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by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

A Washington-Lee High School graduate is one of the main characters on the new Fox television series Star.

The series, a musical drama co-created by Lee Daniels, premieres on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Among the show’s stars are Brittany O’Grady, in the role of the title character’s sister.

O’Grady graduated from W-L in 2013 but has been performing and modeling professionally since the age of 4,

Brittany O'Grady (photo via brittanyogrady.com)Up until now O’Grady’s most prominent TV appearance was a guest role on the ABC show Trophy Wife. She has also been active in the local theater scene, performing at Arlington’s Signature Theatre, Synetic Theater and Encore Stage & Studio, as well as D.C. venues like the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre and even the White House.

“I was always encouraged to pursue my dreams because I’ve worked all my life to achieve them,” O’Grady said in an interview published on the Encore Stage & Studio website.

She gave the following advice to aspiring young actors: “Never EVER give up. No matter how discouraged you get and how many times you get rejected. Work hard, train hard, and know your stuff. If you are always working on improving yourself, you will get better. You will become the versatile actor you want to be. The roles will come with time.”

The Dec. 14 premiere of Star is billed as a “special early preview.” The series will air in its regular timeslot on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

by ARLnow.com — November 18, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Arlington Independent Media in Clarendon

Arlington Independent Media, the local public access cable channel and media education center, is asking its members to support a new cable franchise agreement the county has reportedly reached with Comcast.

The franchise agreement is what allows Comcast to serve customers in Arlington, to the exclusion of other traditional cable providers. (Verizon’s FiOS service has its own franchise agreement in Arlington.)

Arlington County has been negotiating a franchise agreement renewal with Comcast since 2013, when its last long-term agreement expired. The County Board has continuously, temporarily extended the agreement until negotiations could conclude.

The specifics of the new agreement, which reportedly runs through Dec. 2021 and is expected to be considered by the County Board next month, were not immediately available. However, in an email to its members, AIM said the agreement would continue to fund the organization, with some notable changes.

Arlington Independent Media students interview a subject on Wilson Boulevard in ClarendonUnder the agreement, AIM would be upgraded to an HD channel on Comcast’s cable service. Meanwhile, the organization would “continue to receive approximately 1% of Comcast’s gross revenue as operating support,” according to the email, with the county contributing another 1% from its 5% communications tax in addition to an annual capital grant.

AIM’s current facilities in the Comcast building in Clarendon, however, would cease to be rent-free starting Jan. 1, 2018. That “presents AIM with a significant challenge and we will have to quickly figure out a way to remain viable under these conditions,” wrote AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley.

Overall, LeValley wrote, the agreement is “very positive for AIM and we are grateful to the County for negotiating its terms on our behalf.” The only change the organization is seeking is a provision requiring that Comcast list its programming on its on-screen guide.

It is “imperative that our full program schedule be included in Comcast’s digital program guide,” wrote LaValley. “Unfortunately, the draft agreement fails to make this requirement. We believe that inclusion of our program schedule would significantly improve our ability to attract and keep audiences for the many fine programs that you all work so hard to create for our community.”

The full email has been published on the AIM website.

by ARLnow.com — October 18, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Mid-October in Clarendon

Arlington Featured on MTP — Arlington County was featured in a Meet the Press segment on Sunday, comparing the level of support for Hillary Clinton here to support for Donald Trump in a rural Ohio county. The show interviewed residents in the Clarendon area. [NBC News]

Surge in Registration, Absentee Voting — Officials are anticipating about 43,000 absentee ballots in Arlington this year, up 50 percent compared to the last presidential election in 2012. Throughout the region and the state, absentee voting is on the rise, which is generally good news for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, a surge in last-minute voter registrations yesterday and a statewide software slowdown has the county advising that it could take several days to process all of the applications. [Washington Post, WTOP, WTOP]

Vehicle Decal Design Contest Starts — The Treasurer’s Office Decal Design Competition is back for another year. Local high school students will compete to design the next Arlington County vehicle decal, which will appear on some 160,000 vehicles in the county. The submission deadline is Nov. 28. [Arlington County]

Pike Recycling Center May Move — Next month the Arlington County Board is expected to consider whether to relocate the recycling facility at the corner of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive to the Arlington Trades Center in Shirlington. County officials want to lower the level of illegal dumping that’s currently taking place. [InsideNova]

Historic Designation for Ballston Cemetery? — On Wednesday night Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board will discuss the merits of a proposed local historic district designation for the Ball cemetery in Ballston. The cemetery is currently slated to be relocated to make way for the redevelopment of a church. [Preservation Arlington]

Last Day at Fuego Cocina — Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Clarendon served its final meals and margaritas Sunday. “We’re turning the light off now. Farewell,” the restaurant said via Twitter. [Twitter, Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — October 5, 2016 at 11:05 am 0

"Green Man" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (screencap via Wikia)A man dressed in a green bodysuit was cursing at passersby in Shirlington yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, but no arrests were made.

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

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2016 at 8:45 am 0

Smiling backyard deer (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

New Restaurants Coming to Rosslyn — A bunch of new restaurants and a cafe are coming to Rosslyn as part of the under-construction Central Place project. Fast casual eateries Sweetgreen, Nando’s Peri-Peri and The Little Beet are signing deals with developer JBG. A Compass Coffee is also set to open and negotiations are reportedly underway with Cava Grill. [Washington Business Journal]

Sidewalk Cafe for Pike Beer Garden — The Arlington County Board last night approved a use permit that will allow the future beer garden at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive to operate a 32-seat outdoor cafe. The outdoor seating will “enliven the restaurant space and provide greater activity on this corner” of Columbia Pike, county staff wrote. County Board members expressed enthusiasm for the business, from the owner of nearby Twisted Vines, with Jay Fisette calling it “a fabulous use for this site.” [Arlington County]

Neighborhood Conservation Projects Approved — Last night the County Board approved $4.7 million in funding for six neighborhood conservation projects. The projects include a neighborhood sign for the recently-renamed Arlington Mill neighborhood; street improvement projects in Yorktown, Waverly Hills and Lyon Park; new LED streetlights in Arlington Heights; and a vegetation and sidewalk project in Boulevard Manor. [Arlington County]

Guas Appears on ‘Chopped Junior’ — Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Courthouse was back on national TV last night, starring as a judge on the Food Network show “Chopped Junior.” [Patch]

WERA Anniversary Nears — Arlington’s own community radio station WERA will be celebrating its first anniversary in just over two months. The low-power FM station is “having an impact,” with some ninety producers generating local programming. Fundraising for the station, however, has been sluggish. [InsideNova]

Fmr. Sen. Warner to Endorse Clinton — At an event in Alexandria this morning, five-term former U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) is expected to endorse the presidential ticket of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). It will be the first time Warner has endorsed a Democrat for president. [Politico]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by ARLnow.com — September 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

China Garden restaurant is terminating its lease, a permit application on this week’s County Board agenda suggests.

The long-time Chinese restaurant, at 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is perhaps best known for its weekend dim sum lunches.

Monday Properties, owner of the 1000-1100 Wilson Blvd twin towers, is requesting County Board permission to convert the 10,000 square foot retail space currently occupied by the restaurant into new television studios.

The permit application does not name the soon-to-be “former restaurant” but its location on the mezzanine level of the building and floor plan match that of China Garden.

“As of the date of this application, one of the retail tenants located in the mezzanine level of the building has decided to terminate its lease and to vacate the property,” an attorney for the building owner said in a letter to the county. “In the Applicant’s experience, retail space on the mezzanine level has proven difficult to lease, given its separation from the pedestrian realm on the street level. As such, the Applicant proposes to convert the former retail space into two new television studios and associated support facilities.”

The application also does not name the tenant that will be using the new studios, but the building is home to television station WJLA and NewsChannel 8. Station owner Sinclair renewed its lease in the building this summer.

County staff are recommending the Board approve the application.

A China Garden employee said today that the restaurant’s manager would not be available for comment until Friday.

by ARLnow.com — August 18, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Park at Wilson and Oak in RosslynThe regional TV spotlight will shine on Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood tomorrow.

Fox 5 personalities Erin Como, Annie Yu and Tucker Barnes will be broadcasting from Rosslyn as part of its “Zip Trip” morning news feature.

The live broadcast will take place in the small park on the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street. Local notables including Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey and District Taco co-founder Osiris Hoil will be interviewed, and local restaurants like Barley Mac, Pancho Villa, Heavy Seas Alehouse, AllSpice Cafe & Catering and Bistro 360 will be featured.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is encouraging Rosslyn residents and workers to stop by the park during their commute to meet the anchors and, perhaps, appear on live TV.

From the Rosslyn BID website.

Rosslyn will be featured on Zip Trip on August 19 when Fox 5 broadcasts live Friday morning from 7 to 11 a.m.

Fox 5 anchors Erin Como, Annie Yu and Tucker Barnes will visit local restaurants and talk about the fun activities going on in the neighborhood.

The Monday Properties’ Park at the corner of Oak Street and Wilson Boulevard (1401 Wilson Boulevard) will be the scene for the live broadcast. Feel free to stop by for a free coffee from Dunkin Donuts and check out the live set! The anchors are excited to meet residents and employees from Rosslyn and may ask you to appear on TV on your way to work.

Special guests during the live broadcast will include Arlington County Board’s Chair Libby Garvey, Co-founder and CEO of District Taco Osiris Hoil, the Happy Whistler and staff from the Art Institute.

Local restaurants including Barley Mac, Pancho Villa, Heavy Seas Alehouse, AllSpice Cafe & Catering and Bistro 360 will also be featured.

So make your morning commute more interesting and stop by Oak and Wilson between 7 and 11 a.m. on Friday the 19th. We can’t wait to see you!

by ARLnow.com — August 12, 2016 at 11:05 am 0

(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) The big TV screen and news ticker at the entrance to the WJLA (ABC 7) offices in Rosslyn have been quietly removed.

The electronic displays, which helped with Rosslyn’s “Manhattan on the Potomac” vibe, were recently taken down by Monday Properties, which owns the gleaming 1100 Wilson Blvd tower (and its twin tower at 1000 Wilson Blvd).

A spokeswoman described the removal as “temporary.”

“For the WJLA news ticker, the decision to temporarily remove the news ticker from outside of 1100 Wilson Boulevard was solely based on Monday’s desire to improve the outdated technology that supported the service,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “They’re in the process of evaluating new technology providers to help ensure such a service provides the utmost convenience and value to the community.”

No word yet on when new displays may be installed. WJLA just signed a new lease that should keep the television station at 1100 Wilson Blvd for at least another 15 years.

The Arlington County Board originally approved the replacement of the screen in 2012, but voted against WJLA and Monday’s request to devote part of the screen to sponsor messages. Near the end of its twelve-year lifespan, the screen only displayed a weather map because it was incapable of displaying WJLA’s high definition broadcast.

by ARLnow.com — August 10, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Rosslyn signs

Some Receiving Duplicate Tax Bills — A large number of Arlington homeowners have received duplicate tax bills from the county. “As you can imagine, we have heard from many concerned taxpayers today,” Treasurer Carla de la Pava told the Sun Gazette. [InsideNova]

Brutal Beating Still Unsolved — The 1965 beating of a 19-year-old woman in her Rosslyn area apartment is still an unsolved, open case. The woman, Brenda Sue Pennington, survived but never fully recovered, living in a nursing home and depending on Medicare until her death in 2007. [Falls Church News-Press]

Beyer Questions New Social Security Requirement — Those who want to access their Social Security information online now must have a text-enabled cell phone as part of a new security measure. That has led to protests from seniors who don’t own a cell phone — and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) agrees with them, saying they “deserve the convenience of checking their earnings and benefits online.” [Patch]

Medium Unsure If TV Series Will Live On — Monica Ten-Kate, the TV medium who communes with dead people and whose family lives in Fairlington, says in an interview that she’s not sure whether her cable TV reality series will be renewed for a third season. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

by ARLnow.com — August 4, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

The WJLA building in RosslynTelevision station WJLA (ABC 7) will remain in Rosslyn after its owner, Sinclair Broadcasting, signed a new 15 year lease.

Monday Properties, which owns the 1000/1100 Wilson Blvd “twin towers” in which WJLA is based, first announced the 100,000 square foot lease renewal on Tuesday.

The renewal helps to maintain Rosslyn as something of a media hub, home to WJLA, Politico, Washington Business Journal, Graham Holdings, Salem Radio Network News, Washington Free Beacon and New Media Strategies.

More from a press release:

Sinclair Television Group, Inc is renewing its over 100,000 square foot lease at 1000 Wilson Boulevard and 1100 Wilson Boulevard until 2031. The Towers is one of 10 buildings owned and operated by Monday Properties throughout Rosslyn and the greater metropolitan area.

“Over the past several years, we have been running an extensive search in the Metro D.C. area with the goal of selecting a long-term real estate solution that meets our future business objectives.  As we looked at our options, which included building a new, standalone facility, we kept coming back to the Towers,” said Del Parks, Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer of Sinclair Television Group, Inc.  “With its expansive building infrastructure and operational flexibility, we are able to execute our growing platform in Rosslyn most efficiently.”

“It’s clear that Rosslyn’s ongoing transformation offers a robust and diverse array of businesses, retailers and housing options which are critical for our employees’ overall workplace and social requirements,” Dan Mellon, General Manager of Sinclair’s WJLA and News Channel 8, which will occupy part of the space. “The Towers proximity to Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., also provides our employees the ability to cover stories quickly, from a location that is free from transportation inefficiencies.”

Sinclair’s decision to re-commit to Rosslyn builds on its extensive occupancy history at the Towers, where its landmark media companies, WJLA and News Channel 8 (acquired by Sinclair in July 2014) have been long-term tenants. Sinclair’s 15 year lease will be accompanied by an extensive infrastructure investment to suit their unique business needs, which includes vital connectivity to the Washington D.C. area.

With the renewal of their lease, Sinclair has joined a growing ‘media hub’ trend in Rosslyn, which has an impressive roster that includes Politico, Washington Business Journal, Graham Holdings, Salem Communications, Washington Free Beacon and New Media Strategies.

“When we did our initial short-term renewal with Sinclair earlier this year, we did so hoping that we would provide Sinclair the time necessary to fully vet their real estate search which included the Towers.  Over the past couple of months, we have worked collaboratively with the Sinclair team to formalize a comprehensive lease renewal structure that enables them to firmly achieve their firm’s new programming endeavors.  As companies increasingly look to pursue first-rate amenities, easy accessibility and a business-friendly environment, the Rosslyn submarket continues its upward trend of being a location that firms look to in attracting and retaining high quality employee talent.” said Tim Helmig, President and Chief Operating Officer of Monday Properties. “We’re pleased that Sinclair will remain a tenant of Monday Properties, enjoying the unparalleled amenities and lifestyle opportunities Rosslyn has to offer.”

Including the Sinclair transaction, Monday Properties has executed over 345,000 square feet of new and renewal leases in 2016 in its portfolio as Rosslyn continues its impressive, upward absorption trend this year, joining other recent high profile transactions with global consulting group, Grant Thornton, PriceWaterhouseCooopers, Eastern Foundry, CalAtlantic Group (Ryland Homes) and Silicon Valley Bank, to name a few.

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Sunrise over the Potomac (Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi)

Key Bridge Marriott Lease Sold — The ground lease for the 57-year-old Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn has been sold to a luxury hotel and resort operator, leading to speculation that the hotel — Marriott’s longest continuously-operating property — may soon be replaced. [WTOP]

Sales Tax Receipts Nudge Up — Arlington received $39.68 million in sales tax disbursements from the state this year, up 0.2 percent compared to the year prior, pointing to an ever-so-slight increase in retail sales in the county despite some challenges dragging that figure down. [InsideNova]

Arlington to Host Community Conference — Arlington County is hosting the 17th annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Hundreds of neighborhood leaders, community activists and government agencies are expected to attend. [Arlington County]

Local Yoga Studio Featured on National TV — Spark Yoga, an aerial yoga studio on N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park, was featured in a segment on business news channel CNBC with reporter Diana Olick. [CNBC]

Bikes With Roofs — Is the hot summer sun beating down on you during your bike commute? If so, perhaps you can follow the lead of these two local cyclists and attach a canopy to your bike. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi

by ARLnow.com — July 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm 0

Comcast outage map 7/16/16Update at 5:50 p.m. — Numerous users around Arlington are reporting that their service has been restored. 

“We have identified the und​erlying cause and services are being restored,” said Jamie Debole, a Comcast representative, via email. “Customers’ services should now be working.”

Earlier: Comcast customers in Arlington, the D.C. area and much of the northeast U.S. are reporting issues with their cable TV service.

According to various social media posts, the problem is affecting those on Comcast’s X1 platform — its newest cable boxes. Some are also reporting sluggish internet service.

Various Twitter users, citing Comcast customer service reps, are saying that the problems were caused by a failed automatic upgrade to the cable boxes.

Comcast suffered a major business phone service outage earlier this week.

Screen capture via downdetector.com

by ARLnow.com — July 8, 2016 at 10:45 am 0

Dillon Behr (photo via National Geographic Channel screenshot)This coming Tuesday, the National Geographic channel will air an episode of its “No Man Left Behind” series featuring the heroic story of a Courthouse resident and former Army special forces soldier.

The story, as reported in this Washington Post article, takes place in Afghanistan’s infamous Shok Valley, as a group of Green Berets are lured into a trap and ambushed by enemy fighters.

“In 2008, while on a daring raid in Afghanistan, US Green Beret Sergeant First Class, Dillon Behr suffered two gunshot wounds, one to his right bicep and one to his right pelvis/hip, as well as severe abdominal injuries,” said show notes sent by a Nat Geo PR rep. “In No Man Left Behind, he shares the unbelievable story of survival, recalling how his team managed to hold off the enemy for seven hours, despite several of them being injured, until they finally evacuated the wounded and returned to safety.”

Behr and his fellow Green Berets recount their experience during the hour-long show.

“I felt this strange calm and I remember thinking this is it, this is the moment I’m going to die,” he said.

Per the show notes: “Behr was treated for his injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center, and has been living in the D.C. metro area ever since. He received a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University and currently works for a cyber security firm. Up until a few months ago, he also ran a non-profit cross-fit gym for injured soldiers at Walter Reed.”

The episode will air Tuesday, July 12 at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2016 at 6:20 pm 0

Crews with video cameras. Television production lights mounted on the ceiling.

It appears that some reality show filming was underway at Oz restaurant in Clarendon as of Wednesday evening.

The restaurant, at 2950 Clarendon Blvd, is co-owned by Ashley Darby, a cast member on the Bravo TV show Real Housewives of Potomac. The show began filming its second season in April — a process that was expected to take 3-4 months.

There were no tables being flipped or wine glasses being hurled when an ARLnow.com editor walked by today, just a seemingly mundane conversation between two people on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant.

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Large plush bear outside of Kinder Haus Toys in Clarendon

Stratford School Designated Historic — The Arlington County Board has approved a historic designation for the Stratford School, the current home to the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program and the future home to a new middle school. In 1959, Stratford became the first public school in Virginia to be integrated, with four black seventh graders enrolling, thus marking the beginning of the end of school segregation in the Commonwealth. [Arlington County]

Fox Freed From Fence — A not-so-sly fox had to be freed by an Arlington animal control officer after getting its hind leg stuck in a chain link fence. The fox was uninjured. [Twitter]

Park Expansion, Land Donation Approved — The County Board last night approved the expansion of Benjamin Banneker Park, via the purchase of a 8,487-square-foot lot for $637,500. The Board also accepted the donation of 7,432 square feet of land adjacent to I-66 and a bike trail. Hitt Contracting, Inc. donated the land after figuring out that zoning restrictions prevented the company from developing it. [Arlington County]

Preservationists Worried About Tear-Downs — Local preservationists are worried about plan to tear down a number of older properties in the area of Minor’s Hill and replace them with new homes. However, it appears that the home builders will be able to proceed with their plans, as “Arlington County has no legal authority to delay or stop the demolition.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Long Branch Creek’s First Neighborhood Plan — The Long Branch Creek neighborhood, located near the Glebe Road onramp to I-395, has had its first-ever Neighborhood Conservation Plan approved by the Arlington County Board. The plan will allow the neighborhood to apply for neighborhood improvement projects. It calls for Long Branch Creek to become a “walkable urban village” while “preserving the livability and quiet, diverse character of the neighborhood.” [Arlington County]

Yorktown Student Auditions for Shark Tank — Among those auditioning for the ABC show Shark Tank at a recent casting call at 1776 in Crystal City was a 17-year-old Yorktown High School student, Zanab Farooq, who founded a custom mobile phone case company. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

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