Arlington police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and 911 operators were honored today (Wednesday) at the 31st annual Valor Awards ceremony.
The awards ceremony, organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Ft. Myer Officers’ Club at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Arlington County public safety personnel who have demonstrated extraordinary heroism or exceptional performance were presented with awards, certificates and medals.
Among those awarded were:
- Donald “DJ Winsock, a 911 operator whose CPR instructions saved the life of a woman who suffered a medical emergency in Rosslyn on August 21, 2012.
- Sgt. Jack Lantz, a nearly 30-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, for meritorious service over the course of his career.
- Sgt. David Bowers, and deputy sheriffs Efthimios Alpos, Monica-Lyons-Carr and Arthur Pitts, who saved the life of an intoxicated woman who tried to commit suicide in a holding cell, after being arrested at Reagan National Airport on Nov. 10, 2012.
- Sgt. Richard Laureano, of the Sheriff’s Office. Laureano used an automated external defibrillator to revive a boy who collapsed during a wrestling match in Woodbridge, while off-duty on Feb. 2, 2013.
- Capt. Kevin Reardon, for 26 years of meritorious service to the Arlington County Police Department.
- Cpl. Richard St. Clair and Officer Patrick Maxwell, for valor while attempting to help Alexandria paramedic Joshua Weissman, who fell 30-feet off a bridge and later died while responding to a car fire on I-395.
- Cpl. David Munn, Officer Daniel Gardner, and Officer Hilary Maloney, for physically restraining a suicidal military veteran from jumping off the 18th floor of a Pentagon City apartment building on June 16, 2012.
- Capt. Trevor Burrell for meritorious service to the Arlington County Fire Department, specifically in the area of firefighter training.
- Firefighter Joshua Wise for helping to stop a car that was driving erratically on I-395, while off duty. After the car stopped, Wise rendered aid to the driver, who was suffering a diabetic emergency.
The full explanation of each award and act can be found below, after the jump.
“Often, this is the only public recognition these officers receive,” said Chamber of Commerce President Rich Doud said in a statement. “It is unique to hear the stories of their heroic acts and to meet the officers involved. We are fortunate that they work in Arlington and perform so selflessly in the service of our businesses and citizens.”
ABC7 meteorologist Brian Van De Graff served as emcee to the lunchtime event. In addition to police and fire department personnel, attendees included Arlington County Board members, state legislators, elected constitutional officials, school officials and local business leaders.
A number of Arlington restaurants were named 2013 RAMMY Award nominees last night.
The annual awards gala is organized by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). Nominees were announced last night in 16 categories.
While Arlington was shut out in the “fine dining” and “upscale casual” categories, Arlington-based restaurants made up more than half the “Casual Restaurant of the Year” category.
Among the five casual restaurant nominees were Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road), Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza (3017 Clarendon Blvd) and Nando’s Peri-Peri (1301 S. Joyce Street). Bayou was the only purely Arlington restaurant; Pete’s and Nando’s both have other locations outside of Arlington.
Clarendon’s Fuego Cocina y Tequileria (2800 Clarendon Blvd) was nominated in the New Restaurant of the Year category. Meanwhile, chef Scot Harlan of Green Pig Bistro (1025 N. Fillmore Street), another Clarendon restaurant, was nominated as in the Rising Culinary Star of the Year category. Also nominated in the Rising Culinary Star category was Tim Ma, who’s planning to open a new restaurant, “Water & Wall,” in Virginia Square.
The RAMMY Award winners will be announced at a gala event on Sunday, June 23.
Pi Day in Arlington — Today is March 14, or 3/14, the day that celebrates the mathematical constant Pi (3.14159). In honor of Pi Day, the business review website Yelp is holding a “pie” event at Bakeshop (1025 N. Fillmore Street) in Clarendon, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. [Yelp]
Red Light Cameras Play ‘Pivotal Role’ — Red light cameras play a “pivotal role” in improving traffic and pedestrian safety. Arlington County says. The county’s red light cameras — currently active at four intersections — resulted in a 50 percent decrease in red light violations at those intersections, the county said. [Arlington County]
State Awards for APS Schools — Eight Arlington public elementary schools have earned a distinction as 2013 Virginia Index of Performance award winners. The schools honored are Arlington Science Focus, Arlington Traditional, Ashlawn, McKinley, Nottingham, Taylor, Henry and Jamestown. [Arlington Public Schools]
Arlington’s All-Male Book Club — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark explores “one of those rare literary phenomena — an all-male book club.” The group of 10 professional men has been meeting to discuss books in the East Falls Church/Westover neighborhood for 13 years. [Falls Church News-Press]
Photo courtesy “Westover Leftover”
Arlington County will honor its 2013 Women of Vision award winners on Thursday.
Four women were selected to receive the annual award this year. Among them:
- Dr. Katharine Panfil — Former APS educator and principal of Key and Randolph Elementary schools, now retired.
- Denise Hart — Co-founder, The Leadership Foundry, which promotes the goal of more women serving on corporate boards in the Washington, D.C. area.
- Linda Denny — Former executive of for-profit and not-for-profit companies. Now a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum.
- Angela Guzman — Director of Fundraising and Constituent Relations at Integrated Direct Marketing. She has also chaired a women’s health organization and helped launch a scholarship program.
“Each year, the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women honors women recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to improving the lives and opportunities for Arlington residents, especially women,” the county said in a press release. “The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) works to advance initiatives and policies that empower women and serves as a community advocate and resource on the social and economic interests of all Arlington women. The CSW is an Arlington County Board advisory group and members are appointed by the County Board.”
The Women of Vision ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (4301 Wilson Blvd) in Ballston. Tickets are not required but a $25 donation to the Commission on the Status of Women.
Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Anna Maynard at email@example.com or 703-228-7096.
Another Military Daycare Worker Accused of Abuse — Another Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall daycare worker has been accused of abuse, just three months after another daycare abuse scandal broke at the base. This time, a daycare worker is accused of hitting a three-year-old child with a seat cushion. [WJLA]
Crystal City Plan Wins National Award – The Crystal City Sector Plan has won the American Planning Association’s 2013 National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development. “This ambitious, creative plan is already beginning to make Crystal City an even better place to live, work and play, and to help Arlington meet the serious challenges posed by BRAC,” said Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada, in a statement. [Arlington County]
Wine Walk This Weekend — Crystal City will host its annual “1K Wine Walk” this weekend. All but one “heat” on Saturday is sold out, but tickets are still available for most time slots on Sunday. The “1K Beer Walk” will take place two weekends from now. Disclosure: Event organizer Washington Wine Academy is an ARLnow.com advertiser. [Washington Wine Academy]
Seeking ‘Women of Vision’ Nominees – Arlington County’s Commission on the Status of Women is seeking nominations for the 2013 Women of Vision Awards. “The awards are given to individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to women’s issues, and have, over time, developed and communicated their vision for women and engaged community members and other leaders in order to realize this vision,” the county said on its website. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Airpolonia
Human Rights Award Winners Announced — The Arlington Human Rights Commission has announced the winners for the 2012 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award. Two community groups — Wakefield High School’s Project Upstanders and Washington-Lee High School’s Best Buddies Club — received the honor, along with two individuals — recent Wakefield graduate Sara Heisey and Santa Fe Cafe owner John “Kip” Laramie. Awards will be presented at a ceremony on December 13. [Arlington County]
Red Top Toys for Tots Drive — From now through Monday, December 17, all Red Top Cabs will serve as Toys for Tots collection sites. Customers can bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate when riding in one of the cabs. Red Top will deliver the toys to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation for distribution to local needy children. Arlington Yellow Cab is also participating in the program.
Board Approves Year-Round Westover Farmers’ Market — At its meeting yesterday (November 27), the County Board unanimously approved a new schedule and location for the Westover Farmers’ Market. The existing summer market will now run from May through November and a winter market will run from December through April, essentially making it a year-round market. The winter market will be smaller than the summer version. As far as location, the market will now be located mostly on the Reed School property.
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.
Save Your Profile Information Today — If you’re a registered user of ARLnow.com, please save any user profile information or avatars you’re currently using on the site. Changes will be made to the site this weekend and your information may be lost.
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.”