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Morning Notes

Hope: No Impeachment Filing Yet Updated at 9:50 a.m. — Del. Patrick Hope (D) says he’s delaying filing articles of impeachment against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), who is facing two accusations of past sexual assaults. “An enormous amount of sincere and thoughtful feedback… has led to additional conversations that need to take place,” Hope said. [Twitter, TwitterTwitter]

More Trailers for Arlington Tech — “Students coming into the Arlington Tech program at the Arlington Career Center for the next two years may find themselves spending more time in trailers than they had thought, and more time than School Board members are happy about.” [InsideNova]

Auction for Restaurant Items — The former furnishings of now-shuttered Rolls By U are up for auction by Arlington County, to help pay its overdue tax bill. [Arlington County]

Car vs. Columbia Pike Restaurant — It appears that a car ran into the front of Andy’s Carry Out restaurant on Columbia Pike. [Twitter]

State Split on Northam’s Fate — “Virginians are deadlocked over whether Gov. Ralph Northam (D) should step down after the emergence of a photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page depicting people in blackface and Ku Klux Klan garb, with African Americans saying by a wide margin that he should remain in office despite the offensive image, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.” [Washington Post]

Beyer on Face the Nation — “Democratic Virginia Reps. Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton renewed their calls for Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax to step down over their respective controversies” on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning. [CBS News]

Local Chef on CBS This Morning — Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Courthouse made an extended appearance on CBS This Morning Saturday, talking about his food, his restaurants and how his aunt inspired his love of cooking. [CBS News]

Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk

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Arlington Attorney Set to Appear on Jeopardy This Week

An Arlington woman will get a chance to test her smarts on “Jeopardy!” later this week.

Lawyer Amanda Basta will compete on the long-running game show on Thursday (Feb. 7), according to a news release.

Basta will be the second Arlingtonian to appear on “Jeopardy!” just this year.

PR professional Maggie Byrd was featured on the show’s Jan. 1 edition, and took home a second-place prize of $2,000.

A variety of other Arlingtonians have faced questions from Alex Trebek over the show’s 35-year history. An Arlington social worker even took home $19,000 in prize money from the show in 2017.

“Jeopardy!” airs locally on WJLA (ABC 7).

Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

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Morning Notes

Board Approves Water Main, Fire Station Projects — “The Arlington County Board today approved contracts for two capital improvement projects, one to bring Fire Station 8 into the 21st century, and the other to replace a 90-year old water main with a larger pipe that will better serve the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills neighborhoods.” [Arlington County]

‘Say Yes to the Dress’ Star in Arlington — “TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta’s Monte Durham will be on campus next Tuesday, January 29th from 7:30-8:30 at Ballston Center. Durham will announce the Portfolio In Motion fashion show Designer of the Year.” [Twitter]

Snow, Cold on the Way — “A powerful arctic cold front is set to blast through the Washington region Tuesday evening. It could have disruptive effects, with rain quickly changing to snow during the evening commute and then rapidly freezing over roads.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

New Publishing Schedule this Week — Readers may notice some regular ARLnow features publishing at different times and/or days this week. For instance, this Morning Notes post is publishing at 7:30 a.m., while an opinion column that usually publishes on Thursdays is scheduled for this afternoon. We are trying out a new schedule this week — let us know what you think.

Photo courtesy Jim Harvard

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Morning Notes

Overturned Vehicle Near Gunston — A vehicle overturned in a reported four-vehicle crash in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood yesterday afternoon. The crash happened on the 1500 block of 28th Street S., near Gunston Middle School. Two occupants of the overturned vehicle were able to get out safely prior to rescuers arriving on scene, according to initial reports. [Twitter]

Dog Rescued by ACFD — Firefighters rescued a dog named Bling from yesterday’s house fire in Lyon Park. “Medics provided oxygen to Bling with a special pet mask,” the fire department said. “Although Bling did suffer some smoke inhalation, his outlook is good!” [Twitter, Twitter]

WUSA 9 Back on Fios — After several days of being blacked out for Verizon Fios customers as a result of a fee dispute between Verizon and Tysons-based broadcaster Tegna, local CBS affiliate WUSA 9 has returned to the Fios lineup. In an email to an upset resident during the blackout, forwarded to ARLnow.com, Arlington’s cable administrator said there was nothing the county could do to help resolve the dispute. [Washington Business Journal]

Salt Dome Goes Bye Bye — “Up since 1928 when it originally held water, the old salt tank on Old Dominion is coming down this week with an interim replacement directly behind… Tanks for your service.” [Twitter]

Chamber: Amazon Will Help Arlington Grow — In a letter to its members, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce argues that Amazon’s arrival in the county will be a benefit for the local business community. “The Amazon headquarters helps us to grow back the jobs lost in the past decade,” the Chamber’s Scott Pedowitz wrote. “This development will happen across the next 12 years, which means that it will be gradual; our labor and real estate markets will not change overnight.” Amazon is only expected to bring 400-500 jobs to Arlington this year, though it plans to add 25,000 jobs in the county through 2030, the letter said. [Chamber of Commerce]

News About the News — Alexandria local news site AlexandriaNews.org has shut down after 10 years in business. Meanwhile, Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey is celebrating 25 years in that position. [Sun Gazette, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Arlington Woman Set to Compete on Jeopardy Next Week

An Arlington PR professional will get a chance to show off her smarts on “Jeopardy!” on New Year’s Day.

Maggie Byrd will be one of the contestants on the long-running quiz show on Jan. 1., according to a release from the show’s producers.

Byrd works in communications for the Crystal City-based Consumer Technology Association.

She joins a variety of other Arlingtonians to face questions from Alex Trebek over the show’s 35-year history. An Arlington social worker even took home $19,000 in prize money from the show just last year.

“Jeopardy!” airs locally on WJLA (ABC 7).

Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

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Morning Notes

Reminder: Yellow Line Shutdown Starts Today — There will be no Yellow Line service today through Sunday, Dec. 9 as Metro works to repair the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac. Yellow Line riders can instead take the Blue Line and/or free shuttle service. [ARLnow, Twitter]

New ‘Clarendon Circle’ Traffic Restriction — Work on improvements to the busy “Clarendon Circle” intersection are underway and have resulted in at least one traffic pattern change. During construction, drivers will not be allowed to make the “tricky” left from eastbound Washington Blvd to Clarendon Blvd, and will instead have to follow a detour via N. Kirkwood Road. [Twitter, Arlington County]

Civ Fed Prepares Tree Canopy Resolution — “The Arlington County Civic Federation in December will weigh in on the development plan of Upton Hill Regional Park and, more broadly, on Arlington government policies on retaining or removing trees during redevelopment on public land. A resolution demanding a temporary halt to current development plans at Upton Hill was introduced at the Civic Federation’s Nov. 13 meeting and will be debated and voted on Dec. 4.” [InsideNova]

Minor Bluemont House Fire — Firefighters extinguished an out-of-control fire in the fireplace of a Bluemont house Saturday night. No injuries were reported but the home, on the 900 block of N. Frederick Street, suffered some smoke damage. [Twitter, Twitter]

Another Traffic Nightmare at DCA — As if the gridlock caused by the Veterans Day shutdown of the National Airport Metro station wasn’t bad enough, the traffic nightmare repeated itself Sunday evening, during one of the busiest travel days of the year. Some drivers reported spending hours trying to get to and from the airport. [NBC Washington, Twitter]

CBS Looks at Clarendon’s Vpoint Apartments — On Saturday morning, CBS News took a close look at the vPoint affordable housing project in Clarendon. The project, which converted a stand-alone church to a combination worship space and apartment building, is potentially a model for other communities struggling with affordable housing. At the time, however, the redevelopment faced lawsuits and other community opposition. [YouTube]

Amazon News Roundup — Arlington saw only modest successes in its quest to pitch itself as a tech hub over the past few years, but Amazon’s arrival changes that narrative in a big way. That said, half of the jobs Amazon brings to Arlington will be non-technical. Meanwhile, Amazon may benefit lower-income residents in New York City more than in Arlington, as subcontractors in New York will be subject to the state’s $15 per hour minimum wage; Virginia’s minimum wage is currently the federal $7.25 per hour minimum. And Nashville, some say, will be the biggest winner in terms of Amazon’s new presence boosting the local commercial real estate market.

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Morning Notes

GMA Broadcasts Segment from Arlington — ABC’s Good Morning America broadcast a live segment from Arlington’s fire training academy near Shirlington yesterday. [Twitter]

Buyers’ Market in 2020? — “Home sellers likely will continue to hold more negotiating power than buyers for the next year and a half, according to the 2018 Q3 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. But it won’t last forever, experts say.” [InsideNova]

Local Leaders Decry Loss of Transportation Funding — “The leaders of Northern Virginia’s five most populous jurisdictions pledged Wednesday to push back on the General Assembly’s move this year to pull money from regional transportation projects to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin

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HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ Returns to Arlington, Features Local Couple

HGTV’s “House Hunters” returned to Arlington once more this month to help a couple find their first home.

Alex Ordonez, the couple’s real estate broker at HomeSmart Realty, says HGTV picked his clients after he submitted an application with the show. “House Hunters” began filming with Ordonez and his clients last Tuesday (Aug. 7) and Thursday (Aug. 9) and will pick up work again on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24.

Ordonez says the pair are newlyweds who currently live in the county, and are now looking to buy their first home.

He expects the episode will air sometime in the coming months.

“House Hunters” has filmed in the county several times over the last few years, including in 2012 and 2014.

Photo courtesy of Alex Ordonez

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Morning Notes

Simple Greek Now Open — Fast-casual restaurant chain The Simple Greek has opened its new Rosslyn location in the Colonial Plaza shopping center. A ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday was followed by long lines at lunchtime. [Twitter, Twitter]

WiFi Available in Underground Metro Stations — As of today, free wireless internet service should be available in every underground Metro station. Per yesterday’s announcement from Metro: “Customers can log-in by selecting the ‘Metro-Public’ network in their device’s Wi-Fi settings.” [WMATA]

Signs Up for Sfoglina — “Coming soon” signs are up for the new Rosslyn outpost of the acclaimed Fabio and Maria Trabocchi restaurant Sfoglina Pasta House. The restaurant is located on the street level of the office building at 11oo Wilson Boulevard. [Twitter]

Water Rescue Near Chain Bridge — D.C. police and firefighters rescued two people whose kayak overturned in the Potomac River near Chain Bridge last night. Both were evaluated by medics but “neither have physical injuries,” per DCFEMS. [Twitter, Twitter]

Fox News Coming to Iwo Jima Memorial — On Sunday, Fox News Channel will broadcast a portion of its America’s News Headquarters program (noon-2 p.m.) from the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn. Elizabeth Prann will co-anchor “ANHQ” from the Memorial, “where the nation will be preparing for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration,” according to a Fox press release.

Arlington Has Millions in Prepaid Taxes — “The Arlington treasurer’s office still has about $8 million sitting untouched in its coffers, waiting to be applied to future tax payments. But that’s less than half the $17.2 million in total prepayments submitted by Arlington taxpayers in the waning days of 2017, hoping to beat changes to federal tax law that made some mortgage-interest payments non-deductible in 2018.” [InsideNova]

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Morning Notes

That Time Anthony Bourdain Visited Va. Square — The late, lamented Anthony Bourdain visited Arlington’s El Pollo Rico for a 2009 episode of his Travel Channel show No Reservations. [Patch, YouTube]

Arlington At the RAMMYs — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — No individual Arlington restaurant won a RAMMY regional restaurant award Sunday night, though regional chain Moby Dick House of Kabob, which has locations in Shirlington and Clarendon, won in the “Favorite Fast Bite” category, and Cheesetique in Shirlington was nominated under the “Favorite Gathering Place of the Year” category. [Washingtonian]

Clarendon, Crystal City Bike Races — Despite the threat of rain, both the Clarendon Cup and the Crystal Cup of the annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic largely avoided weather woes over the weekend. [Twitter, Twitter, Cycling News]

Photo courtesy @thelastfc

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Morning Notes

County HQ Renovation Vote Delayed — The Arlington County Board last night agreed to defer consideration of renovations to county government headquarters until April. The Board will discuss the “‘opportunity costs’ for the $10 million in rent abatements that will fund part of the renovation project,” in the context of the current county budget discussions, according to Board Chair Katie Cristol. [Twitter]

Arlington Declines Amazon FOIA Request — A Freedom of Information Act request for more information about the county’s Amazon HQ2 bid, sent from the Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell, was denied on the grounds that the information was “exempt from disclosure.” At the County Board meeting this past weekend, several speakers called on the county to release more information about what it has offered Amazon. [Twitter, WTOP]

Letter: APS Should Revise Gym Shorts Policy — Eighth-grade students wrote a letter to the editor encouraging Arlington Public Schools to revise its policy on girls’ gym shorts. Per the letter: “The shorts we are required to wear by the school system cause many of us embarrassment because the wide, open legs allow others to see our undergarments, especially during floor exercises. Additionally, the current gym shorts are too big for petite girls.” [InsideNova]

Arlington TV Now in HD — “You can now watch Arlington TV (ATV), the County’s government cable channel, in high definition (HD) on Comcast Xfinity. From live County Board meetings to original programming about Arlington, viewers with HD sets can now watch the same programming on Channel 1085 on Comcast Xfinity’s HD tier.” [Arlington County]

Auditor Releases Report on ECC Overtime — Arlington County Auditor Chris Horton has released a report on overtime incurred by the county’s Emergency Communications Center, which handles 911 calls and dispatches first responders. The ECC’s overtime costs were about $1.4 million last year. Horton found that “a more efficient training process could result in greater staffing efficiency, and potentially reduce overtime expenses.” [Arlington County]

Four Phases of Snow Removal — For those who need a reminder after this anemic winter, a YouTube video explains the county’s four-stage snow removal process. [YouTube]

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Morning Poll: Office Productivity During March Madness

In some offices around this time of year, employee productivity mysteriously goes down.

The mid-March affliction seems to affect those who are taking extra time off from their normal day-to-day to gather around the office TV, stare at their smartphone, take extra long lunch breaks or weep while staring at a pyramidic sheet of paper.

Since we’re in the safe company of anonymous friends, we just wanted to ask: how much work time are you taking this week to watch NCAA March Madness tournament games?

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Ellen Surprises Arlington Woman Who is the Surrogate of her Best Friend

Ellen DeGeneres surprised two Arlingtonians via live shot today (March 13) after one wrote to the show asking to share their surrogacy story.

After Katelin Buchanan suffered from five miscarriages, her best friend Erica Huston offered to be a surrogate for Buchanan and her husband. She’s now pregnant with the couple’s twins.

Ellen DeGeneres Show correspondent Jeannie Klisiewicz met with the best friends and surprised them with a live streamed meeting with DeGeneres. DeGeneres gifted Buchanan and Huston tickets to a live taping of the daytime talk show, and added that Buchanan would receive the prizes from the upcoming Mother’s Day show giveaway.

Buchanan spoke of her longtime friendship with Huston and how watching The Ellen Degeneres Show helped her cope with her infertility struggles.

Feeling helpless watching her best friend go through miscarriage after miscarriage, Huston added on the program that she jumped at the opportunity to surrogate for Buchanan.

“The moment that I hand those babies over to Katelin and her husband will be the best moment of my life,” Huston told Degeneres during the live shot. “And then, I’m going to pour myself a big glass of wine.”

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HGTV Casting Locally for ‘Best House on the Block’

An HGTV show is looking for homes in Northern Virginia “that need a personality boost and remodel.”

The first episode of “Best House on the Block,” which stars a pair of Great Falls, Va.-based home renovation specialists, aired last year.

The pilot took a different turn from the usual house-flip shows that have dominated HGTV the past few years, featuring “underwhelming” houses.

The show is currently seeking D.C. area homeowners who want to “generic home from drab to the Best House on the Block” but are “overwhelmed by the design possibilities.”

More from the show’s casting website:

To Be Eligible You Must:

  • Currently own a home in the Northern Virginia/D.C./Maryland metro area
  • Have an existing design/renovation budget for your projects
  • Be willing to move out of the house during renovation

Send an email to [email protected] telling us your story and include: name, address, phone number, family photo, budget, as well as photos of the home exterior and interior areas that need Lauren and David’s help.

I am looking for families with boring homes that need a personality boost and remodel. Looking for fun, outgoing, families who are serious about a home redesign/remodel. Each episode focuses on roughly 3 living spaces to transform with the homeowners existing budget.

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