Arlington, VA

The National Park Service (NPS) will host a special event near Rosslyn on Sunday (Aug. 25) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves arriving in the English colonies.

The Park Service is hosting events throughout the region as a day of remembrance for the first slave ship’s arrival at Point Comfort and the centuries of oppression that followed.

The Arlington event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Netherlands Carillon, near the Iwo Jima memorial.

According to the event page:

Beginning at 2 p.m. park rangers from George Washington Memorial Parkway will offer opportunities for visitors to explore themes of remembrance, healing and reconciliation related to African American history at the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington Ridge Park. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own bells to ring alongside the carillon at 3 p.m. The carillonneur will also play African American hymns and musical selections that reflect the African American experience.

Image via National Park Service

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The County is considering a major project to replace water main along 23rd Street S.

The Arlington County Board is set to consider starting a water main replacement project along the street from Fort Scott Drive in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood to S. Eads Street in Aurora Highlands. A staff report to the Board notes that the existing water main is 92 years old and corroding.

“The water main replacement is part of the efforts to replace the old unlined cast iron pipes which are subjected to internal and external corrosion that causes rusty water and reduces the fire flow fighting capacity,” the report wrote.

County Board members will consider awarding a $1,562,350 contract to the Loudoun-based A&M Concrete Corporation for the work during their meeting this Saturday, July 13 in Courthouse. The contract would also earmark an additional $312,470.00 in case of unexpected costs during the project.

“The overall goal for the proposed 12-inch water main is to improve the fire flow and provide adequate capacity to support demand in the neighborhood,” the report notes. The residential neighborhoods near Crystal City have seen an uptick in real estate interest since the announcement of Amazon’s nearby HQ2.

If members approve the project, it could cause some water service interruptions in the neighborhood but is not expected to significantly impact traffic, per the report.

The contract for the project is currently listed on the County Board’s consent agenda for their Saturday meeting, a place usually reserved for items expected to pass without debate.

Image via Arlington County

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(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) Anyone planning on hitting the Four Mile Run bike trail should watch out for a detour near the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant these next few days.

The county announced a “limited, partial detour” on the trail starting today (Wednesday) as it runs past 3304 S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood along the county’s border with Alexandria.

A tweet from the county’s Department of Environmental Services said the work should last for a “few weeks,” and that it stems from construction at the sewage plant. A subsequent tweet described the primary disruption for trail users to be “a 200-yard one-lane merge.”

The County Board approved a series of repairs at the plant in 2017, with work planned on some aging water tanks at the treatment facility.

Anyone biking or running on the trail should follow posted detours.

Photo via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting that happened last night on S. Glebe Road.

A man was shot at the intersection of Glebe and S. Arlington Ridge Road, two blocks away from Gunston Middle School, around 7 p.m., according to police. The victim is expected to survive and police are still seeking the shooter.

More from an ACPD press release, issued just after noon today (Monday):

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place on the evening of December 30, 2018.

At approximately 7:03 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and S. Arlington Ridge Road. Upon arrival on scene, officers located a male victim suffering from trauma to the upper body and immediately began performing life saving measures. The victim was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. Following medical treatment, the victim’s condition has been upgraded to stable and he is expected to survive his wounds.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. At this time, no suspect(s) have been identified and there are no suspect(s) descriptions. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the 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).

File photo

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A large snapping turtle gave a few South Arlington parkgoers a surprise today (Wednesday), and animal control officers ultimately had to step in to guide the reptile to safety.

Jennifer Toussaint, the county’s chief animal control officer, told ARLnow that her office received a call around noon that the large turtle was in the street at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and 28th Street S., just near Fraser Park.

She said an officer ultimately “safely moved the snapping turtle in the direction it was heading towards the stream adjacent to the brush line near the street,” which backs up to I-395.

Toussaint added that it’s hardly unusual for her office to receive calls about snapping turtles — animal control officers discovered someone keeping one as a pet just last month, a practice she strongly advises against — and the Arlington Ridge and Long Branch Creek neighborhoods seem to be particularly popular spots for the creatures.

“Snapping turtles mate from April [to] November and travel extensively on land when laying eggs and looking for [a] new habitat,” Toussaint wrote in an email. “Army Navy Drive [and]28th Street seems to be a very specifically popular areas for them, as we have yearly calls for service for snapping turtles in the roadway injured or needing assistance ranging back as far as 2013. Most of our snapping turtle calls in Arlington come in June [through] July.”

Justin Covert, one of the people to discover the turtle, added that his girlfriend discovered another turtle in the park earlier this month, even though he’d “never seen a turtle around these parts until now.”

Should the turtle sightings continue, Toussaint wants to warn people that the reptiles have “very flexible necks, sharp long claws, a strong jaw and can act defensive when handled.”

While animal control officers may be best-suited to move the creatures off roadways, she advises that it’s “inappropriate to pick them up by their tails,” if any turtle seems in danger.

“Their weight needs to be supported and dragging them can cause cuts that can get infected,” Toussaint wrote.

Photo courtesy of Justin Covert

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People living in neighborhoods around Reagan National Airport say a staging lot for Uber and Lyft drivers is snarling traffic in the area, and Arlington officials are taking new steps to work out some sort of fix.

The county is convening a public meeting on the issue Thursday (Sept. 27) after hearing persistent complaints about the lot (located at 2780 Jefferson Davis Highway and adjacent to S. Eads Street and a Holiday Inn hotel) over the last few months.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) started routing rideshare drivers to the lot in April, in order to account for construction as part of the airport’s massive improvement project known as “Project Journey,” and required drivers to wait there until would-be passengers request rides at the airport. Since then, neighbors have grown particularly concerned with the congestion the change has caused on S. Eads Street, with the Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands and Crystal City civic associations all mentioning it in recent community newsletters.

“Although there is no objection to the parking lot itself, the single entry/exit on S. Eads Street is causing considerable traffic problems and dangerous driving conditions,” the Crystal City Civic Association wrote in its September newsletter. “Plus, drivers in a hurry are [cutting] through the CVS and McDonald’s parking lots to get to the airport ramp on Route 1.”

The Arlington Ridge Civic Association added that the number of drivers cutting through those lots has “reached epic proportions,” and that “the police are now monitoring both.”

The civic associations noted in their missives that they’re pressing the county to reopen the lot’s access to Route 1, in a bid to ease traffic on S. Eads Street. But VDOT has jurisdiction over Route 1, meaning state officials would have to approve any change to the traffic pattern in the area.

“The county estimates the design work and construction to provide ingress and egress from the staging area onto Route 1 may take up to 14 months to complete and cost upwards of $250,000, which is not currently included in the county’s budget,” the Crystal City Civic Association wrote. “While undertaking this engineering work, the county says it is also exploring interim measures and/or options for phased implementation, which will also require coordination with and actions taken by both VDOT and MWAA.”

To that end, the county says it’s invited officials from both MWAA and VDOT to Thursday’s meeting. That gathering is set to be held at the Aurora Hills Community Center (735 18th Street S.) from 7-8:30 p.m.

Photo 1 via Google Maps

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Arlington firefighters extinguished a house fire in Arlington Ridge this afternoon (Friday).

First responders were called to a home along the 1100 block of 21st Street S. over reports of a structure fire around 4 p.m.

The blaze was concentrated on the rear deck of the house, and the homeowner managed to make it out of the building without injury.

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 4:30 pm.) Arlington police have arrested one man in connection with a string of overnight car thefts in Arlington Ridge, and another perpetrator may still be at large.

County police charged 18-year-old Sean Palmer of Washington D.C. with two counts of petit larceny involving a theft from a motor vehicle and two counts of entering or setting in motion a vehicle. He’s set for a Monday (July 30) hearing in Arlington County General District Court on the misdemeanor charges.

Spokeswoman Kirby Clark says officers arrested Palmer after receiving reports about two suspicious men in the area of S. Arlington Ridge Road and 20th Street S. late last night (Thursday). They eventually managed to locate two men matching a witness’s description, including Palmer, though one was able to flee the scene on foot.

Clark says officers determined “multiple vehicles in the area were entered and items of value stolen,” and it’s possible that other vehicles beyond the ones police found were broken into at some point.

An anonymous tipster told ARLnow that police left a variety of notes on car windshields around the 1000 block of 18th Street S. warning owners to check the vehicles to see if anything was amiss.

Police are asking anyone whose vehicle might’ve been broken into to call the department at 703-558-2222.

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Arlington police are searching for two men who they believe broke into a business near the Arlington Ridge shopping center early Sunday morning (July 22).

Police responded to a burglar alarm along the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road around 1:50 a.m. Sunday.

Officers then determined that two suspects “gained entry to a business, damaged merchandise and stole numerous items of value,” according to a county crime report. The shopping center in the area is home to a Giant supermarket, an ABC store and a Sweet Frog frozen yogurt shop, among other businesses.

Police believe the men fled in a beige SUV before they arrived. Full details from the crime report:

BURGLARY, 2018-07220045, 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 1:50 a.m. on July 22, police responded to the report of a burglar alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined that two suspects gained entry to a business, damaged merchandise and stole numerous items of value. The suspects fled the scene in a beige SUV prior to police arrival. The suspects are described as two dark skinned, average build males, both wearing black hoodies, black pants, dark colored sneakers, black ski masks and gloves. The investigation is ongoing.

Here are more highlights from this week’s crime report, including some that we’ve already reported:

WARRANT SERVICE (Significant), 2018-07190144, 2700 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive. On July 19, Arlington County Police assisted the Alexandria Police Department conduct a check on the welfare of a known wanted suspect. At approximately 2:30 p.m., officers made contact with the armed suspect who barricaded himself inside the residence. Police began negotiations with the suspect and he surrendered without incident. Brian Covarrubias, 31, was taken into custody on the outstanding warrants from the City of Alexandria.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-07190016, 800 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on July 19, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 1:20 p.m. on July 18 and 12:50 a.m. on July 19, an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a residence and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-07190239, 2000 block of N. Potomac Street. At approximately 7:43 p.m. on July 19, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence and stole numerous items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-07210228, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 8:45 p.m. on July 21, police responded to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between known individuals escalated and became physical when the suspect pushed the victim to the ground, causing a laceration. Kenneth Griffin, 41, of Pasadena, TX, was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-07210150, 1700 block of 22nd Court N. At approximately 12:48 p.m. on July 21, police responded to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 10:30 a.m. an unknown suspect entered a residence and subsequently accessed the victim’s vehicle and rummaged through it.  Multiple items of value were reported stolen from the residence and vehicle. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 230 lbs. and 6’1″, with brown hair, wearing a large brown and green jacket. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-07200234, 1200 block of N. Veitch Street. At approximately 7:09 p.m. on July 20, police responded to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Ridge Power OutageUpdated at 9:25 a.m. — A few dozen Dominion customers are without power in the Arlington Ridge and Pentagon City neighborhoods this morning due to an outage cased by “power line damage,” according to the utility’s website. Electricity is expected to be restored by 1 p.m. A tipster says the the Riverhouse apartments and some of the Pentagon Row shops were affected by the outage. Meanwhile, per Arlington County: “Arlington Ridge Road access from Washington Blvd as well as SB Arlington Ridge at S. Lynn Street will be closed for approximately 2 hours while Dominion Power repairs a damaged power line.” [Twitter]

APS Extended Day Website Survey — Arlington Public Schools is conducting a survey regarding its Extended Day management system. APS is considering a new system that would include an interactive parent portal, online registration, access to family accounts, and a database for family and staff information. [Arlington Public Schools, Google Forms]

Tax Delinquency Rate May Reach Record Low — “Arlington’s treasurer is optimistic that the county’s tax-delinquency rate could fall to another record low when it is reported later this summer… The delinquency rate to beat is the 0.226 percent reported last year, representing the amount of real-estate and personal-property taxes unpaid out of the roughly $800 million that flows through the treasurer’s office each year.” [InsideNova]

New Kettler Iceplex Sign — There’s a new sign on the parking garage in front of Kettler Capitals Iceplex: “Ballston / Home of the Washington Capitals / 2018 Stanley Cup Champions.” [Twitter]

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Some new condos could be on the way in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, prompting county officials to weigh a proposal to extend S. Queen Street and make the new development possible.

After branching off from 23rd Street S., the 2400 block of S. Queen Street currently ends in a cul-de-sac and is lined with a series of townhomes as part of the Forest Hills development. But according to a report prepared for the County Board, a developer approached county officials with plans to build 12 additional town homes on some vacant land behind the neighborhood early this year.

To do so, however, the developer needs to build a new road to reach those homes and they’re hoping to construct a 300-foot-long extension of S. Queen Street. The development would sit adjacent to the Club Manor Estates, along S. Pierce Street and 24th Street S., as well as Oak Ridge Elementary School and Haley Park.

Should those plans move forward, the developer would be responsible for constructing the new road, though county staff did note that some Forest Hills homeowners have expressed concerns about the project.

“The street construction will remove landscaped areas in the Forest Hills development that are currently utilized by the residents, and may also include modifications to the existing S. Queen Street roadway in order to accommodate anticipated traffic generated by the new development,” staff wrote in the Board report.

The Board is set to vote at its meeting Saturday (June 16) on whether the road extension can proceed. If Board members give it the green light, the county’s Planning Commission would hold a hearing on the matter July 2, with a County Board hearing set for July 14.

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