The incident happened around 10:15 a.m. A white male in his 40s, wearing nothing but white athletic socks and white Nike shoes, jumped out and exposed himself to the boy in a secluded part of the parking garage, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. There was also some incidental contact between the man and the boy, Sternbeck said.
The boy, who was at the school for an orientation session for rising freshmen, ran off and reported the incident to school staff, Sternbeck said. Numerous police officers and a K-9 unit searched for the suspect but were unable to locate him.
The suspect is described as 6’2″ tall, with an average build and short dark hair. Anybody with information about the incident is asked to call Arlington police at 703-558-2222.
(Updated at 7:35 p.m.) President Obama visited Washington-Lee High School in Arlington today, continuing his push to get Congress to act on legislation that would prevent federally subsidized student loan rates from doubling on July 1.
The president met for a private round table discussion with three students before addressing an enthusiastic crowd of more than a thousand Washington-Lee juniors, seniors, and parents in the school gymnasium.
After opening remarks that included riffs on prom, final exams and the school’s upcoming graduation, the president began making the case for maintaining the Stafford loan program and keeping student loan interest rates low.
“You guys shouldn’t have to pay an extra thousand dollars [per year] just because Congress can’t get it’s act together,” President Obama said. “In the long run, the most important thing we can do for our economy is to give all of you and all Americans the best education possible.”
“I guarantee you, members of Congress — they pay attention,” President Obama said. “Your voice can make a difference.”
“Teach them how to Tweet,” the president added, motioning to the parents in the room.
The president concluded his remarks by saying that the students in the room were part of a generation that will “remind the world just why it is America is the greatest nation on Earth.”
“When I met your classmates, when I look out at your faces, it gives me confidence about our future,” Mr. Obama said, to wild applause. ”I believe in you.”
The president then spent about 10 minutes shaking hands with students before departing the building.
The president’s visit largely went off without a hitch, though there was a small group of protesters outside the school during his arrival, one with a sign that read “Where is the recovery, Mr. President?” A student in the gymnasium fainted shortly before the president’s arrival, but was able to stay for the speech after receiving medical attention.
This was President Obama’s fifth official visit to an Arlington public school during his first term in office. School officials said they could not recall any visits from his predecessor, President George W. Bush.
The choice of venue seemed to work in Mr. Obama’s favor. The crowd at Washington-Lee booed when the president said student loan rates could double, shouted “no” in unison when asked if they wanted to pay a higher interest rate, and applauded with gusto at all the right times. The crowd was so obliging that the reporter filing today’s White House pool report concluded that the president “could not have found a better audience.”
Local officials, including Rep. Jim Moran, Del. Bob Brink, County Board member Libby Garvey, and Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, were also in the crowd.
The president was introduced by Washington-Lee senior Amirah Delwin, one of the three students who, along with their parents, took part in the roundtable discussion with the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan before the speech.
Delwin, who will be studying psychology at Old Dominion University in the fall, delivered a speech intended to reinforce the president’s message.
“I wouldn’t be able to go to school without Stafford student loans,” she said in an energetic speech that prompted a shout of “I love you” from a fellow classmate. Later, the president told the crowd that “following Amira is kind of tough.”
Delwin told ARLnow.com that one of her teachers recommended her to be in the group that met with the president.
“I was in sociology one day and they randomly called me downstairs,” she said. “I didn’t know what it was for, I initially thought I was in trouble.”
After the president’s speech Delwin, along with fellow roundtable participants Brendan Craig and Rina Castaneda, gave interviews to the various members of the media that came to cover the event. After that, they went back to class.
The White House-provided transcript of the president’s remarks, after the jump.
Obama to Visit W-L Today — President Obama will be making a lunchtime visit to Washington-Lee High School today. Expect heightened security in the area.
Bus Stop Improvements — The County has been making improvements to certain bus stops around Arlington. One recent stop to get a makeover — complete with a shelter and a Capital Bikeshare station — is at 15th and Hayes Streets in Pentagon City. [Arlington Transit]
GMU Green Patriot Award — George Mason University has issued its first annual ‘Green Patriot’ environmental award. The honor was given to Martin Ogle, the chief naturalist at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, who is retiring this month after 27 years with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. [Sun Gazette]
Federal Agency Offers Zombie Classes — In an apparent attempt to bring some levity to federal bureaucracy, classes on how to be a zombie are being offered at the Arlington offices of the Fish and Wildlife Service. [Washington Post]
The President will be focusing on the need to prevent interest rates on federally subsidized student loans from doubling. If Congress does not act, the loan rate will double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Both he and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have said that action needs to be taken to prevent that from happening.
President Obama is scheduled to hold a roundtable discussion on the issue with graduating W-L seniors and their parents. He will then deliver prepared remarks to the junior and senior classes on “the importance of their having a fair shot at an affordable higher education and the skills they need to find a good job,” according to the White House.
The public will not be able to attend the lunchtime event. The Arlington County Police Department will be helping to direct traffic in the area during the presidential visit.
New School Budget Approved — The Arlington School Board approved a new $499.98 million budget last night. The budget includes a 2.84 percent cost of living increase for school employees, but no seniority-based “step” increases. The per-student cost at Arlington Public Schools will increase to $18,615, up from $18,400 in Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s FY 2013 proposed budget and $18,110 in this past year’s budget. [Sun Gazette]
Extra I-66 Lane Studied — Adding an extra lane in each direction on I-66 would improve travel times for drivers by only about 2 percent, while costing some $310 to $685 million, according to a preliminary study. [Greater Greater Washington]
Human Error in Rosslyn Derailment — Human error is suspected in Tuesday night’s derailment at the Rosslyn Metro station. Two Metro employees were placed on paid leave following the incident. [Washington Post]
Randy Johnson Visits W-L – Future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson came to Arlington to watch a Washington-Lee High School baseball game last Friday. The Big Unit spent time in the dugout and posed for photos with players. [Patch]
Last 5K Friday Tonight — The last Crystal City 5K Friday of the season will take place starting at 6:30 tonight. Registration for the race is $20. [Pacers Events]
President Obama Screens Film for W-L Students — President Obama hosted a screening of the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the White House last night. The guest list included one of the original actors from the film — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary — and a group of Washington-Lee High School students. [UPI]
Two Candidates Announce for Englin Seat — Two Democrats have announced their intention to run for the House of Delegates seat of Del. David Englin (D). Englin announced this week that he no longer intends to seek reelection in 2013. He also admitted to having an affair. So far Alexandria City Council member Rob Krupicka and Arlington County School Board member James Lander have thrown their hat into the ring to replace Englin. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Resident Indicted for CIA Leak – Former CIA officer and current Arlington resident John Kiriakou has been indicted for allegedly leaking classified information about the CIA’s waterboarding practices to journalists. Kiriakou faces one charge under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and three charges under the Espionage Act. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
TJ Theater to Reopen — The county parks department is hoping to reopen the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater next month. The theater closed for repairs late last summer after damage was found from the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook the region. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington to Host ‘Green Games’ Ceremony — Arlington County is hosting an awards ceremony for its Green Games business sustainability competition. The ceremony will honor achievement in a number of green categories, including energy efficiency, water use, waste diversion and recycling, and transportation choices. “During the year-long competition, more than 100 offices and buildings — representing about 15 million square feet of office space, or one-third of Arlington’s total office space — raced to reduce energy use, waste, and water and set other environmental goals,” the county said in a press release. The ceremony will be held tomorrow morning at Artisphere in Rosslyn. [Arlington County]
W-L Junior Wins National Writing Award — Washington-Lee High School junior Luisa Banchoff has been named a 2012 National Gold Medalist in the annual Scholastic Writing Awards. [Arlington Public Schools]
A 22-year-old man died Saturday after collapsing while playing football at Washington-Lee High School.
The man collapsed around 5:40 p.m. during a flag football game. Police say witnesses immediately began treating the man, who briefly regained consciousness, but he was later pronounced dead in a local hospital.
“He was able to stand up and ask ‘what was happening’ before collapsing again,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “Witnesses on scene, including an ACPD officer and a nurse, were able to immediately begin CPR until medics arrived.”
So far, police have not confirmed the man’s identity, but friends of the victim have taken to Twitter to mourn his passing.
“A class act in life,” one friend said of the young man.
“You will forever be missed & loved,” Tweeted another. “Life isn’t fair, and the good really do die young.”
Metro has has drawn up a fiscal year 2013 budget and has plans for another fare hike this summer. But before pushing forward with these two measures, the agency wants to hear your input at a series of meetings.
Meetings start tonight and will be held throughout the region, with Arlington’s taking place next Monday, March 5. An open forum will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford St), and the public hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m.
The open forum will have several stations to provide information to the public. Tables staffed by senior workers of Metrobus, Metrorail, MetroAccess, SmarTrip and police will be set up to give specific information and answer individual questions. In another area, a video presentation will be shown regarding Metro’s rebuilding program. There will also be a station with computers where participants can take an online survey and submit comments about Metro’s priorities.
Metro’s $1.6 billion FY2013 budget is an increase of $116 million over the last fiscal year. It shows a net decrease in revenue of $3 million over last fiscal year. The proposed fare increases are expected to generate $66 million. An additional $53 million increase in funding would come from jurisdictions.
In looking at the breakdown of the $116 million increase in the budget, Metro reports that $61 million is needed for higher expenses for existing operations. Half of that is due to the higher cost of fringe benefits, such as health care and pension benefits. The other half is due to an increase in contracted labor costs. The remaining $55 million is for improvements in safety, security and reliability.
The budget would cover projects designed to bring Metro in line with some NTSB recommendations, such as upgrading the signal system and replacing the oldest rail cars. Track rehabilitation and replacement of the system’s escalators and elevators is also planned.
Along with the fare increase, Metro plans to simplify the fare structure and do away with the current “peak of the peak” pricing, which was deemed too confusing. The Metro Board is expected to act on the budget in June, and fare changes are expected to go into effect on or around July 1.
Along with detailed information about the budget and fare increases, information about registering to speak at the public hearing or submitting written comments can be found online. There’s also an online survey regarding the budget and fare increases.
A YouTube video of an amazing half-court buzzer beater in a key game between Washington-Lee and Wakefield is making the rounds today among local hoops fans.
The video (above) was recorded by Arlington Independent Media during last week’s National District semifinal game between two Arlington high schools: Washington-Lee and Wakefield.
According to the Sun Gazette, Wakefield had just tied the game at 60-60 with a last-second three pointer. Then, with 1.2 seconds to go, W-L inbounded the ball to junior Winston Duncan, who sunk the winning basket from half court.
Washington-Lee fans rushed the court in celebration, but that’s where the team’s jubilation ended. The team went on to lose by 9 points in the National District championship game and has since been eliminated from the Northern Region tournament.
Hat tip to @31nader
Happy Valentine’s Day — Be sure to check out this article from last week for a list of last-minute Valentine’s Day date ideas.
Big Win for Washington-Lee Gymnastics — The Washington-Lee High School girls’ gymnastics team has captured the Northern Region gymnastics title for the first time in school history. The team is now a contender for the state title at a competition on Friday. [Sun Gazette]
Bicycle Ridership High for January — Thanks in part, perhaps, to the mild weather, Arlington County counted 140,252 bicycle trips along local trails during the month of January. The count is high by seasonal standards. [CommuterPage Blog]
Parking Spots in Shirlington — How many off-street parking spots are there around Shirlington Village? There are 2,446 such spots, according to a handy map of Shirlington garages. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
On March 17, ACE is holding its third annual Green Living Expo from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School. The event focuses on helping residents find practical ways to “green up” their lifestyles. Visitors will find green living seminars, a variety of local and national exhibitors, children’s activities, a raffle, sustainable eating food sales and cooking demonstrations.
The expo is free and open to the pubic, but the event is still short on volunteers. Extra help is needed from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., organizers say. Anyone who wants to lend a hand can get more information by calling 703-228-6427.
Metro Apologizes for Thursday Night Delays — WMATA has apologized for leaving riders stranded for up to an hour on Thursday night. A power failure at Metro’s command center in Landover, Md. caused a communications breakdown that disrupted service between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. late Thursday night/early Friday morning. [TBD]
Arlington Student Honored for Essay — An Arlington high school student has won an essay contest sponsored by Dominion. Sam Bosley, of the Langston High School Continuation Program, wrote an essay for Dominion’s Strong Men Strong Women program — which seeks “essays about African American leaders who make an impact on students today.” Bosley’s essay on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was named the winner for Northern Virginia. As a winner, Bosley will receive a laptop computer from Dominion and Langston will receive a grant for $1,000. [Dominion]
W-L Gymnastics Champs Chow Down on Donuts — After winning a third straight National District championship, the Washington-Lee High School girls gymnastics team indulged in a bit of a tradition for Arlington’s gymnastics squads: stopping for donuts at a Krispy Kreme store on Route 1 south of Alexandria. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington will host the second annual Northern Virginia Housing Expo this year.
The event features dozens of exhibits “showcasing both homeownership and rental opportunities and resources throughout Northern Virginia.” There are also free workshops that will help prepare attendees for renting or buying a home.
The housing expo is produced by the Fairfax-based nonprofit AHOME, in cooperation with the Virginia Housing Development Authority and numerous Northern Virginia localities, including Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun and Falls Church.
The expo is being held at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street) between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. The inaugural expo was held at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School last June.
Apparently the anti-drinking video made by Yorktown High School students last month didn’t quite get the point across to everybody.
A letter sent to parents and students last week reveals that a number of students were caught under the influence of alcohol at the Yorktown/Washington-Lee football game on Friday, Nov. 4.
Dear Parents and Students:
We have had a large number of school activities this past fall season and want to begin by mentioning what has struck us most: the tremendous good will, good spirit and cooperation of our students who participated in and attended these events. We appreciate that, admire it, and thank you for it.
At the same time, when there is a problem, we want to address it. Several students in attendance at the football game this past Friday arrived under the influence of alcohol. Even if this were the case with only one student, it is unacceptable to all of us who work as supervisors at school activities. Knowing you are concerned about your own student’s health and those of all fellow students, I am sure that this is unacceptable to you, as well.
At school and school events, we will continue to stress the importance of healthy decision-making for all our students. We will continue to contact you if there are any incidents involving your child’s well-being. While we believe all high schools across the country have an important role in educating students about the dangers of alcohol, we also know that parents are crucial in working with us to ensure that students are safe and alcohol/drug free.
Parents, please make certain your children understand your clear expectations regarding the underage, illegal use of alcohol and other substances. Know who your student is associating with and where they are going before and after a school event. If your house will be unattended on an evening, make sure your child knows who can and cannot be in your home. Optimally, you may want to have someone else keep an eye on it. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call the parent of another student, if you have a question or need to express a concern. The bottom line is the same for all of us: we want to ensure the safety and health of every single Arlington Public School student.
Thanks to each of you — students and parents — for communicating openly and honestly about this issue. It is important we communicate the same message and help all students understand that we will hold all students accountable for any violations of underage use of alcohol (or any other illegal substance).
Dr. Raymond Pasi
Principal, Yorktown High School
Mr. Gregg Robertson
Principal, Washington-Lee High School