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‘Crystal Fountain’ Is Arlington’s New Vehicle Decal

by ARLnow.com | January 29, 2014 at 9:15 am | 1,177 views | No Comments

"Crystal Fountain" decal finalistArlington County has selected its 2014-2015 vehicle decal.

“Crystal Fountain” was the top vote-getter in the annual decal contest, which is decided by votes from residents — 1,409 votes this year, to be precise. The decal was designed by Wakefield High School senior Mobin Fateh. It depicts a scene in the Crystal City Water Park on Crystal Drive.

The decal will grace the windshields of about 160,000 vehicles in Arlington starting this summer.

“I took this picture of Arlington because I like the colors reflected in the fountain,” Fateh said. “The different colors also represent the diversity in Arlington. I’m grateful to be living in such a beautiful and diverse community as Arlington.”

Five finalists were chosen for the contest this year, from a pool of 50 entries. A panel of Arlington residents helped narrow them down. The four decal finalists who didn’t make the final cut were:

  • Mark Love, 9th Grader at Yorktown High School, with his design “Education is a Virtue”
  • Isabel George, 12th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Arlington’s Namesake”
  • Lena Mobin, a 12th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Arlington’s Bright Lights”
  • Gabrielle Young, an 11th Grader at Washington-Lee HS, with her design “Netherlands Carillon”

“This was quite a task for our Citizens’ Panel,” said Chief Deputy Treasurer Carla de la Pava. “There were so many great entries that we ended up with five finalists instead of four.”

Morning Notes

by Katie Pyzyk | January 7, 2014 at 8:30 am | 1,091 views | No Comments

The dog's perspective... (Flickr pool photo by wolfkann)

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

Decal Contest Finalists Announced

by Katie Pyzyk | December 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm | 1,360 views | No Comments

The finalists have been chosen for Arlington’s annual Decal Design Competition and residents will have the chance to choose a favorite later this week.

The contest is open to all Arlington high school students and a citizens’ panel typically narrows down the entries to four finalists. This year, however, five finalists were named because the voting resulted in a tie.

The winning 2014-2015 decal will be announced at a County Board meeting early next year and will be affixed to about 160,000 car windshields beginning next summer.

Each student included a description of his or her design. Excerpts from each are below:

  • Education is a Virtue — “I think my photograph of the Arlington Education Center and the Planetarium represent Arlington’s important focus on students and education.”
  • Netherlands Carrillon — “To me, Arlington represents community and pride. I wanted to depict something in my photo that brings both to mind for me.”
  • Arlington’s Namesake — “The Arlington House and Arlington National Cemetary together help to show the abudance of history that Arlington County has.”
  • Crystal Fountain — “The different colors also represent the diversity in Arlington. I’m grateful to be living in such beautiful and diverse community as Arlington.”
  • Arlington Landmark — “To me, it’s light symbolizes Arlington’s dreams and opportunities. My years in Arlington have showed me that I can grow into whoever I want to be.”

The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office is still updating its website with the decals and the unedited descriptions each student wrote. Residents will be able to vote for their favorite starting on Thursday and running through January 19.

Winning County Decal Design Revealed

by Katie Pyzyk | January 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm | 2,048 views | 47 Comments

Arlington County 2013-2014 vehicle decalA high school junior’s graphic design has been chosen to grace Arlington windshields as the county’s winning 2013-2014 vehicle decal.

Ben Jenks, a Washington-Lee High School junior, designed the decal based on this year’s decal competition theme of “USS Arlington.” The theme was chosen to highlight the ship bearing the county’s name that will be commissioned this spring. The USS Arlington is named to honor those who lost their lives at the Pentagon on 9/11 and the first responders who risked their lives.

“I think this decal will be a fine inspiration to the sailors and Marines that will be onboard our ship, the USS Arlington,” said Treasurer Frank O’Leary. “It will also be a fitting tribute to those who died and those who served so heroically on 9/11.”

Jenks’ design was chosen through a county-wide vote after the field of competitors was narrowed from 23 entries to four finalists. The other finalists were Wakefield High School junior Kira Tucker, Wakefield High School junior Isabel George and Washington-Lee High School junior Ben Tobin.

The Treasurer’s Office began the design competition for high school students in 2005. This year, 2,080 votes were cast online and by mail.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | January 10, 2013 at 9:45 am | 999 views | 38 Comments

Red bench in Arlington by Wolfkann

Bill Would Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving in School Zones — Sen. Janet Howell (D) has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use a cell phone while driving in a school zone or school crossing zone. Violations will be considered a traffic infraction and will be punishable by a fine of up to $250. [Richmond Sunlight]

CaBi Trip Data Online — Where do trips from your local CaBi station usually end? A new visualization tool allows you to see where CaBi users are traveling to. [MV Jantzen, Mobility Lab]

Brink Supports Two-Term Va. Governor — Del. Bob Brink (D) of Arlington is one of several General Assembly lawmakers to introduce or patron a constitutional amendment that would allow the governor of Virginia to serve a second term. If passed, the amendment will take effect for the governor elected in 2017. [Richmond Sunlight]

USS Arlington Crew Members Get Decal Vote — Crew members of the USS Arlington, set to be commissioned soon, will get a vote on the new Arlington County parking decal. This year, the contest challenged entrants to design a decal incorporating the USS Arlington. Voting is open through Jan. 21. [Sun Gazette]

Civic Federation Supports LEAP — The Arlington County Civic Federation has approved a resolution to promote the non-profit Local Energy Alliance Program, or LEAP, which offers free home energy efficiency assessments to homeowners, along with cash rebates for energy efficiency measures. [Arlington Mercury]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

Vehicle Decal Contest Finalists Revealed

by ARLnow.com | December 13, 2012 at 10:05 am | 6,611 views | 123 Comments

The four finalists in the county’s annual vehicle decal design contest have been revealed.

For the first time, the 2013-2014 decal contest included a theme. Entrants — the contest is open to Arlington high school students — were told to include a photo of the new USS Arlington in their design. They were also given the option of choosing a background color for the first time.

Arlington residents can vote for their favorite of the four designs via the Arlington County Treasurer website. Voting will close on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, and the winner will be announced at the Jan. 29 Arlington County Board meeting.

The winning design will appear on over 155,000 windshields.

Next Year’s Vehicle Decal to Feature USS Arlington

by ARLnow.com | October 23, 2012 at 11:15 am | 4,979 views | 82 Comments

The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office will again be holding a contest for high school students to design the county’s new annual vehicle decal, but this year’s competition will have a theme.

All designs for the 2013-2014 decal must feature an image of the USS Arlington, a new Navy ship named after the county in commemoration of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. The ship will be commissioned in Hampton Roads, Va. this coming spring.

The design contest is open to all high school students residing or attending school in Arlington. Entries are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Rules and entry instructions can be found online.

Four decal design finalists will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 13. The winning decal (chosen by popular vote) will be announced on Jan. 22, 2013. The new decals will be distributed next summer, to be displayed on the windshield of more than 155,000 vehicles in Arlington.

County Tax Payment Deadline Approaches

by Katie Pyzyk | September 25, 2012 at 10:30 am | 3,465 views | 56 Comments

There’s a little more than a week left before Arlington County’s vehicle personal property taxes and second installment of real estate taxes are due. The Treasurer’s office is reminding residents that the deadline is next Friday, October 5.

The red 2012-2013 vehicle decals need to be displayed starting on November 15. There is a list of ways to pay the taxes online.

Payments are considered late if they are not received on or postmarked by October 5. Late payments may receive penalties as follows:

  • 10% of the tax amount if the tax amount is $100 or greater
  • $10 if the tax amount is between $10 and $100
  • The same amount as the tax if the tax amount is less than $10

More information, including options for payment assistance programs, is available online, or by calling the Treasurer’s office at 703-228-4000.

Winner of County Vehicle Decal Contest Announced

by ARLnow.com | January 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | 3,741 views | 72 Comments

The new 2012-2013 Arlington County vehicle decal has been revealed.

The winner of this year’s vehicle decal design contest was announced at this afternoon’s County Board meeting. Out of a group of four design finalists, a decal with a photo of the Pentagon memorial received the most votes.

The decal, entitled “Silent Memories,” was designed by Jeppe Callander, an exchange student from Norway who’s attending Wakefield High School. Callander said he originally took the photo of the memorial to show his mother.

Arlington residents cast nearly 2,000 votes cast in the annual contest. About 155,000 decals will be mailed to vehicle owners this summer.

Voting for Vehicle Decal Contest to End

by Katie Pyzyk | January 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | 1,469 views | 27 Comments

There are only two days left to cast a vote for which 2012-2013 decal you think should grace Arlington’s car windshields later this year.

Every year, high school students enter original artwork or photos into the Vehicle Decal Design Competition. A panel whittles down the entries to four finalists.

About 155,000 Arlington residents display the decals to prove payment of that vehicle’s personal property tax.

The four finalist designs, along with descriptions written by each student, are available online for viewing and voting. All votes must be submitted by noon on Sunday.

Vehicle Decal Finalists Revealed

by ARLnow.com | December 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm | 3,797 views | 63 Comments

(Updated on 12/13/11) The four finalists for Arlington’s 2012-13 vehicle decal design contest have been revealed.

The annual contest challenges Arlington high school students to submit an original photograph or artwork to appear on the county’s vehicle decals. More than 150,000 decals are mailed to vehicle owners in Arlington each year. Those decals must be displayed on the windshield as a sign that vehicle’s personal property tax has been paid.

A “Citizen’s Panel” selected the four finalists (above) after a call for entries in October.

All of this year’s entries are photographs taken in south Arlington. Two of this year’s finalists are photographs of the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial. Another showed an honor guard statue at the Air Force Memorial. The fourth was a nighttime photograph of a Ferris wheel at the Arlington County Fair.

Members of the public will be able to vote for their favorite decal design through the Arlington County website, starting on Thursday Tuesday, or via the Sun Gazette newspaper. More information about the entrants and the contest is available from the Sun Gazette.

2012-2013 Decal Design Competition Kicks Off

by ARLnow.com | October 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm | 2,403 views | 39 Comments

The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office is asking for entries for its 2012-2013 Vehicle Decal Design Competition. The contest, now in its eighth year, is open to all high school students who live in Arlington.

“The competition will give you the opportunity to practice your design skills as well as participate in the workings of local government,” the Treasurer’s Office said in a letter to high school students. “The winning decal design will be displayed on the windshields of over 155,000 vehicles in Arlington, and will become part of the Arlington decal exhibit located at the county administrative building.”

Students are asked to submit their design as a JPEG file, either via email or via CD. The design must be in a resolution no less than 300 DPI. The final decal measures 1.5 inches by 2.25 inches. More detailed instructions are available on the county’s web site.

Entries for the contest must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Four finalists will be chosen by a “Citizens’ Panel” and will be announced in the Sun Gazette newspaper on Thursday, Dec. 8. Sun Gazette readers will then vote for a winning design, which is expected to be announced on Jan. 24, 2012.

The finalists will each receive a $500 savings bond.

This year’s competition winner was “Hume, Sweet Hume,” by Wakefield High School student Maya Giacobbe.

Arlington Tax Deadline Approaching

by ARLnow.com | September 26, 2011 at 9:45 am | 2,573 views | 27 Comments

The payment deadline is fast approaching for Arlington’s vehicle personal property tax and for installment two of the county’s real estate tax.

Both tax bills are due next week on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

In addition, the Arlington County Treasurer’s office is reminding residents that the 2011-2012 vehicle decals must be displayed on windshields by Nov. 15.

“If residents would like more information (including payment options, information about the Taxpayer Assistance Program, etc.), they may visit www.arlingtonva.us/treas or call 703-228-4000,” a Treasurer’s office representative wrote. “Residents may also contact the Treasurer’s office by emailing treasurer@arlingtonva.us.”

Tax Enforcers on the Prowl for Sticker-Less Cars

by ARLnow.com | March 4, 2011 at 10:23 am | 8,397 views | 210 Comments

If you thought Arlington’s vehicle tax isn’t enforced, think again. As Michael Lee Pope reports, the Commissioner of Revenue’s office has a team of officers who head out before dawn to track down residents who aren’t paying their taxes.

In neighborhoods like Colonial Village, tax enforcement officers seek out vehicles with out-of-state tags and/or without Arlington registration stickers. They take notes, snap photos and then send letters to the owners, if need be.

The Personal Property Enforcement Program has collected more than $6 million in lost revenue in seven years, according to Ingrid Morroy, the county’s Commissioner of Revenue.

Read Pope’s report in the Arlington Connection or listen to it on WAMU.

Winner of County Vehicle Decal Contest Announced

by ARLnow.com | February 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm | 1,581 views | 27 Comments

Arlington has a winner in its 2011-2012 vehicle decal contest.

Out of the four design finalists, Wakefield High School student Maya Giacobbe was named the winner for her design, “Hume, Sweet Hume.”

Giacobbe said she chose to design a decal featuring Arlington’s Hume School — the present-day home of the Arlington Historical Society — because “it was one of the first schools in Arlington.”

“I see it every day,” she added.

Nearly 2,700 votes were cast online and by mail between Jan. 12 and Feb. 13. Giacobbe’s design received 906 votes, a plurality.

The tradition of choosing the design via contest open to Arlington high school students began in 2005. Arlington has required some form of a vehicle license or decal since 1949.

The winning design was announced at this afternoon’s county board meeting. Each finalist will receive a $500 savings bond from Wachovia. The winning design, meanwhile, will appear on more than 155,000 vehicles.

“Vincent van Gogh, in his lifetime, did not achieve such an honor,” noted Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary.

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