U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) on Friday held a press conference with Jeffery Smith, Vice President of Operations for the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC), and John Shea of the Helicopter Association International (HAI) to announce a pilot program for a new helicopter noise complaint system for the National Capital Region. They were joined by Arlington County Board Members Libby Garvey and Takis Karantonis.
A 2021 report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) originally requested by Beyer and his colleagues recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “develop a mechanism to exchange helicopter noise information with operators in the D.C. area.” The just-announced pilot program was developed with this recommendation in mind, and will be evaluated by FAA for potential permanent adoption after a 60-day trial run.
“For years my constituents have steadily complained of disruptive helicopter noise in the National Capital Region, and I have worked hard with colleagues and regional partners to address those concerns and reduce this noise. The just-announced helicopter noise complaint system meets a key recommendation made by the GAO report my colleagues and I requested: that the FAA develop a mechanism to track helicopter noise complaints in the Washington, D.C. area.
“It is important to note that this system is a pilot program, and its success depends on our community. Anyone with a helicopter noise complaint can submit it online at plainenoise.com/dcmetro/, by phone at 877-209-3200, or via mobile app. Providing as much information as possible when leaving a complaint is crucial – details will help to review and process the complaint.
“I am hopeful that this pilot program will prove to be a strong first step in carrying out recommendations developed with community input to reduce helicopter noise in Northern Virginia and across our region, and I will continue to work with colleagues and regional leaders and agencies to reduce helicopter noise in our skies.”
Residents in the National Capital Region will be able to submit noise concerns via webform, iPhone and Android-compatible mobile app, or voicemail at the noise complaint hotline at 877-209-3200. Residents are encouraged to provide as much information as possible when submitting a complaint. Using available flight track data, the system will accurately identify likely aircraft generating concerns and all associated data.
Beyer is an active member of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus.
The Arlington Soccer Association is teaming up with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to provide free soccer programming.
The eight-week pilot program recently kicked off and brings soccer programming to families who live in APAH’s more than 2,000 affordable apartments throughout Arlington County. The programming is offered once a week at local parks and elementary schools for children as young as 3 years old.
“We couldn’t be more excited to continue to work with such a great organization,” Arlington Soccer Executive Director Frank DeMarco said. “APAH is truly a community partner that for more than three decades has always looked out for hard-working, low-income families and has provided affordable housing opportunities to help grow and enrich our community. It is our pleasure and honor for our coaches and staff to connect and engage with families and children who may not have otherwise been able to enjoy and experience the beautiful game.”
Despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, Arlington County consists of more than a third of school-age children who qualify for the free and reduced-price meal programs.
An established presence for more than a half century, Arlington Soccer strives to give back. Community-based programs such as Girls with Goals and our partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation have brought soccer directly to thousands of children at no cost to them or their families.
“Providing access to engaging and exciting enrichment opportunities for APAH youth is one of our top priorities,” APAH President and CEO Carmen Romero said. “We are excited to partner with the Arlington Soccer Association, which certified 12 young people who live in APAH properties as state soccer referees. To get certified, they had to complete several hours of curriculum and on-field training in addition to their schoolwork. Now they can get paid as a referee and will work games all around Arlington.
“This partnership is another example of what happens when opportunities are made available for youth who might not otherwise have access. Our young people can step up and achieve amazing things. I am so proud of what they accomplished and am thankful to Frank DeMarco and the Arlington Soccer Association for creating a path for APAH youth to thrive. I know their families are so proud of them, too.”
APAH owns, develops and preserves quality rental communities for individuals and families earning approximately $20,000-$60,000 per year, and APAH promises to keep them affordable. APAH’s bilingual resident services program helps residents to increase their personal and financial stability.
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, the National Park Service and Netherlands Embassy celebrated the 77th anniversary of Liberation Day and the end of a four-year restoration of the Netherlands Carillon. This celebration included remarks from Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands André Haspels and National Park Service Director Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III. The remarks were followed by a Carillon “Freedom” Concert performed by Dutch and American carillonneurs, accompanied by the Washington Symphonic Brass.
“As stewards of many of the stories of our nation’s history, the National Park Service strives to connect us as a people and a nation to our past for a better future,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The Netherlands Carillon, like the Statue of Liberty, is a gift and a tangible representation of an intangible ideal: freedom; the principle that binds the people of the United States and the Netherlands past, present and future.”
The Carillon was a gift to the United States following WWII, symbolizing Dutch gratitude to the American people for helping liberate the Netherlands and providing aid to rebuild the Dutch economy through the Marshall Plan.
“We are here today, Liberation Day in the Netherlands, to celebrate our freedom as well as the completion of the renovation and expansion of the Netherlands Carillon. The people of the Netherlands gave the carillon to the people of the United States to thank them for their role restoring their freedom during and after World War II. We thank the veterans of World War II for their bravery on the battlefield an ocean away and the women who helped the war effort from home in the States.” said Ambassador André Haspels of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. “It is my hope that every time the bells of the Carillon chime in perfect harmony, the American people know they have the eternal gratitude of my nation.”
Liberation Day marks the end of the occupation of the Netherlands by Germany during World War II. The Netherlands Carillon was a gift to the people of the United States from the people of the Netherlands. The Carillon symbolizes the friendship between the people of two countries, rooted in common allegiance to the principles of freedom, justice and democracy.
The project itself, which started in 2019 represents the same friendship that is symbolized by the Carillon. The NPS was responsible for the rehabilitation of the structure while the Embassy took on upgrades to the musical instrument. In 2020, 50 bells were shipped to the Netherlands to be tuned and the three new bells were cast. Last spring, all 53 bells were lifted into the structure elevating the Netherlands Carillon to “grand carillon” status.
In 1954, the first bells were installed in the Carillon, which was then located in West Potomac Park. Since 1960, the Netherlands Carillon has stood adjacent to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington Ridge Park. Throughout the year, people attend live concerts of jazz, pop and patriotic music performed by carillonneurs.
This year, the NPS will offer weekly Carillon Concerts starting on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. Each following concert will take place on Saturday through Labor Day. The Labor Day concert will be held on Monday, September 5. Members of the public are encouraged to come an hour early to learn about the history, physics, and meaning of the instrument. Saturday concerts begin at 6 p.m., and the two Monday concerts begin at 3 p.m.
The Arlington County Board will vote April 23 on Phase Two of Amazon’s new HQ2. While Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF) welcomes a new Amazon presence at PenPlace, we urge county leaders to strike a fair deal in this site plan review. As structured now, Arlington would trade world record bonus density — more buildable space — for unequal community benefits from Amazon. That bonus density is the size of 1.5 Chrysler Buildings (1.7 million ft2), yet we are being offered only a high school (26,500 ft2), child care center, a park, sustainability gains, and $30 million for affordable housing. The offer falls short $380 million to $1.1 billion of the value of that density. We trust the Board will fix that.
Since February 2022, ASF has been asking county commissions to join us in seeking benefits to balance the deal. We are currently suggesting $413.1 million in amenities to include a new school/community center in Pentagon City, affordable housing and education grants, park improvements/tree fund, and transit projects to ease congestion near HQ2. ASF stands ready to support the Board to ensure that the PenPlace site plan:
- Delivers an additional $413.1 million in community benefits,
- Commits to deliver those community benefits with immediate effect,
- Awards bonus density in 4 tranches, conditioned on approval of construction
permits for each building,
- Improves Arlington’s site planning processes to enable earlier community and better input from commissions.
Going forward, it is vital that the county reveal to the public, as part of site plan negotiations for all development, the underlying dollar value of the benefits of the bonus density being awarded and the community benefits promised in return. It is the Board’s mandate to insist on such transparency.
In mid-May, approximately 1,080 students will receive their degrees over the course of three days during Marymount University’s 71st annual commencement ceremonies. The newest graduates of the mission-based university will hear from three distinguished speakers – the first female Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., Princess Reema; physicist and former NASA research center director Dr. Julian M. Earls; and global financier and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.
All three speakers will receive honorary degrees during the following ceremonies, which are organized by College with each including undergraduate and graduate students:
- Friday, May 13: College of Health and Education
- Speaker: Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
- Saturday, May 14: College of Sciences and Humanities
- Speaker: Dr. Julian M. Earls
- Sunday, May 15: College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology
- Speaker: David M. Rubenstein
The ceremonies will include students who qualify for graduation from the Fall 2021, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 semesters, as well as students who graduated in Summer 2021 but did not participate in last year’s ceremonies. They will be held outdoors on the Converse Family Field on Main Campus. See below for more information on the commencement speakers.
For the first time since 2019, Arlington Little League will host its Opening Day on Sun, April 3 from 1-5:30 p.m. at Barcroft Park.
“Our children and our families have been through a lot over the past few years. Baseball has been the constant. It has been an honor for Arlington Little League to continue playing this incredible game with some incredible kids. Holding an Opening Ceremony in Spring 2022 is another sign that we are inching back — ever so slightly and ever so carefully — towards easier times. We have never stopped loving these kids, and we have never stopped loving this game.,” said League president Adam Balutis.
This year, former Major League Baseball player and Northern Virginia native Brandon Guyer will be the special guest. Guyer, who played for the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians, grew up in Herndon and played high school baseball at Herndon High School and the University of Virginia.
Guyer retired from professional baseball in 2020 and started an online training platform called Fully Equipped Athlete, which has grown into his new program, Major League Mindset. His mission is to help the next generation of athletes master the mental side of the game – to embrace adversity and learn from it, and to “fail forward” – and empower young players to become the best version of themselves, on and off the field.
Opening Day Events
1 p.m. – Teams gather (Field 4)
1:20 p.m. – Parade of ALL Stars (Field 4 to Field 1)
1:40 p.m. – Presentation of the Colors (VFW Post 3150) National Anthem Little League & Parent/Volunteer Pledges
1:50 p.m. – Welcome, Introductions, Opening Remarks
2 p.m. – On-Field Action (Contests and Entertainment, Hall of Fame Inductions, Special Guest, Ceremonial First Pitches)
o 2:30 p.m. – Challengers – Brewers vs White Sox (Field 4)
o 2:45 p.m. – 50/70 – Brewers vs Cubs (Field 1)
o 3 p.m. – Majors – Giants vs Yankees (Field 2)
Opening Ceremonies will also include a Fun Zone with moon bounces, face painting, popcorn, food trucks and more!
Food Drive to Benefit AFAC
This year, ALL is teaming up with AFAC and Wakefield Baseball to “Take a Swing at Hunger.” Little league families are encouraged to non-perishable food to the ceremony. The team that brings the most items will win a team party courtesy of ALL.
Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) announced a $10,000 grant to local nonprofit, Rebuilding Together- Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church (AFF).
The grant was part of a national give back program award from national credit union credit card vendor PSCU to be given to a local nonprofit of Arlington Community FCU’s choice. Rebuilding Together- AFF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves low-income homeowners and nonprofits.
Arlington Community FCU chose Rebuilding Together-AFF for the grant based on the two organizations’ shared vision for housing in the Northern Virginia region. Karen L. Rosales, Arlington Community FCU’s CEO, stated “We are thankful for the work of Rebuilding Together’s staff and volunteers, who make repairs and modifications so homeowners in need can live in safe and healthy homes in our local neighborhoods. This is a critical part of addressing the housing challenge in our region and we are grateful for the opportunity to learn more about housing needs and opportunities in Arlington, Falls Church, and Fairfax through this partnership.”
These funds will contribute to Rebuilding Together-AFF’s general operations and provide unrestricted funding for the organization. “It is a great pleasure to welcome Arlington Community Federal Credit Union as a new partner in our mission of rebuilding homes to restore safety and well-being for our neighbors in need,” said Patti Klein, Executive Director. “It is clear that they share in our commitment and enthusiasm in helping communities improve and thrive through direct action. This generous grant has already made an impact for one longtime Arlingtonian and it will allow us to help other neighbors who are waiting for critical repairs and life-saving fall prevention.”
With Community at the center of their name, the local credit union ensures they are giving back beyond monetary grants. Through financial education programs for schools and nonprofits, long-term partnerships with local organizations, and products that empower community members to reach their financial goals, Arlington Community FCU makes a positive impact on the community every day.
For more information on Arlington Community FCU’s community initiatives, visit www.arlingtoncu.org/community.
Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI) extends federal services division office lease in Arlington, VA. Represented by Edward Saa and Timothy Jacobs, CNI Federal experienced explosive growth in the 2020-2021 government fiscal year in awarded contracts necessitating a 10,000-SF office presence to service customers.
Eduardo Marques, Federal Services Chief Operating Officer relayed to Saa and Jacobs “after vetting alternative submarkets from Reston to Tysons, we realized there wasn’t another location that could duplicate what we have in our Clarendon/Courthouse location. Having direct access to the Metro and an abundance of walkable amenities that our employees can enjoy is a significant part of our company’s culture and we don’t want to give that up.”
Edward Saa explains “we were able to help CNI by leveraging multiple local landlords in Fairfax and Arlington County. After conducting a comprehensive analysis, we found that renewing was not only the most cost-effective option, but it also scored the highest in non-economic factors. We were able to secure them great financial lease terms while not sacrificing any of the amenities and convivences that were important to them as an organization.”
CNI, headquartered in Norman, Oklahoma, serves as a holding company with multiple subsidiaries that operate as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) engaged in several lines of business for both the federal government and commercial enterprises. Chickasaw Federal serves as the government contracting arm of Chickasaw Nation Industries. Chickasaw Federal is made up of 13 subsidiaries that provide capabilities and solutions for federal customers across six core practice areas: Technology, Infrastructure & Engineering, Health, Business Services, Consulting and Transportation.
CNI is proud to support the economic development of the Chickasaw Nation and to contribute to the tribal mission of enhancing the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people. A portion of profits is used to support Chickasaw citizens through a multitude of programs and services such as education, health care, nutrition services, housing programs, legal services, elder and childcare and community support programs. Successful economic development is an integral part of the Chickasaw Nation’s operations. To learn more, visit www.chickasaw.com
George Mason University announced today that its Arlington Campus will be renamed Mason Square as the new centerpiece of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor for multi-disciplinary talent and business development, as well as a civic and cultural destination.
Also being announced is Fuse at Mason Square, the name of the new technology-forward building that is the heart of Mason’s commitment to growing Northern Virginia’s next-generation workforce. A groundbreaking ceremony for Fuse at Mason Square will take place April 6.
“As the largest producer of computing graduates in Virginia, George Mason University is building a new model for education’s role in economic development,” said Dr. Gregory Washington, president of George Mason University. “Mason Square brings scholars, students, industry and the region together at a destination–unlike any other–that takes ideas and research to market faster, and drives policy and technology solutions forward for decades to come.”
Located just outside Washington, D.C., and next door to Mason’s renowned policy, business, and law schools, Fuse at Mason Square is a first-of-its-kind facility bringing together the public and private sectors in a collaborative alliance to solve grand challenges. Fuse will house faculty and students working with the Institute for Digital Innovation (IDIA) and their partners, and graduate programs from Mason’s new School of Computing. Designed to support digital innovation, active learning, cutting-edge research, business entrepreneurs, and tech incubators alongside education and policymakers, the new space offers 345,000 square feet designed for the needs of the next generation of Northern Virginia’s technology workforce.
Developed in partnership with Mason Innovation Partners, led by Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, Fuse at Mason Square will be a LEED Platinum, smart, net-zero-ready building with Fitwel 2-star and RELi resiliency certifications. The site will also feature retail amenities and a public plaza for programming as well as a below-grade parking garage. Estimated completion for the building is summer 2024.
“Fuse at Mason Square blends Mason’s best-in-class programs and the Institute for Digital Innovation with the expansion of connected industry partnerships and research endeavors on the Arlington Campus,” said Jamie Martin, Vice President at Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate. “Fuse will ignite Mason Square as a destination for tech talent development and industry-directed research and will become the center of digital innovation in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. region.”
The new Mason Square, located in Arlington’s Virginia Square neighborhood, will support a multi-disciplinary ecosystem of expertise from engineering, computing, entrepreneurship and business, policy and law to enable rapid incubation and scale of new ideas and inventions. In addition to the new building, Mason Square includes the integrated capacities of the Antonin Scalia Law School, the Schar School of Policy and Government, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, programs in Arts Management and the School of Business, Mason Enterprise, and Continuing and Professional Education, as well as state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities.
“We look forward to this new building and program, Fuse at Mason Square, attracting start-ups, investors and community organizations to Arlington in order to work alongside Mason innovators,” said Katie Cristol, Arlington County Board Chair. “This proximity will spark innovation and new partnerships, and the research, programs and talent that will thrive here will be a cutting-edge asset for the regional economy for decades to come.”
The Arlington expansion at Mason Square supports the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Tech Talent Investment Program (TTIP), a 20-year program designed to produce 25,000 additional graduates in computer science, computer engineering and software engineering.
Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Representative of Northern Virginia and member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, today wrote to the heads of the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Aviation Administration seeking a halt to procedural changes for regional airplane flight patterns. Beyer’s letter noted that the because the changes were not preceded by an environmental review process and were implemented just before a major drop-off in flights caused by the pandemic, their impact on noise levels in the region is just starting to be felt in full for the first time now.
“I write to request an update on the ‘Prohibited Area 56 National Security Project (Project),’ which changed approach and departure procedures at Washington National Airport (DCA) at the request of the United States Secret Service, in order to reduce incursions into restricted airspace by the White House, National Mall, and Naval Observatory. While I understand the national security implications of these procedural changes, I remain concerned about the concentration of airplane noise it has caused in Northern Virginia and the process by which the changes were undertaken.
“As of January 30, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began a new departure procedure and database waypoint for aircraft operating at DCA, in which the RNAV departures waypoint was moved from the middle of the Potomac River into Virginia. These changes were implemented without an environmental review and substantive community engagement, which are both crucial steps in the normal procedural change review process. In fact, the procedure in question had been previously proposed and rejected by the community because it concentrated air traffic over neighborhood and school in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.
“Additionally, since these changes were implemented just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact on air travel, the effects are just now being felt within the community. According to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, there were about half as many passengers passing through DCA in 2020, as compared to 2021. As such, air traffic has picked up significantly in the past year and my constituents are now bearing the burden of the procedural changes through increased and concentrated aircraft noise over their neighborhoods.
“I urge the FAA, in consultation with the U.S. Secret Service, to halt these procedural changes until a proper environmental review process is completed and the concerns of affected communities are taken into consideration and look forward to receiving the update on the Project.”
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today introduced legislation to rename the post office in Arlington on George Mason Drive (currently designated “Arlington Post Office”) after local letter carrier Jesus Collazos. Collazos immigrated to Northern Virginia from Colombia in 1978 and worked for 25 years as a USPS postal carrier in Arlington. He died of COVID-19 early in the pandemic
“Jesus Collazos was a beloved figure who personified the American dream and gave back to the Arlington community he loved,” said Rep. Beyer. “It is extremely fitting that we would rename a postal facility in Arlington after this person who delivered mail there for 25 years until his retirement. His untimely death was a great loss to the region, but I hope this commemoration will bring a measure of solace to his family.”
During his tenure as a postal carrier, Jesus left a positive impact on his community, his colleagues, and most importantly, his family. While working one of his first postal routes, he fell in love with the neighborhood and eventually bought a home there. He was passionate about ensuring his children received an education and helped put his children through school. Both ultimately received their master’s degrees. Motivated by a desire to spend more time with his grandchildren, Jesus retired in February 2019.
In early 2020 he was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, an aggressive cancer. While being treated, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was intubated a week later, then suffered a stroke which put him in a coma. Jesus passed away on June 6, 2020, at the age of 67. The Collazos family immediately began to receive an outpouring of love via messages, calls, cards, and meals from countless family members and friends. An outdoor memorial service for Jesus was held June 26, 2020, which saw many community members, family, and friends came together to honor his memory. His USPS coworkers opened the ceremony with a mail truck parade – all of this as a testament to Jesus’ impact on his community.