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Low-Income Students to Receive Donated Bikes

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm | 3,199 views | 24 Comments

Brian Burgess, a W-L 11th grader, working on one of the bikes to be given away (courtesy photo)More than two dozen children from low-income Arlington households will get something special for the holidays on Saturday afternoon.

The children, elementary students at Patrick Henry, Barcroft and Randolph schools, were chosen to receive a refurbished bike from the Arlington-based nonprofit Phoenix Bikes shop. The presentation will be made at Arlington Presbyterian Church (3507 Columbia Pike).

From Phoenix Bikes:

Working with the three South Arlington elementary schools — Patrick Henry, Barcroft and Randolph — approximately 25 children from low-income families have been selected to choose a refurbished bike to keep. Each has been repaired and inspected by the staff at Phoenix Bikes. The children will also be given new helmets.

This inaugural event is an effort to spread the wealth of bikes donated to Phoenix Bikes to the communities that need them most. “We get many children’s bikes donated that often need just a little work,” said Henry Dunbar, Phoenix Bikes Executive Director. “This holiday season we felt we would see how many we could repair quickly and put back into the community with children who might not have one otherwise.”

The cost of the new helmets has been generously sponsored by Nick Kuhn and McEnearney Associates, Inc.; and the Arlington Presbyterian Church.

(Courtesy photo)

Remy Takes on TSA in ‘I Saw Daddy Pat Down Santa Claus’ Video

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm | 2,492 views | 19 Comments

Clarendon’s own Remy Munasifi, of Arlington Rap fame, is continuing his comedy campaign against the Transportation Security Administration with a new holiday-themed video.

Remy again collaborated with the libertarian Reason TV website to create the video, entitled “I Saw Daddy Pat Down Santa Claus (A Very TSA Christmas Song).”

The video features plenty of suggestive gags at the TSA’s expense, including Remy holding a nutcracker with a sign reading “Only the TSA May Handle Nuts” in the background, and Remy holding a candy cane next to a sign reading “Only TSA may handle kids’ junk (food).” At one point Remy also fondles Jolly Old St. Nick’s groin region.

Reason has been critical of the TSA’s heavy-handed approach to airport security.

Your Beermonger: A Christmas Wish

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm | 3,243 views | 18 Comments

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

We’ve gone over what beers to get for the beer geek in your life, and we’ve taken a look at some of the standout holiday beers available this season. At this point I don’t know what other ground there is to cover where holiday beers are concerned, and in light of the horrific events in Connecticut last week I’m pretty sure I’d be uncomfortable writing about it even if there were.

I considered writing about what I would want for Christmas; not only specific beers but what I’d like to do in my capacity as the beer buyer at Arrowine, but that seemed particularly selfish and navel-gazey even for me. While writing to a friend this week I touched on something that if you’ll indulge me I’d like to explore a bit, as I think in its own little way it means something.

Lights, please…

When a tragedy strikes with the magnitude of what happened last week, our screwed-up priorities and concerns always have some sense slapped into them and we see them for their true pettiness and insignificance, as we take a moment to consider our own pettiness and insignificance. Any of us with a hobby — be it beer, wine, books, cars, sports, all of the above (guilty party here) — push our interests to the back burner because in the face of such suffering and pure evil they have no relevance.

But life moves along. Day by day, we take small steps back into our normal routines and time salves our wounds as it always does. We go back to our lives and back to those things that we love. All too often that’s that; we do what we do and then wait for the next awful occurrence to shake us from our little worlds, because what can we do?

As the debate and politics of that question swirl about, my wish is that we take the most basic steps we can. This being a column ostensibly about beer, I wish all of us as beer fans simply appreciated that connection a little bit more. There are many of you out there reading this, as there are many customers of mine, with whom the only thing I have in common is a love of beer. Why can’t we just focus on that one thing a little more, rather than all of the other things? Why can’t we raise our glasses of Dogfish Head, or Port City, and nod a toast to the guy at the end of the bar with a Bud? In the end, we’re all just having a beer, and that commonality should be an anchor to a better relationship with each other as fellow passengers on this insanely fast-spinning ball of water and rock.

That’s my wish. Not even that we be nicer to each other — I can’t speak for you, but that is certainly not my nature — but that we simply appreciate what we have in common just a little bit more, leaving us open to the possibility of something greater. I don’t want us to join hands and sing the old spirituals (I’m not saying I’m not open, though); simply to strive a little bit more to attain the quiet love for each other that comes with the unconscious recognition that we all exist here, and we all have to be aware of each other at the very least to the extent that we can all share this space — for the pitifully small fraction of all that is-and-ever-will-be that we are privileged to — and attain whatever happiness we can while we’re here.

That is far too many words for a simple idea, but that is my way. Forgive me. I only wish we would all reach out just a little bit more when we discover something in common with each other, no matter what that is. We can’t eliminate violence or mental illness from existence by sharing a beer or chatting about the last book you read with the guy you see on the Metro nose-deep in his Kindle, but we might just make a friend. At the very least, we may just be able to make the world a little smaller in the ways that really matter, and there’s no telling how many lives we can turn around doing that. Maybe even our own.

I wish all of my friends here a Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you back here next week — hopefully with some inane fluff about cool beery things. Take care of each other.

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.

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Cement Truck Overturns on S. Joyce Street

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | 2,251 views | 19 Comments

Update at 3:05 p.m. — The scene has been cleared and the road has reopened, according to scanner traffic.

Earlier: All lanes of S. Joyce Street are blocked between Columbia Pike and Army Navy Drive due to an overturned cement truck.

The incident happened just before 1:00 p.m. The truck somehow rolled over onto its side near the intersection of Joyce and Columbia Pike. The driver was unable to get out of the truck and was assisted by firefighters, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl. No word yet on whether the driver was injured.

A hazmat crew has been called to the scene to clean up fuel leaking from the truck, Karl said. It’s unclear when Joyce Street will be able to reopen.

H-B Woodlawn Students Start Gun Control Petition

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | 4,329 views | 138 Comments

H-B Woodlawn Secondary School (via Arlington Public Schools)Two H-B Woodlawn students have created a petition calling on Congress to pass stronger gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

The online petition has gathered 133 signatures already and resulted in 336 letters and emails being sent to Congress. Seventh graders Nicole and Daniel created the children-driven petition with the hopes that it will garner student support beyond Arlington.

“We are representing the children of the United States who do not want to wake up every morning with a thought that someone close to us, or even ourselves, might die that day,” they said in the petition. “We do not want to see our friends or loved ones die in schools or movie theaters or malls any more.”

“Please help us stop the killings and the murders and the massacres by enacting legislation that will ban assault weapons and require a special license, a strict application process with a background investigation and a mental check for every person wanting to acquire a gun,” the petition said.

This morning, the National Rifle Association held a press conference in which the organization blamed the media, the entertainment industry and video games for a culture of violence, and called for armed security guards in every American school.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. “If we truly cherish our kids more than our money… we must give them the greatest protection possible. And that protection is only available with properly-armed good guys.”

Nicole and Daniel’s father, Arlington resident Michael Getter, said that arming more citizens is not the answer.

“The time has come to take meaningful steps in preventing mass executions that have become practically a commonplace in our county,” Getter said. “There seems to be very little evidence that ease of access and proliferation of dangerous weaponry among US population is making this county any safer for its citizens.”

Photo via Arlington Public Schools

New Chinese Restaurant Coming to Nauck

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 10:45 am | 2,452 views | 16 Comments

A new Chinese restaurant is coming to the Nauck neighborhood.

China House, at 2249 S. Shirlington Road, will offer Chinese cuisine via carry out and delivery. The restaurant is also applying for an ABC permit to serve beer.

An individual who answered the phone at a number listed for the restaurant said the owners expect to open in “a couple of weeks.”

New Tower to Replace Garden Apartments

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 9:30 am | 3,719 views | 54 Comments

Rendering of the future Pierce Queen Apartments 

Three aging, affordable garden apartment buildings will be replaced with a new, 12-story residential tower as part of a planned mixed-income development in the Rador-Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood.

Wesley Housing Development Corporation is partnering with Bozzuto to redevelop the five-building, 50-unit Pierce Queen Apartments, built in 1942 and located on the 1600 block of 16th Street N. The developers have proposed to tear down three of the buildings in order to build a new 186-unit apartment tower, while renovating the remaining two garden apartment buildings.

Each of the five existing buildings have been deemed historically “important” in Arlington County’s Historic Resources Inventory.

All told, the finished project would have 198 apartment units, 40 percent of which will be reserved as committed affordable housing, plus 207 off-street parking spaces.

As reported by the Arlington Mercury, however, the county’s Site Plan Review Committee expressed reservations about the project at a meeting on Monday.

SPRC members questioned various aspects of the project’s design and one member said flatly that he was “not comfortable” with the overall design. Members also questioned whether parking fees for market-rate apartments (parking will be free for affordable apartment residents) would send cars onto neighborhood streets seeking free parking.

The project’s McLean-based architect countered that his firm followed the county’s sector plan for the area “almost to the exact T,” the Mercury reported.

The county’s Planning Commission is currently expected to take up the Pierce Queen development in January, with a County Board vote expected in “early 2013.”

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | December 21, 2012 at 8:00 am | 2,113 views | 12 Comments

"Wonderland" by Damiec

Ft. Myer Daycare Investigation Widens — What started as allegations of assault against two workers at a daycare center on Ft. Myer has widened into a worldwide probe of military child care hiring practices. At least 31 daycare staffers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall have been suspended after investigators found “disqualifying factors in their records, including history of drug use and past allegations of assault.” One official called it “a severe lapse in the background checks system.” [Washington Post]

DoD Relaxes Security Standards for Some Buildings — A loosening of the Department of Defense’s security standards for commercial office buildings may make it easier for the DoD to lease office space in Arlington (and elsewhere). Earlier this month, the Pentagon reversed a policy put in place in response to 9/11 that required that leased office space meet stringent anti-terrorism security standards, even for administrative offices within the DoD. [Washington Business Journal]

Marymount Seeking to Redevelop Ballston Property — Marymount University is pushing ahead with a plan to redevelop its 50-year-old “Blue Goose” building at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive in Ballston. The university has proposed replacing the aging building with an office building and an apartment building. [Sun Gazette]

Science Focus Teacher Wins Recognition — “Arlington Science Focus School Principal Mary Begley was named Administrator of the Year by the Greater Washington Reading Council at its annual conference in Fairfax” on Wednesday, says a school press release. [Arlington Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by Damiec

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