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by Chris Teale December 13, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A local Girl Scout Troop will send more than 400 pounds of care packages to female military members deployed overseas in time for the holidays.

Girl Scout Troop 6802 collected items like coffee, noodles, personal hygiene products, protein bars and magazines to ship to women based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also included are toys to give to local Afghan children and a personalized note.

The four, all eighth graders, loaded up their packages yesterday (Tuesday) at one of their houses in Cherrydale, ready to be sent abroad.

The Troop members are at the Cadette level of Girl Scouts, and used this project to earn their Silver Awards, which encourage Cadettes to help those in the community and beyond.

Troop member Clara Grimmelbein said she was inspired to help plan the project by a personal connection to the military. She was joined in collecting items by Adriana Sheppard, Victoria Jones and Emily Rotter, who took donations from other troops, friends and family.

“My brother is in college and we always send care packages to him,” she said. “My cheer coach, she’s in the military and she recently got out so I got the idea to send care packages to them. They really need it, because they’re really close to the fighting. Not that other people in the military don’t need it, but they’re close to combat.”

Sending the packages proved to be a challenge, though. Finally, after reaching out to friends and neighbors, they connected with Mike Taylor, global head of Dept. of Defense shipping for DHL and a Boy Scout troop leader in Baltimore. He agreed to have the packages all sent for free.

“We put our feelers out to see who could get all these packages delivered, and DHL stepped up,” Sheree Jones, one of the Troop members’ mothers, said.

In a brief appearance over FaceTime during his travels in Asia, Taylor congratulated the Girl Scouts on their efforts.

“You’ve really stepped up to help servicewomen deployed overseas, and you’re doing great work,” he told them.

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Willow, a 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier.

Here is what she had to say about her life so far:

Hello! I’m Willow and I’m 2 years old. Some people say I look like an Ewok, but I’m actually a Yorkshire Terrier. Seeing as my mom is a huge Disney fan, she named me after Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas.

In my spare time I like to play with all my toys (as you can see in my picture) and lay down with my parents. My daily struggle is debating if I love playing with my rope or ball more.

I also enjoy dressing up. My favorite outfit of choice is my white lifeguard sweatshirt from Bethany Beach.

When people meet me they are surprised because I am a quiet Yorkie. I was taught as a puppy not to yap. But if we are playing with toys or you come knocking at my door, then you might hear a little bark or growl!

When I grow up, I hope to be a famous soccer player. My Aunt Bee taught me everything I know. In one of my pictures, I am practicing my soccer pose for when I become famous.

I hope to meet you around Arlington!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

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 is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 13, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

What started as a partnership with Arlington Public Library and a showcase for Arlington artisans and makers, has grown to attract regional media attention and many new shoppers. Soon after the shop opened, five vendors, Mira Jean textile design, Can you Solve Me puzzles, Jules Jewels, Arlington Weaves and Dennison lane home goods were interviewed in the studios of FOX5 DC.

Even the hosts were stumped to arrange the asymmetrical ‘Can You Solve Me’ puzzle pieces into a simple shape. Also, on Friday, December 1, NBC 4 hosted their morning segment ‘Live in the Community’ on site at the Courthouse shop for the entire 6 a.m. hour. Plenty of coffee from Commonwealth Joe got the day off to a great start.

There are still lots of items in the shop that are perfect for the office gift exchange, visiting holiday relatives and the friend who has everything. Coffee, tea towels, wine stops, t-shirts, wine bottle bags, handwoven yoga mat straps and plenty of chocolate are all available. And two weekly lobby pop-up vendors are still to come.

On Thursday, December 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., shoppers will be treated to edible and wearable eye candy. Ruth Barzel, master jewelry designer who uses fine metals and semi-precious stones to make delectable and timeless pieces that suit anyone’s style will show off her beautiful work. The pieces are meant to reflect the wearer and be worn daily as the new favorite.

The final weekly pop-up on Thursday, December 21 will satisfy any sweet tooth. Kingsbury Chocolates is the expert in connecting the sweet experience with unusual ingredients that take the confections to a new level. Rob Kingsbury has never been one to stick to one type of sweet product. Who knew his lavender lemonade mix was the secret ingredient to a local restaurant’s summer ice pop? Come for some sweets, sample some surprises. Finish your holiday shopping in one unique place and support Arlington entrepreneurs.

The Plaza Shop is located on the 1st Floor lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd and will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through December 22 unless otherwise noted.

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Someone tampered with vendor kiosks at a shopping center in Pentagon City this past weekend.

Three kiosks were tampered with and two had cash and merchandise stolen.

Police are now investigating the thefts, which happened during the key holiday shopping season.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

LARCENY (Series), 2017-12110069, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 11:00 p.m. on December 9 and 9:00 a.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) tampered with three kiosks. Cash and merchandise were reported missing from two of the businesses. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

File photo

by Chris Teale December 13, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) The Iwo Jima memorial is set to get a new visitor center as part of the National Defense Authorization Act that was just signed by President Trump.

The act of Congress, which sets military spending levels for FY 2018, includes language introduced by Rep. Don Beyer (D) to authorize building a new center.

It instructs the Secretary of the Interior to build a “structure for visitor services to include a public restroom facility.” It does not specify where the center will be built, but the text says it will be “in the area” of the memorial, the formal name of which is the Marine Corps War Memorial. A Beyer spokesman said this was the “final hurdle” to getting the visitor center built.

Beyer, whose district includes Arlington County, introduced a bill authorizing construction of the restrooms last year, funded by a gift from local philanthropist David Rubenstein.

Work began earlier this year to revamp the memorial, including washing and waxing the memorial and re-gilding its lettering; repairing any parts of the granite plaza that have become damaged; improving lighting; repaving roads and footpaths; and installing new signs, shrubs and trees.

Rubenstein pledged more than $5 million for the entire project and new visitor center.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Christina Sturdivant December 13, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

NoMa names its first park, top development projects of 2017, advocates continue to pursue statehood, and other news of the day over in the District.

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Arlington Ready for Possible Snow — The chances of “meaningful accumulation” have since gone down, but Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services crews started applying brine to county roads Monday night in anticipation a “potential snow/ice this Wednesday evening/Thursday.” [Twitter, Washington Post]

VDOT Pleased With I-66 HOT Lane Data — NBC 4’s Adam Tuss tweets: “Doesn’t look like @VaDOTNOVA plans to change anything about the I-66 toll lanes. They say their data shows commutes were faster and more reliable.” [Twitter]

Dems Want Satellite-Voting Centers — “The Arlington County Democratic Committee could again be at loggerheads with the county’s elections office over whether to provide satellite locations for absentee voting in non-presidential-election years.” [InsideNova]

ARLnow T-Shirt Now Available — Need a gift for the ARLnow.com fan in your life? Show your Arlington pride with this long-sleeved t-shirt from the county’s No. 1 local news source. [Amazon]

ACPD Officers Helping in Puerto Rico — The Arlington County Police Department is among the departments nationwide sending officers to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to provide emergency assistance. The third ACPD team to rotate in is working on the island through Dec. 18. Officers who’ve gone say many challenges remain but there are hopeful signs as well. [Arlington Connection]

Westover Townhouse Battle Continues — Arlington County is weighing both a historic district and a “Housing Conservation District” for Westover, to protect aging but affordable garden apartments from being redeveloped into $800,000 townhomes. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 13, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes. 

Well, we’re starting to see the snowflakes fall and there will surely be more on the way. So, if you’re selling a home here in Arlington County, what does that mean for you?

For starters, it means you need to have your shovel ready. No prospective buyer wants to trek through powdery or icy terrain when they already have to everywhere else.

And, in general, while the season may be slightly gloomy, it doesn’t mean your home has to be as well. Think about what you can do to brighten up your home — from lighting to festive décor — amid the dark skies and periodic grey days.

While my team and I have helped many folks find the perfect home in Arlington County, we’ve also helped equally as many sell theirs. When it comes time to GET MORE out of your home sale — regardless of the season — we’re here for you!

As of December 11 there are 169 detached homes, 34 townhouses and 219 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 15 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

An establishment called “Miso Men” will replace the Asian Kitchen restaurant on Lee Highway, but few other details are available about the new spot.

A sign on the front of the eatery at 5731 Lee Highway shows the new restaurant’s name, but no permitting applications have been filed with the county yet, nor with Virginia ABC.

Inside, some work appears to be underway, although the building was empty when an ARLnow reporter stopped by Tuesday. Other signs for Asian Kitchen are still up, including in its parking spaces.

“We are currently remodeling,” reads a sign on the door. “Coming back soon.”

The restaurant is close to a now-closed car repair center, which shuttered after more than 30 years. It is also near the original District Taco.

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The county is set to formalize an agreement with the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority to make improvements to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

As part of a wider project near Shirlington between S. Arlington Mill Drive and S. Four Mile Run Drive, the county plans to install new sidewalks, lighting and signals where the trail meets S. Walter Reed Drive.

But to do that, it required permission from NVRPA, which controls the 45-mile trail between Shirlington and Purcellville.

Under the terms of the agreement between the county and NVRPA, as outlined in a letter by NVRPA land manager Michael DePue, the county must conform with various conditions.

These include keeping the trail “open, safe and unobstructed at all times during construction,” plus ensuring the new sidewalk has a smooth transition to the existing asphalt, the improvements do not cause drainage issues, that construction zones be safe and that the county’s Department of Environmental Services maintain the improvements once completed, not NVRPA.

The County Board will also vote on a consent agreement with Dominion Virginia Power, which would allow the improvements to encroach on a Dominion-owned easement in the park.

The Board will vote on the agreements at its meeting Saturday (December 16) as part of its consent agenda. County staff recommended approval.

Construction on the wider project is scheduled to begin in the spring. It is hoped the project will improve bicycle and pedestrian access to Shirlington.

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

There appears to be one local survivor of a rash of Bruegger’s Bagels closures across the area: its Ballston location.

Almost all of Bruegger’s cafes in the D.C. region closed recently, including in nearby Alexandria. It is a move that could be in part because of the company’s acquisition by Caribou Coffee in August.

On its website, Caribou notes that there will be “Bruegger’s Co-Locations,” which will “bring you the best bagels and coffee, under one roof.”

In Ballston, however, Bruegger’s Bagels is still going strong as a stand-alone business at 818 N. Quincy Street. An employee said this morning that it would be staying open, despite the closures elsewhere.

https://www.twitter.com/texgeo/status/939908547038588928

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Some residents in Waverly Hills could experience water outages and traffic delays while crews carry out emergency water main repairs.

Crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services are out on N. Glebe Road between 18th Street N. and 19th Street N. making the emergency repairs, near Glebe Elementary School.

In a tweet, DES staff said water service for 50-100 customers in the area will be affected, and that N. Glebe Road will be partially closed. Repairs are expected to be completed by 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).

Image via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com December 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm 0

A car is on fire on the righthand shoulder of southbound I-395 just past Washington Blvd.

Arlington County Police and Virginia State Police are on scene. Firefighters are responding.

Traffic on SB I-395 is down to one lane near the scene.

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) A mainstay Ballston bar and restaurant will close its doors at the end of the year.

Front Page, in business at 4201 Wilson Blvd since the early-to-mid 2000s, will shutter at the end of the month, according to multiple tipsters. Reached by phone, employees confirmed the news to an ARLnow.com reporter.

Front Page has been a popular after-work watering hole for Ballston workers and residents. It serves lunch and dinner each day as well as weekend brunch and serves traditional American fare. The restaurant is on the ground floor of Stafford Place I, the now-former headquarters of the National Science Foundation that is set for a revamp.

We’re told that Front Page declined to renew its lease on the space, and so it will close.

The closure comes shortly after the National Science Foundation moved to Alexandria and shortly before the renovated Ballston Quarter mall reopens across the street with new entertainment and dining options.

“It’s more of a lease thing,” one employee told ARLnow.com. “They took our patio away, and business-wise, it’s the decision that was made. We feel bad for the guests and employees; it’s not something we wanted to happen.”

We’re told that Front Page will stay open as normal between now and midnight on either December 30 or 31. No word yet on whether a closing party of any kind will be held.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

By Greg Godbout

37 years ago the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse opened as a second-run movie theater (1 to 3 months old) and has never played first-run movies (released in the first week). Until now! Next week — we are proud to present Star Wars: The Last Jedi. At the same release date as other theaters. Although it almost didn’t happen.

A year ago this month, we made the decision to become a first-run movie theater, because online streaming of films has cut out the second-run theater window. Our style of showing films vanished from the industry. The switch to first-run was made this summer (May 2017), and the timing was bad. This was the worst summer for the entire movie industry in 25 years. We could have done without that.

While suffering through a tragic summer movie season we experimented with arthouse films and top box office films. The top box office films performed better. The goal was to also try some first-run films in their first week of release — unfortunately, the studios wouldn’t give us early access to films. It was a difficult uphill battle. Many studios insisted that we pick between movies or live comedy. Fox Studios and Warner Brothers were the most difficult.

For the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse to thrive, we need both movies and live comedy. We are the only theater in the country to balance top national release films and top national touring comics. Our unique balance puts us at odds with the large corporate movie studios, even though we depend on them.

Disney came to our rescue. After politely declining our request to play Star Wars a couple of times, Disney ultimately agreed. They too wanted to see how we could do with a first-release blockbuster. After months of experimentation — the largest and most dominant studio helped us out.

Our experiment with Star Wars will inform many programing decisions as we move forward. So please join us and let us know what you think. This winter our programing will center on national live comedy and Oscar nominated films. If Star Wars does well, we will add stretches of movies to our line up in the summer — that are true first-run films.

Based on current pre-sales for Star Wars, it is going to be a successful experiment for us. We provide an amazing social movie experience and can’t wait to see you here. We will have Star Wars drink specials and, as always, full tableside service. Tickets will be $10 with $8 matinees.

Please help us out by purchasing tickets in advance and plan on watching Star Wars at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse this holiday season. We do not show ads or trailers so the movie start time is the actual start time. Please arrive early.

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