Arlington, VA

An irate man exposed himself to a rideshare driver after being dropped off at his destination along Columbia Pike early Thanksgiving morning.

The incident happened just before 3 a.m. on the 1900 block of Columbia Pike, near the Columbia Crossing Apartments.

It’s not clear why the man was upset, but police say he “threw himself against the vehicle” after exposing himself. He fled the scene before police arrived.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2019-11280041, 1900 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:50 a.m. on November 28, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect was in a ridesharing service vehicle when he began acting irate. At the conclusion of the trip, the suspect exited the vehicle and began walking away, however he re-approached the vehicle and exposed himself to the driver. The suspect continued acting disorderly and threw himself against the vehicle, causing damage. The suspect fled the area on foot, prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a dark-skinned black male, 5’6″-5’7″, in his mid 20’s, with short curly hair styled in a fade or mohawk, wearing a black sweatshirt and dark pants. The investigation is ongoing.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) A Thanksgiving Day stabbing in Ballston sent one to the hospital and another to jail.

The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. in the area of the Ballston Metro station and the Hilton hotel. Police say a dispute escalated to physical violence — a 73-year-old suspect allegedly stabbed an acquaintance with a knife.

More from Arlington County Police:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-11280121, 900 block of N. Stuart Street. At approximately 2:28 p.m. on November 28, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that a dispute between known individuals escalated and a physical altercation ensued, during which the suspect allegedly produced a knife and stabbed the victim, causing a laceration. Arriving officers located the suspect in the area and he was taken into custody without incident. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Stanley Oliver, 73, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

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It’s time to batten down the hatches and get ready for your tryptophan coma: a windy Thanksgiving is upon us.

While we take a brief holiday break (we’ll have a lighter than usual publishing schedule Friday), feel free to discuss anything of local note in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving from ARLnow!

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Much of the D.C. region, including Arlington, will be under a Wind Advisory starting tonight.

Strong winds with gusts up to 50 mph are expected to start whipping up Wednesday night and will continue through Thursday afternoon, making for a blustery Thanksgiving holiday.

Forecasters caution that the wind gusts could topple trees and power lines, causing widespread power outages. Drivers — including those taking last minute trips on one of the busiest travel days of the year — should also take caution.

More from the National Weather Service:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
156 PM EST WED NOV 27 2019

…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY…

* WHAT…WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH EXPECTED.

* WHERE…THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS, CENTRAL MARYLAND, AND PORTIONS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY.

* IMPACTS…DAMAGING WINDS COULD BLOW DOWN TREES AND POWER LINES. WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. TRAVEL COULD BE  DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN DRIVING, ESPECIALLY IF OPERATING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS.

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Local affordable housing provider AHC Inc. has given back to nearly a thousand Arlington residents this Thanksgiving season.

Over the last week, across six AHC apartment communities including the Gates of Ballston, Hunters Park, and Virginia Gardens, dozens of volunteers prepared and served 40 turkeys to 800 people.

Volunteers included groups from Amazon, Embassy Suites in Crystal City, the Marymount Women’s Lacrosse Team, and the masonic Arlington Lodge #58. The Arlington Food Assistance Center contributed food to the events.

“Thanksgiving is one of AHC’s favorite times of the year,” said AHC’s Celia Slater. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to show our appreciation for our residents and to celebrate a holiday that all can share.

This marks the 15th year AHC Inc. has been hosting Thanksgiving celebrations in its communities. The nonprofit is Arlington’s oldest and largest nonprofit affordable housing developer, managing 23 properties across Arlington with 3,000 low- and moderate-income residents. AHC also manages properties elsewhere in Virginia and Maryland.

Photos provided by AHC Inc. 

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The 14th annual Arlington Turkey Trot 5K returns tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday, prompting road closures.

The race will kick off at 8 a.m. at Christ Church of Arlington (3020 N. Pershing Drive) in Lyon Park. The church first organized the race in 2006.

This year, over 4,000 runners registered, selling out the race before online registration was scheduled to close.

All proceeds from the event benefit local charities like the Arlington Food Assistance Center and the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

“Over the course of 13 years, the Trot has generated nearly $800,000 to help Arlington County residents in need,” according to the race’s website.

The following roads will be closed from 6:30 a.m. until approximately 10 a.m., per a county press release:

  • Pershing Drive from Washington Blvd. to N. Glebe Road
  • N. Oxford Street from Pershing Drive to 5th Street N.
  • 5th Street N. from N. Nelson St. to N. Oxford Street
  • N. Nelson Street from Pershing Drive to 5th Street N.
  • N. Highland Street from Pershing Drive. to 9th Street N.
  • Washington Blvd. from 9th Street N. to Arlington Blvd. (eastbound lanes only)
  • N. Fillmore Street from Washington Blvd. to 3rd Street N.
  • 3rd Street N. from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Blvd.
  • N. Bedford Street from Arlington Blvd. to Brookside Dr.
  • N. Brookside Drive from N. Bedford Street to Washington Blvd.

Street parking will be restricted and temporary “no parking” signs will be placed along the route. All vehicles parked in violation of the signs will be ticketed and towed, according to Arlington County Police.

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Morning Notes

Developer May Give Parking Lot to County — “Arlington County planners and the owner of the Crystal House apartments have struck a deal to turn one of the four proposed buildings in its 798-unit expansion over to the county for affordable housing and public parking. It’s a change that has brought some hope to owners and operators along Crystal City’s restaurant row of 23rd Street, who, for the last few weeks, have criticized [the development] because it could have reduced access to parking spaces.” [Washington Business Journal]

Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving — “While Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries & facilities will be closed on Thursday and Friday, we want to remind you of all the great ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving week in Arlington. Whether you’re traveling or staying locally, these tips will help ensure you have an enjoyable — and safe — Thanksgiving holiday.” [Arlington County]

Dozen Arrested at DCA Protest — “On one of the busiest travel days of the year, American Airlines catering workers held sit-in protests at Reagan National Airport demanding higher pay and better access to healthcare. According to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), 12 individuals were arrested and released on summons… the issue occurred when protesters entered the street and blocked traffic outside the B/C terminal.” [WUSA 9]

TSA Confiscates Loaded Gun at DCAUpdated at 8:20 a.m. — “A Fredericksburg, Virginia, resident was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a 9 mm handgun loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, in the man’s carry-on bag at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on Monday, November 25.” [Transportation Security Administration]

Local Lawmakers Become Committee Chairs — “Two of the three state senators in Arlington’s legislative delegation will chair committees in the 2020 session, which opens Jan. 8. State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) has been tapped to chair the Senate Committee on Finance, while Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) will chair the Committee on Rehabilitation & Social Services.” [InsideNova]

Impact of a Casino in N. Va. — “With Virginia’s General Assembly expected to debate casinos and gambling in the upcoming legislative session, its research agency issued a report Monday examining fiscal impacts on the state — including what a casino in Northern Virginia might mean. According to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study, a Northern Virginia casino would produce $595 million in gaming revenue annually.” [Washington Business Journal]

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(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Expect heavy traffic at the airports and on local highways as more than a million people depart the D.C. area for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to Reagan National Airport, peak travel days include today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday), plus Saturday and Sunday for those returning from their Thanksgiving vacation.

Travelers are advised to take Metro and use terminal garages due to ongoing construction for a new 14-gate concourse at DCA, titled “Project Journey,” that has reduced lane capacity on the Arrivals roadway in front of Terminal B/C. Meanwhile, big storms affecting large portions of the country may bring flight delays and cancellations.

On the roads, AAA Mid-Atlantic is predicting a “big exodus,” with the worst traffic expected tomorrow.

“As a result, holiday travelers exiting the area and those staying put for the holiday, will encounter heavier traffic congestion, as well as travel delays that are almost three times longer than the normal delays — if there is such a thing around here — during the afternoon rush hours on any given Wednesday.”

Another traffic tracking company agrees, saying 3-5 p.m. on Wednesday should bring the worst traffic on D.C. area highways and arterials.

As Thanksgiving is one of the worst times of the year for crashes, Virginia State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. — Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort — starting tomorrow and running until December 1. The program, will increase police visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the five-day holiday period.

The Arlington County Police Department, meanwhile, has partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a high-visibility “Click It or Ticket” campaign, starting today and running until December 6.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority had the following tips for travelers, after the jump.

Read More

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Workers to Picket at DCA Today

Airline catering workers at Reagan National Airport are planning to picket and stage a sit-in today to protest “poverty wages [and] expensive healthcare.”

The workers, who work for companies contracted by the airlines, are paid as little as $12.15 an hour and many don’t receive company-provided healthcare, according to labor union UNITE HERE Local 23.

Around 5:30 p.m. today, on perhaps the busiest travel day of the year, workers are planning to engage in “informational picketing,” followed by a “nonviolent civil disobedience sit-in” at DCA’s American Airlines Terminal C.

This is the latest in a series of labor actions targeting airline contractors at National Airport over the past few years — including one recent rally with Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

More from UNITE HERE:

This protest is set to be the latest in a series of demonstrations by airline catering workers at U.S. airports. Though their work is essential to airline operations, wages are as low as $12.15 an hour. Only 32% of workers at LSG Sky Chefs at DCA had company healthcare in 2018, and only 10% covered any dependents. Meanwhile, American reported a 2018 annual profit of $1.9 billion. Workers hope that by bringing their message to the many passengers travelling before Thanksgiving, they will motivate American to resolve the labor dispute.

In addition to ongoing protest activity at DCA, previous large-scale demonstrations calling attention to American Airlines have already taken place this year in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Dallas-Ft. Worth–where over 50 were arrested in a civil disobedience near American Airlines’ headquarters and largest hub airport. This past summer UNITE HERE airline catering workers at DCA voted overwhelmingly to strike when released by the National Mediation Board. Federal mediation of contract negotiations continues.

In D.C., where the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority passed a workers wage policy in 2017, the Board’s resolution stated that MWAA would review the policy no later than December 31, 2019. The last scheduled raise in the MWAA policy is for $12.75 on January 1, 2020, and then will rise with inflation. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in D.C. is already $14, rising to $15 on July 1, 2020, and then rising with inflation. Workers are pushing MWAA to raise the minimum wage for all airport workers to catch up to the rising minimum wage in D.C., and address the growing health care crisis at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports.

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Morning Notes

Amazon Offers Millions for Affordable Housing — “Amazon is offering $20 million to the Arlington County Affordable Housing Investment Fund in exchange for being allowed to build a bigger headquarters complex in the county than zoning allows… it would be the greatest single infusion of money ever into Arlington’s housing fund.” [Washington Post, Washington Business Journal]

Alexandria Home Sale Prices Rise Above Arlington — “The Amazon HQ2 effect on home prices in Northern Virginia continues and, at least by one measure, the Alexandria housing market is now more expensive than Arlington County. At least it was in October, the most recent month for which data is available.” [WTOP]

Racing Presidents Offer DCA Travel Tips — The Washington Nationals racing presidents star in a new video offering holiday travel tips to those flying out of Reagan National Airport. [Twitter/@Reagan_Airport]

ACFD Responds to Prince George’s Co. Fire — “Today, @ArlingtonVaFD Truck 105 in the Crystal City area was dispatched to 3800 St. Barnabas Road in Marlow Heights for a @PGFDNews building fire. They were the 3rd due special service on the initial dispatch.” [Twitter/@STATter911]

Bankruptcy for Quarterdeck’s Sister Restaurant — “District Anchor, the bar that replaced the decades-old Dupont Circle mainstay Rumors in 2016, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization… owner Patrick Morrogh — who also owns Arlington’s Quarterdeck Restaurant, similarly known for its crabs and seafood-based menu — doesn’t intend to close the Dupont bar.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Editor’s Note: 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.

Rosslyn-based Airside Mobile, a travel app developer founded a decade ago by a pair of former TSA employees, is making national headlines thanks to a bit of timely research.

With the busy holiday travel season getting underway, Airside Mobile released a study, using data from Customs and Border Protection, ranking Thanksgiving passenger wait times for international arrivals at the 25 busiest international airports in the U.S.

The study is on-brand for Airside Mobile and its flagship Mobile Passport app, which “speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at 30+ airports and cruise ports.” Here’s what company said about the study:

It’s well established that Thanksgiving is one of the busiest air travel periods of the year. Each year, there is lots of commentary around the domestic travel volume, but little attention is given to the international travel volume which also experiences a spike around Thanksgiving. Upon arriving to the U.S. from international destinations, all passengers must pass through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s clearance process. A passenger’s wait time for this clearance process is highly variable and driven by factors including volume of arriving passengers, number of open CBP processing booths, citizenship status, and the use of Global Entry or Mobile Passport Control. Using CBP’s Airport Wait Time tool, we analyzed 12 days of Thanksgiving 2018’s travel window (11/16/18 – 11/27/18) to predict the busiest days and times of Thanksgiving 2019’s travel window (11/22/19 – 12/2/18) at 25 of the highest volume airports.

Phoenix Sky Harbor, San Jose (Calif.), Baltimore-Washington, Charlotte Douglas and Philadelphia international airports ranked No. 1-5 respectively, while Newark, Miami and San Francisco were at the bottom of the list.

Washington Dulles ranked No. 6, with an average wait for U.S. citizens of 4 minutes. No. 3-ranked Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) reported an average wait of 3 minutes.

So far the wait time study has been reported by CNBC (“Flying this Thanksgiving? Here’s how long you’ll wait at immigration and security”) and USA Today (“Thanksgiving travel: Airports with the shortest and longest customs lines”).

“We’re seeing a small trend during the Thanksgiving window, with a lot of folks taking advantage of the long weekend to go abroad,” Patrick Merfert, Airside’s vice president of marketing, is quoted as saying by CNBC. “We wanted to see what it was going to look like when they arrived back home.”

“You tend to see a lot of smaller airports performing quite well, which is partially due to lower traffic, but you also see some larger airports punching above their weight,” Merfert also said, per the financial news network’s article. “Washington Dulles is ranking quite well despite having moderately high traffic.”

Crunching data and producing interesting infographics or rankings, then pitching the results to journalists, is a well-established way for companies to try to earn free media coverage. While many rankings never go beyond a press release, Airside Mobile was able to capitalize on public interest in holiday travel to pick up coverage from major outlets.

It’s not the only PR win for the company. CNBC also reported in August that Mobile Passport “makes clearing US airport immigration and customs a breeze,” following the release of the company’s premium service, dubbed Mobile Passport plus.

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