(Updated at 6:00 p.m.) A reader sent us these photos, taken today at the intersection of N. Edgewood Street and Wilson Boulevard.
The tipster said he spotted an Advanced tow truck idling in a no parking zone close to the intersection, in front of the Clarendon Whole Foods. Upon closer inspection, he says he noticed that the driver was asleep and the engine was running. The truck sat there “for at least 45 minutes,” hindering the ability of Edgewood Street drivers to see cars and pedestrians coming up Wilson Boulevard, according to the tipster.
“If I did this I’d be towed,” he declared.
The students, fifth-grader Keishu Watanabe and his sister, second-grader Saho (both seen in the video, below), moved from Arlington to Tokyo with their parents just weeks before the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Northern Japan earlier this year. With a personal connection to the disaster, “graduating” fifth-grade students and parents at Tuckahoe decided to raise money to help the victims.
Tomorrow, starting at 7:00 p.m., the school will host an “Anime Movie Night” featuring a screening of Ponyo, the Japanese adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The family-friend film has been dubbed into English, thanks to the voices of Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon and Betty White.
The screening is free and open to the public, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Donations, raffle proceeds and bake sale revenue will go to the ‘Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Fund.’ Kids are encouraged to wear pajamas and a yukata (robe), grab some glow necklaces and munch on arare (Japanese rice crackers).
Even though they’re halfway around the world, students at Keishu and Saho’s new school are so excited about the fundraiser that they banded together to make Tuckahoe a Senbazuru, a large hanging of 1,000 hand-made paper cranes. The gift — a symbol of peace and friendship — was sent to the school, where officials are now deciding on a prominent place to display it, according to Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia.
Wakefield High School held its annual Prom Promise anti-drunk-driving event today, but it was a bit different than years past.
Instead of a large indoor assembly with PowerPoint slides, a speaker and staged demonstrations, the police department decided to take things outside. Groups of students lined up to try their hand at driving golf carts around a cone course while wearing “drunk goggles.”
“This year I wanted to do something that’s more interactive, where all the kids get to participate,” said Cpl. Kyle Anderson, who helped to organize the event.
With the goggles simulating the distorted sense of reality and slowed reaction time of 3-5 drinks, students invariably found themselves driving slower than usual and, often, veering well off-course.
“It’s not to train them how to drive drunk,” Anderson said. “It’s to give them an idea just how bad they drive when they have a drink.”
Anderson said prom promise is held this time of year because teens are “statistically more likely to get into DUI situation” around prom and graduation season. Golf carts for the simulation were donated by Army Navy Country Club.
The “Sweet Fleet” truck is making its public debut today in Ballston, Rosslyn, Courthouse and Shirlington. The truck features cupcakes, cookies and other treats baked by Jason Reaves, a pastry chef and an upcoming competitor on TV’s Food Network Challenge.
Photo via Facebook
Its neighbors include a Goodwill store, two check cashing businesses and a service station. Two recent occupants of its building were shuttered and still hold sizable tax debts to Arlington County. Yet Sauca restaurant opened last night at 4707 Columbia Pike with a distinct sense of optimism.
“The history of this place has not been good,” admitted owner Farhad Assari, a former international investment banker who left a lucrative gig in Dubai to move closer to his family and pursue his culinary dreams. Like many other food entrepreneurs these days, Assari started small — launching several food trucks that served hearty world cuisine — before trying to translate his street success into a four-walls-and-a-roof restaurant.
Despite the building’s ignominious past and off-the-beaten-path location near Four Mile Run, Assari said he couldn’t imagine opening the restaurant anywhere else.
To achieve his vision for the restaurant, Assari has had to put in time and money — lots of it. The building could charitably be called a dump before Sauca moved in. Now it’s freshly painted, restored, landscaped and furnished. The interior looks like a traditional diner, but with a pool table, public internet terminals, eclectic decorations and a few flat screen TVs showing international soccer matches. Outside, under the funky curved roof, is a surprisingly lush patio with wrought iron furniture, Tiki torches and, eventually, a V-shaped lounge area and outdoor bar.
A quarter of the proceeds will go to the medical care of Ryan Diviney, the WVU student from Ashburn who was badly beaten outside a convenience store in 2009 and left in a persistent vegetative state.
Another 70 percent of the money raised will benefit the American Cancer Society. The rest will be donated to Arlington’s police and firefighters.
Tickets to the event are $25 at the door or $20 online. The fundraiser, which is taking place from 2:00 p.m. until closing time on Saturday, will feature a cornhole tournament and the music of The New Relics, Modern Thieves, Flow in the Dark, Down Wilson and Rise & Fall.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Actor Jeff Bridges, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Gov. Bob McDonnell will help launch a new statewide anti-hunger campaign at Barcroft Elementary School (625 S. Wakefield Street) next week.
The Academy Award winner is the national spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, a campaign that aims to “end childhood hunger in America by 2015.” The organization says they hope to do so by creating “public-private partnerships at the state level to break down barriers that prevent kids from accessing the food they need.”
The Barcroft event, which is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, is the launch of No Kid Hungry’s Virginia campaign. According to a press release, more than 218,000 kids in Virginia are facing hunger. The state campaign will specifically attempt to stamp out hunger this summer by increasing participation in food and nutrition programs like the Virginia Summer Meals for Kids Program.
Spearheaded by the anti-hunger group Share Our Strength, the Virginia No Kid Hungry campaign is receiving support from the Walmart Foundation, the Sodexho Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and Dominion Resources.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
After about eight years in business as Greenberry’s, the new owner of the coffee shop between Rosslyn and Clarendon has decided to go “indie.” Out is the Charlottesville franchise that just won a “Best of NoVA” award in the latest issue of Northern Virginia Magazine. In is “Bean Good: The Coffee Pub,” a brand of owner Shain Noorali’s own creation.
Without the legal constraints of a franchise, says Noorali, the cafe will be able to offer more items, including locally-roasted coffee, locally-sourced food and, of course, beer and wine.
“It gives us the freedom to do things we wanted to do,” said the McLean resident, who grew up on a coffee farm in Tanzania.
Later this summer Noorali expects to introduce new desserts — gelato and cupcakes are both possibilities. Then this fall she expects the license to come through to serve beer and wine. At some point Noorali also hopes to introduce live entertainment — local musicians, mostly.
While the name has changed and new offerings are being added, Noorali — who has owned the store for a couple months now — says that the low-key vibe will remain.
“There are not going to be any drastic changes… we’re not going to change the culture of this place,” she said. “We really want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable… a living room away from home.”
H/t to Lauren Hassel
“Discriminatory” Rolling Thunder Checkpoint? — The American Motorcyclist Association has a beef with Arlington County. The group says that Arlington police conducted a “motorcycle-only checkpoint” on Saturday during Rolling Thunder. Calling the practice “discriminatory,” the association has sent letters expressing “concern” to Gov. Bob McDonnell, Arlington Police Chief Doug Scott and Virginia legislative leaders. [Speed TV]
Mormon Singles Gather in Crystal City — Crystal City’s new 23rd Street Chapel is a place for young, single members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to gather. The chapel claims hundreds of single members, many of whom are specifically on the look-out for a wife or husband. The Washington area reportedly has one of the highest concentration of Mormons outside of Utah. [Washington Post]
Last Call for Crystal Ride Registration — Today is the last day to register for Crystal Ride, a non-competitive bike ride held on a 7.8 mile closed circuit around South Arlington during next weekend’s Air Force Cycling Challenge.