Rough Day on the Roads — An already rain-soaked Thursday was made worse after a tree fell across the eastbound lanes of I-66, blocking the highway during the morning rush hour. Later, the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway were closed near the Key Bridge due to a crash. [WJLA, Washington Post]
Arlington Helps Out With Falls Church Graduation — Arlington voluntarily shifted its high school graduation schedule to help Falls Church’s George Mason High School get a graduation ceremony spot at D.A.R. Constitution Hall last month. [InsideNova]
Nearby: Affordable Housing Decline in Alexandria — There was a 90 percent drop in affordable housing units in Alexandria between 2000 and 2017 and the decline is likely to continue without the construction of more dedicated affordable units. [WAMU]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Kal Penn Spotted at A-Town — Eddie Lacy wasn’t the only famous person spotted at an Arlington bar over the past week. Actor and former Obama administration official Kal Penn was photographed hanging out at A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston this past weekend.
Monday Properties Refinances Rosslyn Portfolio — “Monday Properties has completed an $888 million refinancing of its Rosslyn portfolio… resolving one of the largest chunks of expiring commercial real estate debts taken out before the recession.” Meanwhile, Monday says that Nestle moving its corporate headquarters to 1812 N. Moore Street “has prompted other prospects to consider Rosslyn that wouldn’t have in the past.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington’s Bond Rating Affirmed — “For the 17th year in a row, all three credit ratings agencies have reaffirmed Arlington County’s debt ratings of Aaa/AAA/AAA — the highest rating. Arlington is one of just 45 Counties in the United States, and 9 in Virginia, to receive the highest rating from all three credit agencies for its bonds.” [Arlington County]
Nearby: Video of Fire in Falls Church — Arlington County firefighters assisted on a shed and house fire in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County last week. The blaze was caught on video by a neighbor. [Statter 911]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Vihstadt Wants Ads Atop Aquatics Center — County government could raise some extra money by placing corporate logos atop the future Long Bridge Park aquatics center, which could be seen by those flying in and out of Reagan National Airport, says County Board member John Vihstadt. He is also pushing the idea of ads on ART buses, transit stops and Capital Bikeshare stations. [InsideNova]
Pupatella Named Best Pizza in Va. — The expanding Pupatella Pizza has been named the best pizza in Virginia again, this time by USA Today. The Bluemont pizzeria will celebrate its seventh anniversary on Saturday. [USA Today]
Plaudits for The Bartlett — The Bartlett, an amenity-filled, 699-unit apartment tower in Pentagon City, has been named the year’s best residential project by the Washington Business Journal. The building, the design of which was “inspired by buildings in New York City,” leased up so quickly that plans for a “pop-up hotel” utilizing vacant units had to be pulled back. [Washington Business Journal]
Pebley Recognized for Civic Leadership — Jim Pebley was honored with a resolution of thanks from the Arlington County Republican Committee this past Wednesday. Pebley, who never ran for office but has a long resume of civic service in Arlington, is retiring to North Carolina this summer. “It is safe to say Jim Pebley is one of the most active citizens in Arlington, and has been for decades,” said one well-wisher. “[He is] extremely well-respected across the political spectrum.” [InsideNova]
Condo Resident Opposes VRE Expansion — In a WaPo op-ed, a condo resident who lives next to the VRE station in Crystal City says he opposes the planned expansion of the station because it will “will mar our precious green space” and “derail the lives of Crystal City residents through more noise and possible destruction of property during station construction.” [Washington Post]
Nearby: Threats to Falls Church Abortion Clinic — A building housing an abortion clinic in Falls Church was evacuated twice yesterday due to perceived threats. In the first instance, someone set off fireworks in the building’s elevator; in the second, someone stamped the word “bomb” on pieces of paper found near the rear entrance. An Arlington County Police K-9 unit assisted with the investigation “because F.C. police’s own K-9 unit is still in training.” [Falls Church News-Press, DCist]
Waverly Hills Profiled By WaPo — In a profile of Waverly Hills, residents call the north Arlington neighborhood — which features kids walking to school, a variety of house sizes and plenty of tree cover — “very storybook” with a “really strong sense of community.” [Washington Post]
Go-Go Concert in Arlington Tonight — The Church at Clarendon tonight will host a world premiere performance of “JuJu Symphony” and “Down With You” by the Go-Go Symphony. The event, which mixes go-go and classical music styles, is scheduled from 8-9:30 p.m. [ARLnow, Washington City Paper]
Arlington Factors Into FC Development Editorial — The City of Falls Church must allow more development so it doesn’t have to raise taxes, which would in turn increase the likelihood that it would eventually get absorbed into Arlington or Fairfax. So says an editorial that also notes: “we’ve suspected on more than a few occasions powerful interests based outside our Little City have sought to meddle in our politics to the nefarious end of forcing us to give up our autonomy.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Nearby: Dairy Godmother Has Closed — Beloved Del Ray custard shop Dairy Godmother will not reopen from its winter sabbatical, the store announced yesterday. [Washington Business Journal, Dairy Godmother]
It’s Friday the 13th — But that doesn’t matter. [Vox]
Sun Gazette Moving HQ to Falls Church — The Sun Gazette newspaper is moving its headquarters from McLean to the city of Falls Church. The paper, which has an Arlington edition and a McLean/Great Falls/Vienna/Oakton edition, has previously, under its current editor, had its headquarters in Dunn Loring, Alexandria and Springfield. [InsideNova]
Review of Synetic’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ — Crystal City-based physical theater company Synetic is performing its unique take on “Sleeping Beauty” through Jan. 8. It has received a laudatory review from Broadway World. “Every mimed motion, from a butterfly alighting on a hand to that fated spinning wheel wound, is flawlessly executed and transports audiences to a place beyond imagination,” the publication wrote. [Broadway World]
Children of Inmates Receive Gifts — The annual “Project Christmas Angel” initiative has distributed more than 1,100 gifts this year to nearly 400 children whose parents will be locked up in the Arlington County jail or in state prisons over the holidays. The project also supports kids who have a parent that was recently released from incarceration. [InsideNova]
Final ‘Around Arlington’ of 2016 — The final episode of the county-produced Around Arlington television segment features updates on the Four Mile Run Valley initiative, humanitarian award winners and plans for 2017. [YouTube]
New LED Crossing Guard Signs — VDOT is giving Arlington County a $880 grant that will allow it to purchase four new LED-illuminated paddle signs for crossing guards. The new signs will show “‘slow’ on one side and ‘stop’ on the other… when illuminated, they are visible up to one mile away.” The County Board is expected to accept the grant at its Saturday meeting. [Arlington County]
County Board to Make Car-Sharing Permanent — On Saturday the Arlington County Board is expected to vote to make car-sharing systems permanent in county code. Earlier this year the Board authorized trips between Arlington and D.C. for car-share provider Car2Go. The move has significantly boosted Car2Go’s usage in Arlington. [UrbanTurf]
Discovery Elementary’s Net Zero Goal — Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy recently toured Arlington’s new Discovery Elementary school. The school was built to be a Net Zero Energy building, meaning that it produces more energy than it uses. The school’s solar panel array cost $1.5 million but is expected to pay for itself in about 10 years. [WJLA]
Man Sentenced for Sneaking Into U.S., Again — A Guatemalan man who has a colorful history of sneaking into the U.S., being deported, and trying to come back again, has been sentenced to jail time. Juan Abel Belteton-Barrios, 46, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release. [Patch]
Why East Falls Church? — GGW has a primer on his history and geography of the various Northern Virginia locales with “Falls Church” in the name or postal address, including Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood. [Greater Greater Washington]
One person was briefly trapped in a car after a two-vehicle wreck in the City of Falls Church this morning.
The crash happened around 9 a.m. at S. Washington Street and Maple Avenue, a tricky intersection that’s the site of a future pedestrian safety improvement project.
Arlington County and Fairfax County firefighters and medics responded to the scene and freed the trapped vehicle occupant. Two people were reported to be injured, though none of those injuries were said to be life-threatening.
Photos courtesy Andrew Pang/DC Metro Fire Photographers
The man was taken into custody without incident during a police operation at the Stratford Motor Lodge on W. Broad Street.
Arlington County Police SWAT officers assisted with the operation. Arlington County paramedics were staged near the scene as officers made the arrest.
More from a City of Falls Church press release:
An investigation by the City of Falls Church Police Department led to the arrest of the suspect of two robberies. Marcus Perry, age 39 from Washington, DC, is charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and three counts of malicious wounding. He is being held without bond. No photos are available at this time.
At about 2:45 a.m. today, City of Falls Church Police received a call for what was an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven convenience store (210 S. Washington St.). A suspect entered the store, demanded money while brandishing a handgun, then hit two employees on the head with the gun. The suspect took cash and fled on foot. The two victims were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Then, at about 8:40 a.m. today, a suspect entered an Exxon gas station (400 W. Broad St.), demanded money while brandishing a handgun, hit an employee on the head with the gun, took cash and fled on foot. The victim was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police arrested Perry at the Stratford Motor Lodge (300 W. Broad St.) at about 10:30 a.m. after he was seen entering a guest room and matched the description of the suspect in the armed robberies.
Police ask that anyone with information about these incidents call 703-248-5053 (TTY 711).
County Board Debate Tonight — Democratic County Board candidates Libby Garvey and Erik Gutshall will debate tonight at 8 p.m. at the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s monthly meeting. The meeting is being held at Lubber Run Community Center. [ACDC]
Northside Social Expanding to Falls Church — Clarendon favorite Northside Social will be expanding to the City of Falls Church this fall. The new Northside Social will be located in the historic Blue and Gray American Legion Post building. [Falls Church News-Press]
Metro Track Work at Rosslyn — In a bit of unscheduled maintenance, Metro replaced track insulators around the Rosslyn Metro station yesterday. Metro has been experiencing problems with its aging track infrastructure, particularly fire-prone insulators and electrical equipment. [Twitter]
Attempted Rape Suspect May Be in Arlington — A man who’s wanted for the attempted rape of a child in Alexandria may be hiding in Arlington, authorities say. The man is being sought the the U.S. Marshals Service. [Alexandria News]
Free Guac and Chips at Cal Tor — California Tortilla, which has locations in Courthouse and Crystal City, is offering free chips and guacamole today. “Just say ‘It’s Guac O’Clock!’ to the cashier while ordering and all that hand-smashed goodness is yours!” the company says on its website. [California Tortilla]
Remembering Tom Richards — Who is Tom Richards and why was he such a pivotal figure in the history of Arlington’s parks and trails? A new article from Arlington County explains. Richards would have turned 90 this month; he collapsed and died on the Metro system in 2011. [Arlington County]
Moving Day for ARLnow.com — We are moving our offices up the Orange Line to Clarendon today. As a result, you may notice some delays in posting articles.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The power problem caused the traffic signal at the busy intersection of Lee Highway and Washington Blvd to start flashing, snarling traffic, and was also said to be responsible for numerous activated burglar and fire alarm calls in the area.
As of 4 p.m., there were just shy of 600 Dominion customers reported to be without power in Northern Virginia, mostly in Fairfax County.
The incident was reported just after 11:30 a.m. at the Happy Family restaurant at 301 S. Washington Street.
Initial reports suggest that the odor is the result of pipe relining in the area.
In the heart of Northern Virginia, The Finishing School has gained a reputation for providing an outstanding place for learning sewing skills.
Many children and adults have been privileged to receive instruction at The Finishing School, which is located in Falls Church.
Classes are offered all year. During the school year, hour-long children’s classes are available in the afternoons on weekdays and on Saturday mornings. Day camps during holidays and trial classes are also an option.
During the summer months, a ten-week-long summer session runs from the end of June through the end of August. There are weekly summer camps available for five days a week as well during this time.
Mother/daughter sessions are scheduled on Saturday afternoons, while birthday parties are scheduled for Sunday afternoons.
Students will thrive in a positive, social and creative environment. Students learn the basics of machine sewing, serging and understanding patterns. They will make fun and useful projects including: shorts, aprons, oven mitts, dresses, skirts, tops, pajamas, bath robes, bags, holiday decorations, pillows and quilts just to name a few!
The class structure allows new students to join at any time!
A variety of adult sewing classes are also offered, from beginning to advanced levels. Choose from our collection or bring your own. Sign up for a series or one class at a time.
Sign up today by emailing [email protected] or call 801-664-4108.
The preceding post was written and sponsored by The Finishing School.
The store, which has an existing location in McLean, had its lease in Cherrydale canceled last summer after a community outcry. In February, it opened an “annex” location in Falls Church, citing “high demand [in] that location for transfers and firearm purchases.”
On Friday, just two months after opening, the store announced that it would be closing.
“Regretfully due to recent neighborhood events and our desire to act in the best interests of the community in partnership with Falls Church Police, we have decided to close up this store in order to look for a more ideal location,” the company said.
A store manager explained that there were security concerns with the Falls Church location that came to light after its opening.
“Conversations in partnership with the Falls Church police department and the ATF revealed a rash of burglaries and firearms thefts in the area, and the security of the building at 909 West Broad Street, came into question,” wrote Erik Lorentzen. “In the interest of doing what was best for the community and preventing an unsavory situation with stolen firearms on the streets, we chose to close the store and move the inventory back to the more secure McLean location.”
(The McLean location was burglarized in December.)
Lorentzen said there were also “some business related reasons” for the closure.
“The Falls Church annex… was always a bit of an experiment to see if it was financially viable,” he said. “Over the two months the store was there, no such market revealed itself to us, and the store barely covered its operating expenses.”
Moving forward, NOVA Firearms says it’s focused on “building better relationships with the communities where we reside.”
“Falls Church was actually very welcoming and we had what we felt was a very good relationship with our neighbors,” said Lorentzen. “We were never protested and never received any pressure from anyone pushing us to close down. We simply looked at the situations… and made the call ourselves that this was the right and moral thing to do. We greatly appreciate all the support we have received from our customer base, and look forward to seeing everyone at the McLean store, which isn’t going anywhere.”
NOVA Firearms is not to be confused with NOVA Armory, the gun store that is now open in Arlington’s Lyon Park neighborhood despite vocal opposition from some in the community.
Update at 6 p.m. — Arlington County Police have issued the following statement about today’s incident.
Staff at Bishop O’Connell High School contacted an Arlington County Police School Resource Officer after they received a bomb threat that was telephoned to the school. After the school was evacuated, canine resources from the US Park Police, WMATA Metro Transit Police, and Pentagon Force Protection Agency assisted Arlington County Police canine in conducting a thorough and systematic search of the school.
Students were able to be evacuated by school staff with the assistance of Arlington County Police Officers and they were sheltered in nearby Tuckahoe Elementary School, who was having a Parent-Teacher conference day.
There was no evidence of any explosives or hoax devices and the school was deemed clear a short time later.
It appears that this bomb threat may be related to similar threats in the region based on their nature and timing. We will work closely with the other affected jurisdictions to investigate these incidents.
Update at 2 p.m. — Students are now being allowed back into Bishop O’Connell.
Update at 1:10 p.m. — The evacuated students from the high school have been moved from the football field to Tuckahoe Elementary School, across the street. K-9 units from Metro Transit Police, U.S. Park Police and Pentagon police have arrived on scene to aid in a sweep of the school.
Update at 1:05 p.m. — Tuckahoe parents were sent a text message saying the school was being secured in connection with the Bishop O’Connell incident and evacuation.
In addition to O’Connell and George Mason High, evacuations are also underway due to threats received at five other schools in Northern Virginia, NBC 4 reports: Herndon High School in Herndon, McLean High School in McLean, The Potomac School in McLean, Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn and Falls Church High School in Falls Church. (We’ve since updated this list as NBC 4 corrected its article.)
Earlier: Bishop O’Connell High School is being evacuated due to a bomb threat, ARLnow.com has learned.
Police and K-9 units are en route to the private Catholic school.
The evacuation was reported just minutes after another local high school — George Mason High School in Falls Church — was evacuated due to a bomb threat.
George Mason High School is being evacuated following receipt of a bomb threat this morning. MORE: https://t.co/4YWmBzYdDn
— FCCPSAlert (@fccpsalert) March 4, 2016
Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of a flipped car in Falls Church.
The crash happened around 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of Great Falls Street and Little Falls Street, near the Falls Church Community Center.
One person is being evaluated for injuries by paramedics. A video (below) shows firefighters arriving on scene shortly after the accident.
Arlington provides fire and EMS services to the City of Falls Church via an agreement between the two jurisdictions.
ACFD assisting on a vehicle overturned on Little Falls St and Great Falls in the City of Falls Church. pic.twitter.com/DGJmUQnPoj
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 26, 2016