Firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax battled a townhouse fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood Saturday evening.
The fire broke out in the attic of a townhome on the 4800 block of 10th Street S., near Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run, around 5:30 p.m.
Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control before it could spread.
#Update Units are remaining on scene to check for further extension. E109 encountered heavy fire, but a quick response kept the fire contained to the attic. Thanks to our partners with @ffxfirerescue and @AlexandriaVAFD to get this fire out quickly! pic.twitter.com/1U40GKGLtc
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 19, 2018
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 19, 2018
ARLINGTON COUNTY | STRUCTURE FIRE | 4800 BLK OF 10TH STREET SOUTH | FIRE IN THE ATTIC NOW UNDER CONTROL | RIT 1 REQUESTED pic.twitter.com/Lh0YXTS2U3
— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) May 19, 2018
Flickr pool photos by TheBeltWalk
Someone slashed the tires on seven vehicles parked in the Columbia Forest neighborhood near Columbia Pike, according to police.
The vandalism spree was reported Saturday morning around the intersection of S. Columbus Street at 10th Street S.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Series), 2018-01280098, S. Columbus Street at 10th Street S. Between 2:30 a.m. on January 27 and 11:00 a.m. on January 28, seven parked vehicles had their tires slashed. Nothing was reported missing and no further damage was reported on any of the vehicles. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Map via Google Maps
BURGLARY, 2018-01290020, 1600 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 3:35 a.m. on January 29, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown male suspect forced entry to a business and stole items of value. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’8-6’2, weighing 150-190 lbs., wearing a black jacket. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2018-01290031, 3100 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 5:56 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that two unknown suspects forced entry into a business and stole prescription drugs. Suspect One is described as a black male, between the ages of 25-35, approximately 6’0-6’5, with an athletic build, wearing a black sweatshirt with a grey hood, black pants, white shoes and a black mask. Suspect Two is described as a black male, between the ages of 25-35, approximately 6’0-6’5, with an athletic build, wearing a black jacket/sweatshirt with a black hood, black pants and tan gloves. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY BY FORCE, 2018-01270034, 200 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 1:56 a.m. on January 27, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male victim was walking in the area when he was assaulted by a group of suspects who stole cash and items of value from his pockets. The suspects fled prior to police arrival. The victim suffered minor injuries. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY, 2018-01280189, Unit block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 8:17 p.m. on January 28, police were dispatched to an armed robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he was approached from behind by two male suspects who threatened him with a knife and assaulted him. The suspects stole cash from the victim and fled on foot prior to police arrival. A K-9 track was initiated, but yielded negative results. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. Suspect One is described as a black male in his teens, approximately 5’4 to 5’5, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, a du-rag and carrying a red backpack. Suspect Two is described as a black male in his teens, approximately 5’5 to 5’6, wearing a black jacket and blue jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2018-01260220, 2600 block of S. Veitch Street. At approximately 5:14 p.m. on January 26, police were dispatched to the report of a juvenile incident. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim heard commotion in the hallway of his apartment and something bang against the door. The victim opened the door and noticed multiple juveniles running away from the area. Approximately 10 minutes later, the victim heard the door to his apartment open and upon investigation, observed two juvenile male suspects, who then fled the residence. The suspects are described as black males, approximately 13 to 16 years old, 5’7 to 5’9, with skinny builds. The investigation is ongoing.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2018-01260116, 2800 block of 24th Road S. At approximately 12:20 p.m. on January 26, police were dispatched to the report of a late breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that a suspect forced entry to a residence, causing damage to the door. Nothing was reported missing. The investigation is ongoing.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-01260313, N. Rolfe Street at N. 16th Street. At approximately 10:37 p.m. on January 26, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was entering a parked vehicle when an unknown suspect approached her and exposed his genitals. The suspect fled the area prior to police arrival. The suspect is described white male in his 20’s or 30’s, 5’10” tall with an average build. He was wearing a striped zip up sweatshirt and dark pants at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
Some residents in Columbia Forest will be without water tonight (July 20) and traffic will be diverted for emergency repairs along Columbia Pike.
Crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services will be making emergency water main repairs at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Frederick Street, beginning at 8 p.m. The repairs are scheduled to last until 8 a.m. July 21.
(1/2) Emergency water repairs will take place at Columbia Pike & S Frederick St. Repairs are expected to occur tonight at 8pm – 7/21 at 8am.
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) July 20, 2017
(2/2) Water service for approx 100-150 customers will be affected tonight at 10:30pm – 7/21 at 5am. Pike traffic will be detoured #VATraffic
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) July 20, 2017
During that time, the Pike’s eastbound lanes between S. Greenbrier Street and S. Dinwiddie Street will be closed, while the westbound lanes will be converted into a lane each for eastbound and westbound traffic.
DES said approximately 100-150 people will have water service affected. The Columbia Forest Civic Association said that water will be turned off for the buildings at 5200, 5300 and 5353 Columbia Pike.
Urgent Alert: Water will be turned off for three buildings on Columbia Pike (5200, 5300, 5353) until 5am 7/21/17 @alongthepike (2/2)
— Columbia Forest (@CFCA_Arlington) July 20, 2017
Photo via Google Maps.
At least three instances of objects being thrown at and shattering residential windows were reported Friday and Saturday night. The incidents took place in the Barcroft and Columbia Forest neighborhoods, on either side of the Pike near Four Mile Run.
There is no suspect description for any of the incidents. More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 2017-07070281, 5300 block of S. 8th Road. At approximately 10:40 p.m. on July 7, officers responded to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined an unknown subject(s) threw an object at a residential window causing it to shatter. There is no subject(s) description and no injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING (Series), 2017-07080285, 1200 block of S. Buchanan Street. At approximately 11:04 p.m. on July 8, officers responded to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined an unknown subject(s) threw an object at a residential window causing it to shatter. A short time later, another resident in the area reported their window had been struck by an object and broken. There is no subject(s) description and no injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
Image via Google Maps
Arlington firefighters are battling a house fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Wakefield High School.
The blaze was reported at a residential property the 1000 block of S. Dinwiddie Street just after 4:15 p.m.
The Arlington County Fire Department tweeted that it is dealing with “heavy smoke and fire” on the property. The fire broke out in the rear of a two story home and, as of 4:35 p.m., has been extinguished, according to scanner traffic.
Police have closed S. Columbus Street at Columbia Pike due to the large number of fire department vehicles in the area.
S. Dinwiddie St. pic.twitter.com/5qJ3PXSkmI
— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) February 16, 2017
#Update: The fire has been knocked down. Units are checking interior for extension. Station fill-ins are being dispatched.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 16, 2017
#FinalUpdate: Fire has been extinguished. There is no extension. Units are picking up & going in service when ready. Command is terminated.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 16, 2017
The incident was reported around 10 p.m. on the 2400 block of 27th Court S. No injuries were reported.
From an Arlington County police crime report:
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 161019045, 2400 block of S. 27th Court. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on October 19, officers responded to the report of a late shots fired. Upon investigation, it was determined that a male victim found a bullet hole in the roof of a room inside his residence. A bullet was found on the floor nearby. A search of the residence and a check on the welfare were conducted in nearby residences. An origin of the bullet was unable to be located. The investigation is ongoing.
Separately, but around the same time, police responded to a report of someone shooting at people and homes with an airsoft gun in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, just north of Wakefield High School.
ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 161019048, 5200 block of S. 11th Street. At approximately 10:05 p.m. on October 19, an unknown subject(s) shot an air-soft firearm at a male victim and the surrounding houses in the neighborhood. The victim was uninjured and there was no damaged property found. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
A garden in front of a Columbia Forest home is center of a debate between the county’s Department of Environmental Services and a local resident.
Maraea Harris created a Change.org petition to save her garden, which is planted on a hellstrip, the piece of land between a sidewalk and the road. It all started when a county official told Harris to remove the garden because it violated the county’s weed ordinance due to the plants’ heights, she said.
“Rather than work with me to create a workable solution while maintaining the environmental value and beauty of the space, the only option I was given was to make it grass or mulch,” Harris said on the petition.
Harris appealed the county’s decision. Yesterday, someone in the county manager’s office informed her that the county will postpone the removal of the garden until it can discuss the case internally, she said.
The county reached out to Harris after receiving a complaint that the garden made the sidewalk — located along a dead end portion of S. Buchanan Street — inaccessible for handicapped people, said Luis Araya, a county official with the Department of Environmental Services.
“A DES inspector contacted the owner of the residence and asked them to remove these items from the public street right-of-way as they created a hazard to public safety and were unauthorized use of the public right-of-way,” Araya said. “The county does not allow such uses to the public.”
According to the Arlington County Garbage, Refuse and Weed Ordinance, weeds and grass have to be one foot tall or less. The ordinance does not specifically mention whether flowers can be planted in the public right of way.
“The purpose of grass strips that exist between the curb and sidewalk on public streets are to accommodate street lights, water meters, street signs and other infrastructure-associated items maintained by the County and private utility companies,” Araya said.
Residents must also keep all vegetation off of sidewalk and the road in order to prevent safety hazards. Harris’ garden was becoming dangerous, Araya said.
“There are many potential safety hazards that the public can encounter in unauthorized landscaped areas in the public right-of-way such as tripping hazards, visibility issues for vehicles, narrower sidewalks limiting the width of ADA clearances for wheelchairs and, in this particular location, bee stings,” he said.
Harris said that she had no problem adjusting her garden to make the sidewalk more handicap accessible. However, she did not want to completely remove the garden, which brings butterflies and other insects to the neighborhood.
“It is a small space but there is more life in the 4 x 20 ft. space than all the neighborhood grass lawns combined,” she said on the petition.
Despite the one complaint from a neighbor, Harris said most people on S. Buchanan Street enjoy the garden. As of today, 53 people had signed the petition for the garden, including some of Harris’ neighbors.
“They like to have it because their kids walk by it to what’s in it and what’s growing,” she said.
As a gardener, Harris said it is frustrating that the county has many pollination and environmental efforts, but they want to mow over her garden hellstrip garden and others like it. Helping residents understand the guidelines and working toward a compromise over the hellstrips would be more beneficial, she said.
“Instead of coming after them, why not support them?” Harris said.
The first two residential developments designed with the Columbia Pike neighborhoods form-based code were approved last night, bringing hundreds of new residences into the Pike’s development pipeline.
The Arlington County Board approved a 229-unit, eight-story affordable housing complex on the western end of Columbia Pike and 50 new townhouses to replace the historic George Washington Carver homes in Arlington View.
The Carver Homes were built in the 1940s for residents displaced by the construction of the Pentagon, and many of the families who lived there when it was built now own residences in the co-operative. While preservationists lament the loss of a piece of the county’s history, the residents urged the County Board to approve the development.
“I know first hand that our co-op has been deteriorating for many years,” Velma Henderson, a Carver Homes owner who has lived in the co-op for 68 of its 70 years in existence, told the Board. “Busted and frozen pipes, leaky roofs and crumbling foundations, to name a few… We have a long and proud history in Arlington, so it was important for Carver Homes to select a developer who had the vision and resources to create a high-quality development. This plan considers Carver Homes’ needs.”
The 44 units will be bulldozed and replaced with 50 townhouses, 23 of which will be duplexes. Six of the duplex units will be committed affordable units, and the developer, Craftmark Homes, also has agreed to build a public park on the property and extend S. Quinn Street through the parcel at the corner of S. Rolfe and 13th Streets.
As part of the redevelopment, the developer will place two historic markers on the property signifying its history. Arlington is also beginning to compile an oral history of the property, which will be available at Arlington Central Library when completed.
“My mother’s dream was that we would benefit from the sale of the property,” said James Dill, a co-op owner whose mother was displaced by the Pentagon construction. “We’ve been banking on it for 50 or 60 years that, at some point in time, Arlington County would grant us our piece of the American dream, and we’ve been holding firm on that.”
The County Board unanimously approved the redevelopment. County Board Chair Mary Hynes thanked the owners — who have been working to sell the property for most of the past decade — and the community for their patience. Board member Libby Garvey remarked that many of the residents were forced out of their homes in the 1940s for the Pentagon to be built, and the Board could, in a very small way, “right that wrong.”
“I think we’re really touching history,” Garvey said. “This was temporary housing 70 years ago. How much temporary housing lasts 70 years? So it’s time.”
The conversation surrounding the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing‘s proposal for its new affordable housing buildings next to its expansive Columbia Grove community on S. Frederick Street was quite different.
Dozens of speakers came out to speak on both sides of the issue, and public comment and Board deliberations lasted after midnight. Opponents, many of whom live close to the site, said there is too much concentration of affordable housing on the western end of Columbia Pike.
“Presently our community is home to about 18 affordable housing communities in the immediate area,” Erin Long, a homeowner in the Frederick Courts Condominiums across the street. “What’s become known as the western gateway node of Columbia Pike cannot sustain the affordable housing development as it’s planned.
“It’s clear that plan is for those units lost at the east end of the pike to be relocated to the west end,” she continued. “It’s absolutely inappropriate for every lost unit to be relocated to us. We deserve to benefit from the redevelopment of Columbia Pike, not serve as the repository for those displaced from other nodes.”
Other complaints surrounding the development revolved around its height; while it’s eight stories, it sits on a steep hill. Critics, including residents of the adjacent Carlyle House condos, which are directly north and front Columbia Pike, say the topography would make the building seem even taller than it is, and not conforming with the vision for the neighborhood plan.
Supporters of the plan included APAH board members and other affordable housing advocates, including Timothy Malone, the associate rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and a member of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (V.O.I.C.E.).
“Many people support affordable housing, but not in my backyard,” Malone, who lives in Columbia Forest, said. “I’m here to say that I’m a YIMBY: yes in my backyard. If we are to maintain diversity, we must continue to maintain and develop affordable housing.”
The Board approved the plan 5-0, acknowledging the project was built in compliance with the code, but asking APAH to make adjustments to appease its neighbors. APAH now has clearance to build the project, which will include three levels of underground parking, a new playground, with 100 percent of the units affordable at a maximum of 60 percent of area median income, with some as low as 40 percent.
“APAH is deeply honored by the Arlington County Board’s commitment to affordable housing and we are excited to bring much needed affordable housing to Arlington as envisioned by the award-winning Columbia Pike Neighborhood Plan,” APAH president and CEO Nina Janopaul said in a statement Thursday.
As part of the project, the County Board approved an $18.9 million loan from the Affordable Housing Investment Fund. APAH expects construction to begin — assuming its state and federal financing is approved — in 2016.
After approving the project at about 12:45 early Wednesday morning, Hynes said “this was a momentous day,” but said the way in which the project came forward was far from perfect.
“This is a moment of taking the longer view and of understanding we’re at the beginning of a multi-year plan,” Hynes said. “I think there have been lessons learned. Know that we will all do better next time.”
Photo, top, via @ArlingtonVA. Image, bottom, via APAH
(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is planning on building two, eight-story apartment buildings near the western end of Columbia Pike.
APAH is planning on replacing a surface parking lot at 1010 S. Frederick Street with the two buildings, which will contain 229 units of committed affordable housing. All of the units will be affordable up to 60 percent of area median income, with some units as low as 40 percent AMI.
To replace the surface parking, a three-level underground garage will be built.
The development is on this month’s agendas for the county’s planning and housing commissions, and is expected to go before the Arlington County Board at its meetings later this month. The project would be one of the first of its kind to go before the County Board under the Columbia Pike neighborhoods form-based code, approved in 2013.
Some in the community have expressed concern about a concentration of affordable housing on the western end of Columbia Pike, where this project is situated. County Board member John Vihstadt addressed some of those concerns at the Arlington Civic Federation meeting on Tuesday night.
“Certain people have concerns about an over-concentration [of affordable housing] on the west end of the Pike and not enough on the east end,” Vihstadt said. “It’s something that we’re going to have to come to grips with. I think we all want a mix of income in all neighborhoods as much as possible.”
APAH CEO Nina Janopaul told ARLnow.com that those concerns pale in comparison when compared to the concerns over the lack of affordable housing overall in the county. She said the civic association in which the new project is located, Columbia Forest, has lost 750 units of affordable housing in the last 15 years.
“The Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Plan calls for preserving or replacing the 6,200 affordable units, most of which are market-rate affordable and vulnerable to redevelopment,” she said. “We need to take advantage of the moment now, when the interest rates are low, to build affordable housing that will still be there in 60 years.”
The development, if approved, would add the 229 affordable units right next to APAH’s expansive, 208-unit Columbia Grove apartments. Of those units — on the 8-acre, 14-building campus — 131 are committed affordable housing. Janopaul said the buildings are Columbia Forest’s only affordable housing “at all.”
The project, dubbed “Columbia Hills,” will cost an estimated $85 million, according to APAH’s application to the county. APAH is requesting the county contribute $18.5 million from its Affordable Housing Investment Fund, which, along with the form-based code application, the County Board is expected to debate granting this month.
APAH is also planning to submit a Low Income Housing Tax Credit application next month. If all goes as Janopaul hopes, the federal government would approve the loan in the first quarter of 2016, after which construction can begin.
Image (top) via Arlington County. Photo (bottom) via Google Maps
The Columbia Forest Civic Association, Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (V.O.I.C.E.) and residents of the Carlyle House and Columbia Grove apartments have joined together to support the petition. They plan to be in attendance on Saturday morning to present the petition to the Arlington County Board.
A V.O.I.C.E. press release cites police data saying there have been 33 collisions at the intersection over the past five years, including four involving pedestrians and one involving a cyclist.
“A pedestrian-activated flashing yellow light was installed here several years ago but has proven inadequate as many drivers simply ignore it,” the press release states. “Many schoolchildren, seniors, and commuters need to cross here on foot every morning and afternoon. Cars pass through the intersection from 9 lanes and abutting driveways, and drivers attempting left turns are forced to protrude into the lanes. Even for careful drivers it is impossible to navigate safely.”
The petition has 219 signatures from residents of the neighborhood, and the petition says the traffic light now has the support of the county’s transportation staff and the intersection meets state traffic standards for a signal.
“All that remains is for the County Board to agree to expedite the release of the funding necessary — estimated at roughly $400,000 — to have the light installed,” according to the release.
Photo via Google Maps
The online fundraiser set up to help Bill and Sarah Barkes — the survivors of the fatal house fire from earlier this month — has reached more than $70,000 in donations, but at least one scam artist appears to be trying to profit from the family’s pain.
According to an update on the Barkes family’s GoFundMe page, a Craigslist post was made by someone posing as a relative of the family under the guise of “collecting money through Paypal.”
The GoFundMe page is maintained by Joy Chadwick, the sister of the mother who died in the blaze trying to save one of her daughters, Emily, who also died. Chadwick has been updating the nearly 1,000 people who have donated to the cause in the two weeks since the fire. Chadwick wrote yesterday that Sarah was released from the hospital after more than a week in intensive care.
“[Bill Barkes] said the doctors were very excited about how fast Sarah was healing and at the this time no surgery is needed,” Chadwick wrote last week. “He said she is working hard on her physical therapy. If she continues with this progress she might be able to leave the hospital by Saturday. She is excited that some of her teachers are coming to visit her today.”
Chadwick wrote the family still has “not decided where they will live.” The cat that was missing after the fire was found and is currently living with Chadwick’s other sister, according to the page.
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) An online fundraising drive has raised more than $18,000 to support the Barkes family, the victims of the fatal house fire in South Arlington on Tuesday.
The GoFundMe campaign is up to $18,650 as of 5:00 p.m., with nearly 250 people donating since the campaign launched on Wednesday.
The money raised will help the survivors, Bill and his daughter Sarah, who were both hurt in the fire. Bill’s wife, Mary, and eight-year-old daughter Emily died in the blaze.
“They have lost everything,” the GoFundMe page says. “Their family required two incomes and now they have one. Please make a donation. Anything and everything will help. If you can’t give please say a prayer for Sarah and Billy.”
The page was started by Joy Chadwick, Mary’s sister, who wrote an update to the drive’s blog three hours ago:
“We are at the hospital now with Sarah,” the page says. “She has just had her bandages changed. They have to sedate her in order to change her bandages. Thankfully today she will be moved out of intensive care unit to a regular room. She will still have to stay in the hospital a couple of days. Her arms are wrapped from her shoulders to her fingers. She is being very brave. We are working on their living arrangements. Again thank you so much for everything. Please help us get the word out and share this on your page. God Bless you all.”
The Arlington County Fire Department is still investigating the fire, a process that is expected to take a few weeks. There were no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire, an ACFD spokeswoman said.
Photo via GoFundMe
We’re learning more about the two Arlington residents who died in a house fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood early Tuesday morning.
According to Fox 5, Mary’s husband, Bill, managed to escape the blaze in nothing but his boxer shorts, then used a ladder to save his 11-year-old daughter, Sarah. He was unable to go back into the house due to the intensity of the flames.
Mary, meanwhile, was the first one out of the home, according to NBC 4. She ran back in the home to try to save Emily, but was overcome by fire and smoke. It took firefighters 15 minutes of fighting the flames before they were able to enter the home and find their bodies.
There were no working fire detectors in the home, according to an Arlington County Fire Department spokesman. The investigation into the cause is expected to take a number of weeks.
If passed, the motion would fund $781,082 for street improvements on 24th Street N. from Illinois Street to Kensington Street; $159,751 for new streetlights on S. Edison Street from George Mason Drive to 11th Street; and $521,409 for median and striping improvements on N. Sycamore Street from 26th Street to Williamsburg Blvd.
The three projects were recommended by the Neighborhood Conservation Action Committee. The money would come from the Neighborhood Conservation Program, an $11 million pot of money used for relatively small citizen-initiated projects. The three projects would be the third installment of the latest Neighborhood Conservation fund, approved by referendum last year. Four projects were funded last fall and five were funded this spring. If approved, the program would have $4,866,407 in funding left for future projects.
The projects were selected on a points-based system. They were the three highest-scoring projects out of the 25 proposals the NCAC reviews. County staff supported the NCAC’s recommendations in its report..
The item is on the Board’s consent agenda, which means unless a Board member or a citizen decides it warrants further analysis at the Board’s Tuesday meeting, it should pass without additional discussion on Saturday.
Affordable Housing Crisis in Arlington? — “Arlington County is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis,” writes reporter Michael Lee Pope. The county has lost more than half of its affordable housing units in the last decade, a time when the average rent increased by 47 percent while the average salary increased only 37 percent. The “crisis” has led the Arlington Green Party to propose a referendum on the creation of a new housing authority, a move that many existing affordable housing organizations in Arlington oppose. [Arlington Connection]
Gravelly Point Still Busy Despite Shutdown — Gravelly Point has remained a popular destination for picnickers, fisherman and airplane watchers, despite the fact that it’s officially closed and its parking lot barricaded. Despite being a potential safety hazard, a number of park-goers have been parking on the grass adjacent to the GW Parkway. [WJLA]
Columbia Forest Tops for Female Divorcees — Arlington’s Columbia Forest neighborhood has the highest concentration of female divorcees among census tracts in the county, with 355. According to census data, Shirlington and Pentagon City are No. 2 and 3, with 339 and 298 respectively. As previously reported, Crystal City has the highest concentration of divorced men, 297. [Patch]
Stink Bug Season in Washington — It’s stink bug season once again. While a few of the insects have been reported around Arlington, the stink bug population seems to increase as you go west, beyond the Beltway. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Runneralan2004.