Arlington, VA

Some downed wires have closed both lanes of Military Road in Donaldson Run.

County police say the wires are down along the 3000 block of the road, not far from Zachary Taylor Park and Taylor Elementary School.

A county traffic alert warns that the road will be closed for “an unknown amount of time,” and urges drivers to seek other routes.

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(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) A tree fell on a car in the Donaldson Run neighborhood Friday afternoon, amid the ongoing wind storm.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. on the 4200 block of Vacation Lane, not far from the Stratford building that houses the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.

Initial reports suggest that a tree fell on a car, trapping the driver inside and sending live power lines down across the street. Firefighters were able to extricate the driver, who was reportedly not injured, within about 15 minutes.

Vacation Lane is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time, awaiting the power and tree removal crews.

Photo via Google Maps

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Workers from the county’s Department of Environmental Services stopped a sewage leak into the Donaldson Run stream overnight.

According to a tweet from DES, crews installed a bypass overnight into a sewage pipe, which broke due to its age, damage from tree roots and the recent cold temperatures.

Repairs to the pipe, which is in a remote location next to Zachary Taylor Park (2900 Military Road), are ongoing.

A DES spokesman said that the remote location made the leak hard to find, but that staff had been aware since last weekend.

“[S]taff did log the leak report over the weekend and the search began soon thereafter,” the spokesman said. “It just took a while for crews to find the leak because of the remote location — which you can see on the tweet photo.”

The spokesman reiterated that the “discharge that entered Donaldson Run will be diminished by natural flushing of the stream over time.”

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A broken sewer pipe caused a sewage leak into the Donaldson Run stream, affecting the water in two parks in Arlington County.

A spokesman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said a resident reported discharge of sewage into the stream in Zachary Taylor Park (2900 Military Road) this morning.

On further inspection, the spokesman said, DES crews found that a sewage pipe had broken due to its age, damage from tree roots and the recent cold temperatures. Crews plan to repair it tomorrow (Tuesday), the spokesman added.

Those in the area should avoid contact with the water in the stream in Zachary Taylor Park downstream from N. Upshur Street, and also in the nearby Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 Marcey Road).

“The discharge that entered Donaldson Run will be diminished by natural flushing of the stream over time,” the spokesman said.

Both parks will remain open to the public.

Image via Google Maps

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Just over 2,250 Dominion customers are without power this morning in Arlington.

Strong winds overnight knocked out electricity to a large swath of Ballston and the Donaldson Run neighborhood. Other smaller, scattered outlets have also been reported.

A number of businesses are reportedly closed in Ballston as a result of the outage, including the Sport+Health club. So far Dominion’s website does not list an estimated time of restoration.

Arlington remains under a Wind Advisory through 10 a.m.

Map via Dominion

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A group of local residents have launched a petition against an Arlington County plan to remove more than 80 trees at the Donaldson Run Nature Area.

The nature area, part of Donaldson Run Park at 4020 30th Street N. between Military Road and N. Upton Street, is set to have a section of its stream restored early next year.

The project on Tributary B is designed to help prevent erosion by creating a new natural stream and re-connecting it with the flood plain. Opponents said the project would remove 81 trees, endanger another 52 and remove vegetation along 1,400 feet of Donaldson Run. Work to restore the stream’s Tributary A was completed in 2006.

But a group of residents have launched an online campaign against what it described as the “rapid loss of trees on public and private lands” and urged the county to reconsider.

“The Donaldson Run Tributary B [stream] restoration project, costing taxpayers over $1 million, sacrifices broad local natural environmental benefits for a narrow distant storm water purpose,” the petition reads. “This project must be put on hold until… comprehensive technical and cost/benefit reviews can be completed that include better alternatives that use the money most effectively to meet all the community’s goals.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had received 14 signatures.

Opponents of the project will host an event on Sunday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the nature area to hand out free saplings to “expand our urban forest.”

Photo No. 4 via petition, photo No. 5 via Google Maps.

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Morning Notes

Blooms on ice

Arlington’s Irish Bars on St. Patrick’s Day — Today is St. Patrick’s Day and that of course means that Guinness will be flowing like water at Arlington’s half dozen Irish pubs. Among them: The Celtic House on Columbia Pike (recently lauded by Yelp and Travel + Leisure), Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse, O’Sullivan’s in Clarendon, P. Brennan’s on Columbia Pike and Sine Irish Pub on Pentagon Row.

Arlington’s High-Earning Millennials — “Arlington has more millennials with a household income of $350,000 or more than any other jurisdiction in the country, with 8.7 percent of millennials among that wealthy cohort.” [Washington Post]

Donaldson Run Neighborhood Profiled — “Tracy and Jeremy Penfield bought their first house in Donaldson Run in Arlington County because they liked the location and the price. After living close to Metro for almost a decade, they welcomed the hilly, wooded neighborhood, which is largely car-oriented.” [Washington Post]

WeWork Creator’s Awards — WeWork, which has both co-working and co-living space at an office building in Crystal City, is giving out $20 million in grant awards to creators around the world, including here in the D.C. area. Applications to pitch an idea in D.C. are due this coming Monday. [WeWork]

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Power outage 2/9/17

Nearly 600 Dominion customers are without power in the Donaldson Run, Maywood and Riverwood neighborhoods of north Arlington.

Initial reports suggest Dominion crews shut down power to the grid after a tree or a large branch fell on a power line, which started arcing. Those crews are currently working on the lines on the 2600 block of Military Road, according to scanner traffic.

Power crews are keeping busy due to the high winds today. Nearly 2,500 Dominion customers are without power throughout Northern Virginia, though so far no other outages have been reported in Arlington.

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A Donaldson Run resident photographed what appears to be a bobcat in a neighbor’s backyard over the weekend.

Evelyn Powers says her husband spotted the big cat Saturday morning.

“She was awesome… super chill-relaxing in the sun,” said Powers. “We enjoyed [the] visit… from afar of course.”

Photos and video provided by Powers show the animal casually exploring the neighbor’s backyard.

Bobcats are predators that have been known to inhabit wooded and “urban edge” environments. They usually hunt rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels and other small game, but are generally not considered a threat to humans.

Another bobcat made news last week; “Ollie” the bobcat escaped from an enclosure at the National Zoo in D.C. but was later found and captured on zoo property.

Update at 12:25 p.m. — Some additional insight from Susan Sherman of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington:

I am not aware of a previous [bobcat sighting] in Arlington. Bobcats are a rare part of the native wildlife that can be found in Arlington. They are larger than traditional cats ranging from 2-3.5 ft long and around 1.5 ft at the shoulder. They are known for their shy nature and posing no threat to humans, property, or companion animals. They are a rare sight because of their reclusive nature — but it is mating season (from Dec. to around Feb.) and that could be why they caught this glimpse. They will traditionally be spotted in only the wooded urban areas throughout the county. We ask that the public call the Animal Control Department with any questions or concerns.

Photos and video courtesy @designpowers

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Morning Notes

Sunrise over Route 50 (Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi(

New Invasive Species Found in Arlington — A county contractor has found Wavyleaf Basketgrass, a particularly prolific invasive species, in Donaldson Run Park. The plant was removed but the county is now on the lookout for more. [Arlington County]

Murky Coffee Owner Still Owes County — Nicholas Cho, the proprietor of Murky Coffee, which closed six years ago in Clarendon, recently repaid his tax debts to the District of Columbia but still owes Arlington more than $84,000 in unpaid meals taxes and interest. [Washington Post]

‘Pub in the Park’ Coming to a Close — Rosslyn’s Friday evening Pub in the Park event series, which includes a mobile bar offering beer and wine, is ending for the season tonight. [Twitter]

Lyft Sees Lift in Arlington Corporate Customers — For some reason ride hailing service Lyft is seeing a relatively large increase in business from corporate customers in Arlington. [Pymnts]

Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi

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Military Road home invasion robbery suspects (photos courtesy ACPD)

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) A half dozen teens have been arrested and charged in connection with a home invasion robbery in the Donaldson Run area.

A witness said the armed suspects, dressed in masks, invaded a house party on N. Military Road around midnight last night.

Police on scene of a reported robbery on N. Military Road (courtesy photo)“Masked men stormed a house with guns, knives and pepper spray where a group of high school aged kids were having a party,” said a passerby who witnessed the end of the alleged robbery and wished to remain anonymous.

“I immediately called 911 and informed them of what I saw, which was a group of people attacking someone and then people fleeing in a dark Honda Civic,” the witness told ARLnow.com. “It turned out that the group doing the attacking were the party-goers and the person being attacked was one of the robbers. The person being attacked got into the Honda and took off. They were apparently apprehended not too long after that.”

Police say five of the suspects were taken into custody after an officer stopped a suspicious vehicle in the area. Another was “located on foot.” One of the suspects was an 18-year-old Arlington man, while the rest — including one 17-year-old juvenile — were from Annandale and Alexandria.

In a press release, below, police say the crime happened at a home on the 3000 block of Military Road, after the suspects forced their way through a rear door.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged 6 suspects, 5 adults and 1 juvenile, for their role in an armed home invasion robbery in the 3000 block of Military Road. At approximately 12:00 a.m. on August 5, officers were dispatched to the area for a fight in progress near the street. A responding officer conducted a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle in the area and took five of the suspects into custody without incident. An additional suspect was located on foot a short while later.

The investigation revealed that the suspects forced entry into the home through a rear door. Once inside, the suspects, armed with a handgun, knife and pepper spray used the threat of bodily harm to rob the victims. The victims were robbed of various items of value and an undisclosed amount of cash. One victim received a non-life threatening stab wound which did not require medical treatment.

The following individuals have been arrested as a result of this investigation:

  • George Nymbal, 18, of Arlington VA has been charged with Robbery (x2), Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Malicious Wounding, Attempted Malicious Wounding, Using a Mask to Conceal Identity
  • Marcos Powers, 18, of Annandale VA has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Using a Mask to Conceal Identity, Burglary
  • Misael Leaver, 18, of Alexandria VA has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Robbery, Using a Mask to Conceal Identity, Burglary
  • Landry Bryant, 18, of Alexandria VA has been charged with Robbery, Use of a Mask to Conceal Identity, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Burglary
  • Samir Boufnichal, 19, of Alexandria VA has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Burglary
  • A 17-year-old juvenile has been charged with Robbery (x8), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective R. Munizza of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4171 [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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