Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Reminder: Tap Water Change Today — “The District of Columbia, Arlington County and northeastern Fairfax County will clean out their tap water network starting Monday — a safe, annual process. Service continues uninterrupted during the process, which runs from March 30 through May 4. During that time, drinking water in the may taste slightly different. But the purification process remains unchanged and the water is essentially unchanged.” [ARLnow]

Jail Takes Extra Precautions — “We have created a unit that is strictly for all new individuals that are committed to the jail. These individuals are ‘quarantined’ from the rest of the population for an initial 14 days and checked daily by our Medical Staff. With the Detention Center population being low, we were able to move inmates around, creating the safest environment for those individuals that have been remanded to our custody and for new individuals entering the facility.” [Arlington County]

Human Services from a Distance — “Arlington’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is taking steps to provide services that don’t require in-person visits in an effort to contribute to the community slowdown of the spread of COVID-19.” [Arlington County]

Post Editorial Assails Arlington Judges — “Parisa Dehghani-Tafti last fall ran for commonwealth’s attorney on a promise of criminal justice reform, and voters in Arlington County and Falls Church chose her — and that platform — over the longtime, tough-on-crime incumbent. Now her efforts to deliver on her promise of progressive justice have run into opposition from judges who have taken highly unusual — and some say inappropriate — steps to undermine her discretion as the jurisdiction’s top elected prosecutor.” [Washington Post]

Shirlington Circle Closure in Place — “The northern section of the Shirlington Circle bridge over the general purpose and express lanes on I-395 will close from 10 p.m., Sunday, March 29 until midnight, Wednesday night, April 1… Travelers driving north on the I-395 general purpose lanes will not be able to access Shirlington from Exit 6.” [Press Release]

New Cap Gets Arlington Orientation — “When trying to adjust to life in a new city, it can be nice to have a familiar face around to help you. That’s exactly what Brenden Dillon had after he was traded to the Capitals in Joel Ward… Dillon and Ward were teammates in San Jose for three seasons from 2015 to 2018. Dillon credited Ward for helping him get acclimated to Arlington, Va. and the Washington area.” [NBC Sports Washington]

Tree Advocates Worry About Fate of Big Oak — “In the latest in Arlington’s tree wars, homeowners at 5920 N. 35th St. joined with passionate volunteers from the Arlington Tree Action Group to sound alarms over the threat to a towering water oak outside their home of 28 years, which might soon be a tear-down… The owners believe it is Arlington’s tallest outside the national cemetery.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Progress is being made on an expansion plan for public broadcaster WETA’s Shirlington offices.

The plan is to construct a four-story addition between the existing office building, at 3939 Campbell Avenue, and its above-ground parking garage. The 17,000 square foot addition would then house the WETA studios — and the approximately 130 employees, according to county documents — that produce the national PBS NewsHour broadcast.

The current NewsHour studios, on 27th Street S. near the Weenie Beanie, are set to be sold to Arlington County and eventually torn down to expand the soon-to-be-renovated Jennie Dean Park.

Arlington County is expected to pay WETA $8 million for the property while also providing economic development incentives for the broadcaster to stay in Arlington and expand its offices, the Washington Business Journal reported in December.

“The goal is to bring the Purchase and Sale Agreement for the WETA Studio property, and the Economic Development Incentives agreement between WETA and the County, to the Board concurrently,” a county spokeswoman told ARLnow this afternoon. “We anticipate these items will go the County Board this spring — April or shortly after.”

The site plan amendment for the WETA expansion is set to be discussed by Arlington’s Site Plan Review Committee on Monday. Public hearings and County Board consideration is expected later this spring, “shortly after the two aforementioned agreements are approved,” the spokeswoman said.

Photo (2) via Google Maps

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Game of Thrones may not be coming back this spring, but a Shirlington bar is giving locals a last chance to use their Westeros trivia before purging the final few seasons from memory.

On Friday, Feb. 28, fans of the HBO series can test their trivia against others at Dudley’s Sport and Ale (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive) from 7-9:30 in a tournament sponsored by Pour House Trivia.

The event is listed at “ticketed” but the tickets are free reservations available online. According to an event posting:

Teams can be from 1 to 7 people. One ticket per team. So just one person from each team needs to get a ticket for your team.

Due to the popularity of this event — it is a ticketed event with reserve seating.

The event page noted that teams must be checked in no later than 6:45 p.m.

It isn’t the first Game of Thrones event at the bar, which according to the Facebook page hosted watch parties for the episodes.

Photo via Dudley’s Sport and Ale/Facebook

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Arlington County Police say they’ve made an arrest following a convenience store robbery in the Shirlington area.

The 7-Eleven store on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street, just down the hill from the Fairlington neighborhood, was robbed around 6 a.m. on Saturday. Feb. 15. Police say a man paid for some merchandise, but then hopped the counter, assaulted the clerk and stole cash.

An officer recognized the suspect from a surveillance image and he was arrested Monday afternoon at a residential address in Fairlington, less than a mile from the store, according to ACPD.

More from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is announcing the arrest of a suspect wanted for robbery of a convenience store in the Shirlington neighborhood. Michael Sheffey, 59, of Arlington, VA, has been charged with Robbery and is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 5:48 a.m. on February 15, police were dispatched to the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street for the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered the business, selected merchandise, approached the register and provided the employee with cash. Once the register was open, the suspect struck the employee, jumped over the counter and stole cash before fleeing the scene prior to police arrival. The employee did not require medical attention.

After reviewing surveillance images captured in the case, a patrol officer provided a possible identification of the suspect based on a prior interaction. Utilizing additional investigative resources, detectives confirmed the suspect’s identity and sought the criminal warrant. He was taken into custody without incident in the 4900 block of 29th Road S. on the afternoon of February 24, 2020.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective R. Ortiz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-7402 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

NPS Seeking Funds for GW Parkway Upgrades — “[National Park Service] officials are pursuing funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program to support the [GW Parkway’s] North Section Rehabilitation Program. That program will rebuild a 7.6-mile section of the parkway from Spout Run Parkway to Interstate 495, address serious deterioration of the roadway and implement significant safety improvements.” [InsideNova]

Update on Cupid the Cat — “‪We want to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated so far to Cupid’s recovery! We have been overwhelmed by all of your support, and are so grateful for your kindness and generosity. We’re happy to report that today Cupid is doing really well after his surgery yesterday! He has a good appetite, is getting lots of rest and just wants to spend as much time as possible snuggling with our staff.” [Facebook]

Shirlington Employment Center to Relocate — “Arlington County Board members later this month are slated to approve the move of the Shirlington Employment & Education Center (SEEC) into space at the Arlington Mill Community Center. The non-profit organization will occupy 845 square feet of space on the fourth floor at the center, located at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Dinwiddie Street. It currently occupies space in the Four Mile Run corridor.” [InsideNova]

Mother Climbs Mountain After Son’s Death — “After losing a teenage son, Henry, to leukemia, Arlington resident Heather Burneson had to take life one step at a time. She took that attitude to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa on ‘a healing trip,’ for her and several family members.” [Connection Newspapers]

Armed Man Protests at Del. Levine’s House — “A Republican official from Hopewell, Virginia drove to Alexandria this weekend for a small, armed protest outside Delegate Mark Levine’s home in Old Town.” The state lawmaker, who represents parts of Alexandria Arlington and Fairfax County, “said when he found out about the protest, he called the police.” [ALXnow]

Nearby: Local Sears Store Closing — “The Seven Corners Sears is closing April 12. There are deep discounts throughout the store. Signs in the store say all sales are final, no returns are allowed, and points may be redeemed on purchases.” [Annandale Blog]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

Today, the Keri Shull Team’s expert real estate agent Anshul Palli introduces you to Palette 22, a unique dining experiment in the Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington.

At Palette 22, the line between food and art is nearly non-existent. The entire restaurant is brimming with an atmosphere of creativity that serves only to heighten the dining experience, while providing a unique work environment for the artists who practice their craft while you eat. Located in a gorgeous, Art Deco-inspired building in Shirlington, Palette 22 is an art lover’s dream. Every surface is designed to display art, food, or both to the most rigorous standards of beauty; the restaurant is both the Palette and the canvas for artists to share their creations.

Anshul took the chance to speak with Tom Demott, the Director of Operations for Palette 22, as well as the Danny Ahn, the Sous Chef of the eatery. Here’s what they had to say about the food and atmosphere of Palette 22:

The Menu 

It’s impossible to separate artistry from the cuisine of Palette 22. Each of the dishes is served with an immaculate presentation designed to create a complete sensory experience unlike any other. The menu consists primarily of small plates inspired by cultures from around the world, often given a unique spin.

When we asked about his favorite dishes, Demott suggested the grilled octopus, served atop a bed of purple potato hash and slathered with Aji amarillo, a Peruvian yellow chile sauce. For drinks, he pointed out the aptly-named Art on the Froth, a delicious concoction of Hendricks gin, house-made blueberry cordial and egg white foam. The expert mixologists stamp a custom decal into the foam, so even your cocktail is a work of art for all your senses.

Other menu favorites include the Bulgogi Beef, Korean-inspired slabs of beef served with gochujang chili paste and pickled vegetables. This mouth-watering dish perfectly balances sweetness, spice and umami to create an unbelievably delicious harmony of flavors.

The Atmosphere 

The first thing that you’ll notice about Palette 22, before you even cross the threshold, is the building itself — because the artistic focus of Palette 22 is apparent from the architecture alone. Located in The Village at Shirlington, the restaurant has distinctly Art Deco bones, updated with mid-century aesthetic finishes and stark industrial elements. KGA-Studio (formerly Beckmann Architects) crafted the interior to feature lots of clean lines and simple materials, turning the inside of Palette 22 into a blank canvas for the in-house artists.

It is these artists who most effectively set Palette 22 apart from any other culinary experience in the D.C. area. The restaurant features a unique Artist-in-Residence program, through which local artists get the opportunity to share their craft with guests. Rather than simply displaying final products, however, the artists at Palette 22 turn the eatery into a studio space, blurring the line between visual art and performance. With this unique program, the resident artists get the chance to personally engage with restaurant patrons while flexing their creativity, exposing their talents to the widest possible audience.

The Verdict

If you are looking for a new height of creativity in your dining experience, look no further than Palette 22, an artistic gem in the heart of Shirlington. Between the all-you-can-eat, globally-inspired food, the handcrafted artisanal cocktails, and the unbeatable atmosphere of creativity and artistic creation, Palette 22 offers a unique dining experience that will leave you ready to come back for seconds.

Make sure to check out the rest of our Neighborhood Spotlights — and let us know in the comments where we should check out next!

Do you want to live in Shirlington, or any of the other unique neighborhoods in the D.C. area? The dedicated experts of the Keri Shull Team are standing by to help!

We have the knowledge that you need to find and win your dream home — contact us today to learn more about how we can help! Just click here to get started.

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Arlington could finally make progress on a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Four Mile Run near Shirlington that’s been under discussion for nearly two decades, according to county staff.

Staff told the Transportation Commission at a Jan. 9 meeting that the current bridge, which carries two lanes of vehicular traffic in each direction on Shirlington Road, has inadequate bicycle-pedestrian facilities, with only a 3-5 foot sidewalk available.

Pedestrian access on Shirlington Road has been a thorn in the county’s side for years, with efforts made in the past to widen nearby sidewalks and make them more pedestrian-friendly — while the bridge bottleneck remained.

The bridge itself is still in good condition, staff said, so rather than reconstruct the bridge staff said a new bicycle and pedestrian-only bridge constructed 20 feet to the west would provide an alternative transit route without cutting into traffic on the Shirlington bridge.

The project, staff noted, has already been fully funded in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan, but not plans have moved forward.

An open house for the pedestrian bridge project is scheduled for Feb. 11 from 6-8 p.m., in which nearby civic associations will be invited, though the location of the open house was not announced. Staff said renderings for the bridge will be available at the open house.

“We are starting to implement what came out of the Four Mile Run area plan,” staff said.

The Four Mile Run plan also considered a, underpass running beneath the bridge, negating the need for cyclists and other trail users to cross busy Shirlington Road, though that was not discussed at the Transportation Commission meeting. Arlington County is currently working on a $15.5 million renovation project for Jennie Dean Park, adjacent to the future bridge.

Photo via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are investigating another series of vehicle break-ins.

In the latest incident, about 10 cars had windows smashed and airbags stolen in parts of south Arlington. The thefts were reported in the Columbia Forest and Shirlington areas early Saturday morning.

Police say they don’t have a suspect description and are continuing to investigate.

Vehicle break-ins have seemingly become a regular occurance in Arlington. Last week, the police department’s crime reports detailed more than 17 vehicles being broken into and at least one stolen, mostly in overnight crime sprees. On local listservs and in an email sent by a victim to ARLnow, some reported their vehicles being broken into via electronic means.

Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said police are taking a number of steps in response, but still need the public’s help.

“ACPD officers proactively patrol Arlington’s neighborhoods to identify and prevent criminal activity,” Savage told ARLnow. “The department’s efforts are enhanced by the active involvement of residents. Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to police for investigation by calling 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.”

“We also encourage residents to reduce the opportunity for crime by participating in the 9 P.M. Routine,” Savage added, referring to the department’s campaign to remind residents to lock their doors and remove valuables from their cars.

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Shirlington restaurant Aroma Indian Cuisine is planning to reopen later this month, immediately adjacent to the carved-out husk of its old space.

The new Aroma at 4044 Campbell Avenue — where Hula Girl Bar and Grill was until it closed in September — is nearly complete, manager Jose Rios told ARLnow. Rios said the plan is for the restaurant to open sometime around Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The new bar will have a totally different alcohol setup, with a full counter for seating, Rios said, and a few new dishes are being added to the menu, though that hasn’t been finalized yet.

Aroma was one of several restaurants on the corner of Campbell Avenue and S. Randolph Street that moved or closed to make way for a new CVS. Ping by Charlie Chiang’s, the restaurant on the corner, closed in 2018 while Cheesetique moved to a larger location down the block at 4024 Campbell Avenue.

Construction is still underway inside the 10,906 square-foot space, but Rios said the CVS is scheduled to open sometime this spring.

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The holiday season can be quite stressful — but even more so when you’re a bird of prey who accidentally flies into an Arlington Public Schools operations building and can’t get out.

That happened this past Monday, at the county and APS yard on S. Taylor Street in Shirlington, but luckily Arlington County Natural Resources Manager Alonso Abugattas was on the case.

APS staff member Lauren Hassel said staffers heading out of the building that day heard banging coming from a covered, outdoor stairwell window, where the bird was seen seen frantically trying to fly out.

“Our building is about 200 yards from the Animal Welfare League but they were closed,” Hassel recounted. “A call to nearby Long Branch Nature Center led to a referral to our next door neighbors at the Dept of Parks and Recreation. Minutes later… Abugattas appeared with heavy gloves and a blanket. He spotted the bird through the window, put on his gloves, walked up the stairs and calmly retrieved the stressed out raptor.”

The county naturalist told a gathered crowd that the bird was a Cooper’s Hawk, and that it appeared to be unharmed. After a few photos, Abugattas unwrapped the bird and it flew off.

“Alonso is the ultimate wingman,” said Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services on Twitter.

According to National Geographic, the population of Cooper’s Hawks is increasing on the East Coast, especially in suburban areas.

Photo provided by Lauren Hassel 

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If fighting horrific traffic and crowds to see the National Christmas Tree Lighting tonight in D.C. isn’t your thing, there’s an Arlington alternative to consider.

The Village at Shirlington will be hosting its annual Light Up the Village event tonight, from 6-8:30 p.m. along Campbell Avenue.

The event will feature a tree lighting hosted by NBC 4’s Adam Tuss. Also on the agenda: “holiday musical performances by Signature Theatre and Bishop O’Connell High School, plus horse and carriage rides with a donation to Arlington Food Assistance Center, photos with Santa, merchant specials, and so much more.”

The schedule is as follows:

  • 6 p.m. — Musical performance by Signature Theatre’s cast of Motown Christmas
  • 6:30 p.m. — Tree lighting hosted by Adam Tuss
  • 6:40 p.m. — Horse and carriage rides
  • 7 p.m.    Photos with Santa (located inside Hardwood Artisans)

The event will also necessitate a number of road closures and parking restrictions. From Arlington County Police:

The annual Light Up the Village at Shirlington is being held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 6:00 PM until 8:30 PM.  Set up will begin at approximately 12:00 PM and cleanup should be completed by 9:00 PM.

The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways to all vehicular traffic to accommodate the event:

  • Campbell Avenue, from the Harris Teeter to S. Randolph Street — closed beginning at 12 PM
  • Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street — closed beginning at 4 PM
  • S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind the businesses on the south side of Campbell Avenue — closed beginning at 4 PM

Additionally, vehicles will not be allowed to enter or exit the covered Harris Teeter parking structure onto Campbell Ave after 4 PM. Harris Teeter customers can access the parking garage via the alternate entrance behind the store.

Traffic is expected to be impacted in and around the immediate area. Motorists are advised to allot extra travel time and seek alternate routes to reduce road congestion. Attendees are encouraged to utilize multimodal and public transportation options to reduce vehicular congestion.

Street parking in the area will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

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