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Large Snapping Turtle Rescued by Animal Control Officers Near Fraser Park

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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DCA Staging Lot for Rideshare Drivers Prompts Community Outcry Over Traffic Snarls

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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BREAKING: Firefighters Extinguish Arlington Ridge House Fire

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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Police Investigating String of Car Thefts Around Arlington Ridge

(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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Crime Report: Police Investigating Burglary Near Arlington Ridge Shopping Center

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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New Arlington Ridge Townhomes Could Prompt Extension of S. Queen Street

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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Asian ‘Street Food’ Eatery Set to Open in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center This Month

A new fast casual restaurant offering all manner of Asian street eats is opening up this month in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

Kovi Asian Street Food Kitchen will hold its grand opening on June 30, with a soft opening set for sometime in the “next few days,” lead chef and owner Vi Nguyen told ARLnow. The eatery will be located at 2921 S. Glebe Road, once the site of longtime restaurant the Arlington Diner.

“This location just fit our wheelhouse,” Nguyen said. “There aren’t a lot of unique food options in the area for local residents… and because we promote healthy lifestyles, it’s such a good match to have a Gold’s Gym close by.”

While healthy eats are indeed a focus for Nguyen, he says his main pitch to diners is simple: “I make tasty food.”

He’s run a food truck bearing the same name for the last few months now, serving up dishes like Korean barbecue tacos and Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches throughout Northern Virginia. Nguyen says he’s even started offering poke bowls recently, and he plans to keep experimenting with “nontraditional tacos” at his first storefront — octopus tacos are one of his newest offerings.

Take a sneak peek into our new restaurant. We're just a few days from opening our doors!#kovirules #kovifan #kovilove…

Posted by Kovi Kitchen on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Nguyen, who’s worked as a chef at both fine dining establishments and casual eateries around the D.C. area, says the Arlington Ridge location won’t be the only Kovi in the area. He already has a lease set for a location in Leesburg, and he’s envisioning opening “four to eight more” restaurants in the near future.

“Our plan for growth is very aggressive,” Nguyen said.

But first, Nguyen is planning on offering up plenty of promos at his Arlington store as the soft opening gets going, like giving some of the first customers to swing by Kovi free lunch for a month.

Nguyen’s new restaurant takes the place of a 32-year fixture in the shopping center. Arlington Diner closed last May, with its owner citing struggles in keeping up with the rent in his decision to move on.

Fairfax-based District Dumplings will be moving in next door to Kovi, taking the place of a Domino’s location in the shopping center. It initially appeared as if District Dumplings would be taking over the Arlington Diner space, but Nguyen stresses that Kovi is not affiliated with that restaurant.

Photo courtesy @DanielMagnolia

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‘District Dumplings’ Set to Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center

(Updated, June 11 at 1:30 p.m.) A Fairfax dumpling restaurant will soon move into the space next to what was once the Arlington Diner in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

District Dumplings, based in the Mosaic district, is planning to open a new location at 2923 S. Glebe Road, once the home of a Domino’s, according to a manager who answered the phone at the restaurant’s Fairfax location. She says the new eatery could be open as soon as next week.

The building’s landlord secured a permit for a 28-seat “fast casual restaurant” in early March, according to county records. One reader noticed signs advertising the change up at the location as of Monday (June 4).

The diner closed last May, after 32 years in business at the location. Its owner cited challenges in negotiating an affordable lease in his decision to close up shop.

The shopping center is also home to a Giant grocery store and a Gold’s Gym.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Action Coming on Child Care Initiative — “When it comes to addressing issues related to child care, “this is a year we’re looking to see some concrete action,” [Arlington County Board Chair Katie] Cristol said during a May 30 meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Ridge Closures Continue — Daytime work will continue today on a collapsed 18-inch stormwater pipe, necessitating the daily closure of Arlington Ridge Road between Glebe Road and 23rd Street S. Rain and a leaking water main break slowed crews down last week. [Twitter]

County Board Primary Update — “The two candidates competing in the June 12 primary for the Arlington County Board are what voters might expect of a Democrat in the affluent, educated, rapidly urbanizing enclave — highly prepared, willing to get into the details of local issues and claiming fealty to the county’s tradition of careful, long-term planning.” [Washington Post]

GW Parkway Bridge Work Next Week — Work to repair a bridge carrying the GW Parkway over Windy Run in Arlington is scheduled to begin next week. The work will result in lane closures that could snarl traffic, especially when more impactful repairs start — likely in late July. [WTOP, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Morning Notes

More Water Infrastructure Repairs — Work to replace a collapsed 18-inch stormwater pipe on Arlington Ridge Road is expected to continue through the weekend, prompting detours on Arlington Ridge between 23rd Street S. and S. Glebe Road. Also today, crews from the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services are working to fix a broken water main, affecting 50-100 water customers, on the 1600 block of N. Jackson Street in Lyon Village. [Twitter, Twitter]

History of the Namesake of Hall’s Hill — The historically African-American neighborhood of Hall’s Hill in Arlington is named after an “infamous” 19th century slaveowner named Basil Hall who once shot a slave in a fit of “bravado.” In 1866 his land was sold to form the neighborhood. Hall had a sister, a downtown brothel keeper named Mary Ann, whose land in Arlington later became Marymount University. [Falls Church News-Press]

Local Kids Pen Hamilton Book — Just in time for Hamilton, the wildly popular musical, to arrive at the Kennedy Center, two Arlington kids (and their dad) have self-published a 50-page book “about the Washington-area sites related to Alexander Hamilton, his wife Eliza, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other Founding Fathers.” [Amazon]

Photo courtesy John Sonderman

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New Korean-Vietnamese Restaurant Coming to Arlington Ridge

An organic Korean-Vietnamese food truck is opening up a brick-and-mortar location in Arlington Ridge.

Kovi Kitchen will be opening a location at 2921 S. Glebe Road, near the Arlington-Alexandria border. The restaurant teased the news on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend, but did not announce an estimated grand opening weekend.

The food truck, which has parked in Rosslyn for the lunch rush, serves $3 tacos, rice bowls and bahn mi.

The restaurant will be run by Vi Nguyen, who, according to the truck’s website, has at least 29 years of hospitality industry experience.

A voice mail left at the food truck’s listed number was not immediately returned.

Photo via Kovi Kitchen

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Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza Opens in Arlington Ridge

Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza has opened its new location at 2931 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Ridge.

The pizzeria, which also features Mediterranean dishes other than pizza, replaces Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016. It first opened this past Wednesday, we’re told.

Delia’s has several Northern Virginia locations, including in Alexandria and Springfield. The Delia’s website does not yet list the Arlington Ridge location.

However, the menu for other locations includes smaller, appetizer-sized options like halloumi crostini, Greek avgolemono soup, and “pizza knuckles.” Entrees include grilled lamb chops and swordfish, in addition to the signature pizzas.

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Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza Opening Arlington Ridge Location

Delia’s, a mediterranean grill and brick oven pizza parlor with several area locations, is set to open a new location in Arlington Ridge in mid-March.

The location’s general manager, Oliver Garnowski, confirmed the scheduled opening and added that there will be more daily specials than at the Alexandria, Va., location that he currently works at. There will also be a few menu changes.

The restaurant, at 2931 S. Glebe Road, replaces the former Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016.

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Mediterranean Restaurant Delia’s to Replace Tazza Kitchen in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center

A Mediterranean and pizza restaurant with locations in Alexandria, Springfield and Sterling will replace the former Tazza Kitchen in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

Signs at the storefront at 2931 S. Glebe Road, near the county’s border with Alexandria, show Delia’s Mediterranean Grill & Brick Oven Pizza will move in soon. Tazza Kitchen closed last year in the space next door to the sweetfrog frozen yogurt store.

And permitting applications filed with the county show it is looking to remove a half wall in the dining area and bring in new cooking equipment.

Delia’s serves Mediterranean-inspired food, and has a full bar with cocktails, wine and craft beer, as well as catering services based in Falls Church. It describes its Springfield and Sterling locations as family-style restaurants, which offer a “more casual experience.”

Hat-tip to Thomas N.

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