School Board Candidate Skips S. Arlington — Arlington School Board challenger Barbara Kanninen has held all of her published campaign events in north Arlington, skipping south Arlington entirely, says political blogger Ben Tribbett. Although she’s a challenger, Kanninen is thought by some to be the favorite in the race, thanks to high expected voter turnout in north Arlington. Kanninen will face incumbent James Lander in a debate at tonight’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. The Democratic School Board caucus will be held May 9 and 11. [Not Larry Sabato]
John Paul Stevens to Speak at Cmte. of 100 — Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will be the featured speaker at the May 8 Arlington Committee of 100 meeting. Stevens is an Arlington resident. [Sun Gazette]
AMEN Becomes ‘Arlington Thrive’ — Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs (AMEN) has been rebranded as “Arlington Thrive.” The nonprofit still provides “same-day, emergency financial assistance to County residents who experience sudden financial crisis such as temporary unemployment or illness,” with priority given to families. [Arlington Thrive]
Annual Marymount Fashion Show — Marymount University will hold its annual fashion show this weekend. “Portfolio in Motion 2013″ will showcase the work of Marymount fashion design students. It’s being held on campus in the Rose Bente Lee Center at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. [Facebook]
(Updated at 11:05 a.m.) When it comes to online activity, apparently local residents aren’t just shopping and checking Facebook all day. Arlington has been ranked as one of the top cities in America for online donations.
Blackbaud, a company that provides software and services to nonprofits, put together the list after examining 265 cities’ online donations. Arlington came in fourth, just behind third place Washington, D.C. and second place Alexandria. Seattle took the number one spot. The top ten list is:
- Seattle, WA
- Alexandria, VA
- Washington, D.C.
- Arlington, VA
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Cambridge, MA
- Berkeley, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- St. Louis, MO
- Minneapolis, MN
The analysis ranked 265 cities with a population of 100,000 or greater based on per capita online giving. The rankings cover the time period from January 1-December 31, 2012. The full list of cities and where they stand can be found online.
“Online giving continues to be an important part of a nonprofit’s overall fundraising strategy,” Steve MacLaughlin, director of Blacbkbaud’s Idea Lab, said in a press release. “While overall giving remains relatively flat, we continue to see double-digit growth in online giving and expect the trend to continue throughout the year.”
In total, the cities included in the analysis donated more than $509 million online, which is a 15 percent increase from 2011.
It’s a season for giving, but apparently some scam artists are instead using the opportunity for taking. The Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office is warning residents to watch out for holiday scams, particularly those involving false charities and phishing.
Some groups use names that sound similar to legitimate charities and pressure consumers for donations. They might also offer particularly touching stories in an attempt to garner sympathy and contributions. The AG’s office said many consumers who would typically notice the sketchy “charities” may be too busy or distracted by the holidays to pick up on the normal cues.
Phishing involves using deceptive emails or text messages to obtain usernames, passwords and financial information from a victim. Consumers might receive an email or text message from someone posing as a representative from a bank or retail establishment, saying the customer’s account has been restricted due to unusual activity or too many unsuccessful online login attempts. The scammer then requests bank account numbers, passwords and/or a social security number to reactivate the account.
Some consumers have received fraudulent text messages, emails or phone calls stating they won a gift card from reputable companies such as Target or Best Buy. Scammers might also say the consumer entered a contest at a store. Both of these tactics are used to bait consumers into providing personal information.
In all cases, consumers should avoid handing over sensitive personal information, and should never feel obligated to donate to a charity under pressure. Ask charity representatives who approach you for more information, and do your own research, the attorney general’s office advises. Check the charity’s website, along with resources such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance or the National Association of State Charity Officials.
If a charity is legitimate, it will accept your donation at any time and will not need to pressure for donations. Never give cash, and if using a check, make it out directly to the charity instead of an individual person. Do not use money transfer companies to send money to a person you haven’t met.
“My office is committed to helping consumers protect themselves from falling victim to fraud. When it comes to charity scams, especially around the holidays, it is best that people do lots of research and only give money to charities and businesses they can really trust,” said AG Cuccinelli in a statement. “It is our hope that all Virginians can enjoy a joyful and safe holiday season without being taken advantage of by scammers.”
You can file complaints regarding scams on the consumer protection section of the attorney general’s website.
County Proposes Tax Cuts to Lure Advertising Firms — Arlington is proposing to eliminate its tax on media buy receipts in the hopes of luring a new advertising firm, and keeping the existing ones. Trying to reduce the tax in 2004 didn’t have the desired effect, and there are now fewer advertising agencies in Arlington than there were in 2004. The suggestion is to eliminate the tax by early 2013. [WTOP]
Gifts that Give Hope Fair — Fifteen locally based non-profit organizations will participate in the second annual Arlington Gifts that Give Hope Fair tomorrow (December 8) at Calvary United Methodist Church (2315 S. Grant Street). During the alternative gift fair, shoppers can choose to donate for a specific gift, such as an “apartment application fee for one family as they leave a shelter” or “a prescription for a sick child.” The fair runs from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and features holiday music, face painting, crafts, refreshments, special $5 items for children to contribute and a visit from Santa from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Professional Racquetball Tournament — Some of the world’s top professional women’s racquetball players will participate in the 2012 Christmas Classic this weekend, including #11 ranked T.J. Baumbaugh of Reston and #39 ranked Paola Nunez of Falls Church. The event will take place throughout the weekend (today through Sunday) at the Crystal Gateway Sport and Health Club (1235 S. Clark Street). A list of start times for each player is available online.
Library’s Holiday Tunes Released — The Arlington Public Library has released its fifth annual “Too Cool for Yule Blog,” which includes about an hour of holiday tunes. While some of the songs are standard holiday favorites, the blog offers versions by some non-traditional artists (such as Cee Lo Green singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch). Purists, fear not. The list also features classics from Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams and the late Dave Brubek, who passed away on Wednesday. [Arlington Public Library]
More on the Arlington Goat Prank – The Navy has confirmed that Bill the Goat, the U.S. Naval Academy mascot, was the goat that was found tied up in a median at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street, near the Pentagon, this past weekend. The goat was “recovered Saturday morning in good condition.” The Army-Navy football game is Dec. 8 and a Navy spokeswoman noted: “Bill the Goat has been a part of our 10-game winning streak against Army, so we are glad to have him back before the big game next week.” [Navy Times]
Arlington GOP Counts Accomplishments — Even though Republican candidates did not win a single race in Arlington, members of the Arlington County Republican Committee are tallying some small victories. “We kept Arlington moving toward more common-sense policies,” said Matt Wavro, this year’s GOP County Board candidate. [Sun Gazette]
‘Shark Tank’ Charity Pitch Event — Twenty entrepreneurs from around Virginia will have a chance to pitch their business startup ideas to panel of business leaders and investors in Arlington this morning. The Shark Tank-like pitch competition will help raise money for charity. The event is taking place at the Ballston offices of Arlington Economic Development, but tickets are no longer available. [Eventbrite]
IAFF Local 2800, the local firefighters union, says members will be wearing the shirt while on duty this week. The shirts can be purchased online or at an Arlington fire station.
From a union spokesman:
“During the week of October 13-19, ACFD/L-2800 members will wear their member designed t-shirts on-duty as a way to raise awareness of breast cancer. The t-shirts will also be sold with the goal of raising as much money as possible to benefit breast cancer treatment and/or research. This year all proceeds will benefit the Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund, a local non-profit right here in Arlington, that provides breast cancer screenings and other related services free of charge. The Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund is developed and managed by the Arlington County Medical Society (ACMS). More information can be found at http://www.arlcoms.org/found.shtml. Shirts are available in Pink or Blue. Shirts are $15, and anyone wishing to purchase one can contact any fire station or any member of the ACFD or go to http://www.iaff2800.com/ to purchase from the online store.”
Gun Confiscated at DCA — TSA agents confiscated a 9mm handgun from a 59-year-old Fairfax man who tried to bring it with him on his trip to Dallas. The TSA said the man, who was charged with a misdemeanor weapons offense, was “just a forgetful passenger” and not a terrorist. [Washington Post]
WAMU Offers Voter Guide — WAMU has built an interactive voter guide for D.C. area elections. Among the races where voters can compare and contrast positions are the Virginia Eighth District congressional race, the Arlington County Board race, and the non-competitive Arlington School Board race.
W-L Students Collect “Cleats for Bare Feets” — Three brothers, all students at Washington-Lee High School, have been collecting hundreds of pairs of old athletic cleats for shipment and donation to disadvantaged individuals in countries like India, Mozambique, Haiti, Macedonia and Nigeria. [Arlington Mercury]
The 5K race is being held to benefit Travis Mills, an Army staff sergeant who lost all four limbs to an IED in Afghanistan earlier this year. Registration for the race — $35 for individuals — is still open.
The race will start at 8:30 a.m. at the corner of S. Randolph and S. Quincy Streets in Shirlington Village.
In order to facilitate the race, the Arlington County Police Department will be shutting down a number of streets from about 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Among them:
- Westbound Four Mile Run Drive between Walter Reed Drive and George Mason Drive
- Northbound Walter Reed Drive between Arlington Mill Drive and Four Mile Run Drive
- Arlington Mill Drive between Walter Reed Drive and S. Quincy Street
- All of the roads immediately surrounding Shirlington Village
Street parking will also be restricted in the area. Cars parked in areas marked as temporary ‘no parking’ will be ticketed or towed.
New Orleans is on the minds of many in the country, as Tropical Storm Isaac strengthens and barrels down on the city, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
But if Katrina proved anything, it’s this: regardless of Isaac’s impact, New Orleans’ unique culture will remain as vibrant as ever. And part of that culture will be coming to Arlington next week.
Bayou Bakery in Courthouse (1515 N. Courthouse Road) will be hosting a “one night only” concert by a lineup of notable New Orleans jazz artists from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Among those set to perform are Derrick Tabb and Stafford Agee of the Grammy award-winning Rebirth Brass Band, Jeffrey Hills and William Smith of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, eight members of the Roots of Music Crusaders marching band, along with drummer Terrance Andrews and saxophonist Allen Dejan.
Tickets for the event, described by Bayou Bakery as “a once in a lifetime jam session of continuous live music,” start at a minimum donation of $60. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Roots of Music, a New Orleans-based program that helps develop the musical talents of 9-14 year olds. Tabb, a drummer, was named a “CNN Hero” in 2009 for his work with The Roots of Music.
Tickets are not yet available for purchase, but will include food (a choice of three Cajun entrees and dessert) plus drinks (three Abita draft beers for a $75 minimum donation, non-alcoholic beverages for $60). Seating will be limited, but the restaurant will provide standing space for those without seats.
In a press release, Bayou Bakery said it was chosen to host the concert due to owner David Guas’ Louisiana heritage.
“Being a native of New Orleans, Guas was hand-picked to host this intimate gathering and serve up some of his award-winning southern fare,” the restaurant said.
Photo courtesy Bayou Bakery
Are you a cupcake fanatic? When you go to sleep at night, do you count cupcakes instead of sheep? Do you watch television shows about cupcakes? To you, is a cupcake and coffee a perfectly acceptable breakfast?
If you said yes to any of those questions, you’re probably going to like an event that’s coming to Rosslyn next month.
The third annual “CupcakeCampDC” will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Continental Pool Lounge (1911 N. Fort Myer Drive). The event is described as “an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment.” Bringing your own fresh-baked cupcakes to the event is optional but encouraged; eating a bunch of cupcakes is expected.
The event will benefit the DC Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. Tickets are available for a suggested donation of either $5 or $10, depending on whether you want “VIP” access. Organizers say last year’s event, held at Local 16 in D.C., sold out.
In addition to the consumption of cupcakes and networking with fellow cupcake fans, CupcakeCampDC will feature free gaming at the Continental’s skeeball, shuffleboard, darts, basketball, pool, Wii, and board game stations. There will also be a cupcake competition.
“Bakers will be split between professionals and amateurs giving everyone a chance with fair play,” organizers said. “Local judges include foodies we love — Nikki Rappaport of Cupcakes for Breakfast, The Cupcake Crusaders, and many more”
Tickets for CupcakeCampDC are available online.
Flickr photo by YidaL
Justice Dept. Upholds Va. Voter ID Law — A new Virginia law that expands the types of identification accepted at the polls while disallowing a rule that had allowed voting without an ID has been given a green light by the Justice Department, just in time for Election Day in November. [Washington Post]
Cars for Low-Income Families — The group Vehicles for Change has received a $1 million grant that will allow it to provide a couple dozen used cars to low-income families in Arlington, at low cost to the families. [Arlington Mercury]
Arlington Seeks Urban-Agriculture Feedback – Arlington is asking for the public’s thoughts on urban agriculture — including backyard chickens — in the county, via its Open Arlington website. One statement on the forum implores the county to “bring a Walmart to Arlington.” [Sun Gazette]
Cap City Hosting ‘Summer Farewell Party’ — Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) is hosting a “Summer Farewell Party on the Patio” tonight. From 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., the restaurant will be offering $6 burgers, $6 brats, $5 margaritas and $3.50 beer pints. [Facebook]
Arlington Launches Mobile Tourism Site — Arlington Convention and Visitors Service has launched a mobile-optimized website for tourists. The site, which can be accessed via smartphone at www.StayArlington.com, features tools to discover and get directions to local dining, shopping, sight-seeing and entertainment options. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Pam C.
The seventh annual Safe at Home! Kickball Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4 in Arlington.
Since 2006, the event has benefited the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless. The non-profit organization provides transitional housing for homeless families in Northern Virginia.
The event will be held from from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Long Bridge Park, near Crystal City. Previously, the tournament was held at Arlington’s Barcroft Park.
Over the last six years, the competition has nearly tripled in size to 25 teams and 375 players. Organizers say they expect this year to be the biggest yet.
The all-day charity event is open to the public. For spectators, there will be music, free parking, face painting, and food from a number of local vendors. Raffle prizes will be presented, and a misting tent and bottled water will be available.
For those who want to play, teams are registered by their captain. The cost for a 10-to-15 member team is $750, and each member will receive a Safe at Home! T-shirt.
Prizes will be awarded to the top two teams, as well as two MVPs. The event still needs volunteers for setting and cleaning up, as well as raffle donations. Anyone seeking more information is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo via Safe at Home Kickball Tournament
Bloomers in Shirlington is encouraging women to take off their bras for a good cause. This Saturday, May 19, the store will host its 2nd Annual Bra Drive.
The drive started last year at the Old Town store, and this year the newer Shirlington location (4150 Campbell Avenue) will participate as well. Donations of new or gently used bras are accepted, and will be given to BraRecyclers. The organization distributes bras around the world to women and girls who have been stricken by disaster, or are in a state of transitioning back into self-sufficiency.
Megan Monticone, who is in charge of social media for Bloomers, explained that although all styles and sizes are needed, there is a particular need for donations of maternity bras, nursing bras and bras for larger breasted women, such as sizes DD and higher. Those tend to be harder to come by and more expensive than other types of bras.
“For women who are in positions of trying to transition, it’s hard to get the right size and be able to afford it,” Monticone said.
Customers can bring in bras to the Shirlington location from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Anyone who donates will receive a 20% discount off the cost of one new bra at Bloomers. Customers who donate will also receive a tank top, while supplies last. Those who can’t make it on Saturday are encouraged to drop off a donation any time this week, but the discount will only apply on Saturday.
Bloomers will also donate $1 to BraRecyclers for every new “Like” on its Facebook page during the month of May.
About a dozen residents of the Bluemont and Arlington Forest neighborhoods woke up Tuesday morning only to find that their vehicles were broken in to overnight.
According to police, an unknown suspect broke in to at least 12 unlocked vehicles on the 100 block of N. Columbus Street, the 500 block of N. Jefferson Street, and the 5600 blocks of N. 5th and N. 7th Streets. All four streets are within easy walking distance of the Bluemont and W&OD trails.
The suspect stole various items like change and GPS units, according to police.
One vehicle was also stolen during the break-in spree, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. NBC4 is reporting that stolen vehicle was a van belong to the charity Treats 4 Our Troops. The van was filled with candy and care packages for wounded and deployed military servicemembers, the station reported.
Police say they don’t have any suspects at this time.
Up to 250 runners will participate in the Fast Feet for Foot 5K tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in Bluemont Park.
The race is held by D.C. Capital Striders to benefit D.C. Central Kitchen. Participant are encouraged to bring granola bars, packaged fruit snacks and canned goods to donate before the race.
The USATF certified course will take runners out-and-back on a paved trail through Bluemont Park.
Registration is $20 and must be done online; there will be no race-day registration.