Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Snow Removal Ordinance in Effect — “A recent weather event has concluded and deposited snow/ice accumulations of less than 6 inches. Arlington’s sidewalk snow removal ordinance requires residents and businesses to clear adjacent public sidewalks of snow and ice by 1:00 PM on Wednesday, February 3.” [Arlington County]

More Back-to-School Dates Expected Soon — “We look forward to welcoming Level 2 Career & Technical Education students to the Arlington Career Center for hybrid/in-person instruction starting [today]. We continue to assess additional student return dates… The next group to return will be Level 2, PreK through second grade and countywide elementary special education students. Return dates for this group will be communicated at the Feb. 18 School Board meeting.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Arlington Rent Declines Slowing — “Arlington’s COVID- and shutdown-caused drop in apartment rents appears to be hitting bottom for now, according to new data from Apartment List, but the county’s rental market is still significantly more affordable than before the pandemic. For the year ending in January, rents in Arlington were down 14 percent from a year before… the drop from December to January was just 0.5 percent, lower than in preceding months.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Ranks No. 14 in ‘Walk-Friendly’ List — “About 30 years ago, Arlington took the lead in suburban redevelopment in Virginia, creating walkable urban areas around the metro system. Now that momentum has pushed Arlington (and its most walkable neighborhoods of Clarendon-Courthouse, Ballston-Virginia Square, and Lyon Village) into the top walkable cities — something we can expect to continue when Amazon moves in.” [MSN]

Hope’s Prison Oversight Bill Dies — From Del. Patrick Hope (D): “This is not the end — only the beginning. Every agency in Va must be transparent and accountable to the public which they serve. We will regroup and come back next session with a bill that prioritizes [Virginia Dept. of Corrections] oversight.” [Twitter]

Case of the Stray Hockey Sticks — A shipment of hockey sticks destined for the Washington Capitals practice facility in Ballston, to be used by new Caps acquisition Zdeno Chara, was apparently mis-delivered to a random New Jersey man’s home. [ESPN, Barstool Sports]

Bezos Relinquishing CEO Role at Amazon — “Jeff Bezos said Tuesday that he will step down as chief executive of Amazon, leaving the helm of the company he founded 27 years ago. Bezos will transition to the role of executive chair in the third quarter of this year, which starts July 1, the company said. Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, will take over as CEO of Amazon.” The company yesterday revealed designs for the second phase of its Arlington HQ2. [NBC News]

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Morning Notes

Vigil Planned Saturday in Green ValleyUpdated at noon — “Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Black Parents of Arlington and Yolande Kwinana will be hosting a vigil at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School Field, to honor those who have died at the hands of police. Speakers will enlighten the community on what they can do to help enact change in our Arlington.” [Facebook]

Ballston Macy’s Redevelopment Proposal Delayed — “The owner of air rights above the [potentially for sale] Macy’s building in Ballston will have additional time to move forward with a planned redevelopment of the space, if County Board members act on its request June 13. Board members are being asked to extend until July 2023 the ability of the owner to come to the county government with a development plan. The current site plan, which sets out development parameters for the parcel, was set to expire in several weeks.” [InsideNova]

Local CrossFit Gym Speaks Out — “Replacing one CEO for another is not real change. We welcome the retirement of CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman as a step in the right direction, but we find it woefully inadequate. The appointment of Dave Castro as new CEO is unmistakably a tone deaf move that is shying away from making any difficult and meaningful change.” [@crossfitsoutharlington/Instagram]

Op-Ed: Parking Proposal Not Fair to Green Valley — “While millions marched for equity and racial justice last week, the Arlington County government posted a board agenda item that turns these actions into mere slogans. A license agreement would have the county government turn a newly acquired $1 million property in the Green Valley community into a parking lot for WETA. This action is but one in a series of events that draw attention to the inequity systemic within the county.” [InsideNova]

Caps Resuming Practices in Ballston — “The Washington Capitals have announced their date for small group activities to resume: Thursday, June 11. The announcement comes a day after MedStar Capitals Iceplex, the team’s practice facility, posted it would begin the state’s Phase 2 reopening plan this weekend. According to the Capitals, MedStar Capitals Iceplex will remain closed to the public.” [Russian Machine Never Breaks, Washington Capitals]

Nearby: Fairfax Co. Expects Office Vacancy Spike — “Fairfax County’s office vacancy rate is likely to suffer as remote meetings continue to be the norm, the county’s economic development chief warned in early June. Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, delivered that warning to the county board of supervisors during a June 2 meeting.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Morning Notes

Police Searching for Groping Suspect — “N. Glebe Road at 24th Road N. At approximately 7:45 p.m. on April 1, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 7:30 p.m., the female victim was walking in the area when the unknown suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The victim turned around and yelled at the suspect, who fled on foot prior to police arrival.” [Arlington County]

Beyer Concerned About Small Biz Loan Program — “U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) this evening held an urgent conference call with representatives of over a dozen Virginia lending institutions to discuss questions and concerns about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program.” [Press Release]

Caps Player Helping to Feed First Responders — “Caps player Garnet Hathaway may be off the ice during this pandemic, but he’s leaning into giving back. He’s got a program that is providing meals to Arlington County’s first responders.” [Fox 5]

Should Some Lanes Become Pedestrian Zones? — With greatly reduced levels of traffic, and guidelines for those out and about to maintain six feet of distance from one another, some localities are mulling temporarily repurposing vehicle travel lanes into pedestrian zones. A few residents are calling on Arlington to consider something similar. [Twitter, Twitter]

Follow ARLnow on Instagram — Stuck at home and want to see more of what’s going on around different parts of Arlington? Follow our Instagram account for daily updates from ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott. [Instagram]

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Morning Notes

Reminder: Tap Water Change Today — “The District of Columbia, Arlington County and northeastern Fairfax County will clean out their tap water network starting Monday — a safe, annual process. Service continues uninterrupted during the process, which runs from March 30 through May 4. During that time, drinking water in the may taste slightly different. But the purification process remains unchanged and the water is essentially unchanged.” [ARLnow]

Jail Takes Extra Precautions — “We have created a unit that is strictly for all new individuals that are committed to the jail. These individuals are ‘quarantined’ from the rest of the population for an initial 14 days and checked daily by our Medical Staff. With the Detention Center population being low, we were able to move inmates around, creating the safest environment for those individuals that have been remanded to our custody and for new individuals entering the facility.” [Arlington County]

Human Services from a Distance — “Arlington’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is taking steps to provide services that don’t require in-person visits in an effort to contribute to the community slowdown of the spread of COVID-19.” [Arlington County]

Post Editorial Assails Arlington Judges — “Parisa Dehghani-Tafti last fall ran for commonwealth’s attorney on a promise of criminal justice reform, and voters in Arlington County and Falls Church chose her — and that platform — over the longtime, tough-on-crime incumbent. Now her efforts to deliver on her promise of progressive justice have run into opposition from judges who have taken highly unusual — and some say inappropriate — steps to undermine her discretion as the jurisdiction’s top elected prosecutor.” [Washington Post]

Shirlington Circle Closure in Place — “The northern section of the Shirlington Circle bridge over the general purpose and express lanes on I-395 will close from 10 p.m., Sunday, March 29 until midnight, Wednesday night, April 1… Travelers driving north on the I-395 general purpose lanes will not be able to access Shirlington from Exit 6.” [Press Release]

New Cap Gets Arlington Orientation — “When trying to adjust to life in a new city, it can be nice to have a familiar face around to help you. That’s exactly what Brenden Dillon had after he was traded to the Capitals in Joel Ward… Dillon and Ward were teammates in San Jose for three seasons from 2015 to 2018. Dillon credited Ward for helping him get acclimated to Arlington, Va. and the Washington area.” [NBC Sports Washington]

Tree Advocates Worry About Fate of Big Oak — “In the latest in Arlington’s tree wars, homeowners at 5920 N. 35th St. joined with passionate volunteers from the Arlington Tree Action Group to sound alarms over the threat to a towering water oak outside their home of 28 years, which might soon be a tear-down… The owners believe it is Arlington’s tallest outside the national cemetery.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Nicklas Backstrom is loving dad life in Arlington.

Last month Backstrom signed a new five-year, $46 million contract to remain with the Washington Capitals. In addition to being the second all-time scorer for the Caps and one of hockey’s top players, the 32-year-old Swede and father of two is an Arlington resident.

A video from the Caps’ “Beyond Hockey” series was recently posted on YouTube and shows Backstrom at home in his red brick, north Arlington house. He spoke highly of the neighborhood.

“We have lived here for 10 years, actually — or I have lived here for 10 years, and Liza has lived here for 7 or 8,” he said, referring to his fiancée.

“We love it around here, on typical days we usually just — kids go to school until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and then keep them activated and run around,” he said. “That’s when they get the best sleep too.”

Backstrom purchased the home, near the Fairfax County border, for $2 million in 2010.

In the video, he also reveals that Liza is pregnant with the family’s third child. For her part, Liza says the family “has a lot of good neighbors.”

Backstrom is not the only Arlingtonian on the team to talk up the county on video. In October, Caps winger and Bash Boxing co-owner Tom Wilson, who signed his own $31 million contract extension in 2018, appeared in the Beyond Hockey series and spent much of the video driving around Arlington.

“The offseason always flies by, but when you drive in and Arlington’s buzzing you realize how much you’ve missed it here,” Wilson said. “It’s a great feeling to have a place like that that you’re fortunate enough to come back to every year. There’s lots of stuff to do.”

The Caps may play at Capital One arena in D.C., but the team’s offices and its practices are held at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Ballston.

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Ballston Quarterfest — the event that replaced Taste of Arlington last year — is coming back this summer with some new features.

This year’s festival — now dubbed the Quaterfest Crawl — has been scheduled for May 16, along Wilson Blvd. between N. Taylor Street and N. Randolph Street. The event is scheduled to run from 12-8 p.m. rain or shine, which are extended hours compared to last year.

The event is hosted by BallstonGives, a charitable arm of the Ballston Business Improvement District.

Unlike Taste of Arlington, restaurants don’t come to Quarterfest’s main drag and set up tents. The Quarterfest Crawl is a for-purchase wristband that gets the visitor access to free tastings and special discounts on meals at dozens of restaurants around the neighborhood.

The event is free and open to the public, but a wristband is required to participate in the restaurant crawl and to get drink tickets for the street pub — a pop-up bar serving beer, cider, wine and cocktails. The Quarterfest Crawl wristband is $45 online before May 1, though there are other prices for other types of packages.

This year, the event is set to feature a new “culinary discovery” and expo pavilion at the center of the festival, also on Wilson Blvd.

“Think of the culinary discovery pavilion as a live cooking demonstration area with classroom seating and additional seating for people to stand and socialize,” Ballston BID spokeswoman Catherine Roper said said. You’ll also be able to try what’s being cooked.

“Think of this as Quarterfest’s Kitchen Stadium,” Roper said.

Meanwhile, at the expo pavilion, visitors can turn in a fully stamped “Crawl passport” to be entered to win two free tickets to a Washington Capitals game. Registration is now open for local businesses that want to sign up as exhibitors at the expo pavilion or as sponsors for the event.

In addition to food, drink and exhibitors, attendees will also be able to enjoy some live music. The following bands are scheduled to play throughout the event.

File photo

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Washington Capitals star, former Arlington resident and Papa John’s pitchman Alexander Ovechkin dropped by an Arlington fire station with free pizzas for the firefighters yesterday.

The surprise visit happened Thursday afternoon at Fire Station 2, near Ballston, where the Caps practice. Ovechkin can be seen in a video (below) dropping off pizzas and taking a brief tour of the station and ACFD’s Truck 106.

(The truck often runs calls in the City of Falls Church, which contracts with Arlington to provide fire services.)

“Yeah!” Ovechkin can be heard saying as he sits in the driver’s seat, with the truck’s lights blinking. “Everybody’s going to be afraid of me on the road.”

“We love station visits,” ACFD said in a Tweet shortly after the visit. “This one though… TOP! Thanks for dropping by @ovi8. Come by anytime!”

Screen cap via @Capitals/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Scooters Can Officially Ride on Sidewalks, Trails — Details about the new, William Shatner-approved permanent e-scooter and e-bike regulations approved by the County Board over the weekend: “Motorized scooters and skateboards will have a top speed of 15 miles per hour, and e-bicycles will have a top speed of 20 miles per hour on streets and trails. When operating on public sidewalks, the top speed of all the devices is restricted to six miles per hour. The devices will not be allowed to operate on sidewalks where a protected bicycle lane is available and may be prohibited from other sidewalks.” [Arlington County]

Progress on Second Ballston Metro Entrance Plan — “At long last, Arlington seems to be making real progress on building a western entrance to the Ballston Metro station — and that includes finding a path to fund the stalled project. County officials plan to set aside an extra $25 million for the Metro station entrance, then ask for $33.5 million in regional transportation funding for the project.” [Washington Business Journal]

Ballston Harris Teeter Development OKed — “A mixed-use redevelopment approved today by the County Board will replace the Harris Teeter and the American Service Center on N. Glebe Rd. with apartments, a new grocery store, other ground floor retail and a new public open space… community benefits will include a $4.1 million contribution to affordable housing; new public street connections; improvements to the traffic signals at Randolph Street and Glebe Road, and the replacement of a large water main under Glebe Road.” [Arlington County]

Talento Not Seeking Reelection — “I have decided not to seek reelection to my School Board seat. Fulfilling my duties as a public servant take first priority for me and, while it is an honor to serve on the School Board, running a campaign while simultaneously fulfilling these responsibilities is not the best way for me to ensure our students have the future they deserve.” [Blue Virginia]

Jennie Dean Park Project Approved — “The Arlington County Board today approved a $15.5 million contract with MCN Build, Inc. to begin Jennie Dean Park’s long-awaited transformation.” [Arlington County]

Caps Host TAPS Families at Iceplex — “Late Thursday afternoon, family members of fallen soldiers got a chance to skate with Capitals players in Arlington, Virginia. The Capitals hosted the event with an organization called TAPS – the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.” [WJLA]

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Champagne was spraying, people were jumping around and the whole room filled with deafening shouts.

That was the scene at the Washington Capitals’ annual Halloween party last night, as the Stanley Cup-winning hockey team celebrated D.C.’s newest champions, the World Series-winning Nationals.

The Caps held the team Halloween party at The G.O.A.T. in Clarendon, but the event turned into a World Series watch party. Alexander Ovechkin was among the players partying as the last strike was called in the bottom of the 9th.

The event for the team and spouses was held in a private event space at the sports bar, located across the street from the Clarendon Metro. Video from the celebration was posted online and quickly reposted by the Washington Post, Barstool Sports and local sports blogs.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Rooftop Bar Reopens — After being shut down by county building inspectors, Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill in Courthouse reopened Tuesday evening, just in time to watch the Nationals sweep the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, to advance to the first World Series in D.C. since 1933. [Twitter]

Housing Still Hot Near HQ2 — “The median sale price for all home types in the 22202 [zip code, which includes the Pentagon City and Crystal City area] jumped nearly 40% in September compared with the same time last year, reaching $685,000… That makes it nine straight months of home price appreciation for the 22202 area. Arlington County as a whole saw a modest 12% year-to-date increase, $590,000 for all home types.” [Washington Business Journal]

Retail Job Fair Next Week — “Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Washington D.C.’s international shopping destination, invites job seekers to attend its Retailer Job Fair on Tuesday, October 22. From 11 a.m.-7 p.m., candidates can visit the Metro and First Levels to pick up applications, meet with store representatives and apply onsite.” [Press Release]

DCA Fee to Help Pay for Expansion Project — “Project Journey, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s $1 billion capital improvement effort well underway at Reagan National Airport, will be paid for in part by airline passengers. At its meeting Wednesday, the MWAA board will be asked to approve the submission of a new Passenger Facility Charge application… The $4.50 fee is collected by airlines as part of their airfare and remitted to the airport of origin.” [Washington Business Journal]

Caps Dogs Star in Arlington Photoshoot — “In the 2020 Capitals Canine Calendar, you will see 12 months of Washington ice hockey players posing with dogs of all sizes, ages and bark levels… There was plenty of four-legged mischief during the October shoot at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Nearby: New Restaurant in Arlandria — “The new Taqueria Senora Lola is now open at 3901 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria. Owner Oswaldo Salinas said the restaurant — adjacent to Salinas’ other eatery, Lilian’s Restaurant, opened two weeks ago and had a grand opening event this past Saturday.” [ALXnow]

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