Polling Place Changes in the Works — Thanks to population growth, Arlington may be adding new polling places in Clarendon and Pentagon City areas. A number of other polling place changes have also been proposed following the Nov. 8 election. [InsideNova]
A Tale of Two Bishops — The Diocese of Arlington’s retiring bishop, Paul Loverde, prioritized parishioners on the periphery, posits a profile. His incoming successor, Michael Burbidge, “hopes to heal division in society.” Burbidge is set to be installed today at a mass at Arlington’s St. Thomas More Cathedral. [Angelus News, Crux]
Shirlington Light-Up Night Cancelled — After being postponed last week, the Shirlington holiday light-up event rescheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to rain. [Facebook]
A Burial at Arlington — Arlington National Cemetery conducts nearly 7,000 burials per year. The recent burial of a Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, was especially heart-wrenching. McEnroe, 30, was one of three Green Berets killed in a shooting outside an air base in Jordan, where they were reportedly training moderate Syrian rebels. [Stars and Stripes]
It’s going down on Tuesday, Dec. 13, kicking off a seven-week run that will stretch through Jan. 29. The ambitious production features “a cast, crew and orchestra of more than 50 artists and an inventive new 360 degree staging in Signature Theatre’s intimate 330 seat MAX Theatre,” according to a press release.
Signature’s Artistic Director, Eric Schaeffer, promises a first-class experience.
“I’ve always loved the musical Titanic and I have felt that Signature should reinvent this musical for our audiences in an exciting new way,” said Schaeffer, in a statement. “Audiences will feel they are aboard this ‘ship of dreams’ surrounded by Maury Yeston’s beautifully haunting score. It truly will be the musical event of the season in Washington and an experience like none other.”
The epic disaster tale comes at a busy time in the Washington area — it will overlap with Christmas, New Year’s, president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and possibly a Redskins playoff run.
Those who want to get on board for the musical performance will need to take the plunge to the tune of $40 to $109 per ticket.
The full press release about “Titanic” and its casting is below.
Arcland Property Company, which owns a swath of industrial land near Shirlington, wants to swap those 3.5 acres for 2.3 acres of the 6.1 acre “Buck property” site across from W-L, which the county has an option to purchase for $30 million.
Arlington, which is already leasing a portion of the Shirlington property for parking, would get an even larger piece of property for its expanding ART bus fleet — it’s expected to grow from 65 to 90 vehicles by 2020 — and would save $4 million in lease payments.
Arcland would get the piece of the Buck property closest to N. Quincy Street, in the Virginia Square area, and would use it for a six-story, 150,000 square foot self-storage facility. (The company also developed the CubeSmart storage facility, which is located adjacent to I-395, next to the land it proposes to swap.)
Neighbors might object to the facility — they objected to a county proposal to use the Buck property for school bus parking — but the property is zoned for light industrial use and the facility could be built by right. The county says it will require tasteful building design as part of a deal.
“The land exchange agreement, if reached, would require high quality architecture from Arcland compatible with the surrounding neighborhood,” the county said in a press release. “The proposed facility must also comply with M-1 (light industrial) zoning regulations including set back and height restrictions, as would any use the County makes of the Shirlington site.”
Arcland only expects to use 1.2 acres of the Quincy Street property for the storage facility. The remaining 1.1 acres would be leased back to the county “at below market rate.”
“This is a rare opportunity for the County to secure land in Shirlington, zoned for light industrial use, that could accommodate our growing bus fleet,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “We have a critical need for support facilities, and must make smart, tough decisions about land to meet those needs. If the Board is interested in pursuing this proposal, I will work to shape an agreement with Arcland. I am confident that we can put facilities on these sites that will both serve our community’s needs and allow us to be a good neighbor.”
The deal will be discussed at next month’s Arlington County Board meeting. From the press release:
The proposed exchange, if approved, would take place after November 20, 2017, the date on which the County must exercise its option to purchase the N. Quincy Street site. The land exchange would involve no additional cost beyond the $30 million that the County has already agreed to pay for the N. Quincy Street site.
The Manager plans to seek the Board’s approval to pursue negotiations with Arcland at the Board’s December meeting. If the Board approves negotiations, any agreement that might be reached would come before the Board for consideration in 2017.
Update at 11 a.m. — Jim Todd, president of the Cherrydale Citizens Association, sent the following email to residents last night regarding the potential deal.
This is a complex issue and there are a lot of potential trade offs. On the plus side, the land swap would end the potential for the County to move the bus depot from Shirlington to the Buck property. But on the down side, it would also limit the County’s ability to use all of the Buck property for other, larger purposes (as the Buck property is also adjacent to Hayes Park, across the street from Washington-Lee High School, etc.).
This seems like its happening fast, but there is still plenty of time for us to better understand what’s going on, and to learn what other trade-offs and potential upsides and downsides there may be. I understand that the next step is for the County Board to talk about whether to further entertain this idea at its December 13 meeting. But I have been told that the Board will not be making a final decision at that meeting.
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.
Quinn’s on the Corner, a new bar at 1776 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is hoping to open next month, its owner tells ARLnow.com.
Billed as a neighborhood bar with an emphasis on sports and Belgian and Irish food and drink, Quinn’s is expected to open in “early December,” said Reese Gardner.
Much of the bar’s interior has taken shape and could be seen through an open door this afternoon.
Another bar under development by Gardner, Dudley’s Sport and Ale, is continuing to face regulatory hurdles. There’s still no word as to when Dudley’s might finally open in the former Bungalow Sports Grill space in Shirlington.
“I won’t know until exterior permit comments come back,” Gardner told us.
Gardner is the proprietor behind Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington.
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.
Sometimes business is booming, branding is on point and more customers pour in without prompting. Other times, a business might need an extra punch. That’s where Punch Digital Strategies comes in.
In the crowded field of digital marketing, the creative strategists at Punch aim to set themselves apart by offering clients the “whole package.” Co-Founder and Creative Director Joe DePalma explains that Punch is a boutique agency and competitors in that space often only focus on one thing, such as brand identity or development or design.
“The success stories we have had is when we started to merge the idea of strategy and content with design,” he says. “From a product delivery standpoint we have a unique approach to how we collaborate. Being in control of not only the content but also the design and development, every facet, makes the final project come to life.”
Co-Founder Brian Tillman adds that “clients are often good at knowing their technical content, but not marketing.” That creates a “mismatched user experience and message. We’re trying to fuse those two things,” he says.
The agency consists of writers, designers and developers who focus on producing digital elements — such as websites, mobile apps, videos and downloadable content — to create the “next generation” for each client’s brand identity and message. The digital aspect allows Punch to be browser-based both internally and while interacting with clients.
“Instead of the old way where you’d do a big reveal on a poster board and send versions back and forth and have long email chains where things get lost, we do things in a much more efficient way,” Tillman says. “For clients it’s a lot quicker, more collaborative and more involved. And it helps to reduce errors and miscommunication.”
Even though the business is mostly web-based, the co-founders think it’s important to also have an office presence where the employees can collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other in front of a white board, rather than all employees working remotely. “You’re going to get a better product and the client’s going to see value in that,” DePalma says.
Part of offering high-quality deliverables involves researching and incorporating the most up-to-date digital elements and new media. For example, Punch recently created a virtual reality video that users could access on their mobile phones and view through disposable cardboard VR goggles.
“As people consume things differently our tactical delivery will change,” Tillman says. “The medium is constantly evolving. We have to stay ahead of the curve.”
Plus, Tillman says, having a cache of tech and cybersecurity clients means constantly coming up with compelling ways to present dry material. For instance, the VR project was for a business that makes software, but “making software is boring,” he says. “We needed to figure out a really interesting and immersive and creative way to get people excited about it.”
Tillman and DePalma met while working at another agency and decided to break off to start their own business about two years ago. They now have a 10-person creative team and moved into an office in Shirlington earlier this year. Although launching a startup can be a daunting endeavor — especially because they chose to be self-funded — the Punch co-founders say it was worth taking the risk.
There’s a new sign at the Shirlington dog park that states what should have been obvious: that riding a bike or a scooter through an area where dogs are running around off leash is a bad idea.
“It’s been an ongoing issue that we hope the sign will rectify,” said Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish. “We’ve noticed that people are riding bikes and scooters down the paved trail in Shirlington dog park. The off leash dogs get excited and chase, creating an unsafe environment for both man and beast.”
“As there are loads of trails in Arlington for bikes, we are asking people not to bring their bikes and scooters into the park to reduce the risk to park-goers,” Kalish added. “This… is an example of our ongoing work with the community to make Arlington parks fun and safe for all.”
The sign asks that anyone who spots a violation of the rules call Arlington’s park rangers at 703-525-0618.
Medi, a fast-casual restaurant offering Mediterranean pitas, salads and rice bowls, has closed.
The restaurant, at 4037 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington, opened in 2012. It touted a variety of unique flavors and healthy food options, all customizable in a Chipotle-like counter service format.
A note on the door of the restaurant suggests that lease renewal negotiations with landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust failed and that another Medi location may eventually open elsewhere.
“We’ve loved making family and friends with all of you over the past 4 1/2 year, but as of October 30, Medi is closing its doors. Our lease will not be renewed,” the sign says. “Thank you so much for all your support… Our team will focus on our full service restaurant Delia’s as it expands. As well as our next Medi location.”
Luna Grill and Diner (4024 Campbell Ave) in Shirlington has been closed since last week, but there are no signs or announcements explaining the closure.
The restaurant remained closed during lunchtime today. Chairs were still placed atop tables and nothing looked amiss, save the fact that it wasn’t open as usual.
There were no signs in the window, nor recent social media posts on the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The Luna Grill website has a simple one-sentence line of text — “This site has been suspended” — and nothing else. The diner’s phone line has apparently been turned off.
Unconfirmed rumors suggest that Luna Grill was sold — it has been offered for sale, as we’ve previously reported — and that it would reopen later this year with a new owner.
“Luna is excited to have renowned Chef Scott Sunshine on board!” the post says. “Join Chef Scott Sunshine for a look at some of our new dishes: Roasted Duck Eggrolls, Watermelon Soup, Chard and Kale Caesar Salad, Crispy Red Curry Shrimp Wrap and Seared Scallop Pappardelle Pasta. Coming soon, [a] grand reopening with completely new exciting menu!”
Police were called around 4:30 p.m. for a man dressed like “Green Man” — a green full-body outfit that also covered his face — who was yelling and accosting people near the Shirlington Branch Library and the Harris Teeter grocery store.
Officers responded but were unable to find anything warranting criminal charges.
“Police were dispatched to the 4200 block of Campbell Ave at approximately 4:32 p.m. for the report of a suspicious man screaming profanities,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Police responded to the area and after investigation determined that no crime had occurred.”
Photo via Wikia
Capitol City Brewing Company’s annual Oktoberfest celebration will bring men in lederhosen and women in dirndls to the The Village at Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) on Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 7 p.m.
In addition to food, drinks and fun, the party will also bring road closures. The following roads will be closed to cars from about 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday:
- Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street
- S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind PING by Charlie Chang’s (roughly the 3000 block)
Street parking in the area will also be restricted during that time.
Then, next Sunday, Oct. 9, runners will pound pavement near the Pentagon as part of the 32nd annual Army Ten-Miler Race.
The following road closures will take effect when the race kicks off next week:
- Route 110 between Rosslyn and Crystal City will be closed in both directions at 5:00 a.m. till approximately 2:00 p.m. (Use the George Washington Memorial Parkway as an alternative)
- Eads Street from Army Navy Drive into the Pentagon/ northbound I-395 HOV lanes will be closed at 5:00 a.m.
- I-395 southbound HOV exit to S. Eads Street / Pentagon south parking lot will be closed at 5:00 a.m.
- I-395 HOV northbound from Crystal City to the 14th Street Bridge will be closed at 6:00 a.m.
Route 27 in both directions from George Washington Memorial Parkway to I-395 will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Army Navy Drive from S. Eads Street to S. 12th Street from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
12th Street from S. Eads Street to Long Bridge Drive from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Long Bridge Drive will be closed from S. 12th Street to Boundary Channel Drive from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
All roads closed by the marathon should be reopened by 12:30 p.m., except for Route 110, which will remain closed until approximately 2:00 p.m.
Capitol City Brewing Company is throwing its 17th annual Oktoberfest at The Village at Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) on Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 7 p.m.
Admission is $30, which gets festivalgoers who are at least 21 years old a glass and 10 tasting tickets. Extra tickets cost $1, with a five-ticket minimum. But non-drinkers can get in for free.
Capitol City, Mad Fox, Flying Dog and more than five dozen other breweries are expected to offer beer samples at the event. Patrons then can pair their lagers and ales with bratwurst, giant pretzels and other German food on sale during the festival, as they listen to bands play Bavarian tunes.
Beer taps are set to close at 6 p.m.
Photo via Capitol City Brewing Company
It’s been a busy summer for local restaurateur Reese Gardner.
Gardner has two new Arlington establishments in the works — Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington, which we first reported on in August 2015, and Quinn’s on the Corner, which we first learned about this past June, while lease negotiations were still reportedly in progress.
Despite Dudley’s nearly one year head start, it’s going to be Quinn’s, at 1776 Wilson Blvd, that opens first.
The neighborhood bar and restaurant, which will offer sports on the TVs and Irish and Belgian beers on draft, is aiming for a September opening, Gardner tells ARLnow.com. Work appeared to be in progress at the restaurant today.
Dudley’s, meanwhile, had been beset by permitting and regulatory delays stemming from its addition of a rooftop patio.
The county permit page for Dudley’s, at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, tells the tale of the tape — a solid column of rejected permit applications, with comments from county inspectors like:
- “This is not a tenant improvement. The conversion of the roof to a terrace with roofs over stairs, restrooms, and bar is an addition. Change permit information from CTBO to CADD or submit another permit for the addition.”
- “The drawings indicate that new storefront will be installed. However, no information is presented regarding the U-factor of the storefront system, the air infiltration rate of the storefront system or the SHGC of the glass used in the storefront system.”
- “Sheet E0002 includes motion sensor switches in the restrooms. It is unclear if these switches meet the requirements of section C405.2.2.2 of the 2012 VECC. In the resubmission, include a note on sheet E0002 that states that these motion sensors will shut off all non-emergency lighting within 30 minutes of all occupants leaving the space.”
Gardner, who in February said he was hoping to open Dudley’s in time for the beginning of the summer, did not provide an updated estimate on when it might open now. He said the process has been excruciating, ballooning in complexity as time has gone on.
“We actually had to divide the permit into and interior permit and exterior permit because of the rooftop and new facade,” Gardner said. “If you read they are also making us go through a special inspection process over and above the normal one.”
Though some improvements have been made in recent years, Arlington County has been criticized for having a permitting process that many business owners describe as unfriendly to smaller, brick-and-mortar businesses.
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Police say somebody walked past a car on the 4200 block of Campbell Avenue — the approximate location of the Shirlington parking garage — and noticed that the windows were down and two people were naked inside.
The witness found the scene to be suspicious and called police.
Officers arriving and found three people, all in their 20s, asleep in a Nissan sedan. A man, Kamal Ghammache-Mansour, and a woman, Natalie Nowel, were completely naked, according to a crime report. A third, Jaclyn Devino, was clothed.
Upon being woken up, the trio told police that they were on a “hippie trip” across the country and Arlington was one of their stops, a police spokeswoman said. The two who were naked said they removed their clothes because they were hot, according to the spokeswoman. (The temperature at the time was in the low-to-mid 80s.)
Ghammache-Mansour and Nowel were charged with indecent exposure. All three were charged with possession of marijuana.
According to a Google search and social media accounts, Ghammache-Mansour is a saxophonist and a member of a jazz-influenced hip hop group, Nowel is a freelance artist and Devino owns a “energy healing and coaching” business.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the three did not elaborate on what their “hippie trip” stop in Arlington entailed. She warned against sleeping in one’s car, especially while naked, noting that Arlington residents are “pretty observant” about out-of-the-ordinary activity.
From an ACPD crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 160731054, 4200 block of S. Campbell Avenue. At approximately 10:31 p.m. on July 31, officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. Upon officers arrival, they located three suspects asleep in the vehicle with two fully naked. Kamal Ghammache-Mansour, 26, of Albany CA, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and possession of marijuana. Natalie Nowel, 21, of Boston MA, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and possession of marijuana. Jaclyn Devino, 29, of Burlington VT, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
The outage was first reported around 2:30 p.m. Numerous traffic signals along Columbia Pike and Glebe Road, including the signal at the busy intersection of the Pike and Glebe, were reported to be dark, though most have since come back online.
The outage also briefly caused some issues at the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant along Glebe Road, according to scanner traffic.
The outage is currently affecting power customers in Fairlington, Shirlington and along portions of the Pike, according to a power outage map and social media reports. More than 100 customers are also said to be without power in Alexandria.