Weird Virginia: Sequestration Hits Summer Camp in Reston, a Fruit-Stealing Squirrel in Del Ray, Serial Groping in Springfield and Beer on Wheels Coming to Clarendon
Plus a world-record holder for long legs in Falls Church, suspects steal a table from Dunkin' Donuts in Fairfax City and thieves make off with a washer and dryer in Manassas Park. Yep, weirdness abounds once again this week in the commonwealth.
Editor's Note: Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and D.C., and not a day goes by that something weird isn't happening in at least one of them. Here's a look back at some weird goings on over the past week.
Why are you so tired this week? We lost an hour last weekend to Daylight Saving Time. But weirdness never sleeps in Virginia, so let's start off with news from Reston and some weird ideas about how to run a government.
We've heard of sequestration shutting down White House tours and never mind grown-ups being put on furlough. How about kids? Kids losing their summer camps? Parents who enrolled their children in Reston Association's Science Camp for the summer were notified Wednesday that the camp has fallen victim to sequestration.
Families who registered for the popular RA camp, held for 17 years at Reston's United States Geoological Survey, were notified that due to budget cuts, the visitor's center at USGS has closed and therefore programs cannot be held there. "This closure has resulted in the cancellation of many of USGS’ public offerings," said the letter from RA Camp Director Barb Beaver. "A few days ago, Reston Association received notice that USGS will no longer host Science Camp at its facility."
There's another kind of madness stalking the streets of Northern Virginia that isn't amusing in the least: a man who can't stop groping women. Police have been after this serial groper since September. One of his latest victims was putting luggage in the trunk of her car Tuesday night when all of a sudden... the groper struck again. More than 200 Springfield area residents who are sick and tired of the groper showed up at a police-led town hall Thursday night to see how they can help put an end to the groping madness. After the meeting, on Friday, police reported yet another incident that took place just hours before the meeting. Did we mention the number of likely attacks? Twenty-three.
In the Washington area, we break records for having the worst traffic, and we're right up there when it comes to the number of federal workers per square mile, but here's a record you may not of known about: In the city of Falls Church, resident Svetlana Pankratova has, since at least 2003, earned the distinction of having the longest legs in the world, coming in at 4 feet, 4 inches long.
The Guinness organization, which publishes the Guiness Book of World Records, certified her as a world record-holder and shot this official video measuring the longest legs in the world.
Heading south to Manassas Park, we noticed this week there's a new crime trend: Thieves stealing... washers and dryers. Times are tough down in Manassas Park — instead of going to the nearest Laundromat or heading to Sears, vandals decided to go out and steal a washer-dryer set. From a home under construction. The General Electric washer and dryer were worth about $750, according to Manassas Park police reports. It seems to be a trend. Another washer and dryer were stolen March 4 from nearby Manassas.
Here's how it went down: An Alexandria Animal Control officer was approached by a person on the street who was concerned about a squirrel loose inside an apartment in the 2400 block of Mount Vernon Avenue. The resident was on her way to purchase a trap from a store when she noticed an Animal Control van parked on the street. The officer then delivered a humane trap to the apartment and set it to capture the squirrel.
The next day, the tenants reported that the squirrel was still loose and that it had eaten the fruit in the kitchen, though it had been unseen in some time.
Do squirrels like beer? We're not sure. But we do know that most humans do and this idea sounds like a winner to us: Arlington's latest pub will be on wheels. Owners of the Arlington Trolley Pub, as it will be called, are hoping to debut their mobile pedal-powered pub in April, provided that they secure all the necessary permits in time.
“The market is really good there and a perfect sort of place for what we do,” said co-owner and managing partner of the Trolley Pub company, Kai Kaapro. The trolley is a 14-seater powered by the passengers, with help from an electric motor. The conductor steers and brakes the trolley. Onboard, it’s bring your own beer and wine. No hard alcohol or glass is allowed.
This next story kind of sounds like it may have involved alcohol... with a side of sprinkles? City of Fairfax Police said six men conspired in the wee hours of the morning to steal a table from the Dunkin' Donuts on Fairfax Boulevard last week. At 3:04 a.m. Wednesday, an employee of the store reported six men, who were in the store, picked up a table and carried it outside. They then placed it into a vehicle and fled the area.
It wouldn't be another edition of Weird Virginia without a local update on the Harlem Shake. Apparently, there's no end in sight. This week we travel to Herndon, where Time Out Wings and Grill's customers, Herndon High School's cheerleaders, people in their living rooms, even the employees at Herndon's Candlewood Suites are jumping on the Harlem Shake bandwagon and sharing the silly results.
Weird Virginia Rewind: