Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

School Shuffle Blowback Starts — “Alicia Rich, president of Key’s PTA, said she has been fielding texts and messages over WhatsApp from parents and staff members worried about the prospect of moving. ‘This issue is so huge for us,’ Rich said.
School system officials said they ‘urgently need’ the Key building as a neighborhood school because of the lack of space for students.” [Washington Post]

Arlington Office Market Improving — Arlington County landing Amazon HQ2, a selection announced one year ago this month, has helped move its office market in the right direction after years of struggles. The office vacancy rate in National Landing, the newly branded area comprising the Crystal City and Pentagon City neighborhoods, dropped from 19.6% in Q3 2018 to 16% as of Sept. 30, the lowest level since 2012, according to JLL.” [Bisnow]

Chamber Supports Keeping Dillon Rule — “Facing a possible Democratic majority in the General Assembly, @ArlVAChamber is standing firm in its support of the Dillon Rule. Why? A Dem majority could allow localities like Arlington to raise the minimum wage.” [Twitter, InsideNova]

Storms Don’t Deter Trick or Treaters — From a family that tracks the number of trick or treaters visiting their Arlington home: “Despite threatening weather and a tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service… 2019 was our second best year ever with 161 visitors, 13 goblins behind the all-time high of 174 visitors in 2016.” [Facebook]

ACPD Helps With Snakes, Too — “Sgt. Morrison proves he’s a jack of all trades! Yesterday he responded to a citizen assist call and helped safely relocate this snake.” [Twitter]

Opera Fans Plan Outreach Effort — “Reports of the demise of a certain musical genre are not just premature. They are just plain wrong, supporters say. ‘Clearly, opera is not a dying art – the music is still transcendent,’ said Paul Dolinsky, a board member of Opera Nova, which on Oct. 27 held its annual fund-raising brunch at Washington Golf & Country Club.” [InsideNova]

Local Teen Is Runner Up in Entrepreneurship Competition — “Ela Gokcigdem has good news to share about her ePearl noise-cancelling wireless earbuds. They were a big hit in the Big Apple… The 17-year-old senior at Wakefield High School in Arlington participated in the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. More than two dozen competitors from around the country pitched their products to a panel of judges.” [WJLA]

Nearby: Road Closure Planned in Seven Corners — “The Wilson Boulevard (Route 613) bridge over Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) will be closed from 9 p.m. Monday night, Nov. 4 to 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, Nov. 5 for bridge deck work, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Eastbound Wilson Boulevard traffic will be detoured via Route 7, Patrick Henry Drive, Route 50 and the westbound Route 50 service road back to Wilson Boulevard.” [VDOT]

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Update at 7:45 a.m. — The teen has been found safely, police say.

Earlier: The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a 14-year-old Arlington boy who has been missing for more than 24 hours.

Police say the teen was last seen leaving school Wednesday morning.

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A video showing a masked figure pulling a gun out of the trunk of a car in front of Wakefield High School has led to an arrest and charges against a Falls Church teenager.

The menacing video was posted on Instagram on Jan. 25, but the weapon was eventually determined to be an airsoft gun, not an actual firearm, and the teen “did not have the means to carry out a threat,” according to Arlington County Police.

The U.S. Secret Service brought the video to the attention of ACPD on the day it was posted. The subject of the video was identified and now faces a felony charge.

More from a police press release:

Police have arrested and charged a City of Falls Church teen following an investigation into a video recorded on the property of Wakefield High School and posted to Instagram.

At approximately 7:24 p.m. on January 25, an officer with the United States Secret Service responded to the Arlington County Police Department to report a video posted to Instagram involving a weapon. In the video posted at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the same day, a teen is shown sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the parking lot of Wakefield High School. The teen exits the vehicle, opens the trunk, places a black mask over his face and removes an airsoft rifle before the video ends.

After reviewing social media posts and working with school administrators, detectives quickly identified the teen in the video. During the course of the investigation, detectives determined that there was no immediate threat to the safety of the school or its activities, that the video contained a replica firearm and that the teen in the video did not have the means to carry out a threat.

Following consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and a review of the evidence, the teen has been charged with Virginia Code § 18.2-422 Prohibition of Wearing a Mask, a Class 6 Felony. The teen is not an Arlington Public Schools student and his identity is not releasable due to age.

The Arlington County Police Department is committed to maintaining the safety of our community. Our School Resource Officers work closely with Arlington Public Schools administrators in our shared mission to provide a safe learning environment for students, teachers and staff. Parents and guardians are encouraged to talk to their children about the serious nature of school-based violence and the content they post to social media. All reports of threats and violence made at our schools and in our community are thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and where appropriate, charges will be sought against those responsible.

The public is reminded that you play an important role in keeping our community safe. If you see something, say something® by reporting suspicious behavior and activities to law enforcement.

This case was investigated by detectives from the Arlington County and Fairfax County School Resource Officers Unit, Arlington County’s Homeland Security Section and assisted by administrators in Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Police Searching for I-66 Wrong-Way Driver — Police are still looking for the driver who crashed into another vehicle while driving the wrong way on I-66 near Rosslyn early Sunday morning, after being chased by a uniformed Secret Service officer who spotted the car driving the wrong way in D.C. [Fox 5, WTOP, Twitter]

Vehicle Crashes into House in Barcroft — A vehicle that was driven into the side of a house in the Barcroft neighborhood Sunday morning caused only minor damage to the building, according to the fire department. [Twitter]

Truck Brings Down Power Lines in Long Branch Creek — “Downed power lines caused around 1,000 customers to lose power in Arlington County on Saturday. Dominion Power said a truck ‘snagged’ the lines and broke two of the power poles around 8:15 a.m. It also damaged some vehicles in the area.” [WJLA]

Runner Struck By Car Hopes to Run Marathon — A local runner who was struck by a car while running recently hopes to run the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall despite suffering two broken bones in her foot. [Twitter]

Projects to Transform Crystal City — Six major transportation projects “will play a significant role in transforming the Crystal City area in the coming years.” [Bisnow]

Arlington Teens Arrested in Ocean City — Three teens from Arlington were arrested in Ocean City, Maryland after they pulled over to ask police officers about parking in the area and the officers “immediately recognized the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.” They searched the car and found “roughly a half a pound of marijuana along with prescription drugs, methamphetamine, brass knuckles, an assisted opening knife and several items of drug paraphernalia,” plus “a full face mask in the vehicle [and] a .25 caliber handgun.” [The Dispatch]

Dems Still Distributing Print Newsletter — Print may be waning as a medium, but the Arlington County Democratic Committee is still going all-in on its printed campaign newsletter, “The Messenger.” The party is recruiting more than 400 volunteers to distribute the newsletter to homes throughout the county. [InsideNova]

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A Quinceañera Expo is coming to Crystal City’s Holiday Inn National Airport this Sunday (May 6) from 1-4 p.m.

A quinceañera is a Latin American tradition that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday.

The festivities mark her transition from childhood to adulthood in a similar way to a Sweet Sixteen.

The expo will feature a fashion show with the latest styles in quinceañera gowns, a DIY workshop, and a seminar on some “new inventions.”

General admission tickets cost $5. VIP tickets, which include a Dulce Quince Magazine shirt, cost $10.

Here are the expo’s listed exhibitors:

  • A Touch of Glam by Nathalie Lopez
  • A1 Limousine
  • DJ Kanon
  • Duarte Image
  • Event Linens & Decor
  • La’Glam Studio
  • LipSense by Sophia
  • Looks by Lina
  • Mary Kay by Stephanie Baker Alibakhshi
  • Mimi’s Mocha Treats, LLC
  • Photo Fun Zone Photo Booth
  • Quince Video
  • Secret Garden by Marta
  • The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant
  • Twinbrook Floral Design
  • Tysons Corner and Dulles Marriott

Photo via OnceUponaTime.Events

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Update at 9:45 p.m. — The missing teen has been located safely, according to police.

Earlier: The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing teen.

Police say the boy, 14, went missing this afternoon from the Bellevue Forest neighborhood and is considered endangered. He was last seen around 3:30 p.m.

He is described by police as “a white male with short blonde hair and blue eyes,” about 5’4″ and 110 lbs.

“He was last seen wearing black and yellow patterned pants and a black and blue hoodie,” police said in a press release. “He was reported to not be wearing shoes at the time he left his residence. [The boy] is considered endangered and may be in need of medical services.”

Anyone with information about the teen’s whereabouts is asked to call ACPD’s non-emergency number: 703-558-2222.

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Arlington County Police broke up an alcohol-fueled “powder puff” football game at Jamestown Elementary School over the weekend.

ACPD says they responded to the school grounds around 1 p.m. Saturday “for a report of 20-30 teenagers drinking.”

Upon arrival, officers “encountered numerous teenagers playing a ‘Powder puff’ football game,” according to a post from a police lieutenant on the Nextdoor social network site. “Some members of the group fled when they saw police. One student was found heavily intoxicated and required medical assistance. A small group of juveniles was detained by police. “

“Evidence of alcohol consumption was located at the scene,” the post said. “The police department will be working with county school administrators and parents to identify all involved juveniles and ensure service referrals and appropriate enforcement actions are completed.”

The lieutenant who posted the report said she “wanted to make all parents aware of [the] incident.”

File photo

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Morning Notes

Reaction to Las Vegas Shooting — Reactions from local officials are beginning to come in in response to the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert, which is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. “Will the corporate gun lobby please wake up? #PrayersAreNotEnough #HowManyMore?” tweeted state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D). Meanwhile, a “gun violence prevention roundtable” planned today in Alexandria, with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, has been cancelled “in light of today’s events.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Stats Behind Arlington’s Millennial Growth — The growth rate of Arlington’s millennial population between 2007 and 2013 was 82 percent, the highest in the nation. Meanwhile, development and transportation stats bear out how Arlington is growing and attracting young people. For instance, only 44 percent of Arlington’s population drives alone to work, compared to the 76.4 percent national average. [Bisnow]

Conservative Reporter vs. Donut Store Employee — Ashley Rae Goldenberg, a reporter for the conservative Media Research Center who goes by the Twitter handle @Communism_Kills, says she was harassed on Twitter by an employee of the new Dunkin’ Donuts store in Virginia Square. [Twitter]

Bomb Threat at Rosslyn BuildingUpdated at 11:15 a.m. — Someone called 911 with a bomb threat against an office building on the 1100 block of Wilson Blvd Thursday evening. That is the same block as TV station WJLA (ABC 7). No explosives were found during a police search of the building. [Patch, Arlington County]

Teen Provides Art to the Formerly Homeless — Allison Stocks, a 15-year-old sophomore at Yorktown High School, founded a nonprofit that takes donations of art and then provides it to those “making the transition from homeless shelters into permanent housing,” thus helping to cover bare walls and make their new home feel more homey. [Washington Post]

Local Gamer Raises Money for Hurricane Relief — In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, local resident Scott Jones helped raise more than $1,700 for disaster relief by broadcasting a 24-hour video game marathon from his Arlington apartment. Jones is one of numerous gamers who have used their gaming skills to raise serious cash for charitable causes. [Los Angeles Times]

Sports Pub Employees to Stand During Anthem — Late last week the Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.) sent a press release to broadcast outlets saying that its employees would “stand united for the national anthem” during Sunday’s football games. [WJLA]

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A teen driving a car with no license plates sped away from police but then crashed shortly thereafter.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of Route 50 and Fillmore Street. Police say they didn’t pursue the car, in accordance with Arlington County Police Department policy against chasing suspects for traffic violations alone, but the driver was soon involved in a single-vehicle crash.

More from today’s daily ACPD crime report:

ELUDING, 2017-06080029, Arlington Boulevard at S. Fillmore Street. At approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 8, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling with no license plates and attempted to conduct a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The driver refused to stop, increased their speed and fled from the officer. A vehicle pursuit was not initiated. Shortly after, the Emergency Communication Center was notified of a single vehicle crash involving the suspect vehicle. The juvenile suspect was taken into custody and petitions were obtained for felony eluding, possession of stolen property, no operating license and no registration.

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Morning Notes

Budget Plan Has Slightly Lower Tax Rate Hike — The 2017-2018 county budget that Arlington County Board members are set to vote on this weekend includes a 1.5 cent tax rate hike, a half cent lower than first proposed. The budget includes increased funding for schools, Metro, county employee raises, land acquisition and services for immigrants faced with deportation. It raises the tax burden on the average homeowner by about $300. [InsideNova, Washington Post]

No Easter Egg Roll Tix for APS — Arlington Public Schools received hundreds of tickets to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll under the Obama administration, but did not receive any for President Trump’s first egg roll this year. D.C. Public Schools also were not invited. Critics say minority children were under-represented at the event. [Patch]

Big County Events This Weekend — Among the events in Arlington this weekend are a trio of major annual happenings: the Arlington Homeshow and Garden Expo at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, the Arlington Teen Summer Expo at Wakefield High School and the Arlington Festival of the Arts in Clarendon.

Blue Virginia’s County Board Endorsement — Influential local Democratic blog Blue Virginia has endorsed Erik Gutshall in the race for Arlington County Board. A party caucus will be held next month for the four-way Democratic contest. [Blue Virginia]

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Morning Notes

Video of Weekend ATV Riders — For the second consecutive weekend, dirt bike and ATV riders took to county roads. This time, there’s clear video of the riders taking up all lanes of traffic on Route 50 and performing stunts. [WJLA]

Operation Firesafe in Full Swing — Arlington firefighters are hitting the streets for Operation Firesafe, which is the annual free door-to-door smoke alarm and fire safety canvassing program. Firefighters travel throughout the county on Saturdays from April through October to check residents’ fire safety and to install smoke detectors. Arlington residents can request a free smoke detector online. [Arlington County Fire Department]

Teen Leadership Program Applicants Wanted — The Leadership Center for Excellence is looking for motivated rising high school juniors and seniors for its summer Leadership Arlington Youth Program. [InsideNova]

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