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ARLnow.com – Arlington, Va. Local News    
News, Views, Weather, Traffic and Events in Arlington, Virginia
Last updated: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 08:39:51 GMT

 ARLnow Weekend Discussion Fri, 17 Aug 2018 22:00:45 +0000
The weekend is here, and so too, perhaps, is an end to this week’s muggy conditions. The forecast is calling for a few scattered showers tonight and into the weekend,...

The weekend is here, and so too, perhaps, is an end to this week’s muggy conditions.

The forecast is calling for a few scattered showers tonight and into the weekend, but those should help cool down the oppressively steamy weather we’ve seen the last few days.

That should be good news if you’re heading to the county fair, or any of the other happenings around the county this weekend.

In the meantime, catch up on our top stories of the past week:

  1. HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ Returns to Arlington, Features Local Couple
  2. Woman Spots Worker Tattooed with Nazi Symbols at Ballston Quarter
  3. Arlington County Fair Pledges to Cover ‘Racist Caricature’
  4. Density, Development Debates Take Center Stage as Lee Highway Planning Nears
  5. County Fair Opens Today in Arlington Heights

Head down to the comment to chat about these stories or anything else local. Have a great weekend!

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

 Woman Falls Off Don Tito Rooftop, Suffers Minor Injuries Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:45:56 +0000
A woman fell off the roof of Don Tito in Clarendon Thursday night (Aug. 16), suffering minor injuries. Arlington County Police were called to the restaurant, located at 3165 Wilson...

A woman fell off the roof of Don Tito in Clarendon Thursday night (Aug. 16), suffering minor injuries.

Arlington County Police were called to the restaurant, located at 3165 Wilson Blvd, around 11:30 p.m. last night, according to spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Fire department spokesman Ben O’Bryant says the woman “fell from one level on the roof to another level on the roof,” a distance of about 20 feet in total.

O’Bryant added she “only had minor injuries and was in good condition when care was transferred to hospital staff.”

File photo

 Arlington Companies Listed Among Fastest Growing in U.S. Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:45:53 +0000
A new ranking of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the United States by Inc. magazine includes 34 Arlington-based businesses. The Arlington companies operate in fields like IT management, government services and...

A new ranking of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the United States by Inc. magazine includes 34 Arlington-based businesses.

The Arlington companies operate in fields like IT management, government services and engineering, and grew by percents ranging from 59 to 2,573.

Indev, a government services company with a focus on the transportation sector, grew 2,418 percent to be the second-highest ranked Arlington company on the list of 5,000, coming in at 178th overall.

“I’d say our success is really based upon being really focused as a small business,” said Brett Albro, a partner at the company. “We knew the transportation market was going to be our market… [and] we were really true to our strategy.”

See all of the Arlington companies to make the list below:

167. Stealth-ISS Group

178. Indev

183. ByteCubed

239. Capitol Bridge

376. Strategic Alliance Business Group

435. Sehlke Consulting

677. GreenZone Solutions

768. AM

772. Green Powered Technology

793. The Fila Group

865. Changeis

948. MJ Seats

1061. GRIMM

1253. Mobile Posse

1289. Enterprise Knowledge

1307. SecureStrux

1383. IDS International Government Services

1556. Metis Solutions

1704. 540.co

1708. Higher Logic

1812. NEOSTEK

1891. ThreatConnect

2024. Fonteva

2032. OpenWater Software

2090. infoLock Technologies

2302. Global Defense

3273. DRT Strategies

3381. Toffler Associates

3613. Qmulos

3706. Fors Marsh Group

3795. Segue Technologies

4232. RSDCGROUP

4782. Humanproof

4975. Storyblocks

Photo via Facebook

 ACPD Plans Sobriety Checkpoint as Part of Anti-Drunk Driving Push Fri, 17 Aug 2018 18:45:27 +0000
County police will participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign beginning today (Aug. 17). ACPD joins a national effort, which runs through Sept. 3, that aims to...

County police will participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign beginning today (Aug. 17).

ACPD joins a national effort, which runs through Sept. 3, that aims to reduce drunk driving through increased public safety messages and augmented enforcement.

As part of that work, officers will conduct a “sobriety checkpoint” in the county on Aug. 23, stopping all vehicles who pass through it. Drivers will be asked to show their licenses and will be taken off the roadway for observation and potential intoxication testing if they seem to be under the influence.

ACPD has also worked to discourage drunk driving through its SoberRide vehicle, developed in partnership with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program and ride-hailing service Lyft.

Photo via Arlington County

 Police Arrest Three in Connection with Penrose Car Thefts Fri, 17 Aug 2018 17:45:42 +0000
Arlington police have arrested a Maryland man and two teens in connection with a series of car thefts in Penrose. Police say they apprehended Malique Harden, 18, and two other...

Arlington police have arrested a Maryland man and two teens in connection with a series of car thefts in Penrose.

Police say they apprehended Malique Harden, 18, and two other juveniles early Tuesday morning (Aug. 14) after they broke into at least four vehicles in the vicinity of the 200 block of S. Adams Street.

Harden is now charged with grand larceny, tampering with a vehicle, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and marijuana possession. The two teens are also facing similar charges, though the department did not release their names.

Police add that they managed to arrest the three suspects after a man saw them rummaging through his vehicle. When the man approached them, they fled, but police managed to arrest them nearby shortly afterward.

Harden is now set for an Oct. 3 hearing in Arlington General District Court on his charges.

Full details from a county crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (APPREHENSION), 2018-08140005, 200 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on August 14, police responded to the report of vehicle tampering in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he observed two suspects inside his vehicle. When the victim exited his residence and approached the vehicle, he observed three suspects flee on foot. A lookout was broadcast based upon the description provided by the victim and responding officers located the three individuals in the area matching the suspect descriptions. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspects entered approximately three additional vehicles in the area and stole items of value. Malique Harden, 18, of Suitland, Md.,  was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, Tampering with a Vehicle (x2), Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (x2) and Possession of Marijuana. Petitions were sought for Tampering with a Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana and Grand Larceny for the two juvenile suspects.

 Open Houses in Arlington This Weekend Fri, 17 Aug 2018 16:45:24 +0000
Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend. Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here...

Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.

Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here are a few highlights:

929 N Daniel Street
6 bed/4 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Ronald Cathell
Listed: $1,799,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1847 N Columbus Street
5 bed/5 bath, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Debbie Kent
Listed: $1,399,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1411 N Key Boulevard
3 bed/2 bath condo
Agent: John Kirk
Listed: $949,900
Open: Saturday and Sunday 12-4 p.m.

 

13 S Abingdon Street
3 bed/3 bath, 1 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Casey O’neal
Listed: $695,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1800 S Stafford Street
3 bed/1 bath single-family home
Agent: Michael Webb
Listed: $569,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2831 S Glebe Road
2 bed/1 bath, 1 half bath multi-family
Agent: Adam Adamovich
Listed: $465,000
Open: Saturday 9:30-11:30 a.m.

 

750 S Dickerson Street
1 bed/1 bath condo
Agent: Elizabeth Crawford
Listed: $150,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 Flying Colors: Plan In Place, Gorgeous Chaos — Part II Fri, 17 Aug 2018 15:45:59 +0000
In the finale to this two part article, Flying Colors provides some insight into what a yard with more gardens and less grass looks like.

Flying Colors column banner

Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

For Part I of this article, click here.

I would suggest you have a plan in place. Maybe start out with a cutout at the corner of your lawn.

That is what I did when I lived on 6th and Monroe. The small front lawn faced south; which was in full sun. It was also on a slope which made it tough to cut grass.

The full summer sun did its job. Plants thrived. Insects flocked to the flowers. Soon a pond was installed with a pump and running water and the birds came soon after. Within three years, the grass was gone. In its place was a beautiful garden with plants exploding all over.

Because my street had no sidewalk, I made a gravel path so commuters walking to the newly opened Metro, could come in to my garden and explore and enjoy. It was a magical little place for many years. When I sold my house, I found that years later a dead, grass zone was installed; where once life lived.

Change is tough. But knowledge and science and a willingness to not conform and be like everyone else can be freeing of one’s mind and heart. Not to mention one’s body when they do not have to mow the lawn every ten days.

My front yard in Silver Spring is Gorgeous Chaos. Even I do not know what is coming up. I do know that milkweed has taken over a large portion of the garden and someone (hopefully caterpillars) are eating the leaves.

Maybe not this year, but the next, the larvae will pupae and monarchs will roam my garden. Bees are definitely pollinating the tops of the milkweed. Goldfinches have visited my purple coneflowers. Ruby throated hummingbirds are darting in and out of the milkweed stands to drink at the red petals of the bee balm.

All in the chaos of my wild and gorgeous garden. It may not look like anyone else’s garden, but it is alive. It is safe. It is non-toxic.

When I was a little boy, growing up in the Roseland area of Chicago, every fourth block in the neighborhood had a 2 lot, corner wide, wild prairie. The insect and bird life, in this two-lot size prairie, was incredible. It was wild and untamed and brightly colored and bursting with life.

Lots, in our urban world, are too expensive to leave to nature to embrace. Yet each house could embrace nature and turn blocks into prairies. Prairies that vibrate with the life of living things. Those living things will call out to more living things in the form of birds, box turtles, bats and bugs, bugs and bugs.

I gladly open my windows and sensitive ears to the morning calls of cardinals and mourning doves and evening songs of cicada and crickets then to have my ears abused by the sound of angry engines grinding the dead grass to smithereens.

Walk around your neighborhood. Look for the color of gardens. Look at the life those gardens hold. Visualize what your garden could be on your lot. Embrace the thought of six months of freedom from sweating with lawnmower in hand. Freedom from poison flags saying beware — stay off. Freedom from noise and dirty air.

Freedom to sit in a field; your field; of flowers and insects and birds and color and life. There is “Glorious Chaos” waiting to be built in your yard. One dig is all you need to start.

 ‘Something from Nothing’: Stories of Punk in Arlington Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:45:26 +0000
When the photography department at Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn needed some extra funding, then-teacher Lloyd Wolf held a couple of yard sales. But those “sucked in terms of making money,” Wolf,...

When the photography department at Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn needed some extra funding, then-teacher Lloyd Wolf held a couple of yard sales.

But those “sucked in terms of making money,” Wolf, a noted local photographer, recalls. So, in the early 1980s, they threw some dances.

Though the most successful dance, as Wolf recalls it, featured a southern rock band called the Dixie Road Ducks, there was also interest in the raw, energetic performances coming out of the burgeoning punk scene.

“There were punk kids who went to that school,” said Ian MacKaye, who was a punk kid himself at the time.

Minor Threat, a band whose members included MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, the co-founders of famed independent punk label Dischord Records, played the school cafeteria on May 9, 1981 and Oct. 30, 1982 in six- and four-band lineups.

“I was exposed to something way beyond Elvis Costello and kind of new wave poppy stuff,” said Amy Pickering, a student at H-B Woodlawn around that time who went to some of the punk shows. She would go on to form Dischord band Fire Party (active from 1986-1990), and to work at Dischord Records for more than 20 years.

The H-B Woodlawn shows represent one of many stories of punk linked to Arlington, too many to capture in one article. It was a time when “if you wanted something to come out, you totally had to do it yourself,” Pickering said. For many, Arlington became somewhere to live, practice, collaborate and create as punk expanded in the D.C. area.

MacKaye moved to Arlington from his parents’ northwest D.C. home in Oct. 1981. He and four others had three conditions in their joint search for a living space.

It had to be a detached house, “because we wanted to play music in the basement,” affordable, because they were making something like $175 a month each, and safe, so that their predominantly high school-aged friends could make it to the house from a bus or train stop without incident, MacKaye said.

The first place they toured — a four-bedroom detached house in Lyon Park that rented for $525 each month — seemed to fulfill all of those criteria.

“Arlington afforded sort of a… neutral territory, you know, [we] didn’t get much grief from anybody,” MacKaye said.

Dischord House, as it came to be known, also acted as the headquarters for Dischord Records. MacKaye now owns the home, though he moved back to D.C. after living in Arlington for 21 years — an amount of time he hadn’t anticipated spending in the suburbs as a fifth-generation Washingtonian.

Dischord House may well have been the “first of our generation… punk house,” MacKaye said, but there was already “all this early punk rock stuff” in Arlington when they moved in, and there was more to come.

“I’d say by the late ’80s and early ’90s… other group houses started to pop up, friends of ours would come out,” MacKaye said. It was “a brief period of time where there [were] all these pockets. We didn’t all spend tons of time with each other, but it was nice to know that you might pop by.”

Punk activist collective Positive Force D.C., founded in 1985, established a home base in Arlington after holding its first meetings near Dupont Circle. They first moved to a house on N. Fairfax Drive, but development on that block pushed them closer to Virginia Square in November 1988.

For the nearly 12 years Positive Force spent in that second house, rain would drip in around the windows, so they grew plants in the windowsills.

“It was kind of our bargain to do our thing — [you let us] run a radical political organization out of our house, we won’t ask you to fix stuff,” Positive Force co-founder Mark Andersen said.

Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson ran their record label, Simple Machines, out of Positive Force House’s second floor kitchen in 1990. They soon moved into the first of multiple houses the label would occupy in Arlington before shutting down in 1998.

Living near other outposts, like Dischord and Teen-Beat Records, fostered information sharing, Thomson said.

“We were trading information, asking questions, trying to sort out things to the best of our abilities quite often,” Thomson said.

Exchanges among people within and beyond Arlington helped produce the Simple Machines Mechanic’s Guide. That project was conceived as “a sort of second edition” to a Dischord/Positive Force benefit record insert that covered, among other topics, how to put out a seven-inch record, Thomson said.

The Mechanic’s Guide, in various editions, would be mailed out thousands of times.

“It became like a little ‘Consumer Reports,’ in some ways,” Toomey said. “We know a bunch of independent labels that still exist used the guide for their first releases.”

The guide reflects the do-it-yourself attitude that pervaded the punk scene and, more broadly, independent music in the D.C. area and outside of it.

“Punk was about starting something from nothing,” said Cynthia Connolly, a photographer, artist and curator who worked “on and off” for Dischord. “Literally we would go to the Ballston Common Mall and go into the dumpsters and get the cardboard,” to cut up and use to mail out records.

Connolly documented the D.C. punk scene as it looked between 1979 and 1985 in a book she co-compiled and published in 1988, entitled “Banned in D.C.” The book is now in its seventh edition.

“It’s almost like a storybook story, and it’s kind of romantic in a way because the bands [then] really influenced some of the bands today,” Connolly said.

The DIY attitude in many cases seemed to extend to the punk bands’ desired sound, which was “raw,” said Don Zientara, who founded Inner Ear Studio (today at 2701 S. Oakland Street) in the late ’70s and has recorded numerous punk bands. “That just sort of fit in with the fact that I had [at the time] very little equipment, and some of it was kind of questionable, cheap… take your own word for it.”

Wakefield High School alum Mark Robinson started going to shows, which primarily took place in D.C., when he was 15 or 16. “Seeing other kids playing in punk rock shows” made the idea of being in a band seem possible, he said.

“Before that, you would see like the band Kiss or something and that just seemed like an unattainable thing,” he said.

Robinson would form indie rock band Unrest and Teen-Beat Records in the mid-1980s, while still in high school.

Teen-Beat operated out of a house in Arlington for much of the 90s, by which time the layout that characterizes much of the area today had yet to fully form. When Clarendon bar and indie rock venue Galaxy Hut first opened in 1990, for instance, “there was a vacant Sears across the street. There was nothing there, rent was super cheap,” said Lary Hoffman, who co-owns Galaxy Hut today.

As Andersen recalls it, “there was another Arlington that existed, and that was a much more humble Arlington.”

The second Positive Force House has been demolished, as have many of the other group houses, to make way for new developments. One known as Kansas House was vacated for that purpose in 2009.

Many members of the scene have dispersed to different locations and adopted new roles — Pickering lives in New York and Robinson is in Massachusetts, for instance, and Connolly works as Special Projects Curator for the county. Still, the DIY principles behind much of the activity Arlington played host to remain relevant.

When Toomey and Thomson compiled the Mechanic’s Guide, they certainly didn’t present the applications of their resourceful attitude as limited to their scene, or to music.

“There is nothing that you can’t do with a little time, creativity, enthusiasm and hard work,” the introduction to the guide’s 2000 edition reads. It concludes several pages later with a simple send-off: “Good luck!”

Thanks to Andrew Goodwin, Arlington-based podcaster / WednesdaysWithAndrew; photos courtesy © Lloyd Wolf / www.lloydwolf.com

 Massive Dawn Redwood Tree in Williamsburg Set to be Chopped Down Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:45:17 +0000
Despite some intense opposition from conservationists and the community, plans to chop down a massive dawn redwood tree in North Arlington are moving ahead. Since April, a developer has been...

Despite some intense opposition from conservationists and the community, plans to chop down a massive dawn redwood tree in North Arlington are moving ahead.

Since April, a developer has been hoping to remove the 114-foot-tall tree as part of a larger project on a property along the 3200 block of N. Ohio Street in Williamsburg.

The county recently approved a permit to let that work move ahead, according to a community letter sent Wednesday (Aug. 15) by the County Board and provided to ARLnow. A county spokesman confirmed the letter’s veracity, and added that the developer “intends to move forward with removal of the tree.”

Environmentalists had hoped to save the dawn redwood, as it’s recognized as one of the largest of its species by both county and state officials, and it could live to be up to 600 years old if left in place. The tree also sits within a “Resource Protection Area,” known as an “RPA,” giving the county the chance to scrutinize these construction plans quite closely.

But the Board wrote in the letter that it just couldn’t find any way to justify denying the permit, citing the developer’s “considerable rights as a private property owner” to redevelop the site. Richmond Custom Homes is hoping knock down the existing single-family home on the property, and build two in its place, a tactic frequently favored by developers in Arlington’s residential neighborhoods.

“While staff did ask Richmond Custom Homes to explore options to preserve the tree, the developer could not identify a design that both provided for the subdivision of the property and preserved the dawn redwood,” the Board wrote. “Pushing the homes to the rear of the lots would impact other large trees on the property also located within the RPA — and likely still would have jeopardized the dawn redwood during construction.”

The Board did note, however, that the approved plan “does protect multiple large trees on the back end of the property, which provide a significant benefit to the watershed adjacent to the Little Pimmit Run stream,” pointing out that the developer also agreed to replace the trees removed during the construction.

Nevertheless, the whole process has left conservationists feeling like the county isn’t listening to their concerns.

“The county could find ‘no’ way to preserve this living fossil, which had become extinct in North America and worldwide millennia ago, with the exception of a few remaining trees located in China and the few planted here in an effort to save the species,” Suzanne Sundberg, a local activist focused on environmental issues, told ARLnow. “What does that tell you about the county ordinance?…County staff and the Board are not doing all that they could to preserve the mature tree canopy here in Arlington.”

The Arlington Tree Action Group was similarly critical of the Board, arguing in a statement that it “decided not to use the powers at its disposal in its own Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance” to contest the developer’s plans, making this a “landmark case.”

“In failing to make a decision in favor of the environment and the voices of concerned residents, the county puts at risk its own widely touted ‘progressive’ credentials in environmental protection,” the group wrote. “The letter does not provide reassurances of how the RPA, which runs the length of the lot, will be protected once the lot is subdivided.  ATAG will be looking for answers.”

The Board noted in its letter that members “share community concerns about the significant pressures on mature trees from redevelopment of properties across the county” and plans to kick off the process of updating the county’s Urban Forest Master Plan and Natural Resources Management Plan early next year.

 Morning Notes Fri, 17 Aug 2018 12:30:54 +0000
More School Renaming Committees on the Way — Though the Washington-Lee controversy gets all the headlines, the School Board will also soon kick off the process of naming two new...

More School Renaming Committees on the Way — Though the Washington-Lee controversy gets all the headlines, the School Board will also soon kick off the process of naming two new buildings and renaming two others. Patrick Henry ES will likely draw the most scrutiny. [InsideNova]

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe Fundraising for de Ferranti — Virginia’s last chief executive will help Democratic County Board hopeful Matt de Ferranti fill his campaign coffers later this month. McAuliffe, a potential 2020 presidential hopeful, joins Attorney General Mark Herring as another statewide politician lending de Ferranti a hand in his bid against John Vihstadt. [Twitter]

County Treasurer Slashes Tax Delinquency Rate Again — Carla de la Pava has hit new highs by ensuring that more taxpayers are keeping up with their payments than ever before, recording the lowest delinquency rate in county history. [InsideNova]

Arlington Centenarians Still Dancing — The county has at least 47 residents who have passed the 100-year mark, and they say they feel as young as ever. [WAMU]

Flickr pool photo via Erinn Shirley