Freecycle.org is a website that allows members to give things away to neighbors for free. It’s like Craigslist, but only for free stuff.
The Freecycle group for Arlington has nearly 3,500 members and more than 550 items offered either for giveaway or as “wanted.”
But one particular, unique item on the site caught a reader’s eye: a life-sized poster of communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.
The “souvenir from Soviet times” is more than six feet tall and is in “very good condition.” It’s available for pick up from a home in the Lyon Park neighborhood, near Clarendon.
“Only in Arlington,” said the reader who spotted it.
— Alex Wellman (@WellmanAlex) August 19, 2016
Remember that weird costumed Pokemon thing taking place near the Clarendon Metro station Tuesday afternoon?
Well, they were filming a YouTube video and one of the creators, Cabot Phillips, tweeted the finished product to us last night. This morning he explained some of the story behind the video.
@ARLnowDOTcom People getting off the Clarendon metro started joining in and it was a glorious bonding experience.
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) July 14, 2016
The video, above, is entitled “Pokemon Go in Real Life Prank.”
You might have seen the work of the Phillips siblings before. Earlier this year they scored a national viral hit with a video in which they convince their sister, who just had wisdom teeth surgery, that they were in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
Anyone walking to or from the Virginia Square Metro station may see this curious sight just across Fairfax Drive from the station entrance.
The patio of an under construction apartment building is seemingly being built around a streetlight and traffic signal pole.
So what’s going on here, asks an ARLnow.com reader?
The photo shows the Latitude Apartments on the 3600 block of Fairfax Drive, first approved by the County Board in 2013 and expected to open later this summer, according to its website. County officials say the pole will eventually be moved at the developer’s expense.
“The pole is going to be relocated as part of the private developer’s site plan,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter. “The developer’s contractor chose to move the pole later on during construction.”
It all started around 2 a.m., on the 2300 block of S. Eads Street, when three people walked up to the suspect’s car, thinking it was their Uber ride.
A “verbal altercation ensued,” according to police, and then the suspect, who was drunk and naked at the time, grabbed a hatchet from the backseat and “started swinging the object.” The three individuals managed to take the hatchet away from the man before he hurt anyone, police said.
The suspect tried to flee the scene but was soon stopped by a U.S. Park Police officer, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report (below).
Michael Monroe, 64, now faces numerous charges in connection with the incident.
DUI(significant), 160612012, 2300 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on June 12, a United States Park Police (USPP) officer responded to the report of a suspect vehicle driving erratically and nearly striking pedestrians. Prior to police arrival, the subject vehicle entered a parking lot where three individuals approached the vehicle believing it was their Uber. A verbal altercation ensued and the subject, who was naked at the time of the incident, retrieved a hatchet from the backseat of the vehicle and started swinging the object. There were no injuries and the three individuals were able to wrestle the hatchet away from the subject. The subject then attempted to flee the scene and that is when a USPP officer initiated a traffic stop. Arlington County Police officers also responded to the scene and attempted a field sobriety test on the subject, who refused. Michael Monroe, 64, of Gainesville VA, was arrested and charged with DUI, refusal, and disorderly conduct.
Congressional candidate Mike Webb has an explanation for why web browser tabs for two pornographic web pages could be seen in a screenshot he posted Monday afternoon.
In an email to ARLnow.com, which he also posted to Facebook, Webb claims that he was testing the whether such sites could have been the source of the alleged “cyber attack” that prevented him from filing a report to the Federal Election Commission on time.
“Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems,” Webb said in a characteristically lengthy message that also included accusations of malfeasance against some critics and local Republican party members.
Webb acknowledged that the episode has brought his quixotic campaign renewed attention, following his defeat in the race for the 8th District Republican congressional nomination. He insisted that it hasn’t cost him votes.
“We have not gained any new enemies or lost any friends today,” he wrote.
In fact, Webb said in a subsequent post, the whole thing has been an overall positive for his campaign.
“The truly amazing thing about today was that ‘I saw also the Lord, high and lifted up,’ and I was very much moved by the love and support of those who expressed their encouragement and support, even some in the national and local press,” he wrote.
National news outlets including Gawker, the Daily Caller and the New York Daily News have picked up the story. The media attention has driven scores of wisecracking commenters to Webb’s Facebook page. As of midnight, three of his posts Monday have garnered a combined 2,937 Facebook comments.
Webb, meanwhile, said he’s busy trying to get the signatures necessary to make the November ballot as an independent, which would allow him to face off against incumbent Rep. Don Beyer (D) and Republican nominee Charles Hernick.
“As you know, we have to get 1,000 signatures in the next few weeks to get into the fight, and we are making great headway in this effort because people are very frustrated with our current politicians and their antics, as I probably should be, too,” he wrote.
Car on Fire Spotted Driving Down Street — Yesterday evening, an Arlington County Fire Department unit radioed dispatch to report that they had just seen a car with flames visible from the engine compartment drive past them on Carlin Springs Road, its driver oblivious to the fire. The fire engine was able to turn around, catch up with the driver near the intersection of Wilson and Glebe, pull the car over and extinguish the flames. [Twitter, Twitter]
Wrong Man on Iwo Jima Memorial? — The Marine Corps is investigating claims that a Navy corpsman identified as one of the men who raised the flag in a moment depicted by Arlington’s Iwo Jima Memorial was not, in fact, in the original photo. [USA Today, Associated Press, New York Times]
USS Arlington Returns Home — The sailors and Marines aboard the USS Arlington have returned to Norfolk after a seven-month overseas deployment assisting in the fight against ISIS. [Marine Corps Times, WAVY]
Former Top Federal IT Official Dies — Greg Ambrose, who had served in senior information technology posts at the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State and Veterans Affairs, died early Tuesday morning. Ambrose took his own life at a Rosslyn condominium after posting on Facebook about a woman who had left him for another man. [FCW, Twitter]
Arlington, Virginia Tech Join ‘Smart City’ Network — “Virginia Tech and Arlington County have been accepted into the MetroLab Network of 35 city/county-university partnerships that works to bring data, analytics and innovation to local government.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber
Brendan Hurley currently lives in Ashton Heights and got engaged back in January.
However, not long before he proposed, the 29-year-old bet a friend $20 he could get John Stamos to be a groomsman in his wedding. The friend accepted the bet, and Hurley has made it his mission to win.
“I got engaged after I made the bet, and my fiancé told me she had picked six bridesmaids,” Hurley recalled. “I remembered Stamos, so I got six of my friends to sign up and told one specifically that if Stamos shows up, he’s out.”
Hurley added that sixth friend isn’t particularly happy with him, and his bride-to-be isn’t thrilled either.
“She jokingly says she doesn’t want him to come because she doesn’t want him to take all the attention,” he said, laughing. “I know she’ll be absolutely gorgeous that day, so I told her not to worry about it.”
Hurley’s making several efforts to bring Stamos to Virginia for the big day in May 2016.
The first step was getting active on Twitter — something Hurley said he would never do — by directly tweeting at the Full House celebrity. He’s used the social media platform to recruit the support of some friends and a John Stamos fan page.
He also started a blog that he updates periodically. Some of the posts mention reaching out to bigger media outlets like BuzzFeed and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The most recent entry was about Hurley completing this year’s Marine Corps Marathon while wearing a custom shirt that he designed and La Tee-Shirt on Lee Highway printed.
It read, “I run for Stamos.”
“That shirt got a lot of hooting and hollering,” Hurley said. “I think that’s going to be my racing shirt from now on.”
Hurley even offered to buy his plane ticket and give him the $20 for winning the bet if he shows up.
Despite his efforts, the celebrity hasn’t responded… yet.
“I’ve got some time,” Hurley said. “I’m not giving up hope.”
Photos courtesy of Brendan Hurley
The “Cow Flop Drop” game is part of the Lyon Park neighborhood’s family-friendly, all-day Halloween festivities.
A cow named Blossom will wander around part of the park, marked off in an 8×8 grid. Residents will buy a square in the grid and hope that Blossom deposits her droppings in that square, to win cash prizes.
If Blossom’s bowels are uncharacteristically unproductive, a “brave volunteer” will “dress as a cow an lob a water balloon into the field to identify a winner.”
From the Lyon Park and Ashton Heights listservs:
This Saturday, shoehorned in between the Parade of Costumes at 10 AM and the bonfire at dark, Lyon Park will hold a Cow Flop Drop.
Yes, we have a cow. Yes, we have a plan. Yes, there will be games (with cow-themed prizes) and food.
Volunteers will create a grid on the ground with 64 square, and you’ll be able to purchase a square starting at 10:00 AM. Our cow, Blossom, will surprise and delight you as she enters the field at 10:30 AM.
From 10:30 AM until 2 PM, we’ll monitor Blossom’s “movements.” Each time she selects a square, the square’s owner will win a portion of the proceeds from that game. It’s cow chip bingo!
The earliest games will be low-stakes, and you can purchase a square for just a few dollars. Around noon, we’ll offer a high stakes game with each square costing $50. And don’t have a cow — if Blossom doesn’t deliver every 30 minutes, we have a very brave volunteer who will dress as a cow an lob a water balloon into the field to identify a winner!
If your costumed child would like to run a game and toss a balloon, we will offer a few $1 games if you can recruit enough players to cover the entire board.
The aforementioned children’s parade of costumes starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by an “explore a fire truck” event starting at 11 a.m. From 7-9 p.m., the community will hold its annual Halloween bonfire in the park.
(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Starbucks will be opening a new cafe in Rosslyn this fall, with the opening of the new TargetExpress store.
The coffee shop will be located inside the store, at 1500 Wilson Blvd, which is expected to open next month. A quick peek inside the glass doors yesterday revealed that much of the familiar Target interior is already complete, with workers continuing to work on fixtures like security cameras.
Curiously, this will be the third Starbucks location within a one block radius. Shoppers sipping their latte from the store will be able to look out the big glass windows and see two Starbucks across the street, one inside the Safeway (1501 17th Street N.) and the other freestanding (1525 Wilson Blvd).
A fourth Rosslyn Starbucks is down the hill on N. Lynn Street, about a quarter mile away.
Such dense placement of Starbucks stores is not unprecedented, and Arlington is noted for its love of Starbucks, but it does seem a bit excessive even for Manhattan on the Potomac. The Columbia Pike corridor, for instance, only just got its first Starbucks.
“As a standard course of business, Starbucks continually evaluates our store portfolio, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers,” a Starbucks spokeswoman told ARLnow.com.
School Board Candidates Not Ruling Parkland Out — Two candidates for Arlington School Board say they aren’t ruling anything out — including use of parkland — for the building of new schools. Independent Green-endorsed candidate Brooklyn Kinlay said it would “be a tragedy” to use parkland. Reid Goldstein, who has the Democratic endorsement, said the school system is “not moving fast enough” to address the school capacity issue. [InsideNova]
Ray’s Company Files for Bankruptcy — A company affiliated with the popular Ray’s the Steaks and Ray’s Hell Burger restaurants in Arlington has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The restaurants’ operations are reportedly not affected. [Washington Business Journal]
Marymount Tops Diversity List — Marymount University ranks No. 1 for ethnic diversity among regional universities in the South, according to the new 2016 “Best Colleges” rankings from U.S. News and World Report. “It’s all part of our ongoing commitment to creating a culture of engagement that fosters intellectual curiosity, service to others and a global perspective in our students,” said Marymount President Matthew Shank. [Marymount University]
New Civic Association Forms — Arlington has a new civic association. The Arlington County Civic Federation has added the new Shirlington Civic Association as a member. Also, the Columbia Heights West Civic Association has changed its name to the Arlington Mill Civic Association. [InsideNova]
Newspaper Columnist Denied Lemonade — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark received questionable service after ordering a 50-cent lemonade from a children’s lemonade stand near Virginia Hospital Center last week. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Woman Takes Stage to Find Bathroom — An apparently intoxicated woman climbed on stage during a recent Signature Theatre production in Shirlington, made her way backstage and asked a cast member for directions to the bathroom. [Playbill]
Spout Run Closure — The eastbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway will be completely closed from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today for road paving. No detours will be in place and “alternative routes should be used,” according to the National Park Service.
Arlington Murder to Be Featured on TV Show — This coming Sunday, at 10 p.m., the show “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery will feature the 2012 homicide of Mack L. Woods Sr. in Arlington. [Patch]
Charleys Now Open in Pentagon City — A Charleys Philly Steaks restaurant is now open in the food court of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall food court. “Charleys brings a unique experience to the food court with its grilled-fresh-in-front-of-you flavor,” the company said in a press release.
Food Truck Stops Taking Cash — The Lemongrass food truck, which frequents Arlington, has decided to stop accepting cash. The truck now only takes credit and debit cards. [Washington Post]
Why Arlington Went to Paper Ballots — Arlington reintroduced paper ballots this year after dumping its electronic voting machines. Why did it get rid of the more modern tech? The WINVote system was found to be grossly insecure and the touchscreen devices were dubbed the “worst voting machines” in America. [Wired]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
A homeowner returned to his or her residence on the 2700 block of N. Beechwood Street after a few days away, only to find that something wasn’t quite right — someone had been inside the house and had helped themselves to some sweet treats.
“Between 12:00 p.m. on August 9 and 9:00 p.m. on August 12, an unknown suspect(s) entered a residence through a doggie door and ate the homeowner’s popsicles and whipped cream,” according to a crime report. “The suspect(s) proceeded to play with Pokémon cards that were found in the residence.”
“After they enjoyed some popsicles, they played a bit with some Pokemon cards and left,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said of the suspect or suspects, whose identity and motive remains a mystery.
A man holding a Confederate flag was spotted marching down Lee Highway near East Falls Church this morning.
The above photo was taken near N. Sycamore Street around 8:00 a.m. A reader said the man was walking very deliberately down the street, with a Confederate flag that had the Gadsden flag’s “Don’t Tread On Me” snake in the middle.
“[He was] not yelling anything but [you] could tell he was walking with pride in his step,” said the reader.
At least one concerned resident called police to report the display, which is highly unusual for Arlington, but according to scanner traffic police determined that the man was exercising his First Amendment rights and not violating the law.
Photo courtesy @WanyeVVest
A single-vehicle accident on S. Arlington Mill Drive ended with the car rolling down an embankment and ending up on its roof.
The accident happened just after 2:00 p.m. The driver of a newer-model Acura was heading down Arlington Mill Drive, near 9th Street S., when she somehow lost control of the vehicle, drove over a curb and down the steep embankment.
The car ended up on its roof, just steps from Four Mile Run and a popular pedestrian path. Amazingly, the driver was unhurt and was able to crawl out of the passenger side of the vehicle on her own power as police and a fire department rescue squad were arriving.
Police on the scene said they were unsure exactly how the accident happened. A flatbed tow truck is currently on scene, trying to figure out how to get the car up from the embankment.
No word yet on whether the driver will face any charges. The accident happened less than a block from the Arlington Mill Community Center and the site of an earlier water main break.
Police were called to the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Taylor Street around 9:30 p.m. for a report of a body lying in the street. Police and medics arrived on scene and and determined that the individual was bleeding from his head but was breathing.
Officers talked to a witness and learned that the man was “extremely intoxicated” and had been trying to walk backwards in the street when he lost his balance, fell, hit his head and knocked himself out, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The man, 33, was by himself at the time and it’s unknown where he was walking from. He was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.