Christmas Tree Pickup Underway — For residents eligible for Arlington County’s trash collection service, the special curbside Christmas tree service is currently underway. Trees will be hauled away on the regular trash collection day through Jan. 11 and turned into mulch. [Arlington County]
Shutdown Could Hurt Local Businesses — “In Greater Washington, that could mean about 40 percent of approximately 362,000 federal workers — about 145,000 — would not receive roughly $15 million per day in pay, according to rough estimates… The shutdown is likely to hit industries that depend heavily on the discretionary spending of federal workers and contractors.” [Washington Business Journal]
Would-Be Local Amazon Locations — Among the places Amazon could have gone to in Northern Virginia, if it did not pick the Pentagon City and Crystal City area for its new office campus, were Alexandria near the Eisenhower Metro station and Rosslyn, with a prominent skyline view along the Potomac. [Washington Business Journal]
Ads on Virginia School Buses? — “Advertising on the back end of school buses? It could be coming to the Old Dominion. The state legislature again this session will consider a proposal by Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-Bristol) allowing school districts to place commercial advertising between the rear wheels and the rear of the bus.” [InsideNova]
Metro Touts Fewer Fires — “Metro will end 2018 with the lowest number of insulator-related smoke/fire incidents in years – 66 percent fewer compared to 2016 – despite record rainfall this year. Water infiltration in Metro’s tunnels has historically been the leading cause of such incidents.” [WMATA]
Pre-Boarding Snafu at DCA — “A couple says their holiday trip to Virginia was ruined by a traumatic incident on their flight home. A disabled husband was forced to pre-board alone, while his sick wife had to stay behind at the gate” for a Southwest Airlines flight at Reagan National Airport. [Fox 5]
Flickr pool photo by Maryland Nomadic
It’s Christmas Eve and ARLnow will now be taking a one-day break for the holiday.
We’ll see you back here on Wednesday for business as usual, with the addition of our annual countdown of top stories on the site. Can you guess what’s No. 1?
In the meantime, our team wishes you and yours a very merry Christmas.
Amazon’s Helipad in Doubt — Amazon requested that it be able to build a helipad at both of its new campuses, in Crystal City and New York City. But it’s unlikely that the company will be able to win approval for operating a private helicopter in the restricted airspace around Washington. [WAMU]
Wawa Looks to NoVa — “‘Fairfax County and Northern Virginia is a really important market for us,’ Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens was quoted as saying… ‘We are looking at strategically bending our store model to get more access to that area and plan to announce some openings in that area coming up.'” [Tysons Reporter]
Metro Holiday Schedule — Metro is operating on a reduced schedule today and tomorrow, as well as New Year’s Day. It will operate on a regular weekday schedule on New Year’s Eve, with special late night service until 2 a.m. [WMATA]
Christmas Is a Recycling Nightmare — “Your holiday wish list – or at least what it comes wrapped in – may be causing big problems for recyclers. ‘It surprises a lot of people,’ Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau Operations Manager Shani Kruljac said. Here’s the deal: a bunch of holiday-related stuff you may assume is recyclable actually isn’t.” [Fox 5]
APS Seeking Nominations for Top Cross Guards — “Arlington Public Schools is asking the public to consider nominating local crossing guards for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards competition… Nominations are open through Jan. 25.” [InsideNova]
Arlington Firms Awarded Federal Contracts — Ballston-based CACI has been awarded “a prime position” on a $12.1 billion U.S. Army information technology contract. Meanwhile “DTS, a small business in Arlington, Virginia, has won a $2.6 million contract with the Fish & Wildlife Services to provide IT program management and change management services.” [BusinessWire, Washington Technology]
Anyone looking for some extra company for the holidays in the form of a four-legged friend might want to swing by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington sometime in the next few days.
The AWLA is looking for foster parents willing to take in a shelter pet over Christmas and New Year’s, launching a “Home for the Holidays” drive this week.
From now through Sunday (Dec. 23), anyone willing to take in a dog or cat can visit the shelter at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive. Foster parents will be expected to care for their animals through Dec. 27, or can apply for an extension through Jan. 2.
AWLA will provide all basic supplies for foster pets, but anyone picking up a furry boarder will likely need to bring a leash or pet carrier.
The shelter asks that participants keep foster pets separate from any owned pets, and that any “foster cats/rabbits/guinea pigs are kept strictly indoors and foster dogs are not taken to dog parks,” AWLA wrote on its website.
Anyone who decides to adopt their foster pet will also receive $25 off AWLA’s adoption fee.
The shelter has full details available on its website.
Photo via @AWLAArlington
Christmas Closures in Arlington — “Arlington County Government offices, courts and libraries will be closed on Mon., Dec. 24 and Tue., Dec. 25, 2018, for Christmas and on Tue., Jan. 1, 2019, for New Year’s Day. Courts will also be closed on Dec. 31, 2018, and libraries will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31.” [Arlington County]
Low-Income Workers Finding Metro Alternatives — “As Metro fares have risen, hours for train service have been cut and gentrification has made it more difficult for low-income workers to live near rail stations, workers making lower wages in Washington and in Arlington have become less likely to commute by transit… down 5 percent from the previous five years.” [Washington Post]
Arlington, Alexandria Firefighters Learning Yoga — “It’s a revolutionary training course helping firefighters cope [with] stress & sleep deprivation. One firefighter who was at the Pentagon on 9/11 says it helps him deal [with] the memory of that day.” [NBC Washington, Twitter]
Holiday Wrapping Paper Alternatives — Local designer Beth Singer, whose firm designed the ARLnow logo, has penned a new blog post just in time for the holidays: “Five Reasons I Will Never Buy Wrapping Paper Again.” [Beth Singer Design]
Eclectic Estate Sale Near Clarendon — “Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for that special person? Are you a collector of unusual paintings, furniture, or sculpture? A curious browser of all things uncommon and quirky? You won’t want to miss this special estate sale, this weekend in Ashton Heights.” [Team Cathell]
Nearby: Amazon’s Effect on Chirilagua — “Between Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood and the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington is a swath of land home to a vibrant Hispanic community… For many Chirilagua residents, Amazon’s arrival threatens the end of the community they love, bringing increased housing costs, new residents and creeping gentrification.” [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Christmas Travel Crunch Starts Today — “A record number of people are expected to travel this Christmas season, spurred on by economic comfort and relatively modest gas prices… This year INRIX, a traffic data firm, has forecast the very worst time for drivers to set out on the highways, and for the Washington region, that’s five days before Christmas, on Dec. 20, between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.” [Washington Post]
County Manager Pans ART Service — “‘The ART bus performance, recently, stinks,’ Mark Schwartz said during a meeting with Arlington County Civic Federation delegates… In the second quarter of 2018, on-time performance dropped to 83 percent from 92 percent a year before, according to data provided to the county government’s Transit Advisory Committee. Ridership in that quarter was down 14 percent from a year before.” [InsideNova]
Free ART Rides Today and Tomorrow — “Free ART rides on Thurs. December 20 & Fri. December 21. Everyone rides for free! Happy holidays and thank you for riding ART!” [Twitter]
Small Fire in Under-Construction Home — “ACFD is on the scene of a small trash fire at an under-construction home near Discovery Elementary and Williamsburg Middle School.” [Twitter]
Ballston Company Announces New Funding — “Acendre, a leader in secure, cloud-based talent management software for regulated industry verticals, today announced a majority growth investment from Strattam Capital. The investment will enable Acendre to accelerate its growth and more quickly advance its innovative, easy-to-use Software as a Service (SaaS) talent management platform, which helps organizations solve some of today’s most challenging hiring problems.” [Acendre]
Amazon Joins Arlington Chamber — “Amazon.com Inc. has agreed to join the Greater Washington Hispanic and Arlington chambers of commerce and could join more in the region in 2019… The e-commerce giant formally joined the 760-member Arlington chamber on Dec. 3. and subsequently sent a senior public policy official to its annual meeting on Dec. 7, said Kate Bates, chamber president.” [Washington Business Journal]
Nearby: Georgetown Wawa Opening Today — “What an exciting couple of days this week will bring, for fans of hoagies and tacos and caffeine and alcohol-infused frozen Pepsi products. Wawa announced Monday it will open its second D.C. location Thursday, in Georgetown at 1222 Wisconsin Ave. NW. As usual, the event will feature free coffee and a sampling of Wawa fare, in addition to a ‘Georgetown-inspired beverage.'” [WTOP]
Nearby: D.C. Population Breaks 700K — “Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released new official population numbers that put the District’s population at 702,455 as of July 1, 2018. The District’s population has risen every year since 2006 and has soared by more than 100,000 people since the 2010 Census.” [PoPville]
Flickr pool photo by Maryland Nomadic
More Details on WeWork in Rosslyn — “WeWork has made it official: The coworking space provider is expanding, in a big way, into Rosslyn. Its newest location, expected to open in the second quarter of 2019, will include more than 1,400 desks across four floors of JBG Smith Properties’ CEB Tower, 1201 Wilson Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]
Wreaths Laid Despite Rain — “Despite the rain, tens of thousands of volunteers came out on Saturday to lay wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery… President Trump made an appearance, speaking to soldiers while at the cemetery.” [WJLA, Fox News]
Explainer: State Roads in Arlington — “Though it’s not obvious, the roads you use every day are owned by an overlapping patchwork of governments, regulatory bodies, and private interests. This isn’t a story of tyrannical state governments imposing their will upon localities, but of intergovernmental coordination that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.” [Greater Greater Washington]
New ART Route Starts Today — “ART 72 connects North Arlington to Ballston and Shirlington. The new route, along with Metrobus 22A/C, brings more frequent weekday service between Ballston and Shirlington. Service operates every 20 minutes during rush hours and every 30 minutes the rest of the day.” [Arlington Transit]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
Rolling Thunder to Coming to a Stop — The 2019 Rolling Thunder rally will be the group’s last Memorial Day rally in the D.C. area, organizers say. The rally has brought thousands of bikers, along with road closures and motorcycle noise, to Arlington over the past three decades. [Washington Post]
The Gritty Pre-History of Crystal City — “Before development flourished (the entrepreneurs offered bargain rates to federal agencies), the area ‘was a conglomeration of places that sold junk, used tires, a drive-in movie theater, a run-down ice skating rink, second-hand materials — it was very unattractive…’ The industrial area leading to the Potomac Yard railway tracks for decades was bordered by sketchy bar-rooms of the 19th-century Jackson City and National Airport’s precursor, Hoover Field.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Seasonal Pop-Ups at Pentagon City Mall — A trio of “seasonal pop-up shops” are opening at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City: Chukulata, a sweet shop selling crepes and other treats; PolarX Ornaments, selling holiday decor and personalized ornaments; and Trunk and Drawer, which “specializes in men’s fashionable undergarments as well as sleepwear, activewear and swimwear,” per a press release.
Stepped Up DUI Enforcement Underway — “To help spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving, the Arlington County Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives during the national high-visibility enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which runs from December 13-31, 2018.” [Arlington County]
JBG Buying More Sites in ‘National Landing’ — “JBG Smith Properties has reached a deal to buy a development site across from Virginia Tech’s planned innovation campus in Alexandria, part of a larger strategy to acquire land in and around the National Landing area that includes Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]
Nearby: Old Town Getting Left Behind? — “The old guard of Alexandria, mainly in Old Town, has for decades wielded a sort of NIMBY clout and deployed ample financial resources to fight projects. The plans to activate Alexandria’s 8.6-acre waterfront were delayed for years due to community pushback and legal challenges… But fears that Alexandria will be left behind as competition intensifies with flashier destinations such as National Harbor and The Wharf are spurring change.” [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Arrest Made in Rosslyn Stabbing — “Police identified the [stabbing] suspect as Isiah Hill, 61, of Washington D.C. and obtained warrants for Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Abduction. At approximately 2:15 p.m. on December 12, the U.S. Marshals Service, with the assistance of the Arlington County Police Department, took the suspect into custody in Washington, D.C.” [Arlington County]
Isabella Restaurants File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — Embattled chef Mike Isabella’s restaurant group has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. Barring a last-minute rescue, most of his restaurants, including Pepita, Yona, and Kapnos Taverna in Ballston, are likely to close by Dec. 27. [Washingtonian]
Home Sales Still Down in Arlington — “A total of 198 properties went to closing across the county in November… That’s down nearly 22 percent from a year before, coming on top of a 13-percent year-over-year drop in October sales. But year-over-year average sales prices were stable in two of the three segments of the market.” [InsideNova]
Another Big Metro Shutdown Planned — “Next summer’s shutdown of the Blue and Yellow lines south of Reagan National Airport will run from May 25 through Sept. 2, 2019. Additional Blue Line single-tracking between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield is planned from Sept. 3 through Sept. 29.” [WTOP]
Video: Dogs and Santa in Shirlington — “About 100 dogs got their pictures taken with Santa Claus by a professional pet photographer at Dogma Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique in Arlington, Virginia. From large Golden Retrievers to pint-sized Chihuahuas, the pups were dressed for the holidays.” [Voice of America]
Photo courtesy Ray Villarreal
Rosslyn Shooter Sentenced — “A man who worked as an investigator for conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman will serve nine years in prison for shooting and wounding his ex-boss” in a Rosslyn hotel parking garage. [Washington Post]
Marijuana Arrest Disparity — “African Americans were more than eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana crimes in Arlington from 2010-2016.” [Bacon’s Rebellion]
More on Long Bridge Plan — “New plans call to double the number of railroad tracks over the Potomac River between DC and Arlington, and to build a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge between Southwest Washington and Crystal City.” [Greater Greater Washington]
New Gym Coming to Arlington — “Blink Fitness is gearing up to expand into Northern Virginia with five new locations in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax. Northern Virginia-based Cove Fitness LLC inked the 10-year agreement with the New York fitness chain to bring gyms to the region that will create about 70 jobs and occupy 90,000 square feet.” [Washington Business Journal]
Crystal City Still in Spotlight — “I spent a day in Crystal City, Virginia — and it’s easy to see why Amazon picked it for its new HQ2 headquarters.” [Business Insider]
Most Elaborate Cubicle Xmas Decoration Ever? — At WJLA in Rosslyn, a TV director named Mason Herndon has converted his office cubicle into a log cabin complete with fake snow, a fake fireplace and Christmas lights. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
The Winter Festival of Lights is set to brighten up various spots along Lee Highway with 10,000 lights on Saturday (Dec. 1).
From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., locals can check out the free festival’s four different venues, which will have holiday music, shopping, performances, art, food and photos with Santa.
The first stop at the Lee Arts Center (5722 Lee Highway) includes a kid-friendly crafting area in the artists’ studios where families can make buttons, watch local artists make ceramic bowls for the AFAC Empty Bowls fundraiser and learn how to make a holiday card with the printing press.
The second spot along the corridor, next to the Petco at 5400 Lee Highway, features magic and puppies. Attendees can meet Marymount University’s Pattern Makers and Fashion Club, chat with Arlington County library staff and learn from Arlington planners about the upcoming Lee Highway Planning Study while munching on food from Peter Chang and Harris Teeter.
The schedule includes:
- Christmas trees and wreaths available at the All Seasons Farm Market
- Performance by magician Steve Kish from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Performance by Jack Russell terriers Mario and Bella, who will show off a variety of tricks during the Jacks are Wild Dog Show
- A donation box for pet food from the Arlington Animal Welfare League
- How-to workshop for “cloved oranges” and Mt. Vernon-style natural wreaths with Melanie Welles Creamer from Mt. Vernon’s Greenhouse
Holiday enthusiasts can also head to the Langston-Brown Community Center (2121 N. Culpeper Street) to learn about local history and take photos with Santa and firefighters. Food from the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe and Joe’s Place Pizza & Pasta will be available.
Other activities there include:
- Compete for prizes in the Amazing Passport Race
- Book signing by local author Wilma Jones for “My Halls Hill Family, More Than a Neighborhood”
- Exhibition from the winners of a biennial program that recognizes excellence in architecture, historic preservation, landscape architecture and public art
- Toy charitable dropbox from the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH)
- Music from the Celestial Voices, The Arlington Chorale and Clarinestique Clarinet Choir
Finally, the “Shop Like a Local Holiday Market” at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire House (3900 Lee Highway) tops off the festivities.
Photo via Lee Highway Alliance
The first TV commercials started around Halloween. Mall storefronts began to change over around the same time.
Yes, Christmas starts early these days. But not everyone likes the mid-autumn kickoff to the holiday season.
One sure sign of having the holiday spirit is when one starts listening to holiday music. Locally, WASH-FM switched to all Christmas music on Nov. 16, while SiriusXM turned on its Holiday Traditions channel on Nov. 1.
The time-honored Arlington holiday tradition, Miracle on 23rd Street, continues this year with its festive community tree lighting, arrival of Santa Claus and seasonal celebration to benefit those in need to kick off the holiday season.
Melwood, the leading nonprofit employer of people of differing abilities and wounded veterans in the Greater Washington D.C. metro area, is hosting this year’s event after recently acquiring Linden Resources, an Arlington organization of a similar mission, which previously hosted the event for more than 50 years.
“Melwood is proud to keep the tradition alive as we set up our new campus in Crystal City and make friends with our new neighbors,” said Cari DeSantis, president and CEO of Melwood. “We are excited about becoming part of this vibrant community, and we hope to make this longstanding traditional event better than ever.”
The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30, at 750 23rd Street South in Crystal City. Admission is free and you can register at this site.
The celebration begins with the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree and the much-anticipated arrival of Santa, escorted by representatives of Arlington’s Police and Fire Departments. Photo opportunities with Saint Nick, face painting and free cookies are included in the festivities. New this year is a “virtual reality sleigh ride,” compliments of electronics pioneer, Samsung.
Melwood is one of the largest employers of people of differing abilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers — nearly 1,000 of whom are of differing abilities.
For 55 years, Melwood has offered job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Its merger with Linden Resources last year, allowed for an expansion of job opportunities, partnerships and services in a larger geographical area.
As the busiest shopping season of the year draws near, the Pentagon City mall is adding five new stores.
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City announced Thursday (Nov. 15) that it would be welcoming the new retailers, with some opening right away and others rolling out in the coming weeks.
Per a press release, those additions include:
- JD Sports: The England-based sports-fashion retail company will open in a 4,700-square-foot space near the Macy’s on the third level in late November.
- Last Stop: The chain offering clothes and accessories will open on the mall’s third level near Life in DC in a 4,500-square-foot space.
- ME2: The store, offering “authentic African garments and accessories,” is now open in a 1,000-square-foot space on the first level, near NYX Professional Makeup.
- On1E Fashion: The women’s athleticwear shop is now open in a 1,200-square-foot storefront located on the third level near The Athlete’s Foot.
- Why Not Men’s Boutique: Offering men’s clothing and accessories, the shop is now open in a 500-square-foot space on the second level, next to Tumi
As part of the moves, the mall also announced that the salon and spa K & I Beauty will be relocating to a first level near Godiva Chocolatier. A new pop-up cake shop is on the way as well.
Cure your sweet tooth with the Ravy Cakes Pop Up at Pentagon City Mall near the food court! These delicious treats will be available now – Nov. 18th Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 🎂 🍰 🍭 🍬 pic.twitter.com/Dk68hrdcH7
— Pentagon City Mall (@FashionCtrPC) November 15, 2018
The mall is also readying for the arrival of Christmas, and is starting up its annual photos with Santa Claus. The full schedule, from the mall’s website, is as follows:
11/19/18 – 11/21/18: 11AM-8PM
11/23/18-11/24/18: 10 AM-8PM
12/24/18: 8AM-6PM (The last guest to enter the Santa line will be at 4:30 p.m to allow Santa and his crew to leave at 6PM to deliver toys!)
Photo via Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, holiday season preparations are right around the corner. Arlington residents in search of a Christmas tree can head to these spots to pick out the perfect pine.
The Optimist Club of Arlington will start its annual tree sale next at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23 in the Wells Fargo Bank lot along Lee Highway (2213 N. Glebe Road). The sales will end around Dec. 21 depending on availability, according to a press release.
Its hours are:
- Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.
- Friday, noon to 8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The lot will also have wreaths, garland and White House Christmas ornaments available for purchase. All of the proceeds go to the club’s youth programs, which provide support and scholarships to local children.
For the first time this year, the Optimist Club will also be selling trees at a second location.
From Dec. 5-7, the club and the Ballston BID will operate a “pop-up lot” in the Ballston Gold’s Gym parking lot on Wilson Blvd. The lot is scheduled to be open from 3-7 p.m. and will offer smaller trees than the main Wells Fargo lot. A food truck is also set to serve food for tree shoppers.
The Arlington South Lions Club will begin its annual Christmas tree sale next Friday, Nov. 23, as well.
The sale will take place at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive from noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends until Dec. 24. Also planned is a Christmas Tree 5K on the W&OD Trail on Saturday, Dec. 1.
“Benefits from the Christmas Tree 5K and Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale will provide resources for sight preservation, disaster relief, Arlington Youth activities, the Arlington Free Clinic and the Arlington Food Assistance Center,” according to the Lions Club. “The Club will be providing Christmas trees to low-income families as well to provide joy during holiday celebrations.”
The Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street), meanwhile, begins its tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 24 and runs until the lot sold out. Proceeds will go toward Rise Against Hunger, Wings of Caring and Arlington Thrive.
The schedule is:
- Monday to Friday, 6 to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Other usual Christmas tree sale locations to check out include Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.) in Aurora Highlands, Whole Foods stores and local farmers markets. Spots outside of Arlington include the Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm and Almost Heavenly Christmas Trees, which has a location in North Ridge and another in Landmark.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman