Bluemont to Vote on Safeway Development — Members of the Bluemont Civic Association will vote tonight on a proposed mix-use development on the current Safeway site. The development includes a new Safeway store and a 160-unit apartment complex. Many residents have expressed concerns about the height of the development, but Bluemont resident Ryan Arnold writes that “the character of a neighborhood is not defined by the height of its buildings, but by the spirit of its people.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Runner Raises Money for Boston Victims — Frank Fumich, a local runner, ran a 19 hour 38 minute triple marathon along the Mt. Vernon Trail over the weekend in order to raise money for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Fumich raised more than $33,000 with the 78.6 mile run. [Washington Post]
Bill Thomas Awards Presented — The annual Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Awards were presented at last night’s County Board meeting. This year’s winners are Steve Young, a “well-known figure for invasive plant removal at Long Branch Park,” and the Friend of the Gulf Branch Nature Center, a group that has fought the center’s closure and raised money for its operation. [Arlington County]
Chamber to Debut Business Blog — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce “is set to start an Internet blog” written by and about local business. The Sun Gazette reports: “All comments in response to specific articles will be moderated for content, so the Chamber blog does not spiral into the chaos of some online-news sites where anonymous cranks spew venom to little discernible purpose.” [Sun Gazette]
Katherine Heigl Tweets in Support of Moran — Actress Katherine Heigl has used her star power on Twitter to help promote a bill proposed by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). The bill would ban the use of gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals. “Please, please, please support Congressman Moran’s resolution,” the acress tweeted. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Eighty-two runners in the 2013 Boston Marathon listed their city of residence as Arlington, Va. Following today’s horrific bombing at the race’s finish line, we’re now starting to hear from some of those Arlington residents who ran the race and escaped the event unscathed.
Arlington resident Pam Howze traveled to Boston with her parents, husband (local political activist Alan Howze) and three children (ages 2, 5 and 7) for the race. Along with a cousin who lives in Boston, they were all at a “T” station about a half mile away from the finish line at the time of the blasts.
“We heard two explosions… we didn’t know what it was,” said Howze, 39, who finished the race with a time of 3:27. She crossed the finish line 30-45 minutes before the bombings.
“I’m happy we’re all safe,” she said. “I’m saddened for everyone who isn’t. It’s very upsetting.”
We asked Howze, who was reached via cell phone as the family drove back to Arlington, whether she would run the race again, in light of the bombing.
“Right now I’m not sure, but I probably would,” she said. “I don’t think I’d bring my whole family, though. ”
Some runners and loved ones of runners have taken to social media to say they’re okay.
“I finished at 3:37:39, and I was in the clothes-changing bus when we heard the two explosions and felt the shock waves,” said Jay Jacob Wind, 63, an Arlington Heights resident and prolific local marathon runner. “It was like 9-11, when the ground shook all the way from the Pentagon to my house three miles away. So I’m safe, but I’m saddened by this tragedy, and I share my sorrow with many millions of others.”
A full list of Arlington runners who registered for the race is available on Wind’s blog.
Taneen Carvell, an Arlington resident and training coach with Potomac River Running, “ran well and [is] safe,” according to the store’s Facebook page.
Reynolds Wilson, an Arlington resident and running enthusiast, crossed the finish line well before the bombings.
“He finished in 3:02 and unaware of the events until after the fact,” we’re told. “He and his family all okay.”
Among other local residents who ran the race are Cindy Walls, the cross country and track coach at Bishop O’Connell High School, and her daughter, Katie. In addition to being a coach, Cindy is also a grief counselor. Katie, who graduated from Bishop O’Connell in 2009, ran track in high school and college.
Neither woman finished the race, which was cut short by the bombings, but their 13 mile time, listed on the Boston Marathon website, suggests that it’s unlikely they would have been near the finish line at the time of the explosions. A school spokesman has not yet responded to an inquiry from ARLnow.com.
Update at 9:10 a.m. — Walls and her daughter were still running the course and did not even hear the blasts, but husband John Walls was across the street from one of the explosions and says he could “feel the heat and smell the sulphur,” according to the Sun Gazette.
Have you heard from an Arlington resident who ran the race or who was a spectator near the finish line? Email us at arlingtonnews [at] gmail.com or let us know in the comments.
On Thursday the store wrapped up a move from its former location at 3924 Wilson Blvd to the new location at 4501 N. Fairfax Drive. The new running store is located next to a FedEx office location, across from the Marymount University “Blue Goose” building at the corner of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road.
While the new store doesn’t have the surface parking lot of the former location, it is validating parking at the building’s underground garage off of N. Vermont Street.
Store co-owners Ray and Cathy Pugsley told us last month that the move was prompted in part by the former location’s lack of street visibility, concern that the single-story shopping center they used to be in would be redeveloped, and the new location’s better proximity to the Custis Trail.
(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The Potomac River Running store (PR) is leaving its Ballston location (3924 Wilson Blvd), but the store isn’t moving far. It’s heading to the other side of Ballston in the old Alliance Bank (4501 N. Fairfax Drive) space along Glebe Road.
Ray Pugsley and his wife Cathy own the family business along with Cathy’s sister, Margie Shapiro, and Margie’s husband, Brendan. Pugsley said a number of factors contributed to the couples’ decision to move.
First, PR currently rents from Freshbikes, and the lease is up at the end of January. Pugsley said because of the sublet situation, PR doesn’t have long term control over the space. The owners of PR had concerns about what ultimately would happen to the single-level building.
“All low buildings in Arlington become tall buildings, so there was uncertainty going forward what would happen to that spot,” said Pugsley. “There’s no plan, but given that other things were important to us, we figured we would not wait until the time when everyone had to get out because someone is building there.”
Pugsley said another factor that’s been nagging him for years is the inability for customers to see the store due to the county’s sign restrictions. The new location will allow for high visibility at the corner of N. Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road.
“We just had a lot of people who said, even years after we were open, ‘I didn’t even know you were there!'” said Pugsley. “The way sign laws are in Arlington, we didn’t have a sign that was visible from the road because of our location in the building. We were thinking where can we go for better visibility and this spot was open.”
The final element making the location ideal is its proximity to trails. PR offers various training programs and running groups which will benefit from being closer to trail entrances.
“We put a lot of emphasis on our training programs, especially for beginner to newer runners. Not having to run around city blocks is more attractive to someone who is just getting into running,” said Pugsley. “It’s got a lot of good options for folks who can’t run that far or haven’t built up their fitness yet. In the current location, by the time you get to a trail you have to turn around and come back.”
As far as parking concerns at the new, higher traffic location, the building offers parking in its underground garage. PR will validate on weekdays from 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. for half an hour, and for an hour after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends.
Although no definite moving date has been set yet, Potomac River Running will be in its new space by the end of January. There will be a grand re-opening at some point, but the owners haven’t decided if they would prefer to wait until the spring for better weather. The owners will send out a notice on social media before the current location closes, and they’ll try to do the entire move in one day.
“We’re excited about this location,” Pugsley said. “It’s a little bigger and we liked the idea of being closer to the trails. I really hope this conveys how much we’re looking forward to being in the new place.”
Arlington hosted the 37th Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, bringing tens of thousands of runners and spectators to the county.
The race kicked off just before 8:00 a.m. on Route 110, just before Memorial Bridge, and wound its way through Rosslyn, up Lee Highway, down the Spout Run Parkway, into the District (for about 16 of the 26.2 miles), through Crystal City and back to the Iwo Jima Memorial. A record 23,515 runners finished the race.
Photos from the race, below and above, were taken by ARLnow.com and by Flickr pool contributors Christaki, Sarahalow and Wolfkann. A press release with information on the top finishers and other details, after the jump.
Ragnar Relay Washington DC takes place Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, starting at Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland and ending at National Harbor in Maryland. Runners are expected to make their way into Arlington on Saturday morning.
After entering Arlington via Chain Bridge Road, runners will encounter a baton exchange point at Taylor Elementary School (2600 N. Stuart Street). They’ll continue along the Custis Trail until they reach the Key Bridge Marriott (1401 Lee Highway), which is another exchange point. The race continues south on the Mount Vernon Trail past Reagan National Airport, and then participants exit into Crystal City. The final baton exchange point in Arlington will be set up at the Crystal City Water Park on Crystal Drive. After that, the race heads back to the Mount Vernon Trail and south into Alexandria. The full course map and information about each leg of the race can be viewed online. The Arlington legs are 31-34.
Race organizers ask local residents to be extra cautious of the runners on the side of the road, especially because the relay requires them to race at all hours of the day, including at night. Those who are running in the dark will be wearing reflective clothing and headlamps.
Police say they will not be closing roads due to how long the race is and how spread out the runners are by the time they get to Arlington.
Klingler’s campaign has scheduled a series of morning jogs with the candidate. The jogs are open to anyone interested in learning more about Klingler, a trained emergency medical technician and a certified personal trainer.
“Arlingtonians can start their new year off right and join Kim for a morning jog and discussion about how Arlington is doing as a County and how we can improve,” the campaign said in a press release. “This is an opportunity for those on the go to meet Kim, run with a group, and get to know different neighborhoods in Arlington.”
Five runs are scheduled between Jan. 5 and Jan. 16, in advance of the Democratic caucuses on Jan. 19 and 21. The chosen Democratic nominee will compete in a special election on Tuesday, March 27. (See run schedule, after the jump.)
“Runs range in distance from 2 miles to 5 miles, and those of all paces are encouraged to join,” the campaign said. “In addition to these scheduled runs, Kim plans on joining established running groups for a run, time permitting, and also invites area runners to suggest other runs.”
Campaign photo via Facebook. Disclosure: Kim for Arlington is an ARLnow.com advertiser. Advertising on ARLnow.com is open to all political campaigns and does not influence news coverage.
While some have expressed concern over recent attacks on female joggers, the police department insists that “there has not been an increase in crimes against pedestrians.” Nonetheless, ACPD is advising joggers and pedestrians to follow the following safety tips.
- Run with others if possible
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Know what route you are traveling, especially if walking or running during the dark
- Do not listen to music or talk on the phone while jogging, you cannot hear other people approach you.
- Carry a cell phone with you. If you are assaulted, calling police immediately increases the chance the suspect will be apprehended.
- Listen to your instincts. If a passerby makes you feel uncomfortable, walk or run to a well-lit area.
“If anyone has been the victim of an assault while walking or jogging, and has not reported it, please call the Police Department Non-Emergency line at (703) 558-2222,” the department said in a press release.
Kathy Dalby, founder of the race organizing arm of Pacers Running Stores, says she’s noticing what may be an upward trend in female joggers being subject to assaults, inappropriate touching and other such attacks. Just this morning a female jogger was “mugged” in Rosslyn near Route 50, according to Dalby.
“As a running store, we are getting concerned about the number of attacks on women runners in Arlington,” she said.
The last such attack happened on Sept. 29, when a 37-year-old woman was knocked to the ground, kicked and touched in a sexual manner on Army Navy Drive in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood.
Dalby suggested that female runners protect themselves by finding a running group or by taking extra precautions when running alone.
“We advocate running with a group and not wearing headphones if by yourself,” she said.
Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal said she hasn’t noticed any pronounced increase in assaults or sexual batteries on female joggers. She said incidents of women being touched inappropriately while jogging usually go down during cold weather months.
Flickr pool photo by Picture Prefect
Teacher Diversity Lags in Arlington — While 28 percent of Arlington public school students are Hispanic, only 7 percent of APS teachers are Hispanic. The school system has been actively working to diversify its teacher pool, however. Over the past year, 14 percent of new teachers hired have been Hispanic. [Sun Gazette]
Jury Selection for Lululemon Murder Trial — Jury selection is beginning today in Maryland in the trial of Brittany Norwood, the woman charged in the murder of Rosslyn resident Jayna Murray. Murray was found bludgeoned to death inside a Lululemon Athletica store in Bethesda in March. [WJLA]
Wardian Strikes Again — Prolific marathoner and Arlington resident Michael Wardian has “obliterated” another record. He ran the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Ultramarathon in central Pennsylvania in 5 hours, 33 minutes and 47 seconds — beating the course record by nearly 10 minutes. [Centre Daily Times]
Photo courtesy Anonymous
The jogger, 37, was knocked to the ground, kicked several times and touched in a sexual manner, police say. She was taken to the hospital to treat her injuries.
The police department issued the following press release about the incident this afternoon.
The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that occurred this morning in the 2000 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 6:35 a.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2011, an unknown male attacked a female jogging down the sidewalk.
A 37 year-old female was running when an unknown male knocked her to the ground. He kicked her several times to immobilize her and touched her in a sexual manner against her will. The victim was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect is described as an African American male approximately 30-40 years old, 5’10” to 6’ tall with a medium build. He had several inches of hair growth on his head and was wearing a button-down light blue shirt, dark pants and dark shoes. This assault does not appear to be connected to any other incidents in the area and the investigation is on-going.
If anyone was in the area during this time and witnessed suspicious behavior, or the assault, they are asked contact Detective James Stone at (703) 228-4245. Det. Stone can also be contacted via e-mail at [email protected] Witnesses can also call the Arlington Police Tip-Line at (703) 228-4242.
Bomb Threat on DCA Flight — There were some tense moments at Reagan National Airport yesterday after a flight from Dayton, Ohio was sequestered and searched for explosives. Nothing was found, however. An individual who made a bomb threat at the Dayton airport ticket counter was taken into custody, the FBI said. [Bloomberg]
New Principals Named — Arlington Public Schools have named two new principals. Kenwyn Schaffner has been named the principal of Jamestown Elementary School and Bridget Loft has been named the principal of Swanson Middle School. “Ms. Loft was greeted by cheers and a standing ovation when she was introduced to the Swanson staff after the announcement of appointment,” an insider tells us. [Arlington Public Schools]
Rousselot Endorses Areizaga-Soto — Former Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Peter Rousselot has endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto in his primary battle against Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola for state Senate. [JaimeForSenate.com]
ART Drivers File Human Rights Complaint — Striking Arlington Transit bus drivers have filed a complaint with the Arlington Human Rights Commission, claiming “ongoing sexual harassment from county contractor Forsythe Transportation.” [Washington Examiner]
Jogging With Grassley — Part-time Arlington resident Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently went jogging through his neighborhood with 15 young constituents who were in town for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. [ECT.coop]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
If not, here’s an idea: The fourth annual Dash4Dad Four Mile Run and Walk is being held Sunday morning in Pentagon City, complete with entries for daddy-daughter and father-son teams.
The four mile race and one mile walk starts and finishes on S. Joyce Street, in front of the Pentagon Row shops. Proceeds will go to support prostate cancer awareness, outreach and research.
As part of the Father’s Day theme, runners are encouraged to put on a necktie at the one mile mark to “tie one on for dad.” Awards will be given to the fastest knot-tyers. Later, a post-race party will be held at the Champps sports bar in Pentagon Row.
Get more information or register for the race here.
Two Arlington athletes were among the top finishers at a grueling 50-mile endurance race over the weekend.
The GORE-TEX 50 Mile race, part of the North Face Endurance Challenge series, took runners on a long, rugged trail course spanning Algonkian Regional Park, Great Falls Park and the Potomac Heritage Trail.
Ragan Petrie of Arlington was the top female finisher, with a time of 7:33:59. She was 11th overall in the field of nearly 250. Arlington resident and distance running phenom Michael Wardian (pictured) placed third overall with a time of 6:03:14. Matt Woods of Falls Church placed first with a time of 5:59:07.
Petrie and Woods will receive a $1,000 prize and head to San Francisco in December to compete in the Endurance Challenge championship. (This weekend’s race was one of four regional races leading to the championship.)
Photo via Twitter
Every Friday in April, starting on April 1, Crystal Drive and Old Jefferson Davis Highway will be shut down between 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. to allow hundreds of runners to take a jog through the heart of Crystal City.
Registration for individual races is $20, while registration for the entire series of five races is $75.
The first three races will include a tie-in with Crystal City’s upcoming FLASH photography exhibit. Runners will get free admission and a free drink at an after-party held in the exhibit space, provided they remember to hang on to their racing bib.