For now, Margot MacDonald is a 19-year-old with an incredible voice and undeniable songwriting talent who lives with her parents in Lyon Park. Given her steady ascent in the world of music, however, it’s hard to see how that last part is going to last long.
MacDonald, who is playing IOTA Club (2832 Wilson Blvd) tonight with two fellow Strathmore Artists in Residence, seems destined for bigger things. A five-time Washington Area Music Award winner, MacDonald received “a little bit” of national recognition in the past year, when her self-funded album, Walls, made a list of possible GRAMMY nominees for Best Album of the Year.
Walls was actually the teen’s third album. Her first came out when she was 12, about three years after she started classic opera training. During her young career, MacDonald has veered from very folk-oriented to “completely hard rock” to what she now describes as “pop acoustic rock with a bit of a world influence.”
She has worked with two noted local record producers, including fellow Lyon Park resident Marco Delmar. But until now the former Long Branch Elementary and Kenmore Middle School student has shrugged off interest from labels.
“I haven’t felt particularly ready up until this point… I’ve just been trying to figure out who I want to be as an artist,” she said. But MacDonald says she now feels more comfortable than ever with her own musical style, and might be ready to make the leap to the big leagues of the music industry.
Earlier this month MacDonald, who has performed at the 9:30 Club and the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage locally, played her first show in New York City. She says she’s anxious to go back.
“I’m really happy with what I’m doing… slowly but surely getting better and better gigs and gaining more fans,” she said. “I’m not really sure what the future holds, but I hope it’s good.”
Check out Margot’s YouTube channel to watch her past performances.
Photo courtesy of Margot MacDonald.
On Friday, about 15 recruits are expected to graduate from Arlington’s fire academy and enter service as probationary firefighters. Next year, the department expects another 40 recruits to make their way through the academy.
The new recruits will help to make up for retirements and a wave of attrition that occurred during better economic times, when a number of Arlington firefighters were lured to departments in the outer suburbs.
The timing of some of the retirements is being driven by changes to Arlington County’s retirement benefits, according to Fire Chief Jim Schwartz. Older firefighters who might otherwise have stuck around for a bit longer are planning to retire by January 2012, in order to take advantage of better retirement health coverage. To help control costs and comply with a federal funding requirement, the county government is lowering a cap on family retirement health benefits after that time.
The fire department is especially vulnerable to retirements because there are currently a high percentage of older firefighters in the department. Plus, public safety personnel are eligible to retire at a younger age: 55.
“It’s an aging organization,” said Arlington County Human Resources Director Marcy Foster. “There will be a lot of retirements across the board.”
Among those planning to retire are a significant portion of the department’s senior leadership. About five battalion chiefs and a number of captains will be retiring, according to Schwartz.
Another concern that has cropped up over the past few weeks is overtime.
In addition to the fire recruits, about 10 firefighters are currently training as paramedics. The need to detail operations personnel to the fire-EMS academy has put the department in an “overtime jam,” Schwartz acknowledged, confirming reports we had heard from the rank and file. That, however, should clear up soon, we’re told.
Photo via Facebook/ACFD
Bozzelli’s Italian Deli served its first customers around 11:00 this morning. It will be open tonight until 8:00 tonight, an employee told us over the phone.
The new Bozzelli’s (the original is located in Springfield, Va.) is serving its “famous subs” and fresh-made salads today. Hand-tossed pizzas, soups and pasta will make it onto the menu within a couple of days, we’re told. An employee said they’re still working out the kinks.
“The ink on the Certificate of Occupancy is not even dry yet,” he said.
The deli is located at 2600 Crystal Drive, on the ground floor of the Concord apartments. Its phone number is 571-970-4570.
Bozzelli’s will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. According to the deli’s web site, it may eventually serve breakfast.
The opening of Bozzelli’s follows two other recent restaurant openings in Crystal City: Chick-fil-A and Jimmy John’s. The opening of another, much larger restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, is expected in about two weeks.
Update at 1:05 p.m. — Owner Mike Bozzelli, who was on hand for today’s soft opening, tells friend-of-the-blog Doug Wendt that he’s planning a formal grand opening event “in the near future.” Despite the cold and the rain, Wendt says some customers chose to eat outside on the tables that Bozzelli’s is sharing with the Starbucks next door.
Photo via Facebook
The lighting will now take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. It will be followed by horse and carriage rides, photos with Santa, Victorian carolers and free giveaways. Shirlington stores and restaurants will also have free samples, activities and special deals.
If you’ve been waking up in the morning to the sound of bugler playing Reveille, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
We received the following tips this morning:
On the northeast side of the 27/244 (Washington blvd/Columbia pike) intersection, there is a bugle that plays. I don’t know whether it’s coming from the Arlington National Cemetery or from the baracks down by the Air Force memorial, but I think they upgraded their loudspeaker in the past month because when they play reveille at 6:30am, that baby is loud. The evening bugle calls are much more subdued
Hi – I live in Colonial Village on Wilson Blvd and for the past few days, since Thanksgiving, I have been awakened by loud bugle music at 6:30 am. It sounds like it is coming from the direction of Fort Myer. Any idea if this is a new thing? Will it continue? I’ve not heard it before and am wondering how the sound travels so far.
The wake-up call is indeed coming from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (a.k.a. Fort Myer), which just installed a new public address system.
Base spokesperson Sharon Walker says they’re aware of the problem and working to fix it.
“The commander has said ‘it’s too loud, turn it down,’” she said. “They’re trying to adjust it.”
Walker noted that in years prior residents may have noticed the music get louder as leaves — a natural sound dampener — fall from the trees. However, she said, the increase in volume this year is indeed the result of the new PA system and will be taken care of.
Presiding over a congressional district with one of the highest concentrations of federal workers in the country, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has consistently been an unabashed supporter of federal employees and federal spending.
It’s little surprise then that Moran is criticizing President Obama’s decision to freeze the salaries of two million federal employees for the next two years.
Moran released the following statement yesterday evening.
This move will only embolden the opponents of civil service, those who got elected claiming the federal government is broken and will now set about trying to break it.
Unilaterally freezing pay for civil servants separate from a comprehensive, deficit reduction package unfairly asks federal employees to carry a burden that should be shared by all. This freeze strikes at the heart of pay parity, penalizing civilian federal employees in the Defense Department, CIA and other agencies who work side-by-side with our active duty service men and women overseas.
A two year freeze also threatens to exacerbate the brain drain from our federal agencies as the baby boomers reach retirement. It flies in the face of the basic fact that federal employees, particularly those in the management sector, are already underpaid when compared to their private sector counterparts.
December Leaf Collection Schedule Released — The county’s second round of vacuum leaf collection through neighborhoods is now scheduled to begin on Dec. 4 and end on Dec. 24. More from the Dept. of Environmental Services.
Holiday Events Aplenty — The Sun Gazette has a list of 15 holiday-related events around Arlington in December.
Arlington Company Gets Big-Time Funding — OPower, a start-up energy services company based in Courthouse, has just received a $50 million investment by two venture capital firms. The company, which hosted a speech by President Obama in March, hopes to ramp up its research and development effort and hire 50 more people. More from Tech Crunch.
Fire Response at Spider Kelly’s – The fire department responded to Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon late last night for a report of a fire. Firefighters instead found light smoke and traced it back to a malfunctioning heating unit. No word yet on whether this will affect the popular night spot’s ability to open today.