County Fair Ends — The Arlington County Fair ended Sunday night. The weekend’s highlights included free concerts, cloggers, choruses, the racing piglets, the Harlem Wizards basketball show, a lacrosse speed and skills contest, and a really big pumpkin.
Arlington Senior Wins Spelling Bee — Arlington resident Michael Petrina, 67, has won the annual AARP spelling bee. The bee, which is open to adults 50+, was held in Cheyenne, Wyoming this year. [Washington Post]
Office Vacancies Could Mean Higher Taxes — Office vacancies are on the rise in Arlington, and that’s raising questions about the county’s tax revenues. If the trend continues, taxes may need to be raised in Arlington County and the tax burden may increasingly fall on homeowners. [Sun Gazette]
Photo courtesy John Annand
A large group of senior citizens, organized by the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation’s Office of Senior Adult Programs, participated in a “flash mob” at the Arlington County Fair this afternoon.
The seniors — who were later joined by fair-goers during a reprise — performed a choreographed dance to the Black Eyed Peas song “I Gotta Feeling.”
A video of the performance, and an interview with dance leader, choreographer and Ms. Senior Virginia 2012 Kathy Fanelli, is below.
Civic association leaders, with an assist from the county’s Wisdom Works group, are hoping to establish a county-wide “Senior Village” to help Arlington’s sizeable population of seniors remain independent and in their own homes.
The project is based on a concept that has taken root in a number of communities across the country. A network of volunteers band together to provide services to older residents who wish to remain in their neighborhoods and out of retirement homes or senior living communities.
Services can include daily check-ins, home maintenance, social events or tasks as minor as help opening email or a ride to the supermarket.
“As people get older, there are some things they just can’t do,” said Pete Olivere, a longtime Glencarlyn Citizens Association member who last October started talking to other neighborhood groups about forming an Arlington village. “We wanted to build on the very active civic association type bases that Arlington has and use those as building blocks toward delivering volunteers.”
There are about 25,000 over-60 residents in Arlington, reflective of the expected nationwide surge in the senior population as members of the “baby boomer” generation age into retirement.
Wisdom Works, organized by the county’s community engagement program, came up with much of the design of the village, which Olivere said is likely a year or two away from launching. The group will be promoting the concept and looking for volunteers today (Friday) through Sunday at the Arlington County Fair.
A Wisdom Works “project team” of mostly retired residents came up with a hub-and-spoke model for the village, with volunteers assigned to senior residents in, or close to, their own neighborhoods.
The team also deals with non-senior issues. Program Manager Barbara Karro said they’ll likely take on childhood obesity soon.
“We were able to go county-wide, and that enabled Pete to have a group outside of a civic organization to work with,” Karro said. “Particularly in Arlington, we have just an amazing resource in terms of their skills and lifetime experience. As this group of seniors gets larger, that would be a shame to waste.”
The hub would provide record-keeping and liability insurance (a major hurdle to some village set-ups) for volunteers. Villages come in a variety of forms. Some are funded by private donations. Others require monthly membership fees.
The Arlington senior village, which will be set up as a nonprofit agency independent of the county, will require “a modest membership fee.”
Olivere, 64, said the group has about 30 willing volunteers after a couple of presentations to civic and senior groups. He hopes the fair will open up the concept to more.
“A lot of these things foster a neighbor helping neighbor type environment, just to make sure an older person isn’t struggling” Olivere said. “These are things that can make a difference.”
County Fair Moves on From Embezzlement Case — All seems to be going well with the Arlington County Fair (photos, above) this year, despite the arrest and subsequent guilty plea of the fair’s now-former event manager on embezzlement charges several months ago. [Falls Church News-Press]
Rumsfeld to Attend Murray Fundraiser — Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is slated to be the special guest at a private fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Patrick Murray next month. Murray is a retired U.S. Army colonel. [Patrick Murray for Congress]
Bike Trip Planner Released — Those wanting to plan bike trips around Arlington and D.C. can now do so via a new online bike routing tool. BikeArlington contributed knowledge of local bike routes to the free tool, which was developed by the nonprofit group OpenPlans. [Mobility Lab]
The 2012 Arlington County Fair enters its second day today.
The fair — at the grounds of the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd Street S.) — will continue outdoor festivities from 5:00 to 10:00 tonight (Thursday). On Friday, the fair’s indoor exhibits start. (A schedule is available here.)
Last night, we snapped some photos of families, kids and couples out enjoying the rides, food, games and entertainment at the fair.
For many, a trip to the Arlington County Fair is a special experience — a fun, family-friendly summer evening activity that instills a sense of community and nostalgia.
For others, it’s something to be avoided — an event that’s inconvenient to get to and expensive to try to enjoy.
Depending on whether you’re a fair fan or not, the food there — fried Oreos, etc. — is either a delicious treat or unhealthy and of questionable origin.
So which end of the spectrum do you fall along? Will you be attending the fair this year? Feel free to explain why or why not in the comments.
County Fair Starts Today — The Arlington County Fair officially kicks off today at 5:00 p.m. The first racing piglet competition will take place at 5:30 p.m. The fair will run through Sunday at 10:00 p.m. [Arlington County Fair]
‘Pike Hike’ Scheduled for Sunday — WalkArlington is sponsoring a new community “walkabout” timed to coincide with the county fair. Pike Hike II Junior Walkabout will take participants on a family-friendly stroll of the Columbia Pike town center area from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. Sights along the way include the Pike farmers market and the Columbia Pike Branch Library. Participants will also get a free ticket to take the shuttle from the Arlington Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) to the fair. [CommuterPage Blog]
Libertarian Tries to Make Ballot — An independent candidate who has the support of the Libertarian Party is trying to make it on the Sept. 4 ballot for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. So far only Democrat Rob Krupicka and Republican Tim McGhee has been confirmed for the ballot in the race to succeed Del. David Englin. [Sun Gazette]
Large Crowd for BBQ Bike Ride — There was a large turnout last night for a barbeque and group ride from the Freshbikes store in Virginia Square. With the assistance of Arlington County police, the weekly ride takes cyclists from the store, up Military Road to the intersection with Glebe Road, and back. [Ode Street Tribune]
Flickr pool by Damiec
The fair begins on Wednesday, August 8, and runs through Sunday, August 12. The theme for this year is “Live Green, Learn Green.”
Official opening ceremonies for the fair take place on Thursday, August 9th, at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment begins at 6:00 p.m. with a performance by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet, followed by the program at 6:30 p.m., with a joint presentation of Colors by the U.S. Army Color Guard and Arlington County Color Guard. The program will include remarks from a County Board member and the Arlington County Fair’s Board of Directors.
Other events include the crowd favorite racing piglets, pony rides for the kids and performances by the Harlem Wizards basketball players. Friday night (August 10) there will be an outdoor showing of the family friendly movie “The Muppets.” Another outdoor movie aimed at teens will be shown on Saturday night (August 10), but that movie has yet to be announced.
There will be a new outdoor stage this year, showcasing local entertainers such as a magician and performers from the Synetic Theater. As always, there will be plenty of fair food, games and rides outdoors and exhibitors indoors.
The fair will be held at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 S. 2nd Street). There is no parking on site, except for handicapped spaces, and nearby streets will be closed to non-local traffic. There will be shuttles running every 30 minutes from the Ballston Metro, the Arlington Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) and the I-66 parking garage (near Washington-Lee High School). The shuttle fee is $2 round trip, and free for anyone 12 and under or 65 and older.
Volunteers are still needed for helping with various tasks at the fair. Applications can be filled out online.
More information is available on the fair website.
Denise Marshall Roller pleaded to 11 felony counts, including embezzlement, forgery and money laundering. The 48-year-old Fredericksburg, Va. resident had worked since 2005 as the county fair’s event manager. She resigned last May, after police were tipped off to suspicious activity.
Investigators discovered that between February and May of last year, Marshall Roller deposited nearly $12,000 of checks intended for the fair into a fraudulent bank account. Court documents show she submitted forged bylaws to a local bank, which apparently allowed her to open an account in the fair’s name. She withdrew portions of the money over the three month period for her personal use, prosecutors said.
When confronted about the account by colleagues, police say Marshall Roller initially claimed she had set up a personal account at the bank and mistakenly deposited a county fair check into the account.
Marshall Roller is scheduled to be sentenced on April 27.
Denise Marshall Roller, 48, is facing 11 felony charges including embezzlement, forgery and conducting unlawful financial transactions. The Fredericksburg, Va. resident worked as the fair’s event manager between 2005 and 2011, under a Memorandum of Understanding between Arlington County (her employer) and the nonprofit that runs the fair.
According to court records, Marshall Roller is expected to enter a plea in Arlington County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Jan. 31. She was indicted by a grand jury in September and was originally slated to stand trial on Monday, Jan. 23.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Sheriff’s Office
A former Arlington County employee has been charged with embezzling funds from the Arlington County Fair, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.
Denise Marshall Roller, 47, has been charged with four felony counts of embezzling from the non-profit Arlington County Fair, Inc., one felony count of embezzling public funds, two felony counts of forgery and four felony counts of conducting unlawful financial transactions. She was indicted by a grand jury in September and released on a $5,000 bond in October, according to court documents. She’s scheduled to face trial on Jan. 23, 2012.
Marshall Roller, a resident of Fredericksburg, Va., had worked as the county fair’s event manager since at least 2005. A county employee since August 2003, Marshall Roller worked for the fair under a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the non-profit that organizes the fair, said county and fair officials. Before being hired by the county, Marshall Roller helped to organize the annual Taste of Arlington event in Ballston.
Marshall Roller’s legal woes started in early May of 2011, when the fair’s Board of Directors discovered the alleged embezzlement, according to Arlington County Fair Board Chairwoman Tiffany Kudravetz. The Board brought the matter to the attention of Marshall Roller’s supervisor, Kudravetz said, and the matter was referred to the Arlington County Police Department.
“The County acted immediately upon learning of allegations that Arlington County Fair funds had been misappropriated by a County employee,” Donnellan said. “It turned the matter over to the Arlington County Police Department and appropriate action was taken with the employee. After investigating, ACPD turned the results of its investigation over to the Commonwealth Attorney’s office. The employee is no longer with the County. The Grand Jury has handed down an indictment. This matter is now before the Court.”
The alleged crimes took place between February and May of this year, according to court documents. Prosecutors declined to disclose exactly how much was supposedly taken, but organizers say the fair is not currently in financial trouble.
“I think we’ll be fine,” Kudravetz said.
Marshall Roller resigned her position in May, county Director of Human Resources Marcy Foster told ARLnow.com. She had been working within the Arlington County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, according to county spokesman Mary Curtius. A new county-employed event manager took over for Marshall Roller in May.
The Arlington County Fair, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, went off without a hitch in August.
Kudravetz says fair organizers are considering a new Memorandum of Understanding that would eliminate the county-staffed event manager position in favor of placing several county employees on the fair’s board of directors.
Sun Sets on Arlington County Fair — The rides, food stands, and carnival games that made up the Arlington County Fair are all packing up and heading out. Last night was the fair’s last night. In case you missed it, Patch has published 21 separate articles on the fair since Thursday.
Pakistan Kidnapping’s Arlington Connection — An American development expert kidnapped in Pakistan on Saturday was the Pakistan director of J.E. Austin Associates, a consultancy based in Courthouse. [New York Times]
Arlington Stingy on Diplomatic Gifts — Arlington only gives gifts to visiting diplomatic delegations “on rare occasion,” and when it does, the value of those gifts is in the “tens of dollars, not hundreds of dollars.” Arlington’s policy on diplomatic gifts contrasts with that of the District; D.C. officials are “re-gifting” a set of donated plates to foreign dignitaries. [Washington Post]
Arlington Art Attacker Arrested Again — Susan Burns, the 53-year-old Arlington woman accused of attacking a Gauguin painting at the National Gallery of Art back in April, has been arrested again. This time, Burns is charged with slamming a Matisse against a wall at the same museum. [MyFoxDC]
The fair’s official program is now online, complete with lists of exhibitors, food vendors and fair hours. Also included are maps and an entertainment schedule.
Among the food vendors are A&B Soft Serve, Cherokee Cuisine (“Krispy Kreme burgers,” “turkey kielbasa tortilla wraps,” etc.), Capital Empanadas, Family Grill (kebabs, pad thai, etc.), Four Seasons Grill (gyros, turkey legs, etc.), I Love Thai, International Grill Company (cheesesteaks, falafel, etc.), MacBrand Foods (sausage, “blooming onions,” etc.), Nittaya Grill (chicken teriyaki, funnel cakes, etc.), Orient-Bowl, and Rivera’s (carne asada, pupusas, etc.).
Among the more than 125 exhibitors are the Arlington County Democratic Committee, the Arlington County Republican Committee, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Artisphere, Dominion Electric Power, Friends of the David M. Brown Planetarium, Potomac Harmony/Showtime Chorus, and dozens of merchants.
Among the scheduled outdoor events are the Civil War HistoryMobile, Star Family Circus, racing piglets, pony rides, Harlem Wizards basketball demonstration (Fri.-Sat.), outdoor movies (Fri.-Sat.), and animal rescue group exhibitions (Fri.-Sun.).
The fair takes place at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 S. 2nd Street). See the Arlington County Fair web site for more information.
Help is wanted from August 10-14. Volunteers are asked to attend an orientation session to learn about the fair and what opportunities are available. The first orientation is tonight and the other is next Tuesday. Volunteers will have the chance to win a door prize of tickets to a concert at the 9:30 Club.