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Meet Charlie, a brown German short-haired pointer whose manners will never prompt his owners to cry “good grief!”

Though his past is unclear, his friends at Alexandria’s Mid-Atlantic GSP Rescue say Charlie’s present self would be a treat to have at any household, though cats are not advised:

Charlie is a well-behaved, amazing, and fun approximately 5-6 year old male GSP , weighing about 60lbs.

Charlie was found as a stray, so we don’t know his backstory, but we can tell you that he has been an absolutely wonderful house guest. Charlie is fully housebroken and has excellent manners. Charlie knows basic commands (sit, down, and stay), does not jump on counters, and does not beg when we eat.

Charlie is friendly to every person he meets, and is great with our teenage kids. He is not a jumpy dog, and probably would do fine with younger kids. Charlie loves being around people, and happily will curl up on your lap or lie next to you. He likes to sleep in the same room as his people, but he will sleep on his dog bed. Charlie is a medium energy dog, and is content with a couple of walks a day and a few games of fetch (we are working on getting Charlie to return the ball).

Charlie has full reign of the house, and does well when left alone. When we return, he is either on his dog bed or waiting by the door to greet us. Charlie is starting to show a bit of a prey drive and will chase the birds. He does not bark much, except when he sees the deer hanging out in our neighbor’s yard. Charlie has had some exposure to other dogs, and he definitely likes his space when he sleeps (no sharing a dog bed with Charlie unless you are a person!), but he might get along just fine with other dogs. We don’t think he would do well in a house with a cat or a bird.

Charlie is a gem, and we will miss him when he is adopted!

Suspect Charlie is a guest you’ll never want to leave? You can fill out an adoption application at www.mdgsprescue.org/adoption-application.

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Metro is no stranger to safety challenges.

Last week’s train derailment in Arlington was just the latest in a long history of perilous, occasionally fatal incidents that have plagued the D.C. region’s primary transit system, from track fires and smoke-filled tunnels to the Red Line crash that killed nine people in 2009.

While no injuries were reported from the derailment, the ensuing investigation disrupted rail service on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines throughout the week.

Initial findings of that investigation are now in, and they could be a devastating blow to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s campaign to lure passengers back after the COVID-19 pandemic sent ridership tumbling last year.

Metro pulled nearly 60% of its fleet out of operations Sunday night (Oct. 17) after the National Transportation Safety Board uncovered wheel axle defects on multiple 7000-series trains, which were introduced in 2015. The federal agency reported today (Monday) that these issues have occurred at least 31 times since 2017, including twice on the derailed car before it actually went off the tracks.

With use of the 6000 trains already suspended due to recent car separations, Metro was left with just a few dozen trains today and reduced service to just one six-car train every 30 minutes, resulting in crowded trains, platforms, and buses.

While WMATA hasn’t announced its upcoming service plans yet, it seems like a safe bet that the challenges facing the transit system won’t be solved overnight.

How will Metro’s safety issues and new service limitations affect your travel plans going forward? If you were a regular rider, will you continue that habit or seek alternatives when possible?

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The latest Pet of the Week is Donnie, who was part of a large colony of cats trapped at the Blackthorne Inn in Upperville, Virginia. Donnie’s foster mom describes him as gentle, calm and sweet.

Here’s what Donnie’s friends at 4Paws Rescue Team shared:

Donnie is from a colony of cats that were trapped at the Blackthorne Inn in Upperville, Virginia. By the time the caretaker (Tom) and office manager (Donna) called for help with the cats, there were over 20 living on the property, and it all started with a single unspayed female cat that someone abandoned.

Here’s what Donnie’s foster mom had to say about Donnie (and she has been doing this a long time):

‘Donnie is the best and gentlest of cats. He gets along with other cats well, too. His purrsonality is calm and sweet. You don’t get them better than this guy. What’s amazing is that he was born outside and except for the company of Tom, his dog Charlie and Donna, he did not have any contact with humans. At first he was afraid but within a couple of weeks he was making great progress.

He has a good appetite so his adopter will need to monitor his food intake. Once he finishes eating, he will go over to another cat’s dish to try to eat their food. Because of this, it is best if he is fed separately or his adopter uses a microchip-sensing automatic feeder. Donnie has very sensitive skin (just look at the pink nose) that reacted to the Revolution. He developed a sore/infection where it was applied between his shoulder blades and had to have a Convenia antibiotic shot.

Donnie is used to living with other cats so he should go to a home where he has a cat friend. In the words of Jackson Galaxy: “I firmly believe that by and large, cats are happier in the company of other cats.”

Donnie was born April 2020. He has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and has tested negative for FeLV and FIV.

Are you and Donnie the perfect match?

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908 Shady Drive SE

The real estate market remains busy with new homes hitting the market each day.

This past week, 32 new homes were listed across Tysons, McLean and Vienna, according to Homesnap. These included:

Image via Google Maps

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Meet Mia, a small but fierce Chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier mix who’s looking for a home where she can be the queen of the castle.

Here’s what Mia’s friends at Paws and Claws New England had to say about her.

Miss Mia is an empathic snuggle bunny who is looking for a warm and loving home. She is confident, active and affectionate. Please do not let her tiny size (3 pounds 8 ounces) fool you into thinking she wants to spend her time wrapped in a soft blanket sitting on a pillow made of velvet. She is a saucy little hot tamale who is ready and willing to become the princess of her very own castle. She is extremely playful and excellent with friendly small dogs who want to run around the yard in a fast game of ‘catch me if you can.’

Email [email protected] for more information on Mia.

Could you be the one to have Princess Mia rule over your Genovia?

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By this time next year, the I-495 Northern Extension project (495 NEXT) could be under construction.

The Virginia Department of Transportation secured required federal approvals in July for its $550 million effort to add express lanes on three miles of interstate from Tysons to the American Legion Bridge area in McLean.

With that hurdle surmounted, state transportation officials expect to advance the project fairly quickly over the next year, awarding a design-build contract this winter and finalizing the design next year. Right-of-way acquisitions and construction work could also start in 2022, putting the toll lanes on track to begin operations in 2025.

While traffic volumes are projected to increase roughly the same amount regardless of whether 495 NEXT is implemented, VDOT says extending the I-495 Express Lanes toward the American Legion Bridge will reduce travel times and congestion, moving 2,500 more people per hour through the corridor when they open in 2025.

A chart showing how extending the I-495 Express Lanes will improve travel times, according to VDOT (via VDOT)

The project also includes transit in the form of new bus service between Tysons and Montgomery County, a trail for bicyclists and pedestrians parallel to I-495, and funds to assist with stormwater management and stream restoration efforts along Scott’s Run.

However, 495 NEXT has encountered some resistance from McLean residents concerned about its potential impact on their neighborhoods, and environmental advocates.

An environmental assessment found that the project will affect 4.11 acres of Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, 19.8 acres of wetlands, and more than two acres of land around George Washington Memorial Parkway, though the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) and National Park Service (NPS) determined that the effects could be mitigated enough to be outweighed by the benefits.

Some residents and elected officials have questioned whether that would be the case, though, if Maryland’s plans to replace the American Legion Bridge and widen its part of the Beltway fall through, which remains a possibility even after the state approved a pre-development contract.

Now that it’s getting closer to becoming a reality, how do you feel about 495 NEXT?

Would the project make your life easier, or are you more concerned about the inevitable environmental and neighborhood impacts of a major infrastructure project? Should Virginia hit pause until Maryland fully commits?

Chart via VDOT

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8103 Spring Hill Farm Drive, McLean (via Google Maps)

It’s a new month, which means it’s time to take a look back at the most expensive homes sold in the Tysons area in September.

In the past month, nearly 120 homes were sold across Tysons, Vienna and McLean in the past month, according to data from Homesnap. That’s down slightly from last month’s 140 sales.

Now, let’s look at some of the most expensive homes that sold in the area in September:

In the market? Check out the latest in Tysons area real estate.

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via Tierra Mallorca/Unsplash

The real estate market is hot right now — so hot that some homes are selling for over asking price. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing some price reductions.

In the past 30 days, 68 homes located around Tysons, McLean and Vienna were reduced in price, according to Homesnap.

A few recent reductions include:

Image via Tierra Mallorca/Unsplash

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Meet Bambi, a loyal kitten who loves to snuggle and play as he learns to run around again after suffering paralysis of the back legs.

Here’s what Bambi’s friends at 4Paws Rescue Team had to say about him:

Bambi comes to 4Paws all the way from Kuwait with a bit of a sad story. Bambi was rescued along with another cat after some teenagers threw them off the roof of a six-story building, and they were badly injured. Bambi suffered paralysis in his back legs and initially had little mobility. Fortunately, his rescuers took him in, and with some treatment and TLC he regained almost all control over his back legs and can run, jump and use the litter box very successfully. He sometimes exhibits some slight wobbliness and his back legs falter a bit, but this doesn’t slow Bambi down one bit!

Bambi is an extremely beautiful Arabian Mau mix with very soft fur and a long bushy tail. He is a curious, very active and friendly cat who can be a bit skittish at first (probably due to his ordeal), but who warms up quickly and is off investigating everything in his environment. Bambi is quite talkative and likes to let you know where he is! He entertains himself by throwing his toys high in the air, playing fetch and then carrying them around in his mouth. He absolutely loves a feather wand and it is a good way for him to exercise those back legs!

Bambi is a big cuddle bug but needs time to get comfortable with new people, particularly hyperactive children. He likes to be wherever you are, and he will flop on his back any chance he gets, looking for belly rubs. Once you’ve won his heart, Bambi is a loving and loyal companion.

Email [email protected] for more information about Bambi.

Could Bambi be your next furry friend?

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8220 Crestwood Heights Drive, McLean

This past week, 30 properties were sold throughout Tysons Corner, McLean and Vienna, according to Homesnap.

These ranged from a nearly $5.3 million McLean home to a 1 BD/1 BA condo that sold for $235,000.

A few of the recently sold properties include:

In the market? Check out the latest in Tysons area real estate.

Image via Google Maps

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