Murder Case Advances After Court Ruling — “The Maryland man charged with brutally killing his lover’s ex-boyfriend laid in wait at his Arlington town house before strangling, shooting and stabbing the man to death, prosecutors said.” On Monday, an Arlington judge “ruled there is probable cause [Jitesh] Patel killed 40-year-old John Giandoni in March 2018.” [WTOP]
Food Safety Tips for the Holidays — Arlington’s health department has compiled a list of safety tips for those cooking holiday meals at home. Regarding turkey, which has been blamed for a recent salmonella outbreak, the department notes that “food handling errors and inadequate cooking are the most common problems that lead to poultry-associated food-borne disease outbreaks in the United States.” [Arlington County]
Car Safety Tips for the Holidays — “This Thanksgiving season, the Arlington County Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to share an important lifesaving reminder: whether you’re traveling across the country, or across the County, Buckle Up–Every Trip. Every Time.” [Arlington County]
Airport Tips for the Holidays — Per Reagan National Airport on Twitter: “Peak holiday travel continues today. Roadway delays are likely. To avoid congested roadways, use Metrorail. Or use Terminal Garages A, B or C for pick-up/drop-off and park for up to 60 minutes.” [Twitter]
Commuters Still Angry About Veterans Day Mess — Many who were stuck in traffic or waiting in long shuttle lines on Veterans Day are still not buying “Metro’s explanation that the day’s rain, and not Metro’s own planning, was the main culprit for what the agency acknowledged on Twitter was ‘a disastrous commute.'” [Washington Post]
Amazon News Roundup — A local think tank argues that “when put in the context of the Metro region’s history, the ‘Amazon effect’ is an unimpressive flare in the region’s chronic housing crisis.” One local urban planner thinks “Amazon choosing a second-tier city could have been more destructive.” Alexandria leaders say Amazon will be an “economic boom, not traffic nightmare.” Finally, there’s more information on the Amazon-fueled deals to build a second entrance to the new Potomac Yard Metro station and open a new Virginia Tech campus in Alexandria.
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Crystal City Business Owners Ready for Facelift — “[Crystal City’s] reputation is sufficiently anemic that Amazon announced it is rebranding the area where it will build its hub ‘National Landing,’ a change that aroused next to no protests from most local proprietors. ‘Whatever Jeff Bezos wants is fine with me,’ said Billy Bayne, owner of the Crystal City Restaurant Gentlemen’s Club, referring to Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post. ‘I’m just happy he’s here.'” [Washington Post, Greater Greater Washington]
Calls for More Housing — The arrival of Amazon has prompted some urbanists to start calling for upzoning and the creation of more housing density, including in wealthier neighborhoods. [Twitter, Twitter]
More on New VT Campus in Alexandria — “When fully realized, the $1 billion Innovation Campus, which includes state support, will spark discoveries and help fill immense demand for high-tech talent in the greater Washington, D.C., area and beyond. The Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech have committed to provide $250 million each to seed the project.” [Virginia Tech]
Get Ready for Snow — Arlington is expected to get its first snowfall of the season Thursday, with up to an inch of snow and sleet falling Thursday morning before changing to rain. Forecasters, meanwhile, are calling for a snowier than usual winter, with up to two feet of snow falling inside the Beltway over the course of the season. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
‘Doug the Scammer’ is Now in Arlington — A notorious scammer has apparently crossed the river from D.C. and is now trying to scam people in Arlington. His latest targets: restaurants in Courthouse. [PoPville]
Suicide on Roosevelt Island — The brother of a D.C. man arrested on weapons charges and accused of saying that “the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh shooting ‘deserved it'” shot himself on Roosevelt Island on Saturday, Oct. 27, hours after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue. [Washington Post]
What Amazon Employees Are Reading — Amazon employees are very interested in reading ARLnow articles about Amazon, but the most-read story on the site among Amazon workers over the past week is about the opening of Bethesda Bagels in Rosslyn. [Twitter]
Sophisticated and elegant, to be sure; contemporary, modern and luxurious, absolutely; quieting quality concrete construction and unobstructed rooftop views of iconic regional landmarks, yes, yes, yes.
But what the managers of The Dalton want you to know most about the new 270 unit apartment building at 1225 First Street in Old Town Alexandria is a characteristic not usually associated with Old Town — walkability.
It starts with transportation options. The Dalton, which opened earlier this year, is so close to the Braddock Road Metro station, it might as well be a private entrance to the train. In fact, there’s a transit screen in the lobby to tell you when your next train is arriving. The Dalton’s sidewalk quite literally terminates at the Metro station.
“But what else can you walk to besides Metro?” we ask Kettler Property Manager Kara Swieconek. Her reply: “It all depends on what direction you are going.”
And it’s true: Go one way and you find the restaurants, bars and nightlife of Old Town West, just blocks away; the shopping boutiques and entertainment establishments of the King Street-Washington Street nexus are just beyond.
Go in the other direction for less than a mile and you are in Potomac Yard, home of your neighborhood Target, Best Buy, Home Goods, Shoppers Market, Regal Potomac Yard Stadium 16 and dozens of other lifestyle-sustaining merchants.
Step out in the direction of the nearby Potomac River and its developing waterfront and catch the water taxi to District Wharf, National Harbor and the MGM Casino, Nationals Park or Georgetown. That transit screen in The Dalton lobby also tells you when the water taxi is arriving and departing.
On the other hand, they’ve made it tempting to never leave The Dalton. There are the rooftop swimming pool, firepit and grills; there’s a 12th floor clubroom and outdoor terrace, a fitness center and yoga studio, meeting spaces and a dog grooming spa; there’s Monterey’s Pizza onsite, as well as the Click Café, with complementary Wi-Fi and Macs at communal tables and lounge seating. Plus, events!
Run, don’t walk, to The Dalton.
A death investigation is being conducted in Alexandria just across the Arlington border.
Police say skeletal human remains were found yesterday in a wooded area behind a shopping center on the 4700 block of King Street, near the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria campus and several blocks from Wakefield High School.
More from an Alexandria police press release:
The Alexandria Police Department is conducting a death investigation in the 4700 block of King Street on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
Shortly before 5 p.m, police were dispatched for skeletal remains of a human found in a wooded area behind a business. The remains were located and will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Loren King at 703.746.6689.
Photo via Google Maps
Man Punched Outside Ballston Subway — A man was punched in the face outside the Subway on Fairfax Drive in Ballston yesterday. The assault occurred just before lunchtime and those flocking to the restaurant for footlongs had to step over splatters of blood on the sidewalk. No word yet on what prompted the fight nor whether the suspect, who reportedly fled into the Metro station, was later apprehended. [Twitter]
Tonight: Committee of 100 County Board Debate — The Arlington Committee of 100 will be holding a County Board debate tonight at Marymount University. The program, moderated by ARLnow’s Scott Brodbeck, will start at 8 p.m. after a meet and greet and dinner. [Committee of 100]
History of the W&OD Railroad — Before it was a bike and pedestrian trail, the W&OD was a regional railroad that transported goods and people across Northern Virginia. How would the area and our transportation problems be different if it had stayed a transit corridor, asks a GGW contributor. [Greater Greater Washington]
Local Social Media Influencer Profiled — Clarendon resident and mother of two Angelica Talan “has made a career out of building a loyal following on social media.” She blogs at Clarendon Moms and Angelica in the City and also has done some modeling and acting. [Arlington Magazine]
Tree Group Wants More Trees — The Arlington Tree Action Group replied on Twitter to a posting of the photo above: “Beautiful sky! It would look even better with more trees! #ArlingtonVA #trees.” [Twitter]
Nearby: Alexandrians Worry About Takeout Window — A proposed takeout window for a new Mexican restaurant on King Street prompted a protracted debate among members of the Alexandria city council. Said one opponent on the council, who ultimately lost out on a 4-3 vote: “I think this is maybe one small step in the direction of what we don’t want Old Town to become.” [Washington Business Journal]
Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick
A massive pipe organ that was once housed in the demolished Arlington Presbyterian Church is getting a new chance to make music, this time in Alexandria.
The organ was a centerpiece of the church for decades, back when it was still located along Columbia Pike. But the church’s congregation agreed to work with the county to redevelop the property into an affordable housing complex back in 2016, leaving the instrument’s long-term fate in doubt.
Though Arlington Presbyterian moved to a new space over on S. Glebe Road, church leaders decided to offer up the organ to give away. As it happened, the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Alexandria (6120 N. Kings Highway) had a pressing need open up for an organ at the exact same time.
Calvary leaders say their old organ was diagnosed with “metal fatigue,” which they deemed to be a “death sentence” for instrument. Accordingly, Calvary wrote to their Arlington counterparts to express their interest.
By April 2016, Arlington Presbyterian told Calvary that the organ was theirs — if it would fit in their church.
“Out came the measuring tapes and, lo and behold, the pipes would fit like a glove within the church’s balcony,” the church wrote in a release. “Moreover, the baroque-like appearance of the pipes would find a comfortable home in Calvary’s sanctuary, which was constructed in 1954 and remains faithful to the traditional style of churches from that era.”
Even still, Calvary said the move required a “Herculean effort of a team of architects, engineers, carpenters, electricians, construction contractors, asbestos remediators, consultants, inspectors, and organ technicians.”
“It was more than two years from Calvary’s selection for the instrument to be installed and operational, following a celebratory and cathartic pipe washing party,” the church wrote. “Today, as you look upward from the pulpit of Calvary’s sanctuary on Old King’s Highway, what would make generations of parishioners from both Arlington and Calvary proud is that their pipe organ looks right at home, like it’s always been there.”
Calvary is even planning a special dedication ceremony for the organ, set for Sunday (Sept. 23) at 10 a.m.
A body has been found in rain-swollen Four Mile Run near where it runs into the Potomac River.
First responders from Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. all responded to a report of a person in the water along the 3600 block of Potomac Avenue. The incident is currently being described as a recovery operation and investigation.
“ACPD is responding to investigate,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com early Sunday afternoon. “No details to report at this time.”
Units located one person in the water near the bridge on Potomac Ave. Units are operating in a recovery mode.
— IAFF Local 2141 (@IAFFLocal2141) September 2, 2018
#DCsBravest Fireboat is having a busy day so far. Investigating a possible product in the water at @TheWharfDC and assisting @DCPoliceDept Harbor Division with an incident near 4 Mile Run. We are working with @DOEE_DC regarding the Wharf. pic.twitter.com/xLfbpNJipe
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) September 2, 2018
At appprox 12:24, public safety personnel responded to the report of an unknown item in the stream. A deceased adult male was recovered from the water. ACPD is conducting an active death investigation. There are no known threats to the community related to this investigation.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 2, 2018
Photo courtesy Tatton Oliver
Though they may not share the same zip code, Arlington’s Crystal City and Alexandria’s Potomac Yard are bound together in the pursuit for Amazon’s second headquarters — and, win or lose on HQ2, the area’s business community is looking to strengthen those ties in the future.
Four Mile Run may separate the two neighborhoods, but real estate giant JBG Smith controls vast swaths of property in both neighborhoods, helping the company pitch Amazon on the area’s potential. With Potomac Yard becoming a development hub for the city, and Crystal City’s commercial office space emptying out a bit, the combination could be enticing enough to win out over the region’s other offerings.
“They had the largest [space] requirement we’ve seen in economic development, ever,” Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, said during Bisnow’s “Future of Alexandria” event today (Thursday). “But there is enough square footage here to absorb that company and their requirement.”
Undeniably, Jeff Bezos’ big decision looms over any discussion of the area’s future. But, as Landrum points out, the same factors that made Crystal City and Potomac Yard attractive to Amazon will surely be enticing to other big companies.
“If we can’t get it, we turn around and ask the next Fortune 100 company about their expansion plans,” Landrum said.
That’s a big part of why business leaders are increasingly keen on unity among the various communities along the Potomac River.
Rob Mandle, chief operating officer of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, points out this organization has embraced Potomac Yard as it courts new companies, and even started to market Pentagon City in conjunction with those neighborhoods as well.
Though the areas may not be especially connected now, with transit and walkability a constant challenge, Mandle points out that, taken together, the combination of the three neighborhoods represents “the largest downtown in the entire commonwealth.”
He notes that, in terms of sheer size, the trio rivals downtown areas in mid-size cities like Indianapolis or Austin, Texas — and with the area still hurting from its loss of federal tenants, straining county coffers in the process, he’s hoping a more interconnected pitch can make a difference.
“We’re really working to articulate that to the marketplace,” Mandle said. “We see it as this seamless urban corridor between Braddock Road and Pentagon City.”
Robert Vaughn, vice president of development at JBG Smith, noted that such a connection certainly makes sense for his company.
Much of JBG’s property in Potomac Yard is residential, and he sees its “target renter” as being anywhere from 25 to 35 years old, likely working at the Pentagon or for some other government contractor based in Arlington (perhaps even in one of JBG’s commercial properties in Crystal City).
Rosslyn-Ballston corridor has traditionally been the prime area drawing in millenials interested in walkable, transit-oriented communities. That’s why Vaughn expects a similar focus on walkability could help the new combination of Crystal City, Potomac Yard and Pentagon City become attractive to that very lucrative constituency instead.
“Even though we’re all tied to our phones, we don’t want to just sit and look at our phones in our living rooms all day,” said Bill Dickinson, executive director of brokerage at Rappaport, another large regional developer. “It’s about creating space to get people out there.”
Photo via McCaffrey Interests, Inc.
Various camps, which take place at the college preparatory high school, focus on science, coding, sports and drama. Campers are grouped by age and advised by certified coaches and teachers.
The science camp prepares students for high school work in genetics and DNA extraction, robotics, 3-D creation and design and more. Campers take part in laboratories and experiments in a fun and explorative environment.
Drama campers in grades 3 through 10 get a dose of high quality theater training that makes for an energetic and creative summer. They will develop their acting, and movement chops in preparation for an end-of-camp performance in front of friends and family members.
B.I. Girls Coding camp is an instructional camp which an overview of the most important aspects of coding using the programming language Java. The camp will include lessons, activities and a camper-run project of their choosing.
This year’s sports camps include girls’ lacrosse, boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball, rowing, football, volleyball and junior and advanced soccer. For full-day camps, lunch is provided at no extra cost and everyone gets a camp t-shirt.
Nearly 5,000 Dominion customers are without power this afternoon due to a major outage centered around Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.
The outage extends as far south as King Street and as far north as Arlington’s water treatment treatment plant and the nearby residential neighborhood along S. Glebe Road. The traffic signal at the busy intersection of Glebe and Route 1 is also reported to be dark.
Dominion’s website says the cause of the outage is a “circuit out” and estimates that power will be restored between 6-11 p.m.
UPDATE: Transformer out at Mt Vernon and Randolph affecting power in many areas.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) May 25, 2018
Arlington Doctor Sentenced in Poisoning Case — Arlington doctor Sikander Imran was sentenced Friday to three years in prison, with 17 years suspended, for slipping pills into his pregnant girlfriend’s tea, causing her to lose the unborn baby. The now ex-girlfriend pleaded for leniency during the sentencing. [WJLA, New York Daily News]
Miniature Horses Could Be Allowed at Schools — “A new policy defining the rights and responsibility of those – students, staff or visitors – wishing to bring service animals into schools would allow for dogs and miniature horses… schools spokesman Frank Bellavia told the Sun Gazette there are no miniature horses used as service animals in the school system at the moment.” [InsideNova]
Powhatan Skate Park Renovations Approved — The Arlington County Board on Saturday unanimously approved a $1.87 million contract to overhaul the Powhatan Springs Skate Park, the only such park in Arlington. “This well-loved skate park is in need of a makeover to address crumbling concrete conditions,” said Chair Katie Cristol. “The result will be a safer park that both kids and adults in Arlington who are passionate about skateboarding, inline skating and BMX cycling can enjoy for years to come.” [Arlington County]
Residents Protest Amazon at County Board Meeting — Several public speakers at Saturday’s County Board meeting spoke out against the prospect of Amazon’s second headquarters coming to Arlington. They held signs saying “No Amazon” and decried the company’s “brutal working conditions” and “culture of toxic masculinity,” among other things. [Blue Virginia]
Walter Reed Drive Project Green Lit — “The Arlington County Board today approved a $1.8 million contract to A & M Concrete Corporation to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections on a short but critical segment of South Walter Reed Drive, between South Four Mile Run Drive and South Arlington Mill Drive. The project will provide safer connections between two of Arlington’s busiest trails: Washington & Old Dominion and Four Mile Run.” [Arlington County]
Trees Fall During Heavy Rain — A number of trees around the area fell late last week after a record-breaking stretch of heavy rain. Among the trees to topple was a large one that fell on a home on the 2100 block of N. Vernon Street and injured one person. [Twitter, Washington Post]
Lubber Run Farmers Market OKed — “Field to Table, Inc., an Arlington-based non-profit organization, won the County Board’s approval today to open the Lubber Run Farmer’s Market in the parking lot at Barrett Elementary School, 4401 Henderson Road. The market is expected to open in late May.” [Arlington County]
Nearby: Train Derailment in Alexandria — A large contingent of emergency personnel responded to the CSX tracks near Port City Brewing in Alexandria Saturday morning for a freight train that had derailed. About 30 cars came off the tracks but no injuries or hazardous spills were reported. [City of Alexandria, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Water Disinfectant Switch — With the annual pipe spring cleaning complete, the Washington Aqueduct will be switching back to chloramine as its water disinfectant after today. [ARLnow]
Auction Item Prompts Mini Controversy — Ethical concerns were raised over the weekend by an item donated by State Sen. Barbara Favola (D) to an auction at the annual Fairfax Democrats dinner. The winning bidder was promised an official introduction on the state Senate floor. Favola responded by saying she was “horrified” and that she “never approved this auction item.” [Twitter, Twitter, Blue Virginia]
Choun Profiled By VOA — Democratic Arlington County Board candidate Chanda Choun had his campaign highlighted by the Voice of America. [Voice Of America]
Nearby: Wonder Woman and J-D Highway — Two items of note in Alexandria: first, Wonder Woman 2 is set to film some scenes at the Landmark Mall. Also, Alexandria is replacing signs marking Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1) with its new name in the city: Richmond Highway. [Washington Business Journal, WTOP]
Remembering Barbara Bush — Via the Arlington GOP Twitter account: “Former First Lady Barbara Bush died today at age 92. She will always be remembered for representing the best of America. We pray for and send condolences to her family.” [Twitter, CBS News]
Arlington Man Facing Firearms Charges in Pa. — From a TV station near Pittsburgh: “A Virginia man is facing charges after police said he possessed 14 guns despite having a protection from abuse order against him. Perry Georgeadis, 63, of… Arlington, Virginia, is charged with 14 counts of person not to possess a firearm.” [WJAC]
Arlington’s Gain is New Jersey’s Pain — The announcement that Gerber is moving its corporate headquarters to Rosslyn, to the same building as corporate parent Nestle USA, is bad economic news for New Jersey. “This means close to 180 New Jerseyans will be out of a job. But the company promised to help employees affected, mostly in corporate positions such as marketing, finance and HR, by offering them the chance to relocate, and severance and outpatient support for those that can’t make the move.” [NJ.com]
Arlington Students Make TJ Science Cut — “Students from Arlington’s public-school system will represent about 5 percent of the incoming freshman class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. A total of 25 APS students have been offered admission to the regional magnet school.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: Alexandria Debates High School Lights — In a situation that may sound familiar to those in Arlington, the question of whether or not to add lights to the soon-to-be-renovated T.C. Williams High School stadium is pitting neighbors of the school against high school athletic boosters and school administrators. [Alexandria Times]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Beyer’s GOP Challenger Holding Arlington Event — “Republican congressional candidate Thomas Oh will host a campaign kickoff on Tuesday, April 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Spider Kelly’s, 3181 Wilson Blvd. Oh is the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th), who is seeking a third term. He was the only Republican to file for the nomination.” [InsideNova]
Local Scenes on Sale at Arts Fest — Among the artists at the upcoming Arlington Festival of the Arts in Clarendon will be Joseph Craig English, whose “silkscreens and lithographs capture local landmarks and street corners in vivid colors,” including “an architectural juxtaposition of old buildings and new construction in Courthouse; Potomac River vistas; local murals and street signs known to commuters who’ve passed by them for years.” [Arlington Magazine]
Arlington Tourism Surtax Gets Gov’s Signature — “The Arlington County government will be able to continue collecting a surtax on hotel stays to pay for tourism promotion, now that Gov. Northam has signed legislation extending the measure for three more years.” [InsideNova]
Don’t Try This at Home — Per scanner traffic, police officers responding to a call yesterday afternoon were advised that “the suspect is known for using hand sanitizer as an alcoholic drink.”
Nearby: Alexandria OKs More Funding for Metro Station — “Plans to build a new Metro station at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Virginia, took a crucial step forward Tuesday. Alexandria City Council unanimously approved raising the budget from $268 million to $320 million. The change was made in part to reflect the rising cost of materials and labor.” [WTOP]
Photo by Dwayne Stewart
Arlington has taken in fewer refugees than other Northern Virginia communities, according to data from the U.S. State Department-run Refugee Processing Center.
Between 2002-2017, approximately 409 refugees were resettled in Arlington — about .17 percent of Arlington’s population, going by the latest census figures.
In that same time period, a higher percentage of refugees were resettled in Alexandria or Annandale. Alexandria received 1,032 refugees and Annandale received 248. That’s approximately .74 percent and .6 percent of their overall populations, respectively.
In nearby Woodbridge, 271 refugees were resettled between 2002-2017. That’s approximately 6.12 percent of the overall Woodbridge population.
Falls Church, per the data, took in 1,618 refugees from 2002-2017. Per recent estimates, that’s about 13.17 percent of its population.
The Arlington County government has “no official role… in resettlement decisions” and has “expressed interest in serving as a receiving community for refugees,” according to the county’s website.
Alex Mattera, a Virginia Dept. of Social Services (DSS) planning researcher, confirmed to ARLnow that Arlington doesn’t resettle as many refugees as other Northern Virginia localities. This, he added, is likely due to a number of factors, including that only refugees with current local ties are settled in the region.
DSS’ statistics vary slightly from those of the U.S. State Department, in part because of different methods of categorizing the visa status of arrivals. Iraqis and Afghanis who are resettled in America through a S.I.V., the special immigrant visa program for those who assisted the U.S. Armed Forces in their countries during operations.
The 105 Iraqi refugees accounted for a large portion of those resettled in Arlington between 2002-2017, per the Refugee Processing Center data.
Mattera noted that the report from the Refugee Processing Center doesn’t cite SIV entrants in the same category as other refugees, and that Virginia has higher-than-average SIV-related arrivals numbers than most states.
An informal poll conducted by ARLnow in 2015 showed that opinions were mixed among readers whether or not to resettle Syrian refugees specifically in Arlington. According to the State Department data, no Syrian refugees were settled in Arlington between 2002-2017, despite the county stating its willingness to help resettle refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war.
Anna Merod contributed to this report