Residents Irked at App-Directed Traffic — Residents who live just west of Crystal City are upset that map apps like Waze keep directing cut-through traffic down S. Fern Street as an alternative to S. Eads Street or Route 1. A resident who spoke at Saturday’s County Board meeting said her complaints to Arlington County staff have not resulted in any action. [InsideNova]
Lions Club Scrambling to Find Xmas Tree Lot — The South Arlington Lions Club is not even sure they’ll be able to hold their annual Christmas tree sale in South Arlington this year. The club’s usual location in the parking lot of the former Food Star is under construction and the club just learned that county land is off-limits to nonprofit fundraising. [InsideNova]
Colorado Has Its Own Serial Pooper — A bizarre situation that’s drawing comparisons to Arlington’s own serial pooper of 2016 is playing out in Colorado. Residents in Colorado Springs say a female jogger has been repeatedly, unapologetically defecating in their neighborhood. [Deadspin, Washington Post]
Nauck Leaders Lauded — A pair of community stalwarts were honored by the Nauck Civic Association in a ceremony this past weekend. “Wanda Pierce was lauded for her tenure leading the Arlington Community Foundation,” while “Cleveland ‘Bubby’ James Jr., another longtime resident, was honored for his work with the youth and young adults of Nauck and the entire county.” [InsideNova]
There were only 19 package thefts reported to police in October, November and December of 2016, according to ACPD. During that same period in 2015, 23 package thefts were reported.
The number of package thefts in December specifically was higher: 12 reports in 2016 versus 8 reports for 2015. However, police say there was no series of package thefts, like there was in 2014 when one suspect was accused of at least 40 thefts.
Arlington police have been encouraging residents to have their packages shipped to secure locations or to take other steps to prevent criminals from stealing their holiday gift shipments.
“Package thefts are crimes of opportunity as criminals target packages left unattended,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The Arlington County Police Department recommends removing the opportunity for crime by: tracking your package so that you know when to expect it at your doorstep, requiring signature for your packages, having someone you trust accept the package, utilizing in store pickup or lockers and/or holding packages at mail facilities for pickup.”
To help spread awareness, the department created the graphic above, used its social media channels to distribute information and had its district teams reach out to residents at meetings.
An Arlington County police officer received a little holiday cheer from a secret gift giver yesterday.
One of the department’s officers found a gift card and note of gratitude left anonymously on the windshield of an ACPD cruiser.
That kind of appreciation isn’t exactly a common occurrence for the ACPD. Typically only the officers working on Christmas receive a little something extra: a meal provided by an employee group.
This holiday season there was, however, another notable demonstration of appreciation when a Brownie troop dropped off festive reindeer-shaped treats last week.
No matter how big or small, members of the ACPD are grateful for positive recognition from the public, both during the holidays and throughout the year.
“We appreciate the support we receive from our community,” said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “We’re often asked how citizens can show their appreciation for our officers. A simple thank you and handshake goes a long way for those working over the holidays.”
For those who are served by Arlington County’s curbside trash pickup, Christmas tree collection will run from Jan. 2-13, 2017.
“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day and to remove all decorations, nails, stands and plastic bags,” the county notes on its website. “The trees are later ground into wood mulch for garden use.”
Arlington residents can also bring their trees to the county’s Solid Waste Bureau near Shirlington for recycling. Or, if you want to hang on to your tree well into the new year, just throwing in the trash is an option.
“After Jan. 13, please prepare the tree for yard waste collection on your regular trash collection day,” the county website says.
Man Found Dead in Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — A middle-aged man was found dead in the bathroom at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Crystal City Monday afternoon. The restaurant was closed and the man was found by a cleaning crew. Arlington County police say the death is not considered suspicious. [WTOP, Fox 5]
Same-Sex Marriage Rate Falls — So far in 2016, only 1.9 percent of the more than 3,600 marriage licenses issued by the Arlington Circuit Court were issued to same-sex couples. That compares to 5.3 percent from June to December 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally. The first same-sex marriage in Arlington took place in Oct. 2014. [InsideNova]
Morning Rush Hour Crash on I-395 — Several lanes of northbound I-395 were blocked near Shirlington Circle this morning due to a crash. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Reunited With Trophy — Arlington resident Larry Funkhouser has been reunited with a high school baseball trophy he won 50 years ago but had since lost. Thanks to a post on the “I grew up in Arlington” Facebook page, the trophy was located at an antique shop in Purcellville and delivered to Funkhouser just in time for Christmas. [Fox 5]
Arlington’s Family Christmas Miracle — An Arlington couple’s two-year-old has become only the fifth child in the country to receive an auditory brainstem implant surgery. As a result of the procedure, which is in a clinical trial, the child, who was born deaf, can now hear. [WJLA]
The team behind ARLnow.com wishes you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah this weekend.
Barring major breaking news, we will be taking a brief holiday hiatus until Tuesday morning. In the meantime, you’re welcome to discuss the holiday or any other topic of local interest in the comments.
We leave you with the following original poem, written by local resident James Miller in iambic trimeter. It’s entitled “Christmas in Rosslyn.”
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
Lights shine like the dawning.
The wreaths are strewn across
Storefront and the awning.
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
Many a sight be seen
on Wilson Boulevard.
Baubles of red and green.
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
The new buildings in grow.
Progress for the new year.
Concrete with hope, we sow.
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
Iwo Jima lights dark.
Heroes for a nation.
In ground we leave their mark.
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
Cemetery sits cold.
Wreaths lie in remembrance.
The sacrifice of old.
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
The few do still recall.
The true love offered for
The victims of the Fall.
Christmas here in Rosslyn.
May we remember why
The gift we all receive
The day our death did die.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
County government offices, courts, libraries and facilities will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 25 and Monday, Dec. 26 for Christmas, and on Sunday, Jan. 1 and Monday, Jan. 2 for New Year’s.
Parking meters will not be enforced during that time, though trash and recycling collection will proceed as normal.
Libraries will also be closed on Saturday, Dec. 24, while courts are closed today and Saturday. Arlington Public Schools are on break from Dec. 22-Jan. 2.
The county jail will remain open for inmate visits, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1-2.
Sun Gazette Moving HQ to Falls Church — The Sun Gazette newspaper is moving its headquarters from McLean to the city of Falls Church. The paper, which has an Arlington edition and a McLean/Great Falls/Vienna/Oakton edition, has previously, under its current editor, had its headquarters in Dunn Loring, Alexandria and Springfield. [InsideNova]
Review of Synetic’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ — Crystal City-based physical theater company Synetic is performing its unique take on “Sleeping Beauty” through Jan. 8. It has received a laudatory review from Broadway World. “Every mimed motion, from a butterfly alighting on a hand to that fated spinning wheel wound, is flawlessly executed and transports audiences to a place beyond imagination,” the publication wrote. [Broadway World]
Children of Inmates Receive Gifts — The annual “Project Christmas Angel” initiative has distributed more than 1,100 gifts this year to nearly 400 children whose parents will be locked up in the Arlington County jail or in state prisons over the holidays. The project also supports kids who have a parent that was recently released from incarceration. [InsideNova]
Final ‘Around Arlington’ of 2016 — The final episode of the county-produced Around Arlington television segment features updates on the Four Mile Run Valley initiative, humanitarian award winners and plans for 2017. [YouTube]
Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah to all of our listeners!
We close out 2016 with a special holiday podcast, featuring Rev. Sarah Harrison-McQueen of Central United Methodist Church in Ballston, Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin Sr. of Macedonia Baptist Church in Nauck, Rabbi Lia Bass of Congregation Etz Hayim along Route 50, and an exclusive interview with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
This is a family-friendly episode that you can feel free to let your kids listen to.
Looking for a last-minute holiday gift idea for a special Arlingtonian in your life? We’ve got just the list for you.
Below are the top dozen Arlington-related gifts to be found on Amazon.com.
Have other ideas? Let us know in the comments.
“Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark knows the history of Arlington better than almost anyone. In this 224 page tome, Clark “regales with stories of politics, personalities and everything in between.”
2. Murder Across the Board: An Arlington County Mystery by Jane Barcroft
There are theories as to who Jane Barcroft really is, but guessing is half the fun. Jane’s two-book literary career started with this mid-aughts novel about “the April morning that the County Board meeting was gaveled to order by a fatal gunshot.”
3. Clarendon T-Shirt by GreatCitees
Large: $13.99 + $5.99 shipping
Available in both white and gray and a wide variety of sizes, this unisex t-shirt will have you “looking cool and stylish” while you announce to the world your love of all things Clarendon. Printed with “direct-to-garment printing technology.”
Northern Virginia native Dave Grohl and company recorded “The Feast and the Famine,” one of the songs from their Sonic Highways album and HBO series, at Arlington’s legendary Inner Ear Studios (2710 S. Oakland Street). Read more about it here.
5. The Falafel Album by GoRemy
Local funnyman Remy Munasifi released this comedy album in 2010 but it still holds up, with parody songs like “Saudis in Audis,” the “Metro Song” and “Passive-Aggressive Love Song.” Not included: Remy’s classic “Arlington Rap.”
6. How Your City Works!! Behind the Scenes in Arlington by Spencer and Avery Park
A pair of Arlington elementary school students wrote this 44-page book about how stuff works in our fair county. Almost as impressive as the inner workings of Arlington’s infrastructure: the fact that this was the authors’ second book.
7. Antique Arlington Map Cufflinks by Beluga Home Studio
Handmade: $39.95 + $5.00 shipping
A copy of a “circa 1900’s antique map of The Old Dominion State” was used to create these sepia-tinted cufflinks. The word “Glencarlyn” is featured prominently above “Arlington,” so if you live in the Glencarlyn neighborhood then double whammy.
8. Historic Photos of Arlington County by Matthew Gilmore
“Historic Photos of Arlington County brings together many different images and perspectives on Arlington, from the non-recognizable rural nineteenth century to quite recognizable images from the 1970s. It captures the manifold aspects of the county in striking, black-and-white photographs.”
9. Retro, Vintage Style Arlington Shirt by Ann Arbor T-Shirt Co.
Let’s be honest about it, if you love Arlington enough to buy this ugly t-shirt, you’d probably pay the same amount for a stylish ARLnow t-shirt. Email us and we’ll tell you where to Paypal the money.
Learn more about tech pioneer, Google Doodle honoree, United States Navy Rear Admiral and all-around badass Grace Hopper. Her work “laid the foundation for the development of user-friendly personal computers.”
The winner of seven Academy Awards, this film stars Arlington native Sandra Bullock. Last year “Sandy” Bullock told the Daily Mail that her Washington-Lee High School cheerleading uniform still fits like a glove.
12. Images of America: Arlington by the Arlington Historical Society
“Through this unique pictorial retrospective, readers will explore some of the county’s early villages, such as Glencarlyn, Queen City, Cherrydale, and Barcroft, and will enjoy viewing the transition from the early trolley lines and Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, which first brought growth to the area.”
Photos via Amazon.com
Icy Saturday Morning — Several crashes were reported around Arlington Saturday as freezing rain turned roads and sidewalks into sheets of ice. The slippery conditions lasted for most of the morning, before a warm-up started melting the ice around lunchtime. [Storify]
Wreaths Laid at ANC — Despite the icy weather, tens of thousands of volunteers helped to lay 245,000 wreaths on grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday morning. Arlington County Police assisted with crowd control for the annual Christmastime event. [WTOP, The Blaze, Twitter]
Students, School Board Speak Out on Boundary Changes — At last week’s Arlington School Board meeting, students spoke in opposition to high school boundary changes some see as furthering racial segregation. School Board members, however, defended their recent boundary change vote. [Washington Post, InsideNova, YouTube]
Borderstan Closes, Editor Coming to ARLnow — Borderstan, ARLnow.com’s sister site that covers the mid-city neighborhoods of D.C., is shutting down at the end of the week. One of its co-editors, Tim Regan, will be joining the ARLnow team in January. [Borderstan, Washingtonian]
Photo courtesy Becca Collins
The regional SoberRide program is offering free taxi rides this holiday season, starting tonight (Friday).
More from a press release:
Combating that holiday period which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says is a “dangerous time to be on the road due to a high number of drunk drivers behind the wheel,”* a local nonprofit organization announced today that free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout Arlington County, Virginia.
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the annual Holiday SoberRide® program will operate between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am each evening between Friday, December 16, 2016 and Sunday, January 1, 2017 as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk, holiday period.
During the evening hours, between December 16th and January 1st, Washington-metropolitan area residents celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1-800-200-TAXI and be afforded a no-cost (up to $ 30 fare), safe way home. (AT&T wireless users can dial #WRAP for the same service.)
“Last December, nearly 1,500 (1,456) Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President. “For SoberRide’s hours of operation during just last New Year’s Eve, alone, such ridership (580) translated into the removal of a would-be drunk driver from our shared roadways every 49-seconds.”
SoberRide is offered in the: District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William. In these areas, local taxicab companies will be providing this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.
Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 65,385 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
Sponsors of this year’s Holiday SoberRide offering include: AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.
Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.
Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths historically lower than the national average.
More information about WRAP’s SoberRide initiative can be found at www.soberride.com.
Traffic congestion at DCA is expected to be at its worst from 7-9 a.m. and 2-6 p.m. The peak holiday travel period is expected to last through Wednesday, Jan. 4.
From a Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority press release:
Travelers using Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport this holiday season are advised of possible roadway congestion associated with record volumes of travelers flying at the airport. Drivers on airport roadways experienced delays during the 2016 Thanksgiving travel rush. Airport officials urge the public to plan ahead and consider alternatives to driving when making plans to use Reagan National between December 16, 2016, and January 4, 2017.
Suggested strategies and alternatives include:
- Riding Metrorail to and from the airport
- Using the second airport exit from the George Washington Memorial Parkway coming south from Washington, D.C. This route provides more direct access to Terminal A and Economy parking.
- Allowing extra travel time to reach terminals, lots and garages
- Avoiding airport roads if the airport is not your destination
Airport roadway congestion often peaks from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 2 to 6 p.m., coinciding with local rush hours and the busiest movement of airline passengers. Congestion often extends beyond these times on days immediately before and after major holidays.
Customers parking at Reagan National are advised to reserve parking in advance at flyreagan.com/epark and check parking availability on overhead signs or at flyreagan.com/parking.
Clarendon Ballroom Battles Alt-Right Blitz — After beating up on Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation earlier this month, the alt-right faction seeking to hold inauguration rallies and parties in Arlington has focused its attention on the Clarendon Ballroom. The Ballroom, one alt-right leader alleges, turned away their planned “DeploraBall” due to political pressure. The Ballroom, however, says the organizers never actually signed a contract. Since then, the Ballroom has been receiving “hundreds of slanderous, dangerous, vulgar and threatening posts and tweets,” along with threatening phone calls. [NBC Washington, Washington Post]
Library Director’s Christmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released her annual “mix tape of seasonal favorites” on the library blog. This year’s list is a Spotify playlist that starts with Diana Krall’s rendition of “Let It Snow” and concludes, on a unique-to-2016 note, with “World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies. [Arlington Public Library]
Six Fired by Metro in EFC Derailment — Following an investigation, Metro has fired six track inspectors and supervisors and demoted several others in the wake of July’s East Falls Church train derailment. Additional firings are in the works. [WJLA]
Arlington Community Foundation Grants — The Arlington Community Foundation has approved grants to 26 local nonprofits and school, totally nearly $100,000. [Patch]
Rosslyn’s Holiday Market Festival + Bonfire kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday with the opening of an artisan holiday market in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The market will be feature more than 25 vendors with “a full variety of unique and high quality gifts.”
That will be followed at 5:30 p.m. by the opening of a number of local food trucks and a bar serving spiced red sangria, mulled cider, beer and wine. At 7 p.m. a bonfire will be lit and a DJ will start spinning. From 8-11 p.m. 80s cover band The Reflex will perform.
On Saturday, the Great Chocolate Race, a five mile chocolate-themed race, will start at 7:30 a.m. on N. Kent Street. That will be followed by a finish festival in Gateway Park, with food trucks and the bar opening early to serve hot chocolate and bloody marys.
The holiday market will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue until 3 p.m., with live musical performances, gingerbread house workshops and a visit from Santa in between.
A number of road closures are planned for Saturday’s race. From ACPD:
The Great Chocolate Race will take place on Saturday, December 10, 2016. The following roadways will be closed for this event:
- Wilson Blvd. between N. Lynn St. and Route 110 will be closed from 5:00am until 12:00pm.
- Kent St. between Wilson Blvd. and N. 19th St. will be closed from 2:00am until 12:00pm.
- Route 110 between Wilson Blvd. and I-395 will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00 am.
- Route 27 from Route 110 to Columbia Pike (Westbound Only) will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00am.
- Columbia Pike from Route 27 to the Air Force Memorial Entrance (Westbound Only) will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00am. Eastbound Columbia Pike will be routed to Joyce St.
- Southgate Road will be closed at Columbia Pike from 6:00am to 11:00am.
- Joyce Street heading north from Army Navy Drive will be closed from 6:00am until 11:00am.
- Traffic from the Pentagon South Parking Lot will not be allowed west on Columbia Pike, all traffic will be routed on Route 27 toward the George Washington Parkway.
Street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.