Lubber Run Project Budget Boosted — “Arlington County Board members on Sept. 22 agreed to add about $1.4 million to the budget for rebuilding Lubber Run Community Center, which will push the construction cost to $41.14 million and the management fees to $4.11 million.” [InsideNova]
Clarendon Circle Construction Begins — “Things will start looking different in Clarendon and not because of too many cosmos at Don Tito’s. The long-awaited Circle intersection improvements project kicks off today.” [Twitter]
Neighborhoods Want in on W-L Name Discussion — “The president of the Buckingham Community Civic Association thinks Arlington school leaders may need some remedial work in geography. Bernie Berne used the Sept. 20 School Board meeting to complain that his community had been shut out of the committee set up to suggest new names for Washington-Lee High School, even though it is closer to the school than another civic association that has been included on the panel.” [InsideNova]
Fire at Columbia Pike Building — On the 5100 block of Columbia Pike: “First arriving units found a fire contained to an appliance. The fire was extinguished. All occupants are safe & accounted for.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Tree Advocates Increase Pressure — “Another month has brought another round in the ongoing dispute between tree activists and the Arlington County Board – and much of the give and take on both sides is beginning to sound familiar to the point of repetitious. Activists in support of expanding the county’s tree canopy were among a number of advocacy groups that descended on the Sept. 22 County Board meeting. Among their chief complaints: The county government hasn’t done anything to prevent the removal of trees during an upcoming expansion project at Upton Hill Regional Park.” [InsideNova, Twitter]
Fox News Highlights Lucky Dog — Arlington’s Lucky Dog Rescue continues to get national attention for its work rescuing dogs from areas flooded by Hurricane Florence. Over the weekend Fox News broadcast from Shirlington to bring attention to the dogs that are now available for adoption. [Yahoo]
After a brief move across the street this summer, Lululemon is back home at 2847 Clarendon Blvd.
The athletic apparel retailer temporarily relocated to “The Loop” at 2700 Clarendon Blvd earlier this summer while the main location underwent renovations.
The store moved back in and showed off its reconfigured interior last week with a grand reopening party.
Lululemon is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. The location’s “Rooftop Sweat Series” continues above the renovated store tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6 p.m.
The Clarendon War Memorial, which honors Arlington residents killed in major armed conflicts, is getting new signs to explain its significance and context.
The memorial, located on the opposite end of Clarendon Central Park from the Metro station entrance, has generated some controversy in recent years due to it separately listing the two “colored” troops from Arlington killed during World War I.
On Saturday the Arlington County Board voted to accept a $2,000 grant from the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission to fund new interpretive signs.
“The original 1931 plaque on the memorial lists the names of the 13 Arlington servicemen who died in WWI, and segregates the names by race,” said county spokeswoman Gina Wimpey. “A main goal of this interpretive project will be to provide historic context for the segregation of the names, as well as information about Arlington during each of the time periods and conflicts represented on the memorial.”
The new interpretive signs will ring the memorial. The first is expected to be unveiled later this fall.
“The proposed interpretive panels related to the Clarendon War Memorial will be installed in phases, with the first panel focusing on the history of the memorial itself,” said Wimpey. “That panel is planned (pending the final fabrication and installation schedule) to be unveiled at a Centennial Armistice Day event to be held Nov. 11 and hosted by the American Legion, in partnership with Arlington County and Arlington’s WWI Commemoration Task Force.”
Some have called for the original plaque to be removed and replaced due to its segregation of African American service members, though task force member (and former county treasurer) Frank O’Leary argued on the 26 Square Miles podcast earlier this year that it would have been considered progressive at the time for the way it was designed.
Clarendon Day, one of Arlington’s oldest and largest street festivals, will return this Saturday (Sept. 22).
The event will dominate the heart of Clarendon’s main strip of businesses from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering all manner of exhibits, food, drinks and performers. The Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the event, is expecting as many as 20,000 attendees this year.
The fair will run rain or shine, and offer dozens of vendors, Virginia wine and beer and food booths from restaurants in Clarendon and elsewhere around Arlington, per its website.
Performers at the event’s two stages include:
- 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Ruepratt
- 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Soul Stew
- 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Calista Garcia
- 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Dave Kline Band
- 3 p.m.-4 p.m. SubRadio
- 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Fellowcraft
- 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Bushmaster featuring Gary Brown
- 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Adagio Dance Company
- 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Carley Harvey
- 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Ballet Nova
- 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Melissa Elizabeth Wright
- 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Jaleo Arte Flamenco
- 4:30 p.m.-5 p.m. O’Neill – James School of Irish Dancing
The Clarendon Day 5K and 10K races, backed by Pacers Running, will also return Saturday. The races are set to begin at 8 a.m.
Arlington police are warning of plenty of road closures associated with the race and the event itself. From 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. the following will be closed:
- Wilson Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
- Clarendon Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
- N. Highland Street between 11th Street N. and N. Hartford Street
And the race will prompt the following closures from around 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.:
- Wilson Boulevard, between N. Garfield Street and Route 110
- N. Kent Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street N.
- The entirety of Route 110 northbound, from Route 1 to Wilson Boulevard
Organizers recommend biking, walking or using public transit to reach the event to avoid those closures.
The developer looking to transform the Red Top Cab properties in Clarendon into three mixed-use buildings now hopes to cut back on the parking offered on the properties, prompting some worries from neighbors.
The Shooshan Company is asking the County Board for permission to remove one floor from both of the underground lots planned for the site, a reduction of about 178 parking spaces in all. Work is set to begin soon on the long-delayed development, which will replace Red Top’s headquarters (located where Washington Boulevard meets 13th Street N.) and the lot the company once used for vehicle maintenance at 1200 N. Hudson Street.
The three buildings are set to offer a total of 584 multifamily units, with 1,295 square feet of retail space thrown in as well, yet the Ballston-based developer is looking to cut back on parking as a cost-saving measure. In all, the company is proposing dividing 285 spaces between the two garages, compared to the 463 originally approved when the Board signed off on the project a few years back.
County staff seem more than ready to agree to such a change, noting in a report prepared for the Board that the development still “meets and exceeds” the county’s minimum parking requirements, even after the space reduction. The Board passed a plan last November to allow developers to build less parking along Metro corridors, in order to increase the use of public transit, car-sharing and other, greener transportation options.
Shooshan also plans to offer 20 parking spaces specifically reserved for visitors to the development, “which will mitigate overspill parking on surrounding streets from building visitors,” staff predict.
Even still, the Lyon Village Civic Association has made it clear to the county that it harbors concerns about the parking reduction’s impact on surrounding neighborhoods. While the development itself sits on the edge of Clarendon’s main strip, there are a series of single-family homes along streets like N. Kirkwood Road, N. Johnson Street and N. Jackson Street.
“The civic association representatives expressed concern about the potential for overspill parking as a result of the applicant not providing mitigation, such as additional bike parking, in exchange for the lowered parking ratio,” staff wrote in the report.
Yet transportation planners believe Shooshan has enough bike parking built into its plans already, noting just how close the development will be to the Clarendon Metro station and a variety of bus stops as part of the area’s “robust transportation network.”
Staff fully endorsed all these changes, but the Board will have the final say at its meeting Saturday (Sept. 22). Should it win these remaining approvals, the developer plans to start work on two of the three buildings sometime “in the first quarter of 2019,” staff wrote.
The owner of the Clarendon Fitness gym is now facing federal drug charges, after he allegedly tried to buy $50,000 worth of cocaine from undercover police officers.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents have charged Pascal Shaun Laporte with possession with intent to distribute, claiming that he was willing to buy two kilograms of cocaine from officers posing as Mexican gang members late last month. In an affidavit filed in federal court, the agents allege that Laporte unwittingly spoke with a police informant for close to a year as he looked to find a supplier to sell him hundreds of kilograms of cocaine each month.
Laporte opened Clarendon Fitness, a gym located at 2907 Wilson Blvd, back in 2010 and bills himself as a fitness enthusiast and investor on the business’s website. Neither Laporte nor his attorney responded to requests for comment on the drug charges.
The DEA claims that an informant first told agents about Laporte’s interest in finding a “cocaine supplier” in September 2017. Officials allege that Laporte paid the informant $1,600 to buy an ounce of cocaine two months later, striking a deal in the parking lot of the Arlington Traditional School (855 N. Edison Street).
By August, the informant arranged a meeting between Laporte and two Fairfax County police officers posing as members of “a Mexican drug trafficking organization” at the Tysons Corner mall. Laporte told them he was already “involved with another group of men who were getting him cocaine,” but that he was interested in buying much more, according to the affidavit.
Later that month, Laporte told the informant that he was coordinating with associates in both South Carolina and Florida, and hoped to buy as much as 10 kilograms of cocaine moving forward, if an initial deal with the undercover detectives went well.
On Aug. 30, the agents claim that the informant was able to arrange the sale at a Tysons Corner hotel, at which point Laporte delivered them $45,000, pledging to give them another $5,000 the next day. At that point, officers arrested Laporte.
Court records show Laporte was released from jail on a $30,000 bond on Sept. 6.
These drug charges are not Laporte’s first run-in with law enforcement. Arlington court records show he pleaded guilty to felony assault and battery in 2007, though the charge was eventually reduced to a misdemeanor.
Police also charged him with attempted malicious wounding and the assault and battery of a family member in 2014, but declined to move forward with those charges — he subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct for preventing someone from dialing 911.
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Gallery Clarendon is celebrating its grand opening.
On Saturday (Sept. 15), the Gallery Clarendon will officially open at the corner of Clarendon Blvd. and and Fillmore St. in the former Fuego restaurant corner.
Gallery Clarendon is the newest professional art gallery created by the Arlington Artists Alliance, and first opened its doors in late June.
The grand opening will start with festivities at 11 a.m. with activities for adults and children. A more adult-oriented wine reception runs from 5-8 p.m., catered by nearby restaurants and featuring the music of local band HYFY. The reception will give visitors a chance to meet and mingle with the gallery artists.
The Gallery Clarendon will showcase art from local artists and manage professional artist studios. The professional studios on the second floor of Gallery Clarendon will be open daily to the public from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
The gallery will also host events and offer classes for aspiring artists, operating an art academy that will offer day and night classes for adults and children.
On the second Fridays of every month, Gallery Clarendon will host a free opening reception for a new exhibit. Each month, the main gallery space will change with a fresh show from a different local artist.
A new Mexican-Japanese fusion restaurant backed by a former “Top Chef” star is open for business in Clarendon.
Le Kon started serving up food on Sunday (Sept. 1) at a space located at 3227 Washington Blvd, according to spokeswoman Wendy Gordon. The restaurant replaces the short-lived Park Lane Tavern on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building.
The eatery will be the first D.C. location for chef Katsuji Tanabe, who appeared on the Bravo program back in 2014 and has since opened restaurants in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Its menu promises seafood-themed small plates, taco platters and entrees from a “Sonora-style grill.”
Gordon says Le Kon will start serving brunch this Sunday (and will eventually offer it on both days of the weekend), and is offering happy hour deals from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
The restaurant has space for around 200 seats, and will offer an outdoor patio as well.
A boutique fitness studio could soon move into the space once occupied by the American Tap Room in Clarendon.
A gym branded as “FootFire” is applying for a use permit to open in a 49,200-square-foot space adjacent to an office building at 3101 Wilson Blvd, according to documents filed with the county on July 17.
Located just across from the Clarendon Metro station, the space has sat empty since the American Tap Room closed its doors in 2016. The restaurant had struggled for years with noise complaints from neighbors and the area’s high rent prices.
Lawyers for Christopher Hoffman, the gym’s owner, wrote in a permit application that the new fitness studio “will be a member-based running, training, recovery and education center focusing on the complete training experience for runners and other endurance athletes of all fitness levels.”
The attorneys added that the gym will offer both indoor and outdoor running classes, including “treadmill-based courses, group outdoor running exercises, indoor weight training, yoga and stretching courses.” Plans sketched out for the facility also call for a juice bar and daycare area.
The County Board is set to consider the permit request at its first meeting of the fall on Sept. 22.
HQ2 Odds Ever in Our Favor — Business Insider says it has “long seen the evidence pointing to the DC area” as the eventual destination for Amazon’s second headquarters. Online betting odds, meanwhile, favor Northern Virginia, and ARLnow.com hears that Crystal City is the far and away the most likely Northern Virginia locale for HQ2. [Business Insider]
High School Football Season Underway — “For the second straight season, but this year at a different venue, the Wakefield Warriors opened their high-school football campaign with a victory over the Washington-Lee Generals.” Yorktown, meanwhile, gave up a lead and lost to Wilson 37-29. [InsideNova]
McCain and Vietnam Vets Calls Nam Viet Home — A group of Vietnam War veterans, including the late Sen. John McCain, who was laid to rest over the weekend, regularly met up at Nam Viet restaurant in Clarendon. [Cronkite News]
First Day of School Reminder — Today is the first day of school for Arlington Public Schools and the school system is reminding residents that passing a school bus with its stop arm out is a traffic infraction punishable by a $250 fine. Police, meanwhile, are participating in a back-to-school safety campaign that includes extra enforcement of such traffic laws. [Twitter, Arlington County]
School Board: Don’t Go Over Building Budget — “Should Arlington Public Schools hold firm, no matter what, to budgets on upcoming construction projects? Or allow a little maneuvering room, if the opportunity arises, in an effort to get more bang for their buck? That question played out again Aug. 30, as School Board members split 3-2 in directing an advisory body to not even think about returning with a plan that exceeds the $37 million budget for turning the Arlington Education Center’s administrative offices into classroom space.” [InsideNova]
Police Prepare for Plane Pull — “The public is invited to cheer on the Arlington Police and Sheriff Team during the Plane Pull at Dulles Airport on Saturday, September 15, 2018.” [Arlington County]
New MU Prez Focuses on Real-World Experience — Irma Becerra, Marymount University’s new president and the first person of color in that role, plans “to further connect the Arlington university with its surrounding business community, making internships an equal pillar of her vision as enrollment, graduation and retention rates.” [Washington Business Journal]
Empanada Thief Caught on Camera — Arlington squirrels, apparently, are now blatantly stealing and eating empanadas in broad daylight. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Police say they received reports about an altercation on the 1200 block of N. Hudson Street, just behind businesses like the CVS and Goody’s Pizza, around 4:20 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 25)
They say a verbal dispute turned physical, “resulting in the victim being struck multiple times, causing lacerations.” Police are seeking a suspect in the case on a charge of aggravated malicious wounding, but haven’t released the person’s name or description.
The victim was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Full details from a county crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-08250056, 1200 block of N. Herndon Street. At approximately 4:20 a.m. on August 25, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between known individuals became physical, resulting in the victim being struck multiple times, causing lacerations. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A warrant for Aggravated Malicious Wounding was obtained for the suspect.
And here are more highlights from crime reports over the past week, including some we’ve already reported:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-08280054, 2300 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 5:45 a.m. on August 28, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside a business when he observed the male suspect outside looking through a window while allegedly masturbating. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male, 5’10”-5’11”, weighing 170-180 lbs., approximately 35-40 years old, wearing a grey and navy hoodie with the hood up, and black sweat pants.
ROBBERY, 2018-08260021, Columbia Pike at S. Dinwiddie Street. At approximately 1:02 a.m. on August 26, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was sitting on a bench in the area when the known suspect approached her, forced her to the ground and stole cash from her backpack, before fleeing on foot prior to police arrival. The victim was uninjured. A warrant for Robbery was obtained for the suspect.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-08220138, Unit block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 1:16 p.m. on August 22, police were dispatched to the report of a male exposing himself. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim observed the male suspect allegedly exposing himself and masturbating inside a business. Durrell Carter, 37, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Indecent Exposure, Possession of Marijuana, Identity Theft and Possession of a Fake Identification. He was held on no bond.
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-08230162, 14th Street N. at N. Adams Street. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on August 23, a lookout was broadcast, based upon a License Plate Reader hit for a vehicle previously reported stolen out of Pennsylvania. Officers in the area located the vehicle, effected a traffic stop and the driver of the vehicle was taken into custody without incident. Arnaud Aka Kouadio, 35, of Alexandria, Va., was arrested and charged with Possession of Fake Identification and Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods.
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-08240194, 700 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 4:43 p.m. on August 24, an officer on routine patrol was alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a parked vehicle that had previously been reported stolen out of New York. While investigating, the suspect returned to the vehicle and was subsequently taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, an additional stolen vehicle was located in the area and was determined to be related to the same suspect. Moulaye Ely, 34, of Alexandria, Va., was arrested and charged with Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods (x2) and Possession of Marijuana.
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 2018-08260224, 900 block of S. Buchanan Street. At approximately 11:50 p.m. on August 26, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect threw a piece of cement through the window of an occupied residence, causing it to shatter. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2018-08230110, 2200 block of S. Ives Street. At approximately 11:34 a.m. on August 23, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. The suspect is described as a black male, clean cut, approximately 5’8″ to 5’10”, in his late 20’s or early 30’s, weighing 160-200 lbs. The investigation is ongoing.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY (late), 2018-08240291, 300 block of 10th Street S. At approximately 11:00 p.m. on August 24, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:45 a.m. and 10:30 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a residence. Nothing was reported missing. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2018-08220098, 2500 block of 20th Road N. At approximately 10:50 a.m. on August 22, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that building maintenance was checking on an apartment and observed signs of forced entry. Maintenance opened the door to the residence and observed two unknown suspects inside. The suspects fled in a vehicle prior to police arrival. Nothing was reported missing from the residence. Suspect One is described as a black male with a small build, approximately 5’4″, wearing a baseball cap and white t-shirt. Suspect Two is described as a black male with a small build, approximately 5’10”, a short black beard, wearing black clothing and earbuds. The investigation is ongoing.
Roughly a year and a half after plans surfaced for an outdoor beer garden in Clarendon, there’s been precious little progress on the project.
Permit applications revealed last March that Social Restaurant Group, the same company that runs Clarendon establishments Bar Bao and Pamplona, was planning a beer garden at a former used car lot at 3217 10th Street N. Signs appeared for the “The Lot” this February, but the space remains empty and overgrown with weeds six months later.
SRG’s website suggests that the beer garden would open in “summer 2018.” Yet neither spokespeople for the company nor co-founder Mike Bramson replied to several requests for comment on the project’s status.
County records, however, show that the company did receive permission to start construction on the project in December. The permit application calls for 94 outdoor seats, with standing room for another 357 people.
The company has also applied for a license to serve beer and wine at the location, but that application is still pending, more than a year later.
SRG’s website also lists Rebel Taco, a food truck that serve up its wares around Arlington, as part of the The Lot. The truck’s owners also did not respond to a request for comment on the project.
A woman fell off the roof of Don Tito in Clarendon Thursday night (Aug. 16), suffering minor injuries.
Arlington County Police were called to the restaurant, located at 3165 Wilson Blvd, around 11:30 p.m. last night, according to spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Fire department spokesman Ben O’Bryant says the woman “fell from one level on the roof to another level on the roof,” a distance of about 20 feet in total.
O’Bryant added she “only had minor injuries and was in good condition when care was transferred to hospital staff.”
Top Chef Alum Opening Clarendon Restaurant — “Former ‘Top Chef’ contestant Katsuji Tanabe, best known for his kosher taco spot MexiKosher in New York, will open his first restaurant in the D.C. area in Clarendon in September. Le Kon, whose name comes from the Japanese word for corn, is taking over the space previously occupied by Park Lane Tavern at 3227 Washington Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]
Progress on Child Care Initiative — “The county government’s child-care initiative has been under way for a little over a year, focusing in large part on the existing barriers to increasing the supply of day-care providers in the county. Hurdles run the gamut from zoning and parking issues to qualifications and pay of teachers and other staff… Using the most recent data available, county officials estimate there were about 13,500 children under age 5 in Arlington in 2015, but only about half that number of available slots in day care.” [InsideNova]
Flyover Planned Today — A flyover of Arlington National Cemetery is planned to take place at 9:15 a.m. today. [Twitter]
White Supremacist Train Runs Through Arlington — A small group of white supremacists rode Metro from the Vienna station, through Arlington, before arriving in D.C. for a rally. Police tried to keep the group separated from a much larger group of anti-hate protesters, prompting some complaints about the white supremacists having their own “private” Metrorail car, though a reporter was able to board their train car at Clarendon without issue. [Twitter, Twitter]
W&OD Railroad Stopped Running 50 Years Ago — The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad stopped running 50 years ago this month, after 130 years of service. The former rail line was later acquired by the regional park authority and converted into the current W&OD Trail, which runs from Arlington to rural Loudoun County. [InsideNova]
Reminder: Major Metro Work — “Starting Saturday (Aug. 11) and running through Aug. 26, Metro will shut down the Blue Line completely starting at the Arlington Cemetery station, and single-track between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. Officials expect that will result in 20-minute headways on the Orange and Silver lines ‘at all times,’ and it’s urging riders to ‘only use Metrorail if you have no other option.'” [ARLnow, Twitter]
County Twitter Account Pokes Fun at Metro — Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted yesterday: “As a courtesy, the C&O Canal-Alexandria Canal system will be reopen to traffic. Note: two-mule minimum per team.” [Twitter]
Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani