Arlington Heights Gets New Stop Sign — “The Arlington Heights neighborhood became a safer place for students and other pedestrians on Oct. 30,” after the neighborhood got a new all-way stop sign at the intersection of 2nd Street S. and S. Irving Street. Residents collected some 500 petition signatures in support of adding the stop sign. [InsideNova]
Reminder: Daylight Saving Time — Early Sunday morning is the time to “fall back” as Daylight Saving Time ends and clocks get set back an hour. [USA Today]
Clean Air in N. Va. — “This past summer’s air was among the healthiest in memory across the commonwealth. The summer months were the cleanest in terms of ground-level ozone in at least 20 years, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality reported on Oct. 31.” [InsideNova]
Police were called to the 4100 block of N. Henderson Road in Buckingham just before 1 p.m. after reports a man exposed himself to a woman. The suspect, described as a black male in his early thirties, between 5-foot-10 and 6 feet tall, weighing 180-190 pounds and wearing a white shirt and khaki pants, is still at large.
That same day at around 8:10 p.m., police arrested a 43-year-old man for indecent exposure after he allegedly exposed himself to several victims on the 100 block of S. Old Glebe Road in Arlington Heights.
A police spokesman said that investigators “do not believe” the two offenses are related. They follow a spate of similar flashing incidents in Arlington over the past few weeks. Police arrested a man last week for exposing himself to multiple people in the Ballston area.
More from a crime report by Arlington police:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-07020189, 100 block of S. Old Glebe Road. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on July 2, officers responded to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined a male suspect exposed himself to several victims. Alexei Cordero Rodriguez, 43, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-07020105, 4100 block of Henderson Road. At approximately 12:55 p.m. on July 2, officers responded to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined an unknown male subject exposed himself to a female victim. The subject is described as a black male in his early thirties, approximately 5’10”-6’0″ tall and weighed 180-190 lbs. He was wearing a white shirt and khaki pants. The investigation is ongoing.
Police to Hold Anti-DUI Event During Bar Crawl — The All American Bar Crawl will be taking place in Clarendon from 1-9 p.m. Saturday, and the Arlington County Police Department is planning some complementary programming. ACPD and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program are holding a “free interactive anti-drunk driving event” from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on N. Highland Street, in the heart of Clarendon. [Arlington County]
Local ‘Big Brother’ Houseguest Getting Attention — Matthew Clines, a 33-year-old renovation consultant and fitness buff from Arlington, is being mentioned as a frontrunner on the new season of CBS’ Big Brother. “Many ladies swooned over” him, US Weekly writes. Clines has suggested he “would rather have America love him… than actually win the game and the $500,000.” [Us Weekly, Reality TV World]
Woman Wanted for Hit and Run Near Columbia Pike — Arlington County Police are looking for a woman who struck a pedestrian on the 3400 block of 7th Street S., in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, Wednesday night. The suspect, described as a “white female in her mid-twenties to early thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall… wearing a white sweater,” fled the scene after the collision, which sent the victim to a local trauma center with significant but non-life-threatening injuries. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Bradley Teague
Police are investigating yet another series of vehicle break-ins that occurred overnight.
The break-ins were reported in various locations, but were centered around the Arlington Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods and Route 50.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said nearly two dozen cars were broken into, with items stolen from many.
More via Savage:
Arlington County Police are investigating a series of larcenies from auto overnight originating in the unit block of S. Highland Street. Approximately 20 mostly unlocked vehicles were entered, rummaged through and various items of value were reported stolen. Police remain in the area investigating. Citizens are reminded to remove valuables, lock vehicle doors and keep windows up whenever their vehicle is not in use. If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, report to the emergency communication center at 703-558-2222.
The new elementary school at 125 S. Old Glebe Road would provide 752 seats and replace the current Patrick Henry Elementary School at 701 S. Highland Street. A naming process for the new school is underway. It is projected to cost $59 million and to open in September 2019.
But a report prepared by county staff acknowledges the project still has concerns, including theater parking during construction, the impact on homes at the north side of the site, whether an existing surface parking lot should remain and neighbors’ desire for sidewalk improvements in an area outside of the project’s scope.
As part of the approval process, the County Board will also discuss leasing county-owned land at the site to the School Board so the new school can be built.
If the County Board allows the lease to be executed, Arlington Public Schools would then have the right to use the land to build the new elementary school and a 214-space, joint-use parking garage. The lease would be set to expire in 75 years, in 2092.
A report by county staff found that executing the lease would not impact the county financially, but an agreement will be necessary to solidify how the county and APS will share the parking garage’s operating and maintenance expenses.
Staff recommends approval of the use permit for the new school and the execution of the lease.
The proposed elementary school on the site of Thomas Jefferson Middle School is on track for County Board approval next month.
The new elementary school at 125 S. Old Glebe Road would house the current Patrick Henry Elementary School at 701 S. Highland Street and provide 725 seats. A naming process for the new school is underway. It is projected to cost $59 million and be open in September 2019.
A previous report by county staff noted the unique nature of the project as it was evaluated by both Arlington Public Schools’ Building Level Planning Committee and the county’s Public Facilities Review Committee.
But concerns remain over the project, particularly the impact of construction on the 3.85-acre site.
A tipster emailed ARLnow to say that while construction is underway, a large portion of the western parcel of the campus will be unavailable for public use, limiting access to the middle school. The tipster said this may put the programs at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater “at risk of failure.”
Meanwhile, parking at the community center along 2nd Street S. will be reduced during the day, as portions will be used as drop-off and pick-up points for the middle school. And school staff will park in the east lot at S. Irving Street and 2nd Street S.
Previously, community members have also raised concerns about the impact of construction on nearby homes and the effect moving a sidewalk north will have on existing mature trees and green space.
In the last few weeks, the project has been examined by the Urban Forestry Commission; the Environment and Energy Conservation Commission; and the Park and Recreation Commission. It will also go before the Transportation Commission in April 3, before heading to the Planning Commission two days later.
Reminder: Inauguration Closures Today — Many Arlington County facilities are closed today, Inauguration Day, and parking meters are not being enforced. Traffic is light around Arlington but drivers should expect closures and delays approaching the District. [ARLnow]
Arlington EOC Open — Arlington’s Emergency Operations Center is open and fully functional today for the inauguration. [Twitter]
Two Local Neighborhoods Among D.C.’s Hottest — Arlington Heights, between Columbia Pike and Route 50, and Yorktown in north Arlington, are No. 2 and 3 respectively on real estate firm Redfin’s list of the hottest Washington, D.C. area neighborhoods for 2017. [Redfin]
Schlow May Open Arlington Restaurant — Restaurateur Michael Schlow, the man behind Tico and The Riggsby in D.C., is “close to a deal” to open a new restaurant in Arlington. [Washington Business Journal]
School Bus Accident — There was a minor collision between two school buses at Randolph Elementary yesterday afternoon. According to initial reports more than a dozen students were evaluated by medics, but ultimately no injuries reported. [Twitter]
Schmuhl Sentenced for Home Invasion — Former lawyer Alecia Schmuhl was sentenced to 45 years in prison for her role in the home invasion attack on her former boss and his wife. Leo Fisher, a shareholder in Arlington law firm Bean, Kinney & Korman, was held captive by Schmuhl’s husband, who shot, stabbed and tased the couple during a three hour torture session. [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin
A car overturned on a residential street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood this afternoon.
The incident happened around 1 p.m. on S. Fenwick Street, between 2nd Street S. and S. Fillmore Street, a few blocks from Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
According to witnesses, “the driver became distracted and rear ended a parked vehicle causing the car to flip.” The driver, we’re told, was able to walk away stunned but otherwise unscathed. Luckily, no one else was reported to be hurt.
A Fenwick Street resident said that neighbors refer to their windy stretch of road as the “raceway.”
“Many vehicles use this street as a cut through and the 25mph speed limit is ignored,” said Zelmira McCann. “As neighbors we’ve been trying to get the [County] Board’s attention about this street in particular. It’s a neighborhood street but people use it like a raceway.”
McCann said she has spent $250 of her own money to put up signs to “remind people that children and pets are at risk.” The signs, she said, have since been stolen.
Photo courtesy Zelmira McCann
S. Fillmore Street between Columbia Pike and Route 50 has closed to traffic this afternoon as crews work to fix a gas leak.
The blocks between 2nd Street S. and 6th Street S. were shut down after gas began to seep out around the 400 block of S. Fillmore Street earlier today. Initial reports suggest a construction crew working on the sidewalks ruptured a 3/4 inch gas line.
Police are on the scene with Washington Gas personnel.
In past years, Arlington has been ranked as having some of the worst drivers in the nation. That doesn’t surprise Brian Meenaghan, who has started a Twitter account to document what he views as a never-ending parade of bad drivers on his block.
Meenaghan, an Arlington Heights resident, started the Twitter account @BadDriversof1stRdS at the end of April. The account focuses on the worst offenders on the 3600 block of 1st Road S., a one-way street located in a high traffic area around S. Glebe Road, Route 50 and the Thomas Jefferson middle school and community center.
“I started this account as a cathartic thing because we’ve had a lot of frustrations on our little block. We’re about 400-450 feet long as a block and we dead end at a middle school,” said Meenaghan. “We have people whipping up this block and people coming the wrong way from the middle school. Because of the oddity of the exit for Route 50 around Glebe Road, we also have a lot of people turning around in driveways and going back up the wrong way, trying to go back to 50.”
Meenaghan’s main concern is drivers going the wrong way on the one-way street (traffic is supposed to only flow from S. Glebe Road to Old Glebe Road). From cars to school buses and even Metrobuses, Meenaghan has caught all types of drivers driving the wrong way or speeding — or both — on the narrow street. Photos and video posted to the Twitter account document the broken traffic laws. (See some of the tweets, below.)
“I work downtown and I’m not here physically during the day all that much and I personally see three or four people turning around every day. I’m probably outside maybe 45 minutes to an hour before dinner with my daughter and I see in just that short amount of time a lot of people going the wrong way,” said Meenaghan.
The Twitter account is a joint venture with his neighbors, who often supply the photos he uploads to the website. Meenaghan said he and his neighbors have been trying for years to convince Arlington County to implement traffic calming measures on the block.
“My neighbors are all very involved in this,” said Meenaghan. “I’m not here that much so I’m not here to take a lot of these pictures. You miss a lot of them because they happen so quickly. Probably six of my neighbors have given me photos over the last couple of weeks. It’s kind of a group-wide effort.”
Part of the impetus for the effort is that the block is now chock full of children.
“We now have 15 kids on this block. There are only 23 houses and there are 15 kids under the age of 10. There have been five kids born in the last six months,” said Meenaghan. (One could perhaps see the block as a microcosm of the challenges with burgeoning enrollment facing Arlington Public Schools.)
Along with the kids living on the block, the presence of Thomas Jefferson Middle School at the end of the block means that there is a constant stream of kids on the block during the school year. It’s only set to become busier, with continued growth at the middle school and the construction of a new elementary school on the middle school’s former parking lot.
Around 5:45 a.m. Sunday, police responded to the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road for a report of an assault in progress. Upon arriving and exiting her vehicle, an officer confronted the suspect, who was in a car.
The suspect then drove toward the officer as if he was trying to hit her, but swerved at the last moment and struck two parked cars, before driving off, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Later Sunday night, police located the vehicle on S. Highland Street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood — near the suspect’s parents’ house, Sternbeck said. Police closed in but the suspect was able to flee.
The Fairfax County Police helicopter and at least one K-9 unit were called in to search the area but as of this morning the suspect remained at large.
Based on various emails forwarded to ARLnow.com, the presence of the circling helicopter and police officers with guns drawn created a big buzz on Columbia Pike area listservs.
It may seem way too early, but it’s time to start making plans for the holidays, starting with BalletNova’s annual production of The Nutcracker over first weekend of December.
Tickets for the show are now on sale.
Members of the dance school will put on six full-length productions of the ballet at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater (125 S. Old Glebe Road). The show is approximately an hour and a half long, plus one 15-minute intermission.
Tickets cost between $13 to $35, depending on the show date and location of the seats. There are also discounts available for groups, students under 18 and seniors over 65.
The studio encourages patrons to reserve seats early, as all the performances have sold out in the past. Performance dates and times are:
- Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online.
There is also a Nutcracker Tea and mini-performance scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City.
Photo via BalletNova Center for Dance/by Ruth Judson
A second-story bedroom caught fire earlier this afternoon on the 300 block of S. Jackson Street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood.
The Arlington County Fire Department received a call for smoke showing from the bedroom’s window at 1:01 p.m. and the fire was knocked down by 1:15 p.m., according to Deputy Fire Marshal Brian McGraw. Three of the house’s 12 regular occupants were inside when the fire started, a woman and two children, but all refused medical transport.
The damage was largely contained to the bedroom. McGraw said the investigation had just begun into the source and cause of the fire, and couldn’t comment on whether there were working smoke detectors in the residence.
Firefighters, when doing checks of the rooms, found a small amount of marijuana, Arlington County Police Department Lt. Kip Malcolm told ARLnow.com, but the police do not plan on prosecuting the drug charges.
“If someone’s got a joint, or small amount of marijuana, in their house, that isn’t something the police department is going to be interested in spending a whole lot of resources on,” Malcolm said.
The suspect called a locksmith to open the house on the 3300 block of 5th Street S. After the locksmith allowed him to gain entry, the suspect rummaged through drawers to look for working keys and identification, said police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“That set off an internal alarm for the locksmith, who said he was going to contact ACPD if the suspect didn’t show proof he lived at the residence,” Sternbeck told ARLnow.com. “That’s when the suspect fled on foot.”
The suspect did not take anything from the house, and the house’s occupants — who were not home at the time — were notified and the locks were changed, Sternbeck said. Sternbeck added that it was the first time since he’s been at the police department that he’d heard of a burglar calling a locksmith in an attempt to break into a house.
(Updated on 10/14/13) Arlington police and the county’s bomb squad responded a possible pipe bomb in the Arlington Heights neighborhood Sunday afternoon.
Just before 3:00 p.m., an off-duty police officer was asked for directions by a driver in a vehicle with New York tags. The officer noticed drug paraphernalia in the vehicle and called in backup, according to a fire department official.
The car was stopped and the driver detained on the 100 block of S. Highland Street. Officers then noticed a pipe with two caps on each end in the back of the stopped vehicle, the official said. Believing that the device could be a pipe bomb, the street was shut down between Arlington Blvd and 2nd Street S. and the bomb squad was called in.
A robot was used to inspect the device, and a technician in heavy protective gear attempted to defuse it. After a second technician inspected the vehicle, the bomb squad performed a controlled detonation. The robot was dispatched again, after which it was determined the pipe was empty. The driver of the car was interviewed and now faces a drug charge.
Residents in the area were asked to shelter in place in their homes during the incident.