Press Club

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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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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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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Morning Notes

Swimming pool in May, ready for the new season (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Restorative Justice Coming to Schools — “Restorative Arlington has partnered with Arlington Public Schools (APS) to support Restorative Justice in Education. Restorative Arlington has allocated over $140,000 to provide direct services to APS, including services for students who have experienced harm as well as restorative justice training for staff and additional resources.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Candidate Addresses Achievement Gap —  “The county’s likely next School Board member has become the latest to try and enunciate ways to address [the academic-achievement gap]. The gap is significant and ‘has gotten worse’ over the pandemic era, candidate Bethany Sutton acknowledged during a May 14 forum sponsored by the Blue Families caucus of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.” [Sun Gazette]

Fatal Crash Near Arlington Border — “Officers responded at 2:16 a.m. to the 3700 block of S. George Mason Drive. Preliminarily, detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit determined the driver of a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta was travelling southbound on S. George Mason Drive attempting to turn left into Skyline Plaza. The driver of a 2018 Honda Accord was travelling northbound on S. George Mason Drive and struck the Jetta on the passenger side. Initially, both occupants of the Accord ran from the scene.” [Fairfax County Police]

It’s Friday — Rain and storms throughout much of the day. High of 73 and low of 67. Sunrise at 5:49 am and sunset at 8:26 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles cultivated and purified from cell culture (photo via NIAID/Flickr)

Update at 3:30 p.m. — The Virginia Dept. of Health says it has confirmed the first monkeypox infection in the state.

Earlier: A Northern Virginia woman likely has monkeypox, the Virginia Dept. of Health announced today.

In a press release Thursday afternoon, VDH said the woman was isolating at home and not hospitalized. She became infected after recently traveling “to an African country where the disease is known to occur.”

The state health department did not say where in Northern Virginia the woman lives.

If confirmed, it’s Virginia’s first case of the viral disease, which has been spreading internationally. In the U.S., cases have been reported in several states including New York, Florida, Washington and Massachusetts.

VDH noted that monkeypox remains rare and has “not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population.” The disease can be serious and cause death and there’s no specific treatment for it.

The full press release is below.

Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced the first presumed monkeypox case in a Virginia resident. The initial testing was completed at the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. VDH is awaiting confirmatory test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The patient is an adult female resident of the Northern region of Virginia with recent international travel history to an African country where the disease is known to occur. She was not infectious during travel. She did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home to monitor her health. To protect patient privacy, no further information will be provided. The health department is identifying and monitoring the patient’s close contacts.  No additional cases have been detected in Virginia at this time.

“Monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States.  The patient is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public.” said State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH. “Transmission requires close contact with someone with symptomatic monkeypox, and this virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population. VDH is monitoring national and international trends and has notified medical providers in Virginia to watch for monkeypox cases and report them to their local health district as soon as possible. Based on the limited information currently available about the evolving multi-country outbreak, the risk to the public appears to be very low.”

Although rare, monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness that is transmitted when someone has close contact with an infected person or animal. Person-to-person spread occurs with prolonged close contact or with direct contact with body fluids or contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. Illness typically begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swelling of the lymph nodes. After a few days, a specific type of rash appears, often starting on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. Symptoms generally appear seven to 14 days after exposure and, for most people, clear up within two to four weeks. Some people can have severe illness and die. As with many viral illnesses, treatment mainly involves supportive care and relief of symptoms.

If you are sick and have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, seek medical care from your healthcare provider, especially if you are in one of the following groups:

  • Those who traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox during the month before their symptoms began,
  • Those who have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or
  • Men who regularly have close or intimate contact with other men.

If you need to seek care, call your healthcare provider first. Let them know you are concerned about possible monkeypox infection so they can take precautions to ensure that others are not exposed.

On May 20, 2022, VDH distributed a Clinician Letter to medical professionals reminding them to report any suspected cases of monkeypox to their local health department as soon as possible and implement appropriate infection prevention precautions.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websitethe World Health Organization website and the VDH website.

Photo via NIAID/Flickr

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A time-honored, pre-Memorial Day tradition took place at Arlington National Cemetery this morning.

More than 1,000 soldiers with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, as well as servicemembers from ceremonial units of the other armed forces branches, fanned out over the cemetery’s 640 acres to place 260,000 flags next to headstones and niche rows.

The annual “Flags-in” mission takes only four hours to honor every individual laid to rest at the ceremony, including our nation’s fallen military heroes.

ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott and other members of the media were able to get a glimpse of the marvel of solemnity and logistics today around dawn, as birds chirped on a cool, overcast morning.

This Memorial Day weekend also brings a new tradition: the public getting a rare opportunity to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“Due to the public’s overwhelming positive response to the Flower Laying Ceremony during the Tomb Centennial Commemoration in November, ANC is inviting the public to once again honor our service members by placing flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider,” the cemetery said earlier this week

The inaugural Flowers of Remembrance Day is taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

More about the event from a cemetery press release, below.

Read More

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Morning Notes

Deer in a local neighborhood (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Memorial Day Closures — County offices and facilities like libraries and community centers will be closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. Metered parking will not be enforced. But trash collection will continue as normal. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Tree Group Opposes ‘Missing Middle’ — “A tree-advocacy group believes proposed changes to Arlington housing policy could have a cataclysmic impact on existing tree canopy in the community. ‘Tell the county ‘no’ – do not enact policies that further reduce our tree canopy,’ the Arlington Tree Action Group (ATAG) said May 20 in response to a county-government proposal on possible zoning changes.” [Sun Gazette]

Chamber Supports New Ballston Metro Entrance — “I am writing to express our strong support for full Authority funding of Arlington County’s $80 million application for the Ballston-MU Metrorail Station West Entrance. This project is a critical improvement to the regional transit network and supports the Authority’s programming goals of modal and geographic balance… As we move forward, its construction will be very important to the success of businesses in Arlington.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

W-L’s Royal Rowing History — “In the spring of 1958, under the guidance of head coach Charlie Butt, a group of teenage rowers from Washington-Lee High School (now Washington-Liberty) performed so well at stateside races that they earned a spot at the Henley Royal Regatta in England–becoming the first public high school in America invited to the iconic race, which dates to 1839. But first, they needed money.” [Arlington Magazine]

County Now Offering Boosters for Kids — “After federal approvals, Arlington County and other providers are offering the COVID-19 vaccine booster to children aged 5 to 11.” [Patch]

County Polling About Pickleball — “As Arlington’s population continues to grow and sports trends change, the Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes there has been a shift in the use and demand for outdoor athletic courts. Our Outdoor Athletic Court Project includes creating criteria to identify existing courts that are candidates for permanent pickleball lines as well as identify an existing amenity to convert into a permanent pickleball facility.” [Arlington County]

Storms Possible Tomorrow — From the National Weather Service: “We’ll stay mostly dry and cloudy for the remainder of today with highs in the 60s across the area. We are monitoring the potential for an unsettled start to the long holiday weekend this Friday with severe storm/flood threats.” [Twitter]

It’s Thursday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 71 and low of 60. Sunrise at 5:49 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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File photo

A man armed with a hammer smashed and stole from a jewelry store in the Pentagon City mall Thursday morning.

Arlington County police say they were dispatched to the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street around 11:15 a.m. and arrived to find that “an unknown male subject [had] walked into the business, smashed the display cases with a hammer and stole jewelry.”

Officers searched the area but couldn’t find the suspect, who was wearing a black hooded jacket, face covering and ball cap.

While police don’t typically reveal the names of businesses that are the victims of crimes, on social media it was reported that the store was the Kay Jewelers, on the first level of the mall near Nordstrom.

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Police at Kenmore Middle School due to security incident earlier this month (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Expect extra police patrols around Arlington schools today in the wake of yesterday’s deadly elementary school shooting in Texas.

“ACPD officers are conducting extra patrols near Arlington schools,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to ARLnow this morning, noting that “there are no known threats to Arlington County.”

Montgomery County, Md. police and other local police departments have similarly stepped up security. The extra patrols also come a day after an Alexandria high school student was stabbed to death during a large fight at the Bradlee Shopping Center, near the Fairlington neighborhood.

Arlington’s School Board voted last year to remove School Resource Officers from school buildings, but Arlington Public Schools and ACPD still coordinate on safety issues and police still regularly respond to incidents at Arlington schools.

APS, meanwhile, told families today in an email that it has “support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events.”

“School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support,” the school system said.

The full email to families is below.

Dear APS Families and Staff:

Today is a sad day for schools and all of us nationwide as we all collectively mourn the tragic loss of life that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday. Late yesterday, we also learned of an incidence of violence closer to home in Alexandria where a high school student was killed. These events follow other recent tragedies in Buffalo and other communities.

We condemn these senseless acts of violence and offer our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones. I want you to know that the health and safety of our schools, and the students and staff in our care, remain our highest priority. We prioritize security in all our buildings, and our safety plans are reviewed by staff, in collaboration with local first responders, as we all work to maintain the safety and security of our schools.

We understand that our students and staff may need additional support during this time. We want to reinforce that we have support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events.

School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support. Staff should contact the Employee Assistance Program. Below are some resources that may be helpful during this time:

Let us continue working together to protect our children and community. Please remain vigilant and report any concerning behavior or other incidents you see or hear to your school administrator or supervisor.

Thank you for your partnership.

Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

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