Arlington, VA

U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) this evening held an urgent conference call with representatives of over a dozen Virginia lending institutions to discuss questions and concerns about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program. The program, established by the CARES Act to support small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin accepting applications tomorrow morning.

“The clear intent of Congress in creating this program was to make this the simplest, easiest, fastest loan small business owners have ever gotten so they get the help they need right away. We urge lenders to do all they can to help small businesses in need. Millions of people are depending on them.

“The Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury must clarify their guidelines with all possible haste to be ready to support the small businesses which make up the backbone of the American economy. Without a clear application process and strong directives from the federal government, the PPP loan program tomorrow will descend into chaos and bedlam. That must not happen.”

One lender predicted to the Representatives that tomorrow would be “one of the craziest days in the history of modern banking.” Another said that because of a lack of guidance from the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department lenders “don’t understand the program.”

The major concerns lenders expressed to the Members of Congress revolved around the lack of public awareness about the circumstances under which PPP loans would be forgiven, who would make the determination on loan forgiveness, and the extent to which the federal government would shield lenders from risks incurred by such loans.

The Members of Congress, who serve on relevant committees of jurisdiction, responded by emphasizing heavily that Congress’ goal in creating the PPP loan program was to allow small businesses to make payroll, protect workers, and survive the economic crisis. They strongly encouraging lenders to do all they can to support small businesses in need, and to inform them of fixes needed in the law to ensure its success.

By: Marymount University

April 1, 2020

In recent years, 3D printing has emerged as a manufacturing solution for countless areas of everyday life, from producing musical instruments to housing structures and even prosthetic limbs. Now, it’s in the spotlight for its potential to protect medical professionals from exposure to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Marymount University professor Dr. Eric Bubar is getting in on the action, with hopes of utilizing his unique skills to make a difference. A longtime provider of 3D printed upper-limb assistive devices, he is now shifting his focus to creating 3D printed, reusable face shields for use at hospitals in Washington, D.C., New York and beyond.

“It has been quite an adventure to build up a nationwide distribution network to meet the needs that are out there, all while turning my home into a 3D printing farm,” Dr. Bubar reflected. “As fast as I crank them out, they’re scooped up by medical providers!”

He has partnered with the D.C. chapter of Enabling the Future, also known as “e-NABLE,” a global community of volunteers who provide 3D printed prosthetics to those in need. Chapters of e-NABLE across the country have joined forces in a national effort to provide 3D printed face shields at no cost to assist the personnel working on the front lines against COVID-19, while addressing the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The shields being produced, Dr. Bubar says, are from two open source designs – one released by Prusa Research and designed in collaboration with the Czech Ministry of Health, and the other designed by Verkstan in Sweden. These were determined to be the most helpful for health care personnel after medical providers in the local area tested several models. Both designs can be disinfected so they can be cleaned and reused, therefore helping to preserve the longevity of PPE that medical providers have available to them.

Dr. Bubar explained that while they’re not the “ideal solution,” the face shields provide an added layer of protection for health care workers until large-scale manufacturing of PPE equipment can begin to meet the intense demand.

A former student of Dr. Bubar’s who graduated Marymount in 2017, Johanna Gomez, played a role in testing the various face shield models. Now working in a local ophthalmology office, she says their ability to obtain a sufficient number of masks for patients and staff has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as an office which cares for patients that have urgent vision-threatening issues or conditions, they cannot afford to close.

“When [Dr. Bubar] asked for the opinion of medical professionals, I gladly reached out – and after speaking with my supervisors, they were so happy and relieved I had,” Gomez said. “We need every bit of help we can get to keep our patients and ourselves safe. During uncertain times like these, we need innovative thinkers and overall kind people who are willing to extend a hand despite the costs of materials, time or energy.”

So far, e-NABLE has shipped about 250 face shields to locations in Washington, D.C., Arlington, Annandale, Woodbridge and Hyattsville locally, and to farther afield locations in New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Florida and California. Dr. Bubar worked with Maricé Morales, an attorney in Rockville and a Maryland state delegate, to have face shields sent to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, one of the medical centers that has been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also where Dr. Myra Morales, her sister, has been working nights in the ICU.

The shields debuted there on Sunday evening. One of the doctors described the 100-plus shields they received as “good as gold,” and gave feedback to Dr. Bubar and his partners that is resulting in a rapid prototype adjustment which is made possible by the quick efficiency that 3D printing offers. Morales is now assisting with the effort to get Montgomery County Schools on board, as well as finding out specific needs for local hospitals in the greater Washington region.

To make this kind of coordinated response possible, it requires experts of various fields and volunteers from different areas of society.

“It’s a large effort with lots of people involved, one that was basically built up over a weekend,” Dr. Bubar explained. “Coronavirus moves fast, but so does our response to it.”

To increase the capacity to help, Marymount University donated to support the costs of all the materials necessary to produce the face shields, while Interior Design professors Doug Seidler and Moira Denson lent their printing expertise and industry connections. This allowed Dr. Bubar to work with Peter von Elling and Eric Offerman at Nova Labs, a makerspace located in Reston, Va., which is providing laser cutting services to produce the clear shield pieces in bulk.

Marymount alumnus Philip Bui joined the effort, and is working to ship 100 face shields to providers in New York City. A current Marymount student, Eric Malani, has also pitched in by printing shields at home on his 3D printer.

“As a volunteer EMT and Emergency Department scribe, I am honored to use 3D printing technology to provide much-needed personal protective equipment to my colleagues in the field of emergency medicine, who are on the front lines battling COVID-19,” Malani said.

Dr. Bubar’s partnership with e-NABLE DC, led by Madison Bondoc, prompted the creation of a GoFundMe page, “e-NABLE Combat against the Coronavirus,” to help in the purchase of additional supplies. Each face shield is composed of roughly $4 to $5 in raw materials, which volunteers have been covering for out of pocket. But in just seven days, the GoFundMe has raised about $6,500 of their $10,000 goal. This will go a long way towards helping the volunteers focus not on paying for supplies, but on the process of 3D printing, assembling and shipping PPE to medical professionals, hospitals, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

Other schools and universities have also joined in the fight. Amanda Jarvis, the head of Mason Innovation Exchange at George Mason University, is working on creating 3D printed portions of the face shields to match the quantity of laser-cut pieces being produced. Meanwhile, Matt Cupples, a makerspace teacher in Arlington Public Schools, has laser cutter access and is helping print more face shields with the assistance of volunteers in his school system.

Cupples got involved after seeing a tweet from Dr. Bubar calling for help – however, his 3D printers were locked in his school. Arrangements were made for Cupples to enter the school and take the printers home with him, where he also enlisted the help of students’ parents who have 3D printers at their houses.

“With the schools being closed for the year, us teachers were looking for ways that we could use our skills to help our community,” Cupples said. “We were already producing online content for our students and virtually meeting, but we missed the hands-on part of our jobs. This project keeps us connected as a learning community, keeps us busy and helps others.”

While it’s a large group effort making all of this possible, they are always looking for more volunteers! If you’re able to help out in the 3D printing process, Dr. Bubar encourages you to email him directly. Marymount University has also set up a non-contact drop box outside of the guard house at the University’s main entrance off of North Glebe Road in Arlington, where volunteers can leave their 3D printed pieces to be paired with shields that are being laser-cut in bulk by Nova Labs volunteers.

Having persevered for three weeks through the limitations of the current public health situation, Arlington’s Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery is temporarily closing its doors to ‘Call-In, Carry Out’ service on April 1, 2020. Chef/owner David Guas will continue his mission to provide the community and underserved kids and families with free, grab-and-go meals [Monday-Friday.] Guas founded the Chefs Feeding Families program, a collaboration with Real Food For Kids, which has been operational since the closure of Arlington County Public Schools several weeks ago. Chefs Feeding Families provides free, plant-based, nutritious meals for students, their families, and military families. By the end of this week, Guas will be serving on average 400 FREE meals a day.

Guas says that curtailing his three weeks of ‘Call-In, Carry-Out’ service for the general public was a tough decision – but that remaining open was no longer sustainable. As people hunker deeper down to shelter-in-place and flatten the curve, Guas also felt it was important to take every precaution and protect the safety of his staff and patrons. “The support for our carry-out service in recent weeks has been tremendous and heartwarming. As a small business that values local sourcing, our longevity affects the ‘survival’ of our vendors, as well as our staff: we are at an important point in the economy and the ripple effect will be powerful. But we also know when to say ‘enough,’ for now. We are so grateful to our patrons who’ve kept us going, and we can’t wait to get back to being their go-to gathering spot.”

Meanwhile, Guas assures everyone who ordered pre-paid cookie boxes in the current “Hump-Day Bake Sale” that their goodies will be ready for pick-up on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Proceeds from the Bake Sale are helping the eatery support its staff.  He is especially touched by an order from Arlington’s Key Elementary PTA, who purchased 150 cookies as an extra treat for families on the meal program.  When families arrive for pick-up, they’ll also find an extra spirited boost from the #HappyBags lining Bayou Bakery’s windows. Cheerfully painted with colorful messages and impressive illustrations the paper bags have been decorated by local kids sharing a new approach to the traditional “brown bag lunch”. Previously, the bags had been used for the carry out orders.

For the foreseeable future, Guas and his small team will be handing out free protein-rich meals, available for pick-up from 11 AM – 1 PM on weekdays, when Arlington county kids would normally be fed lunch at school.

By: FLARE Technology and Services

March 31, 2020

FLARE, an amenity electric shuttle service, along with the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, collected and delivered over 800 lbs. of food donations from the Crystal City area for the Arlington Food Assistance Center on Saturday, March 21, and announced that food collection efforts will continue in the Crystal City area starting today.

“We were astounded to witness the generosity of friends and neighbors in the Crystal City area to donate much-needed food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Over 800 lbs. of food collected filled an entire FLARE shuttle,” said FLARE CEO Andres Delgado.

FLARE worked with the Aurora Highlands Civic Association to collection donations for this food drive. Miriam Gennari, vice president of the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, said, “Our goal was to be careful while being neighborly. Collecting for AFAC was the first step. The next will be figuring out techniques along with the Crystal City/National Landing business improvement district to ensure citizens are communicating their needs so we can support one another.”

Given the success of this initial effort, starting today, FLARE, in partnership with the Crystal City Civic Association and Crystal City Business Improvement District, has added food donation boxes in 10 apartment buildings in Crystal City, and will deliver these donations to the Arlington Food Assistance Center on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until April 30.

“We are grateful to play a part in helping the community during this challenging time, and have added food donation boxes in several Crystal City apartment buildings to continue assisting this community,” Delgado said.

“We’re all in this together, and our partnerships show what we can do to help one another and those most in need,” added Carol Fuller, president of the Crystal City Civic Association.

Food collection boxes can be found at the following Arlington locations: Crystal Lofts (305 S. 10th Street); Waterford House (1200 Crystal Drive); Crystal Gateway (1300 Crystal Drive); Crystal Park (1805 Crystal Drive); Crystal City Shops (2100 Crystal Drive); Crystal Plaza (2111 Richmond Hwy.); We Live (2121 23rd Street); Crystal Flats (505 S. 18th Street); Crystal Towers (1600 S. Eads Street); and Crystal House Apartments (1900 South Eads Street).

Food items that are in greatest need by AFAC are: rice, pasta, low-sugar cereal, canned tomatoes, canned soup, canned tuna fish, and canned beans (no glass).

If any neighborhood or organization would like to partner with FLARE to establish additional food donation sites and pickups, please email [email protected]

By: VDOT

March 27, 2020

Motorists and area residents are advised of upcoming closures on Shirlington Circle and the westbound Seminary Road service road over the I-395 general purpose and express lanes that will impact travel in those areas. These closures are needed for continued bridge improvement work, as part of the overall 395 Express Lanes project.

Shirlington Circle

The northern section of the Shirlington Circle bridge over the general purpose and express lanes on I-395 will close from 10 p.m., Sunday, March 29 until midnight, Wednesday night, April 1.

What to Expect:

  • Travelers driving north on the I-395 general purpose lanes will not be able to access Shirlington from Exit 6
  • Travelers driving north on North Quaker Lane will not be able to access Shirlington or the 395 Express Lanes from the Shirlington Circle
  • Travelers will be able to access the I-395 northbound general purpose lanes from the Shirlington Circle
  • This additional closure is needed for continued bridge improvement work on the northernmost section of Shirlington Circle over I-395.

By: Senator Tim Kaine

March 26, 2020

 U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement after the Senate approved a bipartisan coronavirus (COVID-19) economic relief package. The legislation includes Kaine’s priorities to provide direct payments to Americans, protect small businesses, expand access to child care, provide much-needed assistance to state and local governments, strengthen our health care system, ensure that funding for larger businesses is used to protect their employees, fund improvements to the nation’s public health data systems, help manufacturers affected by this crisisexpand unemployment assistance, put a temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, support schools, strengthen America’s medical supply chain, increase nonprofit funding for maternal health, and increase funding for community action agencies.

“I’m so proud that Senate Democrats stood together and made sure that the bill we passed today will backstop the American economy by protecting workers and their families. Compared to the partisan proposal that the GOP hoped to jam through, this bill is far better for working people and the small businesses that make up the heart of our economy. It makes sure that funds to large businesses cannot be used to raise executive pay or for stock buybacks and guarantees transparency so that all Americans can know immediately who is receiving help. Finally, it is a Marshall Plan for the American health care system as it deals with a pandemic.

“These gains for regular Americans and our health care system would not have occurred had Democrats just gone along with the GOP proposal. There was enormous pressure to simply vote on a bill and be done, but we stayed on task until we got the details right.

“We now have to make sure the three bills we have passed in recent weeks are implemented promptly and fairly. And we need to keep our eye on our number one priority: getting through this health crisis by following science-based guidance. We lost 6-8 weeks at the front end of this pandemic due to the President choosing to downplay the threat of COVID-19 even as other nations like South Korea and Australia were ramping up testing and production of critical medical supplies. We cannot waste any more time on foolishly denying the scope of the problem.

“For America to get back to work, and for Americans to get past their natural fears and anxieties, we have to be smart from this point forward as we battle this virus. All people have a role to play in this by practicing social distancing to protect one another. I have confidence that Virginians and all Americans will meet this challenge.”

The following Kaine priorities were included in the package:

  • Direct payments to Americans: The legislation includes direct cash payments to all low- and middle-income Americans: $1,200 per single filer and $2,400 for joint filers, with an additional $500 per minor dependent. Kaine and his Democratic colleagues successfully called for cash relief that does not leave out America’s most vulnerable families, while the initial Republican proposal provided insufficient relief for these households.
  • Small business funding: The legislation provides nearly $350 billion in funding for forgivable small business loans. Funding will be provided through local banks, and can be used to cover payroll, rent, mortgage interest, utilities, and other expenses. The portion that is forgiven will be scaled related to how many workers the business retains through the crisis.
  • Expand access to child care: The legislation includes Senator Kaine’s proposal with Senator Todd Young to increase funding, flexibility, and eligibility for the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to help ensure health care providers and other essential workers have access to child care during the pandemic.
  • State and local coronavirus relief fund: The legislation includes a $150 billion fund to support state, local, and tribal area efforts to address COVID-19. Funding will be provided directly to states, counties, and tribal areas.
  • Historic investment in the health care system: Democrats fought for and secured a $150 billion Marshall Plan for the health care system to support hospitals and other health care providers impacted by COVID-19 with necessary personal protective equipment, testing supplies, infrastructure, and more.
  • Guardrails for large business assistance: Democrats were able to secure additional guardrails on loans made to larger businesses, including restrictions on stock buybacks and protections that will lead to more workers being maintained on the payroll. Additionally, funding provided under this section will be subject to strict transparency and accountability requirements, including the establishment of a new Inspector General to oversee distribution, usage, and repayment of funds.
  • Data modernization: The legislation includes $500 million for public health data modernization, which Sen. Kaine has long championed. Last year, he introduced with Senators Isakson and King the Saving Lives Through Better Data Act, bipartisan legislation to modernize public health data infrastructure so clinicians, state health departments, and the CDC can work together more quickly and seamlessly to identify and respond to health threats like the coronavirus.
  • Help for American manufacturers: The legislation includes key provisions of bipartisan legislation Kaine introduced with Senator Chris Coons to help Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers, including the Commonwealth’s MEP affiliate Virginia GENEDGE, stay open during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. MEP centers provide critical resources for small and medium manufacturers.
  • Expand unemployment assistance: The legislation includes key provisions of legislation Kaine cosponsored to provide federally-funded unemployment assistance to those affected by the coronavirus. Under the agreement, unemployment insurance would be provided to workers impacted by the coronavirus, including gig workers and freelancers.
  • Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures: The legislation implements temporary moratoriums on eviction and foreclosure proceedings. Single- and multi-family property owners in mortgages backed by federal agencies will be given the option for forbearance – allowing them to defer payments and add onto the end of the loan. Renters in buildings covered by the Fair Housing Act or backed by federal funding will be protected against evictions for 120 days. Last week, Senator Kaine urged Senate leaders to place a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and defaults for families and businesses during this national emergency.
  • Support for schools: The legislation provides $30.75 billion for grants to provide emergency support to local school systems and higher education institutions to continue to provide educational services to their students and support the on-going functionality of school districts and institutions. Last week, Kaine joined Senator Casey in urging Senator leaders to address concerns he has heard from Virginia institutions of higher education like providing stable housing and issues accessing technology needed for online learning.
  • Strengthen America’s supply chain: The legislation includes elements of the Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act, bipartisan legislation Kaine introduced with Senator Rubio to combat vulnerabilities in America’s pharmaceutical supply chain.
  • Increase nonprofit funding for maternal health: The legislation includes Kaine’s bill to smooth pension funding for March of Dimes, based in Arlington, Virginia, allowing the organization to boost its public health work at this critical time.
  • Increase funding for community action agencies: The legislation includes $1 billion for Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) to support local community-based organizations providing social services and emergency assistance to those most in need. Last week, Kaine joined Senator Collins in calling for appropriators to include robust funding for CSBG to help address on-the-ground challenges that communities are facing.

By: Street Guys Hospitality

March 25, 2020

Street Guys Hospitality, renowned for its neighborhood restaurants that offer set price, next-level Balkan & Mexican dining without limits, is stepping up with a plan to help feed the communities it serves while supporting its staff members during this crisis. Considering the devastating COVID-19 outbreak in Washington, D.C., Founder & CEO Ivan Iricanin is offering large, value-driven, family-style meals, served in a catering format, while also enacting an employee relief fund to support his front and back of house who have been affected greatly as result of his restaurant closures.

“We care deeply about our staff and want to do everything we can to assist them during this difficult time,” says Ivan Iricanin. “Therefore, 100% of gift card sales purchased through April 12, 2020, will go towards our newly enacted employee relief fund, which helps to pay insurance premiums and provide daily meals for our staff.” Gift cards can be purchased directly from the restaurant websites and can be redeemed at any of the following Washington-area establishments once restaurants are able to reopen for business: Ambar, Ambar Clarendon, BABA, Tacos, Tortas and Tequila (TTT), Buena Vida Silver Spring, Buena Vida Clarendon and TTT Mexican Diner.

Street Guys Hospitality is also introducing a new grab-and-go menu derived from their next-level Balkan dining without limits concept, Ambar Clarendon.  Beginning Thursday, March 26, two fully customizable grab-and-go feasts will be available for pickup and delivery through UberEats and Grubhub. Each menu will feature comfort dishes from the Balkan Peninsula, prepared with a modern twist, with enough food to feast for days.  The first is a six-course Balkan feast priced at $60 and includes a choice of soup & salad, spread, vegetable, meat or poultry (prepared on a charcoal grill) and dessert to feed three or four people.  The second option is priced at $110 and includes a choice of two soups & salads, spreads, vegetables, meats or poultry and desert to feed six to eight people. Standout dishes not to be missed include Chicken Soup with whole chicken and root vegetables; Tzatziki with yogurt, cucumber and garlic; Garlic Beans with onions, dry-roasted pepper and paprika; Balkan Salad with tomato, peppers, cucumber, onion and aged cheese; Braised Cabbage with dry pepper and yogurt; Mushroom Risotto with root vegetables, rice and cremini mushrooms; Brussels Sprouts with lemon & garlic yogurt; Slow Roasted Lamb with garlic yogurt; Pork Belly Stuffed Cabbage with tomato sauce, arborio rice and yogurt; Beef Short Rib Goulash with root vegetables and red wine; Baked Beans & Sausage with onion, dry roasted pepper, paprika and pork sausage, as well as Baklava, golden brown phyllo dough with crushed walnuts and syrup.  All orders will be accompanied with house-made pita bread and cornbread.

Additionally, Street Guys Hospitality is offering an added bonus to support the gift card community fund initiative through April 12, 2020.  Customers will receive an additional $30 with the purchase of a $100 gift card, an additional $100 with the purchase of a $300 gift card, and an additional $375 with the purchase of a $1,000 gift card.  The restaurant’s thank everyone in advance for the support of this fundraising effort and look forward to reopening for service at each of their locations in Washington, D.C., Silver Spring, Maryland and Arlington, Virginia and as soon as it is deemed safe for people to gather and enjoy experiences together again.  For more information regarding locations and purchasing please visit https://streetguyshospitality. com/.

Street Guys Hospitality, an international restaurant group, which owns and operates ten concepts and employees 400+ across two continents, which they currently oversee. Concepts include: TTT Silver Spring, Buena Vida Contemporary Cuisine Silver Spring, AMBAR Belgrade, AMBAR Capitol Hill, AMBAR Clarendon, BABA, Mala Fabrika Ukusa, Burrito Madre Belgrade, Burrito Madre Karadjordjeva and Burrito Madre Bulevar.

By: Giant Food

March 24, 2020

Effective Friday, March 27, most Giant Food stores will adjust hours of operations to be open from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. All Giant Food 24-hour locations will remain open 24 hours. The decreased hours at most locations will give Giant Food store teams additional time to replenish and thoroughly clean the store, as they balance the demands of a significant increase in consumer needs. The first hour of operations, 6:00-7:00 a.m. is reserved for senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, including pregnant women and caregivers shopping for the immunocompromised, so that they may shop and practice safe social distancing.

In addition, beginning Monday, March 30, Giant Food pharmacies will open early each Monday and Thursday at 6:00 a.m. and stay open until their regular closing time. Giant Food pharmacies will maintain their regular operational hours all other days.

By: Catholic Diocese of Arlington

March 24, 2020

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s Office of Catholic Schools announced the successful stand-up of distance learning in all 41 parish schools and high schools in the Diocese. Distance learning is now in place, offering interactive, personalized instruction to students through the remainder of the academic year. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools and four diocesan high schools serving almost 17,000 students.

“Our Catholic schools meet the highest standards of excellence in even the most challenging of circumstances. Our administrators and teachers have enthusiastically risen to the task of continuing to educate our students in a virtual environment, offering an engaging forum for providing instruction that is always rooted in our Catholic Faith,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington. “I commend our entire Catholic school community, teachers, administrators, parents and students, for the creativity and flexibility they have exhibited that have made expansive distance learning possible for as long as we need it.”

Every effort is being made to employ fully the use of technology to maintain the connection between teachers and students, ensuring that a vibrant learning environment is maintained for each student. In many schools, principals begin the day with live broadcasts and morning prayer through Zoom. Many teachers are using Google Classroom. Others are using private YouTube channels to offer and view videos. Children are sending in their work through photos. In higher grades, a lecture is often provided for instruction at various points throughout the day, and the teacher then makes him/herself available for digital office hours while work is being done by the students.

“This is an incredible test for our school leaders, teachers and families, one they are responding to with a lot of creativity, thoughtfulness and patience,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Arlington. “It is not an undertaking that comes without challenges, but there is an enormous amount of learning taking place as a result. We are confident the lessons learned during this endeavor will enhance the use of technology and provide creative news ways to further increase student engagement over the long term.”

On March 13, diocesan Catholic schools were closed following Governor Ralph Northam’s directive to close schools in Virginia for the following two weeks. Consistent with Governor Northam’s March 23 directive that all schools in the Commonwealth remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, Catholic schools in the Diocese will remain closed but continue distance learning through the end of the school year.

By: Rosslyn BID

March 23, 2020

Today, the Rosslyn BID announced new initiatives to support their restaurants and community during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The BID has launched a comprehensive directory of all Rosslyn restaurants and their operating status – including who is offering delivery, pick up and other options – which can be accessed here.

The Rosslyn BID is also launching #RosslynRewards, a program to support Rosslyn restaurants that are still operating during these uncertain times. When you order takeout or delivery from participating Rosslyn restaurants and share on social media with the hashtag #RosslynRewards, the BID will give you a $10 reward for every $20 you spend in either a $10 gift card to that restaurant or put that reward towards a fund to be disbursed directly to that restaurant. Either way, the restaurant receives additional money and much-needed support right now, from your order! More details and rules can be found here.

Many local restaurants and businesses have extended a helping hand to their employees and their community, which are also highlighted on the Rosslyn BID website. Some that have gone above and beyond are highlighted below:

  • Anytime Fitness – Anytime Fitness will be offering free Home Build and Home Burn workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, nutrition guides on Tuesdays and lifestyle advice on Thursdays.

  • District Taco – District Taco’s employees are family and they provide paid sick leave for all salaried and hourly employees and are assessing ways to extend coverage while many teammates are in need. Additionally, District Taco has expanded our free employee meal plan so staff can provide more food for their families during this time.

  • Jimmy Johns – Each day, Jimmy Johns is delivering a free meal to a homebound senior in our community. If you have a family member or know someone who could use a meal, send their name, address, and food preferences to [email protected] with the subject line “SENIOR MEAL”. Jimmy Johns is also giving away our day-old bread for free every day. 1-2 loaves per family. First come, first served and no purchase necessary.

  • Sfoglina – Given the impact to the livelihood of Sfloglina’s employees as a result of the closures, we are working on establishing a relief fund for those who are now facing a drastic financial situation. This relief fund will be available to our employees that may be facing a personal crisis, such as an inability to pay for food or medicine. If you can consider contributing to this effort to help people and families in need, please email us at [email protected]com.

  • South Block Juice – 100% of South Block’s gift card sales will go to help our employees who have been affected by recent industry hardships.

  • Thai Select – Thai Select believes that no child or family should go hungry. It is important to Thai Select that we give back to our community in this time of confusion and uncertainty. If your family is in need, please come between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. starting on March 20 to receive a meal to take home to your family. We will have meals available, packed and ready in a warmer box, in the front of our restaurant.

The Rosslyn BID is encouraging all restaurants to follow guidance from Arlington County, which has asked all Arlington bars and restaurants to take responsible action and switch from dine-in service to only offering carry-out and delivery. To encourage the safe option of curbside pick-up from these restaurants, Arlington County has designated free short-term curbside parking spaces outside businesses that are offering pick-up food orders.

By: JBG SMITH

March 23, 2020

JBG SMITH, a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, announced today that it has secured all the necessary approvals from Arlington County to develop two residential towers at 1900 Crystal Drive in National Landing.

The proposed development at 1900 Crystal Drive comprises approximately 811 residential units and 40,000 square feet of street-level retail across two new mixed-use buildings. The proposed 27-story southern tower encompasses 472 apartments, while the 26-story northern tower includes 339 apartments. In addition to a private rooftop and green spaces for residents, the approved plan calls for a retail-anchored shared street, a central park, and activated retail via an alley similar to that of Blagden Alley in Northwest DC.

In 2018, National Landing was chosen for Amazon’s new headquarters, and JBG SMITH was named the developer, leasing agent, and property manager for the project. Amazon plans to bring as many as 37,850 high-paying jobs to the market over the next ten years, and it is already occupying space at several other JBG SMITH-owned commercial office buildings.

“With Amazon employees already arriving in the area and many locals who want to live in a vibrant downtown, we are thrilled to reach this important milestone in National Landing’s ongoing development and transformation,” said Tony Greenberg, Executive Vice President of Development at JBG SMITH. “New apartments and street-level retail are essential for cultivating a thriving 18-hour environment where people can walk from their home or office to their favorite restaurants and amenities.”

The approved proposal includes a variety of site plan improvements such as enhanced streetscapes, a grand staircase connecting to a central park, public bike facilities, and more, all of which will benefit the entire community. At 300 feet tall, the buildings, designed by renowned architect Cook Fox, will be a striking addition to the National Landing skyline.

While all entitlements are currently in place, JBG SMITH will thoroughly evaluate overall market conditions, construction costs, and other capital allocation opportunities prior to commencing construction of 1900 Crystal Drive.

JBG SMITH and National Landing

National Landing is the newly defined interconnected and walkable neighborhood that encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City and the northern portion of Potomac Yard. Situated across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, National Landing is a well-located urban community known for its adjacency to Reagan National Airport and walkable environment featuring offices, apartments, and hotels. JBG SMITH currently owns 6.2 million square feet of existing office space, 2,850 units of existing multifamily space, and controls 6.9 million square feet of additional development opportunities in National Landing, excluding Amazon’s land purchase.

In addition to the Amazon project, JBG SMITH is currently constructing Central District Retail, a 109,000 square foot entertainment and shopping destination that will serve as the retail heart of National Landing.  The retail components of Central District Retail and 1900 Crystal Drive are expected to deliver almost 150,000 square feet of street-level retail featuring an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, specialty grocer, restaurants, bars, and other experiential offerings.

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