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by Andrew Ramonas — February 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras parade

Masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other Mardi Gras partiers are set to make their way through Clarendon tonight.

After dodging the threat of snow following two years of weather delays and cancellations, the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, making its way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.

After the parade, revelers then can head to the first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.

More than 30 groups are expected to march in the parade, which is organized by the Clarendon Alliance. The non-profit organization has billed the parade as a “family-friendly event” that is “big fun.”

“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” the Clarendon Alliance says on its website. “What’s not to like?”

Except maybe traffic.

Some roads will shut down starting at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the street closures include:

  • Wilson Blvd from Veitch Street to Barton Street will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Blvd from Barton Street to Irving Street will be closed from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m.

Clarendon Ballroom will host the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band and serve traditional Louisiana food, with wine, beer and punch, as part of the Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend, but must have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets to the party cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Iota Club (2832 Wilson Blvd), meanwhile, will be hosting its own Mardi Gras celebration starting at 8:00 p.m. The free event features a rock-blues band and $3 gumbo shots.

Photo courtesy Jason Dixson Photography

by ARLnow.com — February 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Publicly-traded energy tech firm Opower is staying in Arlington, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced at a press conference this morning, marking some good news for a county beset by the departures of large government agencies.

McAuliffe and County Board Chair Libby Garvey were among those making the announcement at Opower’s current headquarters at 1515 N. Courthouse Road in Courthouse, which President Obama visited in 2010, when the company was still a startup.

Opower will be moving down the street to a new office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. The building — already approved by the County Board — is set to be constructed over the next two years, replacing a row of restaurants. Developer Carr Properties had been calling the 8-story building the “Clean Technology Center,” which seems consistent with Opower’s sustainability and energy conservation mission.

Virginia and Arlington County had been fighting to keep Opower, which was being courted by the District and by The Wharf, the massive new development on the Southwest D.C. waterfront.

“Keeping Opower in Arlington County has been a high priority of my administration,” McAuliffe said. “This high-profile energy software company is growing rapidly and making a major impact on global challenges, and we are committed to further strengthening this important corporate partnership. The technology industry is booming in Virginia, and wins like this expansion help us continue to build on the momentum in this important sector.”

“Arlington has watched Opower grow from a startup venture to a thriving leader not only in the region, but in the entire clean technology industry,” Garvey said. “Arlington’s highly-educated workforce and easy transportation access were things Opower was looking for as the company continues to grow, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for a long time to come.”

McAuliffe helped arrange a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Arlington keep Opower.

“Arlington County will match the state funding with a performance-based local economic development incentive grant,” the county notes in a press release. “Arlington will provide an additional annual performance grant through the remaining years of the lease term subject to job and occupancy requirements. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.”

Opower plans to invest about $10.5 million in its new, 63,000 square foot headquarters and expects to add 70 new employees within three years. The company will also retain 357 jobs that currently pay above the region’s prevailing wage.

“Opower has been with Arlington since the beginning,” said Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development. “The company is a model for the fast-growth technology companies we’re hoping to attract to Arlington, and we simply could not be more pleased that Opower has decided to continue to be a part of Arlington’s business community.”

The building at 2311 Wilson Blvd will have a total of 150,000 square feet of office space plus ground floor retail spaces when it’s completed.

by Jennifer Currier — January 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade 2016Pending good weather, floats, bands, horses and “critters in costumes” will march down Wilson Blvd during the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for early February.

This year’s parade is planned for Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 9. It will start at 7 p.m., traveling along Wilson from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street. The deadline to register to participate is Feb. 1, and bead orders must be submitted by Jan. 25.

Snow has forced the family-friendly parade to be postponed to mid-March the last two years in a row, but this year the organizers — the non-profit Clarendon Alliance — have planned an additional event that’s not weather-dependent on the evening of the parade.

The first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd. The ball will have live performances from jazz ensembles the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band. A ball king and queen will be announced between the bands’ sets.

Traditional Louisiana food will be served alongside wine, beer and punch. Ticket holders will get one free ticket upon entry. All other food and beverage sales will be cash only or from additionally purchased food and drink tickets.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets to the ball are now for sale online for $20 per person, and parade participants can get their tickets at a discounted rate. Proceeds from the tickets — beyond parade expenses — will benefit St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

by Jennifer Currier — January 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Courthouse Plaza Improvement Sketch (via Vornado)

The seemingly endless construction at Courthouse Plaza — the privately-owned, open-air shopping center near the Courthouse Metro station — is finally nearing an end.

The final phase of construction at Courthouse Plaza is underway, we’re told, completing a series of improvement projects to the property that has extended over the course of the last several years.

The project currently under construction will make streetscape improvements along Clarendon Boulevard to “create a new pedestrian experience.” These improvements include installing new pavers — the stone along pedestrian walkways — and updating the entry into the plaza itself.

Once complete, the plaza will have a new, outdoor gathering space with seating. The area will also have contemporary landscaping features.

These outdoor improvements mark the end of the last phase of capital improvement projects for the building, according to Mara Olguin, spokeswoman for the property’s owner, Vornado. She said plans to make these improvements began more than three years ago and have involved multiple projects.

Some of these include the lease renewal and renovations to the AMC movie theater and improvements to the parking garages at 2200 and 2300 Clarendon Blvd. Before that, Vornado also oversaw the installation of new brickwork in the plaza.

Olguin added all the projects mentioned are consistent with the new Courthouse Sector Plan and Retail Action Plan, which the County Board approved last summer.

Construction work on the plaza’s outdoor area will continue through the winter and early spring. All work is expected to be completed by this April.

Photo via Vornado

by ARLnow.com — December 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

The Wendy’s in Courthouse has finally closed its doors to make way for a new 12-story office building.

Signs were posted in the windows at the fast food restaurant today saying that it has closed. The signs direct customers to the nearest Wendy’s, located three miles away at 5066 Lee Highway.

Also closed is the Wells Fargo Bank next door. Readers reported that the bank, which will also be torn down for the new office development, closed several weeks ago.

A sign in the windows at the bank directs customers to another Wells Fargo branch just up the road, at 2200 Clarendon Blvd.

by ARLnow.com — December 7, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Japanese Maple in the sunlight (Flickr pool photo by Eric)

Passenger Thrown from Minivan in Crash — Three people were hurt in an early morning crash on S. Arlington Ridge Road today. Police say a car traveling at 55 mph on the residential street slammed into the back of a minivan near 23rd Street S., causing one passenger in the van to be ejected from the vehicle. [WJLA, NBC Washington]

School Board Approves $100 Million H-B Design — The Arlington School Board has approved a concept design for the Wilson School in Rosslyn, future home of the H-B Woodlawn secondary program. With a 92-space parking garage factored in, the construction cost of the school may exceed $100 million. Also last week, the School Board confirmed that it will again ask the County Board for permission to build a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

County Facebook Post Raises Eyebrows — Democratic political operative Ben Tribbett, among others, is calling an Arlington County Facebook post about a local Democratic resolution on the Redskins team name an “inappropriate use of a government Facebook account.” Tribbett was previously hired by the team to defend its name. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]

Nine Arlington Restaurants Make Top 50 List — Nine Arlington establishments have made Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants list. The highest on the list is new-this-year Kapnos Taverna in Ballston. [Patch]

Fisette on County’s Support for I-66 Plan — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette says the county supports a plan for tolling I-66 because it is a regional compromise that’s cost effective, multimodal and not “the typical knee-jerk reaction [of] just widening roads.” Fisette notes that Arlington “was traumatized by the building of I-66 right through some of our neighborhoods” in the 1970s and 80s. [Washington Post]

Four Mile DMV Moving After Losing Lease — Dozens of angry Fairfax County residents came out to a meeting Thursday night to express opposition to a new DMV office in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center. The meeting also revealed more information on why the DMV is moving from its current location on S. Four Mile Run Drive. The DMV reportedly lost its lease due to a planned redevelopment, which has since fallen through. [Annandale VA]

More Info on Courthouse Redevelopment — We now know a bit more about the planned redevelopment of a low-rise office building in Courthouse. A 15-story, 91-unit condo building with 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space is planned to replace the office building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

by Jennifer Currier — November 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm 0

WERA Control Room (Courtesy of Paul LeValley:AIM)

(Updated at 4:32 p.m.) Arlington Independent Media is asking for residents’ ears starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 6, the exact moment when the organization’s low power FM station will hit the airways.

WERA 96.7 FM is an AIM project with a focus to air programming for the local community, by the local community.

“We would really like to reach out to all of Arlington’s communities and have widespread participation,” AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley said. “We’re working to ensure the programming is compelling, and we hope people will be open minded about giving us a shot.”

As a public radio platform, the station’s funding will come from listener and member contributions, as well as local business underwriting.

According to Andrew Rosenberg, member of the AIM Board of Directors and the station’s Program Advisory and Review Council (PARC), the primary means for keeping residents so closely involved has little to do with money.

“We want to create a service that fills a need in the area so people know this is their station,” he said. “My greatest hope is that we become a real fixture for the community.”

Rosenberg said in recent months members on the project team have worked throughout the Arlington community to start putting together a program schedule.wera-logo-75

Though the schedule itself will be a work in progress as the station grows, Rosenberg said they’ve received several proposals for programs of all varieties. Some of these include:

  • music programming (disc jockey, world beat, ska, music collection shows, etc.)
  • local news and events
  • world news summaries
  • documentary
  • school news summaries
  • call-in discussions
  • content from independent public radio producers

In the beginning, WERA will also air programs sourced from other public radio outlets, if their content is relevant to Arlington listeners. However, Rosenberg said he hoped that over time community programming will displace these.

“We’ll be very much in touch with what the community wants to hear,” he said. “We’ll also be taking proposals on a rolling basis and changing up shows to keep things interesting.”

Arlington Independent MediaThe community station will broadcast out of AIM’s current building at 2701-C Wilson Blvd near Clarendon.

To celebrate, the station is also hosting a party from 3 to 8 p.m. on the launch day in the WERA control room . There will be refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided. The family-friendly event is free open to the public, though all attendees should expect to get involved.

“We’re making this participatory because that’s the whole idea behind community radio,” LeValley said.

In addition to demonstrations of the equipment and facilities, guests can rehearse and record a radio drama, share a short story, or participate in a sing-along to “This Land is Your Land.” These recordings will be some of the first segments to go on the air shortly after the ribbon cutting at 6 p.m.

“The more people, the better,” LeValley added. “We would love to have the whole community come and help us launch.”

Photo courtesy of Paul LaValley/AIM

by ARLnow.com — November 17, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Sun shining through autumn leaves (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Water Main Break in Courthouse — Courthouse Road is closed between Route 50 and 14th Street N., near the police station, due to a water main break that was discovered overnight. Repairs are still underway as of this morning’s rush hour. [WTOP]

Arlington Scores New Office Tenant in Va. Square — Arlington County will fill 50,000 square feet of vacant office space in Virginia Square thanks to a new tenant. GW Medical Faculty Associates will be moving into 3811 N. Fairfax Drive this coming spring, creating more than 200 jobs. [Arlington County]

Secret Chopsticks Open Today — The previously secretive Secret Chopsticks is planning to open to the public today. The 120-seat upscale, white tablecloth Chinese restaurant is located at 1850 Fort Myer Drive, on the ground floor of the Turnberry Tower condominium. [Washingtonian]

Garvey Wants Strategic Plan for County — Should County Board member Libby Garvey become the board chair next year, she wants to develop a strategic plan for Arlington. “We really don’t have one,” she said over the weekend. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

Police car lightsArlington County Police responded to two separate incidents of men exposing their genitals to women in the Clarendon and Courthouse areas Friday night.

The first incident happened about a block from the Whole Foods, just before 7 p.m. From an ACPD crime report:

EXPOSURE, 151113043, 2600 block of N. Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 6:55 p.m. on November 13, an unknown male subject exposed his genitals to a female victim. The suspect is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’9″ and weighed 160 lbs. He was wearing dark jeans, a dark zippered hoodie, and had short cropped hair.

The second incident happened in Courthouse, near the Wendy’s.

EXPOSURE, 151113045, 2000 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:30 p.m. on November 13, an unknown subject approached a woman with his genitals exposed. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male approximately 5’7″ with a medium build. He was wearing a blue hoodie, light frayed blue jeans, and white tennis shoes.

So far, no arrests have been reported.

by Jennifer Currier — November 9, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

Cards from the Cards Against Urbanity party gameA playable parody of the popular, irreverent card game “Cards Against Humanity” is getting an Arlington spin.

Cards Against Urbanity was created by some local planners, architects and economic development professionals to get players thinking about urban planning while poking fun at the cities they live in.

The game, which was inspired by Arlington, is now getting its own local edition, just in time for an event in Courthouse tomorrow night.

Arlington Cultural Affairs is hosting a Cards Against Urbanity game night Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Courthaus Social (2300 Clarendon Blvd), the restaurant where Lisa Nisenson and her co-creators decided to make the idea for the game a reality.

“I’m a longtime civic activist, so I know how frustrating it is to try and learn all the things about how the city works, so that’s where this came from,” Nisenson said. “We just want people to have a good time and get to know their community in a creative way.”

The deck used during the game night will include some new cards specifically relevant to Arlington.

Players could come across black question cards with prompts like “The tolls on the I-66 should be used to fund ____” and “Arlington is world famous for ____.” We’re told there may also be a card referencing the ARLnow.com comment section.

Some of the white cards address relevant community issues and in-jokes with answers like “Cardboard classrooms” and “Brown flip flops.”

These cards were added to the original deck distributed to backers last year after the game’s Kickstarter campaign exceeded its goal. Nisenson said some of the original cards — including “A desire named streetcar” — could apply in the local edition of the game.

Guests in the crowd will also have the opportunity to make suggestions for new cards.

“We want people to be really clever,” Nisenson said. “We hope to add the best, most clever suggestions to Arlington’s deck.”

The event is free and appropriate for all audiences. Snacks will be provided, and there will be a cash bar.

This is the first of three game nights in Arlington. The next one scheduled for Jan. 12, with another planned for later in this spring.

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2015 at 11:30 am 0

A new MOM’s Organic Market is opening next week on Lee Highway, within walking distance to Courthouse.

The store, at 1901 N. Veitch Street, is planning a grand opening celebration between Friday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 15.

“Join us for a weekend of local tastings, environmental activities, henna art and more!” the company said on its website. “Five percent of Grand Opening sales will be donated to Moms Clean Air Force, a community of moms and dads united against air pollution and climate change to protect our children’s health.”

There will also be meet and greets with environmental organizations, like the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, and live music Saturday and Sunday afternoon from Arlington singer-songwriter (and H-B Woodlawn studentCalista Garcia.

In addition to the grocery store, MOM’s is also opening a Naked Lunch storefront along Uhle Street. Naked Lunch is an organic, vegetarian and vegan-only eatery that serves soups, sandwiches, bowls and raw juices.

Other MOM’s features include free car charging stations, local beer and organic wine, and recycling drop-off for wine corks, CFL bulbs, eye glasses, plastic bags, household batteries and shoes.

MOM’s is located in the new Verde Pointe development, along with 162 luxury apartments and 36 townhouse flats.

by ARLnow.com — October 19, 2015 at 11:35 am 1,044 0

2001 Clarendon Blvd (file photo)A new burger restaurant may be coming to the Courthouse neighborhood.

On Friday a building permit application was filed calling for a tenant fit out for an establishment called “Basic Burger.” The restaurant will be located on the first floor of the new apartment building at 2001 Clarendon Blvd.

Little information is available about Basic Burger, but one could make obvious assumptions about the type of food it will serve.

The arrival of a new burger restaurant could come at a good time for Courthouse: the Wendy’s just up the street is slated to be torn down at some point for a new office development approved by the County Board earlier this year.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. File photo.

by ARLnow.com — October 5, 2015 at 10:20 am 1,685 0

Dentist Dr. Joseph Khalil(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) The Arlington County Board last month came one vote away from kicking out a long-time Courthouse dentist office.

The little-noticed item came at the end of a long County Board meeting on Monday, Sept. 21.

At issue during the 40 minute discussion of the item: whether the dentist’s office — Courthouse Art of Dentistry — should be allowed to stay in the Courthouse Plaza shopping center at 2250 Clarendon Blvd as part of a regularly-scheduled Site Plan Amendment review.

County Board member Libby Garvey, who supported the office in the vote, wrote about it in her most recent email newsletter to constituents.

There has been a dentist at Courthouse Plaza for about 20 years, although the site plan originally called for retail to be in that space. Repeated attempts by retail stores to locate there had resulted in several store closures, so a waiver was granted to allow a dental office. The waiver was up for renewal. The dental office has thrived, the dentist does pro bono work for the Free Clinic and takes hotel guests when they need a dentist. A few people insisted that this location was not compliant with the site plan and the dentist had to go. The building owner said he could find no one else to fill that space and asked us to please allow the dentist to stay. Hundreds of patients and supporters signed a petition asking for the dentist to stay. Still…..this was the third time in a year he had to come before the Board pleading for us to allow his successful business to stay. He can stay, but the vote was far too close: 3-2. I thanked the dentist for all he does for our community. I told him and his many supporters who stayed until 11:55pm I was embarrassed the Board made this so hard for a successful business that serves Arlington well. It really was one of the more bizarre issues I’ve dealt with as a Board member.

Speakers at the meeting universally called for the Board to let the dentist office stay. The attorney for owner Dr. Joseph Khalil said that they had collected about 500 signatures in support of the practice. (The office is thriving and has 2,200 patients, the attorney said.)

Courthouse Art of Dentistry office (photo via Arlington County)The lone voice opposing the office was the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association, which wanted a more “active” business in the space, which is located across from Fireworks Pizza.

“CCCA renews our objection and voted to firmly oppose a permanent exception to the dentist office in a space designated for anchor retail as far back as 10 years,” civic association president Adam Thocher said in an email to county staff. “We encourage ongoing discussion between [landlord] Equity and Arlington Economic Development to market and secure a tenant that will help fulfill the promise made to the community of activating Courthouse Plaza.”

County staff, however, said that the use was appropriate and consistent with the county’s new Retail Action Plan, which allows for “retail equivalent” uses like medical and dental offices in lieu of more traditional stores and restaurants in certain retail zones, including the Courthouse area.

“We believe the use provides service to residents and to office workers in the plaza,” said Michael Cohen, a county staff member.

The dentist’s attorney, meanwhile, said that the retail landscape has changed since a dentist’s office first opened in the space in 1993. (It has since changed ownership.) She said that online shopping has limited the utility of small retail storefronts and that Courthouse Plaza already has stores that commonly use such spaces — a coffee shop, a cell phone store, etc.

“Voting against this would be inconsistent with policy… and inconsistent with the notion that we should be supporting long-standing local businesses,” said the attorney, Sara Mariska.

Mike Farrey, brother of a dentist at the practice, suggested that a dentist office might even be preferable to an “active” use.

“There are enough coffee shops and restaurants in Arlington, and enough empty storefronts,” he said.

Patients of the office who spoke at the meeting said that there’s no justification for making a successful, community-serving business pack up and move. One called it “un-American.”

“I feel like this is a complete waste of community resources,” said the man. “It’s not a gentlemen’s club, it’s not a bar, it’s not an adult bookstore… what use is it to create another empty storefront?”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said another patient.

In the end, the Board voted 3-2 — with retiring County Board members Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada voting in the minority — to renew the site plan amendment and allow the dentist to stay, with no further scheduled reviews.

County Board member John Vihstadt said that kicking the dentist out would only create an empty storefront, agreeing with Dr. Khalil’s attorney in suggesting that the space was too small and ill-configured to be attractive to any likely “active” retail tenant.

“Why would we want to open up a new cavity in Courthouse Plaza?” he quipped.

by Heather Mongilio — September 25, 2015 at 11:45 am 1,064 0

Arlington County’s new year-round homeless shelter will open its doors next week.

The Homeless Services Center officially opens on Oct. 1 with day programs and will start offering beds to the county’s homeless population on Friday, Oct. 2.

The new shelter has 50 year-round beds — 36 on the men’s side and 14 on the women’s side — and 25 “hypothermia prevention beds” for cold winter nights.

The center has a sitting room for people to relax or watch TV, a cafeteria serving meals around the clock and a classroom, where the shelter plans to hold job training, budgeting and art classes, said Kathy Sibert, the president and CEO of Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

The shelter is colorful, with a bright orange wall greeting people as they approach the front desk. The bedroom walls are painted blue on the women’s side and green on the men’s side. Even the floors are colorful, with green tiling on the women’s side and blue on the men’s side.

Macy’s will be providing sheets in blues and greens for the beds, Sibert said, making the accommodations slightly less spartan.

“Anita [Friedman], the director of Department of Human Services, and I were really intent that this wouldn’t look like an institute,” she said.

The color extends to the bathrooms, which have blue or green tiles instead of gray, said Scott Miller, senior director of development at A-SPAN.

“Color costs nothing,” he said. “Let’s make this place welcoming.”

The center will replace the emergency winter shelter two blocks away in Courthouse, which was open from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m. Other homeless services, including meals, will also be done at the new shelter.

“We’re going to have everything in one place, which is awesome,” Sibert said.

Having the shelter open 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year means A-SPAN will rely on volunteers to help keep things running, in addition to the 30 A-SPAN staff members, Miller said.

“We gobble up 15,000 volunteer hours here,” he said.

The new shelter is located directly across of the police station and near some Courthouse condominiums. Neighbors had voiced security concerns about having the shelter so close to their homes.

In response, A-SPAN hired security officers to patrol inside and outside of the building and installed cameras. People at the shelter will be allowed to go out for smoke breaks, but A-SPAN will limit it to three or four people going on a break at a time.

“Here’s the thing. You’ve got to remember that they’re people, too,” Sibert said.

There may still be occasional problems that arise, admits DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick, but A-SPAN and the County are working hard to take preventative measures.

“We want to be good neighbors,” he said.

Concerned residents can call Sibert or the homeless shelter to report problems, she said. There is also a Homeless Services Center Neighborhood Advisory Committee to help keep positive communication between the county and neighbors regarding issues with the shelter.

The county has worked with the police department to train about half of its offices on crisis intervention techniques, which help officers identify people with possible mental illnesses and bring them to a hospital instead of jail.

“Many, many officers have that training and are good at working with mental illnesses,” Larrick said.

About one-third of homeless people in Arlington have a mental illness, including substance abuse or general anxiety, Sibert said, adding that the homeless shelter has therapists and doctors to help provide support.

Getting people into a stable home situation also helps people deal with mental illness, Larrick said.

“So many mental illnesses are treated by medications, but its hard to stay on medications when you are on the street,” he said.

Ultimately, the goal of the homeless shelter is to help end homelessness by helping people get off the street and into homes, Sibert said. A-SPAN does this by providing case managers who follow each person throughout the process.

“[The shelter] is really a bridge so people don’t have to live on the street,” she said.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 24, 2015 at 6:00 am 0

Tucked in the northeast corner of the country’s #3 most walkable mid-sized locality is Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood. This urban village close to bustling Washington, D.C., has a lot to offer in terms of living “green” — from transportation to dining to dwelling.

Getting Around

With so much of Arlington County on a Car-Free Diet, by train, bike or foot, green transportation is a breeze in Courthouse.

Take the Orange and Silver lines from the Court House Metro station or jump on an Arlington Transit Bus or the Metrobus. Grab a bike from one of the many convenient Capital Bikeshare stations and ride the bike lanes of Clarendon and Wilson Boulevards. Hop on the mesmerizing Custis Trail at North Veitch Street or cruise the Arlington Boulevard Trail from Courthouse Road.

Eating

Between the county’s first MOM’s Organic Market opening later this year and the weekly Arlington Farmers Market, eating green is a cinch in Courthouse.

MOM’s Organic Market offers 100% certified organic produce, locally sourced products, an extensive grocery selection, as well as a free customer recycling center. And when you are in a hurry, you can make a quick stop at Naked Lunch, MOM’s all-organic eatery featuring prepared foods and made-to-order meals.

The year-round Arlington Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning near the County Courthouse, just off of the Custis Trail. For more than 35 years, market vendors have peddled everything from fresh produce to fresh pasta grown and made within 125 miles of the Courthouse neighborhood.

Living

At Courthouse’s new eco-conscious Verde Pointe Apartments, just off of Lee Highway at Uhle Street, living green is simple.

Not only does “Verde” mean “green” in Spanish, but each of the unique studio, convertible, one- and two-bedroom, and one-bedroom plus den units are chock-full of green features. Built to LEED Gold standards, the pet-friendly apartment homes feature ENERGY STAR appliances, high efficiency toilets and individually programmable thermostats. And with additional high-end amenities such as a rooftop pool and large balconies, combined with easy access to Capital Bikeshare and electric car charging stations, the Custis Trail and Mom’s Organic Market, it’s easy being green at Verde Pointe!

The preceding post was written and sponsored by Verde Pointe.

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