House Fire in Georgetown Causes Moderate Damage

June 18, 2013


-A home in Georgetown caught fire around 5 p.m. Monday. No one was injured and the fire was quickly controlled.

The fire broke out in the attic of the three-story home, located at the corner of O and 30th streets, according to a Washington Post blog. Flames could be seen at the top of the house when the fire department arrived, but the fire was under control within an hour after it had been reported.

Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles lined 30th Street in two directions during the incident, according to Carol Joynt.

The cause has not been determined and the fire caused moderate damage to the residence.

The home belongs to Mia Lovink, who has lived in the house for several years, Joynt said. The home is half a block away from another Georgetown fire on the 3000 block of O Street in October 2009.

Trip to the ‘Hawaiian’ Beach at Twilight Polo

November 3, 2011

Don’t have plans for Saturday night? You do now.

Green Meadow’s Twilight Polo events are “the place to be on a Saturday night,” says Margaret McCann, Great Meadow’s promotional manager.

There is nothing better than watching horse and rider race up and down the field battling to get the ball into the goal, even if you don’t have any clue about horses.

“It’s exciting, fast action,” McCann says. “It’s even good for a novice.”

Yet at Twilight Polo, fans get more than just two exciting sports matches, because at Great Meadow there are theme nights, a mascot for kids and the option to tailgate. Twilight Polo offers something for everyone and is family friendly.

This Saturday’s theme is Hawaiian beach party, which is a popular theme since it ties in well with tailgating, McCann says. Great Meadow uses the theme nights as a way to get everyone involved.

Fans dress up, and Twilight Polo even offers games based on the theme.

“The gays love Flamenco night, as it gives them a chance to get all dressed up,” McCann says.
Different polo teams come to compete and “a lot of them are huge polo families around here.”

Last week, Twilight Polo hosted a large crowd of 1,800 people from nearby counties in Virginia and from the city.

“It’s an exciting way to socialize where you’re not stuck in a crowded bar or restaurant,” McCann says.

Especially since the night also offers dancing under the pavilion after the two matches. It’s also the only place in the area with a DJ.

“I left at 12:30 a.m. and people were still dancing,” says McCann.

Kids are even welcome on the dance floor, particularly because Polo Bear, Twilight Polo’s mascot, may be dancing the night away. Polo Bear also hands out candy during the night and plays games, such as tug-of-war and potato sack races, between the matches.

Fans are welcome to bring in their own food, wine and alcohol, and also have the option to purchase barbecue from Boss Hawg BBQ or wine from Boxwood Vineyards.

Twilight Polo offers two matches each Saturday at Great Meadow Foundation, located at 5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains, VA. The gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the first match starts at 7 p.m. The cost is $30 per carload or $10 per individual ticket. The 2010 season’s last night is Sept. 18 and there is no event Sept. 11.

Great Meadow was founded in the 1980s by the Arundel family, who purchased the land so it would not be developed, according to McCann. It’s the only arena polo facility in the area and serves multiple uses.

The area is now home to the Virginia Gold Cup event, rocketry and other community events. Their Fourth of July celebration hosted over 40,000 people this year.

Visit Great Meadow’s website for more information.

In Country Calendar Items

July 16
Doc Saffer Summer Series Outdoor Movie Night
Come to the third annual outdoor movie night, showing “G-Force” on the ball field. Begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Middleburg Community Center, 300 Washington St. If inclement weather arises, the movie will be shown in the main building of the community center. For more information, contact 540-687-6373.

July 17-18
Daylily & Wine Festival
Head to Andre Vinette Farm & Nursery in Fisherville, VA, for a two-day festival that offers food, beer and wine from over 80 vendors. The festival also includes live entertainment and children’s tents. For more information and an event schedule go to

July 24
Fourth Annual Summer Crab Boil
Come for an all-you-can-eat crab boil dinner at the Chateau O’Brien in Northpoint on July 24 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner is $75/person. Live entertainment will be provided. Must be 21 years of age and reservations are required. For more information go to

Aug. 7
Taste of Spain
Willowcroft Vineyards in Leesburg, VA, will serve six Spanish wines from well known Spanish regions with tapas and sangria from noon to 5 p.m. on Aug. 7. The event costs $10/person. For more information, go to

Sept. 19
National Sporting Library & Fine Art Museum Benefit Polo Event
Save the date for a polo match, luncheon and silent auction to benefit the National Sporting Library & Fine Art Museum in Upperville, VA. The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Virginia International Polo Club and will feature prominent players from Argentina, Chile and the U.S. Tickets and tailgate spaces are available starting at $100. Contact Kate Robbins at 540-687-5053 or for more information.
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Drunken Driving Convictions Based on False Tests

Nearly 400 drunken driving convictions in DC were based on flawed test results, as the machines to check a person’s alcohol level were improperly adjusted by city police.

Half of those convicted, since the fall of 2008, received jail time, according to the Washington Post. The jailed defendants normally served at least five days, DC Attorney General Peter Nickles said, in a Washington Post article.

Nickles’ office has been notifying the convicted drivers, which has led to at least one lawsuit against the District, the Post article said.

During the time of the drunken driving convictions, all 10 of the breath tests used by DC police were incorrect and would show a driver’s blood-alcohol content to be around 20 percent higher than it actually was, according to the Washington Post. An officer improperly setting the baseline alcohol concentration levels in the machines caused the problem.

The breath equipment has since been replaced by another brand and the District has begun to implement stricter standards for testing the accuracy of machines, according to the Washington Post.

The inaccurate results emerged after 1,100 prosecutions that relied heavily on breath test results were reviewed, the Post article said.

Wal-Mart Negotiates First DC Area Store

Wal-Mart is negotiating opening its first store in D.C. on New York Avenue N.E. near the intersection of Bladensburg Road.

The chain has been interested in opening a store in the District for years but has not yet signed a lease for the land that is believed to be owned by a family in the taxicab business, according to the Washington Post.

Currently, various auto part shops and the Skylark Lounge, a strip club are on the property.

Unlike other locations Wal-Mart has considered in the past – such as property in Anacostia – a store on New York Avenue would likely require no city subsidies or zoning charges. This could allow the company to avoid the political concerns it attracts due to uneasy relations with organized labor.

The addition of a Wal-Mart could help send shoppers and sales taxes to the suburbs. It would also offer a large number of jobs, since Wal-Mart is one of the nation’s largest employers with about 1.4 million employees, as of March 2010.

Trash Collection Schedule to Change with Triple-Digit Temps

D.C. Department of Public Works’ crews will begin trash and recycling collections one hour earlier this week, due to the weather forecast of close-to-triple-digit temperatures and unhealthy air quality.

Garbage collection trucks will start picking up trash and recycling at 6 a.m. Wednesday, the DPW announced.

Throughout the summer, crews will begin their work at 6 a.m. when the temperature is predicted to be above 90 degrees or the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments announces a day with unhealthy air quality. DPW hopes this will alleviate strain on the environment and public health.

Collections for Monday were also suspended because of Independence Day, so trash and recycling pick-up date will “slide” one day. For example, Monday’s collections will “slide” a day and be picked up on Tuesday.

In neighborhoods that have twice-a-week collections, Monday and Thursday’s collections will be collected on Tuesday and Friday, Tuesday and Friday’s collections will be made Wednesday and Saturday.

Read the Department of Public Works announcement here.

Cheaper SmarTrip Cards Coming in August

Metro rail and bus riders can expect to see changes in terms of pricing for SmarTrip cards and paper fare cards over the next few months.

The transit agency plans to decrease the price of the SmarTrip card and increase the cost of a rail trip for users of paper fare cards in order to encourage riders to use the reusable plastic cards, the Washington Examiner reports.

SmarTrip cards will drop in price from $5 to $2.50 on Aug. 29, but Metro riders may want to consider all their fare options before purchasing one. Other changes to SmarTrip are expected in the fall.

Metro decided to reduce the SmarTrip card cost to decrease the burden on riders caused by the new fare increases, the Examiner said.

Metro initiated the first phase of fare hikes on June 27 and plans to further increase them later this summer. One such increase will be an extra 25-cent charge per rail trip for users of paper fare cards, beginning Aug. 1.

Bus riders who use cash instead of a SmarTrip card already pay a 20-cent differential. They also lose the transfer discount when switching from train to bus or bus to bus.

The transit agency will lose 90 cents on each SmarTrip card sale after the cost drops to $2.50, since it costs Metro $3.40 to make each card.