Tree Falls in Aurora Highlands — A large tree fell across 23rd Street S. in Aurora Highland, near Crystal City, yesterday evening around 5:15 p.m. It happened near the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church, between S. Ives and Hayes streets, amid gusty winds that felled other trees and branches around Arlington. The tree reportedly fell on a passing car, but those inside the vehicle were not injured. [Twitter]
Challenger Presses Favola — “Affordable housing and ethical issues took center stage as Democratic contenders for the 31st state Senate seat last week squared off for the first time leading up to the June 11 primary. Facing an uphill battle to knock off a two-term incumbent, challenger Nicole Merlene pressed the case that state Sen. Barbara Favola is too beholden to special interests to effectively represent the district.” [InsideNova]
Overturned SUV Along I-395 — Around 6 p.m. Sunday, an SUV overturned on a ramp to I-395 near Washington Blvd. A photo sent by a tipster shows the SUV on its side near the guardrail. No serious injuries were reported. [Twitter]
Barcroft Principal Lauded — “Judy Apostolico-Buck, who has spent 32 years in the Arlington school system, has been named the county’s 2019 Principal of the Year.” She was also a finalist for Washington Post Principal of the Year. [InsideNova, Washington Post]
Small Explosion in Falls Church Condo — “At 11:10 a.m. today, a contractor working on a stove received minor injuries from a gas flash explosion in a unit at the Falls Chase Condominium, located at 1136 S Washington St. Arlington Fire and Fairfax Fire Departments responded to the scene.” [City of Falls Church, Twitter]
Nearby: Peeping Tom in Falls Church — “City of Falls Church police are looking for more information regarding a peeping tom seen outside of Saint James Catholic School.” [Tysons Reporter]
Photo courtesy Ray Villarreal
Next week, Kenmore Middle School will be recognized as one of the country’s top five schools for including special needs students in its community.
The Special Olympics selected Kenmore last fall and will present the Unified Champion Schools National Recognition Program award next Friday, April 12, from 1-2 p.m. at the middle school.
Winning schools were chosen based on demonstrating “excellence” for including special needs students in sports and youth leadership, among other benchmarks.
The award is being presented alongside ESPN.
ESPN is Coming. Come join the Inclusion Revolution! Kenmore Middle School is a Unified Championship School. #TheRevolutionIsInclusion#SpecialOlympics @APSKenmore @michelewhubert @KenmorePTA @APSVirginia @arlinclusion @fox5dc @AutismAPS @BestBuddiesCR pic.twitter.com/uyY2BOc4hC
— KMSLifeSkills (@KMSEurith) March 29, 2019
Can't stop the feeling… or the CHEERING when you learn that @ESPN is coming to YOUR SCHOOL in April to present your @SpecialOlympics Unified Champion Schools banner. @APSKenmore just found out the news – high-fives all around! #InclusionRevolution https://t.co/3leXgC0pZE pic.twitter.com/SQ06MPXbPv
— Special Olympics VA (@SOlympicsVA) September 10, 2018
Yorktown and Washington-Lee high schools are also Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, according to a map of participants.
The program reported that nationwide 6,500 schools participate in the program, which allows 272,000 students to participate in sports inclusive of special needs.
The Unified Schools Program is managed by the Special Olympics and funded via a grant from the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs, per its website.
Separately, President Trump recently backtracked on his administration’s plan to cut funding for the Special Olympics after public outcry mounted in support of the program, reported Politico.
One Arlington restaurant worker has a shot to win big at this year’s local “Oscars for the restaurant industry.”
Maria Contreras works as a food runner at José Andrés’ Jaleo at 2250 Crystal Drive in Crystal City and told ARLnow she’s worked her way up in the industry from where she started as a janitor almost 20 years ago.
The award is part of 37th annual RAMMYs, a creation of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington to celebrate D.C. area restaurants and their workers. Only restaurants that are members of the organization are eligible for nomination. Other award categories include best manager, best pastry chef, and best new restaurant of the year.
Contreras’ manager at Jaleo, Nick Porter, described Contreras as “a rock of a food runner” who trains all the front staff at the restaurant and manages communications with the back.
“There is always one constant person in every restaurant who, if they were gone, the effects would be felt across the board, and ours is Maria,” said Porter. He added that Jaleo was “the most family oriented operation” he had ever worked for, with many employees staying years, including Contreras.
“She has been here from the get go, 14 years, and is looked at as the matriarch of the staff,” he said. “It is like celebrating that teacher that has given nothing but the best for so long and has never lost her luster.”
An anonymous panel of judges will decide who wins Employee of the Year, as well as most of the other categories. But the public picks the winners for best restaurant for Fast Bites, Gathering Place, Casual Brunch, and Upscale Brunch.
“Arlington has a great up-and-coming culinary scene with an amazing range of cuisines,” said Porter, when asked what winning the award would mean for the area. “Bringing a RAMMY nomination and win would help to solidify that Virginia and the the outlying areas have exceptional cuisine and some of the best people in the industry.”
Andrés, whose volunteer efforts and immigration advocacy earned him an Oscars cameo last month, could not be reached for comment.
Update on Key Bridge Marriott Development — The Los Angeles-based developers that bought the 5.5-acre Key Bridge Marriott property in Rosslyn plan to extensively renovate the hotel, which is the second Marriott ever and the oldest currently in operation. Also planned: additional development on the site according to its zoning, which would allow more hotel rooms plus up to 660,000 square feet of office space and 630 residential units. [Washington Business Journal]
Holiday Closures Monday — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries and facilities will be closed on Monday, February 18, 2019, for George Washington Day. Trash and recycling pickups will operate on a normal schedule for Monday customers.” [Arlington County]
Roads Treated But Snow Depleted — Arlington County has been pre-treating major roads and hills with brine in anticipation of snow this weekend, but chances of accumulating snow have rapidly dwindled. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Black History Figures of Arlington — “Columbia Pike and South Arlington have been called home by several African American trailblazers, activists, and organizations that work toward the noble goals of equality and freedom for all,” including James “Uncle Jim” Parks, Dr. Charles Richard Drew, Evelyn Reid Syphax and Dr. Talmadge T. Williams. [CPRO]
Local Crossing Guard Honored — “Jamestown Elementary School crossing guard Kathy Patterson has been recognized by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program as one of Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards for 2018-19.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Quote of the Day — From New York Times senior economic correspondent Neil Irwin: “The Amazon HQ2 stunt started with notions that the company might single-handedly turn a city like Pittsburgh or Raleigh, or even Detroit, into a major tech hub, and ended with filling in a bunch of vacant office buildings next to National Airport.” [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Snow Coming This Weekend — Gas up the snowblowers: accumulating snow is likely this weekend. By county ordinance, all snowfall under 6 inches must be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours of the last flakes. That gets bumped up to 36 hours for 6 or more inches of snow. [Capital Weather Gang]
New ‘Best of Arlington’ List — The 2019 “Best of Arlington” list is in. Among food-related winners, Ambar was named Best Restaurant, Barley Mac was named Best for Date Night and Matt Hill of Liberty Tavern Group and Hungry was named Best Chef. [Arlington Magazine]
AWLA Dog Featured in People Magazine — “One of our AWLA alums, Lucy, is featured in People Magazine this week! Here’s the online article about her weight loss journey after being adopted — her owner helped her go from 26 lbs to 14 lbs.” [Twitter, People]
Case of the Disintegrating Coffee Cups — On four separate occasions, a Washington Business Journal reporter had a coffee cup from Compass Coffee in Rosslyn start to disintegrate and leak in her hand. The company says they were sent a bad batch of paper cups and are working to remove all of the faulty cups from their cafes. [Washington Business Journal]
Va. Legislature to Consider Housing Bills — “A new surge in development in parts of Northern Virginia could come next year under a proposal to overhaul 2016 proffer legislation in this year’s General Assembly… Another proposal would ban discrimination by local governments through land use decisions against low-income or other specific types of development.” [WTOP]
Power Issue at Ballston Metro Station — There are reports that power was out at the Ballston Metro station this morning, meaning no working elevators, escalators or fare kiosks, and only minimal lighting. [Twitter, Twitter]
Amazon’s Helipad in Doubt — Amazon requested that it be able to build a helipad at both of its new campuses, in Crystal City and New York City. But it’s unlikely that the company will be able to win approval for operating a private helicopter in the restricted airspace around Washington. [WAMU]
Wawa Looks to NoVa — “‘Fairfax County and Northern Virginia is a really important market for us,’ Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens was quoted as saying… ‘We are looking at strategically bending our store model to get more access to that area and plan to announce some openings in that area coming up.'” [Tysons Reporter]
Metro Holiday Schedule — Metro is operating on a reduced schedule today and tomorrow, as well as New Year’s Day. It will operate on a regular weekday schedule on New Year’s Eve, with special late night service until 2 a.m. [WMATA]
Christmas Is a Recycling Nightmare — “Your holiday wish list – or at least what it comes wrapped in – may be causing big problems for recyclers. ‘It surprises a lot of people,’ Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau Operations Manager Shani Kruljac said. Here’s the deal: a bunch of holiday-related stuff you may assume is recyclable actually isn’t.” [Fox 5]
APS Seeking Nominations for Top Cross Guards — “Arlington Public Schools is asking the public to consider nominating local crossing guards for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards competition… Nominations are open through Jan. 25.” [InsideNova]
Arlington Firms Awarded Federal Contracts — Ballston-based CACI has been awarded “a prime position” on a $12.1 billion U.S. Army information technology contract. Meanwhile “DTS, a small business in Arlington, Virginia, has won a $2.6 million contract with the Fish & Wildlife Services to provide IT program management and change management services.” [BusinessWire, Washington Technology]
Human Rights Award Winners Announced — The 2018 winners of Arlington County’s James B. Hunter Human Rights Award have been announced. The two individuals and two groups to be honored at a Dec. 13 ceremony are: former Arlington Public Schools social study teacher Marty Swaim, former Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette, the Arlington chapter of Awesome Women Entrepreneurs, and Arm & Arm, “an Arlington-based community group providing a variety of services to veterans and the incarcerated to aid in their reentry to society.” [Arlington County]
Fill the Cruiser Tonight Near Crystal City — Today, on Giving Tuesday, the Arlington County Police Department will bring its “Fill the Cruiser” toy drive to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Aurora Highlands, from 6-8 p.m. [Twitter]
JBG Re-Ups Crystal City Tenant — “JBG Smith, just weeks removed from winning D.C.’s biggest economic prize in a generation in Crystal City, is already reaping side benefits. The REIT signed National Cooperative Bank to a 15-year extension on its 66K SF lease at 2011 Crystal Drive, it announced Monday. The building is a few blocks from where Amazon is leasing space from JBG Smith for Phase 1 of its HQ2 requirement.” [Bisnow]
Amazon News Roundup — Questions are being raised about the nondisclosure agreements Amazon required of jurisdictions bidding for HQ2. Alexandria officials “are confident housing prices and rental rates won’t become unbearable when Amazon sets up shop in Crystal City.” The spillover effects of Amazon’s Crystal City campus on the commercial real estate market may not extend much beyond Arlington’s Metro corridors. And finally — no, Amazon did not rename Crystal City.
New Elementary School at Reed Site Approved — “The Arlington County Board today approved a new elementary school for up to 732 students at the Reed site, 1644 N. McKinley Road, in the Westover neighborhood. The Board voted unanimously to approve a use permit amendment for Arlington Public Schools to renovate and expand the existing Reed School/Westover Library to create a neighborhood elementary school.” [Arlington County]
Here’s Where Amazon is Coming, Exactly — Amazon will be leasing office space at three JBG Smith buildings in Crystal City: 241 18th Street S., 1800 S. Bell Street and 1770 Crystal Drive. Amazon also agreed to buy two JBG-owned land parcels in Pentagon City that are approved for development: PenPlace and the remaining portion of Metropolitan Park. [Washington Business Journal]
County Board Discusses Legislative Priorities — “A highlight of the County’s package is a call for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution that was proposed by Congress in 1972. Both the Arlington League of Women Voters, and the Arlington Civic Federation have called on the General Assembly to ratify the ERA.” [Arlington County]
Arlington Projects Win at NAIOP Awards — Nine of the 29 real estate development projects lauded at the Best of NAIOP Northern Virginia Awards on Nov. 15 were Arlington projects. [NAIOP]
Neighborhood Conservation Projects Funded — “The Arlington County Board today approved $2.9 million in Neighborhood Conservation bond funds for projects in Cherrydale and Arlington Forest… The $1.84 million Cherrydale project will improve N. Monroe Street, between 17th Street North and 19th Street North… The $1.08 million Arlington Forest project will make improvements to Edison Park.” [Arlington County]
How DIRT Chose Ballston — “DIRT co-founders @jlatulip and @jamcdaniel visited many parts of D.C. and the greater DMV area before deciding to open in Ballston. ‘We noticed very quickly that this was a special community, one that we could call home and grow with. We love the energy of the neighborhood — Ballston is a young, active community, which fits DIRT perfectly.'” [Instagram]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
The Arlington Sports Hall of Fame has added four new inductees, including a decorated gymnastics coach, some track stars and a jack-of-all-trades triathlete.
The organization, which has recognized Arlington athletes since 1958, welcomed the new members last Wednesday (Oct. 10). The honorees include:
- Joe D’Emidio
- William Duryee
- Mary O’Connor Schade
- Peter Weilenmann
D’Emidio is described as a “force in Arlington gymnastics for over 46 years” in his Hall of Fame biography. He’s coached gymnasts at all three county high schools over the years, and worked for a decade as the head coach for the Virginia High School Mens’ Gymnastic Team, where he won a national title in 2002. D’Emidio also founded YMCA Arlington Woodmont Gymnastics Center.
Schade is honored as an “Arlington women’s sports legend over the past 37 years” in her bio. As a competitive swimmer, Schade earned 25 gold medals at the Virginia Senior Games, repeatedly qualifying for the National Senior Games, and swum across the Potomac River and even the San Francisco Bay. She’s completed 16 triathlons since starting the races at age 50, and is even a 36-year youth soccer coach.
According to the Hall of Fame, Duryee was a record-setting track star at Bishop O’Connell High School, where he graduated in 1961. He went on to receive a track scholarship from LaSalle University, where he led the team to a series of Mid Atlantic Conference (MAC) track championships from 1964 to 1966, and participated in the Penn Relays Invitational.
Weilenmann, a lifelong Arlington resident, became a track stand-out during his time at the Landon School in Maryland, according to his bio. He won a series of cross country conference championships in his time at James Madison University, then competed on five U.S. national teams from 1991-1996, including two World Half Marathon Championships.
The new inductees bring the total number of Arlington Sports Hall of Fame members to 44.
Photos of Joe D’Emidio and William Duryee via Arlington Sports Hall of Fame
Arlington’s First West Nile Case of 2018 — “The Arlington County Public Health Division has received its first reported case of West Nile Virus in an Arlington resident for 2018. This case serves as a reminder that West Nile Virus is present in our community and the region.” [Arlington County]
Dirt Bike, ATV Riders Swarm Local Streets — A large group of ATV and dirt bike riders rode through the streets D.C. and Arlington last night. The unruly group rumbled through Rosslyn and stopped at the Exxon station on N. Rhodes Street to refuel. No arrests were made in Arlington, NBC 4 reported. [Twitter, NBC Washington, WTOP]
Police Department Wins Video Award — “Three videos by the Arlington County Police Department… have been selected as winners in the 39th annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards honors excellence in video and television across all screens and it is judged by leaders from video platforms, television and streaming networks, agencies, and production companies.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office will recognize winners of an Inmate Creative Writing Contest this Monday (Aug. 13), after judges reviewed 98 entries in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Arlington County Detention Facility (1435 N. Courthouse Road), and inmates who place first through third in each category will have the opportunity to read their writing aloud.
Arlington Magazine Editor Jenny Sullivan and Arlington Poet Laureate Katherine E. Young were among the judges to review the entries, which consisted of 82 poems, six works of fiction and 10 pieces of non-fiction.
A nonprofit program within the Del Ray Community Partnership sponsored the contest, per a county media alert. Inmates submitted their work over the course of the month of July.