Arlington Outpaced in Home Sale Prices – Falls Church, Alexandria, Fairfax County and D.C. have all outpaced Arlington when it comes to growth in home sale prices. Prices in Arlington increased only 1.1 percent year over year in March, and year-to-date prices are down 1 percent, according to data from RealEstate Business Intelligence. The median home sale price in Arlington hit $515,000 in March. [Washington Post]
O’Connell Defeats Stone Bridge — The highly-ranked Bishop O’Connell softball team defeated their closest competitors in Virginia, Stone Bridge, by a score of 3-0 last night. The Knights improved to 10-0, and remain ranked No. 2 in the region. The team will face No. 9 McLean and No. 1 Northern (ranked second in the country; DJO is ranked third) later this month. [Washington Post]
Kanninen Wants More Responsiveness — Barbara Kanninen says she’s running for Arlington School Board because she wants the board to be more responsive to the concerns of parents. “There’s a lot of parent dissatisfaction,” she said in an interview with the Sun Gazette. Of her opponent, incumbent James Lander, she said “it truly isn’t about him, specifically.” [Sun Gazette]
Remembering WEAM — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark takes a trip down Memory Lane and remembers the Arlington-based AM radio station WEAM. The station used to play pop and rock hits from a studio located “above Minor Hill, off Williamsburg Blvd.” [Falls Church News-Press]
StoryCorps’ silver Airstream trailer will be stationed outside the Columbia Pike Branch Library and Arlington Career Center, at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive, through Oct. 20. The Brooklyn-based organization worked with Arlington Public Library and WAMU 88.5 to secure the location, which is accessible via several bus lines and via car (the library and career center share a sizable parking lot).
StoryCorps’ mission is “to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.” To date, the organization has recorded more than 40,000 “interviews” since 2003. (Participants are asked to bring a friend, family member or colleague to do the interviewing; StoryCorps staff members only handle logistics and tend to the sound equipment.)
Anybody who wants to record their story can make a reservation online or by calling 1-800-850-4406. The first reservation available as of Monday afternoon was 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Each recording session is 40 minutes long and each interviewee is given a broadcast-quality CD of the recording at its conclusion.
StoryCorps has two stationary recording booths, one in Atlanta and one in San Francisco, but the one in Arlington is its only active mobile booth. Interviews from the booths are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and are occasionally featured on the radio.
Each Friday morning, NPR’s Morning Edition show airs a two-minute feature on a recent StoryCorps recording. WAMU is also expected to air some locally-recorded stories.
Recent StoryCorps interviews featured on NPR included:
- A retired biologist and a museum curator who married after first meeting at a topless bar in Fort Worth, Texas
- A college student who struggled with homelessness in high school
- A veteran cop who often had the responsibility of telling family members that a loved one had been killed in a fatal car accident
Virginia Lora, the site supervisor for StoryCorps, said one of her favorite interviews was a man from Waco, Texas who misspelled an email address by one letter and accidentally reached a woman in the Philippines. The two started corresponding, and that correspondence blossomed into a romance that led to the two marrying. They now live together in Waco.
Doors at the Ballroom open at 5:00 p.m. and the event, which is free and open to the public, kicks off at 7:00 p.m. Ladies are encouraged to “get dressed in summer’s finest” and enter for chances to win prizes like gift cards to Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom’s, Coach, and MAC cosmetics.
In addition to the Junkies themselves — Cakes, E.B., Lurch and J.P. — a number of local media personalities are expected to attend, including Angie Goff and Eun Yang from NBC 4; Bri Carter, Britt McHenry (pictured, with E.B.) and Jummy Olabanji from ABC 7; and Tommy McFly and Kelli Collis from Fresh 94.7 FM.
There will be a cover to enter the Ballroom after 10:00 p.m. Last year the Sundress Party was held at the Georgetown Waterfront.
The Junkies are on the air weekdays from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m. on WJFK 106.7 FM “The Fan.”
Photo courtesy CBS Radio
Last Chance to Comment on Bikeshare Plan — Today is the last day to comment on Arlington’s Capital Bikeshare Expansion Plan. Comments on the six year strategic growth plan can be submitted online through the end of the day today. [Arlington Transportation Partners]
Republicans Pounce on Garvey’s Streetcar Abstention — Hoping to capture a seat on the County Board this November, Republicans are planning on hammering away at the current all-Democrat Board for approving the Columbia Pike streetcar. The GOP is also planning to pounce on their Democratic opponent, Libby Garvey, for abstaining from the streetcar vote while expressing skepticism about the plan. Republican Matt Wavro will face Garvey and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Officials Puzzled by Estate Gift — Arlington officials can’t fathom why a late resident left the county five percent of his estate in his will. The County Board had to vote to refund some of the money after whoever is in charge of executing the will made an error and sent the county $51,000 more than it was actually owed. [Patch]
Paisano’s Named Best Pizza by WTOP — Paisano’s has been named the best pizza in the D.C. area by WTOP listeners and website visitors. The local chain has a location near Crystal City at 3650 South Glebe Road. Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, which has a location in Clarendon, placed #4 in the voting. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
Members of the Nauck community gathered last night (Wednesday) for a softball game featuring radio personalities from WPGC (95.5 FM).
The game — between the WPGC “Naturals” softball team and a team of local residents — was part of the radio station’s “Knocking Violence Out the Park” campaign. The Naturals have previously faced off against teams of police officers and residents in various parts of D.C. and Maryland as part of the campaign.
There was a police presence at last night’s game, which was held at Drew Model Elementary School; a member of the Arlington County Police Department’s gang unit played on the Nauck community team.
Former candidate for County Board Terron Sims, who helped WPGC organize the event, said the game was all about bringing the community together in a fun way.
“This has been great,” he told ARLnow.com. “Everyone came together, we were able to get the permits we needed at the last minute for the field, the station came out, we were able to get the vendors to come out, the community’s out here… having a good time. ”
“The message is… about unifying the community in all our actions, whether it’s taking care of our kids, or crime prevention, or anything of that nature,” Sims continued. “It takes the community as a whole to move forward in a positive manner.”
In addition to the game itself, the event featured food vendors, kids activities, and a voter registration drive.
Kaine Coming to Arlington — Former Virginia governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) will be in Arlington this afternoon. Kaine is scheduled to have an economic discussion with local Latino business and community leaders at 4:00 p.m. The closed event is taking place at The Salsa Room (2619 Columbia Pike).
Cancer Charity Event This Weekend — The second annual Erica Paul Fabulous event will be held at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) on Saturday. The fundraiser runs from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and benefits the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. The ‘Fabulous’ event also celebrates the life of Erica Paul, who died last year, at the age of 29, from metastatic colon cancer. [Clarendon Nights]
Ham Operators to Have a ‘Field Day’ — Arlington County will host its annual “Field Day” exercise for amateur radio operators this weekend. The exercise, held at Minor Hill Park (3400 N. Powhatan Street), is described as part of a nationwide event “during which thousands of Hams across the United States and Canada will operate portable radios and antennas to contact each other, simulating emergency conditions.” [Arlington County]
HOT Lanes Suit Costs County Transportation Funds –Virginia is contributing more than $16.5 million to Arlington’s road maintenance and construction budget for fiscal year 2013, which starts on July 1. But that figure is $100,000 less than it otherwise could have been. The Commonwealth Transportation Board has stripped $100,000 from Arlington’s allocation as retribution for the county’s costly lawsuit against the proposed I-395 HOT lanes project. The money will be used to help pay the legal bills of a former state transportation official who was sued by Arlington as part of its fight against the project. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Independent Media is in the planning stages of what may eventually become a low power FM community radio station. AIM, best known for its local cable television channel (Comcast channel 69, Verizon channel 38), has already designated funds for the construction of an audio booth in its Clarendon studios to accommodate residents who want to learn more about audio production. The booth is expected to be built by this fall, and will serve as the production hub for a potential radio station.
The station will likely start out as an internet-only streaming station, but may eventually be broadcast on a low power FM frequency if AIM can obtain the necessary FCC permission. That permission is by no means guaranteed, AIM programming coordinator Lauree McArdle said, because extra FM bandwidth is scare in the D.C. area.
Even if special FCC permission is granted, the signal probably won’t reach all of Arlington County, since low power FM signals are limited to 100 watts, which can only reach a radius of about 3.5 miles and is subject to interference from larger radio stations. Given a choice, McArdle says the signal would likely be targeted at the county’s lower income areas.
McArdle says she’s heard from 20 to 30 people in who are interested in helping out with a radio station. With the help of volunteer DJs and hosts, the station would probably broadcast an assortment of live and taped programming 24 hours per day.
“I don’t think we’ll lack for programming, because I have number of people who are interested in talk radio and that sort of thing,” McArdle said. “I think it will be a mix of talk programs as well as, hopefully, some music.”
AIM will be hosting a meeting next week for anyone interested in being a part of a “vibrant and active community radio presence in the county.” The meeting will be held from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at the AIM studio at 2701-C Wilson Blvd.
If all goes well, McArdle says the radio station could start broadcasting online shortly after the audio booth is completed this fall.
Board Approves $4.5 Million Water Main Project — On Saturday the County Board approved a $4.5 million contract to install a 36-inch water main under Glebe Road and Williamsburg Boulevard. Part of the project will connect the county’s Fort Ethan Allen Pump Station wit the Minor Hill Reservoir, the county’s main water storage facility. “The new main will support future growth and provide back-up for the water supply system during critical repairs,” Arlington County said in a press release. [Arlington County]
Post Blasts Arlington Classroom Visit Policy — Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews is critical of the “knee-jerk restrictions” that prevent parents of prospective Arlington Traditional School students from arranging hour-long personalized classroom visits for themselves. The school system says ATS holds a parent orientation — which includes a 10 minute visit in a kindergarten class — eight times a year, and cannot accommodate the “added disruption” of “customized, one-on-one meetings” for each family that wants to sit in on a class for an hour. [Washington Post]
Yorktown Reaches Regional Final — The Yorktown Patriots football squad beat the Lee Lancers in a 51-15 blowout on Friday night. The Patriots (12-0) will now face the South County Stallions (9-3) in the Division 5 regional final at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25. [Sun Gazette]
If Arlington Ruled Virginia — TBD takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what Virginia might be like if Arlington’s leaders were in charge of the state. [TBD]
Radio Show to Broadcast from Hard Times Tonight — The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes, heard on 106.7 The Fan, will be broadcasting live today from Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon (3028 Wilson Blvd) from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. Redskins tight end Chris Cooley is expected to join the broadcast around 5:30 p.m. to break down the Redskins’ overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
Earlier this week, County Manager Barbara Donnellan admitted to the County Board that Arlington’s emergency radio station, 1700 AM, “occasionally went down during critical periods recently” and was difficult to pick up at other times.
Which “critical periods” was she referring to? One ARLnow.com commenter said that he was unable to hear the station during the weekend of Hurricane Irene. There was also the matter of recent earthquakes, flash floods and threats of terrorist attacks.
The Sun Gazette reports that Donnellan promised the Board “regular staff checks to ensure the station is on the air.” But is anybody else listening?
Artisphere Supervisor Heads to N.J. — Norma Kaplan, the director of Arlington County’s Cultural Affairs division, is heading to New Brunswick, N.J. after 25 years in her current position. Kaplan, who oversaw the creation of Rosslyn’s struggling Artisphere cultural center, will serve as executive director of the New Brunswick Cultural Center. [Washington City Paper]
Sign Intrigue at Areizaga-Soto HQ? — The Jaime Areizaga-Soto campaign for state Senate has been told by several of its volunteers that someone showed up yesterday afternoon at the campaign’s Lee Highway office, took down all the Areizaga-Soto signs and replaced them with signs for his Democratic primary opponent, Barbara Favola.
Broadcaster With Arlington Connection Dies — Nat Allbright, a legendary radio broadcaster who could take simple telegraph accounts of a baseball game and spin it into an exciting play-by-play broadcast, died last month. Allbright’s New York Times obituary notes that he served as the voice of the Dodger Network, which broadcast Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodger games across the eastern U.S., from a Washington-area studio. As recently as about 10 years ago, Allbright sold advertising for the Arlington Sun Gazette newspaper. He died in Arlington on July 18, at the age of 87. [New York Times]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Former NPR “Morning Edition” host and longtime Arlington resident Bob Edwards will speak at Arlington Central Library in two weeks.
The radio great will reflect on his work at NPR and, most recently, Sirius XM satellite radio. He will also discuss his books about sportscaster Red Barber, Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship, and legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism.
Edwards will take the stage at Arlington Central Library Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14. See more about his appearance on the Library Blog.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to cut off federal funding to National Public Radio, and Rep. Jim Moran (D) was not happy about it.
In a floor speech that his office put on YouTube yesterday, the Northern Virginia congressman argued that the Republican-sponsored legislation was about ideology, not sound fiscal policy.
“This has nothing to do with the deficit, it’s an infinitesimal fraction of our national debt,” Moran said forcefully. “It distracts us from solving the real problems that this nation faces while trying to destroy one of the primary sources of an enlightened electorate.”
Moran said NPR is an important resource because of its status as a public broadcaster.
“[NPR] content is not compromised by corporate ownership,” he said. Moran also argued that NPR is important because of the emergency alert system it provides.
“The commercial market won’t do that, because there’s no profit in it,” he added.
Yesterday former NPR analyst Juan Williams came out in favor of cutting off federal funds to the organization. Still, the defunding bill has little chance of passing the Senate.
Fisette discussed board vice chair Chris Zimmerman’s decision to step down from the Metro board, the firing of former county manager Michael Brown, and Arlington’s legislative priorities for 2011.
Fisette’s interview starts at 35:30 in the recording found here.
Here’s a sampling of the interview.
On Gov. McDonnell’s Government Reform Commission:
“We all have some high hopes that the Governor’s Reform Commission will come through with some good ideas,” including a loosening of Dillon Rule restrictions.
On the proposed privatization of Virginia’s liquor wholesale and retail business:
“It really wouldn’t accomplish what it set out to do.”
On the Community Energy Plan:
“Reliability and the cost of energy are going to be a huge issues [in the future... At the federal level there's kind of a void over the past decade or so, no one has really tackled this, so it falls to local governments."
"We're in the process... of adopting a plan that will set goals, targets and strategies for generating, distributing and reducing the use of energy. It will make Arlington more competitive for business in the future."
On former county manager Michael Brown:
"After a few months it became clear to us... that it was time to ask Mr. Brown to move on... Fortunately for us, our deputy county manager [Barbara Donnellan] stepped in and has done a terrific job.”
County board member Walter Tejada says Arlington is doing just fine under its current form of government, thank you very much.
I think it’s important to understand where Arlington is today. We have the lowest unemployment in the region … we have the lowest crime index since 1960 … and our schools are rated in the top 1% in the nation. We have to take a hard look at where we are today. Should we change an entire county government only because there are a few disgruntled persons?
The “disgruntled persons” Tejada is referring to are Arlington’s public safety unions, along with their Republican and Green Party partners, who are collectively sponsoring the petition drive.
Tejada said that he was recently approached by a signature collector who tried to sell him on a claim that all current Arlington County board members live in North Arlington. The only problem, as Tejada points out in the video below, is that board member Chris Zimmerman lives in South Arlington.
WAMU 88.5 FM’s Kojo Nnamdi hosted his “Kojo in the Community” program in Arlington last night. The show just finished airing, and there were so many topics raised over the course of two hours that it’s hard to summarize everything. Look back over this web site for past four months and you’ll get a taste for about half of the discussion.
Kojo started out by talking about the past and present of Arlington. Long-time residents spoke in wonder of the pace of development over the past 20 or so years. Many people lamented that the development is hurting the area’s diversity by making it more expensive to live here. Despite Arlington’s push for affordable housing, it seems there are many who feel that not enough is being done.
There were other assorted complaints, but almost universally, those in attendance at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish said that they really like it here. Of course, many of the speakers were people who either work for the county or are part of community organizations — people who are in their positions in the first place because they are passionate about the community.
During the course of the discussion, one thing became clear: we in Arlington think we’re pretty smart. Multiple speakers referenced how intelligent the residents of Arlington are — which is empirically true, if you look at census data. But it was notable how many people raised it as one of Arlington’s key characteristics.
Another part of the program focused on the future of Arlington. From the redevelopment of Crystal City to revitalization and streetcars on Columbia Pike, to the ever-present change-of-government debate, the discussion was wide-ranging and all-inclusive, like a community planning stream-of-consciousness.
There was no shortage of residents with something to say during the two hour discussion. This community is vibrant and interesting (and, dare I say, intelligent) enough that Kojo could have probably been here for 20 hours and people would have still had new topics to raise. Thanks to WAMU for the giant pat on the back for Arlington. It is nice to live here, after all.