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by ARLnow.com — November 1, 2016 at 9:05 am 0

Giant Meteor campaign sign

Garvey Wants to Nix New Year’s Day Meeting — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey has proposed moving the Board’s traditional New Year’s Day meeting (this year it would otherwise be held on Jan. 2, the federal observance of the New Year holiday) to the next business day: Tuesday, Jan. 3. [Washington Post]

Neighbors Upset About Sex Offender’s Halloween Decorations — A 57-year-old registered sex offender says he did nothing wrong in putting up Halloween decorations in front of his Arlington house. But nearby residents don’t agree: they called the police and local TV stations, saying the display is “inappropriate” since it might “entice” children. One concerned resident said, “we are within our rights as taxpayers and longtime members of this community to protect the children in our community.” [Fox 5]

Higher Meal Tax Possible? — If state lawmakers act to provide counties with the same taxing powers as Virginia cities, as Arlington County is asking for again this year, it could eventually mean an increase in the meals tax at local restaurants. [InsideNova]

It’s November — Today is the first day of November. In a week, it’s finally Election Day. In three weeks and two days, it’s Thanksgiving. The weather forecast for the next two days, however: highs of 75 and 79 on Wednesday and Thursday.

by ARLnow.com — October 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

Halloween decorations at a house on N. Jackson Street

Today is Halloween and family-friendly festivities are already underway in Arlington.

Numerous local Halloween parades take place in Arlington each year, usually organized by a school with the police department’s help in closing roads.

After the parades come, of course, the trick-or-treating. In Arlington there’s no designated time for trick-or-treating, but traditionally parents will bring their costumed kids through the neighborhoods around sunset — which is expected at 6:08 p.m. today — and knock on doors until 8 or 9 p.m.

Here are some tips for planning your trick-or-treat trip, as we previously published last year:

  • Children should be accompanied by an adult.
  • Choose a neighborhood or street you’re familiar with or is known for getting in the spirit. For example, N. Jackson Street near Clarendon is traditionally a must-see.
  • Houses with the outside lights are the ones expecting and ready for trick-or-treaters.
  • Expect the older, non-costumed crowds later in the evening.
  • If you’re passing out treats, turn the outside lights off when you run out.

Arlington County posted additional Halloween safety tips on its Facebook page today.

There are other Halloween night traditions in Arlington, including a bonfire in Lyon Park. Know of others? Tell us about it in the comments.

by Samantha Moore — October 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm 0

If there’s one thing true about Arlington County, it’s that we have an abundance of hard working, creative residents.

That’s particularly on display at the end of October, as elaborate Halloween displays start popping up in front yards throughout the county.

Above are just a few of the Halloween decorations we found while walking and driving around Arlington earlier this week.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Halloween decorations on Ivy St. in Ashton HeightsCiting fatigue associated with a night of walking around and collecting free candy, more than 2,000 people — mostly students — have signed an online petition calling for a day off of school after Halloween.

The petition, directed to the Arlington County Board, says next Tuesday, the day after Halloween, should be an off day.

Here’s what the petition says:

The night after Halloween kids will be tired and not able to focus on school work. It would be a useless day of school that goes to waste on lethargic children. Middle and high school students already don’t get a ton of sleep, having school on November first would really kill 6th-12th grade students. Sign this to tell the county of Arlington about this problem that has such an easy solution. This may add another day of school at the end but I believe it is worth it to get this day off.

Signers of the petition have encouraged others to spread it to fellow students at Arlington’s middle and high schools.

“We need to let people know about this. Spread it like a wildfire. Share with kids at other schools,” said a petition signer who listed his name as “Spicy Boi.”

by ARLnow.com — October 26, 2016 at 9:40 am 0

Creek and trees near Rosslyn

Board Holds Pike Transit Station Meeting — Updated at 10:45 a.m. — More than three-and-a-half years after it was first revealed by ARLnow.com that a prototype bus stop on Columbia Pike cost more than $1 million, the discussion of less expensive bus stop alternatives continues. The County Board last night held a work session with staff to discuss the current status of Pike transit station planning, ultimately voting to approve the County Manager’s design recommendations. [Arlington County]

APS High School Boundary Refinements — The next step in what promises to be a contentious process of adjusting Arlington’s high school boundaries will take place tomorrow. A community meeting is planned at the Washington-Lee High School cafeteria starting at 7 p.m. Thursday. [Arlington Public Schools]

Cemetery Bike Ban Starts Today — Starting today, only loved ones visiting a grave or niche will be allowed to ride a bike in Arlington National Cemetery. That nixes a commuter route through the cemetery that some cyclists used to avoid busy roads elsewhere in the county. [ARLnow]

Clement Attacks Pay Raise Proposal — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey’s pay raise suggestion is opening her up to attacks from challenger Audrey Clement. “The problem is [the] County Board doesn’t do much work, unless you consider rubber-stamping done deals ‘work,'” Clement told supporters via email. Clement also is criticizing a plan to add an extra high-occupancy lane to I-395 and, in response to local noise complaints, calling on NASA to develop quieter helicopters. [InsideNova, Audrey Clement]

Stalled Cab Company May Retain Permits — Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz is recommending the County Board give All Access Taxi, which specializes in providing wheelchair-accessible transportation, two more years to get its service off the ground. Currently, the company has only one cab — and 49 unused permits. [Washington Post]

Local Ghost Stories — ‘Our Man in Arlington’ columnist Charlie Clark has received recent reports of ghostly encounters from “reliable sources” at several local places: at Arlington Hall, along George Mason Drive; at the Overlee swim club and a nearby home; and at an 18th century home in McLean that was torn down last month. [Falls Church News-Press]

Pamplona May Open in December — Pamplona, a new Spanish restaurant in the former SoBe space in Clarendon, is hoping to open “by the end of the year.” James Martin, a 29-year-old rising culinary star, will be the restaurant’s executive chef. He hopes Pamplona will win the kind of critical acclaim that can “put Clarendon on the map.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

by ARLnow.com — October 24, 2016 at 11:20 am 0

Halloween decorations on N. Jackson StreetWith plenty of Halloween festivities planned in Arlington this weekend, a local nonprofit is again providing a way for bar-goers to get home safely, for free.

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will be offering its SoberRide free taxi service from 10 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.

Those who want to take advantage of the free service must call a cab at 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) during those times.

From a press release:

As a means of making the Washington-metropolitan area’s roadways a little less frightening this Halloween, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout Arlington County, Virginia this Saturday evening, October 29th.

Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2016 Halloween SoberRide® program will be in operation at 10:00 pm on Saturday, October 29th and operate until 6:00 am on Sunday, October 30th as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk period.

During this eight-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide® phone number 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) and be afforded  a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.

Last year, 412 persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used WRAP’s Halloween SoberRide® program rather than possibly driving home impaired. The charity also offers its SoberRide® program on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and the winter holidays this year starting on December 16th and operating through and including New Year’s Eve.

Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may attempt to drive home after drinking.

SoberRide® is offered in the: District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.

“The scary fact is that over half (52%*) of all U.S. traffic deaths during Halloween involve drunk drivers,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.

Sponsors of this year’s Independence Day SoberRide® campaign include AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.

Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.

Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 65,219 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.

Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with historically keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths lower than the national average.

More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.soberride.com.

by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

A retail store for your Halloween costume and decoration needs recently opened in Crystal City.

Total Fright — or Total Party, during other times of the year — is open in the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive, near the Metro station. It was formerly located in the now under-renovation Ballston Common Mall.

The store is usually open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, but will have extended hours leading up to Halloween (Monday, Oct. 31).

There are a couple of other dedicated Halloween stores in Northern Virginia, including two Spirit Halloween locations in Falls Church and Springfield.

by ARLnow.com — October 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm 0

Clarendon Halloween bar crawlThe annual Clarendon Halloween bar crawl will be back for another year this year, although it will be taking place after Halloween itself.

Halloween is on Monday, Oct. 31. The bar crawl is scheduled from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“Bust out your best costume and get ready for a spooktacular party like no other this season,” says the website for the crawl. “The Clarendon Halloween Crawl celebrates the scariest time of the year in Arlington with thousands of your closest friends!”

Revelers will get a “souvenir haunted mug, access to Clarendon’s best bars, exclusive drink and food specials, free pictures of the event and a raffle entry to win great prizes.”

Participating bars include Mad Rose Tavern, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, IOTA Club and Cafe, Whitlow’s, Mister Days, Spider Kelly’s and Hunan One.

Tickets are $15 online or $30 at the door.

by ARLnow.com — October 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm 0

Cow (photo by Katie Carter)A cow will be trucked to Lyon Park tomorrow (Saturday) as part of a high stakes game, the winners of which will be determined by poop.

The “Cow Flop Drop” game is part of the Lyon Park neighborhood’s family-friendly, all-day Halloween festivities.

A cow named Blossom will wander around part of the park, marked off in an 8×8 grid. Residents will buy a square in the grid and hope that Blossom deposits her droppings in that square, to win cash prizes.

If Blossom’s bowels are uncharacteristically unproductive, a “brave volunteer” will “dress as a cow an lob a water balloon into the field to identify a winner.”

From the Lyon Park and Ashton Heights listservs:

This Saturday, shoehorned in between the Parade of Costumes at 10 AM and the bonfire at dark, Lyon Park will hold a Cow Flop Drop.

Yes, we have a cow. Yes, we have a plan. Yes, there will be games (with cow-themed prizes) and food.

Volunteers will create a grid on the ground with 64 square, and you’ll be able to purchase a square starting at 10:00 AM. Our cow, Blossom, will surprise and delight you as she enters the field at 10:30 AM.

From 10:30 AM until 2 PM, we’ll monitor Blossom’s “movements.” Each time she selects a square, the square’s owner will win a portion of the proceeds from that game. It’s cow chip bingo!

The earliest games will be low-stakes, and you can purchase a square for just a few dollars. Around noon, we’ll offer a high stakes game with each square costing $50. And don’t have a cow — if Blossom doesn’t deliver every 30 minutes, we have a very brave volunteer who will dress as a cow an lob a water balloon into the field to identify a winner!

If your costumed child would like to run a game and toss a balloon, we will offer a few $1 games if you can recruit enough players to cover the entire board.

The aforementioned children’s parade of costumes starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by an “explore a fire truck” event starting at 11 a.m. From 7-9 p.m., the community will hold its annual Halloween bonfire in the park.

by Heather Mongilio — October 30, 2015 at 11:30 am 0

Halloween is tomorrow and some houses in Arlington have been decked out for the spooky holiday.

Spider webs and spiders hanging from fences, windows and trees are popular choices. The more festive have skeletons or half-decomposed corpses trying to emerge from graves on the lawn.

We stopped by N. Jackson Street near Clarendon, 15th Street N. in Waycroft-Woodlawn, N. Harrison Street in Leeway Heights and S. Frederick Street in Columbia Forest to check out some of the ghoulish decorations.

If you spot any other houses decked out for Halloween, post a picture or two in the comments section.

There is no official trick-or-treating time in Arlington, but tradition says costumed children will start arriving around sunset, until around 8 p.m. or so.

by Jennifer Currier — October 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

Halloween decorations at a house on N. Jackson Street

The three day countdown to Halloween has begun, and that means it’s time to start solidifying plans for the haunted holiday.

Halloween falls on Saturday this year, giving you more time and flexibility to take part in festive activities happening in the area, especially trick-or-treating.

Unlike today’s dreary weather, the forecast looks promising for candy-seekers, with National Weather Service predicting temperatures around 50 degrees and some clouds.

As in years past, there’s no designed time for trick-or-treating in Arlington, but tradition indicates parents will bring their costumed kids through the neighborhoods around sunset — which is expected around 6:10 p.m. — and knock on doors until 8 or 9 p.m.

Here are some tips for planning your trick-or-treat trip:

  • Children should be accompanied by an adult.
  • Choose a neighborhood or street you’re familiar with or is known for getting in the spirit. For example, N. Jackson Street near Clarendon is traditionally a must-see.
  • Houses with the outside lights are the ones expecting and ready for trick-or-treaters.
  • Expect the older, non-costumed crowds later in the evening.
  • If you’re passing out treats, turn the outside lights off when you run out.

There are also other opportunities in the area for kids to get their candy.

The Arlington Historical Society is hosting its first trick-or-treat event at the Arlington Historical Museum (1805 S. Arlington Ridge Road) from 4-6 p.m. There will be candy, Halloween-themed story time and coloring.

Children of all ages who are in costume can also pick up a treat at the Cherrydale Branch Library (2190 N. Military Road) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Finally, for the adults looking to celebrate, the Clarendon Halloween Bar Crawl will return from 1-9 p.m., one hour longer than last year.

File photo

by Jennifer Currier — October 27, 2015 at 11:05 am 0

This Halloween, patrons at select Arlington restaurants will be praised not for the creativity of their costumes, but for getting home safely.

Anti-DUI superhero "Soberman" in Clarendon (file photo)Designated sober drivers will be publicly recognized this Friday night by Checkpoint Strikeforce and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) as part of an anti-drunk driving campaign.

From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., representatives from the campaign will be outside three Clarendon nightspots to thank designated drivers and those who choose to take public transportation, a taxi or ride sharing service home.

The three restaurants that will be reference points for the “surprise and delight” thanking events are:

  • Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd.
  • Spider Kelly’s at 3181 Wilson Blvd.
  • Don Tito at 3165 Wilson Blvd.

This year’s campaign is aimed at stopping people ages 21 to 35 from drinking and driving. According to a release, 36 percent of highway fatalities in Virginia last year were alcohol-related, and more than 40 percent of people killed in alcohol-related crashes were within the campaign’s target age range.

Festive holidays, like this weekend’s Halloween celebration, often see a spike in DUI-related incidents.

WRAP will also offer free taxi rides on Saturday through its SoberRide program.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm 0

Unveiling of a half cab-half police cruiserAs it does on many particularly festive holidays, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program will be offering free taxi rides on Halloween through its SoberRide program.

The free rides will be offered from 10 p.m. on Saturday to 4 a.m. on Sunday. In order to get a free ride, revelers have to book their cab by calling 1-800-200-TAXI.

In its press release (below), WRAP noted that nearly half of all Halloween traffic deaths in the U.S. are caused by drunk drivers.

As a means of making the Washington-metropolitan area’s roadways a little less frightening this Halloween, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout Arlington County, Virginia on the evening of Saturday, October 31st.

Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the Halloween SoberRide® program will be in operation at 10:00 pm on Saturday, October 31st (Halloween) and operate until 4:00 am on Sunday, November 1st, as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk, holiday period.

During this six-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol  may call the toll-free SoberRide® phone number 1-800-200-TAXI and be afforded  a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.

Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may attempt to drive home after drinking.

SoberRide® is offered in the: District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.

“The scary fact is that nearly half (43%*) of all U.S. traffic deaths occurring during Halloween are caused by drunk drivers,”said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.

Sponsors of this year’s Halloween SoberRide® offering include: AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Constellation Brands, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.

Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.

Last Halloween’s (2014) SoberRide® program provided nearly 300 (278) free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Washington-metropolitan area.

Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 62,773 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.

Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (www.wrap.org) is an award-winning public-private partnership working to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking in the Washington-metropolitan area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths consistently lower than the national average.

More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.soberride.com.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2015 at 10:35 am 0

Halloween-Graphic-1020x1020(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) TechShop in Crystal City is planning a steampunk-themed Halloween party later this month.

The event is planned for Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6-9 p.m. It will include a jack-o’-lantern contest and a steampunk costume contest.

“Break out your petticoats and top hats, don your driving goggles, and adorn yourself with gears of all shapes and sizes, because the winners of these contests will score awesome prizes!” TechShop said in an event page.

In terms of food and drink, the party will feature a Good Stuff Eatery milkshake bar, a kids candy bar and a “haunted cocktail bar.”

Tickets are $15 for adults who aren’t TechShop members, $10 for members, $5 for those under 21.

A family-friendly “Hack Your Halloween” meetup, featuring a workshop on laser etching a pumpkin, will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tickets for children ages 10-14 attending the meetup are $10 and there are additional charges for the pumpkin etching.

TechShop Arlington is located at 2110 Crystal Drive and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for major holidays.

by ARLnow.com — October 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm 1,218 0

Halloween Bar Crawl logo(Updated at 4 p.m.) The Clarendon Halloween Bar Crawl will return this year with an extra hour of revelry.

The bar crawl is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31 — Halloween — from 1-9 p.m. The start time is an hour earlier than last year. Just like last year, participants are encouraged to come in costume.

“We recommend wearing your spookiest, scariest or most creative costume!” says the event website. “There will be costume prizes for the most festively dressed participants.”

Tickets currently are available online for $20, and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $30. The fee gets participants a souvenir mug, food and drink specials at bars in Clarendon and a raffle entry.

Bars along the crawl include Whitlow’s, Mad Rose, Clarendon Ballroom, Bracket Room, Don Tito, Mister Days, Spider Kelly’s, Hard Time Cafe and Hunan One, among others.

Last year, the Arlington County Police Department live tweeted the Halloween-themed festivities. It was deemed a relatively quiet affair, crime-wise, with thousands of participants and only 9-10 arrests.

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