by ARLnow.com — September 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm 1,294 0

Update at 6:15 p.m. — The disabled train has been cleared and trains are no longer single tracking past the station, Metro says.

Earlier: A large scale fire department response has been dispatched to the East Falls Church Metro station for a report of smoke on a train.

Metro says that a Largo-bound Silver Line train has offloaded at the station after suffering a brake problem. Trains are now single tracking past the station.

Light smoke reportedly filled at least one of the train cars, according to scanner traffic.

by ARLnow.com — August 13, 2015 at 9:30 am 2,554 0

Backyard deer near Stroman's Branch (Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok)

Impede Apartments, Get a Self Storage Place — In an editorial, Falls Church’s newspaper of record is warning of “The Lesson of Cube Smart.” The lesson: when Arlington County put up roadblocks to the development of the proposed Shreve Apartments in East Falls Church, developer Mark Silverwood eventually lost patience and figured out that building a “by right” self-storage place would be easier and more lucrative. Separately, Silverwood also proposed an apartment building in Bluemont that was rejected by the community, canceling a proposed revamp of the neighborhood’s Safeway supermarket. [Falls Church News-Press]

More Orange Line Delays — There were morning rush hour delays once again on Metro’s Orange and Silver lines today. A train malfunction at the Virginia Square station prompted single tracking past the station and, once that was cleared, residual delays. [Twitter]

Arlington Man Wins $100,000 — Arlington resident Robert Thomas won $100,000 in a Virginia Lottery Cash 5 drawing last week. Thomas purchased the winning ticket at the Chanda Market at 5550 Columbia Pike. [WJLA]

APS SOL Score Rise — Arlington Public Schools is touting “impressive results” on its students’ 2015 Virginia Standards of Learning tests. Among those achieving significant test score gains were Limited English Proficient and minority students. [Arlington Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

by ARLnow.com — August 7, 2015 at 10:35 am 2,301 0

Merry-go-round at Arlington County Fair (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Kitchen Fire at Zaika — A kitchen fire closed Zaika restaurant at Market Common Clarendon last night. Firefighters had to ventilate smoke from the Indian restaurant after quickly extinguishing the small blaze. [Twitter]

Nude Glebe Road Runner Identified — Police say the man arrested for running naked along Glebe Road while screaming at passing cars is Timothy Lowe. Lowe was previously arrested for doing pushups in the buff, in the middle of a street in the Nauck neighborhood. He also spoke out against alleged police harassment at a community forum last year. Police found a “large quantity of crack” after Lowe was arrested yesterday, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

History of Arlington View Co-op to Be Preserved — Arlington County is working on a plan to help preserve the history of the George Washington Carver Cooperative Homes in the Arlington View neighborhood. The circa-1945 cooperative is set to be razed to make way for a new townhouse development after residents agreed to sell it to developer Craftmark Homes. [InsideNova]

East Falls Church Profiled — The Washington Post profiles the real estate market of East Falls Church, which will be undergoing some changes as the area around the Metro station eventually develops into a “neighborhood center district” over the next couple of decades. [Washington Post]

New APS Teachers Hired — Arlington Public Schools has hired 325 new teachers this summer to keep up with rising enrollments and staff retirements. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — August 7, 2015 at 9:35 am 1,720 0

Metro logo on an Orange Line stationIt is another morning of big problems for Metrorail commuters.

Just as Metro was recovering from yesterday’s derailment in D.C., a train became stranded between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations around 6 a.m. due to a reported power problem.

Arlington firefighters helped to unload passengers, who walked down the tracks to the East Falls Church station.

Orange and Silver Line service was suspended between the two station for more than an hour. Trains are now single-tracking between the two stations, with delays in both directions. The train that lost power is still sitting helplessly on the track.

Orange and Silver Line commuters weren’t the only ones affected by Metro problems this morning. A Yellow Line train suffered a reported brake problem at National Airport around 7:30 a.m. The train was offloaded and taken out of service, but not before causing delays.

by Mariah Joyce — July 14, 2015 at 11:15 am 879 0

East Falls Church residents can now grab an energizing cold-pressed juice before heading off to work in the morning, following the opening of a new South Block Juice Company store at 2121 N Westmoreland Street.

The micro juicery’s factory and test kitchen had been located in the neighborhood since last summer, according to company owner Amir Mostafavi. When the cafe next door to his factory closed down, Mostafavi took the opportunity to expand.

The East Falls Church store will be able to seat 30 people inside and up to 15 outside, significantly more than either of South Block’s other locations, on 11th Street N. in Clarendon and at George Washington University. Mostafavi hopes this extra space will allow the store to expand its repertoire to include fundraisers, neighborhood events and maybe even some tours of the factory next door.

A grand opening celebration is planned for this Saturday (July 18) from 9-11 a.m. If the lure of a brand new micro juicery isn’t enough, the store will be offering free half pints of juice and $25 gift cards to the first 25 people to come out.

(Smoothies start at $6, a six-pack of cold pressed juice is $55 online and a three-day juice cleanse is $150 online.)

Although business is booming now, Mostafavi says his juices weren’t always so popular. He opened his first smoothie and health food shop at GW in 2004, when he was three years out of college, but the store just didn’t kick off the way he expected it to. It wasn’t until 2011, when Mostafavi opened his Clarendon location and bought his first cold pressed juicer, that things finally began to take off.

“I took a big risk when I changed to all cold press because no one in this area had heard of it — we tried to educate them on why it was better. It was a risk, but I really thought it was a better product,” said Mostafavi. “At first, people would say, no, I don’t want bottled juice, I want fresh juice, but we tried to educate them on why it was better and better for you. Six months later, that’s all anybody wanted.”

Mostafavi says he believes South Block has been successful partially because it is such a small company.

“I try to have things that people want, that are good for you, and I try to have it before anybody else and do it better than anybody else. I think that’s a benefit of being a smaller company — the bigger corporations catch on a little bit late, and they cut corners to cut cost, and it just isn’t the same quality product.”

In addition to their juices and smoothies, the East Falls Church store has trendy products like nitrogen-infused cold-brew coffee. Mostafavi tries to keep South Block ahead of the curve by paying attention to the products being introduced in California and New York, and then bringing those products to the D.C. area.

“I try to continue to evolve the products and the menu,” said Mostafavi. “I think that’s one thing that’s made South Block successful.”

Mostafavi says the business is still expanding, with plans for future stores in both Vienna and Georgetown.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm 5,622 0

Police car lightsA man and woman were able to escape an alleged abduction on Saturday after the male suspect fell asleep in the back of their car, according to Arlington County Police.

The suspect, described as a white, Hispanic or Middle Eastern man in his mid- to late-20s, jumped into the woman’s car while she was dropping off the man at the East Falls Church Metro station at about 4:20 p.m., according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. The victims told police the suspect said “I need a ride” and directed her to drive.

“Just drive and no one will get hurt,” the alleged abductor told the two victims, according to Malcolm. “Don’t do anything stupid, and no one has to get hurt.”

The victims pulled into the Exxon station at 400 W. Broad Street in Falls Church, Malcolm said, and were able to exit the vehicle and call police after the suspect fell asleep in the back. The suspect, described as 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, 160-170 pounds with black hair, wearing a dark ball cap, dark blue hoodie, and blue jeans, fled the scene and avoided apprehension when he heard police sirens approaching.

From this week’s crime report:

ABDUCTION, 141122061, 1900 block of N Sycamore St, On 11/22/14 at 1620 hours, the male and female victims told police they had exited the highway and had stopped to allow the male victim to exit the vehicle when an unknown male suspect entered the rear of the vehicle demanding they continue to drive and threatening them if they called police or used their cell phones. The victim(s) continued to drive into Falls Church where the pulled into a gas station, exited the vehicle, and called police. The suspect, who was now asleep in the back, was alerted by police sirens and fled the scene. He is described as a white Hispanic or Middle Eastern male with no discernable accent, unshaven, 5’09” to 5’11”, mid to late 20s, 160-170 lbs, black hair, wearing a dark ball cap, dark blue hoodie, and blue jeans.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.


by Ethan Rothstein — September 15, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,269 0

Four projects aimed at improving pedestrian safety, removing invasive plants and more are likely to be approved at this Saturday’s regular Arlington County Board meeting.

The final four projects funded by the 2012 Neighborhood Conservation bond, approved in June by the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, will receive a total of $2,540,175 if the Board approves them. About $1.3 million of those funds would come from the 2012 bond, while about $1.2 million is expected come from the bond referendum on the ballot on Nov. 4.

The four projects up for approval:

  • Pedestrian safety and street improvements for the intersections of N. Vacation Lane with N. Stuart and N. Utah Streets in Donaldson Run. Improvements include replacing a yield sign with a stop sign at the northeast corner of N. Stuart Street, replacing sidewalks on N. Utah Street and curb extensions at both intersections. Total cost: $608,749.
  • Street improvements for N. Quintana Street between Washington Boulevard and 19th Street N. in East Falls Church. This includes constructing curbs and gutters on both sides of the road and installing a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side on the street. Total cost: $756,581.
  • Park improvements for Oakland Park at 3701 Wilson Blvd. in Ballston-Virginia Square. This project is meant to give the park a complete upgrade, bringing features up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards and adding new site furnishings, ornamental plantings and wood decking. Total cost: $798,845.
  • Removing invasive plants from Lucky Run Stream in Fairlington-Shirlington. The project calls for creating a “pollinator habitat between the stream bank and bike trail” and creating buffers with trees on either side of the stream. Total cost: $376,000.

The four projects were selected from a pool of 26 applications from neighborhoods around the county because they scored the highest on the NCAC’s points system, which is explained in the county staff’s report.

The county also has produced a five-minute video, embedded above, in honor of the Neighborhood Conservation Program’s 50th anniversary.

“When it was created in 1964, the goal was to empower residents by having them come together to discuss and share ideas for improving their neighborhoods,” the narrator says. The video includes interviews from NCAC Chair Bill Braswell and other committee members. “Over the years, the program has moved from beautification efforts to focus more on infrastructure needs… The program enables residents to identify and plan projects in their own neighborhoods.”

by Ethan Rothstein — July 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm 1,354 0

Engine 106 in front of the Falls Church Fire Station, also now as Arlington Station 6 (photo via FCVFD)(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The Arlington County Board has agreed to help fund a new fire engine, ambulance, ladder truck and three additional firefighters at the Falls Church Fire Station (6950 N. Little Falls Road in Arlington).

The station is located in Arlington but the land and building are owned by the City of Falls Church. According to the county staff report, half of the station’s coverage area is in Falls Church, while the other half is in Arlington. The partnership contract between the two jurisdictions had not been updated since it was passed in 1989; the new agreement the Board approved on Saturday would replace the former contract.

The Arlington County Fire Department staffs and operates the station alongside the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department.

“The new Fire and Emergency Medical Services Agreement between Arlington County and the City of Falls Church is a much-needed update to an agreement that dates back to 1989,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in an email. “This new agreement better serves both communities, by more clearly defining  operations and cost-sharing, and taking into account how service delivery has changed since 1989.”

The new agreement calls for three more full-time equivalent positions, for which the county and city will split expenditures. Despite the new purchases and new positions, county staff doesn’t anticipate any additional “net tax support.”

“While the County has additional expenses under the new agreement, such as Fall Church Fire Station maintenance,” the staff report states, “these additional expenses will be offset by additional reimbursements from the City.”

The old agreement, staff writes, did not clearly define how costs for maintenance and replacement of outdated equipment would be split between the two jurisdictions. In the first year of the new agreement, Falls Church has agreed to pay for capital improvements to the station to “bring the facility to an acceptable operating baseline.” The county has agreed to be responsible for maintenance and the city will fund all capital improvements going forward.

The city will pay the county $150,000 a year for capital investments, which the county will manage, and $738,000 for the initial improvements, which include replacing windows, overhead doors, and HVAC design.

Photo via Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department

by ARLnow.com — July 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm 5,848 0

A bicyclist was struck by a car today at a W&OD trail crossing in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood.

The incident happened just past noon near the intersection of N. Little Falls Road and N. Four Mile Run Drive, on the border with Falls Church. Initial reports suggest a cyclist was struck by a car and suffered a head injury.

The cyclist was reportedly conscious and alert following the accident and was transported via ambulance to a local hospital. The driver remained on scene.

Damage to the bike and to the car’s windshield was visible following the collision. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed. Police on the scene declined comment.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm 2,099 0

The South Block Smoothie & Wrap Co. storeWhile microbreweries are popping up all over the D.C. area, East Falls Church could soon be home to a “micro-juicery,” from the owner of South Block Cafe.

Amir Mostafavi says South Block Juice Company will open at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street in the next few months. The facility will produce the juice served at South Block and will be available for pickup around the area and for home delivery.

Mostafavi said he wants customers to be able to look into the location and see how the juice is made, and perhaps take tours like visitors do at microbreweries. The juice will also be sold fresh next door at Urban Pantry, which opened last week.

“It’s going to be our new production facility,” Mostafavi said. “We needed a larger space for our kitchen. The space we’re making the juice at right now, we’ve just outgrown it. We’re getting a larger juicer that’s going to greatly increase our volume and capacity. It’s something we’ve been looking into for a little while now as we’ve grown in the juice part of the business.”

South Block has been getting its juice from Mostafavi’s kitchen at Campus Fresh on George Washington University’s campus. Mostafavi opened that store 10 years ago and South Block Cafe opened three years ago, but when he bought a cold press a year ago to sell juice in bottles, the business exploded.

“Once I bought the cold press, that’s when the business took off,” he said. “We’ve already been getting a lot of customers throughout the area coming to our shop for the juice for juice cleanses.”

South Block Juice Company will get a revamped website around when the micro-juicery opens, Mostafavi said, which will make it easier for customers to order juices for delivery. That includes the three-day juice cleanse, which includes 18 bottles of juice, to be drank in specific order, for $150.

Mostafavi also said South Block is looking into “satellite locations” in the next year or so, and he hopes to soon begin national distribution.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,353 0

The future space of Yayla BistroA new Turkish restaurant appears on its way to East Falls Church.

Yayla Bistro, at 2201 N. Westmoreland Street, applied for a liquor license with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Jan. 15, requesting the ability to sell wine and beer on and off premises.

According to an employee at La Côte D’Or Cafe next door, the restaurant will be located in their former private dining room, which was sold recently “to a group that wants to open a Turkish restaurant.”

The owner of Yayla Bistro, listed as Gozukaya Entertainment LLC, did not return messages seeking comment.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm 532 0

Crystal City 5K runners (photo by Diltch1)A pair of 5K races in East Falls Church on Saturday and Sunday will close several roads for much of both mornings.

The Tuckahoe/H-B Woodlawn 5K will close down streets on Saturday from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning, the same roads will be closed from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. for the National Race Against the Odds 5K. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the following road will be closed:

  • Williamsburg Blvd will be closed to eastbound traffic from N. Underwood Street to N. Sycamore Street.
  • Little Falls Road will be closed from N. Sycamore Street to Washington Blvd.
  • 26th Street N. will be closed from N. Sycamore Street to Washington Blvd.
  • N. Underwood Street will be closed from 24th Street N. to Williamsburg Blvd.

Racers can still sign up for the Tuckahoe/H-B Woodlawn 5K this evening (Friday) from 3:00 to 6:00, or tomorrow, before the race begins at 8:00 a.m. Proceeds will go to H20 for Life. Registration for the Race Against the Odds — which raises money for pediatric brain cancer research — has closed.

Flickr photo by Diltch1

by Ethan Rothstein — September 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm 1,378 0

The roof of an East Falls Church house partially collapsed this afternoon (Friday), sending one construction worker to the hospital.

A construction crew was building an addition onto the back of a home on the 2400 block of N. Quantico Street when the roof of the addition collapsed, according to fire department personnel on the scene. The worker was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with minor injuries.

The residents of the house were not home when the roof collapsed, and the house, besides the addition, remains “structurally intact.” Inspectors were called to the scene to assess what caused the roof to cave in.

by ARLnow.com — September 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm 7,916 0

A raccoon in a backyard (file photo by Bastique via Wikipedia)Animal control officers are on the lookout for an aggressive raccoon after two women were bitten in North Arlington earlier this week.

A raccoon bit a woman in her backyard on Monday night, in the East Falls Church neighborhood, as her four-and-a-half year old daughter watched, horrified. A raccoon also bit a woman Wednesday afternoon in the Yorktown neighborhood. The latest victim is 5 months pregnant and was walking with a baby.

In both instances, animal control officers tried but failed to locate the raccoon.

Sandra Alboum, who was bit on Monday, says the raccoon climbed onto her backyard deck, “walked right up” to her, and started biting her foot and ankle, repeatedly. She said the animal seemed “curious,” as if it were looking for food, and unafraid of humans. As raccoon was biting her, Alboum took a box that normally holds dominoes and used it to bash the animal in the head and body until it scurried away.

Ankle and foot of woman bit by raccoon (photo courtesy Sandra Alboum)Alboum’s young daughter watched and screamed from across the deck during the attack.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t my daughter,” she said. “She was pretty freaked out, and I was too. It’s bizarre.”

Unable to drive, Alboum called 911 and was transported to the hospital, where she received nine “excruciating” rabies shots for her nearly dozen puncture wounds. She’ll have to receive at least three more shots over the next week.

While Monday’s incident took place in the area of 22nd Street N. and Quantico Street, in East Falls Church, Wednesday’s took place in the area of 25th Street N. and George Mason Drive, in the Yorktown neighborhood.

According to an account posted on Facebook, a raccoon walked up to a woman who was walking with a baby and bit her. The attack happened in the afternoon, which is notable given that raccoon are normally nocturnal. The baby was not hurt.

According to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA), the victim is 5 months pregnant. She also went to the hospital for rabies shots.

“At this point we are not certain that the raccoon is rabid,” said AWLA spokeswoman Kerry McKeel. “Our animal control officers have not been able to catch it. The only way we will be able to tell for sure if it is rabid is if it is displaying unusual behavior and if the raccoon is caught and euthanized the results of a rabies test come back positive.”

It’s unclear if the same raccoon was responsible for both attacks. McKeel said the two incidents were “unrelated.”

File photo (top) by Bastique via Wikipedia. Photo (bottom) courtesy Sandra Alboum.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm 641 0

Metro logo on an Orange Line stationBuses will replace trains between Ballston and Vienna this weekend on the Orange Line.

Starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday and continuing until closing Sunday, East Falls Church and points west will not have Metrorail service.

An express bus will travel from Ballston to Vienna and add approximately 25 minutes of travel time. Local buses will stop at East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna, taking approximately 15 minutes between each stop.

The station closures will allow track maintenance and signal system testing in preparation for the opening of the Silver Line.


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