Hello Airport Assistant. Goodbye, Airport Chaos!!! SkySquad is launching this week at Reagan Airport to improve the airport experience for anyone who needs an extra hand. Travel is stressful for most people, especially families with young kids; and senior citizens who need extra support. SkySquad’s mission is to make travel less stressful and more enjoyable. SkySquad assistants meet customers at their car upon arrival, and help them carry bags, carseats, strollers, etc and get them to the ticketing counter, help check bags, and through the security line. Security often causes families extra stress with all of the extra items that come along with young children. SkySquad assistants are trained to help anticipate the needs of the families to ensure that parents are not frazzled during the process. Once through security, SkySquad assistants guide their customers to their gate, where they help the family with children, go get snacks, watch luggage while the family uses the restroom, etc. SkySquad assistants stay with their customers until they board their plane.
Additionally, SkySquad assistants are fluent in English, Spanish, Russian, French, and Romanian, and can help travelers who need help speaking English.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Simply go to the website, www.theskysquad.com, and click on the booking form in the top right corner. You’ll then be matched with a SkySquad assistant who will greet you at the entrance to the airport, or at the car rental return facility. They can assist you in carrying luggage, carseats, strollers, etc, and can even help print tickets at the ticket kiosk. One you have checked your bags, you will proceed to the security line together, then to the gate. Help is available every step of the way in the airport experience. At this time, bookings must be made 24 hours in advance.
WHAT DO THE CUSTOMERS SAY?
“The Sky Squad team saved my life at the airport! I traveled with energetic 17 month old and 4 year old kids and my biggest fear was to wait and go through TSA. In addition, changing diaper, using bathroom(not only for my oldest one but for myself as well), etc were also my concerns without my hubby’s help. Without Sky Squad team, I would not have survived. I feel so thankful that I found this program. I highly recommend this service to any parents who has lots of kids or if a parent traveling with multiple kids!!!”- Hannah H, 1/8/20
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
SkySquad has an hourly rate of $39 per hour. A minimum of 1 hour is required.
WHERE CAN I FIND SKYSQUAD?
SkySquad is currently available at Dulles Airport and is set to launch at Reagan National this week. They are now accepting bookings. For information on additional airports, please check www.theskysquad.com.
An Arlington man was sentenced today to five years in prison for robbing two Falls Church pawn shops of nearly $800,000 in jewelry and watches.
According to court documents, in July 2014, Budder Khan, 30, entered Route 50 Gold and Jewelry Exchange, forced the store’s employees to the ground using what appeared to be a real firearm, smashed the business’s glass display cases, and took jewelry and watches worth over $650,000. Later, in April 2015, Khan entered Top Pawn, again used what appeared to be a real firearm to intimidate the store’s employees into submission, smashed the business’s glass display cases, and stole jewelry, watches, and cash worth over $143,000.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The case was investigated by the WFO Violent Crimes Task Force, which is composed of FBI Special Agents working in partnership with Detectives throughout Northern Virginia. The task force is charged with identifying and investigating the most egregious violent crime actors in our region.
Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Blanchard prosecuted the case.
This Sunday, Feb. 23, marks 75 years since brave Marines raised the American flag over Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, which depicts the historic moment, has been completely rehabilitated. Two new videos launched today tell the stories of the historic flag raising and the sculpture itself.
The rehabilitation of the sculpture and surrounding parkland, the specially designed onsite exhibits and the new videos were made possible through a generous $5.37 million donation from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to the National Park Foundation. Rubenstein made the donation to honor his father’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
David M. Rubenstein said, “As the passage of time takes away the brave members of the Marine Corps who fought for our country, the importance of honoring their lives and preserving our history increases. The conservators and workers did a wonderful job returning the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial to its original beauty. I am humbled to be a part of refurbishing the memorial and honoring those who gave the last full measure of devotion for America.”
“Thanks to David Rubenstein’s ‘patriotic philanthropy,’ visitors will notice brighter, re-gilded engravings on the sculpture’s pedestal, a clean, waxed sculpture, and new lighting and landscaping,” Superintendent Charles Cuvelier said. “In addition to a beautiful memorial and grounds, we are excited to release two new videos –Raising the Flag and The Story Behind the Statue–both made possible by Mr. Rubenstein.”
The videos, available to watch online or download, tell the stories of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi and the creation of the memorial. They are ideal for families as they prepare for a visit, tour companies to play for their customers, or simply to learn more about a historic moment and the memorial that followed.
“Mr. Rubenstein’s transformative gift is a shining example of how the generosity of one person can preserve our shared history and heritage for present and future generations,” National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth said.
The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Nov. 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps. Over 1.5 million visitors come to the memorial each year.
AHC Inc., an Arlington, VA-based affordable housing developer, deposited more than $710,000 this week into the County’s revolving low-interest loan program, the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). This year’s annual repayment boosts AHC’s total repayments to more than $45 million since the AHIF program began in 1988. The payments vary from year to year. Last year, AHC returned $4.9 million to the fund.
“Arlington’s loan fund is absolutely essential for building or preserving affordable housing in our competitive real estate environment,” said AHC Inc. President and CEO Walter D. Webdale. “Without the AHIF program, many of Arlington’s affordable apartments would not exist today.”
AHC currently operates 24 affordable apartment communities in Arlington. Of those, 20 include AHIF funds. The AHIF program is integral to leveraging other investment dollars. Over the years, AHC has received $94 million in loan funds from Arlington County, which has helped capitalize nearly $400 million in real estate development.
AHC’s most recent AHIF loan is helping build The Apex on Glebe Road along Four Mile Run. The $100 million development includes approximately $20 million in revolving loan funds from Arlington. The new project is creating two bright and open, energy-efficient buildings that will welcome 256 families starting this spring. Other financing included a combined allocation of $3.5 million in 9% and 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). These tax credits will generate approximately $34 million in total equity investment.
“Financing affordable housing requires securing a variety of resources,” says Webdale. “The AHIF loan fund is the glue that helps cement the financing package.”
Currently, Arlington County allocates on average $14.3 million annually to its AHIF fund. Affordable housing advocates are requesting an increase to $25 million to help meet the growing demand for housing affordability in the County.
After an extensive national search, and at the recommendation of the search committee, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, has named Mr. William Crittenberger the new Head of School at Bishop O’Connell High School, effective July 1, 2020.
“Mr. Crittenberger brings an extensive amount of experience and a demonstrated passion for assuring excellence in education rooted in our Catholic faith. I am confident he will continue to build upon the good work and legacy at Bishop O’Connell High School,” said Bishop Burbidge. “I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the members of the search committee for their great work and Sister Lorraine McGrew, IHM, for her dedicated leadership during this interim period.”
Mr. Crittenberger comes to Bishop O’Connell after more than 35 years of service in education. Most recently, he provided eight successful years of leadership as Headmaster at St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he was Assistant Head of School as well as Academic Dean at several educational institutions in the Washington area, including Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Landon School and Bullis School. He began his career as a math and history teacher at the Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, Md. During his extensive service, he also coached girls basketball and volleyball, and boys football and baseball.
In Mr. Crittenberger’s roles, he has demonstrated an expertise in curriculum development and integration. He led his schools in effective enrollment management, system and process evaluation, and strategic planning.
He holds an M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in History from Yale University. He completed his undergraduate degree in journalism from George Washington University, after attending the U.S. Military Academy for two years. He and his wife, Tracy, have four grown children and are parishioners at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C.
“Bishop O’Connell High School captures all that is good and right in a high-functioning, joyful, and Christ-centered school community,” Crittenberger said. “I am delighted, honored, and blessed to be joining this remarkable team, where together we will write the newest chapters in this school’s storied history.”
Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent of Schools, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, announced the appointment to faculty and staff at Bishop O’Connell, adding, “We look forward to having Mr. Crittenberger in the important Head of School role at Bishop O’Connell. He brings a wealth of experience and a great zeal for the mission of Catholic education.”
In a landmark session, the Virginia House of Delegates today voted for the first time to approve HB 1547, a bill which would expand in-state tuition eligibility to undocumented students at Virginia’s public colleges and universities. The bill, also known as the Virginia Dream Act, was introduced by Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) and passed after many years of advocacy and hard work.
“This is an incredible victory for so many young people across Virginia who want nothing more than the opportunity to earn a higher education,” said Lopez. “Thousands of young people in our state are locked out from an affordable college education, which has a dramatic impact on the long-term ability of those students to earn income throughout their lifetimes. Expanding eligibility for in-state tuition fulfills the promises and investments made in these students, many of whom were brought to our Commonwealth at a young age through no fault of their own.”
“This is also an emotional victory for me and my family. My father was once undocumented and my mother dedicated her career as an educator to helping undocumented students find ways to pay for college. This bill was the first I ever introduced in the House of Delegates and I have continued to fight for this policy in their honor year after year. I am so proud to be able to say that we finally got it passed.”
HB 1547 ends the uncertainty of affordable education access for undocumented students who graduate high school in Virginia. To be eligible for in-state tuition rates at a Virginia public college or university, undocumented students will have to have graduated from a Virginia high school since July 1, 2008, and attended a high school in Virginia for at least two years.
Any student who meets these criteria would be eligible for in-state tuition regardless of immigration or citizenship status, except for international students studying in the U.S. under certain educational or training visas.
The Virginia Dream Act will now be heard in the Senate of Virginia, where it will need to be passed by the full Senate and signed by the Governor in order to become law. The full text of HB 1547 can be accessed here.
Congressman Don Beyer partnered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Saturday to host a REAL ID application event for constituents of the 8th District at Wakefield High School in Arlington. DMV Connect, the department’s mobile “office in a suitcase,” processed REAL ID applications for residents.
“More than one million Virginians now have their REAL ID,” Congressman Beyer said. “If you have not already obtained your REAL ID, now is the time to decide if you will need one. If you do, please apply soon to avoid the last-minute rush and ensure you have the identification you will need when new requirements take effect in October.”
Beginning October 1, 2020, U.S. residents who want to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility using their state-issued driver’s license or ID as identification must have a version of the credential that is REAL ID compliant. Otherwise, they will need to present another form of federally accepted identification, such as a U.S. passport, passport card, Global Entry card or U.S. Department of Defense ID.
Obtaining a REAL ID is optional in Virginia. Some Virginians may not need a REAL ID because they do not travel by air or need access to secure federal facilities. Additionally, others may decide not to apply because they hold another federally accepted form of identification.
“We estimate about 1.6 million more Virginians will want to get a REAL ID before federal enforcement takes effect,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “REAL ID is optional in Virginia, but, if you need one, please do not wait until the last minute. The sooner you apply, the faster we will be able to serve you.”
More than 37,000 REAL IDs have been issued via DMV’s mobile operations program. DMV’s 12 mobile teams travel the Commonwealth providing service to Virginians at convenient locations they frequent, such as government centers, shopping malls and libraries.
DMV’s mobile operations program is composed of DMV 2 Go and DMV Connect. DMV 2 Go is the agency’s full-service office on wheels. DMV Connect operates via a suitcase equipped with everything needed to conduct DMV business. DMV Connect can conduct all DMV transactions except vital records and testing.
In 2019, DMV’s mobile teams conducted more than 110,000 transactions in more than 2,100 visits all over Virginia. More than a quarter of those transactions were REAL IDs.
In order to obtain a REAL ID, customers must visit DMV in person with certain documents which show proof of:
Identity and Legal Presence (e.g. unexpired U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate or unexpired Permanent Resident card);
Social Security Number (e.g. Social Security card or W-2 form displaying full nine digits);
Residency – two proofs required and must display name and current Virginia residential street address (e.g. recent utility bills, mortgage statements, valid Virginia driver’s license); and
Any name changes (e.g. marriage certificates or divorce decrees). Note: If the name on your identity document is different than your legal name, you must show proof of your name change. Multiple documents may be necessary if your name has changed more than once. DMV can issue certified copies of Virginia birth and marriage certificates for a fee.
There are a variety of acceptable documents; a complete list is available at dmvNOW.com/REALID. You may also use DMV’s interactive document guide. Existing DMV customers can fill out their application online before visiting DMV to complete the transaction.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today on the conclusion of the Senate impeachment show trial:
“Today Senate Republicans ended their impeachment show trial. It will go down as one of the most craven events in American history.
“Trials have witnesses and evidence, and cover-ups do not. Even Senate Republicans acknowledged that this was not a fair trial. It was rigged to produce the outcome demanded by President Trump.
“The outcome of a show trial does not prove innocence or exonerate. In this case the limited evidence shown to the Senate was so damning even Republicans were forced to admit that President Trump abused his power. They admitted that the House Managers proved their case.
“The big surprise was that for the first time in history the vote to remove a U.S. President from office was bipartisan. Though that vote did not meet the required threshold, Senator Romney made it clear that the claims by Trump, his legal team, and Republicans in Congress that the impeachment process was entirely based on partisan hatred were utterly false. They were based on a mountain of evidence which President Trump could not explain or rebut.
“President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress. Democrats know it, Republicans know it, and Independents know it. President Trump is guilty.”
Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) members are partnering to create a circular economy for high quality recycled glass in Northern Virginia.
O-I Glass, Inc. (O-I Glass) and Strategic Materials are teaming up to create strong markets for glass in the region through a new glass recycling drop-off program. So far the Northern Virginia program, nicknamed the ‘Purple Can Club’ and modeled after a Ripple Glass program in Kansas City, has collected more than 4 million pounds of recycled glass that is now being shipped from a processing plant in Lorton, VA to one of Strategic Materials’ recycling facilities. O-I Glass completes the loop by buying recycled glass from Strategic Materials and turning it into new glass bottles at O-I Glass manufacturing plants in Danville and Toano, Virginia, which are then re-sold throughout the state.
“This partnership between industry and city and county government is a step in the right direction for glass recycling and recovery efforts in the region,” said Scott DeFife, President of the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI). “Residents of Northern Virginia know that glass is a recyclable, sustainable alternative to other packaging materials, and have responded tremendously to the drop-off program. There is a strong market for good quality recycled glass that is contaminant-free, and this partnership will help meet that demand. ”
“There has long been a market for recycled glass in Virginia,” said Randolph Burns, O-I Glass Inc.’s Vice President of Global Government Affairs. “O-I Glass is thrilled to have the opportunity to incorporate Virginia’s recycled glass into the millions of glass containers we produce every day in our two Virginia glass plants.”
“Strategic Materials has so far seen a high volume of high quality recycled glass from the Northern Virginia drop-off bins,” said Laura Hennemann, Strategic Materials’ Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “We are excited to work with local communities and O-I Glass to create a circular economy for recycled glass in the region and hope to eventually increase the amount of glass received in the future.”
Northern Virginians continue to show excitement in the program. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, January 25th to celebrate the opening of a new bin located at MOM’s Organic Market in Alexandria.
We are happy to announce that Bean, Kinney & Korman P.C. was recently named as one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in Virginia. The annual list of the Best Places to Work in Virginia was created by Virginia Business Magazine and Best Companies Group.
This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Virginia, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses. The 2020 Best Places to Work in Virginia list is made up of 100 companies.
To be considered for participation, applicants had to have a Virginia facility, have at least 15 employees and be in business for at least 1 year. Applicants can be for-profit, non-profit or government entities.
Applicants from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in Virginia. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated applicant’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an anonymous employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation and required minimum employee participation levels. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Virginia and analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final ranking.
The final rankings will be announced at an awards luncheon on January 31, 2020, at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville.
“We have been in business for 60 years in Virginia, providing excellent service to our clients and the community, said Timothy Hughes, Managing Shareholder. “It is truly exciting to be acknowledged as a best place to work. Congratulations to all of the other applicants and awardees as well.”
For more information on the Best Places to Work in Virginia program, visit www.BestPlacesToWorkVA.com.
Northwest Federal Credit Union recently celebrated the grand opening of a new branch in Ballston, Virginia, its ninth public branch and first in Arlington County. The grand opening celebration was attended by representatives of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, community partners and local businesses. Jeff Bentley, President and CEO of Northwest Federal, expressed excitement about the new location and the opportunity to work closely with and be more accessible to members, businesses and charitable organizations in the community.
“Northwest Federal is not just a financial institution, but a community-oriented and philanthropically-minded organization. Our interest is in building lasting relationships with the businesses and members we serve. We’re hopeful that Arlington residents will come to see us as their local lifetime financial partner.”
Northwest Federal has over 8,000 members and business accounts in the Arlington area. The credit union works closely with local community organizations such as the Arlington Artists Alliance, sponsoring events such as the “ARTrageous Silent Art Auction,” EcoAction Arlington and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, including sponsoring their annual “Walk for the Animals” event as part of Northwest Federal’s Community Partner Program.
About Northwest Federal Credit Union
Northwest Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution ranking among the largest credit unions in Virginia and in the top 60 credit unions in the nation. Established in 1947 and headquartered in Herndon, Va., Northwest Federal’s Why is to serve and inspire to transform lives. The Credit Union currently serves more than 260,000 members and has assets in excess of $3.4 billion. For more information, visit www.nwfcu.org or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.