Yorktown Hosts South County in Semifinal — In high school football action, the Yorktown Patriots will take on the South County Stallions tonight in a Northern Region Division 5 semifinal playoff game. The contest is a home game for Yorktown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Yorktown lost to South County in the regional championship game last year. [Sun Gazette]
APS Awarded for Green Initiatives — Arlington Public Schools has “earned a Platinum Certification as a Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) Certified Green Schools Division.” The school system also placed first in VSBA’s Green Schools Challenge for large school divisions. [Arlington Public Schools]
Award for Affordable Clarendon Development — VPoint, the affordable apartment building built atop a Clarendon church, has been named the “Best Affordable Housing Development” in Virginia at the 2012 Governor’s Housing Conference. “The award is presented to a housing development that is innovative in its concept and design and exceptional in meeting the needs of the intended community,” according to a press release. [Arlington County]
Honors for Arlington VT Students — Arlington resident Liam O’Neill has been selected to be a member of the Marching Virginians marching band at Virginia Tech. O’Neill is a percussion musician and a sophomore majoring in building construction. Another Arlington native, Michelle Sutherland, has been named to Virginia Tech’s Order of the Gavel, an honor society for leaders of major student organizations. Sutherland, a junior majoring in political science, is editor of the Collegiate Times, the school’s student newspaper.
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Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The Northern Virginia chapter of NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, recognized two Arlington projects at its annual awards ceremony last night.
Epic Smokehouse, the new upscale barbecue restaurant at 1330 S. Fern Street in Pentagon City, won NAIOP’s “Award of Merit” in the “Best Interiors, Retail Project” category. The restaurant’s interior — which is heavy on wood, leather and concrete — was designed by Collective Architecture and built by rand* Construction Corporation.
Ballston’s new 800 North Glebe Road building, meanwhile, won NAIOP’s “Award of Excellence” for “Best Building, 4 Stories and Above.” The 10-story office building was developed by the JBG Companies, designed by Cooper Carry and built by Clark Construction.
The award ceremony was held last night in Tysons Corner.
“The event was sold out with over six hundred-fifty people in attendance as twenty-three awards were presented in the following categories: Transactions, Interiors, Marketing, Buildings and Membership,” according to a press release. “The Awards Dinner was an opportunity to celebrate significant new contributions to Northern Virginia by the commercial, industrial and mixed-use real estate community.”
Glee Star to Visit W-L Today — Glee star Lauren Potter and Best Buddies founder Anthony Shriver will be visiting Washington-Lee High School’s Best Buddies chapter at 3:00 p.m. today (Friday). “The Washington-Lee chapter of Best Buddies was ranked number one among DC-MD-VA chapters based on the quality of friendships, student leadership and dedication to the Best Buddies mission,” according to Arlington Public Schools. Potter, who has Down syndrome, is best known for her role as Becky Jackson on the hit Fox TV series.
Chef Beats Out ‘Chief’ in Culinary Competition — Eventide Chef Adam Barnett emerged as the big winner in the Arlington Food Assistance Center’s “Chiefs vs. Chefs” cooking competition between professional restaurant chefs and amateur firehouse cooks. AFAC hopes to turn the fundraiser into an annual event. [Sun Gazette]
Violent Crime Down in ACPD’s First District — Violent crime is down 15 percent in Arlington’s first police district, which encompasses much of North Arlington, minus Lyon Village, Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn, according to police. The number of rapes are up, however; all of the instances involved a known suspect, not a random attacker. [Patch]
Pike Neighborhoods Plan Wins Award — The Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan, which aims to transform Columbia Pike into a more urban and walkable community while maintaining affordable housing, has won an award from the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). The plan won the “2012 Benjamin Banneker Award for Outstanding Social Commitment and Community” for demonstrating “sustained commitment to reach beyond the traditional scope of planning, particularly advancing social objectives.” [Arlington County]
Yom Kippur in Arlington — Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Considered the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is traditionally observed with 25 hours of fasting and prayer. Arlington’s only synagogue, Etz Hayim Congregation on Arlington Boulevard, has sold out of its Yom Kippur service tickets.
Illegal Dog Mural Whitewashed — Wag More Dogs, the doggy daycare in Shirlington, has surrendered in its legal battle to keep a colorful dog-themed mural on its outside wall. Yesterday, workers removed the tarp covering the large mural — in place since 2010 — and painted over it. The painters — the same pair who painted an eyebrow-raising mural outside the Smokey Shope III store in Crystal City — are now planning to replace the mural with an “urban landscape” mural that, since it won’t feature dogs or anything connected to the business, shouldn’t constitute an illegal sign in the eyes of Arlington County. [Washington Post, WTOP]
Arlington Seeks Human Rights Award Nominations — Arlington County is seeking nominations for the 14th annual James B. Hunter Human Rights Awards. The nominations are due by Nov. 14. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Suicide Thwarted at Metro Station — An alert Metro train operator helped to thwart a suicide attempt at the Reagan National Airport Metro station Thursday morning. Around 7:55 a.m., a man climbed down and laid on the southbound tracks. The operator of an approaching train saw the man and stopped the train in time. Transit police apprehended the man and took him to a local hospital. [Washington Examiner]
Park(ing) Day in Rosslyn – Today (Friday) is Park(ing) Day, a day where people worldwide transform parking spots into temporary public spaces. Artisphere in Rosslyn will again be participating. A giant shopping cart, created by artist J.P. Flick, will be placed near the corner of Wilson Blvd and Lynn Street. Passersby are encouraged to donate gently used professional attire by placing it in the cart. The clothes will go to a job placement program run by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. [Artisphere]
Retired Educator Receives Community Award — Meg Tuccillo — who for 26 years served Arlington Public Schools as a teacher, a principal, and an assistant superintendent — has been named the 2012 recipient of the William T. Newman Jr. Spirit of Community Award. “The Board was impressed by Meg Tuccillo’s highly regarded dynamic and good-natured commitment to Arlington, both in her professional role as Assistant Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools and in her broad involvement in several nonprofit organizations serving children, families, the homeless and strengthening education and the arts,” said Julian Fore, president of the Arlington Community Foundation, which administers the award. [Sun Gazette]
Va. Flags Half Staff for State Supreme Court Justice — Virginia state flags have flown half staff this week in honor of former state Supreme Court Justice Henry H. Whiting, who died on Sept. 17. Whiting was a justice when the court first upheld the use of DNA evidence in Virginia. The DNA case in question originated in Arlington — the trial of Timothy Wilson Spencer for the 1987 rape and murder of 44-year-old Susan Tucker in her Arlington condominium.
U.S. Secretary of Education and Arlington resident Arne Duncan was on hand Friday to personally present Arlington Traditional School (855 N. Edison Street) with one of the Department of Education’s top honors: the designation of Blue Ribbon School.
The elementary school was named a 2012 Blue Ribbon School — one of only 269 schools in the country and one of seven elementary schools in Virginia this year — based on its “overall academic excellence.”
Duncan presented the Blue Ribbon School award to ATS Principal Holly Hawthorne at a school-wide assembly Friday morning. Also in attendance were Rep. Jim Moran (D), School Board Vice Chair Sally Baird, School Board member Abby Raphael, County Board member Libby Garvey, State Sen. Barbara Favola (D), Del. Patrick Hope (D) and State Board of Education President and former Arlington School Board member Dave Foster.
Arlington Public Schools issued the following press release (excerpted) about the recognition.
“This is a tremendous honor for us. Great schools don’t happen by chance, they happen by design,” said Hawthorne. “We know the quality of the education at ATS is the result of the efforts of our talented and dedicated teachers, our hard-working and focused students, and our involved and caring parents. The strong partnerships ATS has forged with families and the community help foster each child’s whole development. Students leave ATS with the skills and attitudes of lifelong learners, prepared to become caring and contributing citizens.”
This is the second time in eight years that ATS has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.
“I want to congratulate the entire ATS community on receiving this prestigious honor,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. “This recognition rewards the time that teachers spend each day making sure that their students have the tools to help them succeed in the classroom. It recognizes the time that students put into learning as well as the time that parents spend supporting their child’s education. The staff at ATS is to be recognized for building a strong foundation for its students to learn and grow.”
Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored America’s most successful public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. The award acknowledges and validates the hard work of students, staff members, families, and communities in reaching high levels of student achievement.
The US Department of Education will honor all of the nation’s 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools during a conference and awards ceremony November 12-13 in Washington, D.C. A list of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools and more information on the Blue Ribbon award is available at www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.
Video from today’s ceremony is available online at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25243604.
Photo courtesy Frank Bellavia / Arlington Public Schools
Col. Randy Huiss, better known as “Coach Randy,” coaches the Orioles Little League team. After their final practice before “the big championship game” last week, the team and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families honored Huiss with a Connect with Kids award. The awards are given to people who go above and beyond in spending time with, and building relationships with, children and teens.
Parents of the players are fans of Coach Randy’s interactions with the kids. They say he has a positive view of how the game should be played, with a focus on fun.
“Randy’s focus has never been on winning the games, but on letting the kids play,” said Amy Yamashiro. ”It is these precious experiences that make kids, like my son, very happy and greatly increase enjoyment of playing on a team.”
Parents also say his attitude is something that the kids can look up to and emulate.
“Every game has been a positive experience that included teaching good sportsmanship based on respect for each other,” said Tracy Gaudet.
The Connect With Kids awards are given in the spring and the fall each year. However, a special exception was made to give the award early, because Huiss had to deploy to Qatar on Tuesday, June 19.
“We’re very pleased we could present this to him before he left,” said Mary Ann Moran with the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. “He really gets it about children and sports and what’s important and what isn’t.”
Captain Andy Penn, Officer Garrett Bombard, Sergeant Eliseo Pilco, Officer Ben Brown-Bieber and Deputy Andrew Flowers received the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Northern Virginia Chapter 2012 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) award. They received the awards, which include a plaque and a $500 donation to the Department of Human Services to fund ongoing CIT training, at a banquet on June 7.
“Our department fully supports the CIT training initiative and our goal is to continue to increase the number of officers certified by offering several training opportunities each year,” said Arlington Police Chief M. Douglas Scott.
Since its inception in 2008, Arlington’s CIT program has trained more than 175 law enforcement personnel. Officers voluntarily sign up for the program and receive 40 hours of training, during which they learn to de-escalate difficult and potentially dangerous situations with an individual who has a mental illness.
Through the training, officers learn skills such as reducing injuries, and preventing inappropriate restraint and incarceration of a troubled individual. They also help to link individuals with mental illness to resources for receiving appropriate treatment.
CIT Coordinator Christina Clarkson was able to explain a type of situation similar to those the five officers received awards for. A man had been threatening himself and his family after having an adverse reaction to a new medication. He had been hallucinating, hearing voices and locked himself in the bathroom. Two officers used their CIT training to talk to the man and calm him down enough so he came out of the bathroom on his own, and checked into a mental health facility.
Information could not be provided about the specific incidents the five officers received the awards for.
Two members of the Arlington County Police Department were recognized for their investigative prowess at a luncheon hosted by Arlington County Crime Solvers yesterday. Officer James O’Daniel and Detective Christine Everest both received the Detective of the Year Award for their efforts to end fraud and scams targeting the elderly.
One police official said the pair’s efforts were part of the department’s “War on Woodchucks” — a reference to the name sometimes given to scam artists who prey on senior citizens by performing unnecessary yard work and charging exorbitant amounts of money for it. Some of the offenders repeatedly target the same victims, or inform other scam artists of who to target. It’s not unusual for some of the victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars during interactions with woodchucks.
Even after being asked about winning the award, Everest turned the attention back to helping the elderly. She encouraged people to watch out for their neighbors and to call the police if they notice something suspicious. She added that there’s still a long road ahead in the fight to end these kinds of crimes in Arlington, and she’d like to see tougher laws put in place to bring the scam artists to justice.
“We’re both appreciative that the focus of today was on crimes against the elderly,” Everest said. ”It’s out there and it’s unfortunate, and these are not small amounts that we’re talking about. You can have one individual who can have upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars being taken from them from scams. A lot of times these individuals come in contract with a dozen or more people who are scamming them for this money.”
“As a sidenote, I guess we’re getting a little bit of a tribute ourselves,” Everest added. “We were not expecting anything like this. The recognition is overwhelming.”
Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck explained that in addition to their usual work, Everest and O’Daniel created informational brochures to help people identify if they’d been victimized, and to let victims know where to go for help.
“It’s important to note that both of these individuals didn’t just do the minimal amount required. They went above and beyond their typical day-to-day work on the streets,” said Sternbeck. “From the chief level down, we’re very proud to have them represent us.”
Some of Everest’s notable contributions include displaying compassion and establishing a rapport with victims, researching suspects and conducting surveillance in areas known for being targeted.
One of O’Daniel’s major accomplishments was performing traffic stops after observing questionable solicitation practices by known scam artists, which led to additional violations such as identity theft. He also exhibited proactive enforcement by speaking with residents who were having repair or yard work done.
The luncheon, which raised money that will support Arlington County Crime Solvers, was attended by a number of local officials and lawmakers, including County Board member Walter Tejada, Police Chief Douglas Scott, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos, Del. Bob Brink, Del. Patrick Hope, Del. Alfonso Lopez and state Sen. Adam Ebbin. Lopez said this year’s awards will help highlight the problem of scams against the elderly, which often don’t receive as much attention as better-publicized crimes like robberies and burglaries.
“The two people who won the award today are doing critical work to try to protect elderly [residents] who are being scammed by folks coming to their houses,” Lopez said. ”This is a scam that’s happening far too often, and it’s hurting the elderly and immigrant populations more than others.
Lopez added that Everest and O’Daniel’s effectiveness in investigating such crimes is “a testament to how good our community policing efforts are in Arlington.”
The 2012 annual Arlington County Fire Department Recognition and Awards Program was held Thursday morning at Fire Station No. 5 in Crystal City. Below banners recognizing the station’s role in responding to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and amid the periodic blare of the fire department dispatch loud speaker, nearly a dozen individual firefighters and paramedics and a dozen fire and EMS crews were recognized for their heroism in the line of duty.
Many of the awards given out on Thursday stemmed from two major incidents.
On Sept. 8, 2011, multiple Arlington rescue crews were dispatched as mutual aid to Fairfax County to assist with widespread flash flooding. Those crews performed daring swift water rescues as flood waters from Tropical Storm Lee trapped motorists in their vehicles.
For helping to rescue 12 individuals stranded in flood waters near I-495 and Telegraph Road, Engine 109 firefighters Corey Sherrill and Joaquin Ibarra received the fire department’s Gold Medal of Valor. For helping to rescue 14 individuals over the course of four hours during the flooding, Engine 107 firefighters Fabian Manino, Frank Rachal, Richard Quinn and Timothy Morgan received the Bronze Medal of Valor. Among those rescued by the firefighters were children, senior citizens and a woman who was eight months pregnant.
The other incident happened in Arlington in the early morning hours of June 1, 2011. Around 1:45 a.m., fire crews were dispatched to a house fire on the 5100 block of N. Carlin Springs Road. As firefighters arrived, a man ran out of the burning house and screamed that his wife was trapped on the second floor.
Responding to his pleas for help, firefighters Alexander Dimoff, Jacob Johnson and Battalion Chief S. Doug Insley climbed a ladder to a second story bedroom. Amid heavy smoke, Johnson found a woman lying unconscious on the floor near the bed. The three men were able to lift the woman and hand her off, through the window, into the arms of firefighters Chad Stamps and Mark Jaquays, at the top of the ladder. While still on the ladder, the two firefighters used their medical training to stabilize the patient — who was in respiratory arrest — and then brought her to the ground level where she was transported to a local hospital.
In a speech before the award presentation, County Board member Chris Zimmerman acknowledged that such dramatic incidents are relatively rare in Arlington, and that the firefighters who stand at the ready to risk their lives every day are heroes in their own right.
“You may not have saved a life this week, but you have saved 210,000 people every day from having to worry about it,” Zimmerman said. “And that’s something that’s… a great service to this community. For that, on behalf of the people of Arlington, I thank you.”
More photos, and a full list of the awards and citations issued this year, after the jump.
TJ Theater to Reopen — The county parks department is hoping to reopen the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater next month. The theater closed for repairs late last summer after damage was found from the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook the region. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington to Host ‘Green Games’ Ceremony — Arlington County is hosting an awards ceremony for its Green Games business sustainability competition. The ceremony will honor achievement in a number of green categories, including energy efficiency, water use, waste diversion and recycling, and transportation choices. “During the year-long competition, more than 100 offices and buildings — representing about 15 million square feet of office space, or one-third of Arlington’s total office space — raced to reduce energy use, waste, and water and set other environmental goals,” the county said in a press release. The ceremony will be held tomorrow morning at Artisphere in Rosslyn. [Arlington County]
W-L Junior Wins National Writing Award — Washington-Lee High School junior Luisa Banchoff has been named a 2012 National Gold Medalist in the annual Scholastic Writing Awards. [Arlington Public Schools]
‘Housing 4 Hipsters’ Attracts a Crowd — Arlington’s inaugural “Housing 4 Hipsters” event attracted a crowd of about 100 young people Monday night, though it seems unlikely that any of the attendees were actually “hipsters” in the literal sense. [Washington City Paper]
ShoeFly to Close — Clarendon shoe store ShoeFly is closing up shop after 10 years in business. The store is planning on holding a going-out-of-business sale. [Washington Business Journal]
Va. Congressional Districts Approved — The U.S. Department of Justice has approved Virginia’s redrawn congressional districts, allowing the state’s congressional primaries to move ahead on time. The primaries are scheduled for June 12. [Office of the Attorney General]
‘Green Patriot’ Award Nominations — George Mason University is seeking nominations for its “Arlington Green Patriot” awards. The award “recognizes an individual, business or organization that exemplifies sustainability in more than one aspect of their recent life or operations to better civic life in Arlington.” An online nomination form is available. The deadline for nominations is March 30.
Arlington Wins Diversity Award — The National League of Cities has presented Arlington with its 2012 Cultural Diversity Award. The awards showcase “examples of how cities achieve excellence in diversity, promotes the positive results of ‘total community collaboration’ and honors community leadership in developing creative and effective programs to improve cultural diversity.” [Arlington County]
Hen Raising Critics Speak Out — Critics of a proposal to allow backyard hen raising in Arlington spoke out during Saturday’s County Board meeting. “Send it to the slaughterhouse,” civic activist Robert Atkins said of the proposal, which is supported by a group called the Arlington Egg Project. Critics say backyard hens could produce noise, odors and neighborly conflicts, among other ill effects. [Sun Gazette]
Hagel to Speak at Marymount Commencement — Arlington-based Marymount University announced yesterday that former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will be its 2012 commencement speaker. Hagel will address Marymount grads at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Sunday, May 20.
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
Carolyn Cook, Angela Fox, Anita Friedman and Kathleen Sibert were chosen by the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women for their contributions to improving the lives of women and girls in Arlington. They will be honored at a ceremony and reception next Tuesday.
At the event, County Manager Barbara Donnellan will moderate a roundtable discussion on women’s education and empowerment.
The ceremony is open to the public and although reservations are not necessary, anyone interested in attending the event at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (4301 Wilson Blvd) on March 6 can RSVP to Dgates@arlingtonva.us by this Friday, March 2. The evening begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. A $25 donation is requested to support CSW.
Here’s the County’s more detailed descriptions of the winners:
- Carolyn Cook is recognized in the Business category for her work empowering girls and women through mentoring, developing the Our Whole Lives curriculum, implementing CampHers, advocating for a women’s heritage train, and volunteerism with the ERA Campaign Network.
- Angela Fox is recognized in the Nonprofit category for her work teaching and training the next generation of women leaders, mentoring girls interested in science and technology, working with young mothers in County schools, hosting networking events for women in the workplace, and working with the Women in Green Forum and the Crystal City Business Improvement District.
- Anita Friedman, chief of the Economic Independence Division of County’s Department of Human Services, is recognized in the government category for her work, together with Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN), on the 100,000 Homes for 100,000 Homeless Campaign.
- Kathleen Sibert is recognized in the Nonprofit category for her efforts to expand the work of A-SPAN, as it ensures that the unique needs of women are addressed with a dedicated floor, nursing services, and more women in key leadership positions. She is also recognized for her collaboration on the 100,000 Homes for 100,000 Homeless Campaign.
Neighborhood Projects Approved — The Arlington County Board unanimously approved $3.4 million in funding for six neighborhood improvement projects. “This is the third round in funding for key recommended Neighborhood Conservation projects from the 2010 voter-approved $9 million Community Conservation Bond,” the county noted in a press release. [Arlington County]
County Looking for Partner to Spruce Up Farmhouse — The Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation is looking for a charitable individual or organization interested in restoring the historic, county-owned Reevesland farmhouse and estate. The restoration is expected to cost upwards of $1 million. [Sun Gazette]
DESIGNArlington Awards Announced — Arlington County is recognizing outstanding architectural or landscape design through its second-annual DESIGNArlington awards. Among five recipients of the highest “Award of Excellence” this year, three are county-owned buildings and two are private residences. [Arlington County]
John Glenn, Astronaut and Arlingtonian — Astronaut (and U.S. Senator) John Glenn lived in Arlington for about five years around the time he was becoming a celebrity space pioneer. Glenn lived in a single-story home near Williamsburg Junior High School (now Williamsburg Middle School) between 1958 and 1963. [Arlington Public Library]