Neighborhoods across the county are getting ready for Neighborhood Day, set to take place Saturday and feature a wide range of events and activities.
The day looks to bring together neighbors to strengthen bonds on blocks and across the county.
This year’s events are:
Jennie Dean Park Historical Markers Unveiling Ceremony
At noon, the park’s new historical markers will be unveiled, followed by a tour of Arlington Food Assistance Center’s new office at 2708 S Nelson Street.
Seventh Annual Turtle Trot 5K Race
A chip-timed 5K race at Bluemont Park on a certified course. The race begins at 10 a.m.
International Migratory Bird Day Festival
From 9-11 a.m., celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by learning about migratory birds such as hummingbirds and osprey with hands-on activities, games, crafts, bird walks and more. Meet at Lacey Woods Park Picnic Shelter, 1200 N. George Mason Drive.
Tuckahoe Home and Garden Tour
The self-guided Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour showcases recently renovated Arlington homes that solve common space and design challenges through creative remodeling.
Fairlington Home and Garden Tour
Tour a variety of renovated homes and gardens in Fairlington Village. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance or on the day.
Remove Invasive Plants
Increase native species diversity by helping with the return of ferns and wildflowers, and the animals that depend on them, in areas once covered in destructive invasive plants. The Gulf Branch Nature Center will host the event from 2-4 p.m.
Tara-Leeway Heights Community Day
From 1-3 p.m. at Big Walnut Park, the Tara-Leeway Heights community will host an event complete with food vendors, games and more.
LBCCA Celebration and Movie Night Series Kick-Off
The Long Branch Creek Civic Association will bring the community together to celebrate from 5-9 p.m. at Troy Park. The event will include a moon bounce, games and activities, potluck dinner, snacks, beverages and an outdoor movie screening.
Ashton Heights Neighborhood Yard Sale
From 8 a.m.-noon, visit the Ashton Heights neighborhood for a community-wide yard sale.
Saved from closure by a new owner, House of Steep on Lee Highway is now in the process of adding new ways for its customers to relax.
The Cherrydale business at 3800 Lee Highway had been set to close late last year, after founder and previous owner Lyndsey DePalma suggested it was not making enough money.
But it was bought by long-time customer Patrick Vaughan and reopened in January, and now Vaughan is looking to bring some new ideas.
The tea house and “foot sanctuary” will soon offer wine to customers, after filing a license application with Virginia ABC. Vaughan said that new innovation could help turn House of Steep into more of a wine bar in the evenings.
“I envision people having a glass of wine while doing a sit and soak essentially, or getting a foot massage,” he said. “The theme of the place is relaxation, so to me I know a lot of people consider a glass of wine at the end of the day the ultimate relaxation.”
Vaughan said he also hopes to expand walk-in availability for House of Steep’s reflexology and massage services. Previously, he said, customers would have to schedule an appointment 24 hours in advance, but Vaughan said he wants to have a system where people can be seen straight away or an hour or two later.
House of Steep’s community outreach is also set to be expanded. Vaughan, a trail and ultra-marathon runner, said he has already partnered with the charity D.C. Capital Striders to host a weekly run from the store. He has other plans too.
“We’ve been proactively inviting community groups to host their meetings in the space or holding wellness seminars or doing open mic nights,” Vaughan said. “We’re definitely trying to create a little bit more of a community environment space for people to use throughout the day and evening.”
A collision between two cars that left one on its side closed two lanes of Lee Highway near the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn.
The crash happened around 4 p.m., near the intersection with N. Oak Street. A driver heading west on Lee Highway in a grey Audi collided with an Infiniti looking to turn right from N. Oak Street. The two collided, with the Infiniti left on its side.
Police closed the two outside lanes of Lee Highway, but left traffic through in the right-hand lane with an officer directing traffic.
Paramedics were dispatched for three reported injuries according to scanner traffic, none of them said to be life-threatening. Medics did not appear to require a stretcher, as it was removed with no one in it.
Just before 4:30 p.m., crews were preparing a winch to upright the stricken Infiniti. The Audi’s front was smashed in and it was still in the roadway.
Police have closed a section of N. Glebe Road where it intersects Lee Highway after road construction crews hit a gas line.
Crews accidentally hit the line near the Wells Fargo bank, leaving a distinct odor of gas in the surrounding area.
Officers have shut the northbound lanes of N. Glebe Road near the accident, while firefighters are on scene out of an abundance of caution.
Workers from Washington Gas are at the scene to fix the leak. The road construction continued as normal on other sections of N. Glebe Road.
Drivers should seek alternate routes and expect delays.
Police were called to a restaurant on the 4700 block of Lee Highway last night just before 10 p.m. for a “report of a disorderly subject.” The name of the restaurant was not released, but Metro 29 Diner, Thirsty Bernie and Cowboy Cafe are located on or near that block of Lee Highway.
The suspect then became combative and assaulted five police officers and bit the finger of a paramedic while in custody, according to police.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2017-04030296, 4700 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:52 p.m. on April 3, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject inside a restaurant. The responding officers escorted the subject outside and as they were conducting the investigation, he allegedly became combative and assaulted multiple officers. Once in custody, the subject bit the finger of an Arlington County Fire Department Medic attempting to evaluate him for injuries. Jorge Luis Quintero-Amaya, 28, of Temple Hills, MD was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement (x5), Assault on Medical Personnel, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice and Failure to ID. He was held on no bond.
A new women’s clothing and accessories store opened December at the Lee Heights Shops, replacing the recently-shuttered Lemon Twist Arlington.
Lemoncello Boutique at 4518 Lee Highway is a family-owned store that sells clothes for women of all ages, including young children and babies. It opened under different ownership from the previous store.
It also sells gifts and other items, including photo frames, jewelry and beauty products. Brands sold include Vineyard Vines, Scout and local jewelry designer Second Daughter, owned by Jessica Speckhard.
Lemoncello replaced Lemon Twist, which sold similar items and brands from the time it opened on Lee Highway in the late 1980s until it closed last year.
The store was part of a small retail fashion chain.
As of yet, the other Lee Heights Shops store to close recently, Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes, appears not to have been replaced. It shuttered last year due to the owners’ retirement, after the store had served Northern Virginia since 1834.
The break-ins and thefts happened in the area of the Overlee pool along Lee Highway, and were first reported around 6 a.m. Saturday.
Police say the man fled the scene after a resident confronted him, as he was breaking into a neighbor’s car on the 6000 block of 23rd Street N.
The cars that were broken into were unlocked, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. More from ACPD:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2017-02250088, 6000 block of 23rd Street N. At approximately 6:11 a.m. on February 25, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto that had just occurred. A witness confronted a suspect he observed inside a neighbor’s vehicle. The suspect fled the scene in a maroon colored sedan. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” and weighing 160 lbs. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants at the time of the incident. While canvassing the area, police discovered approximately 30 unlocked vehicles were entered and numerous items of value stolen.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) February 27, 2017
Wider sidewalks and new bus shelters are coming soon to the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road.
Construction crews broke ground last month on the preliminary stages of a large improvement project that will eventually include the installation of left-turn lanes on N. Glebe Road, bigger sidewalks, four new bus shelters with real-time arrival information, and new streetlights, crosswalk markings and traffic signals. The improvements “will improve traffic flow and pedestrian and bicyclist safety,” Arlington County said.
Workers are currently installing underground equipment in parking lots near the intersection, but the larger improvements aren’t slated to arrive until sometime next year at the earliest.
“Construction began in January on the first phase, utility undergrounding. This is expected to last 18 months,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Eric Balliet. “The second phase, streetscape and transit stop upgrades, is still in design.”
Once the design is finalized, it will take workers about a year to finish the job, Balliet added.
In the months ahead, commuters can expect road work to start at the intersection. Construction hours within the roadway are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some night work will also occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays and weekends, the county said.
Workers may close a single lane of traffic in one or both directions along Lee Highway, Glebe Road or both during construction. Vehicles turning left or right might also be detoured as construction moves into the intersection itself.
Additionally, some bus stops in the area will be relocated and some sidewalks will be closed or rerouted to allow for construction, the county said. Off-street parking in the area may also be reduced in the coming months.
Commuters heading westbound on Lee Highway and southbound on the Spout Run Parkway should expect significant delays due to a tree that fell on a car near the Lyon Village Shopping Center.
The tree fell on the car just past 6 p.m., at the height of the evening rush hour. A police officer arrived on scene shortly thereafter and reported that no one had been injured.
A traffic camera appears to show the tree down in the roadway and one lane of traffic squeezing by on the left.
@ARLnowDOTcom Couldn't see how bad it was, but it was across the top of the car
— Travis (@travton) January 26, 2017
(Updated at 1 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters battled a fire in an apartment building on Lee Highway today (Tuesday) and rescued a dog in the process.
The fire was reported just after noon on the third floor — the top floor — of the apartments at 4356 Lee Highway, just east of the Lee Heights Shops in the Waverly Hills neighborhood.
The fire was on a balcony in the rear of the building, according to scanner reports, and had also spread to the ceiling of the units below.
As of 12:25 p.m., the fire department reported that the fire was out. No injuries were reported, though a dog was rescued from one of the apartments.
County road crews were called in after the fire was out to spread salt on portions of the roadway that had been drenched with water from the firefighting effort.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) January 10, 2017
#Update: Fire is out. Units are working on smoke removal.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) January 10, 2017
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) January 10, 2017
#Update: Fire on the balcony of a garden apartment that has extended into multiple apartments. Units are getting a knock on the fire now.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) January 10, 2017
A longtime Lee Highway seafood shop has closed its doors.
America Seafood Corp., a standalone store located in the Lee Heights Shops parking lot at 4450 Lee Highway, served its final customers on Dec. 31. Owners Gary and Martha Royce were clearing out the last of the store’s equipment today.
The shop has been open for nearly 35 years — a sign in the window sign says 44 years, but that’s a typo, Gary says — and has served legions of locals seeking the freshest seafood and Key lime pies around.
Royce said he his wife were planning to move back down to his native Key West within a month. He plans to stay there at least a year before potentially coming back up to Arlington and deciding what to do next.
“Just wanted to get out of here, we have been here for 35 years already,” Royce said. The response from customers, he said, has been one of shock and sadness.
“Two ladies came here crying,” he said. “The people love this place. I mean, we have been here longer than any shop in this whole place.”
The secret, according to Royce, was “good seafood, good banter.” Royce said he sourced his seafood primarily from New England and Florida fisheries, which set his offerings apart from those in grocery stores.
“We sold a lot of Florida fish: grouper, snapper, yellowtail, swordfish, tuna,” he said, listing some of his best sellers. “I sold two different size shrimp from Key West, Florida… we sold all different kinds of fish, some of them were not even the same week, sometimes we sold trout, Chilean sea bass, we sold salmon.”
“I think I sold quality stuff, that’s why the people want to know where can they go buy quality fish around here,” he continued. “I bought it all direct, nothing from around here… that’s all CO2 [carbon dioxide] treated. They inject it with stuff and freeze it then you thaw it. That’s what they sell at grocery stores.”
So where should customers go to find fresh seafood now that America Seafood has closed down? Gary wouldn’t say for publication, but he did suggest that customers weren’t happy with the recommendation.
“I tell them and they say, ‘that place is terrible.'”
Hat tip to John B.
Police Warn of Jury Duty Scam — The Arlington County Police Department is again warning about a jury duty telephone scam targeting Arlington residents. The fraud involves a caller claiming to be a law enforcement officer and claiming that the call recipient failed to appear for jury duty. The scammer then demands the payment of a fine over the phone. [Arlington County]
Plow Plows Into Bus — Updated at 2 p.m. — One lane of Lee Highway was blocked for a period of time during last night’s evening rush hour after a minor accident involving an VDOT snow plow and an ART bus. [Twitter]
Vihstadt Speaks Out Against Gondola — County Board member John Vihstadt is not a fan of the potential gondola from Rosslyn to Georgetown. “Now is not the time to spend upwards of $90 million on a Disney-like gondola to Georgetown while current modes of public transit need significant new investment,” Vihstadt said earlier this week. [InsideNova]
Crystal House Renovated — Crystal House is a big apartment complex in Crystal City that has been around for a long time. Chances are, someone you know has lived there at one point or another. The 825-unit complex recently completed the first phase of a major renovation project and is showing it off via video and press release. [PR Newswire, YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Big changes are on the horizon for Arlington’s Lee Highway corridor, but not before an extensive public planning process.
After at least two years of public outreach and planning, which led to a final “visioning study” report earlier this year, Arlington County is planning to kick off another year of discussion with a pair of open houses tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 29).
The daytime open house is scheduled from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Lyon Village Community House (1920 N. Highland Street) while the evening open house is set from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Lee Community and Senior Center (5722 Lee Highway).
“The County is preparing to kick-off a community planning process for Lee Highway in 2017,” says a county-produced flyer. “Drop in at one of the upcoming Open House events to learn more about the project scope and share your thoughts on expectations, participation opportunities, boundaries and more. The same information will be shared at both events.”
The 2017 planning process will be “building on recent visioning work by the Lee Highway community” and will take “a closer look at the long-term goals for this important corridor and its surrounding areas.”
From the county’s Lee Highway Planning website:
The vision, a culmination of a seven-month study, illustrates the best of the community’s ideas and proposes key ingredients for the future of this important east-west corridor. This vision calls for Lee Highway to become a walkable, urban main street with a string of neighborhood activity centers between Rosslyn and East Falls Church, along with new transportation options, better public spaces and more.
The visioning document is not an adopted plan, but rather a compilation of ideas that provide a framework for the formal County planning process that will kick off in 2017.
As reported by ARLnow earlier this year:
[The visioning document] outlines a sweeping vision for the corridor, which currently is a primarily car-oriented mish-mash of strip malls, aging apartment buildings and other assorted low-density businesses and infrastructure.
The plan envisions a tree-lined Lee Highway that’s more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, with mid-rise development concentrated in “mixed-use activity nodes.”
New apartment buildings, townhouses and retail hubs would be encouraged to spring up. New parks and bus service would be added. Building heights up to 12 stories are discussed, though 3-6 stories would be more common; the taller buildings would be along Lee Highway itself and “sensitive transitions to single family neighborhoods” would be emphasized.
In an online poll, 57 percent of nearly 1,200 respondents said they “like the plan” and would like to see “more businesses, parks, housing and amenities” along Lee Highway.
The Lee-Lex Service Center, a well-reviewed, long-time automotive business at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Lexington Street, has closed.
Lee-Lex’s website, which has remained largely unchanged for the past 12 years, says that the service center has “been a good neighbor in our Arlington community since 1978 and consistently receive[d] excellent ratings by consumer magazines.”
The service center was open for part of last week but closed just before Thanksgiving. This morning the shop’s technicians were clearing out their belongings and preparing to move to nearby service centers; signs were being posted on the windows, to let customers know who moved where.
Sources tell ARLnow.com that the property is being purchased by Southland Corporation, the parent company of 7-Eleven. It could not be immediately confirmed that a 7-Eleven store would be replacing the service center.
Photo (top) via Google Maps
On Thursday, from 10 a.m. to noon, cops will “ticket motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic laws” on Lee Highway near N. Edison Street, in the Hall’s Hill/High View Park area.
A second enforcement detail is planned along Columbia Pike next week, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, according to an ACPD press release, below.
During the month of November, the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will be out promoting the 2016 Fall Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Awareness Program. The safety campaign will be held in Hall’s Hill and Barcroft areas of Arlington County. This campaign is part of the 2016 Fall Street Smart Pedestrian, Motorist, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign which will run from October 31st through November 27th.
The goals of the campaign are to change motorist and pedestrian behavior, and reduce pedestrian and bicyclist injuries through education and enforcement. Officers will ticket motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic laws at the following locations:
- November 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Lee Highway and Edison Street
- November 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Columbia Pike and Frederick Street
The Street Smart programs are designed to carry out education and enforcement campaigns throughout the year in the Metropolitan area in order to ensure everyone shares the roads safely. Pedestrians and bicyclists account for a quarter of the traffic fatalities in the region, nearly 90 deaths per year.
Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to pay attention to one another and always proceed with caution and care for each other’s safety.