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by Heather Mongilio — August 27, 2015 at 11:25 am 666 0

3600 S. Four Mile Run Drive

The LaPorte property at 3600 S. Four Mile Run will be the temporary home of ART buses until a new facility is finished in the Crystal City area.

The temporary housing of buses is one of the topics on the agenda for a Sept. 1 community meeting, said county spokeswoman Catherine Matthews. The meeting will also discuss street parking, the upcoming Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run planning study and Jennie Dean Park.

“The meeting on September 1 (with residents from Nauck, Shirlington and Fairlington) will really just be to communicate about and implement some community planning efforts and address some outstanding neighborhood concerns,” Matthews said in an email.

County officials will attend the meeting to answer questions about any of the agenda items, Matthews said.

Buses will be housed at LaPorte property until 2017, when the new facility at the corner of S. Eads and 32nd Streets  is expected to be finished, she said.

“In terms of parking buses here, the County does not foresee any major changes or delays to existing traffic patterns. All of our ART buses are CNG (compressed natural gas) powered and run on natural gas, making these buses cleaner and quieter in operation,” Matthews said.

Construction to build the new ART facility begins Sept. 9 and is expected to last 18 months, according to the project’s website. The new two-story facility will have spaces for bus maintenance, bus washing, a gas station and parking.

The meeting will also discuss planning efforts for the Jennie Dean Park and Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run area. Both projects are in preplanning phases, Matthews said.

Shirlington Crescent- Four Mile Run Study area (Via Arlington County)

The Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run Planning Study is planned for 2015, according to the project’s website, and will look at the land use in the area.

“The goal will be to develop a vision and long-term planning guidance for the area, which includes primary industrially zoned properties,” Matthews said in an email. “We will be examining potential land use changes, transportation improvements; and environmental issues, given the proximity of the Four Mile stream.”

At the same time, the county will also be creating a master plan for Jennie Dean Park, but the project is still in the early stages, she said.

by ARLnow.com — August 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm 2,519 0

Monica Ten-Kate, a 21-year-old with ties to Fairlington, will make her big television debut tonight.

Monica Ten-Kate (photo via Facebook)Monica the Medium,” a new reality series on ABC Family starring Ten-Kate, will premiere tonight at 8 p.m. The show will follow Ten-Kate as she attends Penn State and navigates the pitfalls of dating, all while supposedly communing with her classmates’ dead relatives.

Ten-Kate graduated from Oakton High School in Fairfax County in 2012 but her business is registered to a Fairlington condo owned by her father.

Ten-Kate has been making the rounds promoting her series on this week on shows like The Insider and Access Hollywood Live.

by Heather Mongilio — August 4, 2015 at 11:05 am 1,153 0

NNO15 logo (Courtesy of NATW)

Arlington County Police Department officers will join the community tonight for ice cream socials and neighborhood gatherings as part of the 32nd annual National Night Out.

“It’s a good opportunity to interact with citizens outside of an emergency incident,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.

National Night Out, an event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, helps unite community members and police officers in order to prevent crime.

Each district ACPD team will be participating in the event, which “raises safety and crime awareness,” though police say it’s only one part of the department’s overall community outreach efforts.

“Our district teams are regularly interacting with their neighborhoods in the county,” Sternbeck said.

There will be be events throughout the county tonight and residents are encouraged to come out and talk with police officers and their neighbors.

The events include:

  • Arlington Forest Ice Cream Social (at the corner of of N. Galveston Street and 2nd Street N.) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Park Glen Ice Cream Social (between 812 and 816 S. Arlington Mill Drive) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Williamsburg neighborhood (6207 31st Street N.) at 7 p.m.
  • Barcroft School and Civic League (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between S. Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Fairlington Pool 2 (3025 S. Buchanan Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Pool 4 (2848-B S. Buchanan Street) from 5-7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of National Association of Town Watch

by Ethan Rothstein — April 1, 2015 at 11:45 am 910 0

Tomatoes at the Clarendon farmers market by MichaelTRuhl(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Arlington’s ninth and newest farmers market, at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street), will debut this month.

On Sunday, April 19, the Fairlington farmers market will debut at 9:00 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. returning every Sunday through November.

There are 11 confirmed venders, according to the Fairlington Citizens Association’s April newsletter, selling vegetables, fruit, eggs, meats, breads, flowers and coffee among others.

“This is Fairlington’s market,” FCA President Guy Land wrote in the newsletter. “It’s not intended to draw in customers from DC or the far suburbs of Northern Virginia. It was developed by Fairlington residents for Fairlington residents, and they will shepherd its operation.”

Every item sold will have been grown or made within 125 miles of Fairlington, the FCA wrote, and all of the vendors will be the producers themselves. Some of the vendors will accept SNAP benefits and senior checks. The market is still looking for volunteers from the community, and is hosting open houses at the community center on Tuesday, April 7 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 2, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Now that April is here, the other eight farmers markets are beginning to arise from their winter slumbers. The Columbia Pike Farmers Market is year-round on Sundays at the Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive and Wednesdays at Arlington Mill Community Center. Here are the other farmers markets in the county.

by ARLnow.com — March 26, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,882 0

Bicyclist on the Custis Trail with child

Police: Pair Stole Car, Shrimp, Underpants — (Updated at 2:00 p.m.) A man and a woman allegedly under the influence of crack cocaine and alcohol were arrested in Rosslyn Tuesday afternoon. Police say the pair had stolen a car, men’s underwear and a “large quantity of shrimp.” [MyFoxDC]

Playgroup Controversy in Fairlington — Members of a cooperative playgroup that uses the Fairlington Community Center say that Arlington County is attempting a “takeover of the group.” The parents say the county is trying to buy the playgroup’s toys, take over registration and raise the playgroup fee from $20 to $190. [Patch]

How One Teacher Is Using iPads — There’s some question about just how well Arlington Public Schools has trained its teachers on the use of technology in the classroom — particularly the individual iPads and MacBooks that are being assigned at certain grade levels. One teacher at Carlin Springs Elementary School, however, is taking advantage of the iPads in a big way, using them for various interactive lessons. That, officials say, is indicative of how such technology will increasingly be used in schools. [InsideNova]

ACFD Metro Training — Arlington firefighters are participating in department-wide Metro safety training this month. [Twitter]

by Ethan Rothstein — November 10, 2014 at 3:45 pm 1,417 0

Capt. II Curtis Stilwell on his last day of work at Station 7 in Shirlington

A quiet life of fostering potbellied pigs, llamas and alpacas on a farm in Prince William County is what lies ahead for Curtis Stilwell. What lies behind Captain II Stilwell is 33 years of service to the Arlington County Fire Department, including the last three as station commander for Fire Station 7 in Fairlington.

Stilwell retired last month, working his last 24-hour shift on Halloween.

Station 7 is known as “The Little House” around the department, according to Fire Chief Jim Schwartz; it’s the smallest house and has just four staffers at a time on a single engine. It’s a small building that opens up right into the captain’s office, where there are plaques on the wall and trophies in a case for serving on Sept. 11, 2001, and for the station winning the 2006 Metro Fire Department Bus Rodeo.

When ARLnow.com visited Stilwell on his last day, he was relaxing at his desk, listening to the radio and reminiscing about old times with Capt. John Snyder, himself a 29-year veteran of the department. Stilwell said he wasn’t one of the people who grew up dreaming of being a firefighter. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he was going to school with money from the GI Bill and working at Sears, but wanted something more stable.

“I just needed a job with regular income and insurance,” he said. After 33 years, though, “I wouldn’t change a second or day of it. You see people at their worst and they thank you for helping them. It’s very humbling.”

Humbled is how Schwartz sounds when he talks about Stilwell’s devotion to charity work in his off time. He’s worked for years as a counselor at the Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp, a gathering place for burn victims to go meet other victims and “not feel so alone.” Stilwell has also been the treasurer of the region’s Aluminum Cans for Burned Children program for more than 20 years.

Capt. II Curtis Stilwell, in his office on his last day of work at Station 7 in ShirlingtonStilwell’s stepdaughter is a burn victim, and his eyes start to water when he talks about his work with burn victims and their struggles. It’s far more emotional and personal for him than anything he discusses of being on the job for three decades, including working during Sept. 11.

“When you’re a burn survivor and have a significant injury, people know it,” he said. “A lot of these victims are kids and they just want to feel like they belong, like there’s nothing wrong with them.”

Stilwell’s wife, Renée, works in fire education for the Fairfax County Fire Department. Stilwell was taking care of his mother-in-law on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 after working a shift, when he saw the news and called his wife, telling her he had to go to work. Renée soon joined him.

It would be two weeks until either of them returned home.

“I remember driving on I-66 and it was deserted, like a science fiction movie where everyone disappeared,” he said. “After we got there, they divided everyone into groups doing different things. We were assigned to go in with the FBI and assist with finding victims in the rubble. Not to be too graphic, but we were basically looking for body parts.”

Stilwell’s career started at Fire Station 3 in Cherrydale in 1981. He worked for years in the Fire Prevention Office, and that’s where he left his biggest mark on the county, Schwartz said, setting guidance in not only how the community could prevent fires, but how firefighters protected themselves.

“Early in my career, [Stilwell] was a firefighter with experience that helped to guide many of us who were new to the job,” Schwartz said. “Over time, as we progressed through the ranks, he became one of the guys I most relied on as one of my senior leaders.” (more…)

by Ethan Rothstein — October 22, 2014 at 11:30 am 2,580 0

The site of the future STEM Preschool in Fairlington (photo via Google Maps)A new, 55-seat preschool with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math education appears on its way a stone’s throw from Shirlington.

STEM Preschool was approved by the Arlington County Board last night for a use permit at 3120 S. Abingdon Street, in the 74-year-old building once occupied by Frosty’s Heating and Cooling, next to Fire Station 7.

“We have a need in our community for daycare, for childcare,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said before the Board unanimously approved the application. “As we get more families, day care is a really important service to provide. I think this is going to be a great addition to the Fairlington community.”

The preschool is owned by Portia Moore, who owns P&E Babysitting, a service that caters largely to North Arlington families and has a five-star rating on Yelp. Moore started the babysitting business while she was a teacher for Arlington Public Schools. She taught for three yeas at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, one at Swanson Middle School and one at Patrick Henry Elementary School, in the preschool program.

Moore said she wanted to start a preschool focused on STEM education ever since she was getting her master’s degree from Marymount University and visited the elementary school programs at Ft. Belvoir.

“They have an amazing program there, with interactive labs with kindergarteners,” Moore told ARLnow.com this morning. “It was hands on, not just reading off the board. The children would learn through touching things and labs. It was interesting to me, and I thought younger kids could learn just like that.”

Moore said that there will be about 11 staff members trained in early STEM education, including a director with a master’s degree in early childhood education. She won’t be closing the babysitting business — “I think my clients would kill me,” she said — and she had hoped to be closer to her clientele, but said she fell in love with the space.

“There’s an outdoor play area in the back, and a lot of places in Arlington don’t have any land for that,” she said. As a requirement of her use permit, county staff mandated that the playground Moore plans to build is fenced in for the children’s safety.

Inside the school, there will be hands on activities to get the children to engage in STEM education, like plants, a butterfly garden to observe an insect’s life cycle and a “water table” to observe the phases of water. “Everything will be integrated,” Moore said, “the kids won’t just be doing science during science time, there will be math components, too.”

Now that the permit is approved, Moore said only building permits are left before construction can begin. She estimates the school will open on Jan. 20, the day after Martin Luther King Day. The center plans to operate 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. There are 15 parking spaces in the lot, but staff approved the site, pointing out nearby street parking is readily available for staff to use.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 10:50 am 1,012 0

Fairlington farmers market location (photo via Arlington County)Residents in Fairlington won’t have to go as far to get fresh produce, starting next year. On Saturday, Arlington County Board members unanimously approved allowing a an open-air farmers market in Fairlington.

The market will take place at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street) from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Sundays from April through November. The special use permit allows for 15 to 20 vendors and up to 29 tents on a pedestrian path behind the community center.

The use permit will allow the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, Inc., to operate the market. That’s the same organization running the Westover farmers market. In order to accommodate concerns about noise, no amplified music or speakers of any kind will be allowed.

Nearly a dozen residents showed up to express their opinions of how the market may affect the community. With one exception, all the speakers supported the market.

“Farmers markets are intended to be neighborhood affairs,” said resident Douglas Penn. “It’s a natural enhancement to a community that already exists. It’s another jewel in the crown.”

Some residents previously had expressed concern that a farmers market at the community center would affect parking. County staff notes that the market is on several bus lines and there is ample free parking in the area. The special use permit will come up for renewal in October 2015, and Board members say at that time they would address any parking concerns that may still exist. The Board also has the authority to examine formal complaints before the permit comes up for renewal.

“I do think this is a good thing. I am aware that there are some folks that are upset. Which is part of the reason I’m going to look at the parking and try to reassure them. But we absolutely need to give it a try,” said Board member Libby Garvey, who is also a Fairlington resident. “I will kick up a fuss if there really is a problem for some folks who do not have the parking that they need.”

The Fairlington farmers market will be the ninth farmers market in Arlington. It is expected to open in April 2015.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 14, 2014 at 10:00 am 710 0

Fairlington farmers market location (photo via Arlington County)(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) The proposed Fairlington farmers market could clear its final regulatory hurdle this Saturday, when the Arlington County Board will vote on whether to approve it.

County staff recommends the approval of the farmers market, proposed by the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, citing a positive response from the community. The market would be held in the parking lot and on the pedestrian path of the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).

The market, if approved, would be held on Sundays from April to November, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to the county’s staff report. The first market would be held in April 2015.

The Fairlington market would be the county’s ninth farmers market. Currently, the closest market for Fairlington and Shirlington residents is the new Arlington Mill farmers market.

Field to Table, in its proposal, anticipates between 15 and 20 vendors for the market, with up to 29 tents under which goods and produce would be sold.

Some in the community expressed concern about the market’s impacts, but county staff said those potential impacts will be mitigated thanks to proper planning.

“Staff received correspondence from area residents who are concerned about impacts to parking, traffic, safety, and trash/environmental impacts related to the proposed use,” according to the report. “The recommended conditions of approval will mitigate any potential adverse impacts to the site.”

Staff said there is ample parking in the community center’s parking lot, but the market is designed with intent of having Fairlington residents walk to the center. The community center, which has been open since 1940 and used to be Fairlington Elementary School, is closed on Sundays, staff said, so the market wouldn’t conflict with any of its regular programming.

If approved, the County Board will review Field to Table’s permit to operate the market next October.

by Ethan Rothstein — August 12, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,273 0

Crystal City Farmers MarketThe Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has given the thumbs up to a proposal to put a farmers market in the open space next to Fairlington Community Center.

The request, by farmers market organizer Field to Table, will eventually be heard by the Arlington County Board and will include a public input process. If approved, the Fairlington Farmers Market will be the ninth in the county.

After careful consideration, the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has determined that a farmers’ market is an appropriate use of the open space adjacent to the Fairlington Community Center,” The DPR said in a statement. “The site’s location, characteristics, context of the surrounding neighborhood, circulation and parking access appear to favorably support a farmers’ market.”

The community center is owned by the county, so county staff held two public outreach meetings — one in April and one in May — to determine whether the community was receptive to the market. According to the county’s report on the market, there were some concerns about parking, trash and noise levels, but the community was generally supportive of the concept.

There are 145 on- and off-street parking spaces, staff said, and other markets around the county do not exceed the Noise Ordinance if they do not play amplified music or sounds. In an online survey, two-thirds of respondents said they would approve of a market in the community center’s open space.

Of the county’s eight farmers markets, the closest one to Fairlington is the new Arlington Mill Farmers Market.

“Although the County does not currently seek the establishment of new farmers’ markets,” the staff report reads, “we recognize the important role that they can play in place-making and community wellness, a value shared by the Fairlington-Shirlington community.”

It’s unclear at this point when the market will go before the County Board for approval.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — May 12, 2014 at 11:10 am 4,105 0

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey at the John Vihstadt victory party 4/8/14(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey was involved in a bicycle accident on Friday, preventing her from participating in Saturday’s Board meeting.

Garvey suffered a broken collarbone after falling while biking on a downhill route in Fairlington Friday afternoon, she said. It happened “near the end of S. Buchanan Street,” where Buchanan turns into 27th Road S.

“I hit a hole in the road (not a pothole, just an odd hole),” Garvey told ARLnow.com via email Monday morning. “I know to avoid it and have managed before to not fall when I’ve hit it, but it’s hard to see. I’m a little battered and bruised, but fine.”

Garvey said she will also be absent from Tuesday’s County Board meeting, but will be watching on TV. She was able to watch some of Saturday’s meeting when not meeting with doctors.

“Moving hurts,” Garvey said. “[I] will be resting for a few more days, but staying in touch by email and phone… It will be a few months before I’m on my bike again.”

Garvey, who was first elected to the County Board in March 2012 after spending 15 years on the Arlington School Board, said there’s a lesson to be learned from her accident.

“Always wear a helmet when biking,” she wrote. “[I] have a goose egg on my forehead, but [it] would have been a much different story without the helmet.”

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — May 8, 2014 at 10:15 am 1,108 0

Neighborhood Day: Fairlington DayEvents all over the county next weekend will be held to celebrate the warm weather and Arlington’s annual Neighborhood Day.

The events start Saturday, May 17 at 9:00 a.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) for Truck Day, where trucks of all kinds will occupy the library’s parking lot so children can learn about each of their specific functions.

The annual Turtle Trot 5K in Bluemont Park will start an hour later at 10:00 a.m. With proceeds going to the Long Branch Nature Center’s turtle preservation efforts, the race is $30 for adults who register in advance.

At the same time, Family Fun Day at Alcova Heights Park (901 S. George Mason Drive) will kick off and last until 2:00 p.m. Activities will include “1st Tee Golf, YoKids Yoga, a giant obstacle course, ‘Movin and Groovin Cardio Dance,’ fitness demos and more,” according to the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

Another Neighborhood Day also means another Fairlington Day on the grounds of the Fairlington Community Center. Starting at 11:00 a.m., the festivities include hot dogs, drinks, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a moon bounce with slides and basketball hoops, an inflatable obstacle course and agricultural demonstrations from the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Nauck, High View Park, Waverly Hills and Cherrydale will also be hosting small events over the weekend, with a Nauck neighborhood cleanup and a WalkArlington walkabout through the latter three areas. The weekend concludes in Ballston Sunday afternoon with the annual Taste of Arlington street festival.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — May 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm 5,824 0

Police car lights(Updated 5:25 p.m.) A jogger was nearly abducted in Fairlington Sunday morning, according to Arlington County police.

Police say a 30-year-old female jogger was running on the 3400 block of S. Utah Street at approximately 6:00 a.m. when a white, four-door sedan — driven by a white male in his 40s with brown hair and a goatee — approached her.

The man allegedly asked the victim for directions before he grabbed her and attempted to pull her into his car. She was able to break free and run home to call police.

The suspect was possible wearing a white t-shirt during the incident, police said, and drove off in the southbound direction of S. Utah Street.

The police department is asking those with information about the incident or suspect to contact Detective LeFrancois of the Special Victim’s Unit at 703-228-4095 or at [email protected]. Anonymous tips can also be provided through the Arlington County Crime Solvers Hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by Ethan Rothstein — April 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm 863 0

Crystal City Farmers MarketResidents of Fairlington may soon have a farmers market in their backyard, if they want one.

Field to Table, an Arlington-based nonprofit dedicated to coordinating farmers markets to encourage people to eat locally sourced foods, is eyeing the open space around the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street) as a location for a farmers market.

The Fairlington Citizens Association has also expressed interest in using the site for a market, according to county staff.

The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a community meeting on April 21 at the community center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to gauge residents’ feelings and possible concerns on bringing a farmer’s market to the neighborhood. Another meeting is scheduled for May 13 at the same time to discuss the findings from the first forum and a survey, which will be posted online.

“The County needs to evaluate the appropriateness of the use at the Center,” Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Jennifer Fioretti told ARLnow.com in an email. “The purpose of the meeting at Fairlington on April 21 is not to evaluate any specific proposal, but rather to seek input from the community regarding their interest, concerns and general feedback about this potential use of the space at the community center. The first meeting will include presentations from staff followed by a facilitated break-out session with meeting participants.”

There are currently seven regular farmers markets in the county, on varying days in Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Ballston, Crystal City, on Columbia Pike and in Westover Village.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — April 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm 1,638 0

Thieves stole the airbags from a number of cars parked in Fairlington early Tuesday morning.

Victims told NBC 4 that they woke up to find their car hoods open and their airbags missing. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

GRAND LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 140408013, 3000 block of S. Columbus Street. On April 8 at 5:46am, it was reported that multiple vehicles in the Fairlington area were broken into by an unknown subject(s) and airbags were stolen. There is no suspect(s) description and the investigation is ongoing.

Also on Tuesday, a cab driver was allegedly robbed at gunpoint in the Rosslyn area.

ROBBERY, 140408063, 1800 block of N. Clarendon Boulevard. On April 8 at 7:06pm, a taxi cab driver reported he was robbed at gunpoint by a passenger. The suspect later identified as Sami Troy Traboulsi, 28, of Alexandria, VA was taken into custody and charged with robbery.

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

(more…)

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