Parents of Gymnasts Want New Facilities — Despite a tight county budget, parents of Arlington gymnasts are calling on the County Board to fund new gymnastics facilities. Heather Cocozza, a representative of the Arlington Tigers competitive boys gymnastics team, claims that a new gymnastics facility can actually make a profit for the county. [Arlington Mercury]
APS Ranks Among Top High Schools — Arlington’s public high schools have ranked in the top 2 percent of all high schools in the country, according to the Washington Post’s “Challenge Index.” In the Washington region, H-B Woodlawn ranked #4, Washington-Lee #10, Yorktown #14 and Wakefield #62. [Arlington Public Schools]
Vacant Retail Space May Become Conference Facility — A vacant 13,000 square foot retail space on the ground floor of the new 800 N. Glebe Road office building in Ballston would become a conference facility, under a proposal that’s under consideration by the Arlington County Board. The nearby Bluemont Civic Association has expressed concerns about the change. [Sun Gazette]
The fundraiser will run from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at SoBe in Clarendon (3100 Clarendon Blvd). A $10 donation will buy attendees a wristband entitling them to $2.50 domestic beers, $3.50 rail drinks, $3.50 house wine and food specials. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and DJ Antonio Ernesto will perform.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Sandy Hook Support Fund, says co-organizer Colleen Whalen.
“As a Virginia Tech alum, I know what it’s like for a community to suffer loss from a tragic event such as what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary,” Whalen said. “It was the outpouring of support from communities around the world that helped my Virginia Tech family cope with our own tragedy.”
A local company, Project DC Events, is helping Whalen organize the happy hour. Whalen said she’s trying to build on the success of a previous Virginia Tech alumni-organized fundraiser for Sandy Hook, held at Whitlow’s last month.
“It’s kind of a second push for people who were unable to attend, or were already out of town for the holidays when the first one took place,” she told ARLnow.com. “Although some of the organizers went to Virginia Tech, we are trying to promote to a larger audience, not just Hokies.”
ACFD Food Drive Ends Friday — The Arlington County Fire Department’s food drive, which began on December 1, will end this Friday, December 21. So far, ACFD has collected more than 1,200 pounds of food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Non-perishable food can be donated at all Arlington and Falls Church fire departments, and at the county government building at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.
County Hopes Residents Remove Snow to Avoid Fines — Arlington officials are reminding residents that it could be another year that snow piles up and needs to be removed from sidewalks. The county hopes residents follow the snow removal ordinance that was put in place in 2010. Failure to remove snow is a civil infraction that holds fines of $50-100, and moving snow from private property into public areas (like streets) is a Class 4 misdemeanor. So far, no tickets have been issued under the ordinance. [Sun Gazette]
Sandy Hook School Fundraiser — Whitlow’s (2854 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a fundraiser tonight (December 19) to raise money for families affected by Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. The effort was spearheaded by alumni from Virginia Tech who were students during that school’s deadly shooting in 2007. All proceeds from the event will go to the Sandy Hook School Support fund. There will also be a table set up for patrons to make cards to be sent to the community in Connecticut. [Hokies for Sandy Hook]
Yorktown Hosts South County in Semifinal — In high school football action, the Yorktown Patriots will take on the South County Stallions tonight in a Northern Region Division 5 semifinal playoff game. The contest is a home game for Yorktown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Yorktown lost to South County in the regional championship game last year. [Sun Gazette]
APS Awarded for Green Initiatives — Arlington Public Schools has “earned a Platinum Certification as a Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) Certified Green Schools Division.” The school system also placed first in VSBA’s Green Schools Challenge for large school divisions. [Arlington Public Schools]
Award for Affordable Clarendon Development — VPoint, the affordable apartment building built atop a Clarendon church, has been named the “Best Affordable Housing Development” in Virginia at the 2012 Governor’s Housing Conference. “The award is presented to a housing development that is innovative in its concept and design and exceptional in meeting the needs of the intended community,” according to a press release. [Arlington County]
Honors for Arlington VT Students — Arlington resident Liam O’Neill has been selected to be a member of the Marching Virginians marching band at Virginia Tech. O’Neill is a percussion musician and a sophomore majoring in building construction. Another Arlington native, Michelle Sutherland, has been named to Virginia Tech’s Order of the Gavel, an honor society for leaders of major student organizations. Sutherland, a junior majoring in political science, is editor of the Collegiate Times, the school’s student newspaper.
Save Your Profile Information Today — If you’re a registered user of ARLnow.com, please save any user profile information or avatars you’re currently using on the site. Changes will be made to the site this weekend and your information may be lost.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Paws to Read Coming to Cherrydale – Paws to Read, a program that allows children to practice their reading skills by reading books aloud to dogs, is making its debut at the Cherrydale Branch Library next month. The ‘Paws’ dogs will be at Cherrydale the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 10 and for one Saturday each month afterward. The program is intended for children from K-5. [Arlington Public Library]
Controversy for Fmr. Arlington Official — Former Arlington Deputy County Manager Kenneth Chandler has resigned as City Manager of Portsmouth, Va. The resignation came as the city council was preparing to fire him for the bungling of the resignation of the city’s former fire chief. [Virginian-Pilot]
Resident Pens Va. Tech Cookbook — Krista Gallagher, a Pentagon City resident, has co-written a recently-published cookbook for Virginia Tech alumni. The book, “A Taste of Virginia Tech,” compiles recipes from various restaurants around Blacksburg. Gallagher will participate in a book signing event at Bailey’s Pub and Grille in Ballston (4238 Wilson Blvd) at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, before the nationally-televised Virginia Tech-Florida State football game. [A Taste of Virginia Tech]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Cybersecurity Center to Open in Ballston — Virginia Tech and defense contractor L-3 Communications are set to jointly open a cybersecurity research center in Ballston on Friday. The center will be located at the Virginia Tech Research Center building at 900 N. Glebe Road. [Washington Post]
Arlington Gearing Up for Nov. Election — In anticipation of election day on Nov. 6, Arlington County is encouraging residents to register to vote and, if necessary, vote absentee. The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 15, and the deadline for absentee ballots is Oct. 30. This year, the county is also allowing voters to cast their absentee ballot in person, at three absentee polling places: Courthouse Plaza, Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center, and the Madison Community Center. [Arlington County]
Generals, Patriots Win — The Washington-Lee Generals and the Yorktown Patriots both emerged victorious in local high school football action over the weekend. Yorktown defeated the Stuart Raiders 41-3, and Washington-Lee downed the winless Wakefield Warriorts 49-14. Bishop O’Connell, meanwhile, suffered its first loss, at the hands of the visiting DeMatha Stags. The Stags won 41-10. [Sun Gazette]
New Books By Arlington Authors — Two recently-released books by Arlington authors are receiving good reviews. Radical Chapters by Arlington resident and McClatchy Washington Bureau reporter Michael Doyle received an upbeat review by Palo Alto Weekly. The book details the life and times of a Roy Kepler, who was both a prominent peace activist and a groundbreaking bookstore owner. Darkbeast, by Arlington author Morgan Keyes, has picked up a number of good reviews on Amazon.com. The novel follows twelve-year-old Keara, who runs away from home rather than sacrifice Caw, her magical raven darkbeast.
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
One light went in this week on southbound Glebe Road at N. 9th Street, and another on the northbound side at N. Vermont Street. According to the Department of Environmental Services, it was part of a site plan development with the new construction on the west side of Glebe Road.
New buildings in the area, including the recently opened residences at The Jordan and the Virginia Tech Research Center building, which houses commercial tenants such as The Greene Turtle, have brought additional pedestrian traffic. It’s expected to increase even more once the office building at 800 N. Glebe is completed.
DES spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel says that’s why it was necessary to put in traffic lights, to establish a safe pedestrian connection between the new construction on the west side of Glebe and the businesses and Ballston Metro station on the east side.
Currently, the lights are still covered up. If all goes according to plan, they should be turned on by the end of the month.
Moran Marks Anniversary of Va. Tech Massacre — Rep. Jim Moran (D) marked the fifth anniversary of the shooting massacre at Virginia Tech yesterday by calling on Congress to improve gun control laws. “When there are nearly enough guns in the U.S. for every man, woman and child, firearms will find their way into the wrong hands,” Moran said. “Criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill have no business owning deadly weapons.” A student shot and killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007.
Concern About Chicken Doo-Doo — Some residents are concerned that, if enacted, a proposal to allow small-scale backyard hen raising in Arlington would result in extra water pollution. A George Mason University professor says chicken waste from backyard hens in Arlington would ultimately make it into the already environmentally-sensitive Chesapeake Bay. [WAMU]
Hearing About School Board Appointment — A public hearing will be held tonight to discuss the appointment of an interim School Board member to replace now-County Board member Libby Garvey. Sixteen residents have declared themselves interested in the position. [Sun Gazette]
Man Dies After Heart Attack at Pentagon Station — Added at 9:15 a.m. — A 51-year-old Alexandria man died yesterday afternoon after suffering a heart attack at the Pentagon Metro station. Passengers attempted to revive the man, a witness told ARLnow.com, but he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. [Washington Post]
Circuit Court Judge to Retire — Arlington Circuit Court Judge Joanne F. Alper, the first woman appointed to the Arlington Circuit Court, has announced her retirement. Alper plans to retire on May 31, 2012, after serving on the circuit court since 1998. “Judge Alper developed a reputation as a tough, fair, hard-working Trial Judge,” the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office said in a press release. “She enjoys complex litigation, challenging legal issues, and is known as a champion for Victim’s Rights.”
Adios, Artisphere Salsa Tuesdays? — Tonight may mark the end of Salsa Tuesdays at Artisphere, one of the few regularly-scheduled features of the financially-challenged arts facility in Rosslyn. Artisphere’s new business plan calls for the facility to be closed to the public on Tuesdays. Salsa dancing at Artisphere may return, however, on different days. [Washington City Paper]
BikeArlington Distributes 1,000+ Lights — The county’s BikeArlington initiative has distributed more than 1,000 sets of free bike lights over the course of three giveaway events. The giveaways were held on trails in Rosslyn, on Columbia Pike, and at the intersection of the W&OD and Custis trails. [CommuterPage Blog]
Yorktown Grad Wins Writing Contest — Bryce Wilson Stuckie, a member of Yorktown High School’s Class of 2004 and a recent Virginia Tech grad, has been named one of the two winners of The Nation’s sixth annual Student Writing Contest. Stuckie wrote a heart-wrenching and thought-provoking 800-word essay about the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre.
(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) Arlington is home not only to a high concentration of Virginia Tech graduates, but also to the new Virginia Tech National Capital Region Research Center.
Given this afternoon’s breaking news about a shooting on the Blacksburg campus, our thoughts are with Virginia Tech and the local VT community. As of 1:50 p.m., news outlets were reporting that two people had been shot and killed, with scattered reports of more shots fired and a shooter who may still be at large on campus. Follow the real-time reporting of the Collegiate Times student newspaper or the reporting of local TV station WDBJ for more details.
Today’s shooting no doubt conjures up bad memories of the 2007 shooting spree that claimed 33 lives. Feel free to voice your thoughts in the comments.
Featuring next-generation internet connectivity, computational laboratories and multiple meeting and conference spaces, the new 144,000 square foot Virginia Tech Research Center building in Ballston (900 N. Glebe Road) celebrated its grand opening today.
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, Rep. Jim Moran, and County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman were on hand this afternoon for a ribbon cutting ceremony on the glimmering glass-and-steel building’s seventh floor.
Zimmerman kicked off the ceremony with references to the “human bandwidth” and “internet firepower” that the building brings to Ballston, Arlington’s science and technology hub. Dr. Steger spoke about the research already underway in the building, including research into military medical care, renewable energy and cyber security.
Calling Virginia Tech’s Ballston presence an “international center of excellence” and an “investment in our future,” Rep. Moran remarked on the benefits it will bring to the area and to the university.
“It will pay substantial dividends to Virginia Tech and enhance its mission to become one of the leading research institutions in the world,” he said. Moran added that it would be a mistake to cut federal research funding in the interest of deficit reduction, citing what he said was the need to supplement the “short term, bottom line” focus of corporate research.
Grand Opening for Virginia Tech Research Center — The shiny new Virginia Tech Research Center at 900 N. Glebe Road in Ballston will celebrate its grand opening on Friday. Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger, Congressman Jim Moran and County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman are among the scheduled speakers. The seven floor, 144,000 square foot facility boasts next-generation internet connectivity, computational laboratories and multiple meeting and conference spaces.
School Board Asks for Definition of Homework — A proposal before the School Board states that homework should count for no more than 15 percent of a student’s quarterly grade. However, Board members have asked for clarification after learning that certain take-home projects apparently aren’t considered “homework.” Some parents have complained that students are being asked to do too much school work outside of school. [Sun Gazette]
Signature Theater Open House Planned — Returning for another year, Shirlington’s Signature Theater will be holding its “open house” next month, complete with indoor and outdoor performances, master classes and the popular Signature Idol singing competition. The open house is being held from noon to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. [Signature Theater]
Armed Robbery Suspect Arrested — A man who’s suspected in three armed robberies in Arlington, and at least 15 throughout Northern Virginia, has been apprehended. Eugene Athony Thomas, 24, was arrested in Fairfax County on Monday after a joint investigation by Fairfax and Arlington County police. More from the Falls Church News-Press.
Parks Dept. Creating “Arlingtonopoly” Game – The county’s parks and recreation department is creating a “Monopoly” knock-off called “Arlingtonopoly.” Local landmarks and businesses (who fork over several hundred dollars) will substitute for Boardwalk, Park Place and rest of the original board game’s familiar properties. More from the Sun Gazette.
FBR Reports Lower-Than-Expected Loss — Rosslyn-based investment bank FBR Capital Markets reported a loss of $8.3 million, or 13 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2010. Analysts expected a 28 cent loss, according to Reuters.
Moran Co-Sponsors Animal Cruelty Bill Following SCOTUS Ruling — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) introduced a bill today to bar the sale of videos which graphically depict the abuse and killing of animals. The quick action follows yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that deemed a previous law too broad. “I refuse to stand by while people profit from the mutilation and torture of helpless puppies, kittens and other animals,” Moran said in a statement.
Arlington Native Named VT Undergrad Rep — Arlington native Shane McCarty has been named the undergraduate student representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. He’ll hold the prestigious position for the 2010-2011 academic year. McCarty, a junior majoring in marketing, is also vice president of the university’s Student Government Association.
Arlington Prevails in First HOT Lanes Ruling — Arlington has scored a small victory in its lawsuit against the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia over the HOT lanes project. A federal judge denied VDOT’s motion to dismiss the case.
Save the Planetarium Rally Tomorrow — Supporters of the David M. Brown Planetarium plan to hold a rally at tomorrow night’s school board meeting, a week before the board’s planned vote on its FY2011 budget. The Save the Planetarium group has amassed more than 3,150 fans on Facebook and has collected more than 880 signatures for a petition.