When a grand old oak tree died just prior to construction on an improvement project at Oakgrove Park, landscape architect Kathy von Bredow knew what she had to do.
She got in touch with prolific chainsaw artist Andrew Mallon, who’s responsible for a number of intriguing tree sculptures around Arlington, and asked him to do his magic. Now, as seen in the video above, that tree is a whimsical carving of forest animals having fun around a little house.
The carving is now a centerpiece at Oakgrove Park — or is it Oak Grove Park? — that all can enjoy. Other upgrades to the park include a new tot lot, play equipment for school-age children, picnic shelter and site furnishings.
Video via Arlington County
DHS Official Charged With Beating Wife in Arlington — A “senior career official with the Department of Homeland Security who… handles a ‘high volume’ of classified information in his role as an intelligence briefer,” served jail time after a 2016 incident in Arlington in which he was charged with assaulting his wife, breaking two ribs and causing bruising around her neck. [Washington Post]
Anti-DUI Event at Shamrock Crawl Tomorrow — The Arlington County Police Department will hold a St. Patrick’s Day-themed anti-DUI event dubbed “Don’t Press Your Luck” in Clarendon tomorrow (Saturday). The event will coincide with the planned Shamrock Crawl bar crawl. [Arlington County]
More on Wakefield’s Championship Run — But for a great defensive play by Varina, the Wakefield High School boys basketball team might have emerged victorious from yesterday’s state championship game in Richmond. [Washington Post]
Arlington to Co-Star in Travel Video — Arlington County has received grant funding that will help pay for its share of a new Virginia tourism video that will also feature Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Loudoun County, Richmond and Staunton. [Arlington County]
Long Branch Creek Profiled — “A mostly residential section of south Arlington, Long Branch Creek is a diverse community where almost 75 percent of residents are renters. In addition, there are condominium buildings, townhouses, duplexes and one single-family home.” [Washington Post]
Fire Station History to Be Recognized — Last month Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz established a “Fire Station No. 8 History and Legacy (FS8HL) Working Group,” to record and celebrate the history of the first Arlington fire station staffed by African Americans. [Arlington County]
Kanninen Gets Democratic School Board Nod — “An Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus? Fuggedaboutit. Incumbent School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen was the lone candidate to file to run in the caucus, which had been slated for several days in May. With no opposition bubbling up, the caucus was nixed.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Rex Block
(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) Arlington County’s “Open Door Monday” events are continuing this year, offering residents the opportunity to chat with a County Board member about any topic in an informal setting.
First started in 2012, Open Door Mondays are held almost every Monday, except in August and December, from 7-9 p.m.
Here’s the monthly schedule:
- 1st Monday: Langston-Brown Community Center (2121 N. Culpeper Street)
- 2nd Monday: Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street)
- 3rd Monday: Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
- 4th Monday: Aurora Hills Library (735 18th Street S.)
The Arlington School Board also holds Open Office Hours events, with one scheduled tonight (Monday) from 6-8 p.m. with School Board member Monique O’Grady. The event is being held at the Arlington Education Center building (1426 N. Quincy Street), Room 105. No appointments are necessary.
A D.C. taxicab drove onto the Custis Trail yesterday and the incident was caught on video.
The taxi was seen driving onto the bike path Monday afternoon near the MOM’s Organic Market on Lee Highway. A passerby saw it happen and ran to make sure the driver, who was apparently lost, was able to safely get off the trail and back onto the road.
“I followed him right away to make sure he backs up,” said Wael Salha, who also took the video.
Salha says that he frequently uses the path and believes that a narrower trailhead and more car-blocking bollards could have prevented the driver from mistakenly turning onto the path.
“I always use that trail and I was really worried,” he said, adding that he’s not trying to get the driver in trouble.
“I hope that this will not affect the driver’s job,” he said. “This is not my intention, I was only concerned about the people’s safety and [want] more precaution on the county’s end.”
A V.I.P. Cab Company phone operator was unable to connect ARLnow.com to the driver with partial plate numbers, but was able to confirm that all cab drivers with V.I.P. are required to use G.P.S. while driving passengers. The operator added that normally the cab company stays within Washington, so the driver was in unfamiliar territory.
Photo (bottom) via Google Maps
In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, a dozen Arlington County Police officers volunteered to head down to Puerto Rico and assist law enforcement on the island.
The officers first arrived in November and were greeted by grateful residents. They came back with unforgettable stories to tell of their service to the community.
Among those featured in the video above is Det. Rosa Ortiz, who grew up on Puerto Rico before moving to the United States in 1984.
More on ACPD’s efforts during the Puerto Rico recovery effort, via a police press release:
In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria, one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes on record, roared through Puerto Rico. It completely destroyed the island’s power grid and caused catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities.
Some 1,560 miles away, the Arlington County Police Department answered the calls for help.
Twelve Arlington County Police officers volunteered to deploy to Puerto Rico, roughly a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean. ACPD’s officers deployed in three staggered teams between November 10 – December 18, 2017, and served the Puerto Rico community for 16 days each.
The officers directed traffic at critical intersections impacted by power outages, relieving this burden from the local officers, who could then focus on other law enforcement responsibilities. They made themselves a part of the community, offering support and comfort in desperate times. They selflessly served a community in need, and represented ACPD’s values of Duty, Honor and Commitment. But mostly, they wanted to help.
“I am proud that our officers are willing to dedicate their time to provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with an added sense of security in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Police Chief M. Jay Farr. “Our officers take an oath to serve and protect and their willingness to deploy shows their commitment and dedication, not just to the Arlington County community, but to citizens everywhere.”
The request for assistance came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the national emergency management mutual aid system. Each of ACPD’s three teams provided traffic direction at the intersection of Route 66 and Route 3 in the town of Rio Grande, roughly 24 miles outside the capital city of San Jaun. Throughout their deployment, they served the Puerto Rico community, and were joined by other Virginia Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) teams from Prince William and Hampton, as well as teams from, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Florida, Houston and Montana.
County Board Approves Affordable Housing Loan — At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Board approved a loan that will help preserve the 294-unit Park Shirlington Apartments as affordable housing. The $6 million loan from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund will allow a pair of developers to buy the complex, rehabilitate it and preserve as much affordable housing as possible. [Arlington County]
Ten Die in Va. Thanksgiving Weekend Crashes — “With overall traffic fatalities already on the increase, the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one… on Virginia’s highways. During the holiday… traffic crashes claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger and a pedestrian.” [Virginia State Police]
Video Shows Helicopter Search of Crane — A video, posted by a Pentagon City resident, shows the Fairfax County Police helicopter using its spotlight to search a construction crane Sunday night, as part of a death investigation that was still ongoing as of Monday evening. [YouTube]
FCC Chair Reports Harassing Signs — FCC chairman and Arlington resident Ajit Pai is again being targeted at his home by activists who oppose changes to net neutrality and media ownership rules. This time, signs outside Pai’s home have reportedly referenced his children. The Arlington County Republican Committee called the alleged harassment “disgusting.” [Washington Post, Twitter]
Education Tech Company Sets Up Clarendon Studios — “Higher education is getting the star treatment… in Clarendon. Headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, [education technology firm] 2U recently revamped the former Henninger Media space off Wilson Boulevard to create a satellite office with eight TV studios, where visiting professors can spend a whirlwind three to four days taping lectures and other multimedia course materials designed to supplement live classroom chats and streaming video.” [Arlington Magazine]
Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton
What would it be like to skydive in highly-restricted airspace over Arlington and the Pentagon?
A new video gives us a first-person perspective on just that. The GoPro-style video shows the skydivers who swooped down from above as part of a demonstration before the Marine Corps Marathon this past weekend.
Multiple expert skydivers landed in a small strip of land between the runners and Arlington National Cemetery as tens of thousands of runners watched and applauded.
Arlington County remember the nearly 3,000 people killed 16 years ago today (Monday) in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Fire Chief James Bonzano, Police Chief Jay Farr and Sheriff Beth Arthur laid a wreath at the flagpole in Courthouse Plaza to remember the dead, including the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon. A moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. — marking when the plane flew into the Pentagon — was followed by a playing of “Taps” and a lowering of the flag to half-staff.
Flanked by his Arlington County Board colleagues as well as Virginia General Assembly representatives, Rep. Don Beyer (D) and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), County Board chair Jay Fisette recalled in his remarks how Arlingtonians came together that day, and in the days and weeks after. Fisette was also chair of the Board in 2001.
“The initial shock was followed by compassion, by patriotism, by resolve,” he said.
This year’s commemoration came just months after Corporal Harvey Snook’s name was added to the county’s Peace Officers Memorial for police officers killed in the line of duty. Snook died in January 2016 from cancer he contracted from responding to the Pentagon. He spent a week there, collecting evidence and the remains of some of the people killed.
To further commemorate the anniversary, Arlington County’s poet laureate Katherine Young released a new poem this weekend, entitled “Hazmat.”
The Arlington County Police Department has gotten national and international attention after a video of its officers performing a synchronized swimming routine went viral.
The video, to advertise the third annual Police, Fire and Sheriff Block Party on August 26, has put the department in the spotlight, with the likes of ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight showing it to a national audience.
Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said all four major networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX — all reached out to ask for permission to use the video, with ABC’s national Facebook post receiving more than 1.8 million views.
There have also been attempts to recreate the routine, too, from local news anchors in Texas, while police departments even further afield in places like Australia and the United Kingdom have given the video international exposure.
In a radio interview with WFTL in South Florida, Sgt. Damon Washington, one of the officers who throws themselves in the pool in full uniform to perform, said the department never planned to go viral. Instead, he said, they just wanted to engage local people in their work.
“In all honesty, we didn’t do this to go viral,” Washington said. “Me and our guys really care about the community we serve. It’s one of our initiatives, and one of the [Police Chief Jay Farr’s] initiatives is community engagement.”
Washington said the department gave the pool video, and the series of other light-hearted videos promoting the block party, its full support.
The department released another video today (below) to advertise the block party. This time, officers and firefighters are shown enjoying themselves while washing cars. Attendees can get a voucher for a free car wash after taking a distracted driving course, one of the many activities at the block party.
“We’re a very talented group up here in Arlington County,” Washington said.
The block party will take place on August 26 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road). The event is free and will be geared towards families.
After weeks of anticipation ahead of its August 26 block party, the Arlington County Police Department on Thursday, August 10 released its video of officers synchronized swimming to advertise the festivities.
The video begins with officers looking at hundreds of bottles of water, wondering if it will be enough to quench the thirst of attendees. Then the video cuts to show five officers removing some of their bulkier equipment before diving into the pool — it was filmed at the Dorchester Towers apartments along Columbia Pike — to perform a synchronized swimming routine.
The video is one of several created to promote the third annual Police, Fire and Sheriff Block Party. Another released on August 2 shows an officer and a child demonstrating the ninja obstacle course, one of several activities at the event.
The block party will take place on August 26 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road). The event is free and will be geared towards families.
Activities scheduled throughout the day include: “Behind the Badge,” an interactive activity that will simulate police scenarios for residents; a training on police tactics to get a taste of what it’s like being an officer; VIN etching; demonstrations from police K-9s and motorcycle officers; a distracted driving course; a “helicopter and vehicle expo” and more.
The Arlington County Fire Department and its T-Rex got in on the latest viral video meme.
ACFD sent the costumed dinosaur on the “Drive by Dunk Challenge,” tweeting out a video of the escapades. The result: a five-alarm fail of a dunk attempt.
The video shows an ACFD truck driving around Arlington and stopping outside houses with basketball hoops, where the T-Rex runs over to the hoop and attempts to dunk the ball with its tiny arms before racing back to the truck.
At one point, the dinosaur falls on its side, while another time, the dinosaur climbs down the truck’s ladder and gingerly plops the ball into the hoop.
The challenge began when an Instagram user named posted a video of him dunking a basketball on strangers’ driveways. It has since spread nationally, with police officers and NBA players getting in on the action.
Today’s heavy rain has turned Four Mile Run into a raging torrent of murky water.
A Columbia Pike resident posted videos of the overflowing stream on Twitter this afternoon (Friday). The video was taken near S. George Mason Drive.
— Columbia Forest (@CFCA_Arlington) July 28, 2017
No major flooding problems were reported during the daytime Friday in Arlington, though forecasters warn that more rain may cause additional problems tonight.
There have, however, been scattered weather-related issues reported. A number of traffic signals have started flashing or gone dark and, as of 6:30 p.m., 165 Dominion customers were without power.
On N. Troy Street near Rosslyn, between Key Blvd and Wilson Blvd, a large tree fell on cars and power lines, according to scanner reports.
More videos of Four Mile Run, after the jump.
Metro Delays This Morning — Updated at 9:25 a.m. — A disabled train outside of the Pentagon Metro station caused significant delays on the Blue and Yellow lines during part of this morning’s rush hour. Meanwhile, a signal problem outside of the Rosslyn station caused delays on the Orange and Silver lines at the tail end of the rush hour. [Washington Post, Twitter]]
Arlington Men Charged With Murder — Updated at 10:40 a.m. — Two young Arlington men have been arrested and charged with the fatal shooting of a Silver Spring man. Police say the Arlington men, ages 19 and 21, and a 19-year-old Maryland man went to the victim’s house to rob him of marijuana. [WTOP, Washington Post]
Crystal City Library to Remain Open For Another Year — The “popup” library in the Crystal City Shops will remain open through June 2018, Arlington County announced this morning. Newly-renamed landlord JBG Smith reached an agreement with the county to keep it open, according to a press release. [Arlington County]
ACPD Releases Video With Talking Dog — The first Arlington County Police Department video promoting an upcoming public safety block party has been released, and it’s “narrated” by one of ACPD’s K-9 units. A highly-anticipated video featuring ACPD officers doing synchronized swimming has yet to be released. [YouTube]
Volunteer Arlington Awards — Earlier this week, the group Volunteer Arlington handed out its 2017 Volunteer Arlington Awards, celebrating dedicated volunteers in categories like “lifetime of service award,” “distinguished corporate service award,” and “distinguished county service award.” [Volunteer Arlington]
Clever Signs at AWLA — A sign outside of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Shirlington is using pop culture references to help build demand for pet adoptions at the shelter. The latest: “They want to watch Game of Thrones too.” [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Sunday’s Storm on Video — A Pentagon City resident captured one of Sunday’s storms on video, showing torrential rain, strong wind and a screen door that had blown off a building and got stuck in a tree. [YouTube]
A local YouTube personality waited at a red light near Virginia Hospital Center for 20 minutes earlier this week, and posted his experience to his channel.
Angelo, who describes himself as the creative director of the FlyingOverTr0ut channel, says he makes “sketches, commercial parodies, music videos, short films, drama, 9 hour videos of me sleeping, unauthorized T-Mobile commercials, and videos about my easily confused Greek mom.”
But a video posted July 18 shows him having a more troubling experience. It shows Angelo waiting at a red light at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive in Waycroft-Woodlawn for more than 20 minutes.
A timer in the bottom-right corner shows he waited 20 minutes and 30 seconds for the light to change at approximately 2:30 a.m.
The full video is below, although be warned there is strong language and it may not be suitable for viewing at work.
— Mike Lewan (@mlewan3) July 21, 2017
And for those with slightly less time to spare, Angelo posted an edited version of what he describes as his “expose of this intersection,” edited by fellow YouTube user gr18vidz14kidz.
A spokesman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said they responded to his inquiry on Twitter, and that crews “improved the signal timing this week and will continue to monitor the timing at the intersection.”
Photo via Google Maps.