Police have charged the man, a Burke, Va. resident, with “obscene sexual display.”
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-07260139, Wilson Boulevard at N. Rhodes Street. At approximately 11:39 a.m. on July 26, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party allegedly observed a male subject masturbating in his vehicle. Arriving officers located the subject and took him into custody. Otman El Garras, 37, of Burke, VA was arrested and charged with obscene sexual display.
Also last week, someone stole the airbags from at least seven vehicles along the 4400 block of 31st Street S., the steep road from Shirlington to Fairlington.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2017-260058, 4400 block of 31st Street S. Between 10:00 p.m. on July 25 and 6:00 a.m. on July 26, an unknown subject(s) forced entry into at least 7 vehicles and stole the airbags. There is no subject(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
A large new coworking space will breathe new life into the former Artisphere in Rosslyn this fall.
Coworking firm Spaces expects to open its new Artisphere location in November. The location will feature 22,000 square feet of office space, an event space, an outdoor patio and a gym with showers, we’re told.
Renderings show sleekly-designed communal spaces designed for collaborative work.
“Take your creativity to new levels in uniquely inspired workspace in Rosslyn’s vibrant urban sector,” the Spaces website says. “The Artisphere’s sophisticated modern design cultivates an empowering social atmosphere that fuels innovative thinking.”
In April, Spaces opened a large coworking space in D.C.’s Uline Arena
‘Open Road’ Coming to Rosslyn — A new location of Open Road, from the restaurant group behind Circa, is expected to open in Rosslyn next year. Open Road is expected to have a large, covered outdoor patio area. [Washington Business Journal]
Milkshake Shipped from Cleveland for Cancer Patient — Using dry ice and overnight shipping, a popular Cleveland restaurant shipped one of its famous milkshakes to a terminal cancer patient in Arlington. A photo of the patient, Emily Pomeranz, enjoying the shake in her hospice room has gone viral. [Facebook, Fox 8 Cleveland]
Street Work Schedule — Arlington County will be performing micro-sealing work on a number of streets this month as part of its preventive maintenance program. Among the roads with planned nighttime closures: Shirlington Road, Washington Blvd, N. George Mason Drive, N. Pershing Drive, S. Arlington Ridge Road and Army Navy Drive. [Arlington County]
Arlington Had a Little Italy — Arlington County once had its own Little Italy, a “makeshift village occupied by Italian quarrymen and their families on the banks of the Potomac, accessible only by footpath.” The former quarry site is located along the Potomac Heritage Trail, according to an article posted earlier this summer on WETA’s Boundary Stones local history blog. [WETA]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
Greens Endorse McCullough — The Arlington Green Party is backing Charles McCullough, an attorney who lives in Nauck, in his run for Arlington County Board. McCullough is “a young progressive who will bring new ideas” to county government, said Green Party head John Reeder. [InsideNova]
Arlington Cops Jump Rope with Kids — The Arlington County Police Department’s Twitter account posted photos of police officers hula hooping and jumping rope with kids at the Gates of Ballston affordable housing complex yesterday. [Twitter]
Rosslyn BID Helped to Woo Nestle — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District played a significant role in helping to convince Nestle to move its U.S. headquarters to Rosslyn. In a bit of a departure from typical functions of a business improvement district, the BID “helped coordinate a series of neighborhood tours for Nestle employees weighing whether to move east with their jobs, showcasing the various restaurants and shops in Rosslyn, brokering discounts and exclusives to local restaurants and playing the overall role of ambassador.” [Washington Business Journal]
County Touts State Dept. Lease — “The federal government’s decision to keep its State Department offices in Rosslyn for another 15 years and create a mini campus there is the latest win for what has been an exciting 2017 for Rosslyn and all of Arlington’s business community,” Arlington County said in a press release. “The State Department, long a fixture of Rosslyn’s economic footprint, is keeping its 280,000 square feet in its existing Fort Myer Drive building, and adding 60,000 square feet of space next door at 1200 Wilson Blvd., which it will share with one of its contractors already in that building.” [Arlington County]
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]
Units from the Arlington County Fire Department responded to the scene under Rosslyn Gateway Park with Virginia State Police just after 3:30 p.m after reports of the crash.
Three patients were transported to the hospital with injuries, according to scanner traffic.
Officers and crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation blocked all lanes of westbound I-66 and diverted traffic in the area onto Lee Highway. Delays are likely to continue into the evening rush hour, although police said they will look to reopen one westbound lane soon.
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) July 14, 2017
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on scene at the Rosslyn Metro station, investigating a reported track fire between Rosslyn and Courthouse.
No smoke or fire has so far been found in any of the tunnels. However, Metro is warning of delays on the Orange and Silver lines as a result of single-tracking through Rosslyn.
Traffic impacts are likely outside of the Rosslyn station due to a large number of fire department vehicles. As of 11:30 a.m., most fire personnel were starting to clear the scene, reporting that the problem is a Metro maintenance issue and not an active fire.
Orange Line: Trains are single tracking btwn Foggy Bottom and Clarendon due to a track problem outside Rosslyn. Delays in both directions.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) July 14, 2017
11:06A SV/Wiehle offloading @ Foggy Bottom to perform a track inspection after report of a possible track issue ahead. #wmata ^SR
— Rail Transit OPS (@RailTransitOPS) July 14, 2017
(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) A march from the National Rifle Association in Fairfax to the Dept. of Justice in D.C. is expected to make its way through Arlington tonight.
A rally for the Women’s March from #NRA2DOJ got underway Friday morning outside of NRA headquarters and around 11:30 a.m. marchers embarked on their 18 mile journey. The march is intended to “denounce the false and intimidating rhetoric of the NRA and send a clear message that our movement will proudly and bravely continue to strive for the respect of the civil and human rights of all people.”
The march is expected to reach Arlington in the late afternoon or early evening. It will head down Lee Highway before entering the District via Rosslyn and the Key Bridge.
While road closures are planned in D.C., police say that none are planned in Arlington, as marchers are expected to stay on sidewalks.
“Arlington County Police will be on scene and will monitor for any impacts,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
The county’s Office of Emergency Management, however, said “there is a potential for traffic disruption” along the march route so drivers should “consider alternate routes.”
There are no planned road closures in Arlington County. It is anticipated that the march will remain on sidewalks until it reaches District.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) July 14, 2017
Photo (top) via Twitter
(Updated 12.55 p.m.) Residents in North Rosslyn have been without water since yesterday (Monday) afternoon after a water main break on N. Scott Street.
Crews from Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services have been making emergency repairs since last night at 1815 N. Scott Street.
(1/2) Emergency water repairs are taking place at 1815 N Scott St. The water service for approximately 50-100 customers will be affected.
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) July 11, 2017
Hi, Thanks for the message. Repairs are expected to be completed by 3 pm. We'll be sure to update if this changes.
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) July 11, 2017
A department spokesman said they expect work to be complete and water service restored by 3 p.m. Tuesday, and that the service for 50-100 people has been affected. A traffic detour has been in place in the area, with N. Scott Street closed, including its sidewalks.
The spokesman said a contractor installing a cable drilled through a 16-inch water pipe.
In a post on the North Rosslyn Civic Association’s online forum, local resident Paul Derby said the break came after contractors for Comcast installing fiber in the neighborhood accidentally drilled through the water main.
“Hopefully, Comcast will fully reimburse Arlington County for the cost of these repairs,” Derby wrote. “One wonders how a piece of underground infrastructure as large as this water main could be missed or wrongly interpreted when the utility markings were done.”
Photo No. 1 via Twitter user @lizvanwazer
A plan to reconfigure the shopping mall above the Rosslyn Metro station could bring more retail space and add a public plaza on its second level, but its approval is in doubt.
The proposal would add more than 17,000 square feet of additional space for retail at the three-story Rosslyn Metro Center, and redevelop its outside into a four-story building with a public plaza on the second level.
The mall and adjoining office building had been slated for a new 25-story tower directly above the Metro station, but the site plan amendment allowing the plan expired in 2007 before anything was built.
In a report recommending the Arlington County Board deny the project at its meeting Saturday (July 15), county staff said the plaza would “hinder achievement” of the plan to make 18th Street N. a new pedestrian priority corridor known as the 18th Street Corridor. The corridor would extend east to N. Arlington Ridge Road and have a pedestrian-only stretch to replace Rosslyn’s skywalk system.
Staff said the plaza and ground-floor retail would make it harder to access the Metro station from N. Moore Street, and that the extra retail space does not comply with the area’s current zoning. Staff also said the plaza’s 10-foot walkway, while allowing public access, is not wide enough and would create “narrowness and tunnel conditions.”
“The proposal will adversely impact access to Metro by increasing congestion at the North Moore Street frontage,” the report says.
Staff added that it does not conform with the Rosslyn Sector Plan‘s vision for the design and programming an open-air Metro station plaza after the site’s redevelopment.
“The proposed plaza width (approximately 60 feet on the North Moore Street side and approximately 20 feet on the North Fort Myer Drive side) and building mass proposed above the plaza will restrict connectivity and visibility along the 18th Street Corridor,” the report reads. “The plaza’s narrowness and tunnel conditions through the proposed building mass conflict with the Plan’s vision of a linear system of connected public spaces.”
Staff noted that the office building is “near fully leased for the medium term,” and that a timeline on any future development is uncertain.
Images via Arlington County
Construction crews have moved in and are well on the way to demolishing the former Wilson School in Rosslyn to make way for the future H-B Woodlawn and Stratford programs.
As of Thursday, very few walls from the school at 1601 Wilson Blvd were remaining, with piles of rubble, metal and bricks piling up as workers continue to clear the site. Construction on the new $100 million building is set to start later this year.
The new structure is scheduled to open in fall 2019 and house 775 students across both programs. The Stratford Program will have the majority of the space of the lowest level, while H-B Woodlawn will have classrooms on the first through fifth floors. There will be shared spaces throughout the building, with outdoor terraces allowing open space for recreation and learning.
The former Wilson School had been recommended for designation as a historic district, but that request was denied by the Arlington County Board in 2015. Instead, the Board directed Arlington Public Schools to incorporate pieces of the old building into the new school.
Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4
(Updated 2 p.m.) Some changes are coming to several Metrobus routes through Arlington County next year, as the county prepares for the Columbia Pike “Premium Transit Network.”
At a work session with the Arlington County Board on Thursday, county staff put forward a plan that would end seven lines that run through Arlington in FY 2019, which begins on July 1, 2018, and save the county $5.8 million:
- The 4A between Seven Corners and Rosslyn
- The 16B, E and P along Columbia Pike
- The 16G, H, K along Columbia Pike
A spokesman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said the changes along the Pike would help make way for the so-called “Premium Transit Network,” which is projected to cost $6.9 million and launch next summer after delays. The various routes would be consolidated under that network, which the spokesman said would “result in more bus service in the county, not less.”
The new bus system was put together after the Columbia Pike Streetcar project was cancelled in 2014, with Board members at the time promising a system that would be just as good, if not better.
To try and lessen the impact of the service cuts, staff proposed improving the frequency and hours of the 4B that largely overlaps the 4A, and similar efforts for the 16A on Columbia Pike. Those improvements would cost just under $850,000.
The 4B would then be discontinued as a Metrobus route in FY 2020, saving the county $1.7 million, and made an ART route.
The 16X service from Columbia Pike to Federal Triangle in D.C. via the Pentagon would have its hours improved, at a cost of $3.2 million to county coffers. The 15K and 15L routes between the East Falls Church and Rosslyn Metro stations would also be realigned.
All told, the various service reductions and increases will cost the county just over $2.6 million more in its Metrobus subsidy, bringing that figure to $40.5 million in FY 2019.
The possibility also exists that the 22A, B and C routes through Barcroft and South Fairlington could be converted into locally-run ART routes. That would save $2.4 million in the county’s Metrobus subsidy, but would require funds to be made available through ART instead.
Cuts had been planned for FY 2018 under the county’s Transit Development Plan approved last year, but were pushed off to FY 2019. The county did not cut any Metrobus routes for FY 2018, and improved the frequency of the 2A route between the Ballston and Dunn Loring Metro stations.
That came in part due to funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s “Transform 66” project to widen I-66 from the Dulles Connector Road to the Fairfax Drive exit in Ballston.
Metro staff will analyze the actual costs and savings from the various changes, and bring forward a proposal to the agency’s board of directors. The board would then take public comment on any proposed changes region-wide before making a decision next year.
Image via county staff presentation
Rosslyn’s new Sweetgreen will open its doors on the ground floor of the Central Place apartment tower next week.
The D.C.-founded salad purveyor will be fully open for customers on July 11 at 1800 N. Lynn Street, after staff training and a soft opening in the days before.
A spokeswoman for the Rosslyn Business Improvement District said that new employees are being trained on making Sweetgreen’s various salads, then donating them to the homeless. Local advocacy group A-SPAN and D.C. Central Kitchen across the Potomac River will receive the prepared salads.
For the soft opening, customers can receive free lunch or dinner at an RSVP-only event, while on Monday, July 10, Sweetgreen will host a free lunch in honor of Neighborhood Day, another RSVP-only event.
All proceeds from the eatery’s official launch on Tuesday will be donated to Dreaming Out Loud, a local nonprofit that looks to build healthy, equitable food systems.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
A new startup offering free pick-ups and drop-offs in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in its electric cars has gotten quite a bit of attention just weeks after launch.
Sprynt can be downloaded for iOS and works similarly to other ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. Users enter their current location, destination and the number of passengers, then request a ride. They are then told their driver’s name and an estimated time of arrival.
“I came up with something that was a short, quick hop in between point A and point B,” said Alex Villanueva, the 26-year-old founder, about the company’s name.
Sprynt launched on June 21 and currently has four cars, with a fifth on the way. Within five days, the app had over 700 downloads.
“In order for the concept to work you need a special area where it’s densely populated and people all live, work and play within a couple of square miles,” Villanueva said.
“It’s a too far to walk but too close to drive little niche, where you still need perhaps Uber or Lyft, or the Metro or the bus, to get anywhere else outside of our service area, ” Villanueva said.
He explained people may want to take his service if it’s a hot, cold or rainy day, if they don’t feel like walking or if they want to drink wherever they are going. Some of Sprynt’s customers are already regulars and use the service to commute.
“It’s really meant to be this gimmick-free [service],” said Villanueva. “I’ve been telling riders, ‘When I drop you off my goal is for you to feel it’s too good to be true.'”
The business is able to provide free rides thanks to its advertisers. Villanueva said that the likes of Don Tito, Tupelo Honey Café, Ten at Clarendon and Miriam’s Kitchen have already partnered with Sprynt.
“By sponsoring the service and by advertising through our advertising platforms, these companies are able to build goodwill while at the same time still promoting the products and services they were going to anyway,” Villanueva said.
There are three different ways businesses can advertise. The first option is to promote their companies on the two 12.9-inch interactive iPads placed in the cars. A restaurant might put its menu on the i-Pad or a company might include a job posting.
The iPad option is the cheapest option because people can only see the ads if they are physically inside the cars, interacting with the devices. Villanueva said he hopes to increase activity on the iPads by creating a Photo Booth feature.
“[This is a] way to make sure that the advertising is not a distraction from the rider’s experience but rather, is a part of it,” Villanueva said.
A new beer garden in Rosslyn will open tomorrow afternoon, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday celebrations.
The Continental Beer Garden at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive will open to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Its regular hours will be 3:30-11 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. It will have space to seat 180 people: 150 outside and 30 inside.
Also outside are two full-sized bocce courts, with picnic tables and other seating dotted around the space. Work included a full renovation of the former service station located under the office building.
As of Thursday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the outdoor seating area and bringing in barrels of beer and other drinks.
Beers from Virginia and Germany will be served by the pint or pitcher, while wine can be ordered by glass or carafe from kegs. A slushy machine will also be among the drink offerings.
On the food menu is a selection of sausages including bratwurst with sauerkraut and a classic D.C. halfsmoke with grilled onions and cheese. There will also be other snacks, entree salads, a selection of skewers served over basil quinoa salad and hot sandwiches like grilled cheese and pulled pork.
The beer garden is owned by Curt Large, who also owns the nearby Continental Pool Lounge. The project received support from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and landlord JBG.