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ARLnow.com – Arlington, Va. Local News    
News, Views, Weather, Traffic and Events in Arlington, Virginia
Last updated: Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:13:11 GMT

 International Carillon Player to Perform as Part of Summer Series Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:00:32 +0000
(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) Dutch artist Gijsbert Kok plays an instrument similar to an organ — except it controls bells instead of pipes. The instrument is called a carillon and Kok...

(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) Dutch artist Gijsbert Kok plays an instrument similar to an organ — except it controls bells instead of pipes.

The instrument is called a carillon and Kok will be playing it during his performance at the Netherlands Carillon, near Rosslyn and the Iwo Jima memorial, this Saturday (July 20).

Kok’s performance in Arlington is part of the free weekly concerts hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) through the end of the summer. The concerts run from 6-8 p.m., except for the September 2 event, which will take place from 2-4 p.m.

Guests can bring lawn chairs, blankets or simply sit on the grass. NPS suggests that guests park or arrive via the Rosslyn Metro, which is about a 15-minute walk. Parking is available at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

This year’s concert lineup for the remainder of the summer is as follows:

  • July 20 — Gijsbert Kok, Bodegraven, The Netherlands
  • July 27 — Doug Gefvert, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
  • August 3 — Edward M.Nassor, Fairfax, Virginia
  • August 10 — Lynnli Wang, Washington, D.C.
  • August 17 — Edward M. Nassor, Fairfax, Virginia
  • August 24 — Elisa Tersigni, Washington, D.C.
  • August 31 — Jesse Ratcliffe, Warrenton, Virginia
  • September 2 — Edward M. Nassor, Fairfax, Virginia

In addition to his bell ringing, Kok is also an organist who performs at churches and for concerts across the United States and Europe.

The National Park Service received the carillon as a gift from the Netherlands in commemoration of the United States’ assistance during World War ll. It is comprised of 50 bells, weighing over 30 tons. The bells are set to be removed this fall and sent via ship back to the Netherlands for cleaning as part of a major rehabilitation project.

Photo (1) via Joseph Gruber/Flickr, map via Google Maps

 Morning Notes Thu, 18 Jul 2019 12:30:53 +0000
New Lyon Park Neighborhood Plan Approved — “The Arlington County Board today accepted the first update to historic Lyon Park’s Neighborhood Conservation plan since 1973. The update, spearheaded by the...

New Lyon Park Neighborhood Plan Approved — “The Arlington County Board today accepted the first update to historic Lyon Park’s Neighborhood Conservation plan since 1973. The update, spearheaded by the Lyon Park Citizens Association, seeks to address increased non-resident traffic and other challenges through 19 recommendations for improvements.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Traffic Enforcement in Crystal City — “Motor Officers conducted high visibility traffic enforcement along Crystal Drive today to curb illegal practices including stopping/parking in the bike and travel lanes. Increase roadway safety [by] being a PAL — Predictable | Alert | Lawful.” [Twitter]

How to Beat the Heat in Arlington — With a scorching weekend of dangerous heat ahead, and an Excessive Heat Watch issued, Arlington County is reminding residents of some ways they can keep cool, stay informed and help at-risk individuals. [Arlington County]

Metro Waterfall, Explained — Metro has an explanation of why a waterfall developed in the ceiling of the Virginia Square Metro station and inside a passing train during the Flash Flood Emergency last week. [DCist]

Grants for African-American Heritage Projects — “Two Arlington-based organizations are among 25 non-profits statewide that will share more than $140,000 in new grant funding from Virginia Humanities” for projects exploring local African-American heritage and history [InsideNova]

Beyer on Trump Impeachment Vote — “I strongly support an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump. I voted to table H. Res. 489 because it would effectively prevent the House from conducting such an inquiry… It would initiate an impeachment trial in the Senate solely to consider whether the President should be removed from office for his recent racist tweets.” [Twitter, Blue Virginia]

Dueling APS Letters to the Editor — On one hand, Arlington Public Schools should stick to funding only the basics, like providing textbooks and pencils, according to one letter to the editor published in the Sun Gazette. On the other hand, APS should have a comprehensive approach to sustainability, including recycling and excess cafeteria waste, according to another letter to the editor writer. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

 District Taco Marking 10 Year Anniversary With Free Tacos in Rosslyn Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:30:29 +0000
District Taco began as a stand-alone food cart and expanded into the burgeoning regional restaurant chain it is today. This year marks the 10th anniversary of District Taco, which was co-founded...

District Taco began as a stand-alone food cart and expanded into the burgeoning regional restaurant chain it is today.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of District Taco, which was co-founded by Marc Wallace and Osiris Hoil. The company is marking the occasion with an event in Rosslyn tomorrow (Thursday).

“ATTN, amigos!” the company said in a social media post. “Join us back where it all started for our 10 year anniversary… from 12-1 p.m. we will be on the corner of Lynn St & Wilson Blvd, in Rosslyn, handing out tacos and giveaways! Come celebrate with us and pose for a photo with our original taco cart.”

Hoil said he also plans on celebrating by taking a trip down to Mexico in August to visit family and reminisce about his mother’s cooking — the inspiration for many District Taco recipes.

Hoil’s entrepreneurial story began when he came to the United States as an immigrant and was laid off from a construction company during in 2007, around the time of the economic crisis. He said despite his dismay at the time, he still thinks highly of the firm and hired them to build several District Taco locations.

The District Taco cart launched in 2009, but was retired in 2014. Since then, two bricks-and-mortar District Taco locations have opened in Arlington: at 5723 Lee Highway — its very first storefront — in 2010 and in Rosslyn (1500 Wilson Blvd) in 2016.

District Taco now has 14 locations, according to its website, and plans to add at least three more in 2020, according to Hoil. They also want to double their office space by 2021.

“Everything we have done is by scratch,” said Hoil. “We have learned so much from other people and big companies.”

Photo 1 via Twitter

 UPDATED: Severe Storms Rumble Through Arlington, Knock Out Power Wed, 17 Jul 2019 20:55:23 +0000
Update at 10:40 p.m. — There are still 664 Dominion customers without power across various parts of Arlington, according to the power company. Update at 6:05 p.m. — About 700 Dominion customers...

Update at 10:40 p.m. — There are still 664 Dominion customers without power across various parts of Arlington, according to the power company.

Update at 6:05 p.m. — About 700 Dominion customers are reported to be without power in Arlington, mostly in residential north Arlington, following the storms. Nearly 35,000 are reported to be without power in Fairfax County, including in the McLean area.

Update at 5:30 p.m. — A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Arlington. More from the National Weather Service:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING…  UNTIL 615 PM EDT. * AT 523 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE, MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH. HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS. SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED. IMPACT…DAMAGING WINDS WILL CAUSE SOME TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES TO FALL. THIS COULD INJURE THOSE OUTDOORS, AS WELL AS DAMAGE HOMES AND VEHICLES. ROADWAYS MAY BECOME BLOCKED BY DOWNED TREES. LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. UNSECURED LIGHT OBJECTS MAY BECOME PROJECTILES. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, COLUMBIA, ROCKVILLE, BETHESDA, GAITHERSBURG, BOWIE, SEVERN, ANNANDALE, OLNEY, COLLEGE PARK, CROFTON, GREENBELT, LANGLEY PARK, BELTSVILLE, VIENNA, ELKRIDGE, FALLS CHURCH, BLADENSBURG, PIMMIT HILLS AND MCLEAN. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A BUILDING. && HAIL…<.75IN WIND…60MPH

Earlier: Arlington County and much of the surrounding region is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch.

A line of strong storms is approaching from the west, packing high winds and potentially penny-sized hail.

The storms are expected to pass through Arlington within an hour or so.

 Listing of the Day: 3430 N. Randolph Street Wed, 17 Jul 2019 20:30:06 +0000
Todays Listing of the Day is located at 3430 N. Randolph Street.

Address: 3430 N. Randolph Street
Neighborhood: Broyhill Forest
Listed: $2,274,900
Open: Sunday, July 21 from 1-3 p.m.

To say this home has it all is not at all unrealistic when you consider the spacious 6,875 finished sq. ft. which encompasses 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, home office, living room, dining room, great room/sunroom with 2-sided fireplace, kitchen with breakfast nook, wet bar, pantry, mudroom and full lower level entertainment room with wet bar and exercise room.

However, it may be this home’s dark-cladded wall of windows at the back of the main level that is its most impressive feature (not to mention the fantastic view into the beautiful backyard).

Neutral interiors allow for endless possibilities when it comes to adding one’s personal touch later through furnishings and décor, and yet, neutrals are anything but boring to begin with. Playful greyscale schematics are carried out throughout the home from rich espresso cabinetry and bright white countertops to gray and white tile bath patterns. The juxtaposition of warm wood and cool marble tones throughout the home is both striking and refreshing.

This home is truly one-of-a-kind. Join us Sunday, July 21 from 1-3 p.m. for an open house event featuring this gorgeous home by local Arlington builder Classic Cottages.

Schools: Jamestown Elementary School, Williamsburg Middle School and Yorktown High School.

Listed by:
Michelle Lynch
Classic Cottages Realty LLC
433 E Monroe Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
Phone: 571-366-3324
michelle@ccottages.com
www.ccottages.com

 Police Investigate Break-in and Theft from Legendary Recording Studio Near Shirlington Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:35:12 +0000
A thief reportedly stole equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars from the famous Inner Ear Studio near Shirlington this morning. The building’s landlord was the first to spot something was amiss:...

A thief reportedly stole equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars from the famous Inner Ear Studio near Shirlington this morning.

The building’s landlord was the first to spot something was amiss: a car was parked by the rear door of the recording studio with the trunk open.

“He got pictures,” said Inner Ear owner Don Zientara, of the landlord’s eagle eye. “But they were stolen [license] plates.”

Several police officers could be seen on scene today just before 1 p.m., searching the studio. An officer photographed the remnants of a lock that had been punched through, leaving a gaping hole in the building’s front door.

“The stuff I can see just by looking totals around $10,000,” said Zientara, who described holes in the wall where some of his music recording equipment once stood.

He said he’s still working on assessing all the pieces of equipment that were stolen, but so far noticed a power supply, a pre-amplifier, and a Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser microphone are gone. Other, expensive items like computers had been left untouched, he noted.

“It was kind of indiscriminate,” said Zientara, who said his insurance will likely cover the losses.

Over the past three decades, he said thieves have never targeted his Shirlington studio — though a bass guitar once went missing many years ago.

Police responded to the call about the theft just after noon today, though the theft took place earlier in the morning, per scanner traffic.

Zientara founded Inner Ear Studio in the late 1970s, recording a long list of bands, including key members of the D.C. area’s punk scene.

Since then, the studio has continued to record independent artists. But it’s also attracted big names like the Foo Fighters, who recorded in the studio for their 2014 album Sonic Highways. An HBO documentary about the band and the album prominently featured Inner Ear.

Foo frontman Dave Grohl and bandmates previously recorded at Inner Ear before he went on to worldwide fame as a member of Nirvana.

 Peter’s Take: Arlington’s Stormwater Planning is Broken Wed, 17 Jul 2019 18:30:03 +0000
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com Arlington’s...

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com

Arlington’s massive July 8 flash flooding — vividly captured by ARLnow.com in videos and photos — exposes yet again Arlington’s failed approach to stormwater planning. That is the emergency Arlington also should have declared last week.

Preliminary County government stormwater-damage estimates set repair costs for public infrastructure, particularly bridges in local parks, at $4.1 million. Actual costs are likely to be much higher. Flood damage to private property will add millions more.

Climate change and sea level rise are here. Wake up, Arlington!

Arlington is in a floodplain

Make Arlington’s flood-prevention approach proactive

Arlington residents are suffering:

“Alexandra Lettow was near tears as she described the losses her family suffered from Monday’s flooding to neighbors and county officials gathered at a home in Arlington’s Waverly Hills neighborhood….

“She and other residents say the county government has taken far too long to study the problem without making any fixes, especially in an era where climate change is triggering more intense and frequent storms….

“Five years ago, several projects to fix Arlington’s aged storm drain system were on the capital improvements program list, only to quietly fall off without explanation. The repairs would have addressed Spout Run stream overflows in Waverly Hills.

Implement mitigation strategies now

County government has chosen not to exercise legal powers that Arlington already possesses to reduce our rapidly growing environmental threats.

Arlington’s land use and development practices — which the County Board controls — exacerbate increases in the speed and volume of stormwater runoff. Whether or not flooded areas lie in FEMA-designated floodplains is immaterial. Board members must acknowledge nature’s latest wake-up call by strengthening County codes and planning to address increasingly unsafe conditions in Arlington.

Slow dramatic increases in impervious surfaces

As Arlington redevelops and adds density, one statistic stands out: between 2001 and 2017, the percentage of impervious surfaces covering Arlington has grown from an estimated 40% to 45%, with 3% of that increase occurring within the past 4 years.

According to County staff, the pace and intensity of redevelopment adds nearly 9 acres of impervious surface area each year–about 29 acres every three to four years, equal to the size of the Pentagon’s footprint.

“Preserving undisturbed vegetative cover during land development is a much more cost- effective approach than destroying these features and having to construct new stormwater management practices to replace the functions they originally provided,” says the Center for Watershed Protection.

Move more aggressively to protect our mature tree canopy

Extensive damage to public parks occurs even as County staff evade the most basic of planning tools by refusing to perform Environmental Assessments for park projects that substantially expand the existing footprint of park infrastructure, add impervious surfaces, and remove large numbers of mature trees.

Mature trees provide significant stormwater volume- and rate-control benefits through soil storage, interception, and evapotranspiration. A tree with a 25-foot diameter canopy and its associated soil can manage 1 inch of rainfall flowing from 2,400 square feet of impervious surface. Interception and evapotranspiration also decrease runoff volume, with larger trees providing exponentially greater benefits than smaller trees. See more details here and here.

Loss of trees and pervious surfaces leads to an increasingly unstable environment for Arlington residents.

Overhaul and reorient Arlington’s plans/analyses

Overhaul and reorient Arlington’s 2014 Stormwater Master Plan and update the 2004 Flood Frequency Analysis to take into account and confront these threats:

  • Global climate change/sea level rise
  • Rapid local overdevelopment

To minimize the risk of repeating July 8’s catastrophe, Arlington should adopt stormwater management controls similar to Westchester County’s (NY) Flooding and Land Use Planning guide. See more details here.

Conclusion

Arlington residents deserve a safer and environmentally sustainable future. Passing resolutions decrying climate change won’t cut it.

To address our emergency, Arlington must immediately:

  • measure and publish impervious surface increases annually for public and private land
  • slow the rate of impervious surface increases
  • preserve and grow our mature tree canopy
  • reorient stormwater planning and update analyses to confront climate change and measure and weigh development costs
  • substantially increase investments in stormwater infrastructure

Peter Rousselot previously served as Chair of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission (FAAC) to the Arlington County Board and as Co-Chair of the Advisory Council on Instruction (ACI) to the Arlington School Board. He is also a former Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) and a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA). He currently serves as a board member of the Together Virginia PAC-a political action committee dedicated to identifying, helping and advising Democratic candidates in rural Virginia.

Image via MWCOG

 County Promises to Eliminate Road Deaths, But Offers Few Details Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:35:26 +0000
Arlington County is pledging to eliminate road deaths and serious traffic-related injuries — but it’s not yet clear how officials plan to accomplish that goal. The Arlington County Board unanimously...

Arlington County is pledging to eliminate road deaths and serious traffic-related injuries — but it’s not yet clear how officials plan to accomplish that goal.

The Arlington County Board unanimously passed the “Vision Zero” resolution during its meeting Tuesday night that aims to bring the number of traffic casualties to zero. However, officials expect the details of the plan won’t be ready for another two years.

Now the county plans to gather public input on the proposal this fall, decide specific goals before January, and share a draft plan by next fall, per a county press release.

The final version of the Vision Zero plan isn’t likely to be completed before 2021.

County Board Chair Christian Dorsey noted that the number of accident-related deaths and injuries in Arlington remained steady for the past five years despite Arlington’s quickly growing population.

“But we can, and must, do better,” said Dorsey during the Tuesday meeting. “As our population continues to grow, and more cars, buses and bicycles share our streets, it is important that we work with the community toward the goal of completely eliminating deaths and serious injuries from traffic collisions.”

The resolution puts Arlington among network of governments, including neighboring jurisdictions like D.C., Alexandria and Montgomery County, which have passed similar “Vision Zero” promises to rethink traffic deaths as preventable, instead of inevitable.

However, advocates from New York to San Francisco have criticized officials for failing to live up to the goals in recent years. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also faced pushback for raising traffic fines and increasing the number of speed cameras, but doing little to prevent a rising tide of deadly collisions.

In Arlington, two people were killed last year in crashes, versus six in 2017, and one in 2016. This is the about on par with Alexandria (five fatalities in 2018, and four in 2017) but much lower than in D.C. where 34 people were killed in 2018 alone.

Almost 60 people were reported to have been seriously injured in crashes in Arlington last year — a number that’s remained relatively steady since 2013.

As a condition of the newly-approved resolution, Arlington will publish regular reports on traffic fatalities and injuries, as well as an annual update on overall progress.

Officials in Arlington have discussed a Vision Zero resolution for years. Former Democratic County Board candidate Alan Howze promised to enact the pledge during his 2014 unsuccessful campaign for County Board.

This year, as the county updated the bicycle portion of Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan, officials said that they would put forth a formal Vision Zero proposal this summer.

Some took to social media to criticize the slow-moving process, including Chris Slatt, who chairs the Transportation Commission.

“After all this time I expected a plan, not a one-page resolution,” Slatt said.

“For now, we celebrate and strategize,” replied Gillian Burgess, who chairs the county’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.

“We are making progress,” Burgess added. “This is a good step.”

File photo (top). Graphs via Arlington County.

 Arlington Pets of the Week: Abby and Callie Wed, 17 Jul 2019 16:45:09 +0000
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) This week, ARLnow is doing something different with our Pet of the Week selections by featuring the companions of those whose homes were affected by last...

(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) This week, ARLnow is doing something different with our Pet of the Week selections by featuring the companions of those whose homes were affected by last week’s flash floods.

Beagle duo Callie, 7, and Abby, 13, are members of the Sakell family in Westover. Owners Tom and Kathy evacuated with the dogs and their children Monday morning when the water rushed into their basement, and the family carried the beagles over a neighbor’s fence to higher ground.

“They’re both a little traumatized from the flood,” said Kathy. “They simply must be near me all the time. When they are, they are happy as clams.”

Tom previously told ARLnow that his family was babysitting another dog named Austin at the time. Austin is a 86 lb. golden retriever who was too heavy to lift over the fence, so Tom said they had to swim through the street together.

The Sakell family cannot live in their house at the moment because of the mold risk and repairs needed to their home — making them one of over a thousand homeowners and businesses who reported damages caused by the historic storm.

The Westover family said they’re currently staying near a beach in South Carolina while they regroup and decide how to fix their home. And for Callie and Abbey, it’s heaven.

“Their favorite thing is now running on the beach,” said Kathy.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email arlingtonnews@gmail.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

 Small Biz Focus: Arlington’s Grant Opportunities for Area Nonprofits Wed, 17 Jul 2019 16:00:50 +0000
This weeks Small Biz Focus highlights the Community Development Fund for local nonprofits.

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios

Nonprofits are the fabric of our community.

The impact of their work directly and indirectly touches everyone in Arlington each day. We are grateful for the tireless work of such dedicated organizations that seek to help older adults, young people, the homeless, people of diverse backgrounds and affordable housing programs, to highlight a few areas of nonprofit work.

Arlington County works with several nonprofit organizations through our Community Development Fund each year to ensure a maximum reach for nonprofit providers is varied and reflects the needs of our community. The process to apply and the notice of funding availability (NOFA) for the County’s upcoming fiscal year (2021) is nearly upon us.

If you’d like to learn more about the process to apply, come network with other nonprofits in Arlington and hear from Jennifer Owens President of the Arlington Community Foundation who would like to cordially invite you out to brunch on July 23 at Arlington Economic Development from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. To register please click on this link.

Nonprofit work never ends — even in summer. We hope you can join us on July 23!