Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Arlington Riot Cops Sued by ACLU — “Defendants John Poe 1 – 20 are officers of the Arlington County Police Department and other non-federal law enforcement officials who participated in the attack on peaceful protesters in and near Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020. They are sued in their individual capacities.” [Associated PressWashington Post]

Washington Monument Struck By Lightning — As seen from the Crystal City / Pentagon City area, the Washington Monument took a direct lightning strike last night. [Twitter]

Marymount Apologizes for Removed BLM Tweet — “One specific concern we heard in the Listening Session referenced the removal of a social media post last Saturday which included the message, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ This was the wrong decision. We apologize and acknowledge the impact this decision has had on our Marymount community.” [Marymount University]

Arlington Unemployment Spikes — “The COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent government-imposed lockdown and resulting economic freefall cost nearly 17,000 Arlington residents their jobs between mid-March and mid-April, according to new state data… The county’s unemployment rate, which in March had been a miniscule 2.2 percent, ballooned to 7 percent, knocking the county off its longstanding perch of having the best jobs picture in the commonwealth.” [InsideNova]

Local Centenarian Gets Neighborhood Parade — “Right around 5 p.m. on her 100th birthday, her usually quiet neighborhood in North Arlington was shaken up by loud sirens and flashing lights. A caravan of vehicles blaring sirens, tooting horns and shouting greetings snaked down the street for several blocks. The parade of sorts was led by two Arlington County Police officers on motorcycles followed by countless police vehicles, Arlington County Fire Department engines, sheriffs’ vehicles and several private cars and trucks, one sporting an inflatable unicorn on its roof.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

APS Welcomes New Superintendent — “This is Dr. Francisco Durán’s first week as Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools. Welcome aboard! As a reminder, there are several Virtual Town Halls scheduled this month for our community, students and staff to get to know Dr. Durán.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Trash Collection Still Facing Delays — “Arlington’s trash/recycling contractor continues to experience staffing issues due to COVID-19. As a result, some routes recently have not been completed on their scheduled day, requiring a follow-up run the next day. If trash and/or recycling is not collected on your service day, leave the carts at the curb the next day.  If carts have not been serviced by noon the second day, submit a missed collection ticket.” [Arlington County]

County Offers Mask Flyers — “If a business or residence needs ‘face coverings required’ signs (in multiple languages), we have flyers for download here.” [Arlington County, Twitter]

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Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Andors Real Estate Group.

Activity certainly ramped up in Arlington this past week, with buyers ratifying 13 more contracts than the week prior.

Over the past two months our housing market has proved just how truly independently it can act from the rest of the country. Yes, our numbers have been lower than last year, and days on market have been creeping up. It’s also true that it’s about as hard to secure a house to buy in Arlington as ever before… but the prices are higher than they were last year!

Silver lining — interest rates are a half a point lower than this time last year, enough to overcome the price increase due to more buying power.

PICK OF THE WEEK — The Andors Real Estate Group is proud to have JUST LISTED 2717 S. Arlington Ridge Road, Arlington, VA 22202 — $850,000. Perched high on Arlington Ridge, this stately brick Cape Cod sits in a very private woodland-type yard. It features a gorgeous sunroom, great rear patio, screened-in porch and a great floor plan. It has an attached one-car garage, abundant storage, and is beaming with character — this is one you won’t want to miss!

There are currently 256 homes for sale in Arlington (225 this time last year). 138 are detached homes, 24 are townhouses/semi-detached and 94 are condos. Average days on market (DOM) is 60 and median DOM is 36.

Sellers listed some 62 properties for sale this week. Buyers ratified 56 contracts, 20 of which were homes that had been on the market one week or less. 19 of the ratified contracts were for properties over $1,000,000, so that price sector is still moving very well.

The median list price of available properties is $1,100,000, while the average is $1,205,482. Last year for the same week, sellers listed 45 homes and buyers ratified 44 contracts. This was a huge drop last year from the previous week, and now we have the first time in many months that our 2020 activity is stronger than the 2019 data.

Click here to search currently available Arlington real estate. Call the Andors Real Estate Group today at (703) 203-1117 to talk more about buying or selling Arlington real estate. Below are eight homes that are new this week that I think you might like to check out.

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Arlington County is under a Flood Warning through 5:30 a.m.

Heavy rain overnight may cause flooding along streams and in flood-prone areas, forecasters say. D.C., Falls Church, Alexandria, and Fairfax County are also included in the warning.

More from the National Weather Service:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING…

* UNTIL 530 AM EDT FRIDAY.

* AT 1126 PM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED HEAVY RAIN THAT WILL CAUSE FLOODING. UP TO ONE INCH OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN AND AN ADDITIONAL INCH OR TWO IS EXPECTED OVERNIGHT. THIS WILL CAUSE  CREEKS AND STREAMS TO RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS AS WELL AS FLOODING IN URBAN AREAS.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, CENTREVILLE, DALE CITY, BETHESDA, RESTON, ANNANDALE, SPRINGFIELD, COLLEGE PARK, SOUTH RIDING, HERNDON, FAIRFAX, LANGLEY PARK, VIENNA, GROVETON, FALLS CHURCH, HUNTINGTON, CORAL HILLS, BLADENSBURG AND MANTUA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING.

Arlington also remains under a Flash Flood Watch, which was issued around 11 p.m.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH…

* UNTIL 4 AM EDT FRIDAY

* REPEATING ROUNDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY PRODUCE LOCALIZED RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES IN A RELATIVELY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. THIS MAY CAUSE RAPID RISES OF WATER ON STREAMS AND CREEKS AND IN URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

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(Updated at 11:15 p.m.) Hundreds — perhaps more than a thousand — braved 90 degree weather to march from Courthouse to Clarendon and back Thursday evening.

Police closed portions of Wilson and Clarendon boulevards at the marchers held signs and chanted slogans like “no justice, no peace.”

The demonstration started at 5 p.m. and was organized “in solidarity with those across the nation asking for justice for George Floyd and those who have been directed affected by systemic racism,” according to a social media post.

“This will be a peaceful march. If you feel as if you can’t express yourself in a peaceful manner, please just stay home,” organizers wrote. “We encourage all to make signs to express their feelings towards the injustices that have been going on throughout our country.”

Another large rally and march is scheduled to take place Courthouse on Saturday.

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Home Building Webinar: Learn How to Build Your Dream Home!

Have you ever wanted to be able to fully customize your dream home, but don’t know where to begin? There are some pitfalls to avoid that could cost you thousands and subject your family to fees and delays that will be costly and extremely frustrating. After helping 100’s of families buy and sell properties in the DMV we’ve decided to put together a FREE educational event.

(Updated at 10:40 p.m.) A number of peaceful marches against racism and in support of Black Lives Matter are planned in Arlington through Sunday.

The first will be taking place from 5-7 p.m. today (Thursday), marching from the county parking lot in Courthouse to Clarendon to demand justice for George Floyd “and those who have been directly affected by systemic racism.” Some county offices are closing early due to expected crowds.

Another is planned Friday evening, in memory of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville, Kentucky police officers in March.

Demonstrators will march from Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike to the county courthouse, starting at 6 p.m., according to social media posts.

The third march is planned Saturday from noon-5 p.m. and is expected to be a “large scale event.” The march will go from Courthouse to the White House, via Rosslyn and the Lincoln and MLK memorials in D.C.

From an event page on social media:

Arlingtonians are coming together to stand in solidarity in a peaceful protest against racial oppression.

We will convene at the Arlington Courthouse at noon on Saturday, June 6 and march together past the Iwo Jima Memorial and across the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Memorial. From there, we will march up to Lafayette Park to join peaceful protests demanding meaningful and urgent reforms for racial justice.

All are welcome and loved. Bring a mask and join us!

The local branch of the NAACP will be participating, the group said in a statement. The marching will be preceded by a rally from noon-1 p.m. in front of county government headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

“Elected officials and members from the Arlington Branch NAACP, community activists, and elected leaders will be in attendance,” the organization said. “This is expected to be a large scale event and expect 250-500 attendees.”

County Board members Christian Dorsey and Libby Garvey, along with 1776 co-founder Evan Burfield, are listed a co-hosts on the Facebook event page for the Saturday march.

ARLINGTON MARCH FOR BLACK LIVESI know many of you have been moved by the events of the past few weeks and the need to…

Posted by Evan Burfield on Thursday, June 4, 2020

Prior to the rally, a march from the Columbia Pike Branch Library to Ballston and then Courthouse is planned, starting at 10 a.m. at Welburn Square in Ballston, marchers will pause “to say the names of those who have lost their lives at the hands of police brutality and hold space to reflect as a community.”

On Sunday, another protest march is planned from 5-7 p.m., starting at Green Valley Pharmacy (2415 Shirlington Road). The march will “support #BlackLivesMatter as well as gun violence awareness.”

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What’s Next with Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) This year has certainly not been normal. Between the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on black and brown communities in our country, we continue to need to dig deep and to understand the why, to reflect, and to do better.

I watched the split screen of President Trump advocating the usage of our military against protesters across the country in his Rose Garden address, with another screen showing Arlington County Police on the front lines advancing against peaceful protesters prior to curfew in D.C. I was dismayed and broken-hearted. This was so inconsistent with the images I had been seeing of ACPD helping to block traffic and handing out water to peaceful protesters.

Thankfully, Arlington’s leadership quickly responded and acknowledged the problem. They took decisive and immediate action, and have vowed to re-evaluate the agreement that led to this situation to ensure our policing efforts better reflect the values of our community.

Changing course in inherently flawed systems isn’t easy, but it is necessary. This step was necessary and in a time that many leaders are unable to see a problem in their system, own it, and fix it we are lucky to have leadership with the willingness to do so. This applause though is not for a mission accomplished. This is just the beginning of a larger conversation.

First, we should continue our community conversation about policing. We need to support the national NAACP in their push for:

  1. A ban on the use of knee holds and chokeholds as an acceptable practice for police officers.
  2. Clear rules on the escalation for the Use of Force Continuum.
  3. A ban on shielding from the public officer misconduct information and disciplinary histories in each state’s Open Records Act and denial of recertification credentials for police officers if it is determined that their use of deadly force was unwarranted by federal guidelines.
  4. Implementation of Citizen’s Review Boards in municipalities to hold police departments accountable and build public confidence. Arlington NAACP also supports this and states that over 70 communities across the country, including Fairfax, already have one.

Additionally, we should continue our conversation about economic inequalities and building black wealth. When looking for a black-owned business for dinner this weekend I ran into a wall. After crowdsourcing on Arlington Neighbors Helping Each Other Through COVID-19, I found four Arlington black-owned restaurants where I could order dinner, six if I included one coffee shop and an ice cream store.

We must also continue our conversation about diversity within our state representation. Currently, of our seven state delegation members, all are white with the exception of one person of color. Our Human Rights Commission is currently the only commission or working group with a black person or person of color as chair (starting next month that will change with new leadership that includes people that are both black and other people of color).

Furthermore, we should continue our conversation about racial health inequalities now during COVID-19, as well as during less tumultuous times. How do we make sure black and brown people are not dying at disproportionate rates in our community?

Finally, we must continue this conversation about race and white privilege, on every front in our community: from policy to policing, to zoning, healthcare, to school boundaries, small businesses. So many of us are asking what we can do. We can listen, we can ask why, we can do better — we can actively work for change.

Nicole Merlene is an Arlington native and former candidate for Virginia State Senate. She has served as a leader in the community on the boards of the Arlington County Civic Federation and North Rosslyn Civic Association, as an Arlington Economic Development commissioner, in neighborhood transportation planning groups, and as a civic liaison to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

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Updated at 11:10 p.m. — A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Arlington and much of the region.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH…

* UNTIL 4 AM EDT FRIDAY

* REPEATING ROUNDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY PRODUCE LOCALIZED RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES IN A RELATIVELY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. THIS MAY CAUSE RAPID RISES OF WATER ON STREAMS AND CREEKS AND IN URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

Update at 8:05 p.m. — The storm warning has been extended until 8:45 p.m. From the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
801 PM EDT THU JUN 4 2020

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING…

* UNTIL 845 PM EDT.

* AT 800 PM EDT, SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM ADAMS MORGAN TO HUNTINGTON TO NEAR WOODBRIDGE, MOVING EAST AT 20 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, WALDORF, BOWIE, CLINTON, FORT WASHINGTON, FORT HUNT, GROVETON, FORESTVILLE, HUNTINGTON, LARGO, CORAL HILLS, BLADENSBURG, LA PLATA, FORT BELVOIR, NATIONAL HARBOR, UPPER MARLBORO, NATIONALS PARK, FEDEX FIELD AND HOWARD UNIVERSITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A BUILDING.

DAMAGING WIND AND CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING  WITH THESE STORMS. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURE’S LEADING KILLERS. REMEMBER, IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

Update at 7:55 p.m. — A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Arlington through 8:15 p.m.

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This weekend, Calvary United Methodist Church in Aurora Highlands is holding a “Stuff the Truck” donation event to collect food for the Chirilagua neighborhood in Alexandria.

The community — also known as Arlandria — has faced disproportionately high numbers of COVID-19 positive patients, as have Latino and Hispanic communities in Arlington and throughout the region.

Local nonprofits have worked to get food and other emergency supplies to hard-hit Chirilagua.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the Chirilagua neighborhood are experiencing hardship from job loss, sickness, and food insecurity,” Calvary UMC said in a media advisory. “Recent data revealed that over 40% of Chirilagua residents are unemployed and, in mid-May, over 55% of COVID tests taken by community members living in Chirilagua were positive.”

This Saturday, June 6, Calvalry UMC is hosting a donation event at the church (2315 S. Grant Street) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to fill a 20-foot truck with items most needed by Chirilagua residents and families.

“To participate, donors can come to Calvary UMC and bring donated food and supplies to place in the truck,” the church said. “Items needed most are shelf-stable foods such as rice, beans, canned food and cornflour.”

The event is the latest in a series of fundraisers and food drives for the church to support the Chirilagua community. So far, the church says it has raised $24,000 of its $25,000 goal. The church plans to make an additional $15,000 pledge to bring the total to at least $40,000, the church said.

“Donors wishing to make a financial contribution to MISSION:COVID can donate at the event or through the Calmeth.org website,” the church said, “or text GIVE to 703-936-2684 and select MISSION:COVID from the menu.”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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