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by ARLnow.com December 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington County Police are still investigating a drive-by shooting in the Nauck neighborhood this past Sunday night.

Three male suspects in a dark van or SUV opened fire on a group of four juvenile near the intersection of 24th Street S. and Shirlington Road around 8:15 p.m., according to police. A resident who lives nearby emailed ARLnow.com and described a chaotic scene.

“Around 8:12 a series of approximately eight gunshots were heard followed by several individuals seen running through the neighborhood,” she said. The resident added later that she’s skeptical that no one in the neighborhood was able to give a better description of the vehicle or the suspects.

Police are treating the shooting as an “attempted malicious wounding” rather than attempted murder. ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the incident “remains an active and ongoing investigation by the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit.”

“Police have collected crime scene evidence, canvased the area and spoken with witnesses,” Savage said. “The events that preceded the shooting remain under investigation.”

“The Third District Community Policing Team has been in touch with community members since the incident occurred and is attending a tenants meeting in the community next week,” Savage continued. “Anyone who has information regarding this investigation is asked to call Detective Bertollini at703.228.4243 or [email protected]. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Someone fired gunshots at a group of four juveniles walking down the street in the Nauck neighborhood last night.

Police did not report a possible motive for the Sunday night shooting, only saying in a crime report that a vehicle with three males inside approached, shots were filed “in the direction of the juveniles” and the suspects drove off. The kids were unhurt.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 217-12030213, 24th Street S. at Shirlington Road. At approximately 8:16 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, it was determined that four juveniles were walking in the area when they were approached by a vehicle with three black males inside. One of the occupants of the vehicle brandished a firearm and fired shots in the direction of the juveniles. The vehicle fled the scene prior to police arrival. It is described as a large black van or SUV. There is no suspect(s) description. The juveniles were uninjured. Officers canvased the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

by ARLnow.com November 20, 2017 at 8:15 am 0

County HQ to Be Named After Bozman — “The Arlington County Board today voted unanimously to name the County Office Building at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard for Ellen M. Bozman, the six-time Board Chair who served on the Board through some of Arlington’s most transformative years, and who died in 2009.” [Arlington County]

Blue, Yellow Line Service Disruption — Metrorail service on the Blue and Yellow lines was suspended earlier this morning due to “fire department activity” at the Pentagon station. Arlington County Fire Department units investigated the incident and turned the scene back over to Metro around 6 a.m. Service has since been restored. [Twitter, Twitter, Fox 5]

County Board Sets Stage for Va. Square Redevelopment — The Arlington County Board on Saturday took a first step towards the redevelopment of several properties at the corner of Washington Blvd and N. Kirkwood Road. New apartments and upgrades to the YMCA have been proposed for the site. The Board approved a General Land Use Plan Study and Concept Plan that will “serve as a long-range planning guide for potential redevelopment.” [Arlington County]

Arlingtonian Among Rhodes Scholars — Arlington native Matthew Chun, a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named one of 32 Rhodes scholars in the U.S. Chun, who is also captain of the school’s wrestling team, is one of two Virginians among the latest group of Rhodes scholars. [Associated Press, MIT News]

Juvenile Hospitalized After Nauck Hit and Run — An individual under the age of 18 was reportedly struck by a car on the 2400 block of Shirlington Road, in the Nauck area, over the weekend. The car’s driver drove off after hitting the juvenile, who suffered non-life threatening injuries. [WJLA]

Nestle Lease Lauded in Commercial RE Awards — The lease of 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn to serve as Nestle’s new U.S. headquarters was given the “Award of Excellence” in the Real Estate Transaction category at the 2017 NAIOP Northern Virginia commercial real estate awards. It was among six Arlington-related winners at the awards ceremony, including the new Marymount University Ballston Center development. [NAIOP]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

by Chris Teale October 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

Chester’s Billiards, Bar & Grill is no more after its landlord put its building in Nauck up for sale.

The billiards hall and neighborhood bar at 2620 Shirlington Road closed on Wednesday, October 25. Signs outside show the building, now abandoned, is up for sale. The Chester’s sign remains.

Chester’s had gone before the Arlington County Board on Tuesday, October 24 for a three-month review of its live entertainment permit. County staff had recommended before the meeting for a second time this year that the Board deny an extension of the permit.

But at the meeting, Rebecca Lewis, a managing member at Chester’s, said the building’s owner has decided to sell their property. Lewis said he did so because of the ongoing issues with the building’s elevator, which has led to criminal charges and will take more than $250,000 to fix.

Lewis also questioned staff’s data on calls to the Arlington County Police Department, as well as the violation of its ABC license. She said that several of the five police calls involved an employee who was caught embezzling funds and is now the subject of criminal proceedings, and said that there were people in the community who wanted to “sabotage the business.”

“It seems that there seems to have been, especially with the police department, a wanting to shut down this business,” Lewis said.

Adam Watson, a staffer at the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development, also noted that Chester’s hosted two dance parties with 40-50 people despite not holding a permit to do so. In response, Lewis said that those events were music shows that did not qualify as dance events.

“It’s almost impossible to tell people when music is playing that they can’t move their bodies,” she said. “[We] never encouraged or had something that we called a dance event.”

In a brief statement to the Board, Chester’s manager David Breedlove stood by the bar’s arrest record, and said he was grateful to the police for their help.

“I want to thank the Arlington police department for setting me straight, but never, one time, was there an arrest at that bar,” he said. “Yes, there were problems down below.”

Board member Christian Dorsey said it is clearly “difficult” to run a business, but said he hoped the bar’s managers try again soon. In a unanimous vote, the Board denied an extension to the bar’s permit.

“Clearly this didn’t work out for you or the community, which is why we are where we are today,” Dorsey said. “But I certainly wish you luck in any future endeavors you are about to take.”

by ARLnow.com October 25, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Arlington Murder Suspect Arrested — Jason Allen Johnson, wanted for the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Michael Gray at an Arlington house party in February, has been arrested. Fox 5 reports that Johnson was arrested in New York on unrelated charges. [Fox 5]

County Threatens Eminent Domain for Bus Parking Lot — Arlington County is threatening to use the power of eminent domain to acquire a property it is currently leasing for bus parking along I-395 near Shirlington. The County Board last night authorized an offer to buy the property, which is assessed at $20.5 million, but also authorized use of eminent domain to acquire the property if its purchase offer is unsuccessful. [Arlington County]

Auditor Plans to Tackle School Construction Costs — “The Arlington School Board’s internal auditor plans to take a crack at a vexing question: Why does it cost so much more to build a school in Arlington than elsewhere? Or does really cost that much more, after all?” [InsideNova]

ACPD Greets All-Law Enforcement Honor Flight — Officers from the Arlington County Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies often greet honor flights arriving at Reagan National Airport. Yesterday they greeted the first-ever honor flight of veterans who all later served as law enforcement officers. [Twitter, Twitter]

Endorsements for Gutshall, McCullough — Democratic Arlington County Board candidate Erik Gutshall has picked up the endorsement of the Sun Gazette newspaper. Independent progressive candidate Charles McCullough, meanwhile, has been endorsed by the Working Families Party. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Ameschen

by Chris Teale October 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

After being given three months to remedy its violations, county staff is recommending the Arlington County Board not extend the live entertainment permit for Chester’s Billiards, Bar & Grill.

In a report to the Board ahead of Saturday’s monthly meeting, staff said issues continue to plague the billiards hall and neighborhood bar at 2620 S. Shirlington Road in Nauck.

Since the Board’s last review in June, staff said the Arlington County Police Department visited to help Chester’s staff correct outstanding violations, train security staff and conduct ABC compliance checks.

But during that period, police found three ABC violations and saw Chester’s hosting a dance party for between 40 and 50 people in August, despite being warned it was not allowed under its permit with the county.

Staff also said police were called five times, with four of those calls involving co-owner David Breedlove. No arrests were made.

The building’s unsafe elevator also remains an ongoing problem, with the property’s owner having been served a court summons and set for arraignment next month for violating the Virginia Maintenance Code. Staff said the elevator is, in the opinion of Code Enforcement, “dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the building’s occupants.”

A property owner nearby also complained that Chester’s patrons used a parking lot on his property without permission.

In their report, staff noted that the Nauck Civic Association “had not come to a consensus” on whether the permit should be renewed. Staff added that the president of the Bowman’s Hill Homeowners Association, speaking for himself, said there had “not been much of an improvement” from Chester’s.

Staff were critical of Chester’s management, who they said had not worked hard enough to remedy the problems.

“Given the continued non-compliance with the use permit conditions, and a general lack of good-faith effort on behalf of both the applicant and the property owner to voluntarily comply with these conditions, staff recommends that the County Board not renew the subject use permit,” staff wrote.

Photo via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com October 4, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Nauck Town Square Project Progressing  — “There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Nauck Town Square project, which aims to turn a barren (though iconic) strip of land into a true community gathering place… If all goes as planned, a construction contract will be inked in 2018, with completion a year later.” [InsideNova]

History: Arlington’s Three Sisters — Arlington County was home to the second-tallest human-made structure in the world after the Eiffel Tower: one of the “Three Sisters” U.S. Navy radio towers that once stood along Columbia Pike. [Arlington Magazine]

Mall Raising Money for Breast Cancer Research — This month the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be raising money for breast cancer research by offering discount cards to shoppers who make a $5 donation to the Susan G. Komen organization. The mall will also be holding meet and greets with the Susan G. Komen D.C. chapter and on Oct. 21 will be offering free pink cookies and pink lemonade. [Simon]

Arlington Issues New Bonds — Arlington County successfully sold $58 million in new bonds this week at an average 3.24 percent interest rate. “This sale allows the County to finance two important land acquisitions, while also saving the County $3.8 million of future debt service by refinancing existing bonds at lower rates,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy James Mahony

by Katie Pyzyk September 29, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Arlington County is interested in purchasing property in Nauck that has been the subject of redevelopment talks for years.

At its meeting next month, the County Board will take up the issue of purchasing 2631 and 2633 Shirlington Road, according to a public notice the county released this week.

Several years ago, a portion of the 153,000-square-foot industrial site near Shirlington was redeveloped into a self-storage facility, called CubeSmart. Prior to that, it was considered as a potential location for an urban Walmart, but the County Board quickly passed a measure that would require large-format retailers to get Board approval for building stores.

Arlington County is already leasing the parking lot next to the CubeSmart for ART buses and other needs.

The public notice indicates that the county might consider acquiring the land through eminent domain if the owner does not agree to sell.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. is scheduled to swing by Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood tonight as part of a bus tour ahead of Virginia’s gubernatorial election.

The tour is described as “a non-partisan, voter-registration drive across the commonwealth.”

Jackson and the bus tour are expected to arrive in Nauck around 6 p.m., in time to attend a Community Empowerment Rally at the Macedonia Baptist Church (3412 22nd Street S.) at 6:30 p.m.

A press release about the bus tour from Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition is below.

As Virginia prepares to hold its high stakes gubernatorial election – a contest widely seen as a bellwether of the crucial 2018 midterm elections – the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, the Virginia Conference of the NAACP, the New Virginia Majority and The Gary Flowers Show will add three days and 14 stops to a non-partisan, voter-registration drive across the commonwealth, from Monday, Sept. 18 through Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The “Healing and Rebuilding” tour kicked off with two days of rallies last Thursday and Friday, including stops at the University of Virginia and George Mason University. At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Thursday, dozens of students answered Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.’s call to register to vote on the spot.

“You must register to vote today,” Rev. Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, told the students. “We marched too much, bled too much and died too young” for any American eligible to vote to sit on the sidelines.

Virginia’s gubernatorial election is Nov. 7, 2017, and its results, according to The New York Times, will “inevitably to be read as a harbinger for the 2018 midterm elections and President Trump’s fate.”

During the expanded tour – starting in Roanoke in southwest Virginia and ending in Arlington in northern Virginia – Rev. Jackson will encourage Virginians to support Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) legislation, which was recently passed in Illinois and could add up 1.13 million new voters to the rolls in the Land of Lincoln. Nationally, AVR could increase the rolls by 50 million new voters.

“Everything we’ve fought for the last 50 years is under attack – voting rights, LGBTQ rights, worker’s right, women’s rights, children’s rights, environmental protections,” Rev. Jackson, a two-time presidential candidate, said.  “But if we, the people, register and vote our interests and vote our numbers, we have the power to change the course of the country and history.”

The additional tour stops include voter registration and voter empowerment rallies at colleges, churches and community halls across the state.

As Rev. Jackson puts it, “The stakes are sky high.”

Photo via Twitter

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Residents Irked at App-Directed Traffic — Residents who live just west of Crystal City are upset that map apps like Waze keep directing cut-through traffic down S. Fern Street as an alternative to S. Eads Street or Route 1. A resident who spoke at Saturday’s County Board meeting said her complaints to Arlington County staff have not resulted in any action. [InsideNova]

Army Ten-Miler to Close Roads Next Month — A number of roads around Crystal City and Pentagon City will close on Sunday, Oct. 8 for the annual Army Ten-Miler race. [Arlington County]

Lions Club Scrambling to Find Xmas Tree Lot — The South Arlington Lions Club is not even sure they’ll be able to hold their annual Christmas tree sale in South Arlington this year. The club’s usual location in the parking lot of the former Food Star is under construction and the club just learned that county land is off-limits to nonprofit fundraising. [InsideNova]

Colorado Has Its Own Serial Pooper — A bizarre situation that’s drawing comparisons to Arlington’s own serial pooper of 2016 is playing out in Colorado. Residents in Colorado Springs say a female jogger has been repeatedly, unapologetically defecating in their neighborhood. [Deadspin, Washington Post]

Nauck Leaders Lauded — A pair of community stalwarts were honored by the Nauck Civic Association in a ceremony this past weekend. “Wanda Pierce was lauded for her tenure leading the Arlington Community Foundation,” while “Cleveland ‘Bubby’ James Jr., another longtime resident, was honored for his work with the youth and young adults of Nauck and the entire county.” [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com August 25, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

NSF Starting Its Move to Alexandria — “Moving day for the first group of National Science Foundation workers relocating from the agency’s Ballston headquarters to Alexandria starts this weekend, more than four years — and more than a bit of controversy — after selecting the site for its new home.” [Washington Business Journal]

TSA Moving to Springfield — The headquarters of the Transportation Security Administration will be moving from Pentagon City to Springfield, after the GSA awarded a new 15-year, $316 million lease. The move is expected to take place in 2020. [Washington Business Journal]

Construction Activity at DCA — Construction is underway at Reagan National for the airport’s $1 billion expansion project. [NBC Washington]

‘Doc’ Muse Dies — “Leonard ‘Doc’ Muse, who for 65 years – from the era of Jim Crow to the election of an African-American president – watched over the Nauck community from his perch behind the counter of the Green Valley Pharmacy, died the weekend of Aug. 19-20. He was 94 years old.” [InsideNova]

by Brooke Giles August 1, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

The Arlington County Police Department will hold National Night Out activities in neighborhoods across the county this evening (August 1).

Police will take part in a number of activities with local residents, including block parties, cookouts, safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.

National Night Out aims to better relationships between the police and the communities they patrol. Many police departments around the country participate.

“We are committed to building strong partnerships with those we protect and serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust.” said spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Events such as National Night Out are important because they provide us with another opportunity to interact with our community, hear about any public safety concerns they have and continue to use effective problem-solving methods to reduce and prevent crime and improve the quality of life of Arlington’s residents, visitors and businesses.”

Events will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Cathcart Springs townhomes (4600 4th Road N.) from 6:30-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Villages (3000 block of S. Abingdon Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condo Association (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 6-8:30 p.m.

by ARLnow.com July 21, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington Man’s Dog Found Days After Fatal Crash — Ten days after 57-year-old Arlington resident William F. Schlesinger died in a crash on I-95 in North Carolina, his dog has been found alive. Nellie is being called a “miracle dog” after she wandered into a convenience store late at night with a broken leg and numerous bug bites. She had been riding in the pickup truck with Schlesinger when he reportedly fell asleep, veered off the highway and slammed into a tree. [Fayetteville Observer]

Local Election Fundraising Very Light — The frontrunners for Arlington County Board and School Board only have a few thousand dollars apiece in the bank as of the beginning of the month. Their opponents have even less. “It may turn out to be one of the least costly County Board general elections in recent history,” the Sun Gazette reports. [InsideNova]

State Dept. Office Staying in Arlington — The U.S. State Department is keeping its footprint in Rosslyn for another decade-and-a-half. The GSA signed a lease worth just over $200 million over 15 years for nearly 350,000 square feet of office space in central Rosslyn. The lease extends over two buildings, with one of the buildings also housing a private State Department contractor. [Washington Business Journal]

Update: W-L Expected to Reopen Next Week — Washington-Lee High School is expected to reopen for summer school classes next week after an air conditioning issue closed the school this week. W-L’s summer school classes were temporarily moved to Yorktown High School this week. [Arlington Public Schools]

‘Capital Bikeshare Fiesta’ in Nauck — “Arlington’s Dieta Cero-Auto program will be promoting Capital Bikeshare this Saturday at Drew Sprayground (3514 22nd Street S.) from 2-5 p.m. Stop by and purchase your CaBi membership for 50% off!” [Event Calendar]

Discovery Named ‘Green Ribbon School’ — “Discovery Elementary School is being recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School… Discovery is one of 45 schools being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.” [Arlington Public Schools]

by Chris Teale July 19, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

Chester’s Billiards, Bar & Grill will have three months to remedy various violations after the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to grant a brief extension to its live entertainment permit.

The billiards hall and neighborhood bar at 2620 Shirlington Road had the annual review of its permit at the Board’s recessed meeting Tuesday (July 18), and county staff recommended an extension be denied after a slew of problems.

But the Board agreed to give Chester’s three months before having another review to correct various violations, which included 16 calls for service to the Arlington County Police Department as well as notices from the Fire Marshal, Code and Zoning Enforcement and Virginia ABC.

“I hope we’ve impressed on you all that this is not to be seen as an endorsement of the current state of affairs,” Board vice chair Katie Cristol said. “This is an opportunity to try to get it right.”

Rebecca Lewis, the agent for the building, promised that Chester’s will use the Arlington County Police Department’s after-hours service to employ off-duty officers as security on nights when it has live entertainment, and will ensure bartenders are trained in when to cut people off.

The live entertainment permit allows Chester’s to host “a variety of live entertainment types, including music, comedy and magicians.”

Lewis and Chester’s manager David Breedlove said the introduction of a fence around the property, which is as high as eight feet in some places, should help with security. Lewis added that after some management turmoil since the bar opened in 2015, they have been on a more even footing the past couple of months.

“We can’t change the neighborhood, but what’s happening inside Chester’s has changed,” Lewis said. “We’ve learned the lessons, and we have followed the rules that were laid out in the original use permit.”

Board member Christian Dorsey cautioned against rhetoric that may appear to blame the neighborhood for any problems. He also tried to determine the status of the building’s elevator, which is the subject of criminal proceedings.

“My overarching conversation,” Dorsey said, “is if the elevator makes it inappropriate for us to renew the use permit, should we have a business operating there at all?”

Chester’s representatives said the elevator has not operated since opening, and that they are applying to have it decommissioned. Adam Watson, a planner in the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development, said the violation must be remedied, and that staff would work to determine how necessary a working elevator is for the business.

Lewis and Breedlove said many violations have come from being a relatively new business, including from Virginia ABC as their food sales are not as high as required for their liquor license. Both promised to do better.

“This is always really tough,” Dorsey said. “I hate to be in the business of hurting someone’s opportunity to earn a living and fulfill their creative and entrepreneurial dreams, but it also seems by your own admission…this has been a growing experience for you in terms of operating a business, finding out the right things to offer, the right things to work with.”

Chester’s will be back before the Board for its review in October.

Photo via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com July 18, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

Tens of Thousands of Bees Found in Nauck Building — An elaborate series of bee hives were found in a now-county owned building set for demolition in Nauck, prompting the county to call a husband-and-wife beekeeping team that lives in the area. The couple helped “rescue” the hive — estimated to contain 70,000 bees and 100 pounds of inedible honey — and transport it to the community park at 10th Street and N. Barton Street near Courthouse. [Arlington County, Washington Post]

‘Oz’ Owners Splitting Up — “Real Housewives of Potomac” cast members and Oz restaurant owners Ashley Darby and her husband, Michael Darby, have reportedly split. Ashley Darby said she moved out of the luxury Courthouse condo she shares with Michael, but also “dangled the possibility of reconciliation” on a “reunion” show for the series. Despite the drama, the pair were all smiles when they jointly hosted a tasting dinner at Oz in Clarendon on June 27. [Washington Post]

County Wants CSX to Consider Fewer Train Horn Blasts — Arlington County has been working with CSX to try to encourage the railroad to cut down on trains blowing their horn while traveling through densely populated Crystal City. CSX has rules in place that require a horn blast on certain sections of track at certain times for safety reasons. [InsideNova]

Crashes on GW Parkway — Multiple crashes on the GW Parkway north of the Key Bridge are causing significant delays during this morning’s rush hour. [Washington Post, Twitter]

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