First Day of School Three Weeks Away –” It seems as if summer just started, but before you know it, the 2022-23 school year in Arlington will be starting. The first day of classes for Arlington Public Schools is Monday, Aug. 29.” [Patch]
Pet Adoptions Down Slightly — “The Animal Welfare League of Arlington reports that 2,444 cats, dogs and small animals were adopted from its shelter during the 12-month period ending June 30. That’s down slightly from the 2,587 in the preceding year, which may be a positive sign that things are calming down in the get-along-with-COVID world that is now being experienced.” [Sun Gazette]
Another Gun Seized at Airport — ” Transportation Security Administration officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington stopped a Charlottesville man on Wednesday from bringing his loaded handgun onto a flight… The man told officials that he was in a rush to fly to Florida to attend a funeral and ‘forgot that he had his loaded gun with him,’ according to TSA.” [Patch]
Arlington Man Charged With Robbery — “The investigation determined the suspect entered into the business, selected a beverage and allegedly attempted to leave without paying. A female employee confronted the suspect, who ignored her and selected additional merchandise. The employee attempted to stop the suspect, during which he struck her before fleeing the scene on foot. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect had stolen merchandise from an additional business.” [ACPD]
West Glebe Bridge Demolition — “After months of being closed, much of West Glebe Road Bridge has finally been torn down ahead of eventual reconstruction. Demolition started earlier this week and is expected to finish by the week of Sept. 5. Demolition work is expected to continue Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.” [ALXnow]
It’s Monday — Humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 8:13 pm. [Weather.gov]
Development Proposal for Ballston Macy’s — “The Ballston development pipeline continues to grow as plans come into focus for the Macy’s department store in northern Virginia. Insight Property Group is seeking Arlington County’s approval to raze and replace the Macy’s/office building at 685 N. Glebe Road with a 16-story development, delivering 555 apartments above a grocery store. The project would transfer development rights and density from the affordable Tyrol Hill/Haven Apartments off Columbia Pike.” [UrbanTurf]
‘Arlington Superwoman’ Invited to White House — “Mariflor Ventura, also known as ‘Arlington Superwoman,’ tells 7News she has been personally invited to the White House for July 4th celebrations. The Bidens have said they plan to host first responders, essential workers, and military service members and their families on the South Lawn for a cookout and to watch the fireworks over the National Mall… Ventura was first featured by 7News in April for her tireless dedication to feed, clothe and provide for hundreds of immigrant families.” [ABC 7, ABC 7]
Why There’s a Bit of a Haze in the Sky — From the National Weather Service: “If the sky seems milky to you, it’s probably because of the high altitude smoke which has moved into the area from wildfires in the western US and Canada. This smoke will likely hang around at least through tomorrow.” [Twitter]
Record Year for Local Pet Adoptions — “The Animal Welfare League of Arlington found homes for a record-breaking number of dogs, cats and small animals during the fiscal year ending June 30, the organization announced on July 1. A total of 2,587 animals ‘were adopted into loving families and brought much-needed laughs, love and comfort’ during a tumultuous time, said Animal Welfare League CEO Sam Wolbert.” [Sun Gazette]
New Farmers Market Finds Success — “Vendors from Pennsylvania to the Northern Neck of Virginia traveled to Arlington Saturday morning to sell their vegetables and other goods at the inaugural Cherrydale Farmers Market in Arlington. The customer count was larger than organizers expected, especially from the time the market opened at 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Some vendors sold out of their goods long before the market wrapped up at noon.” [Patch]
More Libraries Open Today — “Starting July 6, Arlington residents and Library patrons will have access to five open library locations — Aurora Hills, Central, Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover libraries. Arlington Public Library will prioritize access to library collections, reintroduce core library services and feature new operating hours across the system.” [Arlington Public Library]
Nats Offer Prize for Summer Readers — “This year, the Washington Nationals are offering each reader who finishes Summer Reading one voucher for an upcoming baseball game. Each voucher is good for two free Nats tickets, while supplies last.” [Arlington Public Library]
Photo courtesy Beth Ferrill
Dr. Pepper, a 22-year-old cat, is in need of a new home.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington put out a call on social media on Wednesday in hopes of finding this very elderly, brown and black, domestic shorthaired kitty a welcoming place to nap and snack.
She was brought into the shelter about two weeks ago, Chelsea Jones of AWLA said, when her long-time caretaker had become too sick to care for her anymore.
Dr. Pepper was accompanied by a note that said she was the beloved companion of a cancer survivor, a Vietnam veteran, and her caretaker’s family for 22 years.
“We’re just all in tears over this cat and this poor family that, unfortunately, is having to be separated because of a really sad life situation,” says Jones. “We are flat determined to find this cat an amazing end-of-life home where she can be loved, pampered, and spoiled for however long she has left.”
However, Jones says she’s relatively healthy and only is in need of one pill a day for hyperthyroidism.
Her favorite things are napping, snacking, and getting attention.
“She is just so affectionate and so friendly… she wants to just have someone nearby,” says Jones. “To anyone who comes up to her kennel, she puts her paw up to the glass [like she’s] saying ‘hello’.”
While Dr. Pepper has her moments when she plays like a cat a quarter of her age, she mostly naps, asks for attention, and then goes back to laying down.
“She’s really an easy pet to own,” says Jones.
Since their social media call out about 24 hours ago, there’s been significant interest. Jones says Dr. Pepper has a number of appointments today to meet with prospective new caretakers, plus a foster family has already asked to care for her.
But there’s always room for more and there are plenty of other pets one can adopt at AWLA in case Dr. Pepper finds her forever home prior to your visit. Currently, the shelter remains by appointment only — to schedule an appointment on the League’s website, click the animal you’d like to visit and scroll down to schedule.
“It’s bittersweet,” says Jones. “But we’re going to make sure [she] has a happy ending.”
Update at 10:45 a.m. — Dr. Pepper has been adopted, according to AWLA.
Photo courtesy of Animal Welfare League of Arlington
During AWLA’s week-long Home Run Adoption Event, adoption fees will be cut in half for dogs six months and older to encourage potential adoptive parents to step up to the plate. Tomorrow (Saturday) through Friday, April 9, people can take home dogs under 25 pounds for $137, adult dogs for $100 and dogs 10 years and older for $87.
The shelter is reaching capacity and soon expects more dogs to arrive, Chelsea Jones, a spokeswoman said.
“Our dog kennels are very full, and with dog transports arriving next week, we really need to get our current dogs adopted to make room for the new dogs coming in from shelters in need in Texas,” Jones said. “Many of our dogs have also been with us for quite a while now, and it’s high time they found their homes.”
Some shelters in Texas are still dealing with the after-effects of the February storms and cold weather that knocked out power to much of the state, she said. Meanwhile, shelters nationwide are entering their busy season, when the number of animals needing shelter begins to rise.
“We get requests every day from shelters and rescues in need of transfer partners, and we always want to help if we are able to,” Jones said.
One year into the pandemic, which prompted many people to combat isolation with new furry friends, it seems adoption rates have come down, she said.
“We are still very busy with adoptions but not quite at the same level as a year ago,” Jones said. “We also seem to have some dogs who are having trouble finding their families and have been with us for a while — they just haven’t found their person yet, but we hope they will this weekend.”
Photos courtesy Animal Welfare League of Arlington
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is overflowing with a whole warren’s worth of adoptable rabbits.
Chelsea Jones, senior communications specialist for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, said the shelter has eight rabbits currently up for adoption. Jones said there’s no particular reason for the increase, just “luck of the draw” — which makes sense considering that’s 32 lucky feet.
The search for a new home for the rabbits comes as Jones said an adoption surge that started at the beginning of the pandemic starts to wind down.
“At the beginning of 2020 they were going faster than usual, but that’s slowed down a little bit as people start going back to work,” Jones said. “But smaller animals: guinea pigs, rabbits, rats — they’re still going quicker [than before].”
Rabbits have been particularly popular adoptions over the last year, Jones said, because they make perfect quarantine companions, provided the owner can spend time with them and bunny-proof the house.
“Anyone can have a rabbit, really,” Jones said. “They’re such a wonderful pet to own. We do want to make sure that people know having a rabbit isn’t like having a hamster or a pet mouse. Rabbits require a lot of time with their people, just like a dog or cat.”
Jones said it can be harder to find a home for the larger, more cat or dog-sized rabbits like Katie, who stay in the shelter longer as adopters come in with the more traditional, smaller rabbit in mind.
One of the concerns in the rabbit community is that families will adopt rabbits around Easter without taking the time to appreciate or understand the requirements behind them, but Jones said they haven’t found this to be the case at AWLA.
“The good thing is: our shelter has never had an issue with someone just adopting a rabbit for Easter,” Jones said. “It’s a little bit of a… we call them shelter myths. There’s a lot of fear around certain subjects, like rabbits at Easter or black cats at Halloween, but there’s not a lot of data to back up that it happens more around Easter.”
One recommendation Jones does make is that parents should not go into adopting a rabbit thinking it will make a great first pet for a child because it’s small.
“We tell parents: a pet for kids is really a pet for you,” Jones said. “Make sure you want the rabbit as well. And in talking to kids, depending on the age, you have to tell them to be gentle with the rabbit and what to expect in their behavior. Kids want to cuddle and pet it, but that’s not always what a rabbit wants.”
For those who invest in their rabbit, though, the results can be rewarding in a way that’s different from affection from a cat or dog.
“They are not a predator animal,” Jones said. “We’re so used to living with predators, like cats and dogs, but people forget an animal like a rabbit is a prey animal. They behave and interact differently. When you first get that sign of affection, it’s so rewarding. They can be affectionate and snuggly, but with a rabbit you have to work for it. Once they get comfortable, they have amazing personalities.”
A full list of small, adoptable mammals — including rabbits — is available online with potential adopters able to schedule meet-and-greets with the pets.
Local Dog Adoption Demand is High — “Kim Williams, who volunteers for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation of Arlington, Virginia, has tapped into a puppy pipeline of sorts to bring some of Georgia’s homeless pet population to the mid-Atlantic region where they are bombarded by requests for dogs to adopt.” [WMAZ]
American Reducing Service at DCA — “American Airlines is discontinuing service to more than 20 destinations from Reagan National Airport in January, according to new data reported by the Official Airline Guide. Cities and/or airports dropped range from major (New York-JFK; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Minneapolis-St. Paul) to smaller (Jackson, Miss.; Manchester, N.H.; Greensboro, N.C.). Many were served just once or twice per day.” [InsideNova]
Land Transfer May Speed Bridge Project — “Interesting: NPS is ‘supportive’ of conveying four acres of parkland to VA and DC to construct the Long Bridge(s), rather than just permitting. That would likely speed design and construction, and could result in a ped/bike span that doesn’t compromise as much on width and lighting in order to conform to NPS interests.” [@CarFreeHQ2/Twitter]
Local Wildlife Caught on Camera — “Arlington resident Levi Novey and his wife Alicia have captured footage documenting quite an array of critters passing through their yard via a fence that Levi has dubbed a ‘wildlife superhighway…’ So far their fence camera has photographed foxes, raccoons, mice, housecats, chipmunks, and lots of birds and possums.” [WJLA]
Redistricting Commission Applications Open — “Beginning Monday, Virginians will have a month to apply for one of eight public seats on the state’s new redistricting commission, which has begun its work with a panel of retired judges setting out plans for the application process.” [Washington Post]
Stormy Day Today — “Get ready for a wild weather finish to November. A strong storm system develops and moves through… bringing a mix of hazards to our area in a short time frame, capped off by the potential for strong to possibly severe storms Monday afternoon. No specific warnings or advisories have been issued, but expect a good soaking of one to two-plus inches of rain (and some wild temperature swings).” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is opening its shelter up to virtual adoptions.
“Although we are closed to the public, we still want to give the animals in our care the opportunity to find their new families while still adhering to social distancing,” the shelter said on its website. “To do that, we’ll be setting our shelter pets up on virtual ‘dates’ with potential adopters!”
To sign up, applicants should submit their paperwork to [email protected] with the name of the pet in the subject line and an attached photo of a driver’s license or valid ID.
Adoptions counselors will contact applicants to discuss the animal’s medical history, personality, etc. to make sure it’s a good match, then set up a virtual meet and greet via Zoom between the applicant, the counselor, and the pet of choice.
If the applicant decides to move forward, the counselor can set up a time to pick up the pet at the shelter with all paperwork and payment handled via email or phone.
Adoption fees range from $275 for puppies to $175 for older dogs. Fees for cats range from $300 for a pair of kittens to $100 for a senior cat.
- A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.
- Spay/neuter surgery
- A heartworm test for dogs older than four months
- Age-appropriate vaccinations
- A personalized I.D. tag
- A microchip
- A free phone consultation or $30 off any training service from Fur-Get-Me-Not
- An information packet
The website notes that the spay and neuter surgery may not be available during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Fur-Get-Me-Not page notes that the company has suspended animal training services.
Photo via Animal Welfare League of Arlington
It’s Primary Day — Today is Super Tuesday, the presidential primary day in Virginia and 13 other states across the U.S. In Arlington, polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Arlington public schools are closed to students today. [Arlington County, Twitter]
Beyer, Lopez Endorse Biden — Following his decisive victory in the South Carolina primary, former Vice President Joe Biden has picked up endorsements locally from Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Del. Alfonso Lopez (D). Lopez and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe were stuck in an elevator in Richmond for a half hour yesterday while heading to a Biden event. [Press Release, Twitter]
County OKs Five Scooter Companies — “The lone applicant seeking to provide electric-bicycle service in Arlington has been rejected by county officials, but five operators of electric-scooter devices did make the grade, County Manager Mark Schwartz told County Board members on Feb. 25. The five e-scooter firms – Bird, Jump, Lime, Razor and Skip – were among eight that had sought permission to operate in the county. The other three were rejected for various reasons, including having no speedometers on their devices.” [InsideNova]
Cristol Encourages Volunteering for Erik — “As you may have seen in the news, our colleague and friend, Erik, is facing a tough health challenge… here’s what we can do for him: Go to a civic association or commission meeting. Volunteer. Embody Erik’s example & make this place better by showing up. And take a picture, and tag it #HereForErik so we can share.” [Twitter]
I-66 Tolling Deemed a Success — “About 700 more people each day total are commuting along the Interstate 66 corridor inside the Capital Beltway now compared to before tolls for solo drivers and an expanded rush-hour period began, and there are also fewer car trips each morning… Virginia state officials have said the goal of the tolls has been to move more people in the corridor, and see the higher count of commuters as a sign the system is working.” [WTOP]
Coworking Space Coming to Courthouse — “Flexible workspace provider Venture X is making its first foray into the Washington, D.C., market, after reaching a deal to take the top floor of the Navy League Building in Arlington, Virginia.” [CoStar]
Cupid the Cat Now Up for Adoption — “Two weeks after undergoing emergency surgery to remove an arrow from his head, Cupid is ready to find a new home. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s veterinary director cleared Cupid on Monday, March 2, for adoption.” [Patch]
ACFD Assists With McLean Fire — Updated at 8:25 a.m. — Arlington County firefighters helped Fairfax County’s fire department battle a massive house fire in McLean last night. [Twitter]
An older couple from South Carolina is trying to find the new adoptive owner of their dog, who’s likely somewhere in Arlington or Northern Virginia.
Janice and Chuck Davis gave Bullets, their rat terrier, up for adoption in late October. They were forced to call animal control on Bullets because he had violent tendencies that had become difficult to manage, Janice said. He was then picked up by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, which has its headquarters in Arlington.
Bullets had a difficult life prior to his adoption by the South Carolina couple, which led to behavioral issues.
“We had [Bullets] for four years and he had been abused [before we adopted him],” said Janice. “Every time he felt threatened he bit us. We’re getting up in our age and we had an incident with him so we turned him in to animal control.”
However, the dog had left a lasting impression that the Davises did not fully realize until Bullets was gone.
“My husband didn’t realize how attached to the dog he was,” Janice said.
In their four years together Bullets and Chuck, who’s 80, developed a routine. They would get in Chuck’s truck and ride around their property in Florence, South Carolina together. The two would then sit in the car and keep an eye out for deer.
When Chuck was at home, he would sit down in his recliner and motion for Bullets to come and sit on his lap. Chuck would spread out a certain blanket, and Bullets would jump on.
Despite the good times, the Davises made the difficult decision to give Bullets up. They quickly regretted it, but by the time Chuck went to get Bullets back, he had already been taken to the Lucky Dog shelter.
Now, the couple is hoping to find the new owners of their dog, if for nothing else than to give Bullets his blanket.
Chuck “is missing this dog terribly and would just like to know if the new owner is pleased with [him] and if he is doing fine,” said Janice. “He would like to send the new owner Bullets’ favorite blanket.”
“We just want to make sure he is in a good home,” she added.
If Bullets’ new owner is reading this, email us at [email protected] and we can connect you with the couple
Woman Arrested for Burning Flag Near W-L High — “A woman was arrested for burning an American flag on an overpass over I-66 in Arlington, police say. Kayla Caniff, 22, was charged with property destruction after police say she burned a flag attached to a chain link fence on the N. Stafford Street overpass, north of the Ballston area, at about 11:55 p.m. Thursday.” [NBC Washington]
County Website Goes Down — The Arlington County website was down for an extended period of time over Labor Day weekend. [Twitter]
Lucky Dog Takes in Pups from Hurricane’s Path — “While Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas — thousands of miles away in Arlington, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue plotted a rescue mission… The Carolinas are projected to be in the storm’s path and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is partnered with a shelter in South Carolina. So the organization’s volunteers met an animal control officer part of the way there to take 19 of the shelter’s dogs.” [WJLA]
APS to Review Westover Tree Plan — “Facing community unrest in Westover, Arlington Public Schools plans to take another look at the potential of saving more trees during construction of a new elementary school on North McKinley Road near Washington Boulevard. Following an Aug. 29 meeting with residents, the school system has directed that ‘before the trees are removed, we have the contractor stake out the site and renumber the trees.'” [InsideNova]
Energy Plan Concerns: Feds and Trees — Arlington County’s impending update to its Community Energy Plan, which sets a net zero carbon emissions goal, is an important step in fighting climate change, some advocates say, though additional action is still needed on the state and federal level. Others, despite supporting the goal, are concerned that achieving it may come at the cost of the area’s tree canopy. [Washington Post, Arlington County]
Arlington’s Many Advocacy Orgs — “My viewing [of the Netflix documentary ‘The Family’] got me thinking of the many newsmaking organizations — of all political stripes — that have long populated our suburb so close to the action of the nation’s capital. Wilson Blvd. and Crystal City alone are home to enough colorful groups to generate a slew of political and public policy contretemps.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Reminder: Be Careful on the Roads Today — It’s the first day of school, kids will be walking to school and there are new traffic patterns around some schools. Arlington County Police are conducting “a high-visibility traffic enforcement campaign in and around school zones and bus stops” today. [ARLnow, Arlington County]
Photo courtesy David Johnson
Arlington: Most Competitive Housing Market in U.S. — “The most competitive U.S. housing markets are the two that are closest to Crystal City, home of Amazon’s upcoming second headquarters (HQ2) in Virginia: Alexandria and Arlington. This is according to the latest ranking of cities by Redfin Compete Score.” [Redfin]
County Hits Record Low Tax Delinquency — “Treasurer Carla de la Pava announced that the delinquency rate for real estate and personal property had fallen to 0.177 percent, down from 0.21 percent a year before and the lowest not just in county history, but perhaps the lowest ever among any jurisdiction in Virginia history.” [InsideNova]
AWLA Hosts Successful Adoption Event — “40 cats and 14 dogs found their forever homes at [Saturday’s] Clear The Shelters event! Thank you to everyone who found space in their hearts and homes for our animals today.” [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley