Press Club

Morning Notes

The U.S. Air Force Memorial and surrounding construction at twilight (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Cristol Calls Out Displacement ‘Lie’ — “Time will tell, as it always does, but Arlington elected officials say the public and some activists are mistaken if they believe there will be wholesale displacement of residents of the Barcroft Apartments complex in South Arlington. At a May 14 meeting, County Board Chairman Katie Cristol – not one normally known for getting rattled while on the dais – decried as a ‘lie’ the displacement rumors at the sprawling, 1,334-unit apartment complex.” [Sun Gazette]

Crash Last Night on GW Parkway — From Alan Henney: “Another auto went over the wall on the northbound side of the GW Pky prior to the Key Bridge in Arlington. Amazingly driver is out uninjured after his auto slid down the embankment.” [Twitter]

Marymount University Commencement — From Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S.: “It was my tremendous privilege to give the commencement at @marymountu, a university that like many around the U.S. hosts Saudi students. It was my absolute honor to receive an honorary doctorate, thank you to the faculty and Dr. Becerra for this special day.” [Twitter, Sun Gazette]

Metro CEO and COO Resign — “The WMATA Board of Directors has accepted Paul Wiedefeld’s decision to make his retirement effective today. In addition, Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader has resigned, effective immediately.” [WMATA, DCist]

New Skyline Development Proposal — “Madison Marquette has filed plans to convert two Baileys Crossroads office building into live/work lofts, advancing a vision to resuscitate the huge multibuilding cluster known as Skyline Center. By repurposing the mostly emptied office spaces — which meet planning and code requirements to serve as apartments and/or offices for small firms — Skyline can once again become ‘the gravitational center for the area.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Body Cams for Falls Church Police — “Police officers with the City of Falls Church will now be equipped with body-worn cameras beginning this month.” [WJLA, City of Falls Church]

It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 77 and low of 59. Sunrise at 5:55 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Aerial view of Rosslyn (staff photo)

County Board Wants Camp Revamp — From County Board Chair Katie Cristol: “More from the Board on expectations for reforming summer camp registration, below. Importantly for this year: 6,000 spots are still open for this summer, and families who need DPR camp can continue to register online or w/ customer service team, [email protected]” [Twitter]

Jobs in Arlington Increase Slightly — “Year-over-year employment within Arlington County improved in the third quarter of 2021, according to new federal data, but lagged the overall national rebound. There were a total of 172,600 jobs recorded in Arlington for September 2021 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported Feb. 23. That’s up 0.4 percent from a year before.” [Sun Gazette]

New ACPD K9 Graduates — From the Arlington County Police Department: “Join us in congratulating Cpl. Doescher & K9 Wilson on their graduation from basic patrol K9 school, which includes training on conducting building and area searches, advanced obedience and tracking!” [Twitter]

Yorktown Hockey Is Undefeated — “With blowout victories in their final two matches, the Yorktown Patriots completed their first undefeated regular season since 2003 with a 10-0 record in high-school club ice hockey. In its final match, Yorktown blanked Flint Hill, 10-1.” [Sun Gazette]

High School Hoops Update — “Two Arlington teams advanced to the semifinals and another lost in first-round action of the girls and boys 6D North Region high-school basketball tournaments the night of Feb. 22. Moving on are the Washington-Liberty Generals in boys action and the Yorktown Patriots in girls, each Liberty District tournament champions. The Wakefield Warriors (11-10) had their season end with a first-round 69-56 loss to the host Madison Warhawks in a boys game.” [Sun Gazette]

Va. ABC Removes Russian Vodka — “In the spirit of Gov. Youngkin’s call for decisive action in support of Ukraine, Virginia ABC is removing 7 Russian-sourced vodka brands from our store shelves. Russian-themed brands not produced in Russia like Stolichnaya and Smirnoff will not be removed.” [Twitter, Axios]

Nearby: Bailey’s Xroads Arson Suspect Sought — “Fire investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying a person of interest related to a fire that occurred on Tuesday, February 22, at approximately 6:30 a.m., in the 5600 block of Columbia Pike.” [Twitter, Fairfax County Fire/Rescue]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 43 and low of 31. Sunrise at 6:43 am and sunset at 6:01 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Athletics Ban Not Consistent with County — “Arlington’s newest School Board member opened her tenure by intimating that, if the county school system’s ban on athletics and extracurricular activities is extended past its current Jan. 14 deadline or resurrected later, the county government should follow suit and shut down park programs for adults.” [Sun Gazette]

Universal Basic Income in Arlington? — “Every Arlingtonian, rich and poor alike, could be given $550 a month, leaving few families below the poverty line, if the property tax rate were tripled. The net income of a family of four living in a house worth less than $1.36 million would be higher, as this UBI dividend would exceed the increase in tax.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Yorktown Hockey is Undefeated — “In high-school club ice hockey action in recent days, the undefeated Yorktown Patriots (7-0) won two matches. Yorktown nipped Georgetown Prep, 2-1, then blanked the Langley Saxons, 5-0, in league play.” [Sun Gazette]

Local Dry January Deal — Ballston’s recently opened taqueria El Rey is offering up $1 zero-proof cocktails with meals, for those participating in Dry January. [Twitter]

Falls Church Jewelry Store Robbed — Falls Church Police are searching for two men who stole $200,000 to $300,000 worth of jewelry in an armed robbery of a jewelry store on W. Broad Street on Friday afternoon. [City of Falls Church]

Questionable Covid Testing Location in F.C. — “A COVID-19 testing company with a location in Falls Church is the subject of numerous complaints from across the U.S. about its practices.” [Tysons Reporter, USA Today]

Camera Discovered in Laundromat Restroom — A teen girl discovered a camera in the restroom of Surf ‘N’ Suds in Bailey’s Crossroads and Fairfax County Police need help identifying a man who was seen leaving an adjacent restroom at the time of the incident. [Fairfax County Police]

It’s Wednesday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 44. South wind 6 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Sunrise at 7:26 a.m. and sunset at 5:07 p.m. Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high near 46. [Weather.gov]

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Local Man Charged in Bailey’s Xroads Shooting — “Fairfax County police have charged a 33-year-old Arlington man in connection with a shooting that occurred Nov. 20 at the Food Star supermarket at 5521 Leesburg Pike. According to police, officers were called to the store at 6:43 p.m. by Harvey Coleman, of Arlington, after he reported to police he had shot someone in self-defense… Following several interviews and the review of surveillance footage, detectives have charged Coleman with malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.” [Sun Gazette]

Ice Cream Store Now Open in Pentagon City — “Have I got a scoop (get it?) for my followers! For those who may be in search of a sweet treat this afternoon, Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream opened today at ⁦@PentagonRow⁩ (Westpost). Impressive variety.” [Twitter]

Arlington Vet Chooses Health Career — “After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, she was commissioned as an Army officer and chose to attend flight training, following in her late father’s footsteps. Soon, she was soon piloting Blackhawk helicopters… it was the time she was in the military that really prepared her for physician-assistant school.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Northwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Sunrise at 7:06 a.m. and sunset at 4:47 p.m. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 51. South wind 5 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. [Weather.gov]

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It might now be an empty grassy space off of Columbia Pike, but in a few months this site will be home to a giant white spike that serves as a gateway to Arlington County.

Construction is set to begin at the southwest corner of Columbia Pike and S. Jefferson Street on The Pike, a large-scale piece of public art first commissioned nearly a decade ago. The sculpture is expected to be completed by the spring.

Foundation work is first up, beginning with surveying and site utility checks, Jim Byers of Arlington Cultural Affairs tells ARLnow.

To facilitate the work, there will be intermittent lane and sidewalk closures on both Columbia Pike and S. Jefferson Street. Construction will “generally” be between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Weather permitting, construction of the foundation is anticipated to be complete in December,” writes Byers.

After the completion of the foundation and a month-long concrete curing process, the sculpture itself will be installed. That’s expected to happen in early 2022.

The Pike will become part of the Arlington Public Arts’ permanent collection.

The sculpture is being made from a “reclaimed 50-foot tall wind turbine wing” and is supposed to represent a toll gate, in homage to when Columbia Pike was a toll road. The artwork’s location near the border of Arlington and Fairfax counties serves as a representative “gateway,” the county says.

The base of the sculpture will be studded with nearly 5,000 coins from all over the world, collected from county residents. The coins are another nod to Columbia Pike’s history as a toll road.

The Pike will also have lights around its base to illuminate it at night.

The sculpture was designed by Donald Lipski, who in 2017 explained he was inspired by wind turbines, toll gates, and the pike as a spear-like weapon.

“It’s just put up as this big beautiful thing. It’s a found object, it’s recycled, it’s emblematic of wind energy, it’s emblematic of a Pike, but one that’s vertical, one that’s in the open position and says, ‘Come on in. Everybody is welcome. You don’t have to pay a toll even though it used to be a Pike’,” Lipski said at a talk at the Columbia Pike Library at the time.

Back then, there were some objections to the process and design. The Arlington Mill Civic Association criticized the lack of public input and the Douglas Park Civic Association president noted that a blade and a toll gate were not great community representations.

Columbia Pike resident and ARLnow opinion columnist Chris Slatt, meanwhile, opined on Twitter that The Pike follows what appears to be the county’s preference for spikey, vertical sculptures which “would hurt King Kong if he stepped on it.”

The sculpture construction and installation has been included as part of the Columbia Pike Multimodal Improvement Project, a multi-year series of street improvements and utility upgrades along the entire stretch of roadway from the Fairfax border to just before the Pentagon.

The design, fabrication, and installation of The Pike is expected to cost about $250,000, writes Byers, “which is less than 1% of the total construction budget of $37 million for this portion of the Columbia Pike Multimodal Improvement Project.”

When the sculpture is completed next year, an celebration will be planned in coordination with the Columbia Pike Partnership.

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Morning Notes

Charges Dropped Against TikToker — Charges of violating an emergency protective order were dropped earlier this week against Coco Briscoe, the local TikTok personality whose accusations against a pair of local bars and their employees went viral on the video app. A judge previously ended the order, which Briscoe was accused of violating, citing a lack of physical threats. In the comments of one of her videos this week, Briscoe threatened to sue ARLnow for defamation for our coverage of her case. [Twitter, TikTok]

Buyer for Ballston Health Tech Company? — “Evolent Health Inc. saw its share price shoot up Wednesday after Bloomberg reported Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the Illinois holding company that owns pharmacy chain Walgreens, is considering a purchase of the Arlington health system consultancy.” [Washington Business Journal]

Grand Opening for Fire Station No. 10 — “This morning we held our grand opening ceremony for new fire station 10 in @RosslynVA. This fire station provides modern accommodations for our firefighters and allows us to serve our community for decades to come. We are grateful to all who came out to share in this special day.” [Twitter, Patch]

Grant for Local Senior Program — “The Arlington Neighborhood Villages program has received a $30,000 grant from the Community Care Corps to support its mission to help older adults in Arlington age in place while staying connected with the community. The funding will assist the social-safety-net organization in partnering with Culpepper Garden and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to bring services to residents of their apartment communities.” [Sun Gazette]

How Local Nonprofits Faced the Pandemic — “The new report, Safety Net Arlington: rising together to meet historic needs for our community, is told through the voices of the 21 nonprofit leaders in Safety Net Arlington and through the lens of how they worked collaboratively with each other and the County to face unprecedented levels of need through the first 18 months of the pandemic and the economic and racial justice crises.” [Arlington Community Foundation]

New Gym Open in Bailey’s Xroads — “Gold’s Gym is now open at 5718 Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads. There will be a grand opening on Oct. 9, noon-1 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting, food, membership deals, free classes, and prizes for members, including those who sign up on that day. The gym has relocated from its former location on Carlin Springs Road to the former HHGregg store.” [Annandale Blog]

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Pro-Reopening Parent Group Incorporates — “An advocacy organization born of the fight to bring Arlington students back into classrooms has formalized its status as a lobbying group. Arlington Parents for Education has incorporated under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code, giving it tax-exempt status while allowing it to engage in limited political-advocacy efforts.” [Sun Gazette]

Ballston Pierogi Eatery Expanding — “The rebranded Rogi restaurant currently operates out of a kiosk in the Ballston Quarter food hall, where it set up shop in December. Another counter-order location will open in Leesburg’s Chefscape food hall and culinary incubator on Friday, September 10. Hardy is also planning a Tysons branch in the Urbanspace food hall at Tysons Galleria shopping mall, which will likely open by the end of the year.” [Washingtonian]

Murder Near Bailey’s Crossroads — “A man reported missing on Monday in Fairfax County, Virginia, was found dead Wednesday, and police said they have arrested his son on second-degree murder charges. The Fairfax County police said 78-year-old Truman Nguyen was last seen on Sunday and was reported missing on Monday… Police later received a tip that a body might be buried in the yard of Nguyen’s house on the 3300 block of Nevius Street.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Local Real Estate Market Slowing — “When it comes to housing prices and sales, red-hot Arlington County cooled a bit last month compared to last summer — a modest slowdown that the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors says was typical throughout the region. NVAR reports the median price of a home that sold in Arlington County last month was 9% lower than a year ago, and the average number of days on the market, or how long it took to sell a home, was up 35% compared to last July.” [WTOP]

County Board Still Opposes Gondola — “This week, all five members of the Arlington County Board confirmed to the Washington Business Journal their position hasn’t changed. Even the two new Democrats to join the board since it penned that 2017 letter — current Chair Matt de Ferranti and Takis Karantonis — said in interviews that they remain unconvinced, despite the proponents’ recent success in pushing the District to budget $10 million toward the purchase of a potential D.C. landing site near the Key Bridge.” [Washington Business Journal]

Review of Pentagon City Irish Eatery — “Armstrong’s talented hand again showed itself when I sank my teeth into the corned beef. The chef says that each brisket takes three weeks of preparation before it’s ready for diners. He adds that corned beef is more of an Irish-American food than an Irish one, owing to a fusion of influences that met in New York or Boston. His version certainly owes a debt to Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Arlies Voting: Urgent Care Clinic — Voting on the latest Arlies category ends Tuesday afternoon. Let us know about your favorite local urgent care clinic. [ARLnow]

Breakthrough Covid Cases Underreported? — “Virginia’s breakthrough case numbers are likely an undercount. Issues with data reporting made it difficult to report and verify cases among vaccinated people.” [Virginia Mercury]

Nearby: Car Swept Away in Flood Waters — “Here’s what can happen when a huge amount of rain causes flash flooding. A reader sent this photo of a car in the Upper Long Branch Stream between the cul-de-sacs at 6th Street and Glen Forest Drive in Bailey’s Crossroads.” Arlington County firefighters responded as mutual aid on this water rescue call, per scanner traffic last week. [Annandale Blog]

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After suffering a career-ending injury playing college football, Graham Kelley stepped off the field for a while and spent several years working in software sales.

Last year, he decided to return to sports — this time turning his attention to helping young athletes and former athletes like him working desk jobs.

At Capital City Sports Academy, his new gym just over the Arlington County border in Bailey’s Crossroads, Kelley is helping young athletes train safely and encouraging adults to get back into shape. The 4,500-square-foot facility at 3431 Carlin Springs Road had its grand opening on Saturday after a soft opening for a handful of new members last month.

“[The gym] is designed for young athletes in two focuses: speed and agility to develop athleticism, and strength and conditioning to develop core stability and muscle mass necessary for younger athletes as they grow,” he said.

Kelley said his location, close to several high schools in Arlington and Fairfax counties, as well as Alexandria, will benefit a large number of athletes who are requiring more intense, specialized training at younger ages.

“I wish I had a facility like Capital City when I was in high school,” Kelley said. “Thinking back to when I was 10, 11 years old and developing my athleticism, a place like Capital City to learn the fundamentals would have been instrumental in my development. I think the opportunity could have helped me avoid the injury I incurred.”

Training will be overseen by Head Coach and General Manager Chad Ward, who Kelley described as “the most positive person I’ve ever met.”

“Our athletes have responded well, parents are extremely happy with him. It’s been really exciting to see,” he said. “We want to build something special and help local kids shine.”

The facility also offers boot camp-style and circuit-based classes to help former athletes get active again.

“Getting the adult to move again like they’re the athlete they were in the past has shown tons of positive health benefits to counteract the sedentary lifestyle of sitting at a computer for eight hours a day and staring at our phones,” said Kelley.

These classes are open to adults who have never played a sport as well.

“We don’t discriminate,” said Kelley.

The gym offers team training packages for high schools or organizations and also has monthly membership options. Kelley said costs vary by sport and school, so those interested in getting an estimate can email Capital City through its website.

It will be open Monday and Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Park and Langley Photography 

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Morning Notes

Manager: Say No to Rouse Historic Designation — “With much of the physical infrastructure on the site now a pile of rubble, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz wants County Board members to throw in the towel on designating parts of the Rouse estate parcel as a local historic district… While recommending that the County Board reject the historic designation, Schwartz also proposes that staff be directed to come back by October with a report on potential ways the site could be incorporated into Arlington’s historic-preservation and/or affordable-housing efforts.” [Sun Gazette]

Police Looking for Missing ManUpdated at 8:45 a.m. —  The Fairfax County Police helicopter assisted with the search for a missing Arlington man Sunday afternoon. Early his morning, ACPD announced: “[The missing man] has been safely located. Thank you to everyone who assisted by sharing this information.” [Twitter, NBC 4]

DCA Noise Meeting Tonight — “An online public meeting on April 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. will discuss aircraft noise north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Aircraft Noise Mitigation Study meeting, to be hosted by Montgomery County (Md.) Council member Andrew Friedson and Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey, is a follow-up of a meeting held last year by those localities.” [Sun Gazette]

Amazon Cites Va. As Example for Voting Rights — “UPDATE: @Amazon says it opposes state efforts to limit voting rights, urges states to follow Virginia’s lead and make it easier to vote.” [Twitter]

Wakefield Makes Football Playoffs — “For the second straight season and third time in four campaigns, the Wakefield Warriors have qualified for the football region playoffs. Wakefield (4-1, 3-1) clinched a 6D North Region Tournament berth with a 13-0 home victory over the Falls Church Jaguars on April 1 in National District action. It was the team’s final regular-season contest in this condensed high-school schedule.” [Sun Gazette]

Reminder: Water Switch in Effect Today — “It’s… that time of year again: the time when your tap water starts to smell a bit like a swimming pool… On Monday, April 5 the disinfectant used in Arlington County’s drinking water will be temporarily switched from chloramine to chlorine.” [ARLnow]

Nearby: New Store Coming to Bailey’s Xroads — “Five Below is moving into the former Pier One space at the Bailey’s Crossroads Shopping Center. Pier One closed in early 2020. Five Below specializes in items for teens and tweens mostly priced at $5 or less. The stores feature toys, snacks, cosmetics, room décor, sports items, accessories, party supplies, and $5 t-shirts.” [Annandale Blog]

Photo courtesy Christina Schnoor

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Morning Notes

Prosecutor Calls for End to Va. Death Penalty — “Top prosecutors from across Northern Virginia are calling on state lawmakers to take up several criminal justice reform measures at the upcoming General Assembly session.. An end to cash bail, the death penalty, mandatory minimum sentencing and the state’s ‘three strikes’ rule for felony offenses are among the reforms the coalition wants to see lawmakers address during the next General Assembly session, which begins Jan. 13.” [InsideNova]

Pouring One Out for Siné — “Another casualty of the pandemic, we are bummed to report, is the beloved Sine Irish Pub on Pentagon Row, where defense journalists and many of their sources have gathered for countless milestones over the years… We agree the watering hole’s central place in national security cannot be overstated. ‘There wouldn’t be a Space Force without the Pentagon’s Unofficial Officer’s Club, Sine Irish Pub!’ tweeted space policy consultant Ryan Faith.” [Politico]

New Home Near Yorktown HS Impresses — “Take a look at the jewel-toned hues in this pretty Arlington home. This couple built a colorful dream home that recognizes their rural roots but gives it a modern edge.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Murals Make Crystal City More Colorful — “Messages of positivity and inclusiveness in the form of fun and colorful artwork. You can see it with your own eyes on 18th and 20th Street S. in National Landing.” [Twitter]

Rosslyn Physical Therapy Office Bought — “OrthoVirginia is pleased to announce the acquisition of Optimal Physical Therapy in Arlington, VA. This merger allows more continuity of care for patients as well as improves access to physical therapy services.” [Press Release]

Beyer Unloads on Trump — From Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), in response to President Trump questioning the Georgia Senate election results: “Donald Trump is a pathetic, disgraceful liar and the day we are rid of him will be a great day for the United States of America.” [Twitter]

Amazon Eyes Retail Spot in Bailey’s Xroads — “Amazon.com Inc. appears to be taking a portion of a shuttered Safeway supermarket in Baileys Crossroads for another of its full-size grocery stores, at least the fifth in Greater Washington for the e-commerce and cloud computing giant.” [Washington Business Journal]

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