Board Votes for Housing Conservation District — The Arlington County Board on Saturday voted 4-1 in favor of the creation of Housing Conservations Districts, which will make it more difficult for property owners to convert multifamily buildings into single-family homes. The Board says there is an urgent need to preserve market-rate affordable apartments, though critics charged that the Board rushed a decision that will restrict the rights of private property owners. [Washington Post]
Volunteers Place 245K Wreaths at ANC — “The weather was chilly but that didn’t stop huge crowds from heading to Arlington National Cemetery to help out with the annual wreath laying Saturday. Traffic was jammed and sidewalks were packed with long lines of volunteers.” [WTOP, Twitter]
Doctor Charged With Spiking Drink with Abortion Pill — A doctor who had recently moved to Arlington was arrested in May and charged with spiking his pregnant girlfriend’s drink with an abortion pill, which then caused her to lose the baby. He’s currently being held at the Arlington County jail, awaiting trial. [Fox News]
Bridging the Biking Gender Gap in Arlington — “Despite overall growth in the number of people biking to work, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed by cities, organizations, and employers for more women to bike more often.” [BikeArlington]
Children Visit Incarcerated Parents — Children of inmates at the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse were able to visit and play with their incarcerated parents during the jail’s annual holiday party. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Phil
Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn will be alive with holiday cheer tomorrow (Thursday) for the Rosslyn Carols! Holiday Concert.
Hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District for the first time at the public plaza at 1800 N. Lynn Street, the event will include a lunchtime concert, then in the evening a DJ, games and food and drink.
A choir from H-B Woodlawn will lead the singing of Christmas carols from 6:15 p.m., then local band The Woodshedders will play a live concert from 7 p.m.
And throughout the day, attendees can have free photographs taken in a life-size snow globe.
The full list of festivities on offer is below:
- Noon-10 p.m.: Free photo-ops in the life-size snow globe.
- Noon-2 p.m.: Holiday lunchtime concert.
- 4:30 p.m.: Festivities start on the plaza with a DJ, holiday games, drinks and food for purchase.
- 6:15 p.m.: Holiday caroling from H-B Woodlawn
- 7:00 p.m.: Live concert featuring The Woodshedders
A local Girl Scout Troop will send more than 400 pounds of care packages to female military members deployed overseas in time for the holidays.
Girl Scout Troop 6802 collected items like coffee, noodles, personal hygiene products, protein bars and magazines to ship to women based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also included are toys to give to local Afghan children and a personalized note.
The four, all eighth graders, loaded up their packages yesterday (Tuesday) at one of their houses in Cherrydale, ready to be sent abroad.
The Troop members are at the Cadette level of Girl Scouts, and used this project to earn their Silver Awards, which encourage Cadettes to help those in the community and beyond.
Troop member Clara Grimmelbein said she was inspired to help plan the project by a personal connection to the military. She was joined in collecting items by Adriana Sheppard, Victoria Jones and Emily Rotter, who took donations from other troops, friends and family.
“My brother is in college and we always send care packages to him,” she said. “My cheer coach, she’s in the military and she recently got out so I got the idea to send care packages to them. They really need it, because they’re really close to the fighting. Not that other people in the military don’t need it, but they’re close to combat.”
Sending the packages proved to be a challenge, though. Finally, after reaching out to friends and neighbors, they connected with Mike Taylor, global head of Dept. of Defense shipping for DHL and a Boy Scout troop leader in Baltimore. He agreed to have the packages all sent for free.
“We put our feelers out to see who could get all these packages delivered, and DHL stepped up,” Sheree Jones, one of the Troop members’ mothers, said.
In a brief appearance over FaceTime during his travels in Asia, Taylor congratulated the Girl Scouts on their efforts.
“You’ve really stepped up to help servicewomen deployed overseas, and you’re doing great work,” he told them.
A home in the Penrose neighborhood has gotten in the holiday spirit by letting people pick up a sweater from its front gate.
The house, at the intersection of S. Fillmore Street and 2nd Street S., has a sign in English and Spanish offering a sweater for anyone who is cold.
“Are you cold? This sweater is for you,” the sign reads. “It is free. Pass it on when you don’t need it any more. Leave hanger and pins.”
A reader emailed to say that it appeared the offer has been taken up by passersby “a few times” since they started it a few weeks ago.
And on the home’s porch, a chalkboard offers passers by the chance to write what they are thankful for. Responses so far were “the internet,” “my daughters” and “flowers.”
There was no answer at the door of the house when an ARLnow reporter knocked on Monday morning.
Planning for Transportation Changes in Rosslyn — “Local officials are now partnering with developers to make more improvements to help convince the next big corporate tenant to pick Rosslyn.” [Bisnow]
Teavana to Remain Open — Set to close next year, the Teavana store at Pentagon City mall is now expected to remain open thanks to a judge’s ruling against parent company Starbucks. [Washington Business Journal]
Lopez’s Detention Center Work Criticized — “Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, a Democrat who has represented a Hispanic-heavy South Arlington district since 2012, was paid more than $5,000 a year in 2014 and more than $10,000 a year in 2015 and 2016 by Immigration Centers of America (ICA), which operates a detention center in Farmville, Va. , according to his state financial disclosure reports.” [Washington Post]
Holiday Events for Incarcerated Parents — Today and tomorrow, the Arlington County jail will be hosting a pair of “special events to allow incarcerated mothers and fathers to visit with their children during the winter holidays.” [Arlington County]
ACPD Show Goes On Despite Snow — The Arlington County Police Department’s “Operation Santa” performance, featuring cops donning costumes and dancing for children in the community, went on Saturday despite the snowy weather. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
The stars of the Arlington County Police Department’s viral synchronized swimming video will again be showing off their acting skills.
This coming Saturday, December 9, ACPD’s “Operation Santa” will visit at least 10 neighborhoods throughout December, spreading holiday cheer to children and adults in the community. Among the stops is the parking lot at Nottingham Elementary School (5900 Little Falls Road) at 11 a.m.
A blurb on the event said it “features many popular characters including, Santa, Rudolph, the Grinch and others. This event will offer members of the public an opportunity to experience the show, get to know the officers who make it happen each year and take photos with the characters and officers following the performance.”
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the same officers who starred in the swimming video will don costumes for the performances, which are free to attend. Members of ACPD’s Community Policing District Teams work with neighborhoods to designate dates, time and locations and help promote to the children in the community.
“It is an opportunity for the Department to give back to the community, spread holiday cheer, share an important message about the holidays and give the community another opportunity to get to know the men and women of the Arlington County Police Department,” Savage said.
Savage said the officers involved are all currently working nights, so were not available for additional comment.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 2, 2017
RIP Bill Bozman — “He was ‘one of the community’s greats,’ in the words of former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, and while the death of William Bozman was not unexpected, it still created a ripple of emotional outpouring from several generations of Arlington civic leaders who had relied on him for counsel and good humor.” [InsideNova]
Library Director’s Annual Xmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released the 2017 version of her annual holiday music playlist. [Arlington Public Library]
ARL Sticker Opportunity — If you missed out on the the first batch of free ARL stickers, there is another opportunity to get your hands on some. We’ll be bringing the stickers to Thursday’s Speakeasy Evening With Dr. Rixey, which is happening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the The Rixey apartments in Ballston (1008 N. Glebe Road). Register for the free event, which features local art, live jazz, gin cocktails and great rooftop views, here.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Frost Fest begins at 5 p.m. at the ice rink at Army Navy Drive and S. Joyce Street. The event will include an on-ice firework display with Santa Claus, music from a DJ, live entertainment from local artists and ice sculptures.
Attendees can also sample foods from some nearby restaurants, pick up holiday shopping specials and win a $1,000 Pentagon Row shopping spree giveaway.
Pentagon Row’s 6,840-square-foot outdoor ice rink is now open, and will be open on all holidays. Admission costs $8 for those aged 12 and under); and $9 for those aged 13 and older. Skate rental costs $4.
The rink’s hours will be as follows:
- Mondays to Thursdays: Noon to 10 p.m.
- Fridays: Noon to 11 p.m.
- Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Sundays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The annual Christmas tree lighting at The Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) will take place on Thursday evening.
It begins at 6 p.m. with a Signature Theatre holiday production featuring the cast of The Holiday Follies, with the tree to be lit at 6:30 p.m.
That will be followed by pictures with Santa in Hardwood Artisans (2800 S. Randolph Street) and a performance by the Bishop O’Connell High School Choir at 7 p.m.
The evening will also feature horse and carriage rides, strolling entertainment and live music, as well as specials at local shops and restaurants including Cheesetique, Busboys & Poets and Le Village Marche.
Per the Arlington County Police Department, the following roads will be closed to accommodate the event:
- Campbell Avenue, from the Harris Teeter driveway to S. Randolph Street (12:00-4:00 PM)
- Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street (4:00-10:00 PM)
- S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind Charlie Chiang’s Restaurant, roughly the 3000 block (4:00-10:00 PM)
Vehicles will be allowed to exit the covered Harris Teeter parking structure onto Campbell Ave. until 4:00 PM, then must use the alternative entrance accessed from Arlington Mill Drive. Drivers are warned that traffic in the area may be congested throughout the event and alternative modes of transportation are recommended.
Street parking in the area will be restricted and drivers 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 the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.
All areas within the lines on the included map will be closed to vehicular traffic during the actual event (4:00-9:00 PM).
With the Thanksgiving holiday over, a number of local Christmas tree sales are now underway.
The Arlington Optimist Club’s tree sale at the Well Fargo bank parking lot on the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road began last Friday (November 24).
The schedule for the sales will be as follows:
- 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 Clarendon United Methodist Church (607 N. Irving Street) started its tree sale on Saturday (November 25). All proceeds go towards Rise Against Hunger (formally Stop Hunger Now), the Arlington Food Assistance Center and other ministries that help those in need.
The hours of the sales are as follows:
- Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sundays: Noon to 6 p.m.
- Weeknights: 6-9 p.m.
The South Arlington Lions Club’s sale was forced to move this year from the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive due to development at the site.
Now, the sale is located at American Legion Post 139 (3445 Washington Blvd) in Virginia Square, and began last Friday too.
And Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.) in Aurora Highlands is hosting a tree sale by the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus. When an ARLnow reporter dropped by the church on Monday afternoon, trees were in the church’s front yard, but there are no details available online about hours.
Other usual Christmas tree sale locations include Whole Foods stores, local farmers markets, the Cathedral of St. Thomas More (3901 N. Cathedral Lane), the Dominion Hills shopping center (6000 Wilson Blvd) and the Unleashed by Petco parking lot (5400 Lee Highway).
The Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) is expanding its Christmas Movie Festival for the first time this year.
The festival usually takes place on one day, but instead will last for three weeks, starting on Friday, November 24 with showings of Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life. It wraps up on December 13 with Gremlins.
Paying for one $10 ticket will get attendees unlimited admission to all the scheduled festival movies across all three weeks, depending on space.
Dates for each movie screening are as follows:
- Elf (November 24-27, December 2-4, December 10)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (November 24, November 27, December 2-3, December 10-11)
- Home Alone (November 25, November 26, December 7, December 11)
- Miracle on 34th Street (November 25, November 26, November 28, December 3, December 9, December 12)
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (November 26, November 30, December 2, December 5, December 10)
- Scrooged (December 3, December 4, December 6, December 10)
- Gremlins (December 13)
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
Lost Hikers Found Near Chain Bridge — Two men who had apparently been hiking along the Potomac River got lost and had to call emergency dispatchers after one of them fell and hurt himself. The call came in around 2:30 a.m. this morning. Arlington, Fairfax County, D.C. and U.S. Park Police units helped to search for the men — Fairfax used its police helicopter — and eventually they were found and transported to the hospital. [WUSA 9]
Video: ACFD Responds to FC Vehicle Fire — A minivan caught on fire in Falls Church over the weekend and a camera was rolling as Arlington County firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze. [Twitter]
Holiday Decorations Going Up — Around Clarendon yesterday — and perhaps in other parts of the county as well — lights, window paintings and other festive decorations were being put up in anticipation of the holiday season. [Instagram]
Arlington Mill Gym Floor Installed — The new gym floor has been installed and is ready to use at the Arlington Mill Community Center. The gym’s previous floor had to be removed due to water damage stemming from a March snow storm. [Twitter]
County Announces Human Rights Award Winners — Among the recipients of Arlington County’s 2017 James B. Hunter Award winners are: Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer; the Building Bridges community initiative; Saint George’s Episcopal Church and its refugee advocacy; Café Sazón and its support of immigrant rights; and Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, which is considered the only gay bar in Northern Virginia. [Arlington County]
Reporter Accused of Unwanted Advances in Local Bar — New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush has been suspended following accusations that during his time at Arlington-based Politico, he made unwanted sexual advances at young, female colleagues while drinking at a Rosslyn bar. [Vox]
Local Entrepreneur Scores on Shark Tank — “Sharmi Albrechtsen, founder and CEO of Arlington-based tech toy company SmartGurlz, landed an investment from FUBU founder Daymond John on Sunday’s “Shark Tank” episode: $200,000 for 25 percent of the business.” [Washington Business Journal]
New Year’s Meeting Nixed Again — For the second year in a row, what was once the traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting of the Arlington County Board will not be held on Jan. 1. The meeting is instead expected to be held on Jan. 2, according to a draft 2018 County Board calendar. [InsideNova]
ACPD Holding Toy Drive — The Arlington County Police Department is holding its third annual Fill the Cruiser Holiday Toy Drive for children in need in Arlington. Officers will be collecting toys on the evenings of Tuesday, Nov. 28 and Tuesday, Dec. 5 in various locations around the county. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
Get the rakes at the ready: Arlington County’s leaf collection program begins today.
Leaf collection starts today (November 13) for some neighborhoods, with the first pass through scheduled to run through December 5.
The trucks will operate Monday through Saturday, except for Thanksgiving, on a set neighborhood schedule.
To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.
Residents are reminded to only report their street has been missed if leaves haven’t been collected after it’s been labeled completed, by calling 703-228-6570.
And for those looking beyond the holiday season, Arlington’s Christmas tree collection program is set for the first two weeks in January, from January 2-12.
“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,” a blurb on the program reads. “The trees are later ground into wood mulch for garden use.”
Anyone who does not have a curbside recycling service can bring their Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau during the collection season.
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]