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by ARLnow.com — February 21, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Rosslyn skyline from above (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Busy Weekend for ACFD — The Arlington County Fire Department responded to a couple of big fires over the weekend. Two firefighters were injured while battling an apartment fire on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike; a resident tells ARLnow.com that the fire started when a resident fell asleep while cooking. Also on Saturday, Arlington firefighters assisted on a mutual aid call to battle a raging inferno at a McLean mansion owned by the United Arab Emirates. [WUSA 9, Connection Newspapers]

Carpool Bartender Profiled — “In an era where craft cocktails, celebrity chefs and ‘artisanal’ everything dominate the D.C. dining scene, it’s hard to find a watering hole where comfort comes in the form of a bottle of Bud, a basket of onion rings and a bartender who knows your name. But at Carpool in Arlington, Virginia, that is exactly what’s on the menu — at least for a few more weeks.” [WTOP]

County Board Pay Raise Proposed — The Arlington County Board this weekend will consider a proposal to raise its own pay by 3.5 percent. That would bring the salary for the County Board chairman to $56,628 and the salary for County Board members to $51,480. [Arlington County]

School Board Pay Raise Bill — The Virginia General Assembly has approved a bill that would lift the state-imposed $25,000 salary cap on Arlington School Board members. If Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs the legislation, School Board members will be able to raise their pay in 2021. [InsideNova]

Police Impound Lot Changes — The Arlington County Police Department has updated its procedures for people retrieving vehicles from the impound lot in Shirlington. [Arlington County]

Remembering Steve Buttry — Journalist Steve Buttry has lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 62. As Director of Community Engagement for TBD.com in 2010, Buttry had an outsized influence on ARLnow.com in its early days. He was a champion of local news and a tireless “advocate for and teacher of digital journalism and media innovation.” [The Buttry Diary]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — February 20, 2017 at 11:55 pm 0

Scene of Presidents Day pedestrian crash (via Google Maps)Arlington County Police investigated a serious pedestrian accident Monday night in the Clarendon-Courthouse area.

A person was struck by a car near the intersection of 10th Street N. and N. Barton Street, just before 9 p.m.

The victim was transported to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to ACPD.

Police remained on scene for several hours to investigate the collision.

Image via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — February 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm 0

Jason Allen Johnson (photo courtesy ACPD)(Updated at 2:50 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating the county’s second reported homicide of the year.

A shooting happened around 3:20 a.m. Sunday at a home on the 6300 block of 29th Street N., near Bishop O’Connell High School, according to police.

Authorities say a 23-year-old man was shot during an argument at a house party and later died at the hospital.

TV station WJLA described the party as a housewarming party attended by a group of several dozen friends.

Police are now searching for the suspect, 37-year-old D.C. resident Jason Allen Johnson, who they say should be considered armed and dangerous.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Jason Allen Johnson, 37, of Washington, DC. Johnson is wanted for Murder for his role in this morning’s homicide in the Williamsburg neighborhood. Johnson is described as a black male, approximately 5’5″ and weighing 145 pounds. He was last known to be heading towards Maryland.

At approximately 3:22 a.m. on February 19, 2017, Arlington County Police responded to the 6300 block of N. 29th Street for the report of shots fired. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began performing CPR. Arlington County Fire Department medics transported Michael Gray, 23, of Manassas, Virginia to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The initial investigation revealed that this shooting resulted from a dispute that took place during a party at a residence in the 6300 block of N. 29th Street.

Johnson is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately and not approach the suspect. If you have additional information regarding this investigation, contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by Tim Regan — February 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

Southwest plane in flight, (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

It’s been a busy week, especially for local wildlife. On Tuesday, animal control officers rescued a raccoon that got stuck in a drain at Wakefield High School. Then, earlier today, a curious creature dubbed the “trash raccoon” hitched a ride on a garbage truck from Rosslyn to Falls Church.

In other news, are IOTA Club’s days numbered? The new owner of Market Common Clarendon is proposing major changes to the development, including the possible demolition of the building that holds the well-loved cafe, outdoor bar and live music venue. IOTA co-owner Jane Negrey Inge told us, however, that she didn’t expect the renovations to happen “any time… soon.”

And whatever happened to the couch that firefighters pulled from a tree on Monday? Hopefully, someone bolts it down before we have another windy day.

Also, don’t forget that Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and other facilities will be closed Monday. Parking meters will not be enforced on Monday for George Washington Day.

ARLnow.com will return with full local news coverage on Tuesday due to the holiday. In the meantime, feel free to discuss these stories or any other topic of local interest in the comments.

Have a good — and hopefully long — weekend!

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Tim Regan — February 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Feel the Heritage-Flyer-2017An annual festival based around Arlington’s rich African-American history and culture is scheduled to bring live music, dancing and food to Nauck next week.

The “Feel the Heritage Festival” is scheduled to take place at the Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street South) next Saturday, Feb. 25, from 1-6 p.m. This is the event’s 25th year running.

As in previous years, attendees will be able to experience Arlington’s African-American roots through food, art, and entertainment. The event will also have free activities for kids and a “Hall of History” with photos and artifacts from Arlington churches and organizations.

Food vendors slated to sling food during the festival include the A.R. Seafood and Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. Additionally, the festival will have more than 20 artisans selling handmade and local goods and booths from community exhibitors such as BikeArlington and the Nauck Civic Association.

The festival is free to attend and parking will be “ample,” according to Arlington County.

by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

George WashingtonArlington residents and visitors will be able to remember our first president Monday by exercising their freedom to park on the street without feeding a meter.

Monday is George Washington Day in Virginia. Others know the holiday, long associated with mattress and appliance sales, as Presidents Day.

Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and other facilities will be closed Monday. Parking meters will not be enforced.

Trash and recycling collection, however, will go on as normal.

by Tim Regan — February 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

(Updated at 1:36 p.m.) A raccoon apparently took a wild ride through Arlington today.

Politico reporter Helena B. Evich first spotted an adventurous animal hitching a ride on the back of an American Disposal Services trash truck in Rosslyn a little after 11 a.m. this morning.

Naturally, she tweeted about it:

Evich also called American Disposal Services to report the creature she dubbed the “trash raccoon.” Eventually, that report made its way to Anna Wilkinson, the company’s communications director.

“As soon as we found out that the raccoon was on the truck, the driver pulled over because we didn’t want the raccoon to get injured,” Wilkinson said.

By the time the driver pulled over, the truck had traveled all the way from Rosslyn to Falls Church. Wilkinson said she then called the Falls Church Police Department’s animal control team, who came to retrieve the skittish stowaway and make sure it was out of harm’s way.

“He looked like he was hanging on pretty tightly,” Wilkinson said. “The picture is adorable.”

Wilkinson later confirmed the raccoon was removed safely and without harm.

This isn’t the first time a local raccoon has gotten into a strange situation. In fact, one found itself stuck in a drain at Wakefield High School earlier this week.

by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

If you’re looking for a new home, Arlington has several domiciles to walk through this weekend.

Check out our real estate section for a full listing of open houses this weekend. Here are a few highlights:

5216 8th Road South5216 8th Road South
2 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Michael Webb
Listed: $170,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2927 C Woodstock Street2927 C Woodstock Street
2 Bed/2.5 Bath Townhome
Agent: Joan Sutton
Listed: $399,950
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1600 Oak Street1600 Oak Street
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Zabrine Watson
Listed: $399,990
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

5225 7th Road South5225 7th Road South
5 Bed/3 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Keri Shull
Listed: $660,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1530 Key Boulevard1530 Key Boulevard
2 Beds/2.5 Bath Condo
Agent: Raymond Zakka
Listed: $777,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2356 Pierce Street2356 Pierce Street
4 Bed/3 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Virginia Smith
Listed: $1,050,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

Real estate agents, if you don’t see your listings in our real estate section shoot us an email and we’ll let you know what your office needs to do to get listed.

by Tim Regan — February 17, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) A co-op child care center for Arlington Public School employees has plans to move to a new space in Ballston, possibly splitting it up from a special needs program it has long integrated with.

The Children’s School’s board of directors this week signed a letter of intent to relocate its program to 4420 N. Fairfax Drive for the 2017-2018 school year.

The relocation could separate the center from the Integration Station, a program for Pre-K children with disabilities that allows them to interact with The Children’s School students. Both the daycare and the special needs program have worked together at the Reed School building in Westover for more than 20 years.

The move comes months after a plan from APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy to create a new 725-seat elementary school at the site of the Reed School building. Under the proposal, both The Children’s School and the Integration Station would likely have been displaced from their current home.

“APS has consistently informed TCS that they do not have any space and are running a deficit,” TCS board member Alec Strong said in a statement. “Our ultimate goal remains keeping TCS and Integration Station together, but we need APS’s help.”

The prospect of separating the daycare and integration program has worried many parents whose kids are enrolled in them. A group of parents and supporters of the programs spoke out against the plan during a School Board meeting earlier this month.

“As a mother of a student in Integration Station, the culture of Reed is one of safety, love and value to the special needs community, and that is something you just don’t find in a lot of places,” said one parent at that meeting. “Splitting it up would be devastating, both to the teachers, their children, and the special needs community.”

In a statement given to ARLnow.com on Feb. 3, APS said the decision regarding the future of TCS and the Integration Station is a tough one to make.

“While APS will continue to explore options as we move through this process, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful with any of the available space options,” the statement reads. “APS is committed, however, to continuing to provide support for students in the Integration Station program either as a partner with The Children’s School, or integrated into existing APS programs.”

Read a release from TCS about the move below:

The Children’s School Board of Directors signed a letter of intent yesterday to relocate its program to a new location in Arlington for the 2017-2018 school year. This follows confirmation at a School Board meeting two weeks ago that Arlington Public Schools does not have any space during planned renovations of the Reed School for the non-profit program, which has served pre-school aged children of APS teachers since 1987, and special needs students in the Integration Station program for more than 20 years.

In a statement to ARLnow.com, APS said: “While APS will continue to explore options as we move through this process, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful with any of the available space options. APS is committed, however, to continuing to provide support for students in the Integration Station program either as a partner with The Children’s School, or integrated into existing APS programs.”

The TCS Board of Directors maintains that APS has never offered any space or location to TCS. “APS has consistently informed TCS that they do not have any space and are running a deficit. Our ultimate goal remains keeping TCS & Integration Station together, but we need APS’s help,” said TCS Board Member Alec Strong.

In a January 30, 2017 letter to concerned Integration Station parents, many of who spoke at the School Board meeting in support of the two programs remaining together, TCS Director Naseera Maqsood said:

“As of Friday, January 27, 2017, we were informed (by Assistant Superintendent Leslie Peterson) in very clear terms that we need to find a new location. We were informed that there is no space at the Madison Community Center (technically an Arlington County property) and that no Arlington Public School grounds have enough space for us to put relocatables (trailers). Arlington County has also indicated that there is no space for us to use relocatables.”

“We want desperately to keep all of our children together,” Maqsood added. “As educators, we are committed to having our students in integrated classrooms. We will ensure that any space we seek to lease or buy will have room for the Integration Station students. Ultimately though, the decision to keep our programs together is in the hands of Arlington Public Schools, not The Children’s School.”

“We continue to hope and work towards some miracle that will allow us to remain on APS or Arlington County grounds, and to continue providing more than 150 affordable childcare positions to Arlington teachers and parents,” Maqsood added. “We believe this aligns with our shared values, legacy and the desires of the Arlington County electorate.”

Fairfax Drive photo via Google Maps

by Tim Regan — February 17, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The Nando’s Peri-Peri in Pentagon City is set to hand out free chicken as part of a promotional event planned for next week.

The South African-Portuguese chain’s eatery at 1301 S. Joyce Street is scheduled to serve free quarter-chickens, sandwiches, wraps and pitas on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 p.m. Sides and drinks still will cost money, however

The deal, dubbed the “Nando’s Dash,” only is available to customers who don’t take their food to go.

“Because we get a kick out of being generous, next Tuesday, February 21, we’re putting on a #NandosDash for you at our Pentagon Row restaurant in Arlington,” the chain said in a promotional email.

Photo via Facebook/Nando’s Peri Peri

by ARLnow.com — February 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

A bike tire is all that remains of a bike parked in Shirlington (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Albino Squirrel Sighting — There has been another sighting of an albino squirrel in Arlington. Video of the snow white squirrel was posted to Arlington County’s social media accounts. [Facebook]

‘Day Without Immigrants’ Hits DoD Food Court — Yesterday’s “Day Without Immigrants” strike resulted in multiple restaurants being closed in the Pentagon food court and long lines at the restaurants that remained open. [Fox News]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 17, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Arlington’s market is heating up this week with 71 new listings and 62 homes sold.

The spring market has arrived. That’s the most new listings so far this year, and it’s helping to improve Arlington’s low inventory problem. The average days on market for the sold homes this week has dropped to 42.

Nationally, the pace of home sales is off to a slow start for the year. A combination of low inventory levels and rising interest rates is cited. Rates rose again this week by about 10 basis points to 4.35% for a 30-yr fixed rate. Mortgage rates are tied to the yield on the 10-yr long term Treasury note which has risen slowly but steadily since the elections.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

by Tim Regan — February 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm 0

A new apartment building could rise from a lot in Crystal City.

Crystal House Apartments Investors filed a preliminary site plan for an infill development that would construct a new apartment building called “Crystal House III” near the corner of S. Eads Street and 18th Street. The proposed construction site is adjacent to the existing Crystal House apartment buildings, which are two 12-story residential towers that were built in 1961.

Under the proposed plan, the developer would build a new five-story building on a parking lot next to those towers with 252 new residential units. The plan also calls for a two-level underground parking lot with space for 424 vehicles and the construction of a new public park, streetscape improvements and public art.

“Through the proposed development, the applicant will be providing new residential units in a building with high-quality architecture and within walking distance to many community amenities, such as the Crystal City Metro station, Pentagon City Mall and 23rd Street retail businesses,” the filing reads.

The new filing is a revision of a former plan that called for the construction of two four-story residential buildings and a parking garage. That was never built, however.

The proposal is listed as preliminary, pending a final filing, on the Arlington County projects and planning website.

Second photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

Arlington firefighters are battling a house fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Wakefield High School.

The blaze was reported at a residential property the 1000 block of S. Dinwiddie Street just after 4:15 p.m.

The Arlington County Fire Department tweeted that it is dealing with “heavy smoke and fire” on the property. The fire broke out in the rear of a two story home and, as of 4:35 p.m., has been extinguished, according to scanner traffic.

Police have closed S. Columbus Street at Columbia Pike due to the large number of fire department vehicles in the area.

by Mark Kelly — February 16, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

By now, you have probably heard about the controversy over signs at Yorktown High School. There is little doubt the signs were intended to make a political statement about issues surrounding the Trump Administration, albeit in an clever way.

You may support the posting of the signs as statements our community supports or you may oppose them as political propaganda. For the purposes of furthering the discussion, what if a teacher posted a sign in his or her classroom at Yorktown that said the following, complete with red, white and blue color scheme?

Patriots Know:

We have the right to pray and protest.

Government should enforce the laws.

Science continually discovers new theories.

You have the right to defend yourself.

Group think is dangerous.

We are YORKTOWN

Would that sign make it past lunch without being removed by the school administration? Maybe. It certainly would be interesting to hear the thoughts of the principal, superintendent and school board responding to complaints about it.

If there is a teacher who wants to do a thought experiment with their students, a sign like this one might spur a good discussion or make for a good writing assignment. If you do, be sure to let the media know how it goes.

In other news this week, the County Board said no to funding the Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola, at least for now. Fiscal watchdogs let out a big sigh of relief that the county would not chase another shiny object and instead focus on other transportation priorities.

This most certainly reflects at least a slight change in philosophy from the previous Board which threw good money after bad trying to build the Columbia Pike streetcar. Seems that electing four new Board Members in the past five years has given rise to more caution when it comes to this type of project.

Now if we could only get them to pay for all ongoing maintenance needs in the regular budget rather than borrowing more money to do it, we would really be getting somewhere.

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