Holiday Closures in Arlington — Arlington County government offices and courts will be closed Friday in observance of the Independence Day holiday. [Arlington County]
Police Seek Witnesses to Fatal Crash — Arlington County Police have officially identified the victim of a fatal pedestrian crash on Route 50 early Saturday morning. Christopher Barton, 36, was killed after being struck by “at least two vehicles.” Investigators say they are seeking witnesses to the accident. [Arlington County]
Mark Schwartz Takes the Reins — Following the retirement of Barbara Donnellan, Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz is now serving as acting county manager. In a memo to county employees, Schwartz said: “We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to bring down our historically high office vacancy rate, and to fill the empty offices of Crystal City and Rosslyn with new, vibrant businesses. Our commercial base is crucial to Arlington’s tax base, to its ability to provide high-quality services, programs and schools to our residents, and to our success.” [Arlington County]
‘Inside Edition’ Filming in Crystal City — The television show Inside Edition is scheduled to film a segment in Crystal City today. The program will be profiling Kristin Beck, a transgender former Navy SEAL who’s challenging Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in next year’s primary election. The interview is being held at the Crystal City-based 296 Project, an art-based veteran service organization.
Fourth of July, USWNT Watch Parties — Mad Rose Tavern, among other local bars and restaurants, will be hosting viewings of the Fourth of July fireworks and the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup championship match this weekend. On Saturday those who would rather watch the fireworks on TV can do so at Mad Rose, followed by a DJ set. On Sunday the bar will be holding a viewing party for the U.S. vs. Japan World Cup final.
Flickr pool photo by David Bender
Update at 5:50 p.m. — The County Board’s action on the Williamsburg Field Site Evaluation Work Group Charge has now been deferred until July, according to an Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman.
The debate over lighting the fields at Williamsburg Middle School is making a comeback.
At its meeting
tomorrow (Tuesday) in July, the County Board will charge a working group with leading a community process to evaluate whether or not to light the Williamsburg synthetic fields.
After the County Board decides on the working group’s exact tasks at tomorrow’s meeting, members will be appointed to the group next month. It is expected to make a recommendation to the Board in May 2016. The Board will then deliberate in June 2016.
Two synthetic fields are currently under construction as part of the Discovery Elementary School project, located on the Williamsburg campus, and are scheduled for completion at the end of the summer.
Arlington Public Schools split the cost of the fields with the County, according to Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish. Kalish said that APS paid for the cost of installing natural grass fields, and the County then funded the difference.
In an APS question and answer session about the construction project held in the fall of 2012, the County stated that if it funded an artificial field, “it would expect that the field be lighted in order to maximize their investment in the field.”
While Kalish confirmed that this is typically the County’s policy regarding turf fields, in this case the Rock Spring community pushed back.
“That’s why we’re having this work group,” said Kalish.
Fifteen community members representing diverse interests will comprise the work group, including one representative from the Arlington Soccer Association and one from the Rock Spring Civic Association. The ASA and the RSCA disagreed vehemently on the construction and lighting of the field when the plan was first proposed in 2013, eventually launching dueling petitions.
President of the RSCA Carl Cunningham said that while he could not speak for all residents, most who live near the Williamsburg fields do not support the addition of lights because of concerns about potential light spillage into their homes.
Cunningham added that residents were concerned about evening noise and traffic from extended hours of play on the field, which might “fundamentally alter the basic character and their peaceful enjoyment of what has been a small, secluded and quiet neighborhood in the evenings.”
The ASA, on the other hand, stressed the need for a lit synthetic field.
“We have more children playing sports in Arlington every year, and the rate of field construction or redevelopment is not close to keeping pace, thus we have to squeeze what we can out of existing play spaces,” said ASA Executive Director Justin Wilt.
Arlington Ranks High for Income Mobility — According to a new study, Arlington County is a very good place to grow up in terms of income mobility for children in poor families. Arlington ranks better than 81 percent of all counties in ensuring that poor children grow up to make more income than their peers in other parts of the country. On average, poor kids from Arlington will make $2,930 more per year at age 26 than poor kids from an average U.S. county. The story is different for girls from wealthy families in Arlington, who typically will earn less than their peers in other counties. By contrast, boys from rich families are in the national top 1 percent in terms of earning more than their born-wealthy peers. [New York Times]
Yorktown Soccer Rolls Stuart — The Yorktown girls’ soccer team beat Stuart on Monday 3-1 to improve their unbeaten record to 9-0-3. The Patriots’ opponents have scored only 5 goals over the past 9 games. [Washington Post]
Photos: Marymount Fashion Show — Fashion design students from Marymount University held their annual Portfolio in Motion show last week. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by @TheBeltWalk
Unlike many of the athletes sports fans typically associate with the honor — in their 20s, playing in the Olympics, already recognized worldwide for their prowess — Hoffer had to wait decades longer to don the red, white and blue. Hoffer is 45 years old and will play soccer in his first international tournament, the Maccabi Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile.
Hoffer has played soccer since he was 3 years old, but didn’t even qualify for the varsity team at his high school in Michigan. At the time, he was 5-foot-7 and “120 pounds soaking wet.” But he continued to play, and “grew into [his] body.” As his peers gave up the sport, Hoffer only improved.
“My game is all about speed and endurance, but I’m generally faster than most, so wherever they need a burst of energy, I come in,” Hoffer told ARLnow.com. He sees himself as a slower, Jewish version of DeAndre Yedlin, the young speedster from the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Hoffer was named to the U.S. Maccabi Masters team, which is restricted to players 45 and over of Jewish heritage. Hoffer’s grandfather was a professional soccer player in Israel, and he’s keeping the sport in the family — he coaches his daughter’s second-grade team in the Arlington Soccer Association.
“For many Jews, we don’t have a lot of sports heroes to look up to,” Hoffer said. “Providing examples like this to be able to show my daughter and other kids in the community that you can be Jewish and an athlete and meet Jewish athletes from around the world is a pretty powerful thing to provide.”
The Maccabi Pan Am Games draw Jewish competitors from all over the Western Hemisphere, and the U.S. squad will have to compete against world soccer powers like Brazil and Argentina. But it is not the Olympics — athletes must help pay their own way. Hoffer and his teammates each have to raise $6,600 to be allowed to participate.
Hoffer has set up an online fundraising page, where he has raised $4,194 so far. If he raises the money, he’ll have a chance to compete with many of the players that led the 2013 U.S. Masters team to the bronze medal in the world wide Maccabiah Games in Israel.
The Arlington County is planning renovations at Tuckahoe Park (2400 N. Sycamore Street).
The county’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation has scheduled an open house later this month to discuss the plans and solicit community feedback. The open house will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 in the Tuckahoe Elementary School library.
The parks department says the renovations, planned for 2016, will focus on the park’s two softball fields.
“Renovations include the spectator and players’ bench areas, bullpens and batting cages, and improved access to the fields for people with disabilities,” the department said in an email. In addition, the renovations will allow the combined natural turf outfields of the two softball diamonds to be used as a soccer field.
A separate, previous improvement project for Tuckahoe Park’s playground was approved by the County Board in 2013.
Summers and Soccer — Summers Restaurant in Courthouse, set to close after Dec. 31, is being eulogized as the Washington area’s premier soccer bar. Though holding out hope for a “miracle,” owner Joe Javidara says he is being forced to close due to financial woes. With more international soccer games available via cable and at other, newer bars, business at Summers has “dropped… off the cliff.” [Washington Post]
Moran Objects to Killing Birds Near Airports — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) wants airports, like Reagan National, to deploy new avian radar technology and stop the practice of euthanizing birds that live near airports. NBC4’s I-Team reports that more than 100,000 animals, including birds, have been “chased away” from the runways at Reagan, Dulles and BWI, to reduce the risk of animal strikes. [NBC Washington – WARNING: Autoplay video]
Arlington Contractor Settles Civil Claim — Arlington resident Keith Hedman, 55, has agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle civil claims related to a fraud sceme. The government sued Hedman, the CEO of security contracting firm Protection Strategies, Inc., alleging that he fraudulently obtained $31 million worth of government contracts intended for minority-owned and disadvantaged small businesses. Last year Hedman pleaded guilty to criminal charges. [U.S. Attorney’s Office]
Arlington Woman Sentenced for Sex Trafficking — Arlington resident and Peruvian national Ruth Antuanet Miller, 35, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for leading a sex trafficking company. Miller pleaded guilty last year to charges that she led a criminal enterprise that prostituted women at hotels and motels around Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and in Fairfax County. On Dec. 19, Miller was sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $341,437 in restitution.
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Japanese Noodle Bar Coming to Ballston — Yona, a new Japanese noodle bar and Korean-inspired small plates restaurant, is coming to 4000 Wilson Blvd in Ballston. It will be the third restaurant from restaurateur Mike Isabella in the building. Isabella’s Kapnos Tavern is expected to open there next month and his Pepita cantina is expected to open in the first quarter of 2015. [Washington Post]
Leonsis Praises Ballston — Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is a big fan of Ballston, where the Capitals have their Kettler Capitals Iceplex practice facility. In a blog post responding to reports about the Wizards looking for a practice facility in either D.C. or Arlington, Leonsis wrote that “we feel fortunate that [the Capitals] ended up in the welcoming community of Ballston.” [Ted’s Take]
Wakefield Wins First Playoff Game — The Wakefield Warriors football squad celebrated its first-ever playoff victory on Friday. Wakefield will next face undefeated Tuscarora in the second round of the 5A North Region playoffs. Washington-Lee and Yorktown both lost their first-round playoff games. [InsideNova]
‘State of Affairs’ Producer Lives in Arlington — Rodney Faraon, a father of three whose 14 years as a CIA analyst helped inspire the NBC drama “State of Affairs,” is an Arlington resident. Faraon serves as an executive producer on the show, which premiered last night. [Washingtonian, WNEW]
Plane Complaints Explained? — Over the past couple of years, numerous Arlington residents have made occasional complaints about hearing what sounded like a single-engine plane flying overhead for an extended period of time. At the time, there was no ready explanation for who or what might be flying around Arlington. However, some now think those planes might have been flying for a recently-revealed Justice Department cell phone spying program.
Soccer Tourney For At-Risk Kids — A 9th annual soccer tournament for at-risk kids was held in Arlington on Sunday. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
One Candidate for Treasurer Race — Democrat Carla de la Pava, who has served as Arlington County treasurer since July 7, following the retirement of Frank O’Leary, is running unopposed in November. No other candidate filed to run in the special election by the Aug. 15 filing deadline. [InsideNova]
Bracket Room to Host Pregame Shows — The Bracket Room, 1210 N. Garfield Street in Clarendon, will host both the Fox 5 and the 106.7 The Fan Redskins pregame broadcasts this fall, according to a press release. The on-location broadcasts will take place at the sports bar for all 16 regular season games. [PRNewswire]
Cyclists Stopped on I-66 — A pair of bicyclists “dressed like Lance Armstrong” were stopped by Arlington County police on I-66 this morning, according to scanner traffic. It’s unclear why the cyclists were on the interstate. Police directed them to nearby Glebe Road.
Arlington: Great for Soccer Moms? — Arlington is the No. 3 locality in the country for “soccer moms,” according to an analysis that factored in things like the number of soccer clubs and food and transportation affordability. [Nerd Wallet]
Ohio Town Raises Money for Arlington Family — Residents of Chagrin Falls, Ohio are trying to raise $10,000 for the Sachar family of Arlington. Their son, 8-year-old Ashlawn Elementary student Eli Sachar, was struck and killed by a car on July 12 during a visit to Chagrin Falls. [Cleveland.com]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Library to Host World Cup Viewing — For most of those going out in Arlington to watch this afternoon’s USA-Belgium World Cup match, a bar (or a movie theater) is the preferred venue. But if you don’t need a beer to watch the game, Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) has a free option for soccer viewing. The game, which starts at 4:00 p.m., will be projected on the big screen on the library’s first floor. Cheering and non-alcoholic drinks will be allowed in the library during the game. [Arlington Public Library]
List of 48th District Candidates Grows — More than a half dozen candidates have now tossed their hat in the ring to replace the retiring Del. Bob Brink (D-48). Local Democrats are holding firehouse primaries in the race this weekend in Arlington and McLean. [Blue Virginia]
Arlington’s Traffic Paradox — Despite large gains in population and density, traffic on Arlington roads has actually decreased over the past couple of decades. How is that possible? “Virtually all the growth has happened in Arlington’s Metrorail corridors, where using transit, biking, and walking are the norm.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) Summers Restaurant in Courthouse was saturated with beer, World Cup fans and support for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team this afternoon. Bargoers were on the edge of their seats before the game between the U.S. and Germany even started.
“This is, like, the biggest game of my life,” said Joyce Batka, a soccer fan since kindergarten and supporter of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann since he played for the German national team in the 1990s. “I’m really torn. I’d love it if there was a tie today so that both teams advance.”
The Germans defeated the U.S. team, 1-0, but because the U.S. lost to Germany by only one goal and Portugal, which defeated Ghana, lost by four earlier in the tournament, the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16.
Batka planned weeks ahead to take the day off from work and watch the game, much like Wes Cronkite, who had his day off scheduled since December. Batka and Cronkite were two of the thousands of soccer fans, new and old, who ditched work today to pack neighborhood restaurants with TVs from noon to 2:00 p.m.
“I haven’t missed a World Cup game since 1994,” Cronkite said. Cronkite was sporting a U.S. jersey, and others showed support with American flags, Hawaiian leis and other displays of team pride.
The United States defeated Ghana, 2-1, to open the tournament last week, and was beating Portugal 2-1 until 94 and a half minutes into the 95-minute game, the Portuguese scored to force a tie. If the U.S. had held on, they would have advanced regardless of their result against Germany.
“They could have closed it out last time,” Courtney Friedman, a soccer fan for five years, said while wearing an American flag poncho, “but that makes this game extra special.”
Although neither team scored during the first half of the game, curses and expressions of frustration filled Summers with each German shot American goalie Tim Howard blocked, leading many fans to pay closer attention to the Portugal-Ghana game. A man with a vuvuzela paced and yawned near the bar.
“They’re not even trying anymore,” a man in the crowd said at the beginning of the second half. “The game is dead.” Germany scored its first and only goal of the game before he finished his sentence.
“These Germans are very boisterous,” Dave Endres, who was at a bar in Tysons on Sunday for the U.S.’s game against Portugal, said.
For the rest of the second half, the crowd was quiet apart from shouts of disagreement at “unfair” calls from the referee, and one man who chanted “U-S-A, U-S-A,” after Ghana scored its only goal on Portugal.
The U.S. team will now face the winner of either Belgium or Algeria in the Round of 16 on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. It’s the first time in U.S. Soccer history that the men’s team advanced out of the group stage in two straight World Cups. In 2010, The U.S. was eliminated by Ghana in the Round of 16.
Despite the loss, the bar crowd still clapped, cheered and shouted “U-S-A, U-S-A” at the end of the game. Emotionally-drained fans, overall, were all smiles at the end result.
“It was still good,” bar patron Francisco Lainez said. “I mean, they lost, but they still get to the next stage.”
Police Locate Autistic Man With Lojack — The Arlington County Police Department’s Lojack-powered Project Lifesaver has helped locate another missing man. A 29-year-old autistic man who wandered away from his group home was located by police Wednesday morning, less than an hour after he was reported missing. [Arlington County]
APS Receives Award — Arlington Public Schools has received “the prestigious Medallion of Excellence Award presented by the U.S. Senate Productivity and Quality Awards for Virginia and the District of Columbia (SPQA).” APS is the ninth Virginia school division to be recognized since the award was established in 1983. [Arlington Public Schools]
W-L Advances to State Tourney — Washington-Lee High School’s boys soccer team defeated West Potomac 4-2 Tuesday night to advance to the 6A North Region title game and to the Virginia High School League state tournament. [InsideNova]
Library Digitizing Local Newspapers — Arlington Public Library is digitizing its microfilm archive of the Northern Virginia Sun newspaper, originally named the Arlington Sun. The new digital archives will be text searchable, “a boon for researchers, history buffs and anyone searching for specific moments in Arlington’s 20th century story.” The archives cover 1935 to 1978. [Arlington Public Library]
County Bureau Runs ‘Like a Startup’ — Arlington County Commuter Services, which is charged with getting more Arlington residents and workers to bike, walk or take transit rather than drive, “looks and operates more like a start-up tech company than a government agency.” [Mobility Lab]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
(Updated at 1:00 p.m.) The spring sports season is over for all but the elite teams, like Washington-Lee boys soccer and Yorktown boys lacrosse, which are still hoping to raise more banners in their gyms.
The Generals’ boys soccer team is in the midst of one of its best seasons ever, sporting an undefeated 16-0 record with three ties. It took home the Liberty Conference 6 championship last week and continues its march to the state tournament at home against Stonewall Jackson tomorrow night.
Washington-Lee girls soccer (10-3) also took home the Conference 6 title, defeating Yorktown before losing in the opening round of Region 6A North action, 4-2, to Centreville last night. The Patriots soccer squads both lost just three times this season, and their years wrapped up in similarly heartbreaking fashion: both squads lost in double-overtime last night in the opening round of the regional tournament, the boys to Centreville and the girls to Robinson Secondary School.
Wakefield’s boys soccer team is still playing after turning around what could have been a disappointing season. The Warriors were the runner-ups in the Conference 13 tournament after losing six straight games before the tournament began. They play Leesburg’s Tuscarora in Region 5A North action tomorrow night to try to keep their improbable postseason alive.
Yorktown’s boys lacrosse team, after losing to state powerhouse Langley in the conference champion, secured a huge win last night in the opening round of the regional tournament, blowing by Oakton 12-5. They’ll face South County at a neutral field, Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, tonight at 7:00 p.m. The Patriots girls lacrosse team — also a Conference 6 runner-up — saw its season come to an end last night at the hands of Robinson, 22-12.
Washington-Lee baseball, despite going just 11-11 in the regular season, managed to make a deep run in its conference tournament and qualify for regional play. Arlington’s only remaining baseball team in action will hope to keep its season alive at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow in Chantilly.
Wakefield’s softball team is also still alive after a 10-9 season and a 15-1 loss to eventual conference champion Marshall in the Conference 13 semifinals. Their season continues on the road in regional tournament play tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. against Massaponax.
After the jump, the records and results for Wakefield, W-L and Yorktown’s major varsity team sports. (more…)
Obama Visit Boosted Business at Bookstore — The November 2012 visit to One More Page Books (2200 N. Westmoreland Street) by President Obama and his family boosted revenue at the East Falls Church store by 20 percent. The visit still continues to benefit the store, according to owner Eileen McGervey. [Washington Business Journal]
Miss Gay Arlington Crowned — The new 2014 Miss Gay Arlington is Coco B. Colby. Colby was crowned after besting three competitors during the April 18 event at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City. Previous Miss Gay Arlington winners include Shaunda Leer, Stardust and Diamond D. Bottoms. [InsideNoVa]
County Promotes Building Safety — After a series of high-profile construction accidents this past fall, Arlington County has officially proclaimed May to be Building Safety Month. “Building safety is our focus every day, although most of that work happens behind the scenes,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette, in a statement. [Arlington County]
Crystal City Power Purge Today — Crystal City is holding its annual Power Purge and Shred from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. today. The event, at 1900 Crystal Drive, allows residents to recycle electronics, paper and to get rid of household paints and supplies. There’s also a specialty hard drive crusher for data security. [Crystal City]
Yorktown, W-L Soccer Game Ends in Tie — A “hard-fought, exhausting” boys soccer match between Yorktown and Washington-Lee ended in a scoreless tie Tuesday night. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
New Restaurants Coming to Rosslyn — At least three new restaurant concepts are reportedly coming to Rosslyn. The restaurants will be opening on the ground floor of the Sedona/Slate apartment building and office buildings at 1100 and 1501 Wilson Blvd, according to speakers at a Bisnow conference in Rosslyn yesterday morning. Little is known about the restaurants — so far, property owners aren’t naming names — but one rumor relayed to ARLnow.com is that one of the restaurants will feature a Top Chef contestant as its head chef. [Bisnow]
Vihstadt Swearing-In Set for Friday — The swearing-in of new Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The ceremony will be aired live on Arlington TV (Comcast 25 / Verizon 40). [Arlington County]
Other Localities Are Also Having Transit Debates — Arlington County isn’t the only community having a debate over a large transit project, like the planned Columbia Pike streetcar line. Streetcar critics are also active in Cincinnati, where a 3.6 mile, $133 million streetcar line is under construction. In Nashville, meanwhile, opposition to a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line has spilled over to the state Senate. [Greater Greater Washington]
Yorktown Boys Soccer Moves Up in Rankings — The boys soccer team at Yorktown High School is now ranked No. 6 in the region after opening the season with a 5-1 record. [Washington Post]
Rosslyn McDonald’s Demolition Scheduled — The demolition of the now-closed McDonald’s restaurant near the Rosslyn Metro station is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 21. Demolition work is expected to take 7-10 days. [Rosslyn BID]
Flickr pool photo by Nathan Jones
Skybridge Demolition Extended — The demolition of the skybridges on N. Lynn and N. Moore Streets in Rosslyn has been extended to another weekend. Drivers should expect N. Lynn Street to be closed from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. March 28-30. N. Moore Street will be closed during the same times April 4-6. The middle lane closures on N. Lynn Street, meanwhile, are expected to last until April 4. [Arlington County]
Yorktown Soccer Team Ranked — Updated at 10:00 a.m. — The Yorktown High School boys soccer team, despite finishing 4-11-3 last year, rank #9 on the Washington Post power rankings. The girls soccer team, meanwhile, is ranked #7.
Civ Fed Wants to Restrict Videotaping — In response to campaign officials videotaping the County Board debate it hosted earlier this month, the Arlington County Civic Federation says it will start to enforce rules against video and audio recording at its meetings. Anyone caught video or audio taping a meeting without prior approval will be kicked out, the Civic Federation said in its April newsletter. [InsideNoVa]
Photo courtesy by Liza Hodskins