Currently, the county collects fees from all leagues that use county fields — for youth, it’s $8 per resident and $20 for non-residents. It’s $100 per team per season for adults — but there is no dedicated funding stream for the improvement of baseball and softball fields. The fees have, to this point, been used to fund the replacement of soccer and other rectangle fields with artificial turf.
If approved, the Field Fund would be segregated, and fees collected from using diamond fields would be reserved just for those fields. In addition, staff is asking the Board to dedicate $85,000 in seed funding for the field improvements.
Funds will be assigned to projects following recommendations from Parks and Recreation staff and the county’s Sports Commission. The County Board is expected to vote on the plan this weekend.
Beauty Pageant in Crystal City — The annual Miss United States beauty pageant is taking place at Synetic Theater in Crystal City today and tomorrow (Saturday). Single women between the ages of 20 and 29 come from 55 states and U.S. territories to compete in the pageant. [Miss United States]
Marymount Launching Baseball Program — Arlington’s Marymount University is launching a baseball program, with a team composed largely of freshmen from Northern Virginia high schools. The team will play at Bishop O’Connell High School’s baseball field. [Washington Post]
County Still Reviewing Streetcar Finance Options — Arlington County officials are still trying to decide on their preferred funding mechanism for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The streetcar could be built and in operation as early as 2017. [Sun Gazette]
Yelp Details ‘Yuppie’ Concentration in Clarendon — The business review site Yelp has published a map that shows the concentration of certain words in reviews. In the D.C. area, the word “yuppie” has the highest concentration in Clarendon. It also shows up to a lesser degree in Ballston, Courthouse and the Columbia Pike town center area. [Yelp]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Yorktown Baseball Sets Record – Yorktown High School’s baseball team has finished the regular reason undefeated in the National District. With 14 victories, the Patriots set a National District record for wins in a single season. [Sun Gazette]
Crystal City BRT Named — The Bus Rapid Transit system that will serve Crystal City and Potomac Yard next year will be named “Metro Way” and will feature a blue bus design. The buses will travel from Pentagon City to Alexandria, and will run every 6 minutes during the rush hour. [Greater Greater Washington]
USS Arlington Fundraising $100K Short of Goal — So far, more than $390,000 has been donated or is expected to be pledged for a 9/11 “tribute room” on the USS Arlington. That leaves the ship’s commissioning committee more than $100,000 short of its $500,000 goal, however. Fundraising is continuing and committee member Frank O’Leary says he is “hoping to crack $400,000 this month.”
A grand opening was held for the newly renovated Barcroft Baseball Field #6 over the weekend.
The field’s $3 million renovation was paid for by George Washington University. Under an agreement with Arlington County, the school’s baseball team will be able to call the field home for the next 20 years, while the public will still be able to use the renovated facility when it’s not otherwise reserved for GW games or practices.
The new artificial turf field was open for GW’s baseball season last year, but major renovations — including the 500-seat grandstands, heated press box, concession stands, permanent dugouts, GW Colonials-branded entry plaza and reconfigured parking lot — were still under construction during and after the season.
Among those taking part in a ribbon-cutting and first pitch ceremony on Saturday were Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada, GW President Steven Knapp and GW Athletic Director Patrick Nero. GW played Quinnipiac after the grand opening festivities, but lost 4-2.
In addition to serving as a home for the GW baseball team, Field #6 will provide Arlington’s recreational youth baseball leagues “with a near major-league experience,” the county said on its website. GW and Arlington County officials say the long-awaited renovations will provide a big boost to the school’s baseball program and to recreational baseball in Arlington.
“Having played baseball at this university, I can speak firsthand about the incredible strides that have been made from where GW Baseball used to call home to this immaculate facility that ranks among the best in the region and in our conference,” GW Head Coach Gregg Ritchie said in a statement. “For all of the ballplayers that have come through GW over the years, Barcroft Park should serve as a nod of thanks for paving the way.”
“This is a great day for baseball in Arlington,” said Tejada. “Through our very successful partnership with GW, Arlington now has its first turf baseball diamond. I want to thank GW baseball for working with us for nearly two decades in what has become a great partnership with our community. We look forward to enjoying many years of great play on this field by both the Colonials and Arlington baseball leagues.”
Girl Scout Cookie Sales Start Tonight — As a reminder, Girl Scout Cookie booth sales start at 3:00 today in Arlington. The first day of booth sales might be a bit soggy, as a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain is expected to start early this afternoon.
AP Scores Edge Up for APS Students — The average Advanced Placement exam score for Arlington Public Schools students edged up from 2.88 in 2011 to 2.89 last year. In 2010, however, the average for APS was 3.08. The national average is 2.83, on a 1 to 5 scale. [Sun Gazette]
DJO, Marymount Sign Baseball Agreement — Bishop O’Connell High School and Marymount University have finalized a joint use agreement for the high school’s new baseball field. “The future of Catholic education depends on strong partnerships between our high schools and universities,” said outgoing Bishop O’Connell President Kathleen Prebble. [Arlington Catholic Herald]
Arlington Homes For <$500k –A real estate blog has found 15 “starter homes” under $500,000 on the market in Arlington. “All of the properties… come with at least one parking space,” writes Amy Rose Dobson of Curbed. “Most of them have just entered the market within the past week and will probably move fast.” [Curbed]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Strawberry — who struggled with drugs, prostitution and other vices before he found God in 2006 – will host a sermon at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, at the Church at Clarendon (1201 N. Highland Street).
The church issued the following press release about the event.
On Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 11am, the Church at Clarendon, located at 1201 N. Highland Street in Arlington, welcomes 8-time All Star and 4-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry to address the question, “What does God have against sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll?”
Strawberry’s sermon is the third in a five week series the Church has titled “Blunt Questions” in which the Church challenges believers and non-believers to honestly wrestle with tough questions of faith. All are welcome to participate in the discussion.
An athlete perhaps known as much for his controversial behavior as for his legendary baseball, Strawberry will speak from a unique and personal perspective. “I was once very lost and tormented but now I am found and free in Christ Jesus. I want everyone to experience the saving and transforming power of Jesus Christ,” notes Strawberry in discussing his current life purpose.
Prior to Strawberry’s sermon, the Church will open its doors on Saturday, September 22 from 11am to 5:30pm to offer water and a cool place of rest for those visiting the Clarendon Day neighborhood festival. This year’s festival is the first since the church re-opened its doors at the Highland Street location in the heart of Clarendon after more than 2 years in exile while the building was torn down and rebuilt.
“As a church, we exist in large part for those that are not yet part of us—to connect with those outside our church and offer them something of the goodness of God,” Pastor David Perdue said. “We’re excited to be hosting Darryl Strawberry because he is a well-known star who can also address a question that many people struggle with.”
The public engagement continues on Monday, September 24, when the John Leland Theological Seminary, a ministry partner of the church, hosts the 40th Annual Faculties’ Convocation of the Washington Theological Consortium on the topic of Theology in the Public Square. Events run from 3:30pm to 7:30pm.
Four Mile Run Rapist Still on the Loose — Arlington County police are still looking for a man who raped a woman on the Four Mile Run Trail two weeks ago. Police are issuing warnings to women who use the trail, in English and in Spanish. Officers are also patrolling the trail on bike and motorcycles. [WJLA]
Marymount, O’Connell Teaming Up for Baseball Field — Marymount University will be adding a varsity baseball team to its athletic program after striking a deal with Bishop O’Connell High School to use the school’s baseball field. Marymount will fund the renovation of the O’Connell’s field to NCAA standards, in exchange for partial use of the field. Marymount hopes to have the baseball team ready for its first season by Spring 2014. [Sun Gazette]
N. Va. Critical to Obama Re-Election — The road to the White House runs through Northern Virginia, according to some political watchers. Experts say President Obama must score a big victory in Northern Virginia in order to capture the Commonwealth, one of three crucial, hotly-contested swing states. As a result, residents can expect a bombardment of political ads this fall. [WUSA 9]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Englin Admits to Affair — Del. David Englin (D), who represents parts of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax, admitted Monday night that he had been “unfaithful” in his marriage and that he’s currently separated from his wife, political consultant Shayna Englin. The four-term House of Delegates member announced he will not seek reelection in 2013. [Sun Gazette]
Va. Residents Are 60 Percent of Nats Attendance — About 60 percent of those attending Nationals baseball games are from Virginia, compared to about 25 percent from Maryland and 15 percent from the District, according to internal team numbers. Eight years ago a group tried to bring the Nationals and the team’s new stadium to Pentagon City, but ultimately objections from Arlington residents helped to sink the plan after concerns were raised about crowds and traffic. A large cluster of office buildings is now proposed for what could have been the site of the baseball stadium. [Washington Post]
Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day — From 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. today, Ben & Jerry’s locations will be celebrating the company’s 34 years in business by giving away a free scoop of ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, local ice cream lovers will need to get their free scoops in D.C. or Alexandria — there are no participating Ben & Jerry’s locations in Arlington County. [Ben & Jerry's]
New Legal Programs in Ballston — The Ballston-based Court Reporting Institute is offering four new court reporting programs for those seeking a legal career. The programs include Legal Assistant, Voice Writing, Electronic Evidence Discovery and Certified Shorthand Reporter. The accelerated 120-hour Certified Shorthand Reporter course trains students to record notes and dialogue at a rate of 225 words per minute.
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg
The George Washington University baseball team christened its new $3 million field at Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) last Friday. The team might have lost the first game at its newly-renovated home field, but it was a victory for a Division I athletic program that finally has a Division I-caliber field.
“It was a recreational field before,” coach Steve Mrowka told the GW Hatchet. “You couldn’t really have a solid game there.”
Now, the field has artificial turf, full-sized dugouts and more standard playing dimensions. Mrowka told the Hatchet that he believes the field will improve the team’s play and help with recruitment.
The Arlington County Board approved the plan to renovate Barcroft Field #6 in September, in an agreement with GW that called for the school to pay for all renovations and to split maintenance costs 25/75 with the county. While GW is given priority on the field for games and practices, it is open for use by the community at other times (about 75 percent of playable hours).
Though the team is playing there now, work on the field is not complete. Construction crews are still busy adding features like 500-person seating capacity seating, a new concessions area, permanent dugouts and a reconfigured parking lot.
GW will be playing home games against Shepherd at the field on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 1:00 p.m. See a full game schedule on the GW Baseball website.
Happy Hanukkah! — The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah starts at sunset tonight. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah runs through Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Barcroft Construction Enters Phase Two — The initial demolition phase of the construction of a new baseball field in Barcroft Park has concluded. Crews are now moving on to the field’s construction phase. Work on the $3 million project, which is being paid for by George Washington University, is expected to wrap up in Spring 2012. The field will be used by GW’s baseball team but will also be available for public use. [GW Sports]
Bill Would Make Parties Pay for Primaries — Taxpayers currently pick up the tab for the cost of running primary elections in Virginia, but that could change if a piece of proposed legislation passes the General Assembly this year. The bill would make political parties pay for primary elections, but would also give parties the option of holding caucuses. It costs about $50,000 to run a primary election in Arlington. [Sun Gazette]
Large Arlandria Development Approved — A major residential development is being undertaken just across the Arlington border. Over the weekend, the Alexandria City Council approved a new six-story, 478-unit apartment complex in the Arlandria section of the city. The apartment building — dubbed Arlandria Center — will replace a strip shopping center, but will include 53,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. It is part of an effort to redevelop a portion of the “village center” of Mount Vernon Avenue. [Washington Post]
Last night the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a plan that will provide at least $3 million for major improvements to the ball field, paid in full by George Washington University. GWU’s baseball team has used Barcroft as its home field since 1992, and has long desired a venue more on par with other universities.
Under a new 20-year agreement, GWU will pay all upgrade costs while splitting annual maintenance costs 25/75 with Arlington County. The maintenance split reflects the agreement that GWU will have access to the field for 25 percent of available hours while the county will be able to provide public access to the field for 75 percent of available hours.
County staff estimated Arlington’s yearly share of maintenance and repair costs for the field at between $25,000 to $40,000.
“GWU’s contribution will make Field #6 the best baseball field in Arlington, while the community will have even more use of the field than it has now,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. “This is a great example of how local government can leverage public-private partnerships to bring real benefits to the community.”
A major component of the upgrade is a new artificial turf field — a first for an Arlington County baseball diamond. Other planned upgrades include new fencing, dugouts, bullpens, batting cages and stadium seating, as well as a new entry plaza, press box, concession area, and parking lot layout. Possible future changes include new restrooms, locker rooms and a new scoreboard. There are no planned changes to the field’s lighting system.
“This is a great opportunity to provide a modern facility for both GW student-athletes and the youth of northern Virginia, and we thank Arlington County for its support of this transformational project,” said GWU athletic director Patrick Nero.
GWU is hoping to upgrade the field in time for the spring baseball season. Construction is expected to begin next month, with the field reopening in March 2012.
George Washington University, which uses Barcroft as the home field for its baseball team, is proposing to fully-fund a number of enhancements to the field, including artificial turf, dugouts, new restrooms, new stadium seating, a press box, a bullpen and concession stands. The field’s existing dark sky lighting would not be changed.
The parks department will discuss the proposed changes with the community at a public meeting on Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting is being held at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street), in room 118.
The County Board is expected to consider the renovation proposal at its Sept. 17 meeting. If approved, construction is expected to begin this fall and be complete by March 2012.
The university has played at Barcroft for nearly 20 years, under an arrangement that made GW responsible for some of the field’s maintenance. Under the proposal, GW will continue to pay a portion of the maintenance costs, in addition to the full cost of the renovations. The field’s usage by the baseball team will remain the same.
Improvements could be coming to the main baseball field at Barcroft Park.
The Arlington County Parks Department is in talks with George Washington University, which uses the field for its baseball team’s home games, to fund new turf and other amenities, like restrooms, concession stands, a press box and a scoreboard. Upgrades to the existing field lights are not part of the discussion, the parks department said.
In exchange for use of the field, GWU currently is responsible for its routine maintenance, upkeep and improvements.
“Support from GWU to enhance the field is consistent with the Barcroft Park Master Plan, approved by the County Board in 1999,” the parks department said in a statement. “The County’s Sports Commission has been interested in securing GWU’s financial support for the renovation and upgrade of this field for many years and will be part of the process to develop the specifics of any partnership with GWU. This and similar partnerships allow the County to draw on non-tax dollars to upkeep and renovate community amenities.”
A public forum will be held next week to discuss the plan. The meeting will be held at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street) on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m.
The 13-year-old Arlington Babe Ruth All-Star Baseball Team won their league’s district tournament Monday night. They will now advance to the Babe Ruth League state championship, to be held later this month in Victoria, Va.
The Arlington team bounced back from a 1-11 loss against Vienna, beating the same Vienna team 10-4 to capture the district title.
“We were able to re-focus and win the game with strong pitching, great defense, and some timely hits and bunts,” coach Greg Wigton said. “We scored 8 runs in the 4th inning, and added 2 more in the 7th.”
The team’s first game in the state tournament will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 23.
The team roster, after the jump.
For the past 20 years or so, the George Washington University baseball team has played their home games at Barcroft Park.
Situated on Four Mile Run, just up the road from Shirlington, the quiet park seems a world away from GW’s Foggy Bottom campus. But about ten times a month in the spring, the park’s humble baseball diamond plays host to two NCAA Division I baseball teams and, occasionally, some pro scouts.
Under an agreement with the parks department, the team is responsible for much of the field’s game day maintenance. Hosing off the infield dirt, dragging nets and swinging rakes — the players and coaches are their own groundskeepers. It’s a notion that other teams scoff at.
As reported by the GW Hatchet newspaper this week, the team and the university has been in negotiations with Arlington County to renovate the park. But, the Hatchet’s Dan Greene notes, there’s been little progress in the talks. Unsurprising, considering the state of the county’s budget.
At 3:00 this afternoon, the GW team will face cross-town rival George Mason at Barcroft Park. They’ll be looking to avenge a close, extra-inning loss to Mason just two weeks ago.
GW is in first place in the Atlantic 10, with a conference record of 6-0 and an overall record of 16-11.
Alexander Chamandy contributed to this post.