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Morning Notes

Polls Are Open — Voting in Arlington started at 6 a.m. this morning and will continue until 7 p.m. Don’t be surprised to see TV crews at local polling places: a number of international news outlets will be on hand to document democracy in action in Arlington. [Twitter, Twitter]

HQ2 Driving Real Estate Interest — Real estate agents are seeing increased interest in Arlington and Alexandria as a result of the increasingly-likely prospect of Amazon’s HQ2 (or, at least, a portion of it) coming to the area. Crystal City residents, meanwhile, are both excited and apprehensive about the tech and e-commerce giant moving into the neighborhood. [Washington Business Journal, WJLA]

Rain Causes Swollen Four Mile Run — Heavy rain Monday morning caused flooding along Four Mile Run. Floodwaters blocked the Four Mile Run Trail for part of the day. [Twitter]

Green Valley Pharmacy May Reopen — The Green Valley Pharmacy, a long-time local business serving the Nauck community, may be revived by the family of its late founder, Leonard “Doc” Muse. “”We [hope] to restore the exterior to the way it looked when my grandfather opened it in the 1950s,” said Muse’s grandson. [Arlington Magazine]

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County Readies Temporary Parking, Road Changes to Make S. Four Mile Run Drive More Walkable

Though the biggest changes to the Four Mile Run Valley and its parks are still a few years out, Arlington officials are gearing up to make a few road changes in the area before major construction starts.

The county is planning some interim parking tweaks to free up space primarily along S. Four Mile Run Drive as it approaches Jennie Dean Park, in a bid to prepare for more substantial pedestrian and parking changes as the area evolves in the future. Officials are convening a community meeting to discuss the temporary changes tonight (Monday) at the Charles Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street S.), starting at 7:30 p.m.

The affected roads up for discussion include:

  • S. Four Mile Run Drive major between Walter Reed Drive and Shirlington Road
  • S. Four Mile Run Drive minor west of Shirlington Road
  • S. Oxford Street south of S. Four Mile Run Drive
  • S. Oakland Street south of S. Four Mile Run Drive
  • S. Nelson Street south of S. Four Mile Run Drive
  • 27th Street S. between Shirlington Road to S. Nelson Street

According to the county’s website, “the changes are designed to provide better access for residents, park users and businesses in the area,” and are included as part of the long-range planning documents the County Board is currently finalizing for the Four Mile Run Valley.

The 4MRV Area Plan, set to be considered by the Planning Commission on Wednesday (Nov. 7), calls for a full “reconfiguration” of S. Four Mile Run Drive, in order for the county to test out some changes to make the area a bit more pedestrian-friendly and free up parking around Jennie Dean Park. Additions will primarily include “paint, bollards and landscaped planters,” according to the draft document.

“This would create a temporary 10-foot sidewalk on the south side of the street, a pedestrian crossing island at the intersections of Nelson and Oxford streets, and curb extensions (with planters) along the corridor,” the plan says. “Parking lanes would still be provided on both sides of the street. This interim solution would allow the county to pilot the new street design and collect input/data on vehicle speeds and delay, pedestrian comfort, safety and access to businesses.”

As an example, the planning document points to the intersection of S. Arlington Mill Drive and S. Walter Reed Drive, where the county is currently working on curb extensions and crosswalks to make the area more hospitable to cyclists and walkers alike.

The county anticipates that the interim changes will get set up this winter. County planner Richard Tucker even told the Transportation Commission last Thursday (Nov. 1) that some could be in place, “in the next several weeks,” so long as Monday’s meeting goes smoothly.

In the longer term, the area plan calls for “a parallel/angled parking strategy for Four Mile Run Drive with a concept for parallel parking on Arlington Mill Drive,” freeing up a bit more parking in an area that’s frequently in high demand.

“This concept creates more than 30 angled parking spaced immediately adjoining Jennie Dean Park,” the plan says. “Through regulatory and design changes, more than 250 additional spaces would be available during the daytime and evening. The cost of repainting streets in this configuration is far less than constructing new parking structures, and there may be opportunities for the county to explore shared parking agreements in existing nearby private parking garages.”

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Morning Notes

Marine Corps Marathon Recap — A D.C. man and a Costa Rican woman were the winners of the 43rd annual Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. Meanwhile, the last “Groundpounder,” who had run every Marine Corps Marathon since its inception in 1976, announced his retirement on Saturday after deciding to withdraw from this year’s race. [RunWashington, Stars and Stripes, WTOP]

Arlington Gets Addiction Treatment Grant — “Arlington County has been awarded $250,000 from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) to help people with substance use disorders. The grant is part of the insurer’s nearly $2.1-million investment in community health organizations working to combat substance use disorders, including opioid use disorders.” [Arlington County]

Parking Concerns For Nauck Pool — “Nauck Civic Association president Portia Clark, whose organization supports” a planned pool in Nauck, “pressed county officials to make sure the neighborhood had a say on issues related to its development, including operating hours and parking. ‘Our community has some parking challenges,’ Clark said. ‘The community should be involved.'” [InsideNova]

‘Signs of Fatigue’ For Real Estate Market — “There was a pronounced drop in the number of homes for sale in Northern Virginia in September, and prices may be showing signs of topping out… The number of sales across the Northern Virginia region almost universally fell in September, with sales in Arlington County down 12 percent from a year ago.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photos by Eric and Kevin Wolf

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County Overhauls Zoning Rules for Community Pools, Allowing Nauck Project to Advance

A Nauck church now has the green light to redevelop a former YMCA center into a new community pool, after Arlington officials signed off on a host of new zoning changes designed to make the construction of such pool projects a bit less onerous.

In back-to-back unanimous votes yesterday (Tuesday), the County Board approved the pool zoning tweaks, then used those new rules to give Macedonia Baptist Church the go-ahead to build the new pool at 3440 22nd Street S.

The site has been home to a pool and bathhouse since the 1960s, but the YMCA’s closure back in the mid-2000s left the building empty. Yet, when Macedonia sought to redevelop the site into a new “family life center,” the church ran into some zoning restrictions that could’ve made the whole project impossible to complete.

The Board was unwilling to completely re-write its zoning rules, but it would agree to make community pool projects (which are backed by nonprofit groups and not limited to a specific neighborhood) eligible for “use permits” in order to give the Board discretion to review the projects on a case-by-case basis, rather than subjecting every pool to the same standards.

That mean that the Board could sign off on Macedonia project under the newly approved zoning ordinance, even though it would’ve previously run afoul of rules requiring larger setbacks from the neighborhood’s streets. Board member John Vihstadt even dubbed the twin votes “a double win” for the community, and the county.

“We are demonstrating some nimbleness and alacrity in making a needed change that responds to new trends,” Vihstadt said. “This is so important, not just for the youth and individuals in the Nauck community… but also for entire Nauck neighborhood.”

The Macedonia project will include a seven-lane pool, a “seasonal dome” to allow year-round swimming and an auxiliary community center to sit alongside the existing Funshine Preschool. The church also anticipates allowing the Arlington Water Polo Club to use the facility for practice and training, though church representatives stressed that the pool will be open to anyone.

“Years ago, when the pool was there, it was beneficial to children and adults as well,” Macedonia congregant Laverne Langhorne told the Board. “We really do miss the pool.”

But beyond the importance of the Macedonia project on the micro level, Board members said they view the changes as an important step for the whole county.

The county currently has only five other community pools, and with zoning rules last revised in the 1950s, Board member Erik Gutshall said it was reasonable to assume that the old regulations meant “we really were never going to get another pool again.”

“This is the recognition by the Board that large parts of the county are no longer suburban,” Gutshall said. “We had a suburban style zoning ordinance… and while there are still parts of the county that are more suburban than others, what we’re doing now is untying our hands. We won’t just look at this with a suburban zoning code again.”

Photo via Arlington County

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APS Draws Ire of Abingdon Parents With Boundary Tweaks Designed to Satisfy Drew Concerns

Arlington school officials have hit a bit of a snag in the complex, contentious process of setting new boundaries for the county’s southern elementary schools — changes they’ve proposed to address concerns from Drew Model School parents have generated a new backlash from the Abingdon Elementary community.

Some parents living in the Nauck neighborhood initially raised concerns that proposed boundary tweaks at Drew would drastically change the school’s socioeconomic make-up, leading to a substantial boost in the number of students receiving “free and reduced lunch,” a measure of each family’s economic means, at the school. They feared such a shift would amount to packing poorer students into a single building, rather than maintaining a more balanced percentage at each South Arlington school.

Accordingly, Arlington Public Schools planners offered a change to the new boundary map, which is being crafted as the school system prepares to open Alice West Fleet Elementary School ahead of the 2019-2020 school year. The zoning change would send a few neighborhoods in the southernmost reaches of Fairlington, an area roughly bounded by N. Quaker Lane and King Street, to Drew instead of Abingdon in order to better balance out the “free and reduced lunch” population at each school.

However, that suggestion was immediately met with fierce criticism from the Fairlington community. A petition protesting the change launched on Friday (Oct. 12) has already garnered more than 1,000 signatures, and the Fairlington Citizens’ Association fired off a pointed letter to the School Board on Sunday (Oct. 14).

“Shifting South Fairlington students to another school will weaken the fabric of the community, diminish the cohesiveness of the community, and disrupt social and educational connections that currently exist,” Citizens’ Association President Guy Land wrote. “It runs counter to the community-centric focus Arlington has for years promoted.”

Beyond even that broad criticism, Land and the petition’s authors argue that the change would be an inefficient one from a transportation perspective, charging that it would increase the number of students forced to ride the bus to school instead of walk.

“Bus rides from Fairlington to Drew would significantly lengthen the ride for kids,” the petition reads. “This would put a greater strain on APS transportation, which is not a luxury APS has.”

Yet APS staff pointed out in a presentation to the Board last Wednesday (Oct. 10) that such a boundary change would have substantial benefits in balancing out the free and reduced lunch divide between Drew and Abingdon.

They noted that Abingdon had 41 percent of students living in its attendance boundary eligible for free and reduced lunch, as of last October. Meanwhile, Drew stands at 66 percent, a number that is a bit deceiving, as it reflects the move of the Montessori program to Patrick Henry Elementary next year, and the program generally includes kids from wealthier families. With Montessori students included, Drew’s free and reduced lunch percentage is closer to 52 percent.

The first boundary proposal would’ve dropped Abingdon’s free and reduced lunch percentage down to 34 percent, while moving Drew to 60 percent. The newly revised proposal would bump Abingdon up to 45 percent, compared to 49 percent for Drew. And, in a bid to ease some worries over the boundary change, APS could allow rising fifth grade students and their siblings to be exempt from the switch, with APS transportation provided.

The newest boundary map would also address the concerns of parents at Drew that students could be zoned to matriculate to one of three middle schools, instead of just one, under the first APS proposal. The new map would have Drew students eligible for two middle schools instead.

Parents and community members now have until Oct. 29 to offer comments on the latest boundary proposal. APS plans to release a final map on Nov. 5, with the School Board expected to take a final vote on the matter on Dec. 6.

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JUST IN: ACPD Arrests Nauck Shooting Suspects

The two suspects wanted for a shooting in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood last week have been arrested.

Arlington County Police say Ahmed Ali Mahmoud, 24, and Osman Mohamed, 25, were arrested in the Virginia Square area and are now facing numerous charges.

The shooting happened just a block from Drew Elementary School. Police say the shots were fired after “a minor verbal dispute occurred between one victim and suspects inside a convenience store.”

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested two suspects wanted for their role in a shooting that occurred last week in the Nauck neighborhood. Ahmed Ali Mahmoud, 24, and Osman Mohamed, 25, were arrested in the 3400 block of Fairfax Drive and charged with Malicious Wounding by Mob, Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place (within 1000 feet of a school zone), Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Both men are being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 2:03 p.m. on September 20, police were dispatched to the 2000 block of S. Kenmore Street for the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that a minor verbal dispute occurred between one victim and suspects inside a convenience store. The victim then exited the store and entered a vehicle with two additional victims. The two suspects approached the vehicle on foot where the dispute escalated and shots were fired by the suspects in the direction of the vehicle. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. One victim was treated for a minor injury.

This remains an ongoing criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective R. Ortiz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-7402 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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BREAKING: Police, Medics On Scene of Reported Shooting in Nauck

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a reported shooting in the Nauck neighborhood.

The shooting happened along S. Kenmore Street, less than a block from a preschool, an elementary school and a church. Initial reports suggest at least one person was either shot, grazed by a bullet or injured by shrapnel. A police helicopter has been assisting with the search for suspects as K9 units and heavily-armed officers comb the area.

“At 2:00 three gunshots were heard in the vicinity of S. Kenmore and S. Shirlington Road,” a tipster told ARLnow.com via email. “Children from Drew Elementary School were urgently ushered inside by a running staff member from their playing outside on the school basketball court.”

The victim’s injuries are reported to be minor and he was treated and released on scene, according to police.

The incident started as a verbal dispute among three people at a nearby 7-Eleven store, according to ACPD spokesman Ashley Savage. That dispute escalated and shots were fired near the intersection of S. Kenmore Street and 22nd Street S. One person was injured and two fled the scene, Savage said.

A traffic stop on southbound I-395, not far from the shooting scene, did not turn up either of the shooting suspects, according to Savage.

Drew Elementary had been placed in “secure the building” mode as a result of the shooting, according to an Arlington Public Schools spokesman. The school eventually dismissed on time, according to an email sent to parents by principal Kim Graves.

Dear Drew Families:

We just received the “all clear” from the Arlington County Police Department.

We will proceed with dismissal as scheduled. Due to the ongoing police investigation, buses are just arriving at the school. As a result, students who ride the bus will be delayed in leaving school.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Kim Graves,
​​​​​​​Principal

Photo via Google Maps

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Nauck Residents Blast County’s Handling of Four Mile Run Valley Planning, Feel ‘Ignored’ and Excluded

As Arlington officials continue to chart out the future of the Four Mile Run valley, some community leaders in Nauck feel their concerns are being ignored by the county and are demanding a louder voice in the proceedings.

The county’s worked since 2016 to craft new planning documents for the area, primarily located in Nauck but touching Shirlington and other South Arlington neighborhoods as well, in a bid to guide the gradual transformation of the valley’s parks and business district. The County Board passed a “policy framework” to provide a roadmap for that process in May, and is set to sign off on a “parks master plan” for the area at its meeting this weekend.

But even with a slew of community meetings on the subject and a working group dedicated to the valley, some Nauck leaders remain frustrated by how the county’s handled their input. While they have gripes with some policy specifics — the re-design of Jennie Dean Park, in particular — their broader concern is that residents are being left out of the process of determining their own neighborhood’s long-term outlook.

“It is confounding when the community that’s most impacted by the Four Mile Run valley is blocked from county communication,” Robin Stombler, a Nauck resident and vice chair of the Four Mile Run working group, told ARLnow. “There’s been a history of exclusion and marginalization of this community, and the county’s current actions don’t correct that history.”

As Stombler points out, the community’s roots as a historically black neighborhood add an extra level of tension to any discussion of how the county engages with people in Nauck. Even with the Board’s frequent commitments to remedying historic inequities in the community as part of the planning process, some residents can’t help but feel suspicious that Nauck’s past is still influencing its future.

“This community has been ignored repeatedly by the Arlington County Board while the requests and desires of several other, predominantly white, Arlington neighborhoods are being placed ahead of those of the people who live here,” Nauck resident Renee Greenwell wrote in an email. “It takes a lot for a historically marginalized community to speak its mind, [and] for Arlington County leaders and staff to patronize us and ignore our opinions is despicable.”

Arlington officials dispute that they’ve ignored any community involved in the planning, let alone Nauck. For his part, Board member John Vihstadt, the Board’s liaison to the Four Mile Run working group, says he’s done his best to “understand and appreciate the sometimes varied perspectives of all stakeholders in our planning process, especially those from Nauck.”

County parks department spokeswoman Susan Kalish also touted the “enormous amount of community outreach” involved in the process, noting that the county has held a total of 65 meetings on the valley as well as creating “an online forum for those who could not attend” those gatherings.

Nauck Civic Association President Portia Clark, however, says the county’s “engagement process was lousy from the beginning.” While she says the county has indeed held plenty of meetings, it’s the quality of those meetings that concern her.

For instance, Clark says she invited parks officials to a civic association meeting last Monday (Sept. 10) to have a broader conversation about the parks master plan. Despite repeated requests, Clark and Stombler both say the county ultimately only sent one representative to the meeting, who couldn’t discuss the plan in the detail they were looking for.

“Where were the other county folks behind the parks plan?” Clark said.

Kalish acknowledges that the county was invited to that gathering, but noted that other officials had just held an “open house” on the parks plan on Sept. 5, calling it “robust and distributive.”

“We heard from a variety of people, including residents from Nauck and the surrounding communities,” Kalish said.

But Clark claims the meeting was sparsely attended, coming so soon after Labor Day, with county officials outnumbering community members by a hefty margin.

“How engaging is that?” Clark said. “We recommended from the beginning that they contact every household… It just went on deaf ears, because they weren’t listening.”

Clark feels that the county instead came into the process with “certain things in mind that they wanted,” and then refused to change based on community input.

Among her biggest concerns are the plans to revamp Jennie Dean Park. Eventually, the county envisions acquiring the WETA building next to the park, relocating a baseball field and adding new tennis courts to the area.

The Board ultimately endorsed a plan to move the field closer to the intersection of 27th Street S. and S. Nelson Street, even though Clark’s civic association and the county’s Park and Recreation Commission backed an option that would’ve left a bit more open space at the front of the park by locating the field elsewhere. But county staff endorsed the former alternative, reasoning it would be easier to build and maintain, and the Board is set to formalize that selection when it votes on the park master plan Saturday (Sept. 22).

To Clark, the dispute represents the perfect example of the county not listening to Nauck’s input, even though the neighborhood hosts the park itself.

“We’re concerned it will be a border to the community, and about the noise levels, what will project out into the neighborhood,” Clark said. “We just have to live with that now.”

Vihstadt noted that “Board members and staff are in continued communication with a variety of communities as we approach our Saturday vote,” and said the county is working to “build as much consensus and mutual understanding as possible” on the plan.

But Stombler is already looking a bit beyond the parks plan to what she thinks the county can take away from this whole dust-up moving forward.

“I think we need an assessment of how this process has proceeded, so future engagements are more collaborative and understanding of the community,” she said.

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Morning Notes

Ballston Mall LED Screens Nixed — Developer Forest City is, for now, withdrawing a request to install two large, high-definition LED video screens above the main entrance to its still under-construction Ballston Quarter mall. The screens do not comply with Arlington zoning rules. Attorneys for Forest City say they are still hoping that the County Board will eventually amend the zoning ordinance to allow such screens. [Washington Business Journal]

Free ART Bus Rides Thursday — “Think there’s no such thing as a free ride? Not if you take the bus in Arlington, Virginia, and you’re traveling on Sept. 20. Arlington Transit is letting passengers ride free Sept. 20 as a way to celebrate the transit agency’s 20th anniversary.” [WTOP]

Tax Delinquency List — Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava has released her office’s annual list of residents and businesses that have not paid their taxes. The list includes nearly $200,000 in delinquent real estate taxes, $1.3 million in delinquent personal property taxes, $1 million in delinquent business license and property taxes, and more than $500,000 in delinquent meal (restaurant) taxes. [Arlington County]

Celebrating Community and Elders in Nauck — “Celebrating the lives and achievements of the community’s elders was a centerpiece of the 2018 Nauck Civic & Community Pride Day, which brought food, music and fellowship to Drew Model School on Sept. 15. Four community residents who had reached, or were set to reach, the centennial mark – Elizabeth Cole, Novella Cummings, Mary Lockett and Thelma Russell – were honored by the Nauck Civic Association.” [InsideNova]

Critic Praises Shirlington’s Signature — “The Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre — the Arlington troupe known for musicals — shapes up as my favorite D.C. company. I’m not saying Signature is hands-down the best theater in Washington… But Signature showcases a lot of assets, from its singular glam factor to plain old ease of use.” [Washington Post]

Late Night Storms — Thunderstorms that rumbled through Arlington around midnight last night brought a period of frequent lightning and thunder that set off car alarms and awakened some residents from their sleep. [Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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New Bar and Lounge Could Replace Chester’s Billiards

Chester’s Billiards, currently a gutted husk after it was closed one year ago, may soon have a new tenant.

Sydney’s Bar and Lounge has filed for a license to operate a mixed beverage restaurant at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, formerly Chester’s Billiards.

Chester’s was closed in 2017 after a prolonged battle over the facility’s elevator, compounded by the County Board denying the bar a renewal of its entertainment permit.

Little is known so far about Syndey’s Bar and Lounge, whose owners could not be reached for comment.

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County Looking for Four Mile Run Valley Planning Feedback

With a key bit of planning work on the Four Mile Run valley in Nauck wrapped up, the county is pushing ahead with the development of additional design guidelines for parks and other features in the area.

Arlington is currently soliciting feedback on both a park master plan and an area plan to guide the valley’s future, and will accept comments on both through Aug. 20.

The County Board approved a “policy framework” for the area in May, sketching out general goals for the remainder of the planning process. Chiefly, the work is focused on the redevelopment of Jennie Dean Park, the evolution of pedestrian and cycling options along roads like S. Four Mile Run Drive and the promotion of the arts industry in the area.

In the framework, the Board endorsed one plan for the redesign of Jennie Dean to account for the county’s plans to someday acquire WETA’s building in the area (3620 27th Street S.).

The Board expects to approve a plan calling for two planned baseball and softball fields to be aligned closer to S. Nelson Street, with new basketball and tennis courts on the site of the WETA building, even though it attracted some fierce pushback from some in the Nauck community. Now, the public will get another chance to weigh in on the design, including the county’s plans to add a new “gateway” to the park near the Weenie Beanie on S. Four Mile Run Drive.

The plans also include details on how the county might manage stormwater in the area moving forward, and future tweaks to features throughout Shirlington Park. The area’s dog park, however, won’t see big changes under the proposed plans, after the Board declined to move forward with any reduction in size for the park.

The Board expects to vote on a final parks plan in September, and could sign off on the area plan in November.

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Morning Notes

Students Sue Over W-L Name Change Decision — Three current students at the school claim Arlington’s School Board didn’t follow proper procedure in voting to start the process of stripping Robert E. Lee’s name from the school earlier this summer. [WUSA]

Could Jeff Bezos Buy Crystal City’s Biggest Property Owner? — JBG Smith’s CEO isn’t sure, but he’s heard the rumors too. The company took over the ownership of the bulk of buildings in the neighborhood from Vornado/Charles E. Smith and is a key part of Crystal City’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. [Washington Business Journal]

County Board Considers Pool Zoning Rule Changes — After a Nauck church ran into trouble renovating a large pool, Arlington officials want to review how the county regulates those sorts of properties. They hope to wrap up work before the year is out. [InsideNova]

Metro Settles Legal Case Over L’Enfant Smoke Incident — The terms of the deal haven’t been made public, but the family of Carol Glover were seeking $50 million in damages from Metro. Glover died after smoke filled a tunnel near the L’Enfant Plaza station, an incident that sickened scores of other people. [Washington Post]

Nonprofit Raises $10,000 in Arlington Vet Tech’s Memory — Alexandria’s CEVA Animal Health raised the money to honor Chris Griffey, who once worked at the NOVA Cat Clinic in Arlington. The funds will go toward medical care for foster kittens. [WJLA]

Photo courtesy of @thelastfc

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Firefighters Rescue County Parks Worker Stranded in Bucket Truck Near Shirlington

Firefighters were called out to a rescue a county parks and recreation worker from a malfunctioning bucket truck in the Shirlington dog park this morning (Thursday).

The man was stuck in the bucket after the arm of the truck stranded him near a tree at the park’s entrance at S. Four Mile Run Drive and S. Oxford Street.

First responders at the scene said the worker was not injured and brought down without incident.

Signs near the park said the area would be closed for tree trimming today.

The rescue effort briefly involved the closure of that section of the park, but it’s since reopened.

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Crime Report: Maryland Man Arrested for Car Theft, Assaulting Police

A man was arrested this past Friday morning and charged with assault and battery on police and a litany of other charges.

The incident happened in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood. It reportedly started when officers located a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Prince George’s County.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON POLICE, 2018-06080065, 2000 block of S. Langley Street. At approximately 7:07 a.m. on June 8, a lookout was broadcast for a vehicle stolen out of Prince George’s County. Officers located the vehicle and activated their emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop. As the officers approached the vehicle on foot, the suspect fled the scene and struck an occupied police cruiser. The suspect turned onto a dead end roadway and attempted to flee the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. Nehemais Mejia, 22, of Riverdale, MD was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police, Felony Hit and Run, Felony Eluding, Felony Destruction of Property, Grand Larceny Auto, Driving Under the Influence and No Operator’s License. He was held on no bond.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-06080145, 2600 block of 11th Street S. At approximately 1:15 p.m. on June 8, police were dispatched to the report of a late breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 7:30 a.m. on June 8, a witness arrived at the unoccupied home and discovered damage to the rear door. No other damage was reported and no items were reported stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

PEEPING, 2018-06060272, 2800 block of 8th Street S. At approximately 10:48 p.m. on June 6, police were dispatched to the report of a peeping incident. Upon arrival, it was determined that a witness observed an unknown male inside a courtyard looking into the window of a residence. When the suspect saw the witness in the courtyard, he attempted to hide in the bushes before fleeing on foot. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 6’0″, wearing a dark blue jacket and baseball hat pulled down covering his face. The investigation is ongoing.

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County Board Commends the ‘Tireless Dedication’ of Departing Nauck Pastor

The Arlington County Board paused Tuesday (May 22) to honor the legacy of longtime Nauck pastor the Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin Sr., as he heads to D.C. and ends his 22-year tenure at the Macedonia Baptist Church.

The Washington National Cathedral tapped Hamlin for a post working on social justice outreach in February, and he left the Nauck church, located at 3412 22nd Street S., in April.

But Board members didn’t want to see Hamlin go without presenting him with a resolution commending his extensive community engagement in Arlington, as well as a “key to the county.”

“He has been a community leader known for his strategic vision, tireless dedication and passion for providing for our most vulnerable residents,” said Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey.

Dorsey lauded Hamlin’s work on a whole host of community initiatives, like his work to establish the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit helping people in Nauck get an education and find a job. Dorsey also commended Hamlin for helping to create the “Macedonian,” an affordable housing development across from the church “which has been in operation since 2011 and has since provided affordable homes for over 100 Arlington families.”

Hamlin also chaired the county’s Affordable Housing Study Working Group and its Diversity Dialogue Task Force, and even served as chaplain to Arlington’s Fire Department, a series of efforts that Dorsey believes left “a permanent impact on our county.”

“All of us want to live in gardens that are beautiful, but those who serve have a responsibility for taking care of the ground that the flowers may be able to come,” Hamlin said in a brief speech. “No matter where we’re placed, our responsibility is to bloom so that someone else might appreciate it. And you’ve given me that opportunity.”

Dorsey noted that Hamlin put down deep roots in Arlington without ever residing in the county — he currently lives in Maryland. Hamlin told ARLnow back in 2016 that he settled in the D.C. area after moving here for college from New York City.

“I’ve never been one to really see life along all of the dividing lines that we create, whether that be geographically, regionally, or by walls,” Hamlin said. “The real sense of us being together comes when we are reaching across lines and reaching out to one another.”

Photo via Arlington County

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