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Morning Notes

Arlington Has High Kid Vax Rate — “Virginia schools have about 420,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15, and about 63 percent of them have received at least one shot, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said during a news conference Monday. But vaccinations are not evenly spread: Alexandria has the highest vaccination rate for children in the state, at 98.5 percent, followed by 92 percent in Arlington.” [Washington Post]

Film Crew at DCA Today — “No parking except film crew” signs near Long Bridge Park are in place for some sort of a documentary that’s being filmed at National Airport, Arlington’s film office coordinator tells ARLnow. [Twitter]

Man Throws Drink at Honking Driver — “At approximately 8:41 p.m. on September 25, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. A lookout was broadcast and officers located the suspect in the 3500 block of Columbia Pike. The investigation determined that the victim was driving in the area when the male suspect, who was on foot, blocked his passage. The victim honked his horn to alert the suspect and as he was driving past, the suspect threw a beverage through the window, striking the victim in the head. The victim declined medical treatment and sustained minor injuries.” [ACPD]

County Reluctant to Loosen Lifeguard Rules — “It was a problem felt across Northern Virginia all summer – a lack of available lifeguards to keep watch over community pools. But should local governments provide exemptions for some pools to help alleviate a similar crisis next year? [Arlington] seems very hesitant.” [Sun Gazette]

Marymount Grad Wins Design Competition — “Tran Truong is a talent to be reckoned with in the design world. For the second consecutive year, the 26-year-old Marymount University student (now alumna) in May took top honors in a national competition hosted by the visual merchandising company WindowsWear. This year’s challenge: Design a store concept for the 40th anniversary of fashion label Michael Kors with an eye toward sustainability and social change.” [Arlington Magazine]

Photo courtesy Anthony Russo

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Morning Notes

County Mulls Immigration Policies — “The Arlington County Board unveiled a draft framework for a Commitment to Strengthening Trust with Our Immigrant Community… ‘We are sharing an updated framework and seeking community engagement on policies on the next steps on access to public services, protecting resident’s information, and making sure Arlington County resources are not used to facilitate enforcement of federal immigration laws, which are the sole responsibility of the Federal government.'” [Arlington County]

Mixed Reaction to New County Logo — “For the Arlingtonians packed into outdoor restaurant seating on a warm night in Shirlington over the weekend, reaction to the new logo was mixed. ‘That’s what that is? That’s the river between Arlington and D.C.? I’m completely underwhelmed,’ said Lisa Peterson… But a few blocks away, Kaleb Tecleab, a 49-year-old security engineer, said he appreciated an ‘inclusive’ design that hinted at a greater sense of regionalism.” [Washington Post]

Local Teen Earns Prestigious Scholarship — “Adie Selassie of Arlington, a senior at Sidwell Friends School, was the only Virginian to be named a 2021 Calvin Coolidge Presidential Scholar. The program, overseen by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, is a merit-based competition that provides full tuition, room, board, books and expenses for four years at a college of the student’s choice.” [Sun Gazette]

Crystal City Eatery Wins Award — From the National Landing Business Improvement District: “We are so lucky to have [Peruvian Brothers] as a part of our National Landing community! Congrats on the RAMMY! Well deserved!” [Twitter]

Grumbles About Slow Library Reopening — “On Saturday, the board of Friends of the Arlington Public Library blasted the county government to its very face (electronically-speaking) at the County Board meeting. In no uncertain terms, the organization (not generally known as a group of bomb-throwers) blasted the county government for multiple failures in setting the stage for an expeditious, safe reopening.” [Sun Gazette]

Nearby: Police Warn of Overdose Danger — “Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Chief Kevin Davis on Tuesday said six people overdosed in the predawn hours in [the Skyline area], and warned that a potentially fatal batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl might still be circulating in the area. All six victims, who ranged in age from 23 to 35, survived, although one victim is still ‘clinging to life’ in a hospital, Davis said. Three others remain hospitalized. They were found at a residence in the 5500 block of Seminary Road, near South George Mason Drive, a little after 3 a.m.” [WTOP]

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Morning Notes

Demolition has leveled the former Summers restaurant in Courthouse (staff photo)

Pentagon City Metro Elevator Update — From Arlington Transit: “On Sun., Sept. 19, the bus stop serving ART 42, 74, 84 & 87, Metrobus 7A & 22A, and Fairfax Connector 599 (AM) will temporarily be relocated south on S Hayes St. due construction of Pentagon City Metro second elevator.” [Twitter]

Huffpost Calls Arlington GOP Tweet ‘Racist’ — “In a racist tweet Monday that was promptly ratioed into the shame museum, the Arlington County Republican Committee in Virginia suggested that two Democratic congresswomen of color should retire and go work as lobbyists for the Taliban… ‘This tweet isn’t about race ― it’s about the Squad’s constant support for anti-American sentiment abroad,’ the Arlington GOP tweeted.” [Huffpost]

ACFD Responds to Courthouse Gas Leak — “Arlington County Fire and Rescue crews said a gas leak reported just before 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Courthouse area was fixed about an hour later.” [Patch, Twitter]

Local Nurse Lauded for Covid Candor — “An Arlington woman who continues going above and beyond to help her community throughout the pandemic is being nominated for a community hero award from her fellow neighbors.” [WJLA]

Arlington Students Make ‘Merit’ Semis — “Sixteen high school students from Arlington have been named 2022 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, taking the first step in securing a scholarship in the competitive program.” [Patch, Arlington Public Schools]

Restaurant Recs for Those With Kids — “Going out with kids is complicated enough — finding dishes for picky eaters, hoping they will sit still long enough to finish their food and not terrorize other tables, praying you can relax for five minutes… These restaurants are going out of their way to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe dining environment for families, with outdoor dining and child-pleasing choices.” [Arlington Magazine]

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Arlington County is launching an awards program that aims to publicly recognize locals who stepped up to the plate to help their neighbors through the COVID-19.

Nominations for the “Community COVID-19 Hero Awards” are currently open online or in-person at any library.

Anyone who lives, works, or just spends “significant time” in Arlington can submit their nominee by Thursday, Sept. 30. According to a press release, the awards “honor Arlington residents, community groups and businesses which have made significant impact in the fight against the effects of the pandemic.”

Winners will be recognized at the October 16 County Board meeting.

“The County is home to many unsung heroes who have continually sacrificed to support others throughout the pandemic while enduring their own hardship — from driving neighbors to vaccine appointments, to donating meals from their small businesses, to organizing groups to share reliable health and safety information with those who may not otherwise have access to it, and beyond,” Aaron Miller, Director of the County’s Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management, said in the press release. “We want to thank them for all they’ve done and use their stories as examples of exemplary citizenry to encourage others to do the same.”

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Morning Notes

Order in Briscoe Case Likely Unconstitutional — “A judge dismissed the protective order Wednesday, and two legal experts said such blanket bans on speech violate the U.S. Constitution. Yet [local TikTok personality Coco] Briscoe, who has filed her own police report, could still be guilty of a misdemeanor, in a case that shows how social media disputes can run out of control and into the First Amendment.” [Washington Post]

County Recruiting for New Mental Health Group — “Arlington County is seeking community members to join a stakeholder group that will help Arlington County Government implement the requirements of Virginia’s new Marcus-David Peters Act. The Act, which was signed into law in late 2020 by Governor Ralph Northam, will create a statewide mental health alert system, also known as Marcus Alert, to ensure behavioral health experts are involved in responding to people in crisis.” [Arlington County]

Amazon Touts Va. Investments — “Out of Amazon’s total dollars dedicated to infrastructure and compensation in Virginia, Northern Virginia has collected the vast majority — almost 84% — a tally of $28.5 billion from 2010 to 2020, company spokeswoman Emily Hawkins said… Amazon’s most recent tally of hiring for its Arlington second headquarters is 1,600 corporate employees, Hawkins said — an early step toward the company’s plans to hire at least 25,000 total by 2030.” [Washington Business Journal]

Recognition for County Code Enforcers — “The Arlington County Code Enforcement Section of the Inspection Services Division (ISD) is the first property maintenance enforcement agency in Virginia to obtain accreditation from the International Accreditation Services (IAS).” [Arlington County]

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Morning Notes

Crash Prompts Hazmat Cleanup — From the Arlington County Fire Department last night: “N Glebe Rd closed in both directions between Arlington Bl and N Pershing due to a fuel leak following a motor vehicle crash. #Avoid the area.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Metrobus Crash in Ballston — From our Twitter account yesterday afternoon: “Southbound N. Glebe Road is blocked at Washington Blvd by a crash involving a car and a Metrobus. Police and medics on scene.” [Twitter]

Police Oversight Vote to Be Held Wednesday — The County Board vote on creating a Law Enforcement Civilian Review Board will be taken during a special carryover meeting on Wednesday. [Arlington County]

Activists Decry Possible Route 29 Development — “An activist group raised the alarm about what it suggests could be a major upzoning along the Route 29 corridor. Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future… said efforts to impose ‘major increases in density’ along the 5-mile Lee Highway corridor were resulting in ‘stiff opposition’ from residents. The group encouraged those with concerns about the proposals for more intense zoning to get in touch with County Board members sooner rather than later.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Firefighter Honored — “2021 Northern VA EMS Council Regional Award winner for Outstanding Prehospital Educator is EMS Education Specialist, FF Clare Sabio, Arlington Co Fire Dept.” [Twitter]

Local Private School Gets Accredited —  “The Sycamore School in Arlington has earned accreditation by Cognia, a nonprofit organization that provides quality assurance for schools, school districts and education-service providers.” [Sun Gazette, Press Release]

Western Wildfires Make for Hazy Sunset — “The haze that hung high above us on Monday has been identified as smoke from Western wildfires, in what seemed a vivid visual reminder that faraway hardship may not leave us unaffected. ‘A thick layer of smoke’ at upper atmospheric levels ‘can be seen in the sky at this time,’ meteorologists in the local office of the National Weather Service said Monday night.” [Washington Post]

Photo courtesy Tom Mockler/Twitter

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Fifteen Arlington startups will be recognized this Wednesday during an event highlighting “red hot” startups in the D.C. area.

Event company DCA Live selected more than 40 companies to recognize, including Courthouse-based data privacy startup Wire Wheel and Ballston-based GoTab, which facilitates to-go and in-person, contactless ordering.

Red Hot Companies,” which will be held in Rosslyn, is the first large-scale, in-person event that DCA Live has been able to host since D.C. and Virginia reopened, according to company founder Doug Anderson. After 16 months of virtual offerings, he expects a big crowd — upwards of 400 people — for the sixth annual event.

“I didn’t move into the shallow end with a 100-person event,” Anderson said. “There was an opportunity for us to be first mover in returning to live events.”

Forty-four startups will be recognized, and the ceremony and networking opportunity at Sands Capital Management (1000 Wilson Blvd) will celebrate how the D.C. area tech sector survived the pandemic, he said.

“I think we’ve come out of this pandemic much stronger than we entered it,” Anderson said. “About half-way through the pandemic, it became clear one of the big winners would be tech businesses. They had the infrastructure, and they enabled the world to continue.”

These companies also found ways to use the pandemic to accelerate their business plans and the demand for their products, he said.

“They had to really focus on what their true value proposition was, who their true customer was and how to serve them,” he said.

A previous DCA Live ‘Red Hot Companies’ event (courtesy of Doug Anderson)

Anderson is recognizing a number of new companies as well as a few established ones. Most are smaller cybersecurity and financial technology companies, but a few are unicorns: privately held startups valued at more than $1 billion.

He picked the companies after soliciting nominations, evaluating them and consulting with people who have a pulse on the D.C. tech startup scene.

“I try to do a fresh look every year,” he said.

The event will draw out strong Arlington startups, including Brazen, Ostendio, CareJourney and C3, he said. Arlington Economic Development and property owner/developer Monday Properties are sponsors.

“It’s got a big Arlington angle to it,” Anderson said. “Arlington is a great place to start a company and host an event.”

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Morning Notes

AWLA Captures Escaped Parakeet — “Officer K. Davis of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington successfully captured this errant budgie tonight… She used her phone to play budgie calls in hope of enticing the stray bird. Twice the budgie alluded the net but three times proved the charm as Officer Davis’s patience and speed completed the apprehension.” [Facebook]

Massage Studio Opening Next Week — “Elements Massage opens at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) on Monday, July 19… The 2,100-square-foot studio will be located at 1101 S. Joyce Street, Suite B10.” [Press Release]

Arlington Tech Students Earn Nat’l Medal — “Lina Barclay and Ellie Nix, two Arlington Tech seniors at the Arlington Career Center, won the second-place silver medal in the 2021 SkillsUSA National Competition for Television Video Production. This is the highest placement for APS students since placing fourth in 2018 and 2019.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Marymount Conducting Heat Study — “Marymount University is joining 11 other higher education institutions within the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) in setting out across the state to understand where residents are most at risk during extreme heat waves. Marymount faculty, staff, students and community volunteers will use specially designed thermal sensors to record air temperatures and humidity throughout the Northern Virginia area over three specific times this Thursday: 6 am, 3 pm and 7 pm.” [Press Release]

Local Woman’s Journey from Vietnam — “It was April 30, 1975 – as North Vietnamese troops converged on Saigon in the last hours of the Vietnam War – that Sonia Johnston (then known by her Vietnamese name To Nga) boarded an American helicopter atop the U.S. embassy and, with no family at her side, was whisked away to a refugee camp in preparation for a new life… ‘I had nothing, and here I am. You can’t do it by yourself,’ Johnston said during a July 7 presentation.” [Sun Gazette]

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn.

A web-based news show hosted by Modev, a Ballston-based company exploring the future of voice controls, recently won one of “the internet’s highest honors,” a Webby.

The award for the show, named VOICE Talks, “caps off a crazy year,” said Modev CEO and founder Pete Erickson.

Pre-pandemic, the startup organized large events that connected developers and large companies interested in the latest industry developments in voice control technology (think: Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant). As the vaccine rollout continues and case numbers drop, the startup is beginning to return to its original purpose and aims to host a conference in 2022 in Arlington

But over the last year, Modev had to figure out something virtual to sustain the company and the conversations around voice control technologies. Erickson said the company came up with the idea for a multi-segment talk show, which is now sponsored by Google Assistant.

“Our business largely got canceled when the pandemic hit. Right away, we started this program called VOICE Talks,” he said. “We just thought that doing a virtual conference wasn’t going to be good enough. We needed something more creative — something that people would enjoy doing.”

Humans are not wired for virtual conferences, which are not great business drivers and are frustrating for conference sponsors, Erickson said. The talk show, meanwhile, presents the same kind of information that would be learned at a conference in a more compelling format, he said.

The show is streamed live with a host in New York City who adds introductions, transitions and conclusions to pre-recorded segments that feature guests from companies ranging from tech startups to blue chip corporations like Nike and Dunkin’. During the show, the host takes questions, runs polls and gives out awards.

“We built up a super loyal audience that tunes in and is always growing,” Erickson said.

According to the CEO, the show has more than 100,000 email list subscribers and averages 25,000 views per month.

“In the age of YouTube, those aren’t large views, but we aren’t a consumer show: this is a business-to-business show in a niche industry,” he said.

Erickson intends to keep the show running monthly even after the pandemic ends and Modev can return to planning live events.

“It’s a nice new way to connect the community globally,” he said.

Erickson said voice control technology space is rapidly changing, but the market is still in its early days.

“What a lot of people have experienced with Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri is the first iteration of voice,” he said. “You’re going to see it start to gain more ubiquity as time goes on.”

These changes will be at the center of the 2022 conference in Arlington, slated for Oct. 10-15, 2022, and headquartered at a hotel in Crystal City. The conference will use indoor and outdoor spaces and tents to “create a really fun, interactive and safe environment for a lot of people to meet,” he said.

“With 22 hotels and lots of restaurants and space, National Landing is a space where you can have a pretty large event and link it all together and have a compelling experience,” he said. “It lacks a large conference center or trade show floor, but I think those things are overcome-able with a creative use of space.”

Photo via VOICE Talks/Youtube

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Sixty-five Arlington County police officers and firefighters have been recognized for their help defending the U.S. Capitol when a pro-Trump mob stormed it on Jan. 6.

The honor was announced in a tweet posted Monday by the Arlington County Police Department.

“On May 11, [five] members of ACPD accepted the Ribbon of Valor on behalf of the ACPD officers who responded to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and assisted Metropolitan Police Department under a mutual aid agreement,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The ribbons were distributed to those officers last week.”

The event was hosted by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, Savage said. Chief of Police Robert J. Contee III presented the awards to Captain Quigley, Corporal Gilkes, Corporal Woolley, Corporal Olson and Lieutenant Troyano of the police department and Lieutenant Nathan Waterfall of the Arlington County Fire Department.

The officers “assisted our regional law enforcement partners in restoring and maintaining peace and order,” Savage said.

Similar honors were provided to other local law enforcement agencies, including Prince George’s County Police Department and the Montgomery County Department of Police.

A video taken on the day of the insurrection shows ACPD officers in riot gear defending the U.S. Capitol alongside Virginia State Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police, keeping an agitated crowd at bay.

Not pictured was fire department spokesman Taylor Blunt, who said he also received the award on behalf of ACFD. Blunt and Waterfall were the only paramedics present on the Capitol steps during the riot, treating and triaging injured law enforcement officers and attackers alike, the Associated Press reported, citing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

From the AP:

Two firefighters loaned to Washington for the day were the only medics on the Capitol steps Jan. 6, trying to triage injured officers as they watched the angry mob swell and attack police working to protect Congress.

Law enforcement agents were “being pulled into the crowd and trampled, assaulted with scaffolding materials, and/or bear maced by protesters,” wrote Arlington County firefighter Taylor Blunt in an after-action memo. Some couldn’t walk, and had to be dragged to safety.

Even the attackers sought medical help, and Blunt and his colleague Nathan Waterfall treated those who were passing out or had been hit. But some “feigned illness to remain behind police lines,” Blunt wrote.

Other specific heroics of Arlington public safety personnel have yet to be revealed. Savage said “there are no additional details to provide at this time” because the events of the day remain an active FBI investigation.

Photos via ACPD/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Redevelopment Proposal Near Rosslyn — “The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is moving forward with a proposal it previewed to redevelop part of the Marbella Apartments. APAH has filed a zoning application to replace 72 units across a pair of low-rise apartment buildings at 1300 and 1305 N. Pierce Street (map) with two 12-story buildings, delivering a total of 561 affordable units.” [UrbanTurf]

Vision Zero Plan Approved — “Arlington County Board approved a five-year Vision Zero action plan over the weekend, joining other jurisdictions throughout the region that are trying to curb traffic fatalities. The county’s goal is to reach zero traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Currently, Arlington has about four traffic fatalities per year and about 55 severe crashes.” [GGWash, Sun Gazette]

Trump Aides Are Still Working in Arlington — “Taxpayers are still footing the bill for Donald Trump to pay aides, Business Insider reported Monday… For Trump, accepting public money has meant employing 10 transition aides in Palm Beach, Florida — where Trump has been living since he left the White House — and another seven aides in an office building in Arlington, Virginia.” [Raw Story]

Metrobus Service Changes Planned — Adjustments are coming to numerous Metrobus routes starting Sunday, June 6. Service is being restored to a number of routes, but one notable pandemic-era service reduction will stay in place: the 16Y, a limited-stop service route which once connected Columbia Pike stops to McPherson Square in D.C., will remain out of service. [WMATA]

Longtime Arlington Judge Honored — “Its presentation was due to the pandemic, but Arlington Circuit Court Chief Judge William Newman Jr. on May 11 was honored with the 2019 Harry L. Carrico Outstanding Career Service Award by the Judicial Council of Virginia. The award is presented annually to a Virginia jurist who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in court administration while exhibiting the traits of integrity, honest, courtesy, impartiality and wisdom.” [Sun Gazette]

YHS Dominating in Boys Lacrosse — “Pick one: Stingy defense; a potent, high-scoring offense; scads of talent, especially at midfield; depth and experience with 17 seniors; versatility; and a willingness to work hard, achieve and improve. That describes this season’s undefeated Yorktown Patriots high-schoolboys lacrosse team, which began the week with a dominating 6-0 record. The Patriots’ accomplishments include a shutout and outscoring opponents 96-18.” [Sun Gazette]

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