Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Police Notes for Jan. 28, 2009

The most recent Police Notes at this site covered reports issued by the Arlington County Police Department through Dec. 11. Given the amount of time that has passed, these notes pick up the reporting at the start of January and will continue from now on. These notes cover Buckingham, Ashton Heights and Arlington Forest. --ST

Jan. 7: Assault and Battery, 3500 block of Wilson Blvd. At 10p.m., a woman was posing nude for an art class when she realized a man was secretly photographing her. When she confronted the unknown subject, he pushed her against a wall. The suspect was an African-American male in his 40s, 5 feet 8 inches, 190 pounds, wearing a brown jacket and khaki pants.

Jan. 7: Malicious Wounding, 4200 block of N. Pershing Drive. At 7p.m., a man reported that he had been assaulted by a known subject on Jan. 3. He stated that the man choked him and may have cut him with a knife.

Jan. 10: Burglary, unit block (0-99) of N. Glebe Road. Between 5:30p.m. on Jan. 10, and 10a.m. on Jan. 11, an unknown suspect broke into business stole money from the register. There is no suspect description.

Jan. 10: Attempted Robbery, Series (Arrest), 4200 block of N. 4th St. At 9p.m., a woman assaulted and attempted to steal items from three people within a four block area. Colleen White, 18, of Arlington, was charged with Robbery and Malicious Wounding. She was held without bond.

Jan. 9: Robbery, 300 block of N. Thomas St. At 7p.m., a man was walking when he was approached by an unknown African-American male who asked him about his iPod. When the victim held out the device, the suspect stole it and fled on foot. The suspect is a teenager, 5 feet 6 inches and 200 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, black pants, and black skull cap.

Jan. 10: Commercial Burglary, 300 block of S. Glebe Road. Between 7p.m. on Jan. 10, and 7a.m. on Jan. 12, an unknown suspect entered a building by breaking through a plaster wall. There is no suspect description.

Jan. 10: Burglary, 4400 block of N. Henderson Road. Between 2a.m. and 4a.m., an unknown suspect entered a ground level apartment and stole cash. There is no suspect description.

Jan. 14: Attempted Larceny from Auto, 200 block of N. Evergreen St. At 3:30a.m., a man saw an unknown suspect looking into several vehicles with a flashlight. One vehicle’s window was broken, but nothing was reported missing. There is no suspect description.

Jan. 22: Attempted Robbery, 4100 block of N. Pershing Drive. At 9:30p.m., a woman was walking from a grocery store when an unknown male approached her. He displayed a firearm and demanded her bag and money. The victim struggled with him and yelled for help. Three bystanders ran to help, and the suspect fled on foot. The suspect was an African-American male in his early 20s, tall, with a thin build. He was wearing a black three-quarters length coat, gray, hooded sweatshirt, and black jeans. The suspect had dreadlocks and was clean shaven

Jan. 24: Larceny from Auto, Series (Arrest), 600 block of N. Glebe Road. At 5p.m., three suspects broke into two vehicles and stole items from inside, including credit cards. The suspects then used the credit cards inside the mall, and were apprehended by police. Demetrius Mosely, 22, of Washington was charged with Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny, Credit Card Fraud, Receiving Stolen Goods, and Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors. He is being held without bond. Charges are pending on two juvenile suspects.

Jan. 24: Larceny from a Person, 4200 block of Wilson Blvd. At 6p.m., an unknown suspect stole a cell phone from a woman sitting at a table. The suspect was an African-American male in his 30s, 5 feet 11 inches with a slim build. He was wearing black pants, a red/black jacket and a black skull cap.

Jan. 25: Assault and Battery (Arrest), 3800 block of N. Pershing Drive. At 1:30a.m., a man fought with two of his roommates, injuring them. Edilberto Perez-Gonzales, 27, of Arlington, was charged with Assault and Battery. He was held on a $5,000 bond.

Jan. 26: Stolen Auto, 5200 block of N. 5th St. , 1999 CHEVY SUV, BEIGE License tag number: VA JHR-4289. The SUV is a 1999, beige, Chevy.

Red=Person-to-person crime; Yellow=person-to-structure/vehicle crime; Blue=stolen vehicle. Click here to view larger map

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Monday, January 26, 2009

BCCA Meets with Developer Tonight, Monday Jan. 26

I meant to include this in yesterday's HeraldTrib Today, so after you read this, scroll down to get get the rest of the news.--ST

The Buckingham Community Civic Association meets tonight 7p.m. Arlington Oaks Community Center, 4490 N. Pershing Dr. (across N. Pershing from Culpepper Gardens.) The public is welcome.

A representative from developer Crimson Urban Inc. will be the guest speaker. Crimson is seeking approval to build a five-storey, 115-unit residential building (with retail on the ground floor) on the Goodyear property at the corner of N. Glebe and N. Carlin Springs roads. This includes the little house next door to the Goodyear building on N. Carlin Springs. The current site plan permits a four-storey commercial building so Crimson will have to seek Site Plan Approval.

Related stories…
  • Proposed Mixed-use Building to Replace Goodyear (Nov. 17, 2008)

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  • Sunday, January 25, 2009

    HeraldTrib Today: Jan. 25, 2009

    Pat Hope will make it official…

    Buckinghamster Patrick Hope says he will make official on Monday what the rumor mill has been grinding for a couple months: he is running for the 47th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Al Eisenberg (D) is vacating the seat at the end of this session, his fifth in the House. Before jumping into the race, Mr. Hope was waiting for Mr. Eisenberg to make his decision.

    Mr. Hope’s name has popped up in the Sun Gazette and the Washington Post as a likely contender for the seat. Andres Tobar and Alfonso Lopez are two other names still churning in the mill. All three men are active in the Arlington Democratic party.

    The primary in early June is turning the seat into the Fighting 47th, as Miles Grant (who lives in Historic Ballston Park near the Buckingham Shopping Center), and Adam Parkhomenko have already joined the race.

    In an interview yesterday, Mr. Hope said his campaign will focus on health and human services, affordable housing and other concerns of the “most vulnerable in Virginia.”

    Mr. Hope, the Buckingham Community Civic Association president, has for years been an active volunteer in the county, sitting on boards, acting with or chairing about 14 different committees and groups including Arlington County Special Olympics and Arlington County’s 10-year Plan to End Homelessness.

    Mr. Hope is a lobbyist with the American College of Cardiology.

    My advice to all in the race: Explain to me what you will do for the people of th 47th, not just what you plan for Virginia in general.

    Full Disclosure: Pat and I have long been friends and are of like mind on many topics. --ST

    HALRB Largely Supportive of Buckingham Village 3 Redevelopment Plans…

    Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmarks Review Board took a gander at the plans for Buckingham Village 3 and seemed to like much of what they saw last Wednesday.

    Telesis Corporation will be redeveloping the 5.7 acre Village 3 beginning in March when they take ownership of the buildings. Village 3 sits on N. Pershing Drive between N. George Mason Drive and N. Thomas Street. In a complicated maneuver, the county will take ownership of the property and Telesis will take the buildings from Paradigm development the current owners.

    “We’re following the model that was used at the Gates facility,” said Bert Mason of Telesis, meaning that they are redeveloping it with some additions to the backs of buildings, but leaving much of the green space.

    More on this later in the week. --ST

    NAR analyst said he was asked to cook the books…

    A Jan. 12 article in the Wall Street Journal reports that David Lereah, a chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, was asked to make his predictions rosier than they really were, especially just before the housing market hit crisis levels.

    The Journal wrote: “[Mr. Lereah] says he was pressured by executives to issue optimistic forecasts -- then was left to shoulder the blame when things went sour. ‘I was there for seven years doing everything they wanted me to,’ he said, looking out his window to his tree-filled yard in this Washington suburb.”

    Funny that Scott McCaffrey has not written about any of this in the Sun Gazette.

    Changes at the HeraldTrib…

    I was looking back at the November 2007 posts of the HeraldTrib because I have been wondering just how I could put out as much copy as I did while I was at work full-time. I saw one piece about parking in the county, and I recalled writing it from Murky Coffee in Clarendon.

    Suddenly I remembered that year. My son Harry was in pre-school, and my daughter Hazel was in first grade. We had a nanny helping us out then, especially on early-release Wednesdays when both kids got home in the early afternoons. Because our nanny was picking them up, I had four or five more hours in the work week than I do now.

    I am seeing my work week a little more clearly now and realizing that I do have more pressure on my time than I did two years ago. (Last school year, while on sabbatical from Montgomery College, I had all the time in the world to write the blog, and still felt as though I was not producing enough.)

    So, after feeling guilty during the fall semester for not producing much for the HeraldTrib (I’ve been back to full-time work), I feel a little less guilty this morning knowing that the blog will not be what it was.

    The days of weekly updates and regular posts are over. I just cannot find the time for that sort of regularity. With luck, my semester will smooth over and in a month or two, I can do more. But for the forseeable future, I will just put out stories when I can, covering what I can.

    I’ll email the list when I post something new (my email address is in the right-hand column if you want to join the list), and you can subscribe to my RSS feed (see the right hand column) through feedburner if you prefer a Web reader over email. Keep in mind that I might be silent for a couple weeks at a time, but I am not really gone.

    Thanks for reading. A few more people over the last month or so have joined the email list, so thank you very much to them.

    The Week’s Headlines…
    As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: --Steve Thurston).

    Today's Headlines:

  • Letter: Post Office "Excruciatingly Slow"
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    Letter: Post Office "Excruciatingly Slow"


    Happy new year, and thanks for continuing your work with the Tribune. Customer service at the [Buckingham] Post Office seems excruciatingly slow to me, and I share your frustration why a vending machine can't be installed. There is certainly space for it (the lobby area is cavernous) and a machine must cost less than adding another employee.

    Chris Donahue

    The writer is referring to "A Couple Thoughts on Christmas" --ST

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    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    HeraldTrib Today: Jan. 14, 2009

    A Couple Thoughts on Christmas…

    Say what you will about the Glebe Market, but they were open on Christmas day. I know that there are people in my readership who do not like the store, disliking especially the men who stand outside. But God bless owner Sam Chon for having the store open when I needed vegetable oil! (It’s not Christmas at the Thurston house without fried bread dough, and I did not realize that I had finally run through the two jugs of oil I bought at Costco about two years ago.)

    No one else was open, and I did not even try Glebe Market at first, figuring surely they would be closed. I was happily mistaken.

    I wish the same could be said for customer service at the Buckingham Station Post Office. I was near the end of a line that stretched from counters to doors just before Christmas on a day when only two of the three windows at the counter were open. Station Post Master Harold Graves stepped from the back room to the front counters, asked if anyone needed only to stamp envelopes, and when no one raised a hand or stepped forward, he disappeared into the back room again.

    I’ve been to other post offices during the Christmas rush when managers are out in the line of people helping them with insurance forms, or delivery notifications, or answering questions.

    I can guess that the holidays is a bad time to be in the postal business. It must be exhausting, with long hours and snippy people. Still, it could have been handled better.

    While I’m on it, where’s the stamp vending machine in the post office?

    All this at a time when NPR tells us the postal service is losing money.

    Welcome to Rick Gibson, guest columnist…

    For the first time, you'll find a guest column below. The writer is a former worker at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents which might be shuttered in the economic downturn. It's an interesting piece, if more statewide than Buckingham-centric. More news next week.

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    Guest Column: Keep CCCA Open for Kids, Their Families

    VA Gov Kaine plans closure of State's only publicly-funded mental-health facility for troubled youth

    In the shadow of the Virginia Tech tragedy, in a time when the state had vowed to reform a mental-health care system that allowed troubled young shooter Cho Seung Hui to "slip through its cracks," Virginia's Governor is now planning to dynamite that "crack" into a veritable chasm, by closing the state's only state-run, public mental-health facility for children within the entire state. The Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, a modern 48-bed hospital in Staunton, has long served as the "safety net" for children and adolescents from all over the state who desperately need inpatient mental-health evaluation and treatment, but who are unable to be accepted by - or to remain at - private facilities or community-based programs.

    These children are typically from families - often underprivileged - who either have no private insurance, yet are not eligible for Medicaid; or who have seen their benefits run out, resulting in discharge or transfer from such facilities. A frequent common-denominator is that many are children who other facilities have been completely unable to manage and care for effectively, unpredictably aggressive children, with violent behaviors. Additionally, Virginia's juvenile courts often refer teens who have charges pending against them, for mental-health evaluation.

    This is not a long-term care facility. The average length of stay at the center is typically less than a month.

    Without this facility, many very troubled children will have no where else to turn for help.

    The consequences of this plan are troubling: a possible increase in teen suicides; a rise in the juvenile incarceration rate; and the downward spiralling of precious young lives.

    A "town-hall" style meeting was held on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at the CCCA, in which employees of the center, mental-health professionals in the community, parents of children treated at the center(past & present), and other members of the community voiced their empassioned concerns about the closing of this vital facility. VA Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Jim Reinhard, and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Marilyn Tavenner had traveled from Richmond to discuss the plans to close the CCCA with employees and the general public.

    A common theme of the comments, questions and criticisms was directed at the state's apparent lack of any real concrete contingency plan; i.e. what the state can or will do, once the facility has been closed, to ensure that high-risk children and teens who are in need of such services, are not turned away by private hospitals and/or community-based agencies, as they always have been up to now. Many believe that high-risk, combative children and adolescents will simply wind up in juvenile detention, where some may attempt suicide, and all will not be receiving the mental-health care that they so desperately need.

    On a separate note, questions were raised regarding the 2009 VA State Budget assigning a value of $12 million to (for the sale of) the 28-acre CCCA property; and the "co-incidental" plan of the city of Staunton to see this land developed commercially, as part of a huge new retail shopping, restaurant and lodging "multi-use" complex, alongside Interstate 81's Staunton exit 222. Both matters were announced the same day, within hours of each other. Some wonder if this could represent the true motive behind the planned closing of this facility: a thinly-disguised case of "eminent domain".

    - Rick Gibson
    The writer is a former employee of the CCCA. Versions of this piece have appeared in other publications.

    Related stories…
  • Campaign for the Commonwealth Center (Jan. 6, WVIR-TV, Charlottesville)
  • Parents, Employees Speak Out About CCCA (Jan. 9, WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg)

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