Arlington, VA

The Arlington Historical Society is raising $50,000 for a feasibility study to renovate its home at the Hume School (1805 S. Arlington Ridge Road).

What is now the Arlington Historical Museum was originally constructed in 1891, and is the oldest schoolhouse in Arlington. The school was turned over to AHS in the 1960s, and now needs renovations.

“The end result will be the creation of something sorely lacking in our Arlington County — an updated first-class museum reflecting our history, our accomplishments and the lives of those who have lived here,” said AHS member Frank O’Leary in an email. “If we do not start now, then when?”

O’Leary is also a trustee of the Warren G. Stambaugh Foundation, which is planning a virtual AHS fundraising event honoring Stambaugh, a former member of the House of Delegates who wrote the Virginians With Disabilities Act. The foundation will match funds raised for the AHS renovation project at the “I Remember Warren” event.

O’Leary said the AHS renovation will take a number of years to accomplish. Donations can be made on the AHS website.

“Our immediate objective is to raise $50,000 to fund the feasibility study of the existing structure, its deficiencies, and necessary improvements, and specific steps that must be undertaken to create a state-of-the-art local museum,” O’Leary said. “In short, as an immediate objective, we seek to create a detailed plan or ‘blueprint’ and then AHS will proceed on its enactment.”

The AHS to-do list includes:

  • New drop-down ceilings on all floors, or the restoration of the original ceiling
  • New windows
  • New paint
  • Climate-controlled storage for artifacts
  • Americans with Disabilities Act access to the second floor
  • Second floor display area
  • Basement renovation for improved storage
  • New exhibit cases
  • Security upgrades
  • New interpretive signs

Photo via Arlington Historical Society/Facebook

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YogaWorks in Arlington has permanently closed due to the pandemic, but the company is still offering online classes and workshops.

The Los Angeles-based yoga company expanded in 2017, and took over the studio at 3528 Wilson Blvd from local company Tranquil Space. YogaWorks filed for bankruptcy last month, and announced it would close all of its studios around the country.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our industry and business, including mandatory studio closures and social distancing-imposed attendance restrictions even where studios have been permitted to reopen,” YogaWorks CEO Brian Cooper said in a statement. “After considering a number of alternatives to overcome the financial challenge of the studio closures, we determined that implementing an orderly restructuring process is in the best interest of all of our key stakeholders, most notably our dedicated teachers and passionate students.”

Cooper said that the company has adapted to the pandemic by expanding its digital platform, with more than 40 live streaming yoga classes per day and upward of 1,000 hours of pre-recorded classes and yoga workshops.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our loyal students and positioning YogaWorks for long-term success,” Cooper said. “We will continue to make decisions that provide the most benefit to our team, students, and partners, and we are confident that we will emerge from this process a stronger organization.”

The former YogaWorks space — a one-story building next to the Arlington Arts Center in the Virginia Square area — is now listed for lease.

File photo

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The Arlington County Police Department’s annual holiday toy drive returns tonight, and after a tough year.

The sixth annual Fill The Cruiser toy drive will help make the holiday season merry for vulnerable kids, police say. New health protocols, including contactless drop-offs, are intended to make sure the event can continue safely as coronavirus cases rise.

“This year, with families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for donations may be greater than ever and your generosity helps ensure the holidays are bright for some of our most vulnerable community members — children in need,” notes an ACPD release.

The fundraiser begins tonight (Nov. 20) at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center from 6 to 8 p.m. Three additional events will be held over the next couple of weeks.

According to ACPD:

Officers will collect new, unwrapped toys for children ages newborn to 17 at the following locations:

  • Friday, November 20, 2020, from 6 to 8 p.m. — Lee Harrison Shopping Center — 2425 N. Harrison Street
  • Monday, November 23, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. — Ballston Quarter — 4238 Wilson Boulevard — A cruiser will be located between Ted’s Bulletin and True Food Kitchen
  • Tuesday December 1, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. — Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church — 830 23rd Street S.
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. — Arlington Assembly of God — 4501 N. Pershing Drive

Upon arrival, participants should stay in their vehicle until they reach the unloading areas, where officers will be on hand to remove donations from their vehicle. A separate area will be available for those arriving by bike or foot.

Due to COVID-19 considerations, we will only be accepting toys at these predetermined dates and locations.

Toy Distribution

Toys will be distributed by the Police Department to community organizations throughout the month of December. Due to the ongoing pandemic, ACPD will not host pop-up distribution events in the community.

File photo

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The second annual Cranksgiving charity bike ride returns to Arlington this Saturday (Nov. 21), and this year the choose-your-own adventure experience includes COVID-19 safety rules.

“Cranksgiving is a way to have a lot of fun on a bike while also helping others during the holiday season,” said event organizer Sarah Billington. “COVID-19 has caused dramatically increased demand for food assistance, and we’re trying to engage people who ride bikes to help contribute to fulfilling that need.”

Solo and team riders (up to 10) get a scavenger hunt list of tasks, like buying up to $15 in high-demand food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center and ALIVE! in Alexandria. But due to the pandemic there is no designated starting point, and participants will need to take pictures of completed tasks and share progress on social media.

Participating organizations include The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. A virtual award ceremony will conclude the Thanksgiving-themed event, which runs from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“Join your Cranksgiving family for a physically, but not socially distant Award Ceremony via Zoom to hangout, meet other participants, announce the winners, and earn fabulous prizes!” the event registration page says.

There are dozens of Cranksgiving bike events held around the country each year between September and December. The first was held in New York City in 1999.

Courtesy photo (above) from 2019

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John Robinson, Jr. spent his time and energy advocating for Arlington’s minority residents, and on Tuesday (Nov. 17) the County Board will consider renaming the future town square in Green Valley in his honor.

The Green Valley Civic Association wants to rename what is currently known as Nauck Town Square, at 2400 S. Shirlington Road, to John Robinson, Jr. Town Square. The association asked the County to change the name last year, and the Planning Commission approved the recommendation.

“John Robinson, Jr., was a community activist who fought to break down segregationist barriers in housing, food counters and movie theaters in northern Virginia,” the Green Valley Civic Association said in their resolution. “Mr. Robinson coordinated with local authorities to take drugs off the streets and organized food, clothing and furniture drives for local families… Over the years, he opened his doors to hundreds of people who were homeless.”

The town square is currently under construction, with a projected completion date in the third quarter of 2021. The nearly $5 million project was approved in 2019 and will feature an outdoor stage, a plaza, and tables. Around the time the project was approved, the neighborhood changed its name from Nauck to Green Valley.

Robinson, who passed away in 2012, was the publisher of the Green Valley News, a free newspaper serving the historically Black neighborhood. He was affectionately regarded as the “Mayor of Green Valley” by neighbors.

The County Manager is recommending the Board approve the renaming.

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