The Hallmark Gold Crown Store at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street) will be closing next month.
The store is closing up shop on July 29 after losing its lease, we hear. Employees are telling customers that a Petco store will be taking its place. Lisa Epstein, a Petco spokeswoman, was unable to immediately verify that a Petco store will be opening at the location, but added that the company only discusses stores that are no more than three months away from opening.
The Hallmark store is offering all greeting cards and merchandise, including sale items, for 25 percent off until it closes.
Hat tip to Desiree L.
The Arlington School Board approved the $1 million softball field project at its Nov. 15, 2011 meeting. According to a project timeline published earlier this year, construction on the new field is expected to begin as soon as next month, and should wrap up by late winter or early spring 2013.
Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia confirmed that the new field is expected to be ready by the next softball season. The $1 million cost will be split between the school system and Arlington County, he said.
The new field will be built at the corner of Washington Boulevard and N. Quincy Street, on the Washington-Lee High School campus, next to the school’s football field. Currently, both the W-L softball and baseball team play on county-owned land at Quincy Park, across Washington Boulevard from the campus. Last summer parents of W-L softball players waged a campaign for better girls softball facilities, threatening to file a Title IX complaint if the school system did not upgrade the field, the bleachers and other amenities to the standards of the boys baseball field.
The new softball field will include a natural grass playing field, a 192-square-foot press box, 230 grandstand seats, dugouts, bullpens, a batting cage, a practice field, a scoreboard, and focused “dark sky” lighting.
“This proposed project [will] improve the existing combined softball and practice field at the Washington Lee High School which was part of the original design for the school,” according to a project overview document. “Growing APS and County needs and requirements have caused the need to consider improving this portion of the original school design.”
In a memo, school staff said the new field will benefit both the school and the community.
If a new field is built at W-L, the school will have a truly dedicated softball field similar to Wakefield and Yorktown, W-L will have increased options for sports activities on the new field for Physical Education and both APS and the County will have increased use on the Quincy field and add diamond sports as well as other PRCR programs to the W-L field. APS staff has met with County PRCR staff about shared community use and programming for the proposed WL field. The results of these discussions resulted in a 50:50 Schools/County shared use agreement for the W-L field that provides W-L priority use for softball play. In order for W-L itself to have the greatest use possible for this new field, it is expected that a new field would have a removable fence like the boys baseball field has so that the outfield can be utilized to its greatest extent after the softball season is over both for APS and County activities.
The market, which is now managed by FRESHFARM Markets and sponsored by the new Ballston Business Improvement District, will be held Thursdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Welburn Square, through October 25. The square is located between N. Stuart and Taylor Streets, across from the Ballston Metro station.
Today’s grand opening will feature live music from local rockabilly group Jumpin’ Jupiter.
Per the Ballston BID, the merchants planning to offer their products at the market include:
- Evergrain Bread Company (Chestertown, MD)
- Garden Path Farm (Newburg, PA)
- Wild Rose Soap Company (Gaithersburg, MD)
- Pleitez Produce (Montross, VA)
- Capitol Kettle Corn (Ft. Meade, MD)
- Westmoreland Berry Farm (Oak Grove, VA)
- The Farms at Ellis Bay (Nanticoke, MD)
- Keswick Creamery at Carrock Farm (Newburg, PA)
- Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. (Monkton, MD)
- Fresh Crunch Pickles (Arlington, VA)
- Radix Farm (Upper Marlboro, MD)
- Shells Yes! Crab Cake Company (Chester, MD)
- Mickley’s Orchard (Biglerville, PA)
File photo. Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
By a 5-4 decision, announced this morning, the Supreme Court has upheld President’ Obama heath care law. Numerous local and state officials and candidates are now weighing in on the high court’s ruling.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) called the decision a “blow to freedom.”
Today’s Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America. The PPACA will create a costly and cumbersome system that will impair our country’s ability to recover from these challenging economic times, infringes on our citizen’s liberties, will harm small businesses, and will impose dramatic unfunded mandates on Virginia and all states. Simply put, this is a blow to freedom. America needs market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less.
Virginia will evaluate the steps necessary to comply with the law. While we have awaited this decision, planners have been working to identify necessary resources and issues to be addressed to ensure Virginia implements this flawed law in the most effective and least costly and burdensome way possible. In coming months, Virginia’s healthcare leaders will work to develop the best possible system to meet the healthcare needs of our citizens. It remains my hope that we will elect a new President and Senate so that the existing law will be repealed and states will be given the freedom they need to implement healthcare solutions that work best for their citizens. We will evaluate the opinion in detail in the days ahead and determine what policies are proper for the people of Virginia.
Rep. Jim Moran (D) applauded the ruling, saying the Affordable Care Act will result in “life-saving reforms.”
Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed what Democrats and President Obama have known for two years; the Affordable Care Act stands on firm constitutional grounds.
People across the country are already benefiting from reforms in the Affordable Care Act, including 6.6 million young people who can stay on their parents’ insurance, 105 million Americans who no longer have a lifetime limit on their coverage, and 5.3 million seniors in the ‘donut hole’ who have saved $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs.
Though today’s ruling provides assurance as the Administration phases in life-saving reforms including a ban on insurance companies denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, Republicans in Congress will undoubtedly continue their efforts to dismantle critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act. We must continue fighting these efforts in the House of Representatives to repeal ACA.
Passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 represented a giant leap forward to not only make our health care system work better for Americans of any age, race, gender, or income level, but to rescue our economy from the suffocating grip of spiraling health care costs. We spend nearly 18 percent of our entire economy on health care – twice what every other industrialized nation pays. The Affordable Care Act will reduce our deficit while improving access to, and the quality of, care for all Americans.
Washington has been struggling to deliver meaningful health care reform for more than six decades. Today’s ruling means the United States can finally see its way closer to delivering on that promise for all Americans.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), a leading opponent of the health care law, said today is “a dark day for American liberty.” He is planning to hold a press conference at noon today in Richmond to discuss the decision.
County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s proposed FY 2013-2022 CIP describes the center as a “one-of-a-kind recreational, fitness, and competition asset [that] will provide long-term value to our community and attract people regionally to the unique combination of assets that is Arlington — to work, to play, to live.”
While supporters say Arlington County “can afford… world-class facilities” like the aquatics center (see statement from Nathaniel Giddings, after the jump), detractors — like fiscal watchdog Wayne Kubicki and GOP County Board candidate Matt Wavro — say that the county actually can’t afford such “vanity projects.”
Kubicki, chair of the Arlington County Civic Federation’s Revenues and Expenditures Committee, said in a statement (excerpt below) that the aquatics center will impose a long-term fiscal burden on taxpayers, who are already faced with a rising county budget.
Donnellan has proposed including $42.5 million worth of the aquatic center’s $70+ million cost included in a larger park bond, to be considered by county voters in November. The Civic Federation has called for the aquatics center to appear on the ballot as a separate bond item.
Kubicki made the following personal remarks to the County Board at Tuesday’s hearing.
The CIP projects 3% annual revenue growth for FY14 through 16….
Combining just the operating costs for new items such as Arlington Mill ($3.3M) and the Silver Line (our first year cost is $1.7M), and increased debt service costs, our FY14 budget already needs over $14M in growth – before increasing anything.
Funding the proposed CIP will necessitate major revenue growth, well over 3%, and unlike the past two fiscal years, where the burden of increased spending fell mostly on our commercial sector, the next several years will more heavily fall on homeowners. Commercial assessments are very unlikely to jump a third straight year.
There is one prime candidate for controlling some of this – the Long Bridge pools building, with its $73M price tag.
With our admittedly deteriorating infrastructure, and pressing school capital & operating needs if enrollment growth continues, coupled with uncertain future revenues and the over $7M in annual operating subsidies for the two streetcar lines upcoming, is Long Bridge really a priority? Can it seriously be called a “need”?
Combining proposed debt service, including the $20M interim non-bond borrowing, with its projected operating subsidy, Long Bridge’s annual cost is nearly $7M per year. That’s over one cent on the current tax rate- for one single building, that most residents will never use, and that many would have trouble finding, even if you gave them a map.
The Long Bridge project raises the term “vanity project” to a new level, and fiscally has the potential to be the Artisphere on steroids.
If Long Bridge is on the fall ballot, it should be as a separate, stand-alone referendum, with nothing else attached to it, as the Civic Federation strongly recommended to you. The fiscal ramifications of this project deserve separate discussion and a separate vote.
Matt Wavro, Republican candidate for County Board, said that the funds proposed for the aquatics center should instead be used for neighborhood projects and for the maintenance of existing recreational facilities. (Excerpt of his remarks, after the jump.)
An “Excessive Heat Watch” has been issued for Friday as the region braces for a sweltering weekend.
Forecasters are warning of a “prolonged period of hot temperatures” and humidity which will “create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
The predicted high temperatures for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are 99, 97 and 100 respectively. From the National Weather Service.
… EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING…
* HEAT INDEX VALUES… UP TO 110 DEGREES.
* TEMPERATURES… UPPER 90S TO AROUND 100 DEGREES.
* IMPACT… RISK OF HEAT EXHAUSTION OR OTHER HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS FOR THOSE WITHOUT AIR-CONDITIONING OR THOSE SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD.
AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS… STAY IN AN AIR- CONDITIONED ROOM… STAY OUT OF THE SUN AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.
Citizen Feedback on Streetcar Mostly Negative – The Washington Post counted all 270 citizen comments received by the Pike Transit Initiative regarding the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. Of the comments, 78 were “pro-streetcar,” 86 supported additional bus service instead of the streetcar, and 59 wanted no streetcar or no change. Our poll, conducted last week, found that 50 percent of respondents preferred the streetcar while 34 percent wanted articulated buses instead and 16 percent wanted no change. [Washington Post]
Arlington May Get ‘Drug Court’ – Arlington is seeking state approval to establish a “drug court.” The court would provide an alternative for dealing with nonviolent drug offenders. “It will help people who are in dire need of substance-abuse services, and will cut down on incarceration for folks who have substance-abuse issues only,” according to a supporter in the local Office of the Public Defender. [Sun Gazette]
A-SPAN Handing Out Water Bottles– Today the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) will embark on a “day of outreach” to determine the needs of the homeless living throughout Arlington. In addition to visiting the homeless where they live — areas including “Crystal City, National Airport, Rosslyn, and the wooded area near the Key Bridge and Roosevelt Island” — A-SPAN volunteers will be handing out more than 1,300 bottles of water, a gift from Ashlawn Elementary Students.
‘Sister Mary Ignatius’ Reviewed – Theater critic Terry Ponick takes a look at the American Century Theater production of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You. The one-act play is being performed at Gunston Theatre II (2700 S. Lang Street) through July 7. [Washington Times]
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil