The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd) is holding a service this Sunday for those who experience what the church calls “the dark side of the holidays.”
“This time of year can be a stressful time for most, but it can be especially difficult for people who may have suffered a major loss or have had a major life-changing experience in the past year,” the church wrote in an email. “Even happy memories can bring pain during the holidays. And, today’s commercialization and idealized images of what our holidays should be like are standards and expectations enough to stress the most ardent among us.”
The service will be on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all, but is not appropriate for young children, the church said. The service, called “Standing Outside the Season,” will be hosted by Rev. Aaron McEmrys. Childcare will be provided.
SoberRide, the local anti-drunk driving program that offers free cab rides during certain festive occasions, has launched for the entire holiday season.
The program started up Friday night and will run through New Year’s Day.
Every night through Jan. 1, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., those in the D.C. area who have been drinking and need a lift home can call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free cab ride up to a $30 fare.
Arlington’s Red Top Cab is among the local D.C. area cab companies participating. Organizers say SoberRide saves lives.
“Last December, nearly 1,900 (1,877) Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” said Kurt Erickson, president of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), which runs SoberRide. “For SoberRide’s hours of operation during just last New Year’s Eve, such ridership (463) translated into the removal of a would-be drunk driver from our shared roadways every 62-seconds.”
WRAP and the Arlington County Police Department unveiled a half-cab, half-police cruiser (pictured) in 2012 to help promote the SoberRide program.
More than 25,000 volunteers are expected to flock to Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 13) to place wreaths on the graves of hundreds of thousands of veterans for the holidays.
The group Wreaths Across America, now in its 23rd year, hopes to place wreaths on all 230,000 graves in the cemetery this year.
An opening ceremony will be held at 9:00 a.m. at the McClellan Arch, and volunteers will begin laying wreaths at 9:30 a.m. Separate wreath laying ceremonies are planned at the President Kennedy gravesite, the USS Maine Mast and the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Instructions on how to volunteer and how to get to the cemetery (take Metro, don’t drive) are available on the Wreaths Across America website and in the video above.
Flickr pool photo by Sunday Money
Fmr. Pentagon Police Chief Dies — Richard Keevill, the former chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, died Saturday. Keevill served as chief of the Pentagon police agency from 2004 to 2013. Prior to that, he served with the Marines in Vietnam and later was the 1st Sergeant in charge of the Virginia State Police station on Columbia Pike. On Sept. 11, 2001, he ran into the still-burning Pentagon several times to search for survivors. Keevill died of natural causes. His funeral is planned for Saturday. [Facebook]
Redevelopment May Close Carpool — Developer Penzance and real estate investor Lionstone are working to close a deal to acquire and redevelop the Carpool property in Ballston. The long-time Arlington bar was previously slated to be redeveloped eight years ago but those plans fell through in part due to the recession. [Washington Business Journal]
Another Landlord Spat for Ray’s Owner — Ray’s Hell Burger Michael Landrum has gotten into another landlord-tenant dispute, this time with the owner of a building in D.C. that’s set to house his new restaurant, tentatively called Steaks in the City. Landrum was kicked out of his Ray’s Hell Burger locations in Rosslyn in 2013 following a dispute with his then-landlord. [Eater]
Christmas Beer Event in Courthouse — Fire Works Pizza (2350 Clarendon Blvd) in Courthouse will be hosting a tap takeover dubbed the 12 Beers of Christmas tonight. Starting at 5:00 p.m., the restaurant will offer holiday beers from St. Bernardus, Port City, Great Lakes and other brewers. The event is open to the public. [Fire Works Pizza]
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber. Disclosure: Fire Works Pizza is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The Optimist Club of Arlington‘s annual Christmas tree sale started this past weekend, giving Arlington residents the chance to stop by the Wells Fargo parking lot at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road to pick out this year’s symbolic evergreen.
This is the 67th year the Optimist Club — which sponsors “academic and sports activities designed to give Arlington’s youth a better chance to succeed in today’s world,” according to its website — has held its annual sale, which is one of its biggest fundraisers.
This year, the lot is open from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Trees range in prices from $30 for a five-foot white pine to $230 for a 12-foot Fraser fir.
All of the trees being sold are “freshly cut” from Jefferson County, N.C., according to the Optimist Club. Garlands and wreaths are also available for purchase.
There are numerous events around the county this month, from holiday markets to ice skating “winter spectaculars.”
Here’s a selection of some of the more notable events in the area:
- Shirlie Lights Up the Village, an annual tree lighting event with live music, carriage rides and a visit from Santa Claus, will take place in Shirlington Village on Dec. 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- This Friday, Dec. 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Miracle on 23rd Street is back for another year. At the Linden Resources at 750 23rd Street S., Santa Claus will ride through on an Arlington County Fire Department truck, kicking off an evening of children’s activities and holiday music.
- On Dec. 5 and 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Rosslyn Business Improvement is bringing back the Rosslyn Holiday Market for another year. More than 35 vendors with products as diverse as soaps, gourmet popcorn, metalworks and French macarons will be on hand to offer shoppers heaps of gift options. After Friday’s market closes, the BID will hold a ceremony lighting up Rosslyn’s skyline.
- Pentagon Row is hosting “Let It Row,” a winter event at its ice rink, on Saturday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event is free and features a DJ and a “s’mores bar.”
- For the first time, Penrose Square on Columbia Pike is hosting its own “Winter Wonderland” event, on Sunday, Dec. 7 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. They will have their own Santa Claus available for pictures, plus carolers, hot chocolate and cookies from Giant and ornament decoration stations. The event will close with a tree lighting ceremony in the breezeway outside Giant.
- Market Common Clarendon, at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, is hosting a “Winter Wonderland,” on Saturday Dec. 13. This free event is replete with Santa Clause on a fire truck at noon, ice carvings and characters in life-size snow globes.
- The Arlington Career Center, at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive, will host this year’s Arlington Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be pizza provided by RedRocks, more than 40 vendors, singers from the Wakefield High School choir and manicures from Career Center students.
Photo courtesy Linden Resources. Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Two of Three Dem Candidates Endorse Streetcar — Two of the three Democratic candidates for County Board — Alan Howze and Peter Fallon — have voiced support for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The third Democratic contender — Cord Thomas — has concerns about the proposal. [Sun Gazette]
Lack of Decal in Fairfax Affects Arlington — Eight years ago Fairfax County became the lone jurisdiction in Northern Virginia to abandon car tax decals, and Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary believes that’s costing Arlington $300,000. O’Leary said it’s too labor intensive to check every single vehicle parked in Arlington without a decal to determine if the vehicle is from Fairfax or if the owner didn’t pay Arlington taxes. [Sun Gazette]
Civic Leadership Program Deadline Extended — Arlington County has extended the deadline for residents interested in signing up for the eight week Neighborhood College program. Participants will learn communication and influencing skills, how to organize for action and how to give and receive feedback, among other things. The deadline to sign up for the free series is now January 10, and classes begin February 13. [Arlington County]
Police Officer Profiled — A member of the Arlington County Police Department — Capt. Kamran Afzal — has been profiled in Asian Fortune. The Pakistani American studied economics in college before turning to a life in law enforcement. He has been with the department for 20 years. [Asian Fortune]
Christmas Tree Collection Begins — County workers began collecting discarded Christmas trees yesterday. The trees are collected curbside until January 17 and will be turned into mulch. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by wolfkann
Starting Monday, Jan. 6, trees will be collected on residents’ regular trash day. Trees should be placed on the curb no later than 6:00 a.m. on trash day, and all lights, decorations, stands, nails and plastic bags should be removed.
Trees taken with the trash before Jan. 17 will be recycled by being ground into garden mulch. Trees will still be collected with the trash after Jan. 17, but they will be trashed, not recycled.
Residents who live in apartments or townhouses and don’t have curbside recycling services can drop off their trees at the county’s Solid Waste Bureau (4300 29th Street S.) by calling 702-228-6570 on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment.
With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, it presents a choice to those fortunate enough to have such a choice: take the entire week off of work, or simply let Christmas be a one- or two-day, mid-week break.
Of course, those who work in certain industries may not have a choice, and may even have had to work on Christmas day.
It’s Christmastime, again.
As of noon today Arlington county government offices were closed and libraries were preparing to close at 1:00 p.m. Most everything government-related will remain closed tomorrow.
As Arlington residents gather with family and friends — either looking forward to presents under the tree or a relaxing day of movies, Chinese food and light traffic — ARLnow.com wishes our readers across the county and around the world the happiest of holidays.
For those working in retail, restaurants, delivery, public safety, national security, and elsewhere today and tomorrow, simply: thank you.
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
All offices, courts, libraries, schools, community centers and pools will be closed. There will also be no trash collection and only ART bus routes 41 and 51 will operate. Parking meters and permit parking will not be enforced.
In addition to the Christmas and New Year’s closures, some facilities will also be closed or will closed early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Courts and the Sheriff’s Office will be closed. Community centers and pools will operate on a modified schedule.
The County Board will hold its traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Jan. 1. The meeting will be held at the County Board Room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.
The top 8 retail centers in Arlington, including the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and Ballston Common Mall, alone house 644 stores. Arlington retailers recorded a total of $3.27 billion worth of taxable sales in 2012.
The holidays are obviously a crucial time for retailers, providing on outsized portion of annual sales and profit. But with retail sales growth sluggish compared to the growth in online sales, and with the large regional malls in Tysons Corner and outlet stores elsewhere continuing to lure shoppers, the holidays could be a struggle for some local stores.
ACPD reminds drivers to use seat belts, drive safely and pay attention to the roads. In addition to an increase in drunk drivers and distracted drivers around the holidays, police report 32 percent of drivers are more likely to drive more aggressively during this time.
Police had noticed an uptick in drunk driving incidents last month, just before Thanksgiving. During the Thanksgiving weekend alone, Virginia had 11 traffic fatalities. The ACPD hopes drivers will heed its safety message in order to avoid a similar scenario around the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays.
Here are the safety tips offered by ACPD:
- Buckle up — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than half of the people killed nationwide in traffic collisions were not wearing seatbelts.
- Protect Child Passengers — The safest place for child passengers is in the back seat. Be sure they have a child safety seat and that it is used the correct way.
- Don’t Drink & Drive — Every 45 minutes in the U.S., someone dies from an alcohol-related crash. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you do drink, designate a sober driver or take a cab or public transportation. The Arlington County Police Department is participating in the annual “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” enforcement initiative that continues through the New Year’s holiday.
- Avoid Distractions — 10% of fatal crashes and 18% of injuries caused by crashes were distraction related in 2012. Distractions to avoid while driving include, but aren’t limited to, cell phone use, texting, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies or portable electronic devices.
- Prepare for Inclement Weather — Last year, 4% of car crash fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend were weather related. Be sure your car is weather ready and fully serviced. Should the weather be bad, avoid driving. If you are driving, be sure to drive slowly and know your vehicle.
The department added the following greeting: “From our family to yours, the Arlington County Police Department wishes you a safe, happy, and accident free holiday season.”
Rosslyn Holiday Market Open Today — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District will be hosting a “pop-up” holiday market today from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 1500 Wilson Blvd. The market will feature boutique shopping, gift wrapping as well as snacks, sweets, cigar and spirits tasting and massages. Disclosure: As you can tell by the temporary site background, this event is being advertised on ARLnow.com.
New ‘Aerial Yoga’ Studio Opens — Spark Yoga, an “aerial yoga” studio, has opened at 2201 N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park. [Washingtonian]
Woman, Friends Arrested in Towing Dispute — Updated at 9:20 a.m. — A woman and her two friends were arrested Tuesday night after a dispute over towing. The woman tried to block her car from being towed from a parking lot and called police. When police arrived, the officer tried to remove her from her vehicle, and she allegedly fought back. Police say her friends also physically confronted the officer. The woman and one friend were charged with obstruction of justice and the the other friend was charged with assault and battery of a policy officer. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) A “Holiday Bazaar and Crafts Fair” will be held at the new Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) this weekend.
The event is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. More than 50 vendors, many of them local and regional artisans, will be selling their wares at the fair. International food and delicacies will be served.
The free event will also feature live music from the Wakefield High School Chorus and Orchestra and from jazz musician Charles Wood, as well as a traditional Mexican dance performance and a jewelry making demonstration.
The fair is being organized by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.
Photo via CPRO