Local Teacher Finalist in TV Contest — From Stacey Finkel, Kenmore Middle School PTA President: “Eurith Bowen, Functional Life Skills teacher at Kenmore Middle School, has been named a finalist for LIVE with Kelly and Ryan’s Top Teacher search. Eurith Bowen is a phenomenal educator who teaches from her heart, and has inspired an entire community to embrace students in a very special way. Eurith teaches students who are identified as having disabilities.” [Live with Kelly and Ryan]
Bridge Repair Work Underway — “Work is underway to rehabilitate the North Glebe Road (Route 120) bridge over Pimmit Run, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation… This summer, North Glebe Road between Military Road and Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) will be closed for about nine days to efficiently replace the bridge deck and beams.” [VDOT]
Most Choosing In-Person Learning in Fall — From Superintendent Francisco Durán: “Based on preliminary results from the family selection process, an overwhelming number of families are choosing to return in person in the fall… Previous communications stated that we are planning for both normal capacities as well as developing contingency plans should 3-foot distancing be recommended; however, we want to be transparent that 3-foot distancing is not feasible with the enrollment we are anticipating.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Masks for Youth Sports Questioned — “An Arlington County softball dad created a petition to take on the county’s school system on sports and mask mandates. The school system’s spokesperson sent FOX 5 an emailed response on Tuesday, affirming student athletes will be required to wear masks during competition until the end of the school year… Nearly 300 people have signed the petition made for 500 signatures, calling for the Arlington County Public School’s Superintendent to drop the youth sport mask mandate.” [Fox 5]
Milk Spills into Stream from I-395 — “If you see a white substance in Long Branch Creek, don’t have a cow – it’s just spilled milk, according to the Arlington Fire Department. The department said an incident on Interstate 395 led to a milk truck leaking ‘approximately 50 gallons.’ According to a tweet, that milk has made it into Long Branch Creek near South Troy Street.” [WJLA, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
After nearly seven years in South Arlington, the Maserati dealership at 2710 S. Glebe Road has closed its doors.
The dealership — located on a property that had earlier been home to seafood seller M. Slavin & Sons — is currently completely empty, with only Maserati and Alfa Romeo branding and an ironic “Now Open” sign.
An employee at Maserati of Tysons (8448 Leesburg Pike) confirmed that the Arlington location closed and the Fairfax County location is now the closest Maserati dealer for Arlington residents.
The property, adjacent to I-395, may retain an automotive-related use, however. ARLnow hears that Tesla is considering leasing the building.
It was President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s day, but for many, it was former First Lady Michelle Obama who stole the spotlight at the Inauguration.
Wearing all burgundy and plum ensemble in an outfit by LA-based designer Sergio Hudson, her bouncy curls matched the day’s mood. Quickly after Obama’s grand entrance, it was revealed by NBC 4’s Jummy Olabanji that the hair stylist behind her look was Arlington’s Yene Damtew.
— Jummy Olabanji (@JummyNBC) January 20, 2021
The 2015 grad of Arlington’s Marymount University owns Aesthetics Salon at 2444 26th Road S., near the Glebe Road exit of I-395.
Damatew was one of a number of Black entrepreneurs, along with Hudson and Christy Rilling who designed the couple’s masks, that Obama has continuously sought to highlight.
— Yene Damtew (@yenedamtew) January 20, 2021
But Damtew has worked with the former First Lady for more than a decade, having also styled her hair during her time in the White House and for best-selling 2018 memoir, “Becoming.”
ARLnow asked Damtew via email about how she became the former First Lady’s go-to hairstylist, what it was like on that special day, and what business been like since word got out.
The interview was edited for clarity and brevity.
What’s the story behind styling Mrs. Obama’s hair for this inauguration?
I have had a relationship with the Obamas since 2009. I was working for her then-stylist, Johnny Wright, and he brought me to the White House where I assisted with hair needs for the entire family.
Working in the White House for eight years was one of the highest honors of my life.
My relationship with Mrs. Obama has remained strong in her post-First Lady life. I’ve been blessed to stay on her style team along with my friends Carl Ray (makeup) and Meredith Koop (clothing). I did hair for her best-selling book “Becoming” and accompanied her on her two-year book tour across the world.
I consider her not just a client, but a friend and mentor.
What did you want to accomplish with her look?
I do always keep in mind that America LOVES Mrs. Obama and she always makes headlines based on what she’s wearing and how her hair looks.
Today was a day about celebrating their good friends, the Bidens, and the first Black woman Vice President. I wanted her look to match the moment! Volume and curls seemed like the way to go and I’m glad so many people loved it.
How long did it take to style?
I don’t talk specifics about any client, out of respect, but I’ve been doing hair long enough that I’m able to be very efficient!
I think I spent more time in the car navigating D.C. traffic and road shutdowns!
There were days in the White House and on the book tour where I would have to make changes very quickly. Once my client and I talk about what kind of look we want to create, it doesn’t take long.
Like with anything else the things that take the longest are sitting under the dryer with color treatments.
While it’s only been a few hours since the world found out, how has business been since? Is your salon being inundated with calls and appointments right now?
It’s been overwhelming — in a good way!
Our website has been inundated with requests for appointments. We do everything via email, so our inbox is very full. We hope to get back to everyone by the end of the week. I
In only a few years, I’ve grown my salon from one building to two and have added several more stylists on staff.
Whether a client meets with me or one of my other stylists we want them to walk out of our doors feeling like they have the confidence they need to take on the day.
The Arlington community has been so wonderful and supportive to my salon. I graduated from Marymount University in Arlington and live in Arlington.
It was only right to have my business in Arlington, too.
Photo (top) via Aesthetics Salon
A sequence of events led to the side of an apartment building in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood catching on fire Monday evening.
The Arlington County Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire on the 2400 block of 27th Court S. around 7:30 p.m. Residents were evacuated as firefighters worked to extinguish the smoky fire.
Within minutes, the flames were out and the cleanup work was starting.
ACFD spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli tells ARLnow that the blaze was caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials” that caught mulch on fire and subsequently spread to the vinyl siding of the building. From there, the flames crept up the side of the building and burned the plywood under the siding.
The fire was quickly extinguished, no one was injured, and no residents were displaced. Tirelli said the incident “seems accidental” and no charges are pending.
#BREAKING – structure fire, 2400 block of 27th Ct S. Fire reported on exterior of structure with moderate amount of smoke entering bldg. Crews extinguishing from exterior and evacuating residents. No injuries reported at this time. Please stay clear while units are working. pic.twitter.com/iuWqJVpFRn
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 11, 2020
(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Arlington County has kicked off the renovation project for Gunston Park‘s “bubble.”
Officials have started the design phase of the Gunston Bubble Renovation Project, with the goal of eventually having a more “energy efficient and reliable” facility. The project is expected to start construction in the second quarter of 2020 and be completed by the third quarter, in time for next winter season.
The bubble is an all-weather, heated and covered athletic field that Arlington County describes as “a unique indoor turf facility available to rent for sports training and parties.”
“A lot has changed in building technology since the old bubble was completed,” said project architect Aaron Wohler. “The existing bubble structure is air-supported and needs to be constantly monitored and inflated. It gets hot during the summer, so much so that we limit summer hours.”
The new structure will be frame-supported, according to Wohler, with LED lighting and ceiling fans, windows, vents, and doors available to keep it cool during the hotter months.
Funding for the $1.3 million project was included in the county’s most recent Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). About $1 million will come from bonds.
The county will host an open house at the Gunston Community Center for community members to learn more about the project on Thursday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Someone stole airbags from numerous vehicles in the Shirlington area early Wednesday morning.
Police responded to the 2700 block of S. Quincy Street in Shirlington and along S. Glebe Road and S. Veitch Street in the nearby Long Branch Creek neighborhood on the morning of Nov. 15 for a report of vehicles that had been broken into overnight.
Officers found “approximately nine vehicles had their windows smashed and airbags stolen.” So far, there’s no word on a suspect or suspects.
More from an Arlington County Police crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2019-11130054/11130089/11130115, 2700 block of S. Quincy Street/S. Veitch Street at S. Glebe Road/2700 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 7:38 a.m. on November 13, police were dispatched to the report of multiple vehicles that had been broken into. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that approximately nine vehicles had their windows smashed and airbags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
Helicopter Complaints Continue — “Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), one of the lawmakers who requested the study, said that helicopter noise is ‘our number one constituent complaint’ and that the number of complaints has risen steadily since he took office in 2015.” [Washington Post]
Early Morning Apartment Fire — “Units were called to 2400 blk 27th Ct S for fire in 4 story garden apt. On arrival crews found balcony #fire on floors 1 & 2 being controlled by #firesprinklers. Fire extinguished, no extension inside. No injuries.” [Twitter]
New Election Chief Sworn In — “When Gretchen Reinemeyer was sworn in as Arlington County’s general registrar, she became only the fifth person to hold the position since it was created in 1947. Reinemeyer is succeeding long-time registrar Linda Lindberg who is retiring at the end of the month after serving more than 25 years in the Arlington Voting and Elections Office–16 of them as general registrar. [Arlington County]
YHS Student Helps Improve Pedestrian Safety — “Pedestrians in Arlington, Virginia, may notice flashing yellow lights when crossing the street, thanks to one high schooler who’s working to make streets safer… Jake Smith, who graduated Yorktown High School on Thursday, interned with the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services to help them plan their beacon project and keep cars accountable.” [NBC 4, Arlington County]
Zoning Keeps Parts of Arlington Exclusive — “Arlington does have a decent amount of area zoned for multi-family housing, but it’s concentrated in the more southern parts of the county. This makes North Arlington completely inaccessible to many and is the source of the county’s geographical inequality.” [Blue Virginia]
Dozen New Arlington Police Officers — “The Arlington County Police Department welcomed 12 new officers this week, as Session 140 graduated from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (NVCJA) and took their oath to serve and protect the residents and visitors of Arlington County.” [Arlington County]
Local Businessman Sentenced — “A prominent Northern Virginia businessman has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for multiple fraud schemes that cheated investors out of roughly $20 million. Todd Hitt, 54, of Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty earlier this year in federal court in Alexandria to soliciting investments in building projects as part of what amounted to a Ponzi scheme.” [Associated Press, Press Release]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Hospital Construction Starting Soon — “Around the time most local residents are firing up the grills for mid-summer barbecues, Virginia Hospital Center will be firing up the bulldozers as it moves forward with a long-awaited expansion. Hospital officials aim to have their land-swap agreement with the county government in place by the end of July, and ‘the plan is to begin construction shortly thereafter.'” [InsideNova]
Swastika in S. Arlington Park — “From a local Nextdoor group: someone drew swastikas on a sign board in Troy Park near S. Glebe Road. A parks department spokeswoman says the graffiti has been covered up and no other incidents of this kind have been reported recently.” [Twitter]
When To Report an Oily Sheen on the Water — “A rainbow sheen can result from iron-oxidizing bacteria or from petroleum. To differentiate, trail a stick through the film. It it readily breaks up, it’s most likely bacteria. If it swirls together, it’s most likely petroleum and should be reported.” [Arlington County]
When to Call 911 for a Medical Issue — “The Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) is initiating a public information campaign to help individuals, facilities and communities develop the know-how to ‘Make the Right Call.’ The effort aims to empower the community to help maintain EMS system readiness by learning appropriate utilization of the medical 911 system.” [Arlington County, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Update at 3:30 p.m. — The “all clear” has been given after the bomb squad inspected and “disrupted” the device. It’s unclear if it was determined to have been hazardous or, perhaps, just misplaced.
Earlier: Arlington’s bomb squad is responding to the Long Branch Creek neighborhood to investigate a suspicious object in a condominium parking lot.
Police were called to the Olde Factory condos on S. Meade Street, between S. Glebe Road and Gunston Park, shortly before 2:30 p.m., for a report of a suspicious device — possibly a pressure cooker — left in or around the parking lot.
While the bomb squad investigates the object, students from nearby Gunston Middle School and other pedestrians are being kept away from the scene by Arlington County police, according to scanner traffic. Police are encouraging the public to avoid the area altogether.
The parking lot is across the street from the busy Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.
FINAL: @ArlingtonVaFD has given the all clear on the suspicious item.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) March 5, 2019
A large snapping turtle gave a few South Arlington parkgoers a surprise today (Wednesday), and animal control officers ultimately had to step in to guide the reptile to safety.
Jennifer Toussaint, the county’s chief animal control officer, told ARLnow that her office received a call around noon that the large turtle was in the street at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and 28th Street S., just near Fraser Park.
She said an officer ultimately “safely moved the snapping turtle in the direction it was heading towards the stream adjacent to the brush line near the street,” which backs up to I-395.
Toussaint added that it’s hardly unusual for her office to receive calls about snapping turtles — animal control officers discovered someone keeping one as a pet just last month, a practice she strongly advises against — and the Arlington Ridge and Long Branch Creek neighborhoods seem to be particularly popular spots for the creatures.
“Snapping turtles mate from April [to] November and travel extensively on land when laying eggs and looking for [a] new habitat,” Toussaint wrote in an email. “Army Navy Drive [and]28th Street seems to be a very specifically popular areas for them, as we have yearly calls for service for snapping turtles in the roadway injured or needing assistance ranging back as far as 2013. Most of our snapping turtle calls in Arlington come in June [through] July.”
Justin Covert, one of the people to discover the turtle, added that his girlfriend discovered another turtle in the park earlier this month, even though he’d “never seen a turtle around these parts until now.”
Should the turtle sightings continue, Toussaint wants to warn people that the reptiles have “very flexible necks, sharp long claws, a strong jaw and can act defensive when handled.”
While animal control officers may be best-suited to move the creatures off roadways, she advises that it’s “inappropriate to pick them up by their tails,” if any turtle seems in danger.
“Their weight needs to be supported and dragging them can cause cuts that can get infected,” Toussaint wrote.
Photo courtesy of Justin Covert
Some South Arlington residents awoke to a man attempting to steal from their home early Monday morning (Aug. 20) before chasing him off, according to a county crime report.
Arlington police say the incident happened just before 4 a.m. Monday in a home on the 2700 block of S. Adams Street, in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.
Investigators believe people living in the home “encountered an unknown suspect attempting to steal items of value” and then “yelled at the suspect, who then fled the scene in possession of the victims’ property prior to police arrival.”
Police say the investigation is still ongoing.
Full details from a crime report:
BURGLARY, 2018-08200029, 2700 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 3:57 a.m. on August 20, police responded to the report of a burglary just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were awoken to noise inside their residence. When the victims went to investigate, they encountered an unknown suspect attempting to steal items of value. The victims yelled at the suspect who then fled the scene in possession of the victims’ property prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a heavy set male, with dark skin, chin-length dark hair, wearing a grey baseball hat and a dark colored short sleeve t-shirt. The investigation is ongoing.
And here are more highlights from the past week’s crime reports, including some we’ve already reported.
BURGLARY, 2018-08200212, 2100 block of N. Thomas Street. At approximately 4:21 p.m. on August 20, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY, 2018-08190195, 1800 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:00 p.m. on August 19, police were dispatched to the report that a large number of ATVs and dirt bikes had entered Arlington County. The riders arrived at a gas station in the 1800 block of Wilson Boulevard and allegedly began stealing merchandise. An employee was shoved by one of the suspects when he attempted to confront the group. In an attempt to prevent future thefts, the employee locked the doors of the business. Several suspects kicked the door, causing the glass to shatter. The suspects fled the area prior to police arrival with witnesses reporting observing ATV and dirt bike riders cross the Key Bridge into Washington, D.C. The investigation is ongoing.
WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2018-08150047, 1900 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:26 a.m. on August 15, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a verbal dispute with a food delivery driver, the suspect became irate and brandished a firearm. Warrants for Assault and Battery and Brandishing a Firearm were obtained for the suspect. The investigation is ongoing.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (APPREHENSION), 2018-08140005, 200 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on August 14, police responded to the report of vehicle tampering in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he observed two suspects inside his vehicle. When the victim exited his residence and approached the vehicle, he observed three suspects flee on foot. A lookout was broadcast based upon the description provided by the victim and responding officers located the three individuals in the area matching the suspect descriptions. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspects entered approximately three additional vehicles in the area and stole items of value. Malique Harden, 18, of Suitland, Md., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, Tampering with a Vehicle (x2), Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (x2) and Possession of Marijuana. Petitions were sought for Tampering with a Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana and Grand Larceny for the two juvenile suspects.
BURGLARY (late), 2018-08140252, 1200 block of N. Rolfe Street. At approximately 9:41 p.m. on August 14, police were dispatched to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 3:40 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence, causing damage. Nothing was reported stolen from the residence. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.