On the ground in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Archive for December 2010

Snow removal information for the D.C. metro area

January 26, 2011 - 09:14 AM
snowy road
Check road conditions before trying to travel in winter weather. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Though the snow that's on the way is supposed to be wet, and less likely to stick a lot to sidewalks, chances are a lot of it will still have to removed. Here's everything you need to know about how to find out when it'll be removed by you, or where to complain if removal doesn't happen. We'll be updating this with more information today.

  • District of Columbia: The District Department of Transportation's snow plow map tracks the progress of snow removal in real time. You can also call the Mayor's Citywide Call Center at 311 or tweet to @DDOTDC to report issues.
  • Arlington: The county's snow removal info page offers a map that details how streets are prioritized for plowing. Arlington residents may now also submit snow issue requests here.
  • Alexandria: Alexandria has a snow removal map, and a snow emergency hotline: 703-746-4488.
  • Fairfax: Roads in Fairfax County are maintained by VDOT. Call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) to reach them.
  • Montgomery: The county runs a snow removal map where you can also report specific issues. Or call 240-777-6000. Some smaller jurisdictions within the county also plow their own snow.
  • Prince George's: Report snow removal issues online or call the Snow Information Center at 301-350-0500. The county's snow removal plan is here.
  • Frederick: The county's snow removal info can be found here. Call 301-600-1564 to report unsafe road conditions.
  • State roads: Many roads are maintained by state transportation departments, including in Fairfax County and much of the rest of the state. Call VDOT's Northern Virginia District Office at 800-FOR-ROAD or Virginia's 511. And check Maryland snow updates here.

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Arlington County Board to set 2011 agenda Jan. 1

December 31, 2010 - 11:00 AM
Chris Zimmerman
County board member Chris Zimmerman will take the reigns as board chairman Jan. 1. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Arlington residents won't have to wait long to hear what new county board chairman Chris Zimmerman wants to tackle in the coming year. The board will hold its traditional Jan. 1 meeting Saturday at 11 a.m., and once officially elected, Zimmerman will have a chance to lay out his goals and priorities for the year.

Current 2010 board chairman Jay Fisette announced Dec. 14 that the board intended to elect Zimmerman as chair and board member Mary Hynes as vice chair. Zimmerman was reelected to the board in November.

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Asian grill to open in Silver Spring

December 31, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Skew Works
Skew Works will open at 930 Wayne Ave. in a few months from now. (Photo: TBD Staff)

The restaurant openings seem to be piling up in Silver Spring, no? Babe's Sports Bar & Grill finally opened its doors last week, and now the vacant retail space at 930 Wayne Ave. will be filled by an Asian grill restaurant.

A sign for Skew Works has been up at 930 Wayne Ave. for at least a week now, and a message posted on the door Thursday read that "construction, demolition and remodeling will be going on for about 13 - 15 weeks" on Skew Works Asian Grill & Cafe.

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Crumbs cupcakes come to Clarendon (Photos)

December 31, 2010 - 05:50 AM
The Sarreas family digs into their first cupcakes from Clarendon's new Crumbs Bake Shop. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Hey, Clarendon: it's cupcake time! At least it seemed that way at the new Crumbs Bake Shop on Clarendon Boulevard Thursday afternoon. The shop had already sold much of its stock for the first day by 3 p.m.

There were no Georgetown Cupcake-style lines stretching around the corner, that we saw, but just wait 'til Jan. 8 when the bakery is giving out 1,000 of its cupcakes for free. More photos of sugary goodness after the jump.

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Donor pledges 100K to Arlington planetarium fund

December 30, 2010 - 04:45 PM
Arlington's David M. Brown planetarium. (Photo courtesy Friends of Arlington's David M. Brown planetarium.)

As improbable as it may have seemed earlier this month, it looks like the nonprofit group working to save the David M. Brown planetarium is going to meet its next funding milestone after all.

Arlington resident and former Arlington School Board Chairman Preston Caruthers has pledged a total of $100,000 toward that goal, the Washington Post reported this afternoon. Friends of Arlington's David M. Brown Planetarium president Alice Monet tells TBD she spoke with Caruthers earlier today and received his commitment.

The sum will bump the group's total amount raised to date up to $240,000, which was the interim goal for Dec. 31 set by the Arlington Public Schools board earlier this year.

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Highland Origin Coffee temporarily closes after all

December 30, 2010 - 03:10 PM
Highland Coffee
Highland Origin Coffee should be a full-service restaurant by mid-January. (Photo: TBD Staff)

We were previously told that Highland Origin Coffee would remain open as it undergoes its conversion to a full-service restaurant, but it turns out the Silver Spring coffee shop actually did have to shut down for renovations.

A sign posted in the Fenton Street coffee shop today reads that the business had to close to allow for construction on the kitchen. It doesn't really come as a surprise given that the shop had to close early all of last week because of construction.

We're not sure when exactly the coffee shop will reopen, but the restaurant should be ready by mid-January.

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In dog mural lawsuit, Arlington looks for dismissal

December 30, 2010 - 02:33 PM
Dog Mural
The mural Kim Houghton commissioned in Shirlington. (Photo courtesy Institute for Justice.)

Arlington County is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by pet groomer Wag More Dogs that claims the county's commercial sign regulations are unconstitutional. Attorneys for the county are expected to submit a motion to dismiss today, according to county spokeswoman Diana Sun.

Wag More Dogs proprietor Kim Houghton filed the lawsuit Dec. 2 after going back and forth with the county over a dog mural she painted on the wall of her Shirlington business overlooking a county dog park. County officials made her cover the mural, claiming it was an illegal sign advertising her business.

Houghton's filing sought an injunction that would allow her to uncover it, as well as a ruling that county's sign law is unconstitutional. There is a hearing on the injunction, and Arlington's motion to dismiss, scheduled for Jan. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

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Impulse Buys: Zombie mints

December 30, 2010 - 01:55 PM
Zombie mints
For the zombie in all of us. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Snapshots of the wild, weird, and wonderful things you can buy in the D.C. area.

Product: Zombie mints.

Tagline: “Mmmm! Brain Flavor!”

Available at: Alliance Comics, 8317 Fenton Street, Silver Spring.

Cost: $2.99

Why you might want it: You're dying to know what brains taste like. You want to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse (and we all know Silver Spring has its fair share of Zombie pandemics). Or you’re just a huge Walking Dead fan.

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The new Iota: Coffeehouse by day, concert venue at night

December 30, 2010 - 01:30 PM
Stephen Negrey and Jane Negrey Inge of Iota in Clarendon take a break from admiring their new espresso machine for a cup of joe. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Jane Negrey Inge, who owns Arlington’s Iota Club and Café with her brother, Stephen Negrey, always says that you have to be “a little crazy” to run a music venue.

So when the siblings tried to figure out how to expand the Clarendon club's business into daylight hours, they picked something that draws a similarly obsessed crowd: coffee.

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Bethesda Chicken Out Rotisserie closes due to high rent

December 30, 2010 - 11:30 AM
Chicken Out Rotesserie
Chicken Out Rotesserie's Bethesda Avenue location closed this week. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Bethesda Row has a new vacancy now that Chicken Out Rotisserie closed Wednesday, and whoever ends up filling the restaurant space at 4893 Bethesda Ave. may have to contend with some high rental rates.

The local chain announced early Wednesday morning that it discontinued its lease at the Bethesda location, and vice president of marketing Renie Freedman tells us it was due to an increase in rent.

"They were just bringing up the rate so high that we could just not do it," she says. "It was a great store. We loved being in Bethesda."

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Demolition begins on Skanska office building site (Photo)

December 30, 2010 - 10:08 AM
Demolition has begun on the site of a planned new office building in Rosslyn. (Photo: TBD Staff)

It looks like 2011 is going to be the year of the groundbreaking in Rosslyn — at least more so than the previous couple years, anyway — and indications of that movement are already afoot.

This week, crews began demolishing three buildings on Wilson Boulevard that sit on land designated for a new five-story office building from developer Skanska. The building will replace Arlington Motor Cars, a medical services building, and Fashion Dream tailors, the last of which has moved to 2525 Wilson Blvd.

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Montgomery County Christmas tree recycling ends Feb. 4

December 30, 2010 - 08:40 AM

If any Montgomery County residents are having a tough time coming to terms with the end of the holiday season, you're in luck — you have until Feb. 4 to recycle your Christmas tree.

All you have to do is place your tree on the curb on your regular collection day, but make sure the thing is devoid of all ornaments, tinsel, and garlands. Trees with root balls won't be picked up, and remember to check with your property manager about tree recycling if you live in an apartment or condominium.

And where exactly do Christmas trees go to die? Neighborhood Mulch Preserves. Trees are shred up and turned into mulch that will be available for free in February and March.

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Neighbors still fighting Bishop O'Connell High School's plan to light fields

December 29, 2010 - 04:20 PM
O'Connell High School
Neighbors are concerned about the lights that could soon go up around the football field at Bishop O'Connell high school. (Photo: Jay Westcott)

David Swiger has always rebuffed incredulous friends who ask, "really? You live between two schools?"

"I've always told them, 'it's awesome.' Because after 4 or 5 p.m., it's really quiet around here," says the single father of one who lives across from Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School and next to Tuckahoe Elementary.

Now Swiger and some of his neighbors are worried all that is about to change as O'Connell pursues a multimillion dollar renovation of the school's athletic facilities, complete with lights for nighttime use.

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Guajillo, Casa Oaxaca owners to run Artisphere restaurant

December 29, 2010 - 03:40 PM
Artisphere, Arlington's newest multimedia arts and cultural venue, has found a restaurant to occupy part of its space. (Photo: TBD Staff)

The owners of Arlington's Guajillo restaurant and Casa Oaxaca in D.C. are planning to sign a lease to run a full service restaurant and bar in Artisphere, Arlington cultural affairs division chief Norma Kaplan confirms.

A vendor to run the restaurant and bar at Artisphere was one of its bits of unfinished business when the new arts venue opened, on schedule, in October. Now, it looks like Arlington County is getting ready to approve a lease for the bar/restaurant space. The county board is scheduled to vote on the lease Jan. 22.

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Major work Thursday at Silver Spring Transit Center

December 29, 2010 - 12:20 PM
Silver Spring Transit Center
Work on the Silver Spring Transit Center won't be complete until October 2011. (Image: Courtesy of Montgomery County Department of General Services)

Just a heads up to anyone passing by the vicinity of the Silver Spring Metro Station – there is yet another concrete pour at the new transit center scheduled for Thursday morning.

That means 25 trucks will be delivering concrete to the site of the future Silver Spring Transit Center. They'll begin at 4 a.m. and should be finished around noon.

This will be the eighth of 12 early morning to mid-afternoon concrete pours at the site.

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D.C.'s Christmas tree pickup starts Jan. 3

December 29, 2010 - 12:03 PM
christmas trees
These sad little trees can be collected starting Monday, but they need to make it to the curb first. (Photo: TBD Staff)

The D.C. Department of Public Works will begin collecting Christmas trees on Monday, Jan. 3. Residents are asked to place their trees (tinsel-free, please!) in treebox spaces in front of their homes (or adjacent to the curb) between Sunday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 9. Collections will continue through Jan. 15.

Trees that are placed outside after Jan. 15 can still be collected. Just put your tree where you put your trash and recycling, and regular DPW crews will collect it as long as they have room in their trucks.

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Police hope for new clues in Diener case

December 29, 2010 - 08:57 AM

Today marks a year since Arlington resident Carl Diener's body was found in the street in Clarendon, the apparent victim of a stabbing early that morning. The Arlington County Police Department is still looking for a break in the case, and will canvass the area near the intersection where he was killed today in hopes of turning up new information that could lead to an arrest.

Friends and supporters of Diener will also hold a candlelight vigil at the same location, the intersection of North Irving Street and North 13th Street at 7:30 p.m. Diener was en route to work at the Sport & Health Club on North Kirkwood Street when he died.

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Impulse Buys: Discount wassail

December 28, 2010 - 04:42 PM
Wassail is just one of many holiday items going on sale this week. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Snapshots of the wild, weird, and wonderful things you can buy around the D.C. area.

Product: Nativity instant wassail

Available at: Serendipity, 2439 N. Harrison Street, Arlington

Cost: $8 Now just $4

Why you might want it: You're really cutting corners this year, and decided to skip the from-scratch wassail. You're a sucker for pretty much anything at a 50 percent-off post holiday sale. Or, because you'd prefer to make your drinks of the hot, apple persuasion, rather than buying them.

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Marketing stickers prompt scam concerns on Capitol Hill

December 28, 2010 - 03:35 PM
yellow sticker
Stickers like these prompted police action over Christmas weekend. (Photo: Courtesy Jared Critchfield)

You're planning to be away over the holidays, so you do all the things you're supposed to do to reduce your chances of being the victim of a burglary while you're gone: Arrange for newspaper deliveries to halt, ask a friend or neighbor to bring in the mail, set some lights on timers, and so on. But imagine the first day after you leave, some aggressive door-to-door marketer ends up leaving a bright yellow sign on your front door that might as well scream, "I'm out of town, please rob me!"

That's more or less what some residents in the eastern end of Capitol Hill say happened on Dec. 23 and 24. Houses on C Street SE from 14th all the way 18th, plus a few other blocks in the same area, were blanketed with bright yellow "Sorry we missed you!" stickers courtesy Maryland-based Long Fence and Home. Trouble was, the stickers looked awfully shady — no business name anywhere to be found, with an offer of a "Homeowner's energy package" and a toll-free number that, when dialed over the weekend, connected to an endless loop of voice mail boxes.

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Holiday decor turned prank war in Cherrydale (Photo)

December 28, 2010 - 02:20 PM
It's a little cold in Arlington for flamingos at this time of year, but that didn't stop these from spreading holiday cheer. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Cindy Scarcella woke one morning this month to a sea of pink in her front yard. A flock of flamingos had 'landed' overnight, much to her surprise.

There's no missing the display, day or night, given the flamingos' luminescent neon glow and accompanying strands of lights. (There are even a few in disguise as Santa Claus and reindeer.)

The birds came with their own calling card as well — a sign declaring the house has been "flocked" — as part of an ongoing holiday decor prank war among neighbors on this stretch of Lee Highway in Cherrydale.

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