At the County Board’s New Years meeting in January, new Board Chairman Mary Hynes announced a new initiative called PLACE, which stands for Participation, Leadership and Civic Engagement.
The initiative has resulted in weekly “open door” meetings with County Board members, civic engagement training for county staff members, and the new PLACE Space “community networking” web site.
PLACE Space allows Arlington residents to engage in online conversations about community issues and to join “circles” for specific neighborhoods or interests. There’s a circle for cyclists, hikers, church-goers, and even for “fig aficionados.”
In the video above, the county’s television channel takes a look at progress on the PLACE initiative so far.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I’m writing this before the holiday, so I’m going to be positive and say mine went well and hope that by the time this is posted I’ll be sufficiently recovered from the festivities to feel human again. Now that we’re past Thanksgiving, thoughts turn to holiday shopping. One of the true perks of my job is helping folks find the right beer to give to friends, family, and loved ones during the holiday season. It can also be one of the most difficult parts of my job.
A bit of advice for those shopping for beer geeks:
If you’re looking to wow someone with a special beer, you need some basic knowledge of what it is they like. This can be as simple as knowing what some of their go-to beers are or as complex as asking them to make a list of beers they’d like to receive as a gift. Yes, I know asking someone for a wish list doesn’t sound complex, but trust me here — ask a beer geek for one and it will become complex. That’s just our nature; we can’t help ourselves.
Because of the fact that buying a beer gift is literally a matter of taste, knowledge is power. The most important thing may be your level of knowledge regarding craft beer; the less you know, the more guidance you should seek from the gift’s recipient. I can say personally that I much prefer someone to ask me directly what I may like to get as a gift if they’re planning on gifting me beer or wine. This helps to alleviate confusion for the gift giver and lets the person getting the gift know how much “getting it right” means to them. That kind of regard is the real gift anyway.
This brings me to my bigger point, which is something I try to say as much as possible every holiday season to those shoppers who fret and over-think their gift purchases: If you’re getting a beer geek some beer as a gift, they shouldn’t care what it is as much as they should appreciate that someone went to the trouble in the first place. If someone gets me a sixer of something they know I haven’t had before and I happen to be intimately familiar with it, I don’t get disappointed — I have a couple beers with my friend and enjoy the moment. If anyone ever disapproves of your gift to them or makes you feel anything less than appreciated for it that should tell you as much about them as you need to know.
Enough preachy, I want to know what you all out there would like someone to get you as a gift this year. I’ve got a few beers I’d love to get as stocking stuffers and I bet a lot of you out there do too. Also, if you have any advice for those buying beer gifts let’s hear it. Until next time.
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Arlington Small Business Saturday – This holiday weekend, in addition to today’s traditional Black Friday shopping bonanza, Arlington residents will be able to participate in “Arlington Small Business Saturday.” The day encourages Arlingtonians to shop and dine at small, local businesses this weekend. “Your favorite retail, dining and online small businesses are participating and providing discounts or incentives on a variety of products and services,” according to organizers.
Retirement Ceremony for Therapy Dog – Bailey, a therapy dog at the Capital Hospice Halquist Center near Virginia Hospital Center, is retiring after 10 years of service to those who have life-limiting illnesses. A private retirement ceremony will be held for Bailey, a golden retriever, at the hospice center on Monday night. “Cider, special Goldrush brownies and dog treats will be served,” according to an online invitation.
Library Recovers from Database Crash — The electronic catalog and accounts system for Arlington Public Library and Arlington Public Schools is back up and running after crashing last Friday. “We are very pleased to report that our system is back online, along with research databases, and that most if not all data feared lost has been recovered and restored,” the library said on its web site. “Your privacy was never compromised. We are taking steps to prevent such an outage from happening again.” [Arlington Public Library]
Homeless Navy Vet Gets Apartment — Ernest Maas, a 61-year-old Navy veteran, is giving thanks this Thanksgiving weekend for the roof over his head. Maas got the keys to a new apartment in Arlington on Wednesday after spending the past three years homeless and living in the woods around Four Mile Run. The new apartment was coordinated by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. [WJLA]
Arlington Hotels: Tax Us, Please — The Hotel General Managers’ Committee of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Arlington Tourism Coalition are hoping to lobby the Virginia General Assembly to reinstate the county’s hotel tax surcharge. The 0.25 percent tax on hotel rooms in Arlington generated nearly $1 million per year that went to tourism promotion efforts. State lawmakers declined to renew the tax last year in retaliation for Arlington’s fight against HOT lanes on I-395. [Sun Gazette]