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by ARLnow.com — September 3, 2015 at 11:30 am 4,698 0

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) Arlington County Police are executing a search warrant on the house of David Black, the ex-husband of murder victim Bonnie Delgado Black.

Police arrived at the house near Pentagon City early this morning, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Black was at the house at the time but has since left, and is so far not in custody and not charged with a crime, Sternbeck said.

“We have an active police presence at this time at David Black’s residence,” said Sternbeck. Police are searching for “potential items at the residence that could contain forensic evidence that can assist us in the investigation.”

Bonnie Black was found stabbed to death in her Aurora Highlands home the morning of April 17, after a neighbor saw her children wandering around outside the house. Black, who was 42, worked as a psychologist and did contract work for the FBI.

Bonnie Black’s ex-husband’s house is also in Aurora Highlands, several blocks away from the murder scene. Police this morning could be seen searching the ex-husband’s garage and removing two bikes, including one with a child carrier attached. The bikes were later taken away as evidence by police.

So far no one has been charged in the murder, a fact that has caused concern in the community. David Black remains a “person of interest” in the case, Sternbeck said.

“I’m very happy to see some action taking place,” neighbor Lynn Primo told reporters. “We’re all very concerned… this man continues to live here and the whole neighborhood believes he has something to do with [the murder].”

Primo said she has seen Black coming and going from the house, but has not observed any unusual activity.

The couple’s children are in the custody of Bonnie Black’s family, but David Black still has visitation rights, according to Sternbeck.

by ARLnow.com — September 3, 2015 at 9:45 am 2,326 0

Ballston (Flickr pool photo by Arlington VA)

Investigation into Marine’s Death at Base — The military is investigating the death of a 22-year-old Marine at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Cpl. Jon Gee was reportedly found unresponsive in his room on the base Saturday afternoon, after a night out at “a rave in the District.” [Washington Post]

Rousselot Blasts Lack of Pike Transit Plan — The fact that Arlington County has no transit plan yet for Columbia Pike, after the cancellation of the streetcar last year, is frustrating to Peter Rousselot, who helped to lead the charge against the streetcar. “I think it is a failure of management,” he told WAMU. “The answer on the Pike that our group presented all along… was a regional Bus Rapid Transit system, or BRT, involving Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County.” [WAMU]

Tour of New Elementary School — Arlington Public Schools led members of the media on a tour of the new Discovery Elementary School on Thursday. Located next to Williamsburg Middle School, it’s the county’s first new primary school in over a decade. Discovery is designed to be a “net zero” consumer of energy thanks to renewable energy features. [WTOP, Katch]

GMU ‘Welcome Fair’ Today — George Mason University’s Arlington campus is holding a “Welcome Fair” for students between 5:30 and 8 p.m. today. [Twitter]

Library Helps With Business Plans — Arlington Public Library helped the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, an ARLnow.com advertiser, create a business plan and launch their business. The library has a business services librarian and number of resources for entrepreneurs, including access to a premium database that compiles demographic data by ZIP code. [Twitter]

More on Arlington Radio Station — WERA, Arlington’s new community radio station, hopes to launch by December. The station will cost Arlington Independent Media, best known as the nonprofit behind Arlington’s local cable access channel, about $400,000. [Arlington Connection]

Flickr pool photo by Arlington VA

by Heather Mongilio — September 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm 1,928 0

Arlington County police logo(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department does not have new leads for any of its 22 cold cases, some of which date back to 1970, but is an the lookout for new tips and evidence.

The oldest cold case in ACPD’s files is the murder of Maria Currier, 23, from 1970. Currier was found strangled in her bedroom on 100 block of N. Columbus Street on Jan. 8, 1970.

There are two other cold cases from 1970 — Rene Karam, who was strangled in March 1970, and Frank Shipley, who died under unusual circumstances in May 1970.

Shipley and his wife returned home to find a burglar in their house. Shipley suffered a heart attack while complying with the burglar’s demands.

The suspect was described as “a white male in his 20s, approximately 5″8′ tall with a slight build and dark-brown or black wavy hair,” according to the ACPD’s cold case website.

There were 10 deaths between 1970 and 1975 that remain unsolved — three in 1970, two in 1971, three in 1974 and two in 1975. The deaths of the 12 other cold case victims occurred between 1986 and 2006, with two deaths in 1988.

One of the 1988 unsolved cases is 38-year-old Constance Holtzman, who was shot and killed on Nov. 9, 1988. She was found in her bedroom on the 4400 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. Police still do not have a suspect description.

The most recent cold case is nearly 10 years old. Paul Matthew Zeller was killed while walking near the Pentagon Row shopping center in 2006, according to ACPD.

On the night of his murder, Zeller stopped at a grocery store before heading to his Aurora Highlands home, according to detectives. Police found the 24-year-old Iraq war veteran shot on the 1300 block of S. Joyce Street, after receiving 911 calls shortly after midnight. There is a reward of up to $10,000 for any information on that case.

The cold case squad is also working on the 2012 double homicide in Hall’s Hill, where two men were found in an apartment on N. Culpeper Street. The case is not technically considered a “cold case” because it is still actively being worked, said Det. Rosa Ortiz.

“I do have several leads that are good leads,” Ortiz said. She declined further comment.

Ortiz heads the cold case squad and has been the lead detective in some of the police department’s most high-profile solved cases, including the Carl Diener murder and a 25-year-old rape case that was solved last year.

Anyone with information on any cold case or recent crime can call the ACPD Tip Line at 703-228-4242 or the Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

“Any new information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could help detectives solve this case and bring the victim’s family some closure,” the cold case website says.

by Heather Mongilio — September 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm 1,243 0

Rolls By URolls By U, a new sushi restaurant coming to the Colonial Village Shopping Center on Wilson Blvd, is hoping to open its doors mid-September.

There is no target date for the new restaurant, according to one of its employees. Rolls By U announced the mid-September opening on its Facebook page on Aug. 26.

The sushi restaurant’s slogan is “where you create,” implying that it may be a make-your-own sushi concept. On social media, the restaurant says it will offer “organic, healthy, and flavorful sushi for your senses and your soul.”

Brown paper still covers the window, but construction crews could be seen inside this afternoon.

Rolls by U will be at least the fourth sushi restaurant in Rosslyn, with Kona Grill, Kanpai and Cafe Asia all nearby, along Wilson Blvd.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

Wellness Matters banner

The following weekly column is written and sponsored by Virginia Hospital Center, a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and one of America’s 100 Top Hospitals for the third year in a row.

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Are you prepared for a disaster? Living close to the nation’s capital makes us vulnerable to all sorts of emergency scenarios, both natural and man-made. Remember the earthquake of 2011? Or the derecho that blew through in 2012 and knocked out electricity, cell phones and key services all at once?

There are simple precautions you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe and ready.

The Arlington County Office of Emergency Management recommends the following:

  • Make a personal or family communication plan. Include a list of everybody’s work and cell phone numbers, and designate an out-of-town relative or friend as a point of contact. More information is available on Arlington’s Emergency Management web site.
  • Prepare a 3-day emergency supply kit. Stock it with basics such as water, non-perishable food, a can opener, flashlights, batteries and first-aid essentials. Tailor it to your specific needs, including medications, baby supplies or pet supplies.
  • Save important documents. Gather financial and other important papers in one secure location. For extra protection, save your documents on a flash drive and leave it with a family member or friend.

Taryn Overman, Patient Care Director of the Emergency Department at Virginia Hospital Center, recommends the following to help you prepare for urgent situations that may happen in the home:

  • Take a basic first-aid and CPR course. Virginia Hospital Center and many other community organizations offer first-aid and CPR courses where you can practice your life-saving skills as you train for emergency situations. You can register for a CPR class at Virginia Hospital Center by visiting our Classes & Events page and clicking on the Calendar tab. Upcoming classes are scheduled for Sept. 25, Oct. 2, and Oct. 23.
  • Keep your emergency information in one location and inform your family or friends of the location. This helps you, family or friends locate your information quickly if an urgent situation arises. The information most useful includes copies of your driver’s license, insurance cards, an updated list of home medications and allergies, emergency contact name and phone number, and a list of your physicians.
  • Know the route to your closest emergency department. It is always important to practice the route in case of an emergency. However, if you think you are having a medical emergency that needs urgent attention, call 911.

September is National Preparedness Month. Be informed. Be ready. Sign up for up-to-the-minute alerts from Arlington County’s Office of Emergency Management. Or visit FEMA’s website to learn what to do before, during and after specific emergency situations, such as a flood, fire or tornado.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Pet of the Week: Boogie

by Eleanor Greene — September 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm 695 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Boogie. He’s a Cairn terrier mix who loves people, especially when they know his name and that he’s the unofficial mayor of Pentagon City.

Here’s what Kimberly, one of Boogie’s humans, had to say about him.

Boogie, a 10-year old Cairn terrier mix, is known as the Mayor of Pentagon City because of the friendly greeting he gives every human and canine he meets in the neighborhood. With his signature lion-like mane and constantly wagging deer-like tail, he’s developed quite a following since moving to the neighborhood 6 years ago, and he takes pride in the fact that so many people greet him by name.

Adopted 8 years ago from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington after being found as a stray, Boogie quickly took to apartment living. A strong silent type, he rarely makes a sound but still is easily able to convey his desire for a walk, a snack, a snuggle or a belly rub.

When he’s not chasing squirrels in Virginia Highlands Park, he can usually be found strolling the neighborhood with one of his human parents, grabbing lunch with one of his many human friends at outdoor cafes, or relaxing in front of the Pentagon Row shops waiting for passersby to pet him. Next time you see him, say hello!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week?[email protected] a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

by Heather Mongilio — September 2, 2015 at 11:30 am 2,679 0

Members of the Coalition of Arlingtonians for Responsible Development, a group that wants affordable housing throughout the county, protested before a County Board work session on the Affordable Housing Master Plan last night.

The Affordable Housing Master Plan calls for 17.7 percent of all housing in Arlington to be affordable by 2040 for those making up to 60 percent of the average median income. Under the plan, the county would add roughly 15,800 new affordable units.

“It’s housing for our low wage workforce, or our lower wage workforce,” said County Board member Jay Fisette after the work session. “It’s the people we all rely on and come across every day in our lives in Arlington.”

The County Board will vote on the plan in September, and CARD members said they do not think the plan does enough to spread affordable housing throughout the county. Instead, the group said that new affordable housing units will be clustered around Columbia Pike.

“I think the county can make a stronger commitment to placing CAFs [Committed Affordable Units] in school districts that don’t have a high concentration of poverty,” said CARD member Katherine Novello, who lives in Barcroft.

Housing Distribution forecast map (via Arlington County)

The plan includes a map that forecasts the distribution of affordable housing units throughout the county. By 2040:

  • Rosslyn-Ballston corridor will have 22 percent of the affordable housing units
  • The Route 1 corridor (Crystal City and Pentagon City) will have 10 percent
  • Columbia Pike will have 22 percent
  • The area around the Arlington and Washington Blvds will have 6 percent
  • Buckingham will have 7 percent
  • The Westover Garden Apartments will have 3 percent
  • Apartments along I-395 will have 13 percent
  • The neighborhoods along Lee Highway to East Falls Church will have 11 percent

Under the plan, no affordable housing units would be added to areas in the northern most part of Arlington, including the Bellevue Forest, Arlingwood, Old Glebe and Rivercrest neighborhoods.

Many of the CARD members are concerned that the lack of distribution throughout the county will hurt school achievement by clumping high levels of poverty in some schools, while others have very few students who need free or reduced meals.

“If you create pockets of poverty, you’re not creating opportunities for people to succeed in life,” said CARD member Sue Campbell, who lives in Glencarlyn.

The lack of diversity in some schools also goes against the county’s slogan of diversity and inclusion, Campbell said.

The County Board received many comments from the public asking for geographic distribution and urging the county to do more to ensure it, said County Board member John Vihstadt during the work session.

“I’m just looking at pages and pages of the comments looking at the survey [on affordable housing],” Vihstadt said. “We’re moving in the right direction. The question is what more can we do.”

Vihstadt said after the meeting that he thinks the plan is better than before and is hopeful that the final plan presented in September will be something he can support.

“I think this plan now has goals as well as some teeth,” he said.

CARD founding member Joye Murphy said this morning that while the County Board members, “especially John Vihstadt,” were listening to the group, the plan still does not do enough to enforce geographic distribution.

“The county continues to harp on ‘preserving’ affordable housing,” she said in an email. “The only place housing is ‘market-rate affordable,’ (this means ‘low rent apartments’) is basically along Columbia Pike. This thinly-veiled ‘goal’ of ‘preserving affordable housing’ means dumping more committed affordable units on the Pike. We are not drinking that Kool-Aid.”

by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2015 at 10:30 am 636 0

Plane taking off at Reagan National AirportAAA Mid-Atlantic came out with its annual Labor Day travel forecast earlier this week, predicting that 850,700 D.C. area residents will head out of town for the holiday.

That’s a paltry 0.4 percent increase from last year, with 743,200 residents expected to drive to their vacation destinations, 62,500 expected to fly and the rest expected to take trains and other modes of transportation.

AAA says there would have been more locals traveling this year, had Labor Day not fallen on Sept. 7, the latest possible day it can occur. Historically, that dampens holiday travel.

“While increasing travel volume is great news for the industry and economy, our survey shows a decidedly ‘un-laboring’ take on the Labor Day holiday,” said AAA’s John Townsend II, in a press release. “Many would rather spend the holiday at cookouts, relaxing or simply at home to avoid heavy holiday traffic congestion or additional spending, especially if they have already taken a vacation this summer.”

Are you planning on skipping town for one last summer trip — or staying put and firing up the grill?

by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,640 0

Cupid's arrow sculpture in Rosslyn

Library Book Returned 34 Years Later — A teen novel has been returned to the Wakefield High School library 34 years overdue. The book, “The Underside of the Leaf,” was last checked out in 1981. [Washington Post]

Man Charged With Bringing Loaded Gun to DCA — A Woodbridge man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Reagan National Airport Saturday, after they discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage. [WUSA 9]

Beyer Seeks to Hike Entire Appalachian Trail  — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has so far hiked 1,253 miles of the Appalachian Trail, in 46 different hikes, after vowing to complete the entire trail in 2002. [Rep. Don Beyer]

by ARLnow.com — September 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm 1,801 0

Metro transit police vehicle (file photo)(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) A investigation into a suspicious message on a train caused some delays for Metro riders heading through Arlington on the Blue and Yellow lines this afternoon.

Metro Transit Police responded to the Pentagon City Metro station around the beginning of the evening rush hour for a “report of [a] suspicious package,” Metro said via Twitter.

According to Metro spokesman Mike Tolbert, a “suspicious note” was found on a train. The note was similar to another note — a bomb threat — that caused delays on the Blue, Silver and Orange lines this morning, Tolbert said.

Trains single tracked between the Pentagon City and National Airport stations for about a half hour as a result of the investigation. Metro said officers determined that the threat was “unfounded” and an all clear was given. Full service resumed, though with significant residual delays.

The incident even caused delays on the Green Line in D.C. “due to earlier congestion from delayed Yellow Line trains.”

by ARLnow.com — September 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm 1,529 0

View of D.C., the 14th Street Bridge and the Yellow Line bridge on the PotomacMetro riders who take the Yellow Line between Virginia and D.C. will see some slowdowns while crossing the Potomac River.

WMATA says it has placed a speed restriction on the bridge, limiting trains to just 15 miles per hour. The restriction is “part of Metro’s aggressive campaign to fix track conditions identified following inspections after the derailment of a non-passenger train in early August,” the transit agency said online.

Replacement of metal fasteners on the Yellow Line bridge is currently underway, Metro said, but may take 6-8 weeks.

“While it may seem like slow-going, we do not expect significant delays,” the agency said. “However, if there is another issue such as a disabled train, switch problem or medical emergency, the speed restriction may result in congestion prior to the speed restriction area.”

Additional 15 mph restrictions are in place on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines between Foggy Bottom and Farragut West, and in three sections on the Red Line. Readers and an ARLnow.com reporter have also observed trains running slowly in a portion of the tunnel between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom.

In addition to the slow restrictions, Metro says it has also placed “medium restrictions” of up to 40 mph in certain parts of the Metrorail system.

NBC Washington’s Adam Tuss first reported the Yellow Line bridge speed restriction this morning and posted a video showing a slow-moving train on the bridge.

by Heather Mongilio — September 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm 966 0

A Cat Named Denali cover (Courtesy of Gretch Brenckle)

Two Carlin Springs Elementary School staff members have created a new book series to help kids learn U.S. geography.

Gretchen Schuyler Brenckle and Kathryn Belcher Frazier recently released “A Cat Named Denali: An Outer Banks Adventure,” the first book in the series. In the children’s book, Denali goes on adventures while traveling with her family and learns fun facts about the United States, according to the book’s summary.

Brenckle, a counselor at Carlin Springs, wrote the story, and Frazier, a third grade teacher at Carlin Springs, illustrated the book. Brenckle said that she was inspired to write the book to give kids a fun way to learn geography.

“I am so excited to help children of all ages learn more about our country with Denali the Cat, who is on the adventure of a lifetime as she travels with her family, meeting new friends and learning fun facts about the United States,” she said in a press releases.

Frazier added: “Though I always remind my students not to judge a book by its cover, I hope these illustrations will entice and encourage young readers everywhere.”

Both Brenckle and Frazier live in Arlington and are Yorktown High School graduates.

“A Cat Named Denali: An Outer Banks Adventure” is available for purchase on Amazon or at Barnes and Nobles and Books A Million. The book costs $14.95.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 1, 2015 at 2:30 pm 964 0

Ask Will banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: What does the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Statement do and whom does it protect?

A: If you’re selling a home in Virginia you are required to provide a signed “Residential Property Disclosure Statement” to the buyer. As noted in an online attachment to the form (not written out in the disclosure itself), the statement notifies the buyer that the seller is not in a position to disclose or speak to any of the conditions of the property. By doing this, the statement essentially puts the responsibility of exploring and understanding the condition of the property in the buyer’s hands.

The signed disclosure form must be provided to the buyer before any contract terms can take effect. If the seller does not provide the statement, the buyer may void the contract.

Buyers Beware

Virginia is referred to as a “buyer beware” state, which means a seller does not have to proactively disclose any problems with the home. This leaves it up to the buyer to find any issues during inspection. Clearly, as a buyer, it’s important to do your due diligence. When choosing your agent, ask him or her about prior experience with qualified home inspectors in the area. A good agent can connect you with a seasoned inspector and offer an extra eye for anything that may cause immediate concern (even prior to inspection).

As a side note, a seller cannot knowingly lie or attempt to hide or cover up a problem. For example, covering a crack in the foundation with rug or putting a large piece of furniture in front of a hole in the wall. In many cases, if a seller does this they could be subject to legal action even after the property closes and deed is transferred.

Some Exceptions

There are some exceptions where the disclosure statement typically is not required. For example, it may not apply in sales between co-owners or between relatives, or in certain tax, bankruptcy, trust and foreclosure sales.

Also, a builder selling new construction is not required to complete the disclosure form. However, the builder/seller does need to provide a written disclosure of any known defects that are in violation of the building code.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — September 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm 1,463 0

The frozen yogurt store FroZenYo has closed its doors.

The store opened in 2011 amid a boom in local froyo joints. That expansion has gone cold and turned into a contraction.

A sign recently taped to the door said the FroZenYo at 2231 Crystal Drive is no more.

“This location is permanently closed,” the sign says. “Thanks for all of your business. Please visit our Eye Street location [at] 1634 I Street NW, D.C.”

The closure follows the shuttering of FroZenYo locations in Ballston and Rosslyn this year.

About a half a dozen frozen yogurt shops remain in Arlington, including Pinkberry in Clarendon and Menchie’s on Columbia Pike.

by Heather Mongilio — September 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm 365 0

American flag (file photo)

Most Arlington County government offices will be closed this coming Monday, Sept. 7, for the Labor Day holiday.

Libraries, courts, nature centers and administrative offices will be closed on Monday in observance of the holiday.

Parks will be open, and county pools will operate on a modified schedule. The Washington-Lee pool will be open from noon to 4 p.m., the Wakefield High School pool is open from noon to 6 p.m., and the Yorktown pool will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ART will run on a holiday schedule, meaning the 41, 51 and 87 buses will operate on Sunday times. All other routes will not run on Labor Day. Metro will run on a Sunday schedule and will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight.

Trash and recycling will be collected as normal.

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