More Homes Awaiting the Wrecking Ball — Another 11 homes are set to be torn down in Arlington, after applying for demolition permits in February. The group Preservation Arlington says three are located in historic districts. “The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy, and materials,” the group writes. “Many had the potential for renovation and additions, or, at a bare minimum, reclamation/reuse of building materials.” The group is currently seeking nominations for its annual “Most Endangered Historic Places” list. [Preservation Arlington]
Arlington Woman Turns 100 — Arlington resident Virginia Blake turned 100 last month. Blake, whose paternal grandmother lived to 111 years old, only moved out of her Military Road home and into a senior living facility last fall. [Sun Gazette]
Potomac Yard, Prior to Development — A photo from the 1990s shows the Arlington portion of Potomac Yard before apartment and office developments were built. [Twitter]
Teen Book Fest Comes to Arlington — Updated at 11:35 a.m. — The NoVaTeen Book Festival will take place at Washington-Lee High School on Saturday. NoVaTeen bills itself as “the first-ever festival celebrating Young Adult literature in the Northern Virginia/DC metro area.” [NoVaTeen Book Festival]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
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
County Board Approves Glencarlyn Park Playground — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a $485,000 construction contract for a new playground at Glencarlyn Park. The playground is intended for 5-12 year olds and includes a swing set and a “treehouse” log play structure. [Arlington County]
Demand Rises at AFAC – The Arlington Food Assistance Center “has seen a 20 percent surge in families visiting the food pantry in need of groceries over the past six months.” The director of AFAC says cuts in food stamp (SNAP) benefits has increased need in the community. Those cuts are expected to deepen if Congress passes a new compromise farm bill that includes $800 million in annual food stamp reductions. [Patch]
Grant Accepted for Innovation Initiative — Arlington County has accepted a $350,000 from the state to help fund “an innovative public-private initiative that will connect fast growth technology product companies with national security agencies headquartered in Arlington and the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Arlington will contribute a $175,000 matching grant to the project. [Arlington County]
Dem Caucus Is ‘Basically About the Streetcar’ — On its Twitter account, the blog Greater Greater Washington opines that this week’s Democratic Arlington County Board caucus is “basically about the streetcar.” Alan Howze and Peter Fallon, who GGW recommends voting for, generally support the Columbia Pike streetcar project while Cord Thomas has spoken out against it. [Twitter, Greater Greater Washington]
New African American Book Club — Arlington Public Library has launched a new African American Book Club. The club will “discuss the novels of both new and well-known authors, thought provoking non-fiction about the African American experience.” [Arlington Public Library]
Pageview Problem on ARLnow.com — We are currently trying to resolve a problem that is causing the pageview counter on each article to significantly undercount the actual number of views. The problem is impacting articles published within the past 24-48 hours.
Flickr pool photo by Mrs. Gemstone
That’s what Arlington personal injury lawyer Bruce Deming thinks, and he’s written a book to try to educate the cycling public. Surviving the Crash: Your Legal Rights in a Bicycle Accident is Deming’s attempt to clear up much of the confusion that occurs in most cyclists’ minds after they are involved in an accident.
“There are so many urban myths out there about what your rights are, what do you do in the minutes/hours/days after an accident, who pays your bills, do you need a lawyer?” Deming said. “There are a lot of basic questions that people need answers to, so that’s why I wrote the book.”
Deming, a Lyon Park resident who runs a personal injury law practice in Courthouse, said cyclists in particular should be aware of the “contributory negligence” statute in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland, three of just five states and cities in the country that have the rule.
“If a cyclist is injured as the result of a motorist’s negligence, and the motorist was 99 percent at fault, but the cyclist was 1 percent negligent, and that negligence contributed to the accident, that cyclist is barred from recovering anything for his or her injuries, no matter how catastrophic,” Deming said. “You really have to be squeaky clean.”
Deming said that throughout the book, he tried to emphasize a theme that if cyclists disobey any traffic laws or ride irresponsibly, they will reinforce negative stereotypes that motorist, insurance adjusters and police officers can have toward them.
“Cyclists are second-class citizens,” said Deming, who has been a competitive cyclist for 30 years and teaches spinning at Gold’s Gym. “They are presumed to be at fault sometimes when they might not be, and that comes in bias and prejudices in the minds of drivers out there. Every time a cyclist behaves recklessly on the road, those biases and prejudices are reinforced.”
Deming’s book is being printed and is expected to hit shelves in the next few weeks, he said. When it does, it will be available in print on Amazon for $11.95 and in e-book form for $7.95. Deming is hosting a book release party on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Lyon Hall (3100 Washington Blvd) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Those interested in attending, where they will receive free copies of the book, must register to do so.
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”
(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) The Arlington Public Library is getting in on the trend of compiling year-end lists. It has released three lists of the library’s top materials in 2012.
The lists released on the library’s website are Top 10 Books of 2012, Top Ten DVDs of 2012 and Top Holds of 2012. Coming in at the top three for books are Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.
“It’s an interesting assortment. It pretty much reflects national tastes, but we also tend to have a little more of an interest in non-fiction in Arlington,” said Arlington County Library spokesman Peter Golkin. “These are just the top 10, but our readers have a wider spread of interests. Our materials folks have to be on their toes a little more than maybe in other parts of the country.”
Golkin noted that library use continues to increase and it may be due, at least in part, to there being fewer bookstores in existence than in years past.
“There’s an obvious need the library is serving in the Arlington community,” Golkin said. “We try to provide what people want to read and watch, that’s part of our mission.”
Golkin noted that while library workers try to keep on top of the latest reading trends, residents can also fill out an online form to request the library adds specific materials.
The full lists released by the library are below.
She met President Calvin Coolidge. She helped with the desegregation of Arlington Public Schools. She authored an autobiography. And now she’s scheduled to discuss that autobiography, The First Century: And Not Ready for the Rocking Chair Yet,” at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
Miller will be holding an author event at the library’s auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
“Hear her look back on Arlington over the decades, as well as the inside story of how Arlington became the first district in Virginia to desegregate its schools and her role in that moment in history,” the library said of the program. The event is co-sponsored by the Arlington branch of the American Association of University Women.
This isn’t the only library-related news Miller has made recently. In 2011 she received an award from Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh in recognition of her being a centenarian user of the library’s Talking Books service.
Photo courtesy Arlington Public Library
From gift wrapping to assisting Santa, volunteers are needed to help with a number of upcoming holiday events. More information about the items listed below, as well as other volunteer opportunities, can be found online.
- The Holiday Project of the National Capital Area seeks volunteers for one-on-one visits with local nursing home residents on Christmas Day. Many of the residents will not have any other visitors during the holidays, so they consider this time a special treat. Children are welcome and pets are welcome with advance notice. For information or to sign up, contact Robin Wiley at 703-370-0370.
- Deliver gifts to local children with incarcerated parents as part of Offender Aid Restoration‘s annual Project Christmas Angel program. Volunteers pick up the gifts on Thursday, December 13 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. and deliver them from December 14 through December 23. Each child receives a gift with a personalized note from their parent. Volunteers must have a car and a valid driver’s license. A partner is suggested (though not required) because parking in some neighborhoods can be a challenge. Contact Emily Freeman at 703-228-7031.
- The Civitan Club of Arlington needs help at the Photos with Santa booth at the Ballston Mall. Volunteers are needed from now through December 24 and must be at least 15-years-old. Helpers will perform various tasks including processing orders, taking photos, printing photos and directing people through the process. Contact Leandra Finder at 703-473-7245.
- The Reading Connection (TRC) seeks “Gift Wrap for Reading” volunteers for various shifts from December 8-24. Volunteers will gift wrap purchases at the Clarendon Barnes & Noble in return for donations to TRC. Contact Stephanie Berman at 703-528-8317 x10 or sign up online.
Arlington Gets Largest Share of Transit Growth — Over the past 11 years, the rate of growth of those who use public transit in Arlington has been higher than any other D.C. area jurisdiction. Chris Hamilton, chief of Arlington Commuter Services, attributes that growth to the county’s transit outreach efforts. [Mobility Lab]
Homebuyer Assistance Available — The Arlington County Board recently approved $500,000 to help qualified first time homebuyers purchase a new home in the county. The funds are available for down payment and closing cost assistance for about 10-15 low- to moderate-income households. Applications will be accepted started Dec. 3. [Arlington County]
Talk: ‘Books that Shaped America’ — Tomorrow, Nov. 28, Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) will host a talk about “88 remarkable books” that “shaped America.” Mark Dimunation, head of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress, will talk about how he and a group of historians, scientists and literary experts helped to select the books — from Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” to Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat.” [Arlington Public Library]
On Saturday afternoon, President Barack Obama visited One More Page Books, an independent book store at 2200 N. Westmoreland Street in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood.
The visit coincided with the post-Thanksgiving shopping day known as Small Business Saturday. With daughters Sasha and Malia in tow, and after several checks of the shopping list on his Blackberry, the president purchased 15 children’s books as Christmas presents.
We asked One More Page owner Eileen McGervey about the experience of hosting the Commander in Chief as a customer.
ARLnow: How did you first find out about the president’s visit?
We found out that President Obama and his daughters would be visiting about 10 minutes before they arrived.
ARLnow: What preparations did you make?
We didn’t have time to do anything. The security folks came in and went through the store in the time before they arrived.
ARLnow: Tell us a bit about the visit — what were they looking for, what did they say to you, etc.?
The President and his daughters were lovely and gracious and we chatted about books. The President had a shopping list of books for gifts and his daughters helped him select from the list. They did browse around the store. The President chatted with customers who were in the store when he arrived and at the end of his shopping, he took pictures with customers. A couple having their wedding reception at La Cote D’or restaurant asked if they could have their picture taken with him (and he said yes) — they were thrilled. While he was in the store, a crowd had gathered outside the store and when he walked out the door a roar went up. He shook hands with folks waiting outside. It was wonderful and folks who had been waiting outside came in after he left to talk about it — everyone was so excited and thrilled.
ARLnow: What has it been like since the visit? Have more people been stopping by the store?
The store’s been very busy. Most of the people who came Saturday after the President left did not know he had been there. They were there for Small Business Saturday. Many of the customers yesterday and today came because the saw the news about the President’s business. It’s been a mix of new customers and regular customers coming by to shop and to congratulate us.
White House photo (top) by Pete Souza
Cybersecurity Center to Open in Ballston — Virginia Tech and defense contractor L-3 Communications are set to jointly open a cybersecurity research center in Ballston on Friday. The center will be located at the Virginia Tech Research Center building at 900 N. Glebe Road. [Washington Post]
Arlington Gearing Up for Nov. Election — In anticipation of election day on Nov. 6, Arlington County is encouraging residents to register to vote and, if necessary, vote absentee. The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 15, and the deadline for absentee ballots is Oct. 30. This year, the county is also allowing voters to cast their absentee ballot in person, at three absentee polling places: Courthouse Plaza, Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center, and the Madison Community Center. [Arlington County]
Generals, Patriots Win — The Washington-Lee Generals and the Yorktown Patriots both emerged victorious in local high school football action over the weekend. Yorktown defeated the Stuart Raiders 41-3, and Washington-Lee downed the winless Wakefield Warriorts 49-14. Bishop O’Connell, meanwhile, suffered its first loss, at the hands of the visiting DeMatha Stags. The Stags won 41-10. [Sun Gazette]
New Books By Arlington Authors — Two recently-released books by Arlington authors are receiving good reviews. Radical Chapters by Arlington resident and McClatchy Washington Bureau reporter Michael Doyle received an upbeat review by Palo Alto Weekly. The book details the life and times of a Roy Kepler, who was both a prominent peace activist and a groundbreaking bookstore owner. Darkbeast, by Arlington author Morgan Keyes, has picked up a number of good reviews on Amazon.com. The novel follows twelve-year-old Keara, who runs away from home rather than sacrifice Caw, her magical raven darkbeast.
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
The book bus was launched this summer with the goal of providing enhanced reading opportunities for students at Abingdon, where nearly 53 percent of students qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch. Once a week for five weeks, the bus would make stops in the community around Arlington, giving students the chance to check out books right in their neighborhood.
The bus was staffed by Abingdon teachers and the school’s principal, all of whom volunteered their time. Inside the bus were about 2,000 books donated by local businesses, nonprofit organization, a local author, and several publishers. Much of the equipment used to check out books — including barcode scanners — were also donated.
“It was almost completely subsidized, which is fabulous,” said Abingdon principal Joanne Uyeda.
Over the course of four weeks, about 200 students checked out more than 700 books, according to Abingdon literary coach Erin Watson. For the bus’ fifth week , students returned their checked-out books, picked out a free donated book to keep, and entered to win one of four Barnes & Noble Nooks. The Nooks will be given out during a school reading assembly during the first week of school.
Uyeda said the ultimate goal of the book bus is to help close the “achievement gap” between Abingdon students and students in more well-to-do neighborhoods. By bringing elementary-reading-level books to the neighborhoods, and by making the book bus stops into a fun event, Uyeda said the bus was able to encourage more Abingdon students to read over the summer.
“You can trace about 80 percent of the achievement gap to summer reading loss, because middle class kids gain a month over the summer and disenfranchised kids lose three months,” Uyeda said. “By the time they leave elementary school they’re roughly two years behind, and they don’t make that up in middle school.”
Julie Bato, a parent of an Abingdon student and a teacher at Long Branch Elementary, said the book bus brings the community together and allows students to see their teachers during the summer.
“It’s great,” she said. “I love seeing all the neighborhood kids come out. The appreciation the staff has for these kids, some of whom might not get to the library over the summer… I just think that’s priceless. They’re the reason the kids want to come. They want to see their teachers, they want to see their principal.”
One young student was so grateful to the book bus volunteers that he brought them pudding cups and spoons on the last week.
Teachers and administrators both said they hope to bring the book bus back next summer.
“We want to keep doing it every summer, if we can,” said Susanna Smith, a reading teacher at Abingdon. “It’s a lot of fun seeing the students smile when they see their teachers during the summer.”
Arlington is again on the Amazon.com list of The Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities, but this year it moved up.
Arlington was listed as #7 on the list, moving up 3 spots from last year’s #10 position. Alexandria also moved up the list from its spot at #2 last year. It has overtaken Cambridge, Mass. to become the #1 most well-read city in America.
Alexandria also has the distinction of liking spicy books. According to the press release, “Virginia is for lovers – Alexandria, Va., that is, which tops the charts in the Romance book category.”
Localities had to have at least 100,000 residents to be considered for inclusion on the list. Amazon.com compiled the data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and e-reader formats since June 1, 2011.
Here is the full list:
- Alexandria, Va.
- Cambridge, Mass.
- Berkeley, Ca.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Boulder, Colo.
- Arlington, Va.
- Gainesville, Fla.
- Washington, D.C.
- Salt Lake City
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Columbia, S.C.
- Bellevue, Wash.
- St. Louis
- Richmond, Va.
Arlington author Mindy Klasky has released a new novella, with a plot that features vampires, lawyers and cupcakes.
Klasky, a Princeton University graduate and former litigator, is the creator of a series of fantasy novels that center around Jane Madison, a librarian who finds out she’s a witch. Her latest creation, Capitol Magic, teams Jane up with Sarah Anderson, who works as a clerk in a secret supernatural court and who’s apparently fond of cupcakes.
From the book’s description:
Jane Madison is searching for a job that will fulfill her, enabling her to combine her peerless librarian skills with her witchcraft. Sarah Anderson, clerk of court for the District of Columbia Night Court, is just beginning to figure out what she can do as a sphinx, an ancient protector of vampires. Magic flies when Jane and Sarah team up to protect a rare collection of books. Along the way, both women need to balance personal goals, professional careers, and their often-unwieldy love lives!
This novella combines the beloved world of the Jane Madison Series with the excitement of the stand-alone novel, Fright Court. Where else can a reader find a novella of witchcraft, vampires, and cupcakes?
Capitol Magic is available as an ebook from Amazon.com.
The Reading Connection is hosting the event on Friday at the Boeing Conference Center (1200 Wilson Blvd). Attendees can enjoy a wine and beer tasting, food from local restaurants and a silent auction.
WJLA Meteorologist Brian van de Graff will emcee and children’s book author Jarrett J. Krosoczka will be the literacy honoree. Lyon Hall‘s Executive Pastry Chef Rob Valencia has earned the distinction of being the event’s first ever Chef Chair.
The 8th Annual Of Wine & Words runs from 7:00-10:00 p.m., and the VIP reception begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person, or $115 including the VIP reception.