected to total several million dollars.

The new fire station will be ready for operations in spring 2021, according to county officials.

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