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Arlington Poet Laureate and fellowship recipient Dr. Holly Karapetkova (courtesy of Marymount University)

She’s a poet and wouldn’t you know it, her verse skills have earned her lots of bills.

Dr. Holly Karapetkova, the county’s Poet Laureate and an English professor at Marymount University, received the American Academy of Poets Laureate Fellowship on Tuesday (Aug 2).

The $50,000 prize Karapetkova received is set to fund one of her projects to publish an anthology of poems from young residents in Arlington, with submissions currently open to local high school students, according press releases from Marymount University and Arlington County.

The theme is set to focus on resilience and the anthology is expected to be published in spring next year, according to a submission form.

Besides publishing the poems, Karapetkova’s project also includes holding readings and workshops with the selected poets, alongside designing lesson plans for instruction.

The poet is collaborating with two nonprofits from the area for this project. One is the D.C.-based Words Beats and Life, which uses hip hop to educate young people on the arts. The other is the publisher Day Eight, which is also based in the District.

The project has also received funding from Arlington Arts, according to Marymount’s news release.

Karapetkova was “honored” and thanked the academy for awarding her the fellowship, adding on social media that she would work to “lift up the voices of [her] county’s amazing young poets.”

“In times of distress, poetry provides a language for our hurt and frustration and an outlet for our expression of grief and anger. It can provide a means for healing,” Karapetkova said in a statement.

She has been Arlington’s poet laureate since 2020, the second after Katherine E. Young, who was appointed in 2016.

During her time in the post, Karapetkova organized the exhibition Visual Verse in 2020, where poems from different poet laureates were projected onto the side of buildings around Arlington for a month. She also judged a poetry competition and participated in readings at different music festivals.

The Poets Laureate Fellowship was launched in 2019 by the academy, which aimed to support the fellows’ public poetry programs and the nonprofits collaborating with them, according to its news release. This year, a total of 22 poets laureate of different cities and states were chosen. In Virginia, apart from Karapetkova, the poet laureate from Alexandria, KaNikki Jakarta, was also chosen.

Arlington County lauded the laurels bestowed upon its laureate.

“This Award will help support our Poet Laureate’s efforts to amplify the voices of the next generation of poets in Arlington and is a priceless gift to our community,” said Arlington Cultural Affairs Director Michelle Isabelle-Stark.

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Morning Notes

A rainbow in the sky without the rain (photo courtesy Leslie Koch)

Saturday Afternoon’s Painted Sky — From the Capital Weather Gang: “A couple more nice examples of this circumhorizon arc being see all over the DMV. We wrote about these a few years ago… not uncommon high in the sky around midday during summer.” [Twitter]

Local Woman Harassed in Metro Station — “A 21-year-old woman is sharing the frightening experience she had when a stranger yelled at and harassed her for 10-straight minutes at a Metro station this week in Washington, D.C. Helen Molteni, of Arlington, Virginia, said she was on the platform at the Foggy Bottom station when a man came up to her and started harassing her.” [NBC 4]

Va. Attorney General Visits — “Virginia’s attorney general met with local nonprofit groups in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday for a roundtable listening session about addressing poverty and community needs… Miyares was joined by representatives from the Office of the Attorney General and the Arlington County police in sitting down with members of various faith organizations and nonprofit programs, including Arlington Bridge Builders, a local community coalition with the mission of helping people in need.” [WTOP]

APS Students Top National Competition — “Lina Barclay and Ellie Nix, two Arlington Tech graduates from the Arlington Career Center, won the first-place gold medal in the Television (Video) Production contest at the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships in Atlanta. Barclay and Nix represented Virginia in this contest and competed against 37 other teams across the United States.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Are These Pike Apartments Historic? — “Members of the Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) have opted against moving forward, for now, on a proposal to confer historic-district status on a 70-year-old apartment compound in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. But the buildings may end up preserved, nonetheless.” [Sun Gazette]

Rents Keep Rising Rapidly — “The median rental price for an Arlington apartment grew 2.8 percent from June to July, according to new data, ranking the county third nationally among the 100 largest urban areas in terms of price growth. With the increase, Arlington’s median rent now stands at $2,121 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,538 for two bedrooms.” [Sun Gazette]

Crash at Infamous I-395 Exit — From Dave Statter: “Another considerate driver signals before making a left turn across 4 lanes of I-395S. But their #8CDash came to an abrupt halt when the driver in the last lane somehow didn’t see that signal — or just didn’t believe what they were seeing.” [Twitter]

Office to Apartment Conversions Ramp Up — “‘There really hasn’t been a time like right now, where office is on the decline to the point that [an empty building] is basically the same value as just the land,’ says Lindsay Stroud, a structured-finance broker with the commercial real-estate firm Savills. One possible solution: more office-to-residential conversions like Park & Ford.” [Washingtonian]

It’s August 1 — Partly cloudy throughout the day, with spotty rain possible later. High of 86 and low of 72. Sunrise at 6:11 am and sunset at 8:21 pm. [Weather.gov]

Photo courtesy Leslie Koch

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Ruthie’s All Day Chef Matt Hill (right) and business partner Todd Salvadore (left) are pictured with RAMW President Kathy Hollinger (photo courtesy of Ruthie’s All-Day)

Two restaurants with Arlington ties came home with RAMMY awards last night.

Ruthie’s All-Day in the Arlington Heights neighborhood won “Casual Restaurant of the Year” from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) at their annual awards gala.  Since 1982, the organization has handed out awards to the area’s best restaurants in various categories.

Ruthie’s All-Day opened in October 2020 and has since earned a number of accolades. This includes being named in 2020 one of the best local barbeque joints, one of the highest-rated restaurants in Arlington, and an Arlies award winner.

Owner and chef Matt Hill was also named a James Beard semi-finalist earlier this year.

This might be the biggest award yet for Hill and Ruthie’s All-Day, honored as one of this year’s best restaurants in all of the D.C. area.

“This means so very much to us — everyone including our chefs, prep cooks, runners, dishwashers, managers, waitstaff, baristas, bartenders, hostesses, and so many more — it truly takes a hard-working team to make our little place sing,” Hill wrote ARLnow in an email. “Our goal is to serve everyone and anyone, and we feel so very humbled to be recognized by the RAMW for ‘Casual Restaurant of the Year.'”

When ask what the future might hold for Ruthie’s in Arlington, Hill hinted at possible expansion plans.

“We hope to keep growing and creating more special places for our neighbors to gather and build community over good food,” he said.

Also emerging as winners were Scott Drewno and Danny Lee, known as “The Fried Rice Collective,” as “Restaurateurs of the Year” due in part to their Chinese-Korean concept ChiKO. A location opened in Shirlington late last year, the duo’s only Virginia outpost so far.

“We are honored and humbled to be nominated with these great restauranteurs in the DMV,” Drewno and Lee told ARLnow. “We love the Arlington community and are so happy to have recently opened ChiKo Shirlington!”

The pair also operate ChiKo locations and the contemporary Korean restaurant and pub Anju in the District.

Overall, seven restaurants with Arlington ties were finalists for a RAMMY award. That’s about the same number as recent previous years, though far more than a decade ago.

Besides the winners, this year’s Arlington nominees included Queen Mother’s for “hottest sandwich spot,” Northside Social for its wine program, both Bayou Bakery and Stellina Pizzeria in the “Splendid Holidays at Home” category, and Mark Bucher of Medium Rare also for “restaurateur of the year.”

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Morning Notes

A turtle, seen in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

New Rail Bridge Design Revealed — “The new rail bridge will be built with many of the features in the existing span, including its structure, material and form, with steel girders and similar pier spacing, according to preliminary site plans approved this month by the National Capital Planning Commission. The plans also call for the use of Ashlar stone cladding for the bridge piers, and abutments and walls near the George Washington Memorial Parkway.” [Washington Post]

County Board Approves ‘Heights’ Parking — From School Board member Barbara Kanninen: “‘APS did us a solid.’ Thx @kcristol for that comment regarding our hosting the County’s temp fire station for several years! Glad to see the use permit for Phase 2 [of The Heights building in Rosslyn] approved this morning, providing important universal access improvements for all students, esp @APS_Shriver.” [Twitter]

APS Hiring Hundreds of Teachers — “Officials in Arlington Public Schools will also spend the summer working to fill an atypically large number of empty positions. Arlington, which enrolls 27,045 students, according to state data, saw 284 teachers resign between August 2021 and mid-May 2022. The district usually employs about 3,000 teachers, per spokesman Frank Bellavia. That is 96 percent higher than the average number of resignations between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: 145.” [Washington Post]

Free Chicken Today — “July 18th is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. His birthday is recognized and celebrated world wide as Mandela day; a day for us all to inspire change and make a difference in our communities. At Nando’s we are proud of our South African heritage. We will join in celebrating his birthday on July 18th by following his example and giving back to our communities.” [Nando’s Peri Peri]

Cyclist Struck on Busy Ramp — “Police, fire on scene of cyclist struck by driver on the WB Route 50 / Washington Blvd ramp. Cyclist was thrown from bike and is being treated by medics, per scanner.” [Twitter]

Treasurer Honored, Again — “Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava received the President’s Award for her service and leadership to the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV). The award was presented during the association’s annual conference in June. It is the second time de la Pava has be recognized with the President’s Award.” [Arlington County]

More Bad Driving on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “You’ll want to see this one. Driver goes bowling with the barrels & almost takes one along for the ride. @VaDOTNOVA time for clean-up again on aisle 8C.” [Twitter]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy, with rain and possible storms in the evening. High of 88 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:59 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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Morning Notes

Sunset along Columbia Pike near Dama restaurant (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Baseball Tourney in Arlington — “One area’s loss became another’s big gain in recent days when Arlington County was added as an emergency replacement site for this month’s American Legion state-baseball tournament. The eight-team competition, which will include local District 17’s Arlington Post 139 as the host team, will take place July 26-30 at the Barcroft Park and Wakefield High School fields.” [Sun Gazette]

Grant for Second Ballston Metro Entrance — From the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission: “[Arlington County] received $4.5M from I-66 Commuter Choice to construct a second entrance at Ballston-MU Station that will improve access to transit and support continued redevelopment in the area.” [Twitter]

More Whinos on the Way? — “Whino is a 6,300-square-foot bar, restaurant, art gallery and entertainment venue on the second floor of Brookfield Properties’ Ballston Quarter. While it’s only a year old, founder Shane Pomajambo has big expansion plans for his budding brand.” [Washington Business Journal]

Honor for Local Catholic Newspaper — “The Catholic Herald was named the best diocesan newspaper in its class — one of 36 awards received at the annual Catholic Media Association conference in Portland July 4-7.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Today in Dubious Data — “A new survey suggests that Virginia residents have a clear preference for their milkshakes. Chocolate? Nope. Vanilla? Negative. Strawberry? Sorry, Charlie. According to a statistical analysis of Google search data, Virginians are most enraptured by peppermint milkshakes, according to new data from RTA Outdoor Living.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 82 and low of 65. Sunrise at 5:54 am and sunset at 8:36 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Looking down Lynn St. on a rainy day (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Debating the Arlington Way — “Their unsigned flier asks whether the push for new housing types marks ‘the end of the Arlington Way,’ defined as a ‘long-standing tradition of public engagement on issues of importance to reach community consensus.’ The new ‘Arlington Way 2.0,’ it accuses, involves ‘lack of respect,’ ‘failed analysis’ and ‘governance problems’ as ‘partisans grab control of decision-making and steamroll the public.’ Those harsh words made me wonder, must the Arlington Way always mean ‘you get your way?'” [Falls Church News-Press]

CA Says No to Hypothetical Abortion Prosecutions — Arlington and Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti is among “more than 80 elected attorneys from around the country [who] vowed not to prosecute individuals who seek, assist in, or provide abortion care.” [Common Dreams, Vox]

Gunfire in Green Valley — “3700 block of Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 2:35 a.m. on June 24, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute. Upon arrival, it was determined that following an ongoing dispute between known individuals, the suspect entered the victim’s home. The victim confronted the suspect and a verbal altercation ensued outside the home, during which the suspect brandished a firearm and discharged it. No injuries or property damage were reported.” [ACPD]

Dozen Officers Graduate from Academy — “Family, friends and colleagues gathered on June 22 to celebrate the achievements of Arlington County Police Department’s 12 newest officers as Session 146 graduated from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy. During the graduation, the officers took their solemn oath to serve and protect the Arlington community and safeguard the Constitutional rights of all.” [ACPD]

Hit-and-Run Driver Causes I-395 Crash — From Dave Statter: “#caughtoncamera: For the 2nd time in less than 24 hrs a crash at I-395S Exit 8C. 3 cars involved, with the one causing it driving off.” [Twitter]

Awards for Arlington Students — “ACC/Arlington Tech TV Production students Lina Barkley & Ellie Nix take the 1st place gold medal for VA at the National SkillsUSA Television (Video) Prod. contest in Atlanta. Congrats to our National Champions! We are so proud!” [Twitter, Twitter]

CIP Hearing Planned Tomorrow — “Comments are welcome on Arlington’s proposed $3.9 billion FY 2023-2032 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) during a County Board public hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.  The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. and those interested may register to speak in person or virtually by visiting the County Board website.” [Arlington County]

Fairfax Mulls Route 29 Name — “It’s possible Fairfax County will not be following Arlington’s lead in renaming its stretch of U.S. Route 29 as ‘Langston Boulevard.’ Fairfax County supervisors wish to rename Lee and Lee-Jackson Memorial highways… but a county survey – with an admittedly small sample size – found the public would prefer they just go with the roads’ numbers.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 81 and low of 70. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Arlington fire truck (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A firefighter who rescued a construction worker in cardiac arrest via a crane. Police officers who tased a knife-wielding man outside of police headquarters. Paramedics who saved a woman’s life after she was accidentally run over by her own vehicle.

These were among the first responders who were given accolades at this morning’s annual Public Safety Awards, organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

Thirteen first responders and public safety workers were awarded for their efforts over the last year in helping, saving, and protecting members of the Arlington public.

  • Dr. Aaron Miller — Director of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management — meritorious award for his work organizing the distribution of personal protection equipment and at-home Covid testing kits to the public, as well as managing public testing sites.
  • Corporal Shellie Pugh-Washington — Sheriff’s Office — meritorious award for her 30-year career, first as a corrections officer and now as a background investigator.
  • Deputy Babatunde Agboola, Deputy Christopher Laureano, and Deputy Seaton Sok — Sheriff’s Office — life-saving award for saving the life of an individual in law enforcement custody who was found bleeding and unconscious.
  • Master Police Officer Tara Crider — Police Department — meritorious award for her work in the crime unit investigating forensic evidence as well as teaching others about her job.
  • Officer Jesse R. Brown, Corporal Thomas C.J. DeNoville, and Corporal Juan P. Montoya — Police Department — life-saving award for successfully de-escalating a situation involving a knife-wielding man outside of police headquarters.
  • Captain Cheryl Long — Fire Department — meritorious award for her work devising a system that helped organize first responders’ mandatory days off, saving hours of administrative work.
  • Firefighter/EMT C.J. Kretzer and Firefighter/EMT Aaron Scoville — Fire Department — life-saving award for saving a woman’s life after she was accidentally run over by her own vehicle, partially severing one of her legs.
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Jeremy Tate, Fire Department — a valor award for rescuing a construction worker who had gone into cardiac arrest at an excavation site, using an industrial crane.

ACPD provided additional information about each of the police awards above via social media.

The program was hosted by ABC7/WJLA reporter Victoria Sanchez, who noted that both her father and husband were police officers.

“I know how hard you guys work. When you go home today, thank your [family] for supporting you,” she said. “Your job is so difficult and they worry about you, just like I worried about my dad and my husband every single time they went out on patrol.”

2022 Public Safety Awards issued by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce at a virtual event (courtesy photo)

Prior to the awards being announced, County Board Chair Katie Cristol provided a 12 minute “State of the County” address.

Cristol spoke of continuing recovery from the pandemic, office vacancy rates, Crystal City becoming a transportation hub, approving salary increases for first responders, and — notably — the missing middle housing study.

With the average sale of a home in Arlington spiking to beyond a million dollars, there are now “existential questions,” she said, about who Arlington will be for “if only the wealthiest can buy homes here.” Cristol said that legalizing alternate forms of housing on a single lot may not fix everything, but it could help.

“It can unlock opportunities that are currently off limits for far too many of our neighborhoods and make homes affordable to significant percentages of our black and Latino populations, affordable to moderate income earners like teachers,” she said. “It creates a pathway for innovations and ownership tools like community land trusts or expansions of the Moderate Income Purchase Assistance Program.”

County Board Chair Katie Cristol delivering her 2022 State of the County address (courtesy Arlington Chamber of Commerce)

After her address, there were several pre-selected questions including one about making temporary outdoor seating areas for restaurants permanent. Cristol noted that she was in favor of doing that, but cautioned that sidewalks and curb space where many of these seating areas are much desired.

“I joke that these are some of the most hotly contested areas of real estate in the county,” she said. “It’s about how we use sidewalks and manage that space between everything…from street trees to ADA accessibility to parking to bike lanes. So, it’s really about trying to balance all of those different interests.”

More on Cristol’s address from a Chamber of Commerce press release, below.

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Morning Notes

A pedestrian crosses Wilson Blvd. near a protected bike lane with artificial sunflowers (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Fish Kill in Four Mile Run Last Week — “Anyone visiting lower Four Mile Run in the last several days should have noticed many dead fish, large and small, along the streambank and floating out in the water, the result of a pollution incident that occurred some time Thursday, May 12.” [Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation]

Rumor: Board Members May Not Run Again — “My spies in the Arlington Democratic infrastructure say odds favor neither County Board member up for election in 2023 actually running for a third term. And if Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey do skedaddle (and just as they’d start earning some bigger bucks …), the field would seem to be wide open.” [Sun Gazette]

More Big Changes at DCA — “Reagan National Airport is about to go through a massive rebranding. Because of recent expansions, the airport will be split into Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 will be the original airport building housing the A gates. Terminal 2 will house the newly named B, C, D and E gates. More than 1,000 signs in and around the airport will be changed starting June 4.” [NBC 4]

Arlington Apartment Buildings Bought — “Cortland, one of the largest apartment owners in the U.S., is making a huge entrance to Greater Washington, acquiring four Arlington multifamily properties in an expected $1B investment. The Atlanta-based investment firm acquired a newly developed 23-story, 331-unit apartment building in Rosslyn and a 534-unit building in Pentagon City, Cortland announced Wednesday.” [Bisnow, Washington Business Journal]

County Honors Trees, Volunteers — “Mother Nature is smiling! Arlington County recognized five individuals who volunteer at Bon Air Park as recipients of the 2021 Bill Thomas Park Volunteer Award and highlighted its 2022 Notable Trees — both which honor the people and natural resources that preserve Arlington’s green spaces — during the Arlington County Board’s recessed meeting on May 17.” [Arlington County]

Wawa Coming to Falls Church — “Philadelphia-area convenience store chain Wawa is under contract to ground-lease the shuttered Stratford Motor Lodge site in the city of Falls Church, which it will replace with a roughly 6,000-square-foot store — but no gas pumps… The motor lodge closed last fall, the Falls Church News Press reported.” [Washington Business Journal]

Four Mile Run Dredging Approaching — “Alexandria and Arlington will start clearing debris and dredging Four Mile Run in September, and the project will close sections of [an Alexandria] park from the public for four to six months. The City and County maintain a shared flood-control channel in the lower portion of the nine-mile-long stream, and have partnered to dredge Four Mile Run since 1974.” [ALXnow]

It’s Thursday — Rain early in the morning, then clearing later in the day. High of 82 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:54 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Ballston Quarter at twilight (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Poll: D.C. Residents Prefer Alexandria — A poll on Twitter with more than 1,000 respondents shows D.C. residents saying they’re prefer to live in Alexandria over Arlington, if they had to choose, by a ratio of nearly 2:1. [Twitter]

ACPD Lays Wreaths at Memorial — “Following the Observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day, ACPD’s Honor Guard laid wreaths at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in recognition of Arlington’s seven heroic officers who have died in the line of duty. The memorial features the names of more than 22,000 federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation. We are committed to never forgetting their sacrifices in service to their communities.” [Facebook]

Roads in Rosslyn Closing for Police 5K — “The 2022 National Police Week 5k will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2022.  The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures to accommodate the event.” [ACPD]

Reminder: Expect Police Motorcades — “Police Week is scheduled from Wednesday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 17. Most of the scheduled activities will take place Thursday through Sunday, though the arrival of families of fallen officers on Wednesday and Thursday will prompt many of the motorcades and rolling road closures.” [ARLnow]

Dems Honor Longtime Volunteer — “The recipient of the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s highest accolade for longtime service says she is pleased that the party continues to expand in both size and scope. ‘With more people doing more things, our organization is more complex than ever,’ Inta Malis said during a May 10 online event sponsored by Arlington Senior Democrats.” [Sun Gazette]

TV Station Honors Arlington Nurses — “As 7News celebrates the third day of Nurses Week, we salute the men and women of VHC Health in Northern Virginia. The community hospital in Arlington is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and is a designated Magnet hospital, one of the highest group honors for a hospital.” [WJLA]

Startup Founder Helping Refugees — “As the clock struck 11 p.m. on March 19, Yulia Yaani gathered a group of Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border. She stepped onto the bus that night, alongside roughly 50 women and children, and they traveled to Denmark for the next 17 hours — to escape the war with Russia… Yaani is co-founder and CEO of Arlington fintech [company] RealAtom, a 5-year-old startup.” [Washington Business Journal]

Kiwanis Donate to Ukraine Efforts — “The Kiwanis Club of Arlington has donated $5,000 to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) to assist with relief efforts in Ukraine. Proceeds from the club’s fund-raising activities, including its annual blueberry sale, are being used to support the WCK with their meals programs on the ground in Ukraine and in surrounding countries.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Thursday — Mostly cloudy and cool throughout the day, with a slight chance of rain. High of 68 and low of 58. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:12 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

The entrance to the parking garage on 20th St. in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Jogger Robbed Near Rosslyn — “The victim was jogging in the area when the unknown male suspect approached, grabbed her by the arm and pushed her away while attempting to remove her cell phone from her hand. A brief struggle ensued, during which the suspect stole the victim’s cell phone before fleeing the scene in a white sedan. The victim sustained minor injuries and did not require the treatment of medics.” [ACPD]

JBG Announces Carbon Neutrality — “JBG Smith Properties, in its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance report released Friday, said it achieved carbon neutrality across its 16.8 million-square-foot operating portfolio in 2021 as a result of its purchases of carbon offsets and renewable energy credits… More than 50% of the Bethesda-based firm’s holdings are located in Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard, the area branded as National Landing.” [Washington Business Journal]

ACPD Motor Officer Is No. 1 — “Over the weekend, members of the Special Operations Section competed in the 2022 NOVA Motor Rodeo. Congratulations to all the participants including ACPD’s Corporal Maxwell who placed 1st in the Individual Slow Ride – Police Category!” [Twitter]

More Dangerous I-395 Driving — From public safety watcher Dave Statter: “This is a new one for #395cam: Driver gets halfway down Rt 110N ramp & decides that’s not where they want to to go. Watch what they do.” [Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Possible light rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 66 and low of 57. Sunrise at 6:18 am and sunset at 7:57 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A number of Arlington restaurants were served good news yesterday when the finalists for 2022 RAMMY Awards were announced.

Northside Social, Queen Mother’s, Bayou Bakery, and Ruthie’s All-Day were among the finalists for various awards celebrating the D.C. region’s restaurants over the last year. Stellina Pizzeria and the restaurateurs behind CHIKO, both with Shirlington outposts, as well as Mark Bucher of Medium Rare (which has a Virginia Square location) were also named award finalists.

The RAMMY Awards are handed out by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, the region’s restaurant industry trade association. It’s intended to honor restaurants for its work over the last year (from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021). An in-person gala is set to be held in July, when the winners will be announced.

In total, seven finalists this year have Arlington ties, which is pretty much on par with other recent years. It’s a far cry from more than a decade ago when local restaurants were routinely given few accolades, further proof how far the reputation of Arlington’s food scene has come.

Last year’s awards were, understandably, altered, with more of a spotlight on how local restaurants adapted to pandemic conditions. For example, David Guas of Bayou Bakery was recognized with a “Good Neighbor Award” for his Chefs Feeding Families initiative. That category is no longer part of the ceremony this year.

This 2022 edition is, more or less, back to what it was in 2019, though “Hottest Sandwich Spot,” “Splendid Holidays at Home,” and “Outstanding Pop-up Concept” were new categories from 2021 that are being held over.

Four Arlington-based restaurants are finalists this year for an award.

Bayou Bakery in Courthouse is being recognized in the “Splendid Holidays at Home” category.

“Restaurants have a way of making special occasions feel extra special, and this year they continued to meet customers at their comfort level as Covid (and other interruptions during the year) uprooted holidays for many,” says the award description.”This nominee went all out to create celebratory menus with all the bells and whistles to help guests have memorable holidays at home.”

Chef David Guas, who’s back from Poland where he was helping to feed Ukrainian refugees, tells ARLnow that it is an honor that Bayou Bakery’s efforts in making Mardi Gras special despite challenges are being recognized.

“It was a nice surprise to be honored and a warm welcome home upon returning from an intense and rigorous two weeks in Poland assisting with World Central Kitchen. This nomination is the result of something our team created during the pandemic to help keep us afloat,” he says. “The cliche — ‘It’s a team effort’ really holds true in this scenario. I value my team everyday, and especially during the pandemic, which was such a peculiar time for us all. It was fun and rewarding to find new ideas to bring people together — that’s the New Orleans way!”

Clarendon’s Northside Social, which now has a satellite location in Falls Church, is a finalist for its wine program.

Ruthie’s All Day, which opened in October 2020 in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, is up for “casual restaurant of the year.”

Ruthie’s All-Day’s Instagram post celebrating RAMMY nomination (image via screenshot/Instagram)

Queen Mother’s, located in the restaurant incubator Cafe by La Cocina alongColumbia Pike, is honored in the “Hottest Sandwich Spot” category. Chef Rahman “Rock” Harper and the eatery are known for their fried chicken sandwiches.

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