A road is closed in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood due to a downed tree and power lines.
The large tree fell this afternoon during calm weather, taking power and utility lines down with it. Thirty-five Dominion customers are without power in the area, according to the power company.
A Dominion repair crew is on scene, but the intersection of S. Joyce Street and 28th Street S., near Glebe Road, is closed. The tree and numerous wires are down in the intersection.
“Water main work will continue on Arlington Ridge Road through the evening rush hour with detours in place at 23rd Street in both directions,” according to an Arlington Alert. “Please seek alternate routes.”
Arlington Ridge Road is typically busy during rush hours, utilized both by local residents and Alexandria commuters exiting I-395. The road also closed last summer for water line installation work and in Feb. 2014 for a water main break.
Water Main Repairs to Close Road — Arlington Ridge Road is scheduled be closed in both directions at 23rd Street S. from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. today for water main repairs. Detours will be in place, but drivers should consider alternate routes, Arlington County says.
Airport Strike is Back on Starting Tonight — A strike by contract service workers at Reagan National and other major U.S. airports is back on, starting tonight. The strike was initially planned for last week but was postponed due to the Brussels terror attacks. [Washington Post]
Arson Suspect Due in Arlington Court — A Reston man suspected of a home invasion and arson in Fairfax County is scheduled to be in an Arlington courtroom tomorrow. Antwan Green is also facing multiple charges stemming from crashing a stolen vehicle in Arlington on Dec. 10 and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. [Reston Now]
Fundraiser for Accessible Community Garden — Arlington County is trying to raise $10,000 from donors in order to build four “vertical gardens” that are accessible to those with disabilities or mobility issues. Currently, none of the county’s community gardens are accessible. The vertical gardens would be built at the Glebe & Lang Street Community Garden, along S. Glebe Road. The county is hoping to complete fundraising and construction by the end of June. [Fund Your Park]
Arlington Startup Acquired — Arlington-based startup Encore Alert has been acquired by Meltwater, a San Francisco-based brand analytics and consulting firm. As a result of the acquisition, the Encore Alert team has moved to the Bay Area. [DC Inno]
Co-Working Growing Quickly — Co-working providers are growing quickly and are expected by some analysts “to absolutely explode over the next five years.” Two of the top players are WeWork, which just opened a new office in Crystal City, and MakeOffices, which is opening a new flagship co-working space in Clarendon within the next few months. MakeOffices is based in Rosslyn, after being founded as UberOffices in 2012. [Bisnow]
Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk
A large tree has fallen across a residential street near Gunston Middle School, bringing down utility lines and damaging a parked car.
The tree fell around noon, amid gusty winds. No injuries were reported.
Currently, 28th Street S. is blocked between S. Lang Street and Arlington Ridge Road.
Numerous crews from Arlington County and Comcast are on scene, preparing to remove the tree and repair the lines and snapped utility poles.
The outage was reported around 2:45 p.m.
At least one traffic signal was reported to be without power in the area, as nearby Oakridge Elementary was preparing to dismiss students for the day. Police are on scene.
Dominion’s website is estimating a 5-9 p.m. timeframe for full restoration, although some areas have already had their electricity restored.
One resident said the timing of the outage, on one of the coldest and windiest days of the winter so far, could cause problems for some.
— M (@ReadEatWriteRun) January 4, 2016
— M (@ReadEatWriteRun) January 4, 2016
Power out at work. Thank God for generator! @ARLnowDOTcom
— Anne E (@MrsRusselllll) January 4, 2016
The incident happened around 11 a.m. Monday, at the suspect’s house on the 2700 block of S. Grove Street in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, near Crystal City.
Police say 50-year-old Joseph N. Mondello “refused to let a computer technician leave the residence until his computer was fixed.” Mondello also “allegedly had a gun in his possession and threatened to kill the victim,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
Mondello, who’s a registered lobbyist, was charged with abduction by force or intimidation and use of a firearm in a felony, according to court records. The abduction charge can carry a sentence of anything from a couple of months in jail to up to 10 years in prison.
According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, Mondello had a previous “run in” with another computer technician, but that encounter did not escalate to the degree of this latest incident.
Four Arlington residents with intellectual disabilities are back home in the county, thanks to a new group home just off Arlington Ridge Road.
The house is being operated by Good Neighbor Community Services, an organization that specializes in helping those with behavioral health issues and intellectual disabilities achieve “a life of opportunity, independence, and growth.”
From a county press release:
It will be a special Christmas for four Arlington residents who for years have missed celebrating at home in the County.
The four adults, all with intellectual disabilities, require constant care. Until this past fall, they were living outside Arlington in one of five large state institutions known as training centers.
This Christmas, they will celebrate with family and staff in their new group home, opened by the County last month off Arlington Ridge Road.
The County chose contractor Good Neighbor Homes to operate the house, which has a private bedroom for each resident.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring these residents back to Arlington, and to give them the care they need in homes in our neighborhoods,” said Anita Friedman, director of Human Services for the County. “We believe this solution is better for them, for their families and for our community.”
Long-time Arlington resident Nancy Tishman’s son David, 38, who is severely autistic, is one of the new residents of the Arlington group home. He lived with his family until a severe medical crisis sent him to the regional Northern Virginia Training Center in Fairfax, where he stayed for 10 years.
Tishman credits Arlington County “for bringing him back home. His brother and sister and his dad and I are so grateful and filled with joy.”
The long path to opening the group home began in 2012. That was when the Commonwealth reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department requiring Virginia to move people with disabilities out of the regional centers and back into their own communities.
The settlement provided Arlington with $1.5 million to ensure the transitions.
The Justice Department case was based on a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said “confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals.”
A fifth and last member of the household near Arlington Ridge will move in next month. Another group residence for five, specifically built with funds from the settlement, will open in January near Clarendon.
The holiday homecoming is the “perfect” ending to a long process aimed at creating a familiar environment of care and dignity, marvels La Voyce Reid of the County’s Developmental Disability Services Bureau.
“This is the kind of true gift we hope for this time of year,” she said.
Photo via Arlington County. Video via Good Neighbor Community Services.
Passenger Thrown from Minivan in Crash — Three people were hurt in an early morning crash on S. Arlington Ridge Road today. Police say a car traveling at 55 mph on the residential street slammed into the back of a minivan near 23rd Street S., causing one passenger in the van to be ejected from the vehicle. [WJLA, NBC Washington]
School Board Approves $100 Million H-B Design — The Arlington School Board has approved a concept design for the Wilson School in Rosslyn, future home of the H-B Woodlawn secondary program. With a 92-space parking garage factored in, the construction cost of the school may exceed $100 million. Also last week, the School Board confirmed that it will again ask the County Board for permission to build a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
County Facebook Post Raises Eyebrows — Democratic political operative Ben Tribbett, among others, is calling an Arlington County Facebook post about a local Democratic resolution on the Redskins team name an “inappropriate use of a government Facebook account.” Tribbett was previously hired by the team to defend its name. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]
Nine Arlington Restaurants Make Top 50 List — Nine Arlington establishments have made Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants list. The highest on the list is new-this-year Kapnos Taverna in Ballston. [Patch]
Fisette on County’s Support for I-66 Plan — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette says the county supports a plan for tolling I-66 because it is a regional compromise that’s cost effective, multimodal and not “the typical knee-jerk reaction [of] just widening roads.” Fisette notes that Arlington “was traumatized by the building of I-66 right through some of our neighborhoods” in the 1970s and 80s. [Washington Post]
Four Mile DMV Moving After Losing Lease — Dozens of angry Fairfax County residents came out to a meeting Thursday night to express opposition to a new DMV office in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center. The meeting also revealed more information on why the DMV is moving from its current location on S. Four Mile Run Drive. The DMV reportedly lost its lease due to a planned redevelopment, which has since fallen through. [Annandale VA]
More Info on Courthouse Redevelopment — We now know a bit more about the planned redevelopment of a low-rise office building in Courthouse. A 15-story, 91-unit condo building with 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space is planned to replace the office building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
The incident happened just after 8 p.m. on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road, near the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center. Police say the pair approached the man from behind and tried to take the case, but fled after the man sprayed one of the suspects with pepper spray.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report.
ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 151117051, 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 8:11 p.m. on November 17, two unknown male subjects approached a victim from behind and attempted to steal his briefcase. The victim was able to spray one of the subjects with pepper spray causing them both to flee. The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ tall and weighed 200 lbs. He was wearing a dark colored sweater, dark colored jeans, and a black ski mask. The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ tall and weighed 200 lbs. He was wearing a dark colored sweatshirt, stone washed jeans, boots, and a ski mask.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Arlington Ridge Ramp Closure — The ramp from Arlington Ridge Road to Washington Blvd and I-395, and from Washington Blvd to Arlington Ridge, will be closed during nights and mornings this weekend, starting at 9 p.m. tonight. VDOT will be milling and paving the ramp as part of a $2.2 million project to repair the Arlington Ridge Road ramp bridges. Construction is scheduled to end by 11 a.m. Sunday. Detours will be in place during the closure. [VDOT, Google Maps]
Weenie Beenie Serves a Top Dog — The borderline historic Weenie Beenie stand near Shirlington is one of the “21 best hot dog joints in America,” says Thrillist.com, besting event Ben’s Chili Bowl. [Thrillist]
Another Endorsement for Cristol, Dorsey — The urbanist blog Greater Greater Washington says Democrats Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey are the best choices for Arlington County Board. GGW says Cristol is “great on transit” and “a pleasure to work with” and Dorsey is “clearly superior to the other two options, Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Ashton Heights Profiled — WaPo’s real estate section profiles the Ashton Heights neighborhood of Arlington, calling it “cozy” with “charming older homes, a child-friendly atmosphere and accessibility to the city.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by xmeeksx
McMenamin, a former Arlington County Civic Federation president who’s endorsed by the Arlington County Republican Committee and County Board member John Vihstadt, says he shares concerns about traffic and a strain on local services with residents from a nearby neighborhood.
Residents of Arlington Ridge — an affluent neighborhood overlooking Pentagon City — have long protested planned development in Pentagon City and Crystal City areas on the grounds of negative impacts to their community. Among the projects causing concern: approved development on the Pentagon Centre shopping center site and the as-yet vacant PenPlace site, plus proposed additions to the RiverHouse apartment complex.
McMenamin issued the following press release this morning, suggesting that such development does not represent “smart growth.”
County Board independent candidate Mike McMenamin expressed support today for a citizens’ group that is worried about overbuilding in the Pentagon City area.
“I agree with the Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) that the County board should undertake a study to determine how much additional density 22202 (Crystal City, Pentagon City and adjacent residential neighborhoods) can accommodate without compromising the area’s livability,” said McMenamin.
ARCA is concerned about traffic and transit congestion that will result in coming years, together with the additional fire, police, school, green space and other services that will be needed once all of the development the County has already approved for construction in 22202 gets built out.
Further, Vornado is now asking the County to amend the General Land Use Plan and up-zone its River House property to allow it to build an additional 1,084 apartments on top of the already approved development to be built in Pentagon and Crystal City.
In the past, the County has considered each new proposed building and zoning variance, one at a time, in isolation of its impact on the greater, surrounding area. “That needs to change,” McMenamin said, “particularly in 22202 which is a uniquely cordoned off segment of the County with limited transportation avenues.”
McMenamin supports the 22202 residents’ request that the County should step back, take a breath, and reassess its extraordinarily robust development policies that were enabled by the Metro system. “Until we better understand how much additional growth our infrastructure can accommodate,” McMenamin noted, “we cannot claim to be approving ‘smart growth.'”
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed Friday while crews connect new properties to a main water line.
The road will be closed between 19th Road S. and 23rd Street S. from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for water service installation.
This is not an emergency repair, as an Arlington Alert erroneously indicated, said Jessica Baxter, a spokeswoman with Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services.
“These installations are done for new properties that require a service line to be built and connected to the public main for water service,” she said.
During the construction, drivers will be directed to take detours. Drivers coming from southbound I-395 can take Army Navy Drive to 23rd Street S. to get onto Arlington Ridge Road. Drivers going northbound can take Army Navy Drive instead of Arlington Ridge Road, Baxter said.
Arlington Ridge Road has previously been closed for emergency repairs due to water main issues. The county is currently in a design phase for replacing the main water line on Arlington Ridge Road between 23rd Street S. and S. Lynn Street.
Image via Google Maps
Romo the dog, a long time beloved fixture of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in D.C., is settling into his new life in Arlington.
The 150 pound bull mastiff/pit bull mix became well known in D.C. for his habit of sleeping near an open window in owner Tiffany Scourby’s condo. Passersby took to the droopy dog, and a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to Romo soon sprang up.
Romo, along with Tiffany and her husband Peter Scourby, moved to the Forest Hills townhouse community in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood earlier this summer. So far, Peter says Romo has taken to his new life outside of the city.
“He’s enjoying the space more,” said Scourby. “We went from 1,000 square foot condo to 3,000 square feet.”
Although Scourby says there aren’t any windows in the new home with quite the foot traffic of Romo’s Adams Morgan haunt, the pooch has been given a bed by a window and has scoped out prime napping spots around his new home.
The couple says that like their dog, they are enjoying the newfound space Arlington affords.
“I’m a Virginia boy,” said Scourby. “I like the ‘burbs, and I wanted space. There’s a country club down the street, and I can see the Washington Monument from my house.”
Romo’s Facebook page has more than 3,000 likes and counting, and since moving the couple has discovered that some of their new neighbors are long-time Romo fans.
“When we first got here, a neighbor we hadn’t met yet said, ‘Oh my God, that looks like that Romo dog!,'” said Scourby. “When we told her it was him, she just screamed. Apparently she was one of his followers on Facebook.”
The move to Arlington won’t be the only change for Romo this summer. Peter says Tiffany is eight months pregnant and is due this September.
“[Romo’s] gonna have a little brother soon,” he said.
Photos via Facebook
Arlington Ridge Road is closed between I-395 and 20th Street S. tonight due to a water main break.
Crews are currently digging up a portion of the road near the Hume School in an effort to repair the water main. The closure is expected to remain in effect through the evening rush hour.
Traffic is backed up on I-395 approaching the Ridge Road exit. Drivers attempting to head south on Arlington Ridge Road from Army Navy Drive are being directed onto I-395.
A resident’s complaint about a sidewalk closure led to action by county officials on Friday.
Arlington Ridge area resident Ted Billings snapped the photo above, showing a woman pushing a double stroller in the northbound lane of Army Navy Drive. The woman and her children were in the path of fast-moving traffic due to the closure of the only sidewalk on the long stretch between S. Nash Street and 20th Street S.
Billings talked to county staff members and also contacted ARLnow.com about the closure. Officials responded to the scene and determined that the construction crew that put the closure in place did not apply for the proper permits.
From Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman:
This work is being performed by private contractor who is involved with a residential build project in that vicinity. The sidewalk closure shown in the photo below did not go through the proper DES permitting review process nor were they issued the proper permit to close the sidewalk. County staff has informed the contractor of the violation and has directed them to get proper permits if they need to close the sidewalk again. The sidewalk has since re-opened. We appreciate the information provided by the resident.
Though pleased that the sidewalk was finally reopened, Billings said it required persistence — multiple county staff members initially told him nothing could be done about it, he said.