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by Buzz McClain — April 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm 0

As far as contests go, this is a unique one: All Arlington personal in-home fitness trainer Joe Tryon wants is for you to guess how long it was between the taking of the “before” photo and the “after” picture.

The photos are of him.

“This is something I wanted to do since before I started the business,” says Tryon.

His company is called Kinematics; the former Army captain offers in-home and mobile personal training and nutrition services, and he’s offering up his own body as proof that he’s on to something with his methods.

Your fitness goals are met using his personalized exercise plans designed to meet those goals. Your experience with fitness training and schedule are all taken into account to insure success at your own pace.

Tryon knows what you’re going through: Once he left the Army and began working a desk job his discipline and fitness routines that got him through Airborne and Ranger schools took a beating, as did his body when he attempted to get back in shape. A skilled physical therapist put him back together and that’s when he gained the motivation to acquire the certifications needed to help others.

And now he’s having a contest.

In each photo he’s holding a copy of that day’s newspaper. The person who comes closest to guessing how many days elapsed between the photos wins a nifty TRX GO Suspension Trainer system, a $129.95 value, and if you don’t know what it is, you might want to sign up for a free assessment from Kinematics.

Here’s the link to the details of the contest.

by Chris Teale — April 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

An Afghan restaurant in Crystal City is applying for a major revamp, including a name-change and the ability to host live entertainment.

Planning documents filed with the county indicate that Grill Kabob at 507 23rd Street S. hopes to be renamed Sin & Saint. It also would like to add a dance floor on the second level for use on Friday and Saturday nights, in addition to live entertainment from a DJ.

In the application, the owners said the DJ will use speakers and subwoofers, most likely the Electro-Voice brand. The live entertainment would be provided from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurant is located among other bars and eateries along the 23rd Street corridor.

The applicant and county staff discussed the project last night at the Aurora Highlands Civic Association’s monthly meeting.

by Katie Pyzyk — April 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

The streets of Clarendon soon will become more colorful and creative with the return of the Arlington Festival of the Arts.

The fifth annual festival will take place at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Highland Street on Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

More than 150 exhibitors will showcase their original works, which include paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery, glass and mixed media. Attendees will be able to purchase items at a wide range of prices.

The following roads will be closed from 4 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, through 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, to accommodate the festival:

  • Westbound Washington Blvd from N. Garfield Street to Clarendon Blvd
  • N. Highland Street from Clarendon Blvd to Washington Blvd
  • N. 11th Street between N. Highland Street and N. Garfield Street will be open to delivery traffic only

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — April 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Ready Arlington banner

This biweekly column is sponsored by the Arlington Office of Emergency Management.

If the answer to that question is never or, that you never knew how, you’re in luck! April 9-15, 2017 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week, and the perfect time to show appreciation for 9-1-1 Call Takers and Dispatchers everywhere.

The idea for this week-long event was started in 1981 as a local event in Costa County, Va. President George H.W. Bush signed a proclamation in March 1992 inviting all Americans to observe this week so everyone could be made aware of their hard work and dedication to their communities.

What About A 9-1-1 Dispatcher Am I Celebrating, You Ask?

The first voice you hear when you call 9-1-1 is that of a call taker with their calm and reassuring voice. They are highly trained professionals who work with police, fire and medical personnel to get you the help you need. A 9-1-1 dispatcher is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, always ready to handle your call for assistance. In some instances, they can even make the difference between life and death.

Why Do They Have To Ask So Many Questions? Why Don’t They Just Send Me Someone?

Well let’s clear some things up. Emergency 9-1-1 Call/Takers/Dispatchers are trained to prioritize incoming calls: they’re gathering pertinent information from you to make sure the police, fire and/or medical personnel are equipped and prepared to respond before they get to you. They also need certain information to keep not only you as safe as possible, but also to keep the police and fire units safe. This can sometimes mean a lot of questions.

Actually, while they are gathering information from you, the call has already been entered for dispatch, and often, the police and/or fire personnel are already on the way. So, if you’re worried that their questions are causing a delay, don’t be. It is just providing you with the best service possible.

Oh, I Get Why We Should Honor Dispatchers Now! What Kind Of Activities Go On At Arlington’s Emergency Communication Center During This Week Of Celebration?

The week is an opportunity to shine a light on the phenomenally difficult, and often emotionally demanding work, that our 9-1-1 Call Takers/Dispatchers do to keep our community and responders safe. It also gives us a chance to thank them for their long work hours, sacrificed time away from their families (especially during holidays), and their commitment to public safety.

Annual recognition includes: Supervisor of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Teamwork Award, ECC Award of Excellence, Best Leader and Motivator, as well as a Hall of Fame, honoring 9-1-1 dispatchers with 15+ years of service in Arlington County.

How Can I Show Appreciation To My Arlington County 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher This Week?

The best way is to write a letter to Jack Brown, Director of the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management, and if you should ever have to call for assistance, a thank you is always appreciated because when you call, they answer.

Saving lives is what dispatchers do!

by Mark Kelly — April 13, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Republicans in the General Assembly have rejected Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) call to expand Medicaid once again. The governor made the last minute push after Congress failed to pass a new plan in March. Here are four reasons to question the wisdom of passing expansion.

Congress could still partially repeal the law this year. Reports from Washington are that the American Health Care Act could be amended in such a way that it will have the votes to pass. If so, Virginia’s expansion would not be able to go forward even if it passed the General Assembly.

Virginia is not losing out on a pot of federal money sitting out there just waiting to be spent. The federal government is running an estimated $559 billion deficit his year. We would simply be borrowing more money to pay for Medicaid expansion.

Virginians will be responsible for at least 10% of the expansion costs. Assuming McAuliffe’s assertion that Virginia could collect $6.6 million per day under Medicaid expansion, Virginians would have to pay around $700,000 per day to receive it. Even if the law remains in place, this share is likely to go up over time as the federal budget deficit moves toward $1 trillion a year.

My friend over at Peter’s Take noted that Virginia Hospitals have offered to cover Virginia’s share. It should make Virginians wonder exactly how much money hospitals stand to make under the arrangement? In many states that implemented expansion, costs to the state were higher than originally projected, so we could also ask just how much the hospitals are willing to pay and for how long?

Medicaid is still substandard healthcare. Many studies have found Medicaid produces worse health outcomes, in large part due to lack of access to primary care physicians. A better focus for McAuliffe and the Republican-controlled General Assembly should have been working together to pass tax and regulatory policy changes that result in economic growth and create jobs with health insurance benefits to move individuals into the private market.

by Peter Rousselot — April 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

Peter Rousselot

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

ARLnow.com reported last week that one local resident has filed a request with Arlington’s Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board to designate the site on which the Ed Center and Planetarium are located as a “historic district.”

Discussion

The HALRB, the School Board, the County Board and all candidates for seats on the School and County boards should oppose historic-district status for this site.

In her request to the HALRB for historic-district status, this one local resident argues that such a status is justified because “these structures are literally visual landmarks of our shared history.”

By this standard, every public building on publicly-owned property in Arlington should be preserved forever. That would be an abuse of the legitimate role for historic-district status in appropriate circumstances.

With the best available projections  showing that APS’ enrollment will grow from 26,000 today to 40,000 by 2032, this one resident’s suggestion to impose such a standard should be quickly repudiated.

These reactions of an APS parent on social media accurately reflect how this historic preservation proposal should be evaluated:

 This person’s wish (or even a number of people’s wish) to consider this building “historic” needs to take a much, much lower priority under the needs of our kids. Save the historical designations for buildings that really ARE significant, and leave our school system alone otherwise, please. Hamstringing our school system from using its own property for school uses sets a horrible precedent and is unacceptable, regardless of the effect it might have on this particular process, so regardless of whether you’re a fan of using the Ed Center for HS seat needs. …

Preserving the genuine historical significance of Stratford was one thing, and had some importance to all of Arlington’s history. I agreed that the events there were momentous and worthy of commemoration, even while I felt that the reaction disallowing any of the more sensible renovations, and forcing more expensive and less useful design, plus the extra time required for the whole process, amounted to overreaction. But THIS is too much.

Ed Center

Anyone who has attended meetings inside the Ed Center is aware of the age and limitations of this building. APS already has made plans to move its administrative staff out of this building and into office space at another site. Regardless of what any one person might think about the quality, beauty, utility, or continued functionality of this building, APS should not be burdened by having it designated as part of a historic district. APS should be able to use this site for another school use.

Planetarium

The same reasoning that applies to the Ed Center also applies to the Planetarium.

But, there is an added issue that is unique to the Planetarium. Only a few years ago, APS entered into an arrangement with a private organization, Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium. This organization contributed nearly $500,000 toward the $900,000 cost to replace outmoded Planetarium equipment.

My understanding is that this equipment could be moved to another site. APS should be free from historic-district restrictions to decide whether to:

  • continue to use the current Planetarium site for a Planetarium, or
  • for another school use,

taking into consideration the equities arising from APS’ arrangement with this Friends organization.

Conclusion

Historic-district status for the Ed Center/Planetarium site should be rejected.

by Progressive Voice — April 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.

By Paul Friedman

Although it is a tragedy that remains fresh in our minds, this week will mark 10 years since the shootings at Virginia Tech that cost the lives of 32 people, physically injured at least 24 others and traumatized many more.

One day after the April 16, 2007, tragedy — having traveled back overnight from a trade mission to Japan, then-Gov. Tim Kaine (D) spoke movingly to the Virginia Tech community at the memorial convocation on campus:

“There are deep emotions that are called forth by a tragedy as significant as this; grieving and sadness by the boatload,” he said. “Anne and I have unashamedly shed tears about this and I know virtually all of you have as well.”

Kaine added that anger is a natural reaction. He observed that there is anger at the gunman and the circumstance.

Then he asked a fateful question: “What could have been done different?”

It was not long after he spoke these words that Kaine did figure out what could have been done. The shooter should not have been able to buy the two guns he was able to purchase.

Although the shooter had been found by a court to be a danger to himself, he wasn’t entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System because he was receiving outpatient – and not inpatient – mental health treatment.

After hearing from some of the family members and survivors of the shootings and consulting with Virginia’s Attorney General, Kaine issued an Executive Order to clarify when a report to NICS is required. At its next opportunity, with the support of the groups including the National Rifle Association, the Republican-dominated Virginia General Assembly supported his action with legislation.

Family members of those who were killed as well as survivors and their families continued their work and helped to pass a federal law providing funds to incentivize states to set up a system that would ensure their full participation in NICS. That would mean states submitting the names of every person found to be a danger to themselves or others and committed for treatment. Once entered, those people would be barred from being able to buy a gun from a licensed dealer.

Over the years since the Virginia Tech shootings, the Brady Campaign, the Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and, notably, the NRA and the National Shootings Sports Foundation, have been working to achieve this goal and have been making progress.

As well, it’s a goal supported by our nation’s largest mental health organization, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Yet the job is far from complete.

That’s why, in connection with the 10th commemoration of the worst mass murder on an American college campus, the Virginia Tech Victims Family Outreach Foundation – the independent non-profit formed by affected families and survivors of the Virginia Tech tragedy — is making this issue our top priority.

That’s also why we have decided to move to the forefront of the fight. After all, our story is the best known reason for why this must be done.

While Virginia is now an example of a state that has made progress, there are a number of others, including Maryland, Ohio, and Massachusetts for example, that could be doing far better or are not engaged at all.

Moreover, it is simply unknown right now how many states are submitting the names of people who have been ordered to get outpatient treatment, which constitute the bulk of commitments due to a lack of inpatient facilities.

Campaign 32, named for the 32 who were killed at Virginia Tech, will do the research and advocacy to get the job done. Together with people who want to join in this effort, we can make real, measurable and meaningful change. To make your voice heard, please donate $32 or more at www.campaign32.org!

Paul Friedman is a long time resident of Northern Virginia and is serving as the Executive Director of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation.

by Katie Pyzyk — April 13, 2017 at 11:20 am 0

A store on Columbia Pike was robbed by armed suspects just before midnight last night, and police believe there may be a connection to a similar robbery over the weekend.

Police responded after two masked men — one with a gun — robbed a store on the 4900 block of Columbia Pike, which is across the street from the Arlington Mill Community Center. Police did not specify which business was robbed, but that spot is home to a 7-Eleven.

The suspects fled the scene in a car that had been parked nearby. They got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and valuables.

Police say the circumstances of this armed robbery are similar to Saturday’s store robbery in Virginia Square. “Due to the many similarities we are not only actively investigating each robbery individually, but also from the prospective likelihood that they are related,” says Deputy Chief Daniel Murray.

Although police do not name affected businesses, they confirm both incidents involved the same type of commercial establishment. The suspects’ descriptions, included below in an ACPD crime report, also bear a resemblance to the Virginia Square robbery.

ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-04120301, 4900 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 11:53 p.m. on April 12, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined two masked male suspects, one brandishing a firearm, entered a store and demanded cash and items of value. The suspects then fled the scene in a nearby parked vehicle with an undisclosed amount of cash and items of value. The first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’0″ tall. He was wearing dark jeans, a black hoodie, a black mask, and white gloves. The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’5″-5’8″ tall. He was wearing olive green pants, a black hoodie, a black mask, and white gloves. The investigation is ongoing.

by Chris Teale — April 13, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

A record number of people turned out for last night’s Democratic Party straw poll, where County Board candidate Erik Gutshall and School Board candidate Monique O’Grady were some of the victors.

Hosted at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse by Del. Alfonso Lopez (D), more than 120 people cast ballots for Democratic candidates for Arlington County Board, Arlington School Board, lieutenant governor and governor. The attendance set a record for the event, now in its third year.

Lopez said the event raised around $12,500 from ticket sales, which he said will be funneled to Democratic candidates in other House of Delegates races across the commonwealth. Lopez added that getting people excited about the upcoming races was a big point of emphasis, as opposed to focusing purely on the straw poll results from a limited voter pool.

“I think what’s wonderful about it is people are so fired up,” he said in an interview. “They’re coming into the room fired up, excited about the campaigns, they’re excited about the candidacies, they’re excited about their friends running for office.”

Gutshall won the County Board poll with 38 percent of the vote, ahead of Vivek Patil with 30 percent, Peter Fallon with 22 percent and Kim Klingler with 10 percent.

Gutshall, who won the straw poll last year in his unsuccessful bid for a County Board seat, said creative thinking is required to solve problems like school overcrowding and housing affordability.

“We’ve got a wonderful county here that I’m proud to be a part of,” he said. “But we can’t stay the same.”

In her remarks, O’Grady cited her “experience keeping our school system strong,” as well as being co-chair of last year’s successful $138.83 million school bond campaign.

O’Grady won the School Board straw poll with 46 percent of the vote, ahead of incumbent James Lander with 36 percent and Maura McMahon with 18 percent.

In the statewide races, current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won the straw poll for the governor’s race against former Rep. Tom Perriello with 67.5 percent of the vote. Speaking on Northam’s behalf, state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) said Northam is a “fighter for our progressive values” and has advocated tirelessly for women, children and ethnic minorities.

“We can count on Ralph to be with us as the 73rd governor of Virginia,” Ebbin said.

Justin Fairfax took victory in the straw poll for lieutenant governor with 64 percent of the vote, ahead of Susan Platt with 20 percent and Gene Rossi with 16 percent. County Board member Christian Dorsey, who spoke on Fairfax’s behalf, praised his grueling campaign schedule and his long-term view on solving problems.

“The question is, who has the skill and the will and will fight for you?” Dorsey said. “In this regard, I am so impressed with Justin Fairfax.”

The Arlington County Democratic Committee holds its caucus for County Board nominee and School Board endorsement on May 9, 11 and 13. Statewide primary elections will be held on June 13.

by Katie Pyzyk — April 13, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Home Sales Increase — The number of homes sold in Arlington last month totaled 252, which is an 18.3 percent increase over last year. The average length of time between listing and ratified sales contract for homes that went to closing in March was 55 days, which is unchanged from last year. [InsideNova]

E-CARE Recycling Event on Saturday — Arlington County will hold its biannual E-CARE event on Saturday. Residents can safely dispose of items including household hazardous materials, bikes, small metal items, clothing and compact fluorescent light bulbs. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 15 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road). [Arlington County]

Wardian Runs Barkley Marathon — Well-known Arlington marathoner Michael Wardian competed in the notoriously difficult Barkley Marathons trail race, but he did not finish under the 60-hour time limit. In fact, only one person finished the race this year. Wardian says this was one of the most difficult races he’s ever done. [Washington Post]

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