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by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

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.”

by Chris Teale November 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

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

by ARLnow.com October 30, 2017 at 8:25 am 0

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

by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

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.

by ARLnow.com March 17, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

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]

by ARLnow.com February 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

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.

by ARLnow.com February 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

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

by ARLnow.com August 26, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

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

by ARLnow.com August 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm 0

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).

by ARLnow.com July 5, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Firefighters battled a house fire in the Donaldson Run neighborhood around 10:20 p.m. last night (July 4).

The blaze broke out in the garage of a home on the 2300 block of N. Randolph Street, not far from the Stratford School (H-B Woodlawn). The fire extended into part of the home itself.

Via Twitter, the Arlington County Fire Department said that the flames were extinguished by 11:15 p.m. and all of the home’s occupants were accounted for.

Photos showed firefighters in full gear hauling pet kennels out of the home. A photographer on scene said one dog and two cats were rescued.

A fire department spokesman could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning, but ACFD sent the following tweet after the initial publication of this article.

Photos (above) courtesy Andrew Pang

by ARLnow.com October 16, 2015 at 11:30 am 1,803 0

Arlington County police car(Updated at 1:05 p.m.) A barbecue in the Donaldson Run neighborhood turned violent last Saturday.

Police say a 26-year-old man suffered two large wounds after being struck in the face with a wine bottle.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 151010037, 4000 block of N. Lorcom Lane. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on October 10, a 26 year-old male victim was struck in the face with a wine bottle during a BBQ, causing two large lacerations to his head. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. Melissa Michelle Fredericks, 43, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com August 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm 3,970 0

Arlington County police carArlington County Police responded to an unusual burglary call yesterday in the Donaldson Run neighborhood.

A homeowner returned to his or her residence on the 2700 block of N. Beechwood Street after a few days away, only to find that something wasn’t quite right — someone had been inside the house and had helped themselves to some sweet treats.

“Between 12:00 p.m. on August 9 and 9:00 p.m. on August 12, an unknown suspect(s) entered a residence through a doggie door and ate the homeowner’s popsicles and whipped cream,” according to a crime report. “The suspect(s) proceeded to play with Pokémon cards that were found in the residence.”

“After they enjoyed some popsicles, they played a bit with some Pokemon cards and left,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said of the suspect or suspects, whose identity and motive remains a mystery.

by Heather Mongilio July 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm 0

Signs line the Donaldson Run trail.

An advisory warning to people to avoid contact with water from Donaldson Run has been lifted.

The advisory was put into place on July 11 after sewage from a broken pipe leaked into the stream by Military Drive. Two additional leaks followed three days later, causing the county to issue another advisory.

The first leak spewed 4,500 gallons of sewage. The second leak released 9,000 gallons and the third had 11,250 gallons, county spokeswoman Meghan McMahon said.

The sewage in the water was naturally flushed out and the county fixed the broken pipe, as well as the protective casing around it.

The county recently tested the water downstream from the break for E. Coli and found normal levels, according to a county press release.

Although there is no more sewage in the water, people should still never drink or bathe in stream water, according to the county. Residents should also always wash their hands after coming in contact with water from local streams.

by Heather Mongilio July 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm 1,344 0

(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) Multiple sewage leaks have led Arlington County staff to warn residents to continue avoiding contact with water from Donaldson Run near and downstream from the pedestrian bridge above Military Road.

A sewage pipe running through Donaldson Run broke on Saturday, causing a sewage spill of 4,500 gallons, Arlington County spokeswoman Meghan McMahon said. Since fixing the initial break, the county has found two additional leaks.

The second leak, found on Monday, released 9,000 gallons of sewage, and the county does not yet know how much the third one — found today — has leaked, McMahon said.

Signs about the sewage are currently posted along and at entrances of the Donaldson Run trail.

“There has been a sewage release to the stream. As a precaution, please avoid contact with stream water,” according to the signs.

Arlington County also sent out two Arlington Alerts, one to notify residents of the sewage leak advisory on July 11 and a second one today (July 14) to let people know it was still in place. The advisory will be in place for several more days, McMahon said.

“Crews are working now to setup a bypass so they can completely replace the pipe in this area. Crews are working as fast as they can, but this replacement will likely take a few days,” McMahon said.

The advisory warns people and their pets to avoid any contact with the stream.

“The public is advised to stay away from the affected water and to keep children and pets away until further notice, to eliminate the risk of exposure to raw sewage in the stream. People should not fish in the stream or have any contact with the water — including wading or swimming — until further notice from the County,” according to the advisory.

The county decided to replace the entire pipe in Donaldson Run now instead of later, as planned, because of the short period of time between the three leaks, she said.

“Replacing the pipe is the best way to prevent future spills,” McMahon said. “Arlington also has sanitary sewer maintenance programs including flushing, TV camera inspection and re-lining efforts.”

The breaks in the pipe were all the result of the casing around it shifting from water erosion, which is common in older pipes like many in Arlington, she said.

“Sanitary sewer lines are common in stream valleys (the lowest point of the stream) and sanitary sewer breaks are common in urban communities like Arlington, which have older pipes and infrastructure,” McMahon noted.

When a leak happens, the county will allow nature to flush out the sewage over time. This usually takes about three to five days. The county does not consider flushing streams out with chlorine — which kills everything in the stream — to be an option, McMahon said.

“Many Arlington streams are in County parks where residents are free to walk along the stream valleys, but the stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, regardless of the stream location,” McMahon said.

In order to stay safe around stream water, even uncontaminated water, residents should always wash hands after touching the water, avoid getting water in their mouths or eyes, only wade in the water instead of swimming or bathing and never drink the stream water, McMahon said.

by ARLnow.com July 13, 2015 at 9:35 am 1,801 0

Coast Guard boat on the Potomac (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Advisory Board Considering Vacant Rosslyn Tower — The D.C.-based Advisory Board Company is considering a move to Arlington — specifically, to the vacant 1812 N. Moore Street office tower in Rosslyn. The tower is the tallest building in Arlington and has remained without a tenant since it was completed two years ago. Arlington and Virginia officials are facing off with D.C. officials in an effort to woo the $2.4 billion company. [Washington Post]

Sewage Spills in Arlington — Two separate sewage spills were reported in Arlington this weekend. On Saturday, the county alerted residents that a broken sewage pipe had released sewage into Donaldson Run. On Sunday, the county warned of a raw sewage release in Four Mile Run, near the 700 block of Arlington Mill Drive. Residents should avoid Four Mile Run from the site of the spill to the Potomac, the county said. [WTOP]

GGW: County Must Seek Transit Consensus — As Arlington begins to chart a course for its next generation of smart growth, one pro-transit writer says the county should do a better job of seeking support for its future transit investments. “As we recently learned from the fallout over the streetcar, broad-based support has to be a top priority for any project,” writes Dennis Jaffe. “If it’s not there, sustainable transportation projects won’t be so sustainable.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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