Press Club
Flags in at Arlington National Cemetery on 5/26/22 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Arlington.

We hope you’re able to get some rest and reflection in after this long week. Once we push past some rain this evening, it’s looking like sunny skies, high temps and grilling weather through Monday.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Thousands without power in Arlington after strong storms roll through
  2. First case of monkeypox reported in N. Va.
  3. Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia to open in Shirlington, aiming for fall
  4. Republicans nominate Arlington resident as 8th Congressional District candidate
  5. Massive ‘Pike’ sculpture is being installed this week near the county border
  6. Smash and grab theft at Pentagon City mall jewelry store
  7. Taqueria el Poblano staying open through the summer, now set to close in August
  8. Police: Parking aide assaulted, more cars broken into
  9. ACPD stepping up patrols of schools in wake of Texas shooting, Alexandria stabbing
  10. Arlington now under Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

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Armed Forces Cycling Classic in 2019 (courtesy photo)

The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, a series of races around Clarendon and Crystal City, is set to take place the first weekend of June.

The Cycling Classic will be held Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5. The in-person event resumed last year following the 2020 cancellation due to the pandemic. (The 2020 event featured virtual rides instead.)

“Cyclists with USA Cycling licenses are invited to race in Arlington on both days,” the event website says. “Racing will feature the Nation’s top Pro men and women. Amateurs of all abilities will also be able to participate on Saturday morning’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic Challenge Ride!”

The Challenge Ride, the area’s largest non-competitive ride, will kick off the weekend on Saturday at 7 a.m., with a closed course route set to take riders through Crystal City, the Pentagon, Rosslyn and back. All who finish the ride will a receive a medal, according to the event’s website.

“Gold, silver and bronze medals are earned for those who can complete 9, 6 or 3 laps within the 3 hour time limit,” the website says. The additional laps will be required compared to previous years to accommodate the current road construction.

The courses will prompt a mix of road closures and lane closures, with speed restrictions.

Slow speed zones are expected to be set up from 15th Street S. to Cheerios Park, as well as a section of Wilson Blvd, according to the Challenge Ride route map on the event’s website.

For the 2021 cycling series, several roads in Crystal City and Clarendon were closed for most of the race days, including parts of Crystal Drive, Wilson Blvd, and Route 110, as well as N. Highland, N. Garfield and N. Fillmore streets.

The 24th Clarendon Cup’s 5-turn course for professional and amateur cyclists is set to begin on Wilson Blvd then leads cyclists to Washington Blvd, N. Highland Street, to Clarendon Blvd and Fillmore, according to a route map.

“The famous 1km course will test the athletes skill and stamina, as it carries a reputation as one of the most difficult criterium races in the U.S. due to technical demands of the course and the quality of the participants,” the website says.

A map of the 2022 Clarendon Cup race (via Armed Forces Cycling Classic)

The day of the Clarendon Cup starts at 8 a.m. with various amateur races, followed by the women’s professional and amateurs race at 10 a.m., according to the website.

Beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m., free races for children 9 and under are held before the last race of the day — the Clarendon Cup Pro/1 Men’s Invitational, which is set to start just after noon.

Registration for amateur riders is open online, according to the event’s website. Interested participants can join individually or as a member of a team.

The 2022 schedule of events (via Armed Forces Cycling Classic)

The event — which is sponsored by brands like Boeing, Amazon and United Airlines — has partnered with the Clarendon-based Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting people who lost a loved one in the military. Participants in the challenges are encouraged to join as a fundraiser for the organization.

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Give a warm welcome to the newest Adoptable Pet of the Week, Finley! This blue-eyed Australian Shepherd is an energetic pup looking for his best friend.

He is in shelter at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which is currently at or near capacity for its dog kennels.

This is what Finley had to say about himself:

Hi, I’m Finley! I have a secret to tell you… I’m much more than just a handsome face!

I’m a smart and energetic pup who is looking for someone to understand me and love me for me. The nice staff here have been telling me about something called L.E.G.S., which stands for Learning, Environment, Genetics and Self. These are all the parts that make me… well, me!

I really like to bark and pull towards those people and dogs to let them know they’re not where they’re supposed to be. I’ve been working really hard with the trainers here who are helping me understand that those people and dogs have their own lives and things to do. I get lots of tasty treats when I am calm on my leash!

I also like my people to be in their place — with me! I will dote on your every word and I’ll probably follow you around the house. I can learn simple tricks like sit or rollover, but what if you taught me to pick up your dirty socks from around the house instead? That sounds way more fun!

Oh, one last important thing — I LOVE other dogs! I’ve made lots of doggy friends here at the shelter and would be more than happy to live in a home with other dogs.

So, there you have it! I know I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m more like a cup of black coffee! A bit of an acquired taste, but the right person will love me so, so much.

Is Finely your cup of coffee? Set up at time to meet Finely by checking out his complete profile!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos — they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

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AAC is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Marymount University this summer in offering new ceramic camps onsite at MU! Students will build and explore 3D pottery, sculpture and more!

Guided by professional ceramic artists, campers will hone their skills and challenge their imaginations. Younger students will build vessels by hand and explore a variety of creative styles while older students will throw on the wheel and learn about professional practices and techniques. Camps are offered for ages 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, and 14-18. Space is limited so sign up today!

Submit your own Community Post here.

Chamber Dance Project Family Matinee

Chamber Dance Project presents a powerful season of two world premieres and repertoire favorites. Grace, Grandeur & Gatsby features ten dancers, and six musicians live onstage in works by four choreographers including the powerful new Gatsby, that brings the world

We have a three day weekend ahead and plenty of open houses across Arlington.

According to Homesnap, there have been 175 new listings in the last 4 weeks with 305 sales. Currently, there are 501 homes for sale with 307 condos, 158 detached homes and 36 townhomes.

Here’s a look at some of the open houses taking place in Arlington this weekend:

  • 6237 Washington Boulevard
    5 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Double landing staircase, walk-in pantry, deck
    Listed: $1,925,000
    Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Brian Siebel – Compass)
  • 3806 N. Wakefield Street
    4 BR/3 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Hardwood floors, two fireplaces, patio
    Listed: $1,349,000
    Open: Saturday, 2-4 p.m. (Margaret Richardson – Washington Fine Properties)
  • 3831 N. Vernon Street
    4 BR/2.5 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Screened-in porch, custom patio, outdoor bar
    Listed: $1,195,000
    Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (Jay Caputo – Compass)
  • 1051 N. Manchester Street
    4 BR/2 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: Remodeled lower level, renovated kitchen, two car garage,
    Listed: $999,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Betsy Twigg – McEnearney Associates)
  • 5508 7th Street S.
    4 BR/2 BA Single-family home
    Noteworthy: All brick, shaded patio, hardwood floors
    Listed: $900,000
    Open: Saturday, 1-4 p.m. (Susan Mekenney – Samson Properties)
  • 820 N. Pollard Street #203
    2 BR/2 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Corner unit, professionally repainted, 1,100 sq. ft.
    Listed: $709,900
    Open: Sunday, 12-3 p.m. (John Kozyn – Century 21 Redwood Realty)
  • 1211 S. Eads Street #202
    2 BR/2 BA Condo
    Noteworthy: Balcony, updated flooring, custom closets
    Listed: $649,000
    Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Timothy Williams – Redfin Corporation)

See all Arlington open house listings here.

Want your open house to appear here? You can now submit sponsored listings.

5508 7th Street S.

* Denotes sponsored listing

5508 7th Street S. image via Google Maps

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Radar as of 11:50 a.m.

Arlington is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, with a line of strong storms approaching from the west.

That’s in addition to the earlier Tornado Watch and Flood Watch.

From the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1147 AM EDT Fri May 27 2022

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning …

* Until 1230 PM EDT.

* At 1146 AM EDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from Lansdowne to near Chantilly to near Lake Ridge, moving northeast at 40 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include… Arlington, Alexandria, Germantown, Centreville, Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Reston, Annandale, Clinton, Olney, Springfield, College Park, South Riding, Fort Washington, Herndon, Greenbelt, Fairfax, Langley Park and Beltsville.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 200 PM EDT for District of Columbia…central Maryland…and northern Virginia.

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 200 PM EDT for District of Columbia…central Maryland…and northern Virginia.

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Mummi Ibrahim (photo courtesy Arlington County)

Arlington has hired its first Independent Policing Auditor, though it didn’t go the exact way the county was hoping for.

The county announced today that Mummi Ibrahim, who “has a long history in supporting grassroots organizing efforts” that includes a focus on police practices, has been hired for the position. Ibrahim will serve as the professional staff to the recently-appointed Community Oversight Board, which will review use of force complaints against Arlington law enforcement.

But the hire didn’t exactly go as first envisioned. Ibrahim was hired by County Manager Mark Schwartz, the top county executive in charge of county staff and departments, including the police department.

State legislation passed that would have allowed the County Board to appoint the policing auditor, providing more independence, but that bill was vetoed by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R). On a party line vote, the state legislature failed to override the veto.

Nonetheless, the Arlington branch of the NAACP lauded the hire.

“One of the most essential and defining concepts of civilian oversight of law enforcement is independence,” said branch president Julius D. “JD” Spain, Sr. “After over a year of deliberations and community engagement, the NAACP Arlington Branch is pleased with the Arlington County Government’s selection of its first Independent Policing Auditor.”

“This is a step in the right direction to restore trust and confidence in the public safety system,” Spain added. “We expect a more complete, thorough, objective, and fair process moving forward.”

More from a county press release, below.

Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz is pleased to appoint Mummi Ibrahim as Arlington’s first Independent Policing Auditor. In this new role, Ms. Ibrahim will provide professional staff support to the newly appointed Community Oversight Board (COB). She will also be instrumental in conducting independent audits of police operations, receiving complaints from members of the public, and participating in investigations as appropriate.

About Mummi Ibrahim

Ms. Ibrahim has a long history in supporting grassroots organizing efforts focused on assessing legislation, legal remedies and policy recommendations related to police practices, as well as campaign strategies for prosecutorial accountability.

Most recently, Ms. Ibrahim served as a senior staff attorney at the Advancement Project, where her work focused on policing issues, including Section 1983 litigation trainings for lawyers seeking to represent individuals who have experienced harm due to police misconduct.

As an organizer and staff attorney at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, she ran a campaign to end the practice of sentencing juveniles to life without parole. In this role, she organized a coalition comprised of hundreds of impacted community members and several social justice organizations to lobby for sentencing reform, drive a statewide legal strategy to end juvenile life without parole sentencing, and establish re-entry services.

She has also worked with the City of New Orleans Independent Police Monitor, overseeing disciplinary hearings, data collection, and policy reform within the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). Earlier in her career, she served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Audrey L. Thomas of the Superior Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ms. Ibrahim is a native of Khartoum, Sudan. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and her juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law.

Background

In 2021, the Arlington County Board established the Community Oversight Board (COB) to improve transparency, accountability, and community trust in the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD). The COB will have the ability to independently receive, investigate, and make recommendations in response to complaints from the community. The ordinance also calls for an accompanying Independent Policing Auditor to support the work of the COB.

The Community Oversight Board, which was appointed in spring 2022, consists of seven voting members and two non-voting members with prior experience in law enforcement. All COB members are residents of Arlington, are appointed by the County Board, and reflect the demographic diversity of the County.

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Take a drive through Fairlington and you will see sprawling acres of modest Colonial Revival-style condominiums with manicured lawns.

Once, they were garden apartments and townhouses, built between 1942 and 1944 to house the masses of defense workers who flocked to Arlington during World War II.

The complex is one marquee example of Arlington’s World War II-era garden apartments. Other examples include Arlington’s first complex, Colonial Village, and its second, Buckingham Village.

While denser than exclusively single-family-zoned neighborhoods, they are roomier, greener and lower to the ground than mid- to high-rise developments along Arlington’s Metro corridors. That is, they fit the definition of “Missing Middle” housing stock that Arlington County is looking to increase.

Today, Arlington is once again facing a housing crunch, one that is expected to tighten as Amazon hires more workers and companies spring up in its orbit. Garden apartments were once a solution to Arlington’s housing problems 80 years ago. But as Arlington County considers a plan for allowing “Missing Middle” housing in all residential area of the county, the “Missing Middle” of 80 years ago — these low-rise, gentle density developments — are worth a look.

Arlington’s housing history

Garden apartments first came online in the 1920s and were billed as a more spacious and light-filled alternative to denser, taller tenement housing, says George Mason University Mercatus Center fellow Emily Hamilton, who studies housing and development.

“Their setting, in park-like areas, was also shaped by the ‘garden city‘ movement, which started in the UK and was influential in the U.S. and based on the belief that urban housing should be surrounded by greenery, even in the city,” Hamilton said said. (Reston is nearby example of a planned “garden city.”)

But that trend didn’t pick up in Arlington until 1935, when 245 Colonial Revival-style buildings were built on 55 acres and named Colonial Village, writes Gail Baker, a former member of the Arlington County Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board. Construction began on Arlington’s second complex, the 100-acre Buckingham Village, in 1937, and was completed in the 1950s.

Hamilton says demand shifted toward single-family homes in the mid-century, as living standards and federal financing made buying a house more feasible.

As a result, garden apartments became a “starter option” for families, according to historian Charlie Clark.

“A lot of Arlingtonians who are middle-aged homeowners got their start in the garden apartments in the 40s and 50s,” he said. “Then, they ambitiously rose the economic scale, and wanted a single-family home with a yard, and ended up in other neighborhoods.”

By the 1970s, as the regional population grew and Metro was built these garden apartments faced development pressure. Colonial Village was broken up: some units were conserved, others were converted in condos, and still others were razed and turned into office buildings.

The county preserved Buckingham through an affordable housing deal and the units at Fairlington Villages were converted into condominiums and sold. One selling point was that their Colonial Revival façades were maintained, Baker writes.

Fifty years later, garden apartments are some of the last affordable dwellings to rent in the county in part because the buildings are dated, Hamilton says. And development pressure is mounting, as these buildings are reaching the end of their useful lives.

“It’s interesting,” Clark said. “They were probably considered middle-class when they were built, but they probably have declined a little bit in terms of economics.”

A collection of them near Rosslyn, on N. Ode Street, will be redeveloped as a high-rise affordable housing complex. Meanwhile, the owners of a similar complex along Columbia Pike will be redeveloping its property with townhouses.

Arlington County pre-empted speculative redevelopment of a third garden apartment complex, the Barcroft Apartments, by brokering a deal with Amazon and developer Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, which agreed to preserve 1,334 units on the site as committed affordable units for 99 years.

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Storm clouds seen from the Air Force Memorial on Sept. 3, 2020 (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington and much of the D.C. area is under both a Tornado Watch and a Flood Watch today.

Strong storms with damaging wind, large hail and torrential downpours are possible today, forecasters say.

“A Tornado Watch is in effect for much of the area until 2pm this afternoon,” the National Weather Service says. “In addition to the threat for tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail will also be possible.”

While the tornado risk will end mid-afternoon, forecasters suggest, the flood risk will run well into the evening, with the watch set to expire at 11 p.m.

More from NWS:

433 AM EDT Fri May 27 2022

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM EDT THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall continues to be possible. […]

* WHEN…From 11 AM EDT this morning through this evening.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms are likely starting this morning and continuing through this evening. Locations could receive 1 to 2 inches of rain in a short period of time. Localized rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, though locations that experience multiple rounds of thunderstorms could exceed 3 inches.
– Please visit http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood for safety information.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

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Tickets are still available for the Virginia Black History, Juneteenth, and Father’s Day Gala!

This year’s gala is scheduled for Sunday, 19 June 2022 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the beautiful Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. We are extremely excited to announce this year’s keynote speaker is TV Personality, American Lawyer, Author, & Former Arbitrator on the “Divorce Court” Television show, Judge Lynn Toler.

Our entertainment includes a performance by the Umbiance Center for Performing Arts, a surprise broom jumping ceremony, a musical performance by Miss Black Virginia, an appearance by Mr. Vincent Tucker – a descendant of the first enslaved Africans brought to the Virginia colony in 1619 and so much more.

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