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by Katie Pyzyk — March 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm 1,435 27 Comments

Formals for Five prom dresses (photo via Facebook)Prom is supposed to be the night of a teen girl’s dreams, but the high cost of dresses prevents some from attending the event. The Washington-Lee High School PTA is holding a drive to make sure every girl can afford to attend prom.

The “Formals for Five” event collects new and gently used dresses, jewelry and other prom accessories that will be sold for $5 to Arlington high school students. Proceeds go to the Washington-Lee PTA.

Donations can be made until April 20, and the sale takes place from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School on April 23 and 24.

Drop off bins are located at the following Arlington locations:

  • 430 N. Kenmore Street
  • 3806 S. 16th Street
  • 5850 N. 26th Street
  • 1101 S. Quinn Street
  • 346 N. Kensington Street
  • 3510 N. Pershing Drive
  • Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street) Main Office

Organizers are also seeking sponsors for the event. Sponsorship helps with the purchase of clothing racks, donation bins and refreshments at the event. To become a sponsor or to volunteer for either day of the event, email promdressdonation@gmail.com.

by Katie Pyzyk — March 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm 67,839 188 Comments

James Watson (photo courtesy ACPD)A prank turned violent in the Lyon Village neighborhood on Saturday (March 23) when a man reportedly was beaten for drawing a penis on his roommate’s face.

The alleged incident happened on the 3100 block of 17th Street N. According to Arlington County Police, 31-year-old James Watson fell asleep on his couch after a night of drinking. He woke up around 5:30 a.m. and became furious when he discovered the permanent marker drawings on his face, police said.

Police say that Watson, suspecting his roommate, ran upstairs to where the roommate was sleeping and jumped on top of him, repeatedly punching him in the face. The commotion awakened a third roommate, who managed to separate the two.

The victim reportedly waited about an hour and a half to call the police while deciding whether or not to press charges. He did end up calling for help and police charged Watson with malicious wounding. The injured man’s eye was swollen shut and bleeding, so the third roommate drove him to the hospital for treatment, according to police.

Cops say the roommates admitted they sometimes play pranks on each other while intoxicated.

Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department

by Peter Rousselot — March 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm 2,365 75 Comments

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column published on Tuesdays. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Peter RousselotThe Arlington County Board needs to learn some lessons from the Rolling Stones:

Yeah, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Lord, I’m gonna fade away

As ARLnow reported last week, the cost of the new “Super Stop” at the corner of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike will be more than $1 million. This is a cost escalation of over 100 percent from the original estimate.

Shouldn’t we say, “superexpensive?”

With due credit to Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and the rest of the Rolling Stones (who know a lot more about rock and roll than the County Board knows about transportation infrastructure), here are three lessons to be learned from the Board’s Super Stop fiasco:

1. Since the County Board did such a poor job on just this one superstop, the County Board can’t possibly be ready to choose the managers and contractors for a project like the streetcar currently estimated to cost 250 times more than this one stop.

Trying to counter the tsunami of public criticism about the enormous cost overrun on this Super Stop, county officials have tried to deflect blame onto WMATA – the Super Stop’s project manager. They say WMATA won’t be chosen to play such a role again. This begs the question: how can we rely on the County Board to make the right choice of managers for much larger projects if they failed to recognize WMATA’s poor performance on this one? Are you ready for the $500 million streetcar?

2. Since the County Board failed to recognize the many design flaws in this one Super Stop, the County Board can’t possibly be ready to recognize the design flaws in much larger and more complex transportation infrastructure projects.

Disregarding the advice of the Rolling Stones, the County Board approved a design for this Super Stop that failed to provide one of the fundamental things that many bus stops in other parts of Arlington already provide: adequate shelter from rain and wind. How can we rely on the County Board to make good design decisions about much more complex transportation infrastructure projects that contain many elements they have never seen before?

3. The County Board displays no public understanding of the multiple ways in which the costs of large transportation infrastructure projects take funding away from core services.

Hiding behind erroneous claims that the costs of mammoth capital projects have no impact on proposed operating budget cuts, various spokespeople for the County are turning themselves into pretzels arguing that watering down child care standards or cutting back on community policing are completely unrelated to financing large transportation infrastructure projects. As anyone with a mortgage or a car loan knows, this defies common sense: the bigger your loan payments, the less you have left over for your other needs.

A fiscal storm is threatening Arlington’s life today. Gimme shelter!

Peter Rousselot is a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

by Katie Pyzyk — March 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm 2,153 2 Comments

Construction at James Hunter Park in Clarendon Final site plan for James Hunter Park in Clarendon

Although at one time the project was slated to be finished last month, the Clarendon dog park renovations are still ongoing. Now we’re hearing that the revamp of James Hunter Park could take another couple of months.

According to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish, the new goal is for a late spring reopening. The current delay is on top of setbacks during the planning process, which prevented the renovations from being finished last summer as originally planned.

Last May, the County Board approved a contract worth more than $1.6 million to renovate the park, which sits at the corner of N. Herndon Street and N. 13th Street.

The revamp plan emphasizes several sustainable and “green” features, such the use of recycled materials and an automated water management system that will capture and reuse rain water. The water will be stored in an underground unit and will be used for onsite landscaping irrigation. The park will also have a system to collect and use solar energy. The irrigation pumps, for example, will be run by solar power.

The final design for the park shows a plaza terrace with an open lawn area, gardens, a canine area, pedestrian areas, picnic areas and public art.

by Katie Pyzyk — March 26, 2013 at 11:45 am 1,515 35 Comments

An Arlington resident lauded for her involvement in the civil rights movement during the 1960s, including a stint in jail, will be featured at a special free movie showing and panel discussion tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Arlington Public Library will host a free screening of the movie “An Ordinary Hero: The True Story of Joan Mulholland.” Following the film, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and her son Loki, who wrote and directed the movie, will take part in a panel discussion. William Pretzer, senior curator of history at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, will also be a part of the panel.

Mulholland, who is white, grew up in the South during segregation and emerged as an activist who fought for the rights of others, much to the chagrin of her parents. In 1961, Mulholland flew to Jackson, MS, to take part in civil rights demonstrations and sit-ins. She was arrested, fined $200 and jailed for three months. Despite her punishment, Mullholland continued her activism, and in 1963 took part in the infamous sit-in at the Woolworth in Jackson, MS.

In some of the historic photos above, Mulholland can be seen at sit-ins and demonstrations that took place around Arlington from June 9-23, 1960. In one, she is sitting behind activist Dion Diamond (who was arrested later that day) at the Cherrydale Drug Fair store on June 10, 1960. The two were part of the Non-Violent Action Group (NAG), which is credited with helping to push most Arlington restaurants to desegregate on June 22, 1960.

Mulholland, a long time Barcroft neighborhood resident, later taught for almost three decades at Arlington Public Schools.

The film “An Ordinary Hero” tells Mulholland’s life story and contains rare footage from the civil rights movement. The film screening and panel discussion will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 at Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd).

Historic photos courtesy of Arlington Public Library and Flickr photostream by washington_area_spark

by ARLnow.com — March 26, 2013 at 10:45 am 1,567 49 Comments

The USS Arlington arrived at its homeport in Norfolk in Friday — a prelude to the ship’s commissioning on April 6.

The Arlington, which will carry an expeditionary force of Marines and vehicles to hot spots around the world, arrived in port to the sound of sirens. Arlington and Pentagon first responders were on hand for the event, and sounded their sirens in tribute to the 184 people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.

Three new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships — the USS Arlington, USS New York and USS Somerset — were named in honor of the victims of 9/11.

“The newest addition to the fleet, Arlington and its crew are a tangible tribute to honor the victims, heroes, and survivors,” the Navy said in a press release. “Her strength and fortitude are not only reflected in the ship’s crest and motto, but in the fact that her crew of 400 Sailors and Marines have worked diligently to ensure she is ready to execute the mission of the Navy, representing America, and Arlington County, around the world.”

The Arlington is “designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessel ever put to sea,” the Navy said.

“The ship combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, and will be capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm’s way,” the Navy said.

Numerous Arlington first responders and elected officials are expected to attend the ship’s commissioning on April 6.

Photos courtesy U.S. Navy and Frank O’Leary. Video courtesy U.S. Navy.

by Katie Pyzyk — March 26, 2013 at 9:45 am 1,275 26 Comments

Update on 4/4/13 — The store is expected to hold a grand opening April 5 and 6. The store is owned by Bill and Kasi Hansen. Bill is a Yorktown High School graduate and “longtime local resident,” according to a press release. Zinga will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Earlier: The Zinga! Frozen Yogurt store that’s been in the works since last year at 2914 N. Sycamore Street, in the Williamsburg Shopping Center, is nearly ready to open.

According to the shop’s Facebook page, the goal is to open next week. Photos have been popping up on the page highlighting the store’s construction progress, such as the new outdoor sign and the arrival of the froyo machines. Customers are encouraged to “like” the page for special deals that will only be available to fans.

Zinga! will be the newest shop to cash in on the froyo trend by featuring machines that allow customers to serve themselves and then pay for the product by weight. There will be three dozen rotating flavors and 50 toppings to choose from.

The Facebook page also encourages anyone interested in working at the new location to contact Drew Hafer at drewhafer@gmail.com.

Another Zinga! Frozen Yogurt is expected to open in Falls Church in late May.

Photos via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — March 26, 2013 at 8:50 am 3,051 98 Comments

Sunrise over Courthouse and Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore)

Prince Harry to Visit Arlington — Britain’s Prince Harry will be in the U.S. for six days in May, and Arlington is among his stops. His trip includes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where he will pay respects to those killed in recent conflicts. Prince Harry will also stop at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit wounded warriors, and Capitol Hill to see an exhibition on clearing landmines. [Reuters, Washingtonian]

Tea Party Calls for Action Against “Soviet” Arlington — The streetcar town hall meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) is drumming up a lot of attention, including a post in the Northern Virginia Tea Party Newsletter. It posted “A Letter from behind the lines in Soviet Arlington,” calling on streetcar opponents to attend the meeting to demonstrate against what it calls “the county board’s pet streetcar project.” [Blue Virginia]

Arlington Unemployment Sees January Increase — The county’s unemployment rate experienced a bump up from December to January, rising from 3.3 percent to 3.9 percent. Figures released last week show there were nearly 131,200 Arlington residents in the civilian workforce in January, with more than 5,300 looking for work. Such unemployment bumps are not unexpected following the holidays, and also occurred in the surrounding areas of Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Alexandria and Prince William County. Arlington still has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, with the exception of the town of Leesburg (3.7 percent) which is not included in the rankings. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore

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