Arlington County says it’s hoping to get a stretch of non-working streetlights near Shirlington switched back on by the end of the year, but residents are complaining that the repairs have taken too long.
The dark streetlights are located along the S. Four Mile Run Drive service road, in front of the West Village of Shirlington condo complex.
Last Thursday, condo management sent an email to residents, encouraging them to press the county to expedite repairs, saying that the lights “have been out for over a year now.”
As many of you are aware, Management has made several attempts to have the county make repairs to the street lights on S. Four Mile Run Drive. Unfortunately, we have not been able to make any headway. The County representatives continue to advise us that these repairs are not a priority for them.
In our experience, it is usually helpful for (tax paying county) residents to contact the county. Fortunately, one of your neighbors has done so, and has provided the contact information below. So please bombard the County with your sincere concerns about the community’s safety. Please do remember to include the fact that these lights have been out for over a year now.
Residents say they are concerned about their safety.
“It is pitch black for those walking our pets or those walking to/from our cars,” said resident Chrissy Limetti. “How disappointing to read that resident safety is not a priority.”
The county, however, says that they’ve been working on the issue and expect the lights to be back on by the end of the year.
“Preliminary work on the streetlights in this area has occurred and crews will begin underground repairs in the next month,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien tells ARLnow.com. “Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of December.”
The repairs are taking longer than usual because of the nature of what caused the outage in the first place.
“In this particular case, the outage is an underground issue caused by an old cable that will be replaced,” O’Brien said. “The complexity of the underground issue determines the response time which may take 45 days or longer. For an above ground issue (e.g., bulb replacement), repairs take about 14-21 days but more extensive equipment is required to repair an underground utility problem.”
O’Brien could not confirm whether a county employee actually said that the repairs weren’t a priority.
“To our knowledge, no one on our streetlights team told this person that their issue wasn’t a priority,” she said. “We are still investigating this to see if they may have spoken to someone else. Every outage is a priority and the type of outage and availability of crews and equipment determines the completion time.”
Streetlight outages can be reported to the county online.
More on Randolph Principal Controversy — Some Randolph Elementary parents are still upset that the school’s well-liked principal has been removed with little explanation and demoted to assistant principal at Abingdon Elementary. [Washington Post]
Aerial View of Arlington — Arlington County has created a video of aerial footage of Arlington, shot during a recent ride on the U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter. [Facebook]
‘Dog Days of Summer’ Donations — Rosslyn eatery Bistro 360 is donating 25 percent of sales from a special “Dog Days of Summer” menu to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. [Facebook]
Late Civic Activist Celebrated — The Nauck community will hold a special celebration of the life of the late civic activist John Robinson this coming Saturday. Robinson, who died in 2010, fought against racism, against injustice and for education, and was the publisher of the Green Valley News for more than 40 years. [InsideNova]
Suspicious Package at Ballston Metro — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — Metro Transit Police investigated a suspicious package at an elevator entrance to the Ballston Metro station this morning. The entrance was blocked off with police tape for a period of time.
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Units on scene at the long-time local business report that there’s a significant amount of blood on the floor of the pharmacy. Initial reports suggest that a woman, who’s currently talking to police at the pharmacy, stabbed an intoxicated man out of self-defense.
Police are searching for the stabbing victim, who fled the scene after the incident, possibly on a stolen moped.
Update at 5:25 p.m. — Police have located the man who was stabbed, and the moped, near the Arlington Career Center on Columbia Pike, according to scanner traffic. The man has an injury to his hand.
Update at 9:45 a.m. — ACPD has released the following crime report about this incident.
GRAND LARCENY AUTO (significant), 160804038, 2400 block of S. Shirlington Road. At approximately 4:30 p.m. on August 4, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. The investigation revealed that the victim and suspect got into an argument that escalated into a physical fight. During the fight, the male suspect took off his belt and began hitting the female victim with it. The victim broke a beer bottle and slashed the victim’s hand. The suspect then stole the victim’s moped that was parked and fled. The suspect struck a vehicle during his escape, and continued to flee on foot. The suspect was later apprehended in the area and taken into custody. Gregory Donnell Graham, 46, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with assault and battery, grand larceny (Auto), and hit and run.
The planned events are held as part of National Night Out, a “community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie,” according to a flyer distributed by the police department.
National Night Out celebrations are a chance for police and members of the community to come together, usually over free food and activities.
National Night Out events will be held at the following locations:
- Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
- Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. and S. Shirlington Road) from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- Farlington Villages Pool 2 (3045 S. Buchanan Street) from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
- Park Glen Condo Associations: (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
- Whitefield Commons: (106 N. Thomas Street) from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Image via ACPD National Night Out Flyer
The crash happened on the 2400 block of S. Kenmore Street, in the Nauck neighborhood. Police say Maryland resident Brunilda Lopez struck the other driver involved with her car and then drove off.
From an Arlington County Police crime report:
UNLAWFUL WOUNDING, 160630029, 2400 block of S. Kenmore Street. At approximately 12:00 p.m. on June 30, two vehicles were involved in a minor accident. As the drivers were exchanging information the suspect returned to her vehicle. The victim attempted to prevent the suspect from leaving by standing in front of her vehicle and was struck. Medics arrived on scene and the victim refused transport to the hospital. Warrants have been issued for reckless driving, unlawful wounding, and hit and run for Brunilda Lopez, 50, of Montgomery MD.
The incident happened around 10 a.m., when police received a report of a man who threatened a family member with a gun, at a home near the intersection of S. Kenmore Street and 22nd Street, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The man was said to be holed up in the home’s basement with gun and a machete.
The incident ended as quickly as it began, when the man came out of the home and was placed in handcuffs.
“He has been taken into custody without incident,” Savage said. “This is an active investigation and police remain in the area.”
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Arlington County and Alexandria firefighters are battling a small fire in a warehouse near Shirlington.
Initial reports suggest that a fire started in an area of the warehouse used for painting and then spread to the roof. One person was treated by medics for burns to his or her hands.
A rapid fire response task force was dispatched to the scene, in addition to a hazmat unit for a reported paint or chemical spill. Photos show signs for the party rental business DC Rental in the area of the warehouse where firefighters are operating.
The warehouse, at 2615 S. Shirlington Road, is located near I-395 in the Nauck neighborhood. Drivers should expect lane closures near the scene on S. Shirlington Road.
As of 2:30 p.m., the fire was reported out and firefighters were ventilating the building.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 27, 2016
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 27, 2016
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 27, 2016
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]