More than a hundred people gathered in Quincy Park in Virginia Square yesterday afternoon to participate in the Battle at Ballston snowball fight.
Snowball fight organizer Danny Douglass set up a game area and held four dodgeball-style games, with more than 90 people participating in some of the matches.
Douglass said he was drinking at Wilson Tavern (2403 Wilson Blvd) Saturday night with some friends when he had the idea. Sunday night, he launched a website, created a Facebook event and got a sponsor — Wilson Tavern, naturally — and a charity for which to collection donations: Research Down Syndrome.
“We were just talking about it and thought it would be fun,” Douglass told ARLnow.com between games, for which he served as referee. “I had no idea so many people would show up. I was expecting no more than 25 or 30, just my D.C. street hockey friends. But very few people here are friends of ours.”
Douglass got help organizing — and refereeing — from his friend Robert Heintz and Wilson Tavern bar manager Conor Mattil. Mattil said he went around other Courthouse-area bars and recruited people to participate Sunday night.
“Once the charity got involved, it was more than just drunken fun,” Mattil said. “Hopefully we do this every time it snows and it will keep picking up.”
The event generated well over $100 for the charity.
Friends Manuel Cordoves and Van Dang were among the participants who heard about the snowball fight from word of mouth. Each have lived in the area for at least two years and this was the first snowball fight in which they had participated.
“It’s been a while since there was enough snow,” Dang said. “It was much more fun, and more organized, than I expected.”
“I was expecting more of a free-for-all,” Cordoves added. “It was great that so many people came out and it was so organized.”
Richmond Named Acting AED Director — Cynthia Richmond has been named the acting director of Arlington Economic Development following the untimely death of Terry Holzheimer. Holzheimer died of a sudden heart attack over the weekend. Richmond was serving as the deputy director of AED. Arlington County plans to begin a recruitment process to find a permanent director for AED soon. [Arlington County]
FBI Cracking Down on Corruption in N. Va. — The FBI has created a task force to investigate public corruption in Northern Virginia. Public corruption is the FBI’s “number one criminal investigative priority” at the moment and the agency has “cases in all categories in Northern Virginia.” [Loudoun Times]
Man Sentenced in $30 Million Fraud Scheme — A Florida man has been sentenced in a $30 million scheme that defrauded NASA into awarding contracts on false pretenses. Michael Dunkel, 60, was awarded contracts by NASA intended for minority-owned businesses by claiming he was an employee of an Arlington company supposedly run by a woman of Portuguese descent. Dunkel in turn paid kickbacks to the company. [Associated Press, U.S. Justice Department]
APAH to Purchase Apartment Building — The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is purchasing the Arna Valley View apartments near Glebe Road and I-395. The purchase will allow 101 apartments to remain as committed affordable housing for at least the next 60 years. [Sun Gazette]
Fundraising for Pike Documentary Book — Photographer Lloyd Wolf is raising money to print a book based on photos taken by the Columbia Pike Documentary Project. [GoFundMe]
Photo courtesy Kimberly Suiters/All News 99.1 WNEW
Frigid temperatures have officials worried about a potential refreeze and hazardous road conditions following today’s snow storm.
It’s at least the 6th day off for Arlington students this school year. All meetings, extracurricular activities, events and adult education classes are also canceled.
There will be no classes Tuesday, but school offices will be open, on a two-hour delay. Essential employees should report to work as scheduled, the school system said Monday evening.
Sidewalks and roads in many parts of Arlington are still covered with snow Monday afternoon, even though the flakes stopped falling around 2:00 p.m. But that hasn’t stopped plenty of folks in Arlington from venturing outdoors to enjoy the winter wonderland.
Temperatures are expected to continue to plummet into the single digits tonight, so any snow left on roads and sidewalks could turn into a slippery, icy mess.
Despite the big snowfall, few in Arlington are reporting power outages. According to Dominion’s outage map, as of 3:20 p.m., only 19 customers in Arlington were without power.
About 4-6 inches of snow fell in Arlington, barely meeting the low end of the National Weather Service’s forecast. But the snowfall still managed to cause plenty of problems around town.
The local Virginia State Police barracks reported a total of 111 crashes, 84 disabled vehicles and 372 calls for service as of 3:00 p.m. That’s on top of numerous accidents reported on local Arlington County streets.
ART and Metro bus service has been suspended for the day, but is expected to resume tomorrow. Trash collection service was also canceled in Arlington today. Flights resumed at Reagan National Airport around 3:00 p.m., after arrivals and departures had been suspended for most of the day due to snow-covered runways. Some 360 flights were canceled at the airport today.
Snow removal crews in Arlington are currently in a “Phase 2 Alert” — clearing only primary and arterial roads. Contract snow crews are expected to start using dump trucks to clear snow from Arlington’s Metro corridors starting at 6:00 p.m. tonight. Arlington Parks and Recreation crews, meanwhile, are clearing the sidewalks in front of county facilities.
Arlington’s emergency winter homeless shelter in Courthouse is open all day today due to the snow.
The snow has claimed at least one major event casualty. The Clarendon Alliance has postponed its annual Mardi Gras parade, which was scheduled for Tuesday evening.
“The Clarendon Alliance is announcing that the 2014 Mardi Gras Parade is being postponed, due to snow and ice along the parade route,” Clarendon Alliance executive director Matt Hussman said in an email. “We intend to reschedule the parade as soon as possible — possibly around St. Patrick’s Day… but we need to consult with County officials before we can announce the new date.”
Arlington County will review the big jump in commercial real estate assessments in Clarendon first reported by ARLnow.com last week.
The county said Friday evening that it will take a look at “all commercial real property assessments with a 50% or greater increase from calendar year 2013.”
There are nearly 90 such properties, including Rien Tong restaurant (3131 Wilson Blvd), which saw its assessment increase 197 percent, and Spider Kelly’s (3171 Wilson Blvd), which saw its property valuation increase 83 percent.
The assessments are updated annually and used to calculate county property taxes.
“A small number of commercial property owners did see substantially increased assessments, and this review is meant to correct any mistakes that may have been made,” said county finance director Michelle Cowan, in a press release, below.
Arlington County has begun a review of all commercial real property assessments with a 50% or greater increase from calendar year 2013, including several parcels in the Clarendon area that saw significant increases.
The review will affect fewer than 90 properties, of approximately 3,300 total commercial parcels. Both the original assessments, and the underlying data for each of the affected properties, will be re-examined to determine whether the assessment should be sustained or changed.
“A small number of commercial property owners did see substantially increased assessments, and this review is meant to correct any mistakes that may have been made,” said Dept. of Management and Finance Director Michelle Cowan. “We want to ensure fair and equitable assessments for all property owners.”
Arlington’s Real Estate Assessment office is mailing letters to property owners of all properties whose assessments increased 50% or more. Upon conclusion of the administrative review by the County, property owners will still have the ability to appeal their assessment through the Board of Equalization. It is anticipated that the County’s administrative review will take 30-45 days.
Overall, commercial assessments, which include office buildings, apartments, hotels and retail, grew 5.4 percent over CY 2013, primarily fueled by new construction and strength in apartment properties due to rising rents. The specific parcels that were questioned in the Clarendon area fall into the general commercial category class, which includes retail and other types of properties, excluding office buildings and apartments. The general commercial assessment category increased by 12.4 percent over CY 2013.
Assessments for most commercial properties are based on an income approach and evaluate how much income a property would produce if it were rented as an apartment, store, factory, etc. This approach considers operating expenses, taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and the profits most people would expect from the rental. The net income after operational costs, plus a capitalization rate, determines the assessment value. It is not based on the profitability of a particular business; rather the assessment value is based on the rents and expenses of the property and building in which the business is located.
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
When the former Virginia assistant secretary of technology left her job in January after former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s term ended, her friends expected her to stay in politics, or take a lucrative IT job.
Just two months later, Cameron Kilberg is the CEO of a new startup, Disrupt Fitness, that’s trying to change the way the personal training industry operates.
“I went completely the opposite direction,” Kilberg told ARLnow.com from her home in Lyon Park. “At the governor’s office, we were focused on IT, cloud computing and cybersecurity. Now, it’s hard for people to understand a nontraditional D.C.-area company.”
Kilberg founded the company with her partner — and physical trainer — Fareed Stephens. Stephens had trained Kilberg out of a gym before he started training on his own, and during one of their sessions, he was telling her how challenging it was as an independent trainer.
That was in July, when Kilberg knew that her job in the McDonnell administration was coming to an end in January. By Labor Day weekend, she said, the two already had a business plan for Disrupt Fitness and hired two developers from Bulgaria, whom they found through their participation in the 1776 incubator in Washington to help build their website.
As Kilberg and Stephens were building the website, they had to decide how exactly they would serve trainers.
“Lots of trainers struggle to manage their business,” Kilberg said. “Either they don’t have the business background or they don’t have enough time. [Stephens] was training 40 hours a week, and there’s just not enough time in the day to manage everything.”
The non-training parts of the business — managing financial documents, taxes and finding clients — is where Disrupt Fitness wants to help. The company officially launched at the beginning of February with a fully realized website.
“We enable the trainers to focus on what they love and we manage the rest for you,” Kilberg said. “We handle all of that.”
Even though Disrupt’s services are also offered by gyms that keep trainers in house — and provide equipment and space for the trainers — Kilberg said trainers will prefer Disrupt because while gyms give trainers well below 50 percent of the hourly rate, trainers keep almost all of Disrupt’s fees: $80 an hour for one-on-one training, $60 an hour for groups of two-to-five, and $17 for a larger class.
Kilberg, who has also worked as a lawyer and sold handmade hand bags out of her home in previous careers, said the Disrupt platform offers more diversity of fitness options than your typical gym class schedule. Clients can choose yoga instructors, pilates and barre classes as well as, when the weather improves, outdoor boot camp training.
“There’s no one who’s doing what we’re doing,” she said. “You can come online and get one-on-one training, and get the most diversity.” (more…)
The Warriors (24-4) kept their 14-game winning streak alive with the victory, and will move on to the state semifinal game on Saturday at noon at Robinson Secondary School (5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax). They’ll play the loser between Maury and Henrico High Schools, and if they win, they’ll play Friday, March 14, at 2:00 p.m. at VCU for the state championship.
The Warriors were led by Capitol Conference Player of the Year Dominique Tham, who scored 18 points, and Jalen Walton chipped in 17 to lead a balanced attack against the Panthers (27-1). Marqua Walton also scored 18 and hit a key free throw at the end of the game to seal the victory.
The win was the first regional championship for the Warriors since 2005 — they were regional runner-ups last year and lost in the state semifinal game. The Warriors defended their home court, just like they did in the conference championship game last week against Mt. Vernon. Walton told Dave Facinoli of the Sun Gazette that the Warriors didn’t feel any pressure.
“They came in undefeated and we felt they had all the pressure,” said Wakefield senior guard Jalen Carver, who scored 17 points and made three three-pointers. “So we wanted to play our game, slow them down in transition and keep playing hard.”
Wakefield coach Tony Bentley said the pre-game plan was to keep his players loose.
“The key to this game for us wasn’t on the court,” he said. “We wanted to get our players so relaxed like they were playing a game on the playground.”
File photo courtesy Rob Laybourn
The snowball fight will be held at Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), near the Virginia Square Metro station, at 4:00 p.m. today. Organizers are billing it as “the most epic snowball fight in the history of Arlington” and are pledging to collect donations for the Frye Foundation.
So far, 11 people have RSVPed “yes” on the snowball fight’s Facebook page. That would be about half the size of the crowd that showed up at the Clarendon Metro station for a snowball fight on Feb. 6, 2010 — the snow storm also known as “Snowmageddon.”
Organizers of today’s snowball fight, dubiously dubbed the “Battle @ Ballston,” say it’s being “sponsored” by Wilson Tavern in Courthouse, which will be hosting combatants for “post snowball fight eats and drinks.”
The Arlington snowball fight will have some competition and challenges. District residents are planning a snowball fight in Dupont Circle at 2:00 p.m. And ammunition might run low — the Capital Weather Gang says snow may be tapering off by noon.
The temperature had dropped from 34 degrees to 19 degrees from midnight to 8:00 a.m. in Arlington, according to ABC7 meteorologist Ryan Miller. Light, fluffy snow is falling in sheets, blown by 20-30 mile per hour wind gusts.
Forecasters are calling for 6-10 inches of snow to fall by the time the storm tapers off tonight.
Already the snow is causing big problems on the road for those attempting to drive. Glebe Road was blocked between Military Road and Chain Bridge Road as of 8:15 a.m., due to a single-vehicle accident, but has since reopened.
ART and Metro bus service has been suspended, as has STAR and MetroAccess service. Metrorail so far is operating on time. As of 10:15 a.m. runways at Reagan National Airport were closed as crews made a “herculean effort” to clear the snow and reopen the main runway.
Arlington County is currently in a Phase 2 snow alert, meaning that snow removal crews are only treating and plowing primary and arterial streets. Residential streets will be allowed to become snow-covered.
The federal government and all Arlington schools, courts and government offices are closed Monday.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Monday morning in response to the storm. From the governor’s announcement:
As Virginia prepares for another winter storm today, Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency, an action that authorizes state agencies to be ready to assist local governments in responding to the snow and ice storm that will affect the commonwealth this evening and into tomorrow.
In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia.
“This storm could bring difficult travel and widespread power outages for the next few days,” said Governor McAuliffe. “It is also going to be very cold with gusty winds across Virginia. Please postpone travel during the storm, charge up your mobile devices so you can stay in touch, and take time to check on your neighbors in case they need help.”
In response to the storm:
- The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is at increased readiness with emergency response team members monitoring the storm and ready to coordinate the state’s response.
- The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating conference calls between the National Weather Service, state agencies and local governments.
- Virginia Department of Transportation crews have begun full preparations for a significant winter weather event expected to impact the commonwealth Monday.
- The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 100 personnel on state active duty to support emergency response operations. Virginia Guard personnel have been alerted to begin staging and expect to be in place tonight so they are able to rapidly respond if needed.
- The Virginia State Police will extend shifts and have additional troopers on patrol to expedite response times to traffic crashes and disabled motorists.
- Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
- Prepare a three-day supply of food that includes a gallon of water per person per day and food that does not require electricity to prepare it.
- Have a battery powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
- Always run generators outside in well-ventilated areas. Never use a portable generator in any enclosed or partially enclosed space.
- Only travel if absolutely necessary. Roads can become very hazardous very quickly. Always wear a seatbelt, and know road conditions before you leave. Road condition information is available 24/7 by calling 511 or going towww.511Virginia.org
- Have emergency supplies in your vehicle. If you are stranded you will need water, food, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries at a minimum.
- Avoid overexertion while shoveling snow and cleaning up from the storm, no matter your age or physical condition. Shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
- If you need help for an elderly or disabled person during the storm, need information on warming shelters or are concerned about an unsheltered individual or family, call 211 or visit www.211virginia.org. When you call 211, a trained professional will suggest sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in your community and statewide.
- Get winter weather preparedness information at www.ReadyVirginia.gov and download the new Ready Virginia app for iPhones and Android devices.
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.
Workshop: Advice for Nonprofits*
GMU Founder’s Hall (3301 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 8:30 a.m.-noon
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) hosts a workshop for 8th District nonprofits, advising them on how to maximize their community impact. Participants can register online.
Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade*
Wilson Blvd from N. Barton to N. Irving Street
Time: 8:00-9:00 p.m.
The “family friendly” Mardi Gras parade returns to Clarendon and Courthouse Tuesday night. There will be marching bands, parade floats and gifts thrown into the crowd.
Veteran Career Fair
Holiday Inn (4610 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
This three-hour event is free to the public but aimed at military veterans. VetReady hosts veteran career and resource fairs all over the country. Job seekers can register here.
Antiquarian Book Fair*
Key Bridge Holiday Inn (1900 N. Fort Myer Drive)
Time: 5:00-9:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The 39th annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair, going on Friday and Saturday, is a chance to purchase rare books, manuscripts and other collectibles. Two-day tickets are $14, Saturday tickets are $8.
Live Music: Burnt Sienna
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 10:00 p.m.
The band voted the Chesapeake area’s best wedding band takes the stage again at Clarendon Grill. Cover charge is typically $5.
Live Music: National Chamber Ensemble
Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
The National Chamber Ensemble performs a tribute to Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, performing his most famous piece, “The Four Seasons.” Admission is $30 for adults and $15 for students.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event.
It’s at least the fifth time Arlington Public Schools have closed due to snow this school year.
“Essential personnel are to report to work as scheduled,” said APS spokeswoman Jennifer Harris. “Extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled.”
All ART bus service has been suspended, in advance of a winter storm expected to drop 6-10 inches of snow Monday. Arlington’s western neighbor, the City of Falls Church, has declared a snow emergency now.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is encouraging residents to leave their cars at home on Monday.
“By midnight tonight, 4,000 trucks will be staged along interstates, major roads and neighborhood streets in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington counties,” VDOT said in a press release Sunday night. “Drivers should stay off the roads tomorrow… snow and frigid temperatures to northern Virginia.”
Staying off the roads should be easier for non-emergency federal workers — the Office of Personnel Management announced tonight that federal offices would be closed Monday.
Residents have been reporting a shortage of salt and other snow clearing supplies in local grocery and hardware stores.
“Gonna have a slick sidewalk [tomorrow],” said Twitter user @TheRhino26.
Update at 6:55 p.m. — The Office of Personnel Management has announced that federal offices will be closed Monday.
The National Weather Service has upgraded its previous Winter Storm Watch for Arlington and the D.C. region to a Winter Storm Warning.
Forecasters are calling for 6 or more inches of snow between midnight tonight and Monday afternoon.
… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 PM EST MONDAY…
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… FREEZING RAIN… SLEET… AND HEAVY SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… UP TO ONE TENTH INCH OF ICE… THEN 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW.
* TIMING… RAIN CHANGES TO FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT… THEN BECOMES HEAVY SNOW LATE TONIGHT AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY.
* TEMPERATURES… DROPPING FROM THE LOWER 30S AROUND MIDNIGHT TO THE MID 20S LATE TONIGHT… THEN LOWER 20S MONDAY.
* WINDS… NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH LATE TONIGHT AND MONDAY.
* IMPACTS… HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DUE TO ICE AND SNOW OVERNIGHT AND MONDAY. BOTH THE MONDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON RUSH HOURS WILL BE AFFECTED. POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE WITH THE COMBINATION OF ICE AND HEAVY SNOW.
THIS WINTER STORM WARNING IS FOR HEAVY SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN AND MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE AND SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY CAUSE POWER OUTAGES. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL… KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD… AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
Holzheimer, who turned 66 last month, died of a heart attack. A McLean resident, Holzheimer has served as Arlington’s top economic development official since 2005.
Arlington County issued the following press release about Holzheimer’s untimely passing.
Terry Holzheimer, director of Arlington Economic Development, (AED), has died, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan confirmed today.
“Terry’s family has informed me that Terry died today of a heart attack,” Donnellan said. “I am deeply saddened by this tragic news. Our hearts go out to Terry’s family.
“Arlington has lost a dedicated public servant and a leader who worked for decades to build one of our nation’s most successful and stable communities,” Donnellan said. “Terry was respected across this region as a leader in economic development. His many accomplishments can be seen and felt across our County.”
“This is a double tragedy for Terry’s family,” Donnellan said. “Just six weeks ago, his wife of 34 years, Mary Benedette Pelletter-Holzheimer, died after a long illness.” Terry is survived by his daughter, Francesca, and her husband, Joseph Hammerstrom.
The family has not yet announced funeral arrangements.
From Holzheimer’s official county biography:
Terry Holzheimer was named director of Arlington Economic Development (AED) in March 2005. A veteran of the department since 1996, he previously headed AED’s Business Investment Group, focusing on business retention, recruitment, and economic research. He also was responsible for Arlington’s small business development efforts through AED’s BizLaunch Center.
Before coming to Arlington, Holzheimer served as Loudoun County’s director of economic development from 1989-96. His career also includes heading a management consulting firm, Development Advisory Service, Inc., that provided services to local governments throughout the country in housing and economic development. Earlier, he worked for the National League of Cities, consulting with city and county governments on redevelopment and rehabilitation programs.
Holzheimer has a Ph.D. from George Mason University in public policy, with a specialization in regional development. He holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Florida. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows and is certified in economic development by the International Economic Development Council. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech, teaching in Urban Affairs and Planning.
The following letter to the editor was submitted by former School Board member Ed Fendley.
Peter Rousselot is right to argue for increased school funding, but wrong to claim that there is a systematic bias against local funding for Arlington Public Schools.
What matters for students and teachers is the actual amount of funds provided each year.
By this measure, support for our schools has deservedly and substantially grown in recent years. By any recognized standard, APS is one of the best-funded systems in the nation.
School-budget funding is poised to rise again if the County Board approves the County Manager’s proposed 4.7% funding boost for APS or, hopefully, an even greater amount.
But instead of considering actual funding and actual needs, Rousselot focuses on the irrelevant statistic that school operations as a percent of the overall county budget is lower than in some previous years.
By this flawed metric, the U.S. military is also grossly underfunded. Military outlays as a percent of the federal budget are smaller today. than in the 1950′s or 60′s — never mind that actual defense spending has sharply increased in real dollars,
It is in the interest of Arlington Public Schools to focus on the actual amount of funding received from the county, not the percent this represents of the county budget. This is especially the case because in years when county revenue is static or declining (yes, it does happen in Arlington) our schools would otherwise be at risk of underfunding.
In the midst of rising enrollment and increasing educational needs, the Arlington schools budget is a legitimate area of discussion. But this should be done on the basis of real numbers, not the irrelevant figures that Rousselot presents.
Ed Fendley served on the Arlington County School Board from 2006-2010 and is a founder of the Arlington Egg Project.
To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to the editor may be edited for content and brevity.