by Jennifer Currier — November 24, 2015 at 10:00 am 0

A casual ramen and Asian small plates restaurant is set to open in Ballston next week.

Yona will open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting next Monday. It will also serve dinner beginning the following Friday, Dec. 4.

The new restaurant is owned by former “Top Chef” contestant Mike Isabella, who also owns two other Arlington establishments, Kapnos Taverna and Pepita. All three businesses opened this year in the same building, at 4000 Wilson blvd.

Unlike his other two eateries, Isabella won’t be the brain behind the food at Yona. That job is for Chef Jonah Kim.

“Yona is going to be more than just a way for Jonah to show off his mastery of Japanese and Korean flavors,” Isabella said in a statement. “We are creating a concept unlike anything in Northern Virginia. Ramen may be a humble dish, but it’s one that pays back the care and attention to detail a great chef can put into it.”

The menu Kim created features a handful of ramen options, but it also features several small plates and raw dishes, including fluke and smoked hamachi.

Kim said he thinks these items will complement each other well and bring something unexpected to the restaurant.

“There’s something about a truly substantial, warm bowl of soup that people don’t expect from a ramen place,” Kim said. “That’s still the focal point, but I think guests will be surprised by a non-traditional approach to it, especially with the cold dishes on the menu.”

A full drink menu will also be available, offering sake, cocktails, beer and wine.

The space itself can seat approximately 50 people at both communal and private tables. It also has an open kitchen and interior and exterior decorations inspired by Japanese and Korean influences.

Yona will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

by ARLnow.com — November 24, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Moon leaf (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Prosecutor: Black Asked for Help Killing Wife — At a bond hearing Monday, prosecutors said that David Black asked a friend to help kill his wife in a classic case of domestic violence. Black was denied bond and will remain in jail, charged with killing his estranged wife Bonnie Black in their home near Pentagon City. The trial is set for Feb. 29. [WUSA 9]

One of the Worst Traffic Bottlenecks — Arlington has one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country, according to the American Highway Users Alliance. I-395 between Washington Blvd and the GW Parkway ranked No. 26 on the list, wasting 1.1 million hours and 322,600 gallons of fuel annually. [WTOP]

TSA HQ Move May Be Delayed — The Transportation Security Administration’s headquarters may be staying in Pentagon City past 2017 after all. A judge has halted the TSA’s move to Alexandria in response to a protest of the lease bidding process by a losing bidder. [Government Executive]

Arlington GOP May Ditch Office — In order to save money, the Arlington County Republican Committee is considering giving up the $1,100 per month office it rents in the Dominion Arms apartment building. [InsideNova]

See Something, Type Something — Arlington County’s website has a “Homeland Security Tip Form,” for reporting “suspicious activity that may be related to terrorism” in Arlington. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com — November 24, 2015 at 6:00 am 0

A new pizza place in Clarendon has fired up its wood fire oven and is ready to serve a wide variety of pizza, salads and beer.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza recently opened a new restaurant in Clarendon, at 1119 N. Hudson Street, and the company is ready to introduce Arlington residents to a healthier type of pizza, said co-owner Jeff VanDyke.

“Our pizzas are thin crust so they tend to be healthier than other pizzas out there,” VanDyke said.

Brixx’s pizzas are made on traditional or whole wheat crust, both made from scratch every morning. Both doughs are vegan and guests can ask for vegan cheese. Gluten-free dough is also available. The restaurant, which is known for its large selection of beers on tap, offers gluten-free drinking options as well.

Brixx strives to have a casual and relaxing atmosphere, Van Dyke said. The restaurant is kid and family friendly, but looks to attract an older crowd as well with its late night offerings. The restaurant is open until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Its late openings fit in with the Clarendon bar scene, and Clarendon’s dynamic environment attracted the company to the area.

“We love the energy of the neighborhood in Clarendon,” VanDyke said. “Very vibrant. We’re excited to settle into the neighborhood. We love to work with the schools for fundraisers.”

The pizza chain offers discounts to police officers and firefighters, VanDyke said, noting that he often sees emergency personnel eat at the restaurant.

Beyond being a neighborhood-friendly restaurant, Brixx was built on the idea of being green and fresh. The chain recycles the glass from beer bottles and makes everything fresh that day.

“We do a lot of different styles of pizza,” VanDyke siad. “There’s good variety in terms of the menu.”

He recommends newcomers try the Bronx Bomber, a pizza with Italian sausage, prosciutto, mozzarella and gorgonzola; the Mexican, which has a black bean spread, chicken and jalapenos; or the Margherita, though there are so many options it is hard to choose.

In addition to pizzas, the restaurant offers a selection of salads, sandwiches and pastas.

“Even though we are called a pizza place, we have really good salads,” VanDyke said.

Customers over 21 can enjoy a selection of 24 beers on tap or 14 wines. Brixx tries to use local breweries for each of their selections, and the beer choices rotate monthly, he said.

“We have what we call our M.B.A. program, Masters of Beer Appreciation, where you can earn rewards,” VanDyke said.

Those who enroll in the program can earn t-shirts, beer goblets and free pizza based on the amount of times they visit Brixx.

Brixx Wood Fired opened in Clarendon last month and is already seeing steady business. Call it a hidden gem: the Hudson Street location is a bit set back from Clarendon’s main drag. Look for it between the CVS and Nam-Viet restaurant.

Brixx is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

The preceding was a sponsored profile written by Heather Mongilio for ARLnow.com.

by Jennifer Currier — November 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County and surrounding communities. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.


Facebook-try-firstSK Bar Olympics
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 5:30-10 p.m., games begin at 6:30 p.m.

Teams of two will compete in this fundraising event for the Arlington Free Clinic. Games include (Exam) Table Tennis, Pop-a-(flu)-Shot Basketball and Skee (the Doctor) Ball. The top five teams win prizes. Teams can sign up at the event for $20.


Happy Thanksgiving!

turkey trot logoArlington Turkey Trot 5K
Christ Church of Arlington (3020 N. Pershing Drive)
Time: 8 a.m.

The 10th annual Turkey Tro Thanksgiving Day 5K will raise money for five local charities. Residents are invited to run, walk or volunteer at the race. Online registration is closed, but participants can enter at the church this Tuesday (12-6 p.m.) or Wednesday (12-8 p.m.). Registration is free for children under 6, $20 for children 6 to 17, and $35 for adults.


Alonzo Bodden at the DrafthouseAlonzo Bodden Live at the Arlington Drafthouse
2903 Columbia Pike
Time: 10 p.m.

“Last Comic Standing” winner Alonzo Bodden will be performing three shows this Friday and Saturday. Bodden is a regular on NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and has appeared on several television shows. Tickets start at $22 and are available online.


Shop ARLNOWSmall Saturday*
Covet (5140 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The business voted Arlington’s “best gift shop” is participating in this year’s Shop Small Saturday movement. The celebration will have treats from Village Sweet bakery, free wrapping for gifts and a raffle to win a Covet gift card.


Shirlington Strategy Game NightStrategy Gaming Night
Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Ave)
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Euro-game enthusiasts will gather on Sunday night for an evening of strategic gaming. Some of the board games at the event include Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Dominion. The game night is free and open to the public.

CUMC-image44th Annual Messiah Sing-Along
Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Organist and Choirmaster Dr. J. Reilly Lewis will lead a full orchestra, harpsichord, organ, soloists and the audience in singing Part One of Handel’s Messiah. A reception will follow. There is no admission charge, but a $20 donation is suggested.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — November 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

Local Woof logo

Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.

Walking the dog is an integral part of the dog owners day, especially for those of us who don’t have a yard. And for many of us it has become a rote behavior, but walking your dog is an opportunity. It is quality one-on-one time that should not be wasted. Here are some ways to make the most of your daily dog walks:

1. Forget about the distance.

It doesn’t matter how far you walk. Unless you are jogging, walking is not good exercise for your dog. Your time is better spent exploring. Instead of a forced march, allow your dog to sniff to their hearts content. Your dog experiences their world primarily through scent, and a large portion of their brain is dedicated to deciphering scent. That means that sniffing is a full brain workout and can tire your dog out very effectively.

2. Train your dog.

Instead of giving your dog breakfast for free in a bowl, make them work for it. Carry their breakfast with you on the morning walk and ask for some simple behaviors like sits, downs and hand touches. As they get better and better, start asking for more advanced behaviors. Practice good manners with a neighborhood dog (sit before greeting). Whatever they don’t eat on the walk, they get afterwards.

3. Let the dog choose the route.

Ask them which way they want to go and be willing to follow their lead once in awhile. They will almost certainly be following their nose.

4. Pay attention to your dog’s body language.

What do they notice? Pay special attention to their ears and tail. Are they nervous? Scared? Excited? Do they want to keep walking or do they want to go home? Would they prefer a game of fetch in the field? Take the time to ask the dog what they want to do.

5. Maintain their socialization, aka introduce them to new things.

Socialization is the ability to adapt to new things, so taking your dog to new places and meeting new people can help them to maintain their socialization status. Are there opportunities to meet other dogs (with permission of course)? Can your dog jump on a big rock? Walk along a bench?

6. Hide some treats along the path.

It only takes a few minutes to place some milk bones under a bush for a simple game of nose work. As you dog gets better and better at finding them, increase the difficulty of the hide.

Have something else you have fun with on a walk? Let us know! The bottom line is to make your one-on-one time fun. As Thanksgiving approaches, show your pup how thankful you are to have them in your life by taking them on a super walk. The more time you spend having fun the better your relationship will be, and relationship is the foundation to better training.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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 — November 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm 0

Hector Anaya Segura (photo courtesy ACPD)A man attending a conference on drug policy reform stripped naked, started yelling incoherently and was ultimately tased by police during a bad trip Saturday night in Crystal City.

Police say they were called to the intersection of Crystal Drive and 18th Street around midnight Saturday night, for a report of a man standing in the roadway and acting erratically.

Upon arriving on scene, police saw 29-year-old Hector Segura in a flower bed, waving his arms in the air, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Segura was completely nude and sweating profusely despite the chilly temperatures, Sternbeck said.

According to police, Segura ran at the first responding officer and slammed his hands on the hood of his police cruiser, all while screaming incoherently. The officer used a Taser to subdue the man and called for backup to help take him in custody.

Medics responded and sedated Segura — who was under the influence of bath salts, according to a field toxicology test — to keep him from harming himself by continuing to writhe on the pavement, Sternbeck said. He was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for observation, where he continued to hallucinate and talk incoherently, according to Sternbeck.

Segura, a Mexican citizen, reportedly told police that he had traveled to the area for the 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, which was being held in Crystal City. The conference focused in part on advocating for the legalization of marijuana.

Segura was charged with disorderly conduct and held on a $10,000 bond. He remains in custody and his passport has been surrendered, said Sternbeck.

Photo courtesy ACPD

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm 0

Police car (file photo)Arlington County Police are looking for a man who they say nearly ran over an officer Sunday morning.

Around 5:45 a.m. Sunday, police responded to the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road for a report of an assault in progress. Upon arriving and exiting her vehicle, an officer confronted the suspect, who was in a car.

The suspect then drove toward the officer as if he was trying to hit her, but swerved at the last moment and struck two parked cars, before driving off, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Later Sunday night, police located the vehicle on S. Highland Street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood — near the suspect’s parents’ house, Sternbeck said. Police closed in but the suspect was able to flee.

The Fairfax County Police helicopter and at least one K-9 unit were called in to search the area but as of this morning the suspect remained at large.

Based on various emails forwarded to ARLnow.com, the presence of the circling helicopter and police officers with guns drawn created a big buzz on Columbia Pike area listservs.

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm 0

Letter to Arlington homeowners from Express Homebuyers (photo courtesy Arlington County Treaurer's Office)The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office is warning residents of “false” claims in a letter sent to homeowners by a local home buying firm.

Springfield-based Express Homebuyers sent a letter to Arlington homeowners claiming they owed real estate taxes to the county. The letter then offers to buy the recipient’s home to help pay the tax debt.

The Treasurer’s Office released the following statement about the letter Monday afternoon:

“We have recently become aware that many Arlington County homeowners have received correspondence from Jud Allen of Express Homebuyers, falsely claiming that these owners owe real estate taxes and that the County may take their homes away from them due to delinquent taxes.

Please be assured that, unless you have heard directly from the Arlington County Treasurer, you do not owe delinquent real estate taxes and there is no risk of the County taking or selling your home.

If you have any questions about this letter, or would like to report having received this letter, please call us at (703) 228-3090.”

by Heather Mongilio — November 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

BushyTail Health logo (Courtesy of George Hwang)A new app is aiming to help people with chronic illness lead healthier lives through a set of games where participants earn money for meeting goals.

With BushyTail Health, people with chronic illnesses will be able to wager money that they will be able to complete a personal goal in six months. Those who cannot accomplish the goal forfeit their money, but those who achieve their goal get their money back plus an extra bonus, said co-founder Dr. Jason Hoefling, an anesthesiologist at Georgetown University Hospital.

With chronic illnesses, people often don’t feel sick so they become less compliant, said co-founder and Arlington resident Dr. George Hwang, who’s also an anesthesiologist at Georgetown.

“It is hard to make people recognize that they are sick and scare tactics don’t work,” he said.

With BushyTail, the doctors are relying on financial incentives and motivation to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles. The app is still in its design phase but the co-founders hope to release it early next year, Hwang said. BushyTail Health is a startup under the 1776 incubator program in Crystal City with backing from MedStar Health.

To use BushyTail, players will download the free app and set a personal goal. The app will connect them with other people who have similar goals or illnesses to create a game. A pot of money will be created from each of the participants’ wagers. If everyone completes their goal, they each walk away with the same amount of money they put in. If someone drops out or fails to achieve their goal, the remaining players will walk away with their money plus a cut of the leftover money.

Goals will be set so that they are attainable for each person and BushyTail will offer support and help, giving the participants a good chance of earning their money, Hoefling said.

“The entire experience is not designed to take money from people for the company,” he said.

The participants are given complete control over whether they complete a goal or not, such as losing weight or keeping their blood sugar level at good numbers, said

“This game is not gambling because you have all the control in the world,” Hoefling said.

Participants will be able to link the app to their lab results from lab services like Quest or LabCorp so that the data supporting their progress is objective and prevents a “fudge factor,” Hwang said.

“It is pretty unique that we’re using lab data, but its what separates from other apps,” he said.

The idea behind BushyTail is based on research, Hoefling said, adding that medical research suggests that the best way to change human behavior is through financial incentives and motivation.

“We encourage people to waiver an amount of money that will motivate them,” he said. “If it’s something that will hurt to lose, it’s more motivational.”

The doctors will be using the app to collect their own data on human behavior, looking to find information that can help physicians better treat people with chronic illnesses, Hoefling said.

“You’re obviously hoping to find what makes people better because it is so hard,” he said.

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) A car slammed into the front porch of a house in Lyon Park Sunday afternoon.

The crash happened around 1:30 p.m., near the intersection of 4th Street N. and N. Irving Street.

According to a witness, a car was crossing Pershing Drive on Irving when it was T-boned by a car heading eastbound on Pershing. One of the vehicles, a four door Honda sedan, then hopped a curb and ran into the front right corner of the house.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters worked for several hours to shore up the porch so the car could be removed, we’re told.

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2015 at 10:05 am 0

A decorative Thanksgiving turkeyAn estimated 1.15 million D.C. area residents will travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday. Will you be among them?

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, holiday travel will be virtually unchanged this year, down 0.2 percent compared to 2014.

That’s despite lower gas prices and better weather — it’s supposed to be mostly sunny and cool this week, compared to the snowstorm that was predicted around this time last year.

About 90.5 percent of all D.C. area travelers will travel by car, compared to 7.3 percent traveling via air and 2.2 percent via other modes of transportation.

Will you be among those traveling outside of D.C. this year?

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2015 at 9:00 am 0

D.C. monuments seen during sunset from Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen)

Huge Apartment Building Proposed for Ballston — A Bethesda-based developer is proposing a huge new apartment building on the western side of the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road in Ballston. The building would feature 483 apartments, 760 underground parking spaces and 68,000 square feet of retail including a grocery store. The nearby Bluemont Civic Association has expressed concern about the proposal, including the potential impact of traffic from the grocery store. [Washington Business Journal]

Mall Worker Accused of Stealing Dozens of Shoes — A maintenance worker at the Pentagon City mall has been arrested and accused of stealing at least 77 pairs of shoes and boots and 9 purses. Police say surveillance footage shows Michael Meza-Guevara unsuccessfully trying to disable surveillance cameras. [NBC Washington]

Arlington Tops Regional Teacher Pay List — Arlington Public Schools offer the highest average teacher pay in suburban D.C. The average teacher salary in Arlington was $78,002 a year, compared to $76,029 for Montgomery County, which ranked third. [WTOP]

Editorial Supports I-66 Toll Plan, Widening — A new Washington Post editorial supports Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan for adding tolls to I-66. The editorial also supports widening the highway: “The right policy response to the I-66 mess, in addition to promoting mass transit, is to widen the road. Unfortunately, that’s been blocked by Arlington County, whose hostility from the outset is why the road was designed to narrow to four lanes inside the Beltway (from six outside).” [Washington Post]

Freezing Temperatures This Morning — Temperatures reached the freezing mark, dropping down to 32 degrees for the first time this season. The average first freeze in Arlington occurs on Nov. 18. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

by ARLnow.com — November 20, 2015 at 6:15 pm 0

Heavy traffic on I-395 (file photo)VDOT has a new plan for High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395, the Washington Post reported late Friday.

The news comes nearly five years after the state scrapped plans to build HOT lanes on I-395, following a legal battle with Arlington County. In a lawsuit, the county argued that HOT lanes, as then planned, would exacerbate pollution from and congestion on I-395, negatively impacting Arlington residents.

Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Lane told the Post that the new plan comes with guaranteed funding for carpooling and transit from private partner Transurban. Construction could start as soon as 2017 and would involve adding a third lanes to the existing HOV lanes while keeping the highway’s overall footprint mostly the same, the Post reports.

No word yet on a reaction from local officials.

Meanwhile, Arlington County has given its endorsement to a controversial plan for adding tolls to I-66 inside the Beltway during peak travel times. By a vote of 3-2 — John Vihstadt and Libby Garvey voted against it — the County Board adopted a resolution supporting the “Transform 66” project.

Traffic on I-66Last month Fairfax County offered conditional support for the plan, while calling for the widening of I-66. Loudoun County officials oppose the plan, which has faced heavy criticism from suburban commuters.

The plan calls for changing HOV rules on I-66 from requiring at least two people per vehicle during rush hour (HOV-2) to giving drivers the option of either having three people in a car (HOV-3) or paying a toll during peak hours.

In their endorsement, County Board members said they hoped that the changes would prevent the possible widening of I-66 inside the Beltway. The county wants VDOT to at least commit to not considering widening from two to three lanes in each direction through Arlington until 2025 at the earliest.

Lane has previously been quoted as saying the widening of I-66 through Arlington is inevitable.

After the jump, the press release from Arlington County on the I-66 project endorsement.


by ARLnow.com — November 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington police carA local man fought back against two guys who tried to steal his briefcase Tuesday night.

The incident happened just after 8 p.m. on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road, near the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center. Police say the pair approached the man from behind and tried to take the case, but fled after the man sprayed one of the suspects with pepper spray.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report.

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 151117051, 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 8:11 p.m. on November 17, two unknown male subjects approached a victim from behind and attempted to steal his briefcase. The victim was able to spray one of the subjects with pepper spray causing them both to flee. The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ tall and weighed 200 lbs. He was wearing a dark colored sweater, dark colored jeans, and a black ski mask. The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ tall and weighed 200 lbs. He was wearing a dark colored sweatshirt, stone washed jeans, boots, and a ski mask.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.



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