Arlington, VA

A Virginia Square lounge and restaurant may have a permit renewed at tomorrow’s Arlington County Board meeting despite outstanding code violations.

Darna Lounge was closed in February due to “numerous violations of the Building, Fire, Zoning and Environmental Health codes, affecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.” The structure was deemed unfit for habitation but has since reopened.

According to a county report, most of the violations have been corrected and the applicant is “diligently pursuing resolution of the outstanding issues.” But some still remain, per a county staff report.

The establishment was allowed to reopen after correcting the major violations that were identified during the coordinated inspection. The applicant was granted an extension to April 1, 2018 to come into full compliance. A building permit to correct the outstanding violations was submitted on March 12, 2018, for the purpose of addressing unapproved alterations to the building. However, the applicant was not able to meet the April 1, 2018 deadline. The Inspection Services Division (ISD) has provided comments to the applicant that require revisions to the drawings associated with the building permit. The applicant is in the process of addressing the comments and resubmitting the revised drawings.

Despite the building concerns, the County Manager’s office is recommending that the Board approve a renewal of Darna’s live entertainment and dancing permit, with an administrative review in three months.

“Staff finds that at this time the applicant is reasonably working to resolve the outstanding violations, which are not deemed to be of a life, health or safety concern,” the report said, “Therefore, staff recommends renewal of the subject use permit with a three (3) month County Board review (July 2018).”

Staff also notes that police reported no recent issues with the business and that Darna reps “attended the Arlington Restaurant Initiative training on April 7, 2018 conducted by ACPD officers.”

The lounge recently gained some national notoriety as the location where Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson was caught on camera cheating on his pregnant, reality TV star girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian.

Darna, at 946 N. Jackson Street, opened back in 2012.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Planning for Transportation Changes in Rosslyn — “Local officials are now partnering with developers to make more improvements to help convince the next big corporate tenant to pick Rosslyn.” [Bisnow]

Teavana to Remain Open — Set to close next year, the Teavana store at Pentagon City mall is now expected to remain open thanks to a judge’s ruling against parent company Starbucks. [Washington Business Journal]

Lopez’s Detention Center Work Criticized — “Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, a Democrat who has represented a Hispanic­-heavy South Arlington district since 2012, was paid more than $5,000 a year in 2014 and more than $10,000 a year in 2015 and 2016 by Immigration Centers of America (ICA), which operates a detention center in Farmville, Va. , according to his state financial disclosure reports.” [Washington Post]

Holiday Events for Incarcerated Parents — Today and tomorrow, the Arlington County jail will be hosting a pair of “special events to allow incarcerated mothers and fathers to visit with their children during the winter holidays.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Show Goes On Despite Snow — The Arlington County Police Department’s “Operation Santa” performance, featuring cops donning costumes and dancing for children in the community, went on Saturday despite the snowy weather. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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An Afghan restaurant in Crystal City is applying for a major revamp, including a name-change and the ability to host live entertainment.

Planning documents filed with the county indicate that Grill Kabob at 507 23rd Street S. hopes to be renamed Sin & Saint. It also would like to add a dance floor on the second level for use on Friday and Saturday nights, in addition to live entertainment from a DJ.

In the application, the owners said the DJ will use speakers and subwoofers, most likely the Electro-Voice brand. The live entertainment would be provided from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurant is located among other bars and eateries along the 23rd Street corridor.

The applicant and county staff discussed the project last night at the Aurora Highlands Civic Association’s monthly meeting.

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A Super Bowl-winning former linebacker joined the BalletNova Center For Dance to kick off a new community engagement program today.

Former Washington Redskins linebacker Andre Collins joined BalletNova for its “M.O.V.E” residency session at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School in the Arlington View neighborhood Tuesday morning.

M.O.V.E stands for motivation, opportunity, vitality and empowerment. The school-based program uses accessible movements to teach elements of dance and develop sophisticated choreography, while challenging children physically and mentally. For most students participating in the M.O.V.E. program, it is their first experience with dance.

The school residencies are six to eight weeks in length, with classes meeting once a week for an hour. Each residency culminates in a performance at the school.

Collins joined the class earlier this morning. He studied dance in college and took classes while playing in the NFL. After graduating from Penn State, he was drafted by the Redskins in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft.

After four years with Washington, including winning Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, he played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions before retiring in 1999.

He is now director of retired players for the NFL Players Association and executive director of the Professional Athletes Foundation.

Photo via Professional Athletes Foundation

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Police car (file photo)(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) An Arlington resident’s home was broken into and his car was vandalized, all because of some perceived transgressions on the dancefloor.

The incident happened early Sunday morning, according to Arlington County Police, at a residence on the 4500 block of N. Carlin Springs Road, near Ballston.

“At approximately 3:52 a.m. on October 2, officers responded to the report of a disorderly subject,” said an ACPD crime report. “Upon arrival it was determined that a female subject entered a residence and damaged a door and door [jamb]. The subject then moved outside to a vehicle and smashed the windshields and slashed the tires.”

The motive for the crime was dancing-related, said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“The victim and the subject were at a nightclub earlier in the evening and a verbal altercation ensued over the subject dancing with other individuals,” she told ARLnow.com

Annapolis, Maryland resident Tiffany Mason, 28, was arrested and charged with destruction of property and breaking and entering, according to police. She was held without bond.

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Salsa dancing at Crystal City's Sip and Salsa event on SundayCrystal City’s annual outdoor food and wine festival, Sip and Salsa, will return on Sunday.

The event, held from 2-6 p.m. in the parking lot next to 220 20th Street S., features “delicious wines from Spain, Portugal, and Argentina together with food tastes from restaurants in Crystal City and the region.”

There’s also live Latin jazz, wine lessons from the Washington Wine Academy, and free salsa dancing lessons from Columbia Pike’s Salsa Room.

Crystal City says Sip and Salsa ” is the D.C. region’s only inside the Beltway, outdoor wine festival with the ease of safe and responsible transit access.”

Food and drink tickets are $20 online, while food-only tickets are $10.

The local professional football team, it should be noted, won’t be playing Sunday — the Redskins will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.

Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

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Morning Notes

Trees in bloom on Feb. 29, 2016

It’s March 1 — Not only is today the first day of March, with spring (March 20) and Daylight Saving Time (March 13) around the corner, but it’s also the Super Tuesday presidential primary day here in Virginia. Arlington’s 52 polling places opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. [Arlington County]

Committee of 100 to Discuss Racial Tensions — On Wednesday, March 9, the Arlington Committee of 100 will hold a discussion entitled “Are Arlington’s Police and Justice Systems Prepared to Respond to Community and Racial Tensions?” Among the speakers are Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and Police Chief Jay Farr. [InsideNova]

Bowen McCauley Dance Performing at Kennedy Center — Arlington’s Bowen McCauley Dance company will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with performances at the Kennedy Center later this month. [WJLA]

It’s a Good Time to Lease an Office in Arlington — D.C.-based commercial real estate firm West, Lane & Schlager is advising companies to consider leasing office space in Arlington in the near future. The firm says the D.C. area is definitely a tenant’s market at the moment, but the tide will eventually turn. With vacancy rates stabilizing, companies can take advantage of lease concessions now, before the market turns in favor of landlords, the firm says. [Patch]

Four Courts Four Miler Coming Up — The popular annual Four Courts Four Miler race will take place Saturday morning, March 12. Registration is currently $40 and will, in part, benefit the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund. As in previous years, those who beat the runner dressed up as a leprechaun — Ireland’s Four Courts manager Dave Cahill, a 3:10 marathon runner — will get a special gift from the pub. [Pacers Running]

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Photograph from Arlington Fourm exhibition (Courtesy of Arlington Forum)A Catholic church near Clarendon is holding a series of films, dances and concerts as part of a new cultural series called Forum Arlington.

Every Friday, the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (3304 Washington Blvd) will hold either a music concert, dance class or film screening. The Forum kicked off last week with a performance by Marie Miller and will hold a film screening tonight.

All events start at 7 p.m. with a happy hour followed by the film, concert or dance class at 8 p.m. Tickets can either be purchased online or at the door, depending on the event.

Forum Arlington also has a photography exhibition about South America from Oct. 16 to Dec. 18.

The idea for the cultural series came from the church’s pastor, Father Donald Planty, who wanted to do more cultural outreach, said Terrence McKeegan, the head of Arlington Forum.

“He had this idea to have a cultural series that is a cultural outreach program for Arlington residents,” McKeegan said.

McKeegan has helped organize multiple cultural events, including large music festivals, and realized he and the pastor had the same vision. Together, they worked to find different acts and films, drawing from McKeegan’s wide network, he said.

“We try to pick bands or films or dance instructors and types of dances that appealing to widest range,” McKeegan said.

The events are held in the church’s gym, which McKeegan and church staff spruced up to make it look more like an event space instead of a typical gym, he said.

The concerts, dances and films will continue through the winter. For the spring, Arlington Forum will introduce a lecture series in addition to the concerts. McKeegan did not know at this time if the films and dance classes would resume in the spring.

Forum Arlington is open to the entire Arlington community, McKeegan said.

“The target audience is the entire community,” he said. “It’s not all the parishioners or an age demographic.”

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Last year, two kittens rescued by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington became Internet sensations thanks to a viral video of them dancing to the hit song “Turn Down for What.”

This year, another AWLA kitten is getting some Internet love. Winnie, a foster kitten, stars in a video of her “dancing” to the tune of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ pop hit “Uptown Funk.”

Since the video was uploaded to YouTube in May, it has received more than 600,000 views.

The AWLA wasn’t able to provide much information about Winnie, but did confirm that she was a foster kitten and has apparently since been adopted.

“Our foster coordinator recognizes the video kitten as one we had in the spring,” said league COO Susan Sherman.

Sherman said the organization, through its foster program, helps to rescue hundreds of kittens over the course of the summer. More kittens like Winnie, along with adult cats, are currently available for adoption.

“Kittens go to foster care when they are too young and sometimes too unsocial (feral) for adoption,” she said. “Once they reach two pounds in weight and are socialized to people, they come back to the shelter for adoption. We currently have nine kittens up for adoption and 24 in foster care who will be available in the next few weeks. Every summer our foster families help 200-300 kittens.”

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Dance Asia performers (photo via Dance Asia website)The holiday celebrations are starting early, with Dance Asia‘s fifth annual “Colors!” holiday showcase taking place this weekend.

On Saturday (November 1) from 7:00-9:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Auditorium (125 S. Old Glebe Road), 11 dance groups featuring more than 100 performers will present dance pieces designed around a particular color. The dancers — who range in age from 5 to 60 years old — designed the performances to reflect their culture, traditions and identities.

A couple of goals for the event are to showcase the diversity of Asia and raise awareness of the intricacies of Asian dance forms. The performers come from diverse backgrounds, including East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific. There will also be featured guest performers of Latin American and African heritage.

Before the dancing begins, starting at 6:00 p.m., visitors can browse through a mini craft market to mark the beginning of the holiday season.

This cultural free event is for people of all ages, and advanced tickets can be reserved online. Donations are welcome.

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El Tayrona dance ensemble. El Tayrona dance ensemble.

The dance ensemble El Tayrona will showcase “folklore in a passion of feelings,” at the annual Colombian National Day event at Gunston Arts Theater One (2700 S. Lang Street) this Saturday.

The event celebrating Colombian independence will start with Colombian cuisine from Restaurante Monserrate at 3:00 p.m. before dance performances begin at 6:00 p.m. The dances will depict Colombian folklore by reflecting its different regions, El Tayrona founder and choreographer Marta Chiari said. Some dances will embody the Andean region and the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

Tickets cost $15 before Saturday — there’s a $50 special for groups of four that buy before Saturday — and $20 at the door. El Tayrona is selling tickets for the event by phone, at 571-435-5527.

This will be the 28th Colombian National Day event hosted by Chiari and El Tayrona, and it will include a new addition to the performance lineup.

The Colombian instrumental trio Confónica will perform for the first time in the event’s history. For the second year in a row, “Los Tayronitas,” the children’s ensemble of the El Tayrona dance group, will perform a dance routine and sing.

“All of them have been memorable,” Chiari said of the annual celebration. She and her mother have organized the events since the beginning after founding El Tayrona in 1981. “But they have been very special since the children have started performing.”

Colombia National Day celebrates Colombia declaring its independence from Spain on July 20, 1810, with the formation of the People’s Junta.

Photos courtesy of Marta Chiari

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