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by ARLnow.com April 17, 2018 at 9:05 am 0

Cemetery Flyover Planned Today — Expect to see a military flyover today around 1:45 p.m., in support of a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. [Twitter]

Grant to Pay for Reforestation — “Arlington County government officials will accept about $9,700 in federal funds to restore nearly four acres of riparian buffer along Four Mile Run. The grant will fund purchase of more than 1,000 tree and shrub seedlings to be planted in areas that have been treated for removal of invasive plants.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Man Convicted of Murder — “On Friday, April 13, 2018, a Charles County jury, after a 5 day trial, convicted Bryan Javier Aquice, 25, of Arlington, VA. of the First Degree Murder of Michael Beers.” [Southern Maryland News Net]

Disgusting Discovery Prompts Call to Police — A woman called police after she reportedly found a used condom on the hood of her car in Arlington’s Douglas Park neighborhood. [Twitter]

Nearby: New Company HQ in Falls Church — Investment firm Kiddar Capital will be relocating its headquarters to a new office building in the City of Falls Church. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 11, 2018 at 3:55 pm 0

Arlington has taken in fewer refugees than other Northern Virginia communities, according to data from the U.S. State Department-run Refugee Processing Center.

Between 2002-2017, approximately 409 refugees were resettled in Arlington — about .17 percent of Arlington’s population, going by the latest census figures.

In that same time period, a higher percentage of refugees were resettled in Alexandria or Annandale. Alexandria received 1,032 refugees and Annandale received 248. That’s approximately .74 percent and .6 percent of their overall populations, respectively.

In nearby Woodbridge, 271 refugees were resettled between 2002-2017. That’s approximately 6.12 percent of the overall Woodbridge population.

Falls Church, per the data, took in 1,618 refugees from 2002-2017. Per recent estimates, that’s about 13.17 percent of its population.

The Arlington County government has “no official role… in resettlement decisions” and has “expressed interest in serving as a receiving community for refugees,” according to the county’s website.

Alex Mattera, a Virginia Dept. of Social Services (DSS) planning researcher, confirmed to ARLnow that Arlington doesn’t resettle as many refugees as other Northern Virginia localities. This, he added, is likely due to a number of factors, including that only refugees with current local ties are settled in the region.

DSS’ statistics vary slightly from those of the U.S. State Department, in part because of different methods of categorizing the visa status of arrivals. Iraqis and Afghanis who are resettled in America through a S.I.V., the special immigrant visa program for those who assisted the U.S. Armed Forces in their countries during operations.

The 105 Iraqi refugees accounted for a large portion of those resettled in Arlington between 2002-2017, per the Refugee Processing Center data.

Mattera noted that the report from the Refugee Processing Center doesn’t cite SIV entrants in the same category as other refugees, and that Virginia has higher-than-average SIV-related arrivals numbers than most states.

An informal poll conducted by ARLnow in 2015 showed that opinions were mixed among readers whether or not to resettle Syrian refugees specifically in Arlington. According to the State Department data, no Syrian refugees were settled in Arlington between 2002-2017, despite the county stating its willingness to help resettle refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war.

Anna Merod contributed to this report

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 30, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Improvements are planned for a one-way bridge linking eastbound Route 50 to Wilson Boulevard in Seven Corners.

The bridge is blocks away from Arlington’s western border with Fairfax County.

A new concrete bridge deck, steel beams, and concrete end walls have been proposed for the bridge, which was built in 1958, as well as upgraded bridge railings.

A new sidewalk would be installed along the opposite side of the bridge’s existing sidewalk, which would be rehabbed.

A public information meeting with project displays and a presentation by Virginia Dept. of Transportation staff is planned for Tuesday (April 3) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School (3333 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church).

Public comments can be given at the meeting. Project financing comes from state and federal infrastructure funds.

by ARLnow.com March 27, 2018 at 8:35 am 0

Shake Shack, Philz and More Coming to Ballston — “Ballston will beef up its fast-casual restaurant offerings by the end of this year, with Shake Shack, We the Pizza, Philz Coffee and Cava all slated to lease space in the newly dubbed Ballston Exchange project. Ballston Exchange, formerly known as Stafford Place I and II, was until 2017 home to the National Science Foundation.” [Washington Business Journal]

Outdoor Lab Squeezed by Rising Enrollment — “A growing student body at the elementary-school level may soon mean there are not enough days in the school year to send the usual cadre of students to the Arlington Outdoor Lab, located in Fauquier County.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Smoker Busted in Falls Church — Falls Church police issued a summons to a 56-year-old Arlington man for smoking in a restaurant in the city. [Falls Church News-Press]

Hamlin Leaving Macedonia Baptist Church — The Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin Sr. is leaving Macedonia Baptist Church in Nauck for a post at the Washington National Cathedral. “To celebrate his 22-year tenure at Macedonia, more than 300 people attended a farewell gala held March 25 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City,” the Sun Gazette reported. [InsideNova]

Advocates Flock to Open Door Monday — Those seeking more funding in the county budget process flocked to yesterday’s regularly-scheduled Open Door Monday event with County Board member Libby Garvey. Among those bending Garvey’s ear were first responders, who are seeking higher pay, and Arlington Independent Media, which is fighting a proposed budget cut. [Twitter, Twitter]

Photo courtesy @jimcollierjr

by ARLnow.com March 26, 2018 at 8:30 am 0

Overnight House Fire in Rock Spring — The Arlington County Fire Department battled a blaze in the basement of a home in the Rock Spring neighborhood early this morning. One occupant of the home was brought to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. [Twitter]

ACFD Battles Falls Church Fire — Arlington and Fairfax County firefighters battled a two-alarm house fire in Falls Church early Sunday morning. The home’s occupant was able to get out but was transported to the hospital. The house, which had “hazardous hoarding conditions” inside, it believed to be a total loss. [City of Falls Church, Falls Church News-Press]

Warner Blasts ‘Dark Underbelly of Social Media’ — Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) went on NBC’s Meet the Press over the weekend and addressed the topic of Facebook’s privacy issues and alleged Russian election interference. “I think the whole industry has been reluctant to accept the fact that we’re seeing the dark underbelly of social media, and how it can be manipulated,” Warner said, adding: “frankly, Mr. Zuckerberg needs to come and testify.” [YouTube]

Arlington on ‘Healthiest Communities’ Rankings — Arlington County ranked No. 31 on U.S. News and World Report’s new Healthiest Communities rankings. Neighboring Falls Church ranked No. 1 while the City of Fairfax ranked No. 6 and Loudoun County ranked No. 10. [WTOPU.S. News]

County Recognizes Businesses for Transportation Programs — “The Arlington County Board honored 19 local businesses and properties for their dedication to providing sustainable transportation to employees and tenants, as part of the Champions program. The program… motivates businesses, multi-family residential communities, commercial properties and schools to recognize the impact they can make on reducing traffic congestion in Arlington County.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com March 13, 2018 at 10:55 am 0

The long-time Red Top Cab maintenance facility in Clarendon is now idle.

No longer are taxicabs busy coming and going from the facility, which is located along N. Hudson Street, just back from Clarendon’s main strip of bars. The facility’s parking lot, meanwhile, is largely empty.

Red Top spokesman Von Pelot said the company has moved maintenance to Falls Church as a cost-cutting measure.

“Half of the offices at Hudson Street were unused and we had additional capacity for maintenance at our shop in Falls Church, where painting and body repairs have always been done,” Pelot tells ARLnow.com. “It was not economical to carry the operating expenses of occupying a building we don’t really need.”

As recently as 2012 Red Top was seeking new taxi licenses from the county in an effort to expand its fleet. Pelot acknowledged that app-based ride services like Uber and Lyft have significantly curtailed its business.

“With the unfettered competition from unregulated cab substitute companies, we decided to cost costs by relocating staff to other available space,” he said. Red Top’s headquarters, however, is remaining at 3251 Washington Blvd, a block away from the maintenance facility.

A plan to redevelop the Red Top site and adjacent properties into hundreds of units of housing is currently on hold.

Hat tip to Mike K.

by ARLnow.com March 12, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

A local fitness business has suddenly shuttered all of its locations.

My Thrive Pilates sent emails to customers Sunday night announcing that it was closing immediately and selling its equipment “to pay remaining payroll obligations.” Several tipsters forwarded the email to ARLnow.com.

Content has been removed from the company’s website and its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages have been taken down. A Google search indicates that it had locations in Courthouse, Shirlington and Falls Church.

The fitness studio was well reviewed, garnering a 4.5 star review on the Yelp page for My Thrive’s Courthouse location and 4 stars for the other locations.

The full email, after the jump.

To the My Thrive Community,

I regretfully write to share that My Thrive Pilates will be permanently closing all locations as of 8 p.m. Sunday, March 11th 2018.

All equipment will be auctioned to pay remaining payroll obligations.

I am heartbroken by and apologize for this happening and wish to share that we did everything in our power to keep the studios up and running.  We thank each and every one of you for your support.

Over the last 7 years we have enjoyed and are grateful for the people who became a part of our community and wish all of you the very best.

Thank you,

Stephanie Westberg
My Thrive Pilates

by ARLnow.com February 1, 2018 at 8:15 am 0

Alexandria Absent from Short Bridge Park Plans — “While plans for the border-spanning park are underway on the Arlington side, one frustration expressed at the County Board was that Alexandria has no plans to develop its side of the park… ‘That’s a little disappointing,’ County Board member John Vihstadt said. ‘I am concerned we’re going to be spending significant amounts of money for improvements on the Alexandria side.'” [Arlington Connection]

Review of Columbia Pike’s BrickhausBrickhaus, which opened last year at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive, is like a miniature, “year-round, indoor beer garden [that] serves German-inspired fare.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Commuting Satisfaction in Arlington — According to data from Arlington County’s Mobility Lab, Arlington residents commute to work by means other than driving alone 60 percent of the time. Those who walk or bike have the highest rate of satisfaction with their commute, while those who take a train have the lowest satisfaction rate. [Mobility Lab]

Fmr. Clarendon Restaurant Owners Like Falls Church — David and Rebecca Tax, the founders behind classic Clarendon restaurants like Big Belly Deli, Lazy Sundae, Clare and Don’s and Mexicali Blues, are happy with their decision to move Lazy Sundae and Clare and Don’s to Falls Church more than a decade ago. “Falls Church is a lot like what Clarendon was like in 1996 when we opened Lazy Sundae,” said David, while Rebecca remembered the Clarendon of the mid-to-late 90s as “more family oriented, fewer singles.” [Eater]

Mobile Phones Could Be Banned at Pentagon — A military review of personal electronics policies, ordered by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, could result in non-military cell phones being banned at the Pentagon. About 30,000 servicemembers, civilians and contractors work at the Pentagon. [Stars and Stripes]

Japanese Embassy Lauds New Arlington Decal — Via a tweet from the Embassy of Japan in D.C.: “As this year’s @CherryBlossFest nears, we’re excited to hear that the blooming cherry trees along the Potomac River will soon be displayed on windshields in Arlington County. Congratulations to @OConnellHS’s Schuyler Workmaster for winning @ArlingtonVA’s decal contest!” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by Buzz McClain January 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm 0

After year-and-a-half of dramatic improvements, the 56-year-old Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center is ready for its close-up.  

Federal Realty, which has owned the 115,000-square-foot center since 2007, invested several million dollars and considerable expertise to bring the centrally located plaza at 6345 Columbia Pike in Falls Church up-to-date, with modern design detailing and an improved tenant mix that includes a new Glory Days Grill. 

“Federal Realty is proud to own and invest in our local community,” said Kari Glinksi, director of asset management for Federal Realty. “The scope of the improvements go beyond the superficial. Not only have we elevated the standard of design for the center but we’ve also enriched the customer experience.” 

Among the changes: Old canopies, signs and storefronts have been replaced with new facades boasting modern architectural details; improved lighting for safety and appeal; new signage above and below the canopy; and fresh landscaping that adds new energy to the plaza.  

There’s now an outdoor patio at the Starbucks, new pavement on the parking lot (plus 19 additional parking places) and new attention to detail at the nearby 7-11, which Federal Realty purchased in 2016 in an effort to maintain a standard for the entire plaza. 

But all of this is likely to be overshadowed, at least for now, by the grand opening of the Glory Days Grill on January 17. There are innumerable reasons why the Fairfax-based local chain of family sports grills has won state and local Restaurant Neighbor Awards from the National Restaurant Association 13 times since 2003, in addition to dozens of other awards (see them listed here). Newcomers to the full-service restaurant will quickly become fans. 

 The 20 shops, restaurants and services of Barcroft Plaza, including the Harris Teeter supermarket and a Bank of America branch, have a new look, new energy and a new tenant that will continue to add excitement to the community for years to come. 

Barcroft Plaza Shopping Center is at 6345 Columbia Pike in Falls Church. There are leasing opportunities of 1,500-to-3,900 square feet for interested tenants. The website is here. This article was written by ARLnow.com and sponsored by Federal Realty Investment Trust.

by Chris Teale January 5, 2018 at 11:30 am 0

A Clarendon bakery closed at the beginning of this year ahead of its move into local stalwart Northside Social’s new Falls Church location.

A sign posted on the door of LeoNora (1108 N. Irving Street) said it closed as it prepares to open a new bakery at the forthcoming Northside Social in Falls Church (205 Park Avenue).

“In preparation for the opening of our custom-built bakery at Northside Social Falls Church, LeoNora Bakery is closed effective immediately,” the sign reads. “Please visit us at Northside Social Arlington, just across the street at 3211 Wilson Blvd, for our freshly baked pastries and breads.”

The bakery, next to O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, described itself on its Facebook page as “the result of a never ending search for the best breads and pastries in terms of flavor, freshness and texture.”

by ARLnow.com December 21, 2017 at 8:00 am 0

Dog and Owner Help Foil Purse Snatching — Mazel was a very good boy. The miniature bull terrier and his owner chased down a purse thief in Clarendon Tuesday evening, retrieving the purse and all of its contents. The thief remains at large but the purse owner is very grateful to get her belongings back prior to a planned vacation. [NBC Washington]

Arlington Woman Plows Into Falls Church Store — A 41-year-old woman from Arlington drove her car through the sliding doors of a Falls Church Rite Aid store this past weekend, damaging shopping carts and an interior wall. She was arrested and charged with DUI. [Falls Church News-Press]

Planet Money Looks at I-66 Tolling — NPR’s popular Planet Money podcast took a look at the sky-high tolls now in effect during certain times on I-66. There is “a beautiful, econ 101 logic behind a toll that spikes when demand spikes,” the podcast explains. [NPR]

White Christmas Looks Unlikely — The odds are low that the Washington area ends its recent draught of white Christmases next week. However, some snow on Christmas Day appears to be a possibility. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Jim Webster

by ARLnow.com November 21, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Lost Hikers Found Near Chain Bridge — Two men who had apparently been hiking along the Potomac River got lost and had to call emergency dispatchers after one of them fell and hurt himself. The call came in around 2:30 a.m. this morning. Arlington, Fairfax County, D.C. and U.S. Park Police units helped to search for the men — Fairfax used its police helicopter — and eventually they were found and transported to the hospital. [WUSA 9]

Video: ACFD Responds to FC Vehicle Fire — A minivan caught on fire in Falls Church over the weekend and a camera was rolling as Arlington County firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze. [Twitter]

Holiday Decorations Going Up — Around Clarendon yesterday — and perhaps in other parts of the county as well — lights, window paintings and other festive decorations were being put up in anticipation of the holiday season. [Instagram]

Arlington Mill Gym Floor Installed — The new gym floor has been installed and is ready to use at the Arlington Mill Community Center. The gym’s previous floor had to be removed due to water damage stemming from a March snow storm. [Twitter]

County Announces Human Rights Award Winners — Among the recipients of Arlington County’s 2017 James B. Hunter Award winners are: Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer; the Building Bridges community initiative; Saint George’s Episcopal Church and its refugee advocacy; Café Sazón and its support of immigrant rights; and Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, which is considered the only gay bar in Northern Virginia. [Arlington County]

Reporter Accused of Unwanted Advances in Local Bar — New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush has been suspended following accusations that during his time at Arlington-based Politico, he made unwanted sexual advances at young, female colleagues while drinking at a Rosslyn bar. [Vox]

by Chris Teale September 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Fire Department helped out on a structure fire call at the SunTrust Bank in Seven Corners this morning.

ACFD sent units to the bank at 6300 Leesburg Pike around 11 a.m. to assist Fairfax County Fire & Rescue with the reported electrical fire. The bank is near Route 7’s intersection with Arlington Blvd and close to the Eden Center.

Firefighters arrived on scene and saw smoke at the back of the building. A small electrical panel caught fire, and crews determined it had not spread, according to Fairfax County authorities.

Firefighters ventilated the building to remove lingering smoke on two floors. No injuries were reported.

Photos 1-3 by Sinti Asmare. Photos No. 4 and No. 5 via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com August 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

Power is out in parts of Seven Corners after a truck brought down power lines behind the Eden Center in Falls Church.

The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. in the rear of the shopping center. Two utility poles were snapped in half as a result of the collision.

At one point, nearly 2,500 Dominion customers were without power in the area, including in parts of Arlington County. As of 3:30 p.m. Dominion was no longer reporting any outages in Arlington.

The Arlington County Fire Department responded to the scene for sparking power lines and a spill of mineral oil from the transformers. ACFD has since turned over the scene to Dominion, which will be cleaning up the spill, according to scanner traffic.

Some traffic signals in Seven Corners may be affected by the outages, according to Fairfax County Police.

by Chris Teale August 23, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A Falls Church couple is searching frantically for their missing dog, which disappeared last week in Arlington under some strange circumstances.

Solange and Craig Bone said they left their dog Sookie with a dog-sitter on N. Frederick Street in Waycroft-Woodlawn while they went out of town. They returned around 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, only to be greeted by the news that Sookie had disappeared earlier that day at around noon.

Solange Bone said they began putting fliers up immediately, and received phone calls from people nearby who said they had seen Sookie going along N. George Mason Drive, near Virginia Hospital Center.

Three days later, Bone said they received a call from a woman who said Sookie crossed Lee Highway on August 17 and walked to the area of N. Dickerson Street, where she was cornered by two good Samaritans.

But then, Bone said, when someone went inside to grab a leash for the dog, a man appeared and began to hold the dog. He then allegedly got into his car and drove away with her.

The man is described as being Hispanic and in his late 50s or early 60s, wearing thick black-rimmed glasses. He had a medium build and was driving a brown Toyota Camry or Corolla.

Bone said they have tried everything to get Sookie back, from putting up fliers to alerting local animal shelters, sending out automated calls and hiring a dog tracker to try and follow her scent. Bone said it is complicated by the fact that her collar has been removed.

“Literally, we haven’t slept,” Bone said. “We’ve been looking for her non-stop since we found out.”

Bone added that the Arlington County Police Department took a report on the case, but were unlikely to do more as the department typically does not search for missing pets. ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed Bone’s account of events, but had no further information.

There have not been additional sightings since the one in the Yorktown neighborhood, Bone said. The couple is offering a $1,500 reward to anyone who has any information on Sookie’s whereabouts.

Bone said that she is most concerned with getting her dog back, and is not as interested in punishing anyone who might have taken her, accidentally or otherwise.

“I don’t want to couch it as she’s been stolen or anything like that,” Bone said. “I just want her safe return. I just want whoever it is to just, no questions asked, we just want her back.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call 949-606-2598.

Photo No. 3 via Google Maps.

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