Thursday, November 29, 2012
Case goes before an Arlington County Grand Jury in December.
James Sylvester Caroline, the man accused of killing a Columbia Pike jewelry store owner in late July, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His case will go before an Arlington County Grand Jury next month. Caroline, 53, was scheduled to have his hearing Thursday. Such hearings are held to determine if enough probable cause exists to send a case to a grand jury. Last week, Caroline waived his right to the hearing, Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos said. His case will now go before a grand jury on Dec. 17. Caroline is accused of killing 52-year-old Tommy Wong during a robbery of Wong's jewelry store on Columbia Pike in late July. Earlier this month, Arlington Police Capt. Michelle Nuneville said some detectives didn't sleep for …
Monday, November 19, 2012
Board divided on best way to fund affordable housing commitment.
The Arlington County Board this weekend authorized a mixture to spending cuts and tax increases to close a projected budget gap of up to $50 million for the local government and school system next year. It's the beginning of a long budget process, one that showed elected officials might already be divided on how to best realize the county's commitment to preserving affordable housing. Board members approved their budget guidance to County Manager Barbara Donnellan on Saturday with a 3-2 vote. Vice Chairman Walter Tejada and board member Chris Zimmerman voted against the direction after failing to push through stronger commitments to preserving affordable housing. Chairwoman Mary Hynes said she wouldn't rule out additional investments in …
Friday, November 16, 2012
Board later this month will likely give the county more flexibility in designing and building major capital projects like the Columbia Pike streetcar.
Arlington County likely will update its purchasing guidelines later this month to allow, in part, for more flexibility in the decision-making and planning processes that will lead to a streetcar system along Columbia Pike. Board members held a three-hour work session Thursday night at Arlington Central Library with transit officials from Salt Lake City, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul, along with representatives of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the procurement agency for the city of Ottawa, Canada, and a Montreal-based private contractor. "They're giving us information, different mechanisms on how to put this together," County Manager Barbara Donnellan told Patch. "We really can learn from their experiences." They …
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Public space features 'Echo' sculpture.
Arlington County will celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Penrose Square development at 4 p.m. Thursday in front of the new development at 2503 Columbia Pike. The public square features a two-piece sculpture by Richard Deutsch called "Echo," a tree-covered upper terrace with tables and chairs, an inner plaza with a water feature and small gardens. The $2 million project encompasses more than 17,000 square feet. The public art was inspired by the "Three Sisters" radio towers built by the Navy in 1913 and responsible for broadcasting the first trans-Atlantic radio signal two years later, according to a county news release. The Arlington County Board approved the project in October 2011 — along with $425,000 for the public art.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Arlington County Police Department will hold its final community crime forum tonight at Key Elementary School.
The spate of violent crimes this summer had Arlington County homicide detectives working around the clock. Some detectives, after the highly publicized killing of a Columbia Pile jewelry store owner, did not sleep for 36 to 48 hours. "We knew (the suspect) was going to do it again," Police Capt. Michelle Nuneville said recently at a community forum at the Arlington Career Center on Walter Reed Drive. "So, that was a relief when we got him off the street." The death of Tommy Wong was one of four homicides that stirred the community. After going more than two years with zero murders, this summer saw a murder-suicide, the murder of Wong, and a double-homicide that remains open. Investigators say they hope to make an arrest in the latter case …
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
No injuries reported.
Traffic on eastbound Columbia Pike remains shut down between Walter Reed Drive and South Cleveland Street following a business fire. At about 2:30 p.m., the Arlington County Fire Department responded to a call at a carry-out restaurant in the 2500 block of Columbia Pike. The fire has been extinguished. Crews are checking the building to make sure it did not spread to adjacent businesses before the fire marshal's office begins its investigation into the cause, Capt. Gregg Karl said. The restaurant was open when the fire broke out, but no injuries have been reported, Karl said. Westbound traffic on Columbia Pike is unaffected, Karl said.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Democratic incumbent faces opposition from Republican, Green Party candidates.
The proposed Columbia Pike streetcar could be a defining issue in the three-way race for Arlington County Board. The estimated $249 million transit system would connect the Bailey's Crossroads/Skyline area of Fairfax County with Pentagon City, where it may eventually connect with a proposed Route 1 streetcar. At the center of the storm is Democratic incumbent Libby Garvey, who won her board seat in March, filling a term that expires in December. Garvey faces Republican Matt Wavro and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement — both vocal critics of the streetcar. In July, Garvey abstained from a vote to move forward on the Columbia Pike trolley system, saying she needed more time to study the matter. She said this week that she's still talking …
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Bus and future streetcar station is first of 24 planned for the Pike.
Arlington County recently completed the installation of the canopy over a so-called "Super Stop" for bus and, eventually, streetcar service along Columbia Pike. The Walter Reed East station is the first of 24 planned for the Pike. The Columbia Pike corridor has the highest number of bus riders in Virginia, according to Arlington County, with each stop averaging 600 to 800 passengers daily. The Super Stops provide shelter for us to 15 passengers, lighting, wind screens and heating, according to the county. They also will provide real-time electronic and printed schedule information and, in the future, ticket vending.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The renovation of Buchanan Gardens Apartments cost about $32.4 million.
Affordable housing advocates celebrated the completed renovation of Buchanan Gardens Apartments on Monday, a $32.4 million project that will serve as a home to 111 families. The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing bought the property, just north of Columbia Pike in the Barcroft neighborhood, in 2009. Renovation was phased in, and about 70 percent of the former tenants returned. "They're beautiful," said resident Kelvin Flores, 27, who lives at the apartment complex with his family. "It's a lot better than it was before." The housing partnership renovated and furnished a single unit to show residents before the larger renovation began in order to make the transition easier, said partnership president Nina Janopaul. The partnership …
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Family, friends remember homicide victim Tommy Wong.
Tommy Wong always had a kind word for everyone. Wong was found dead late Friday, the victim of what police say was an armed robbery of his Arlington jewelry store earlier that day. But his words — and actions — continue to resonate and touch the lives of people far beyond the Columbia Pike neighborhood where he worked. More than 200 people gathered in front of Capital Jewelers, 3219A Columbia Pike, on Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Wong. One after another, family members, friends, customers and people who just work in the neighborhood took turns memorializing Wong, 52, of Herndon. They spoke of his generosity, his kindness and his professionalism. They told stories of the hard-working family man who lived the …