Since 1988, the Funshine Preschool has operated at the same location — the Arlington Presbyterian Church at 3507 Columbia Pike — serving generations of Arlington’s children. Now, with the church slated for demolition, the school is preparing to move and raising money to help with its expenses.
Funshine’s current building is the Arlington Presbyterian Church. The church held its final worship service in the building on Sunday, after the property was sold for $8.5 million to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The building is now slated to be demolished and replaced by a 173-unit apartment complex for low-income residents.
The preschool’s new location will be in a former YMCA building, at 3440 22nd Street S., in the Nauck neighborhood. The building is owned by Macedonia Baptist Church and the move is planned for September or as soon as the renovations are complete. As a backup option, the school has extended their lease in the church until December 2016, just prior to the planned demolition.
To offset the cost of the move, owners Beth McMichael and Paige Neal have launched a GoFundMe page with the goal of keeping tuition at current rates. The school usually enrolls between 60-65 kids, ages 3 months to 5 years, and tuition is between $348 and $418 per week depending on enrollment and teacher-student ratio.
The money gathered via GoFundMe will go towards building renovations and other improvements including building classrooms, making bathrooms child-accessible and the purchase of playground equipment. As of today, it has have raised over $3,000, with the ultimate goal set at $15,000.
Along with education in the classroom, the school participates in a number of activities intended to benefit the community, including diaper drives, Halloween candy donations and knitting scarves for Operation Gratitude, and planting seeds for the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
“We try to teach that giving is more of a lifestyle, not just something you do at Christmas or Thanksgiving,” said Neal.
After spending as much time as they did at the old location, school staff members are emotional about the change but optimistic about the new location.
“There’s a lot of us that have been here for a very long time, we can walk through the halls with our eyes closed. We love it here and we’ll always love this area,” said Neal. “This has been the place where we’ve done most of our serving of the community, we’re going to miss it. We’re also really excited to start something new and fresh.”
The Lucky Seven convenience store in Nauck closed after a fire in the summer of 2012, but the brand is now making a comeback.
The 7-Eleven at the corner of Shirlington Road and 24th Street S., which opened in 2014, has dropped its corporate affiliation and is now being rebranded as Lucky Seven.
The store closed over the weekend to facilitate the changeover. It was open on Monday, but many shelves were bare and the store was only accepting cash.
We’re told that the owner of the 7-Eleven was the owner of the Lucky Seven store and that the owner decided to make the switch after the expiration of the store’s contract with 7-Eleven. More products are expected to hit the shelves within the next week — and Slurpee-like machines and other convenience store staples are expected to be installed as well.
County Board Debate Preaches to Choir — Arlington County Board candidates Libby Garvey and Erik Gutshall participated in a debate Sunday night. Reported the Washington Post: “Nearly all the 50 people in the Campbell Elementary School audience Sunday night were campaign workers or committed supporters for each candidate.” In a new line of attack, Gutshall criticized Garvey for a $250 donation from a real estate developer she accepted in 2011. [Washington Post, Blue Virginia]
Campaign Criticism Prompts Reactions — Supporters of County Board candidate Erik Gutshall have penned a joint statement defending some of his attacks on Libby Garvey as substantive policy issues. However, there appears to be something of a backlash to two of Gutshall’s campaign mailers — at least among those who write letters to the Sun Gazette. County Board member Christian Dorsey, meanwhile, has published a statement on what he says is a “mischaracterization” of Garvey’s (and thus, the Board’s) record. [Blue Virginia, InsideNova, Facebook]
Elementary School’s Satellite Located — Two students from Morehead State University have located the “Cubesat” satellite created by students at St. Thomas More Elementary School in Arlington. The satellite was launched into orbit from the International Space Station but, for a few weeks, nobody was able to make contact with it. [Daily Independent]
Update on Rescued Baby Ducks — The six ducklings rescued from an Arlington storm drain are doing well and are undergoing rehabilitation, with the goal of being released back into the wild in a couple of months. [Washington Post]
Clarendon Co-Working Space Filling Up Fast — The new 40,000 square foot MakeOffices co-working space in Clarendon is more than half full already and is expected to be sold out by early July. The location, just across from the Clarendon Metro station, is the Arlington-based company’s tenth, but has been deemed its new flagship location. [Bisnow]
Nauck Profiled in WaPo — The Washington Post real estate section has profiled Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood, noting that “affordability is a major selling point in Nauck, where about half of current listings are priced under $500,000.” [Washington Post]
Photo by Jackie Friedman
Residents of The Shelton apartment building in Nauck are speaking out about what they say are poor and unsafe living conditions at the affordable apartment complex.
The four-story building, at 3215 24th Street S., was built in 2009 and has 94 committed affordable apartments. There’s also a community center, landscaped courtyard with a play area and underground parking.
A letter signed by 19 residents alleges “poor and disrespectful customer service,” “harassment of residents by staff” and — most pointedly — problems with drug dealing and usage in and around the building, chronic loitering and a pest infestation.
“The Shelton was built and operates using public funds, but is not accountable to the residents or the community,” the letter says. “Our living conditions continue to deteriorate… It is not always a safe place for us or our children to live. Security currently in place is not adequate.”
“As residents we have a right to live in a building that is well maintained, welcoming and secure,” the letter continues. “We need dedicated staffing and security personnel on these premises that will work with us as tenants… Safety and security at the Shelton should be a priority for management and on-site staff.”
Arlington County Police Department records show that there were 125 calls for service to the apartment building between May 1, 2015 and today. While high, we’re told that’s not an excessive number for a large, multi-family building. The top four types of police calls to the building were for domestic incidents, noise complaints, trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Arlington-based AHC, which owns and manages The Shelton, has organized a community meeting in response to the letter, a spokeswoman told ARLnow.com this afternoon. That meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m. at the building’s community room. It will “discuss any concerns [residents] may have” and provide “an update on the steps we have taken over the last several months to rectify several issues.”
AHC says trash areas in the building are now being checked daily and extra trash collection days have been scheduled to help address the pest problem. Also, adjustments are being made to correct inaccurate utility bills that were sent to some residents.
To address the safety issue, an automated system asking loiterers to “please move on” was recently installed near the 7-Eleven store and the automatic front door now prevents individuals from holding it open indefinitely. AHC says the building currently has 32 security cameras.
“AHC has deep roots in the Nauck community,” said AHC Communications Manager Celia Slater. “We are dedicated to working with local organizations like the Nauck Civic Association and the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation. We continue to partner with Arlington County and other groups to help move forward plans for the Nauck neighborhood revitalization.”
The full letter from residents, after the jump.
Arlington County Police have arrested a 27-year-old Arlington man in connection with an April 19 stabbing in the Nauck community.
Police say Ryan Coles was taken into custody on Saturday by ACPD’s tactical unit. He has been charged with malicious wounding and is being held without bond.
The stabbing took place at 1:45 p.m. on a weekday afternoon, following “a physical altercation between two individuals.” The victim was reported to have suffered severe injuries.
From an ACPD press release:
On April 19, 2016 at approximately 1:45 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to an assault with a weapon in the 3200 block of 24th Street S. The investigation revealed that following a physical altercation between two individuals, a male victim was stabbed. The victim was transported to George Washington University Hospital with severe injuries.
After reviewing evidence in this case, detectives from the Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit developed a suspect description. On April 23, officers from the Tactical Unit took the suspect into custody without incident. Ryan Coles, 27, of Arlington VA was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was held on no bond.
Anyone with information about this incident and/or who may have observed anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
The incident started around 6:45 a.m., when a resident on the 700 block of N. Tazewell Street started filming the driver and called police with a noise complaint, all as part of “an ongoing dispute [regarding] the time of deliveries.”
A verbal dispute between the resident and the driver ensued, leading the driver to punch the resident in the face, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
When police arrived, the driver was confrontational and struck at least one officer, Savage said. From and ACPD crime report:
ASSAULT ON POLICE, 160423017, 700 block of N. Tazewell Street. At approximately 6:48 a.m. on April 23, officers were dispatched to a noise complaint regarding an ongoing dispute between the time of deliveries. The victim was recording the incident when they were struck in the face by the subject. The subject became combative when officers arrived on scene but subsequently was taken into custody. Roderick Watt, 41, of Wilkes Barre Pa, was charged with assault on police (2 counts), obstruction of justice, and assault and battery. He was held on a secured bond.
A second incident of an assault on police happened later that night, in the Nauck neighborhood, according to the crime report.
ASSAULT ON POLICE, 160423049, 2400 block of S. 24th Road. At approximately 10:42 p.m. on April 23, officers conducted a traffic stop in regards to a suspended license. During the stop, the passenger became combative, pushed an officer to the ground, and fled on foot. Officers were able to apprehend Justin Murray, 31, of Alexandria VA. He was charged with assault on police, obstruction of justice, possession of marijuana(second offense), and failure to identify to law enforcement. He is being held without bond.
Also Saturday night, according to police, two drunk men were arrested after they both grabbed the buttocks of a woman and then started fighting. The incident started as all three were leaving an establishment near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive.
The men were both charged with sexual battery and being drunk in public, according to the crime report.
SEXUAL BATTERY, 160423043, 4800 block of S. Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:40 p.m. on April 23, officers responded to the area for reports of two males fighting. When officers arrived on scene a female advised that her buttocks was grabbed by both suspects. . Carlos Rivas Martinez, 22, of Arlington VA, was charged with sexual battery and drunk in public. He was held on an unsecured bond. Lorenzo Rivas Martinez, 20, of Arlington VA, was charged with sexual battery and drunk in public. He was held on a secured bond.
Three men have been arrested in a shooting on Columbia Pike last night, including the man who was shot.
The incident started just before 10:30 p.m., on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike near the Burger King, as “a dispute between several subjects and a business owner over the sale of a vehicle.”
As police responded to the dispute, they received a report that one of the suspects was making a shooting gesture at the business owner with his hand. Moments later came word that actual shots were being fired.
“One subject brandished a firearm and shot multiple rounds towards the victim who was sitting in [his] vehicle,” police said in a press release.
Following the shooting, the subjects fled the area in what was reported to be a gray Dodge Charger.
“Officers observed the subject’s vehicle and initiated a short pursuit on northbound I-395,” said the press release. The chase was called off after officers lost sight of the vehicle prior to the 14th Street Bridge. A U.S. Park Police helicopter attempted to assist with the search but the vehicle was not found.
Following up on unspecified information, a SWAT team arrested two of the suspects on the 2400 block of S. Lowell Street, in the Nauck neighborhood, early this morning. The third suspect, it turned out, was the man who was struck by gunfire in front of the Burger King. He has also been charged in the shooting.
Police are still asking any witnesses to come forward. The full press release, from ACPD:
On April 20, 2016 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to a report of a dispute in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The initial investigation revealed there was a dispute between several subjects and a business owner over the sale of a vehicle. One subject brandished a firearm and shot multiple rounds towards the victim who was sitting in their vehicle. Following the shooting, the subjects fled the area. Officers observed the subject’s vehicle and initiated a short pursuit on Northbound I-395. The pursuit was terminated in Washington D.C. United States Park Police assisted the investigation with the use of their helicopter.
Detectives from the Department’s Homicide/Robbery and Tactical Units developed suspect descriptions. Members of the SWAT Team took two suspects into custody from a residence in the 2400 block of S. Lowell Street. Martin Walker, 25, of Largo MD, was arrested and charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Attempted Malicious Shooting, Display of a Firearm during a Shooting, and Shooting at an Occupied Vehicle. Joseph Thompson, 26, of Manassas VA, was arrested and charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Shooting by Mob.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives determined that the initial male victim suffering from a gunshot wound had been an aggressor in the dispute. Gregory Porter Jr., 20, of Triangle VA, has been arrested and charged with Shooting by Mob. He is being held on no bond.
Anyone with information about this incident and/or who may have observed anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Detective S. Roeseler of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4182 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Valor Awards Recount Harrowing Moments — Saving a suicidal woman who was about to jump from the seventh floor of a parking garage. Saving the life of a man who had just been run over by an SUV twice. Smashing a car window in order to resuscitate the victim of a major crash on I-395. Those are a few of the acts of valor recognized at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Valor Awards this week. [InsideNova, Arlington Chamber]
WaPo Questions Crystal City-Brooklyn Comparison — The Washington Post isn’t letting the New York Times get away with a quote that compared Crystal City to Brooklyn. The area’s hometown paper instead quoted a number of Twitter critics, one of whom called Crystal City a “Ballardian hellscape.” The Times story suggests that Crystal City — with its new restaurants, emerging tech scene, transportation improvements and community events — is experiencing something of a mini renaissance. [Washington Post]
Nauck Town Square Designs — Arlington County is seeking feedback on the draft design of the forthcoming Nauck Town Square park. The design includes a large sculpture of the word “FREED.” [Arlington County]
County Gets Adorable Letters — Arlington County gets adorable letters from children, who ask about things like raising backyard chickens and saving worms that might have gotten swept up as yard waste. [Arlington County]
Arlington County Police are on scene of a stabbing in the Nauck neighborhood.
The incident happened just before 2 p.m. on the 2200 block of 24th Street S. Initial reports suggest a man was stabbed and the suspect was then chased down the street by two men.
The victim, however, is being uncooperative and no suspects are in police custody, according to scanner traffic.
The victim’s injuries are said to be non-life-threatening. He is being transported via ambulance to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital.
Photo courtesy @toddmpost
This weekend, members of the Red Cross and the Arlington County Fire Department will be going door-to-door in the Douglas Park and Nauck neighborhoods, performing fire safety checks and smoke alarm inspections and, when necessary, installing free smoke alarms.
The goal: “to reduce the number of fire-related injuries and fatalities by ensuring residents have working smoke alarms.”
ACFD says it will continue canvassing Arlington neighborhoods throughout the spring and summer to promote fire safety. From a press release:
According the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a working smoke alarm reduces the chance of dying in a fire by nearly half. Acting Fire Chief Joseph Reshetar explains, “Early detection of a fire is a key element to survival. Please make sure your smoke alarms are operating properly.”
Last summer ACFD piloted this program and, in just 14 days of canvassing, installed a total of 865 alarms and 174 batteries. Of the 1,826 homes inspected last summer, 30 percent had no working smoke alarms or an insufficient number of smoke alarms. Chief Reshetar will join the firefighters and volunteers canvassing this Saturday with the goal of reducing that percentage.
Firefighters from all 10 fire stations will continue to canvas neighborhoods throughout Arlington County every Saturday from now through September, to provide smoke alarm inspections and installations. Arlington County residents may also contact the fire department to schedule these services.
Remember, installing smoke alarms is only one part of home fire safety. The Fire Department and Red Cross encourage you to:
- Test your smoke alarms every month by pressing the “test” button.
- Change the batteries in all alarms twice a year with daylight savings time, unless you alarm is equipped with a 10 year lithium battery.
- Ensure every person in your home understands and practices your home fire escape plan twice a year. Your plan should include two ways out of every room, getting low, closing the door behind, going directly to your predetermined family meeting place, and then calling 9-1-1.
ACFD Battles Fire on Patrick Henry Drive — On Thursday morning Arlington County firefighters assisted in battling a two-alarm blaze at an apartment building on the 3000 block of Patrick Henry Drive, just across the border in Fairfax County. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Doubling Down on Startups — Arlington Economic Development plans to use the $1.5 million in one-time additional funds it’s allocated in County Manager Mark Schwartz’s budget to target early-stage tech companies and help them lease offices between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet. [Washington Business Journal]
W-L Alum to Direct Sci-Fi Film — Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has selected Washington-Lee High School alum Julius Onah to direct “God Particle,” a new sci-fi thriller being produced by Abrams’ production company. Onah was named one of the top 10 “Up and Up Feature Directors” in 2013. He’s also signed up to direct an upcoming Universal Pictures film, “Brilliance.” [Blackfilm.com, Indiewire, Twitter]
Local Chef Nominated for Big Award — Peter Chang, whose eponymous restaurant opened last year in the Lee-Harrison shopping center, has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.” [Patch]
Shirlington Profiled by Post — As part of its “Where We Live” series, the Washington Post has profiled Arlington’s Shirlington neighborhood. Shirlington earns high marks for having a variety of walkable entertainment, dining and shopping options, and for having only six crimes of note over the course of 12 months. [Washington Post]
More on Nauck History Project — Arlington County’s Nauck Green Valley Heritage Project has already received dozens of photos in its new online photo archive. A vibrant, historically black neighborhood since before the Civil War, Nauck has been changing — some say gentrifying. “Today, we’re probably less than 32 percent African American,” noted the community’s civic association president. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Part of S. Kenmore Street is temporarily closed to traffic due to a flipped vehicle.
The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. near the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Initial reports suggest a driver in a blue Ford Mustang convertible lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a parked pickup truck.
The convertible flipped on its roof in the middle of the street. The man who was driving was reported to be bleeding from his forehead and was transported to a local hospital.
It’s unclear how exactly the crash happened. The parked pickup truck wound up perpendicular to the street, with its drive shaft partially detached and resting on the ground. The owners of the truck, apparently nearby residents, came out with a wheelbarrow to remove items from the pickup’s bed.
Arlington County Police are investigating the crash and documenting the scene before the car is towed away. Kenmore Street is closed between 19th and 22nd streets.
Authorities Still Investigating Oil Sheen on Potomac — In an effort to find the source of an oily sheen on the Potomac River near the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, the Coast Guard, state authorities and the Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services will be conducting a “dye test.” Non-toxic dye may be seen in the river today. At least 23 birds were were sent to a wildlife rescue organization for cleaning as a result of contact with the oil. [U.S. Coast Guard, Facebook, WJLA]
Two Displaced By Fire Near Clarendon — A structure fire Friday night on the 1200 block of N. Kirkwood Road, near Clarendon, has left two residents displaced. No one was injured in the blaze. The residents are being assisted by the Red Cross. [Twitter, Twitter]
Nauck History Project Seeks Contributions — As part of Black History Month, Arlington County is encouraging residents of the Nauck neighborhood to donate images and stories to the Nauck/Green Valley Heritage Project. The project has an online archive dedicated to preserving the community’s rich history. [Arlington County]
Arlington Makes AARP ‘Healthy’ List — Arlington County is among the top “medium population cities” for those ages 50+ to stay active and healthy, according to new rankings. [AARP]
Clement: Support Governor’s I-66 Plan — Frequent local candidate for elected office Audrey Clement is encouraging Arlingtonians to support the McAuliffe administration’s plan for tolling I-66 inside the Beltway. That plan, which calls for widening I-66 only as a last resort, is preferable to the call from outside the Beltway lawmakers to widen I-66 as soon as possible, Clement says. [Campaign for a Greener Arlington]
Arlington Woman Has Purse With $10K Cash Stolen — Police are looking for a suspect seen stealing a purse with $10,000 cash inside from a Fairfax County Dunkin’ Donuts. The purse was accidentally left behind by an Arlington mother who had saved for years to pay her 18-year-old daughter’s tuition at Penn State. [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The following letter to the editor was submitted by Robin Stombler, a Nauck resident, business owner and past chair of the Arlington Committee of 100, regarding revitalization plans for the Shirlington Crescent area.
Over 80 Arlington residents and elected officials joined the Nauck-Shirlington Crescent neighborhood launch on Sunday, January 10, 2016. Nauck residents led groups of citizens on walking tours throughout the Crescent. We anticipated some of the reactions:
- Arlington is home to a concrete factory?
- Floods up to 19 feet have occurred at Four Mile Run?
- Jennie Dean Park honors the founder of the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth?
- Arlington’s first distribution brewery since 1916 opened this week in the Crescent?
- Artists from Stephen Sondheim to Dave Grohl have walked the Crescent streets?
The answers are yes. Beyond the auto repair stores, towing facilities, and ART bus storage, many people pass the Crescent without really seeing what it has to offer. We have a vision to change that perception.
The Nauck-Shirlington Crescent is unique for many reasons, and chief among them is its diversity. We aim to embrace the economic, social and cultural diversity of our neighborhood from our nonprofit neighbors to our commercial entrepreneurs and from our established citizens to our newer residents.
We also see a significant opportunity to revitalize the Crescent into a creative, industry and arts cluster. This cluster would build and support an environment that encourages businesses and workforce development, protects and preserves the natural resources of the area, and fosters innovation. Space for new housing, tree-lined vistas, and parking also figure into our design.
The Arlington County Board has declared the Nauck-Shirlington Crescent a top priority for 2016. Our ideas, expressed briefly here, will be part of a fuller conversation on the future of the Crescent. The energy and excitement expressed at the launch portends well what that future holds.
ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity.
Update at 11:20 p.m. on 1/12/16 — It’s possible that reports of The Corner Tex-Mix’s demise were premature. Another tipster says it was open Tuesday evening. However, Google’s listing for the business says it is “permanently closed.” The tipster notes that the restaurant seems to be keeping “odd hours.”
The restaurant Bermuda Triangle that is the intersection of S. Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive may have claimed another victim.
The Corner Tex-Mix, at 1621 S. Walter Reed Drive in Nauck, has apparently closed, at least temporarily.
“I have driven by the restaurant about 5 times in the past six or so weeks anywhere between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and the place is completely dark and the parking lot/patio is completely empty,” a tipster told us last week.
The restaurant opened last spring, promising a mix of Latin American, North American and Mediterranean cuisines. Online reviews suggest that diners were not satisfied with the quality of the food compared to other options along nearby Columbia Pike.
Hat tip to Nom de Guerre