Arlington, VA

Arlington County is asking residents how and when they use athletic fields.

The County’s Public Spaces Master Plan, adopted in April 2019, calls for a public survey every five years to garner feedback to determine how and when Arlingtonians use the available athletic fields.

The collected data will be used to update the permit process, availability of fields, and who has access when.

“We have a finite amount of park spaces,” Jerry Solomon, Community Engagement Manager for the Department of Parks and Recreation, writes to ARLnow in an email. “Our goal is to ensure we are using them as efficiently and effectively as possible. We need to determine if we are offering field spaces at times that people can best access them.”

Fields for adult soccer leagues, for example, are most needed outside of typical working hours. Baseball diamonds for Little League should be accessible when the players are, like on weekends or after school.

This survey will help make sure this is the case, plus provide additional data that may not be as self-explanatory.

The survey specifically asks about activity start and end times for different age groups as well, like if kids 9 and youngers should end their field use prior sundown on weekdays and who should have access to lighted fields.

In total, Arlington has 96 athletic fields — a mix of rectangular fields (35), diamond fields (42), and a combination of the two (19). That can be further broken down into lighted (37) and not lighted fields (59) as well as natural grass (80) and synthetic turf fields (16).

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the fields that have the most use on an individual basis are the lighted, synthetic turf fields. On average, each one of those fields gets more than 2,100 hours of play per year. This is compared to an average of 700 hours per non-lighted, natural grass field.

For years, which fields got lights has been a source of community contention.

Athletic field use in Arlington is often not a free-for-all or on a first-come, first-serve basis. Nearly all of the fields are either only accessible to permit holders or priority is given to permit holders.

Only six of the 96 athletic fields in Arlington are available as drop-in fields, or “community fields.” Even those, though, can be reserved for scheduled programs or practices.

That has drawn the ire of some residents, like those who live near Pentagon City and want to see one or both of the softball diamonds at Virginia Highlands Park opened up for community use.

There’s even a tiered priority system for the allocation of permits, which was first recommended in 2016 due to an “inequity” that existed in how fields were allocated.

Arlington Public Schools are given first priority, then county-organized non-profit youth sport leagues, then adult leagues, then for-profit sports leagues, and, finally, individual rentals or other organizations.

Some fields also have agreements with local universities for their use.

All of this, plus Arlington’s growing population, is resulting in heavy use and demand for athletic fields. According to the PSMP, the county could need an additional 11 rectangular and 2 diamond fields by 2035 to maintain the current levels of use and access.

The hope is that the survey and public feedback will allow for better, more efficient, and more fair use of the limited field space.

This survey will be open until the end of the month, says Solomon, at which point DPR will review and report findings to the Public Spaces Master Plan Implementation Committee in the spring.

There could be more opportunities to provide feedback come the spring and summer, Solomon noted.

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Morning Notes

Free T-Ball This Spring — “Arlington Babe Ruth (ABR) is now offering free T-Ball to boys and girls ages 4-6. ABR recognizes that young players will try multiple sports in order to see what sticks, so we’ve eliminated registration fees for the youngest players. The free ABR Blastball and T-Ball programs are excellent ways to introduce boys and girls to baseball, using simple drills, a soft ball and lightweight bats, and a fun-oriented approach that teaches the rules while building enjoyment for the game.” [Arlington Babe Ruth]

Most-Read Arlington Library Books — “These are the books Arlington readers turned to the most in 2020. Unsurprisingly, many top fiction titles were part of a series, and many top nonfiction titles reflect a yearning for social justice and a desire for human connection.” [Arlington Public Library]

Virtual Meetings Lead to More Participation — “The Electoral Board was actually in the midst of conducting a meeting in March when the county government began battening the hatches and closing facilities while the COVID crisis was taking hold. Its meetings since then have been conducted on an electronic platform. There is a plus side to that. ‘Attendance has certainly increased – it has more than tripled,’ county elections chief Gretchen Reinemeyer said.” [InsideNova]

GW Parkway Lane Change — “Years of side-swiping, rear-ending and near misses have prompted traffic pattern changes to crash-prone sections of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Interstate 395. Northbound traffic on the George Washington Parkway is permanently narrowed into a single lane at the crosswalk near Memorial Bridge.” [WTOP]

New Year Video from Arlington Children’s Chorus — “Watch this video of a song we wrote and performed that we did to bring some good cheer to the local community this holiday season… After all our festive activities were cancelled, writing a song trying to capture a little bit of the spirit of the season was a way to let our children’s voices be heard. It’s been amazing how much joy has blossomed from such a difficult situation!” [YouTube]

Distinction for Arlington Biotech Firm — “[Arlington-based] Kerecis is the fastest growing company in the regenerative-tissue market in the United States according to SmartTRAK Business Intelligence, which compared industry-sales and market-share data for 3Q 2020 to 3Q 2019.” [Kerecis]

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Morning Notes

Lovings Might Not Want Name Used for Road — “The problem with these efforts [to rename Lee Highway as “Loving Avenue”] is that the surviving family has strong feelings about these efforts, statues, renaming of roads etc. They do not want this and the attention it brings. We in Caroline [County] try to be sensitive to their wishes and how they view these efforts and the Loving story. I would like nothing better than to see her remembered in this way, but must defer to the wishes of the family.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Barcroft Field Getting Video Screen — “Tucker Field at Barcroft Park will have an enhanced look for the 2021 season, as it was announced on Friday, Dec. 16 that construction has begun on a new videoboard to be used by the GW Baseball program. The project, entirely privately funded, was made possible due to a lead gift from Joe and Leslie Barmakian, parents of current GW student-athlete and baseball team member, Steve Barmakian.” [GW Sports]

Jail COVID Tests Only Find One Case — “In partnership with the Arlington County Public Health Department and the Virginia National Guard, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office tested 196 inmates and 274 deputies, civilians and contractors for COVID-19. There was only one staff member who tested positive among the 470 people tested.” [Arlington County]

Beyer Proposes New COVID Research Funding — “Rep. Don Beyer this week introduced the COVID-19 Long Haulers Act, which would authorize and fund research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PICORI) to benefit so-called “long haulers,” people who experience long term effects of COVID-19 infections.” [Press Release]

Funding Available for Overdue Utility Bills — “Arlingtonians who are having trouble paying their water and sewer bills due to pandemic-related economic hardship may be eligible to have their bills paid through the County’s new Utility Relief program. The application deadline is January 15. The program is funded through a $383,338  state coronavirus relief grant accepted by the County Board at its Tuesday, Dec. 15 Recessed Meeting.” [Arlington County]

Strong Leasing for New Ballston Building — “I’m expecting revenue to increase next year because of [B.F. Saul]’s new project called The Waycroft delivered earlier this year. The project comprises 491 apartment units and 60,000 square feet of retail space in Arlington, Virginia, as mentioned in the business update. Around 353, or 72% of available units, are leased.” [Seeking Alpha]

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnowStartup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. Monday Properties remains firmly committed to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, tenants and community. This week, Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1000 and 1100 Wilson (The Rosslyn Tower).

As the Washington Nationals play ball without fans in the stands, the team is turning to Arlington startup Hungry to bring the ballpark dining experience to homes.

If a Washington Nationals game just wouldn’t be the same for you without a hot dog, ballpark peanuts or other baseball cuisine, the new Best Ballpark Bites program may be a homerun. It aims to deliver gameday meals to those watching the games safely from their livings rooms.

“The Nationals want to bring the ballpark experience to you in the comfort and safety of your home,” the Nationals said in a press release. “Introducing Best Ballpark Bites Delivered, featuring classic gameday meals.”

The partnership is part of a continued shift towards no-contact deliveries during the pandemic, according to Hungry’s website. The Ballston-based company also was able to recently secure over $20 million in funding from donors like comedian Kevin Hart and former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb.

The packages come in three optional sets:

  • Enzo’s Pizza Pack — featuring a hand-tossed pepperoni pizza to bake at home, Old Bay dry rub and Buffalo wings, a pasta salad, two packages of cracker jacks and three Cokes
  • Backyard Grill Pack — Two Hebrew Nationals Hot Dogs to be reheated at home, an Italian sausage and bratwurst to be grilled at home along with their respective condiments, tortilla chips, nacho dip, chili, Cracker Jacks and three Cokes
  • Tacos and Nachos Pack — Nine chicken and black bean tacos, “NAT-cho” chips, corn salad, Cracker Jacks and three Cokes

All packs are $75 and designed to serve 2-3 people with contactless deliveries.

Alcohol orders are also included but will require the recipient to present ID on delivery. In addition to online ordering, the press release says orders can be placed via 1-888-8HUNGRY or emailing [email protected]. Orders have to be placed by midnight the day before the game for night games.

According to Hungry’s website, orders will include a free Nats bobblehead for a limited time.

Flickr photo by Stephen Yates

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Arlington’s youth baseball and softball leagues, much like the major professional sports leagues, are going on an immediate hiatus.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the diamond sports leagues in Arlington have suspended indefinitely all activities including practices, games, coaching clinics, and team meetings until further notice,” the local leagues said in a statement sent to ARLnow.

“The announcements by Arlington Babe Ruth (ABR), Arlington Senior Babe Ruth (ASBR), Arlington Little League (ALL) and Arlington Girls Softball Association (AGSA) were made on Thursday night following multiple conversations among league officials and with Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation,” the statement continued. “The leagues were gearing up for the start of the 2020 season with pre-season practices scheduled to commence on Saturday morning. Bats and balls will have to wait at least a few weeks until the public health emergency is sufficiently contained.”

“ABR is taking this action for the personal safety of our players, families, and volunteers, and for the interest of public health in our community,” Arlington Babe Ruth President JP Cooney said in a letter to parents. “We will always be guided by the best interests of our players and families, and we abide by our commitment to being a responsible leader-organization in the Arlington community.”

The four leagues “are continually evaluating the situation and plan to resume sports activities only when it is safe to do so,” noted the statement. So far, there have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arlington. Earlier today the Arlington Soccer Association also announced that it is suspending operations.

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Arlington Travel Baseball (ATB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit youth baseball organization that provides an opportunity for players ages 9-14U to acquire superior skills through higher levels of competition.

ATB is seeking head and assistant coaches who have a passion for the game and want to join a “winning” team. Ideally, we are in search of former college baseball players who want to teach the game they grew up playing.

Coaches will be compensated a competitive wage and required to pass a background check. Coaching experience is a plus but not required and training is available as needed. Coaches will report to the Director of Player Development, who will set team goals and assist with practice plans and specific skills development.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Manage the day to day field activities of the team. Teaching relevant skills, tactics and techniques
  • Arrive on time and have a practice plan for each practice
  • Lead the team at all regular season, playoff and tournament games
  • Coach in a positive manner (Coaches will have coach of conduct form)
  • Communicate with Team General Manager with administrative needs of team
  • Prepare the players for the physical and mental challenges of competitive baseball
  • Identify player strengths and weaknesses and provide progress reports at end of summer season
  • Attend annual tryouts in July

If you’re interested or know someone who might be please contact us at [email protected] or call 703-801-6297.

An Arlington man looks so much like Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer that he had to be escorted by the police during the team’s World Series parade on Saturday.

Kevin Kramer, who’s lived in Arlington for the last 20 years, had his first fan interaction four years ago in an ALDI grocery store.

“They were shouting ‘Max, Max,’ and asked me to throw the first pitch for their charity baseball team,” Kramer said. “That’s when I realized, oh my god, this person really thinks I’m Max Scherzer.”

Over the next few years, people at Nationals Park would approach him for the occasional selfie or ask him why he wasn’t out on the dugout during games.

Then this year, the Nationals entered the National League Championship Series and “things started to get really crazy.”

Kramer, who’s never met Scherzer in person, attended Game 3 of the NCLS, where he says he was mobbed by fans. Once the team made it to the World Series, he took things one step further with a single blue contact lens to match Scherzer’s distinctively-hued eyes.

“This is all for fun,” said Kramer, who runs an Instagram account, @notmaxscherzer. “I don’t set out to look like him, I’m not an impersonator. I think because the Nats have become so popular, people really want to believe that I am him.”

A videographer accompanied Kramer to Saturday’s parade to capture the scene. As expected, dozens of fans quickly mobbed Kramer, wondering why he wasn’t up on a parade bus celebrating with the team. As a result, D.C. police had to escort them through the streets.

Someday soon, he said, he hopes to transform all of this into a documentary.

“There’s a fascinating psychology behind this,” Kramer said. “For example, a lot more women will ask me for an ID or ask personal questions only Scherzer could answer. Men, on the other hand, just want to take a photo and go.”

For now, he’s hoping to capitalize on the coincidence by booking appearances, including “ad campaigns, parties, or whatever.”

Photos via Timur Tugberk/Designing the District

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Champagne was spraying, people were jumping around and the whole room filled with deafening shouts.

That was the scene at the Washington Capitals’ annual Halloween party last night, as the Stanley Cup-winning hockey team celebrated D.C.’s newest champions, the World Series-winning Nationals.

The Caps held the team Halloween party at The G.O.A.T. in Clarendon, but the event turned into a World Series watch party. Alexander Ovechkin was among the players partying as the last strike was called in the bottom of the 9th.

The event for the team and spouses was held in a private event space at the sports bar, located across the street from the Clarendon Metro. Video from the celebration was posted online and quickly reposted by the Washington Post, Barstool Sports and local sports blogs.

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Morning Notes

Congrats to the Nats — Fireworks could be heard in parts of Arlington as the Nationals won the World Series in Game 7 just before midnight. [Twitter, Twitter]

Nats World Series Run Helps Local Startup — “BreakingT’s business is very much staying in the fight. The Arlington T-shirt retailer had already seen a significant boost from the Nationals’ playoff run… Until last week, BreakingT’s biggest revenue day was during the All-Star Game hosted at Nationals Park last July. But each of the three home World Series matchups have now exceeded that.” [Washington Business Journal]

Severe Storms Expected Tonight — “Hazardous Halloween weather is possible in the Washington area and many parts of the Mid-Atlantic, where a line of storms, some of which may be severe, will sweep through during the evening. ‘A potentially dangerous weather event is unfolding for Thursday,’ wrote the National Weather Service serving the Washington region.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Chick-fil-A Customers Cause Crystal City Cycling Consternation — “Diving deeper geographically from streets to blocks and overlaying vehicle type, a story starts to emerge from the data. We already knew the majority of bike lane blockages were on Crystal Drive, but now we can see that the 2100 block of Crystal Drive is where all the action is, why? Chick-fil-a!” [Greater Greater Washington]

Kudos for Hot Lola’s in Ballston — “Got a hankering for a fried chicken sandwich? Forget Popeyes — go for Hot Lola’s’s version in Arlington, says a new report. Washingtonian says Hot Lola’s hot-chicken sandwich are the best in the D.C. area, tied with Wooboi in Herndon for the No. 1 spot in their list of the top five in our region.” [Washingtonian, Patch]

Paul Rudd’s Pentagon Ice Cream Connection — “While searching for the quickest route to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City from my apartment, I went down a weird internet black hole and discovered that the Google Maps photo for the Baskin-Robbins at the Pentagon features Paul Rudd dressed as a Baskin-Robbins employee. What’s the deal with that?” [Washingtonian]

Tomorrow: Horticultural Event at Arlington National — “Friday Nov 1: Join ANC’s Horticulturist for a walking tour of the cemetery’s Memorial Arboretum. We’ll look at trees, shrubs and perennials that survived the wet spring and hot, dry summer of 2019.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Silver Spring Man Wins Soggy MCM — “Jordan Tropf just wanted to see what he could do. Turns out, he could win the Marine Corps Marathon. Leading from the start, the 27-year-old Silver Spring resident built a lead of a 1:26 at the halfway point and went on to win by 70 seconds in 2:27:43, much of the second half coming in a driving rain.” [Run Washington, Washington Post, WTOP]

Arlington World Series Surprise on ‘Today’ — The Today Show aired a segment on the Nottingham Elementary School crossing guard who was surprised with World Series tickets from parents and students. [Twitter]

Shirlington Employment Center Moving — “The Shirlington Employment and Education Center (SEEC) is gearing up for a two-digit move – from 22206 to 22204. Facing the need to decamp from its office space (and facility for day laborers to congregate) in its namesake Shirlington, SEEC has worked with the Arlington County government to obtain space in Arlington Mill along the Columbia Pike corridor.” [InsideNova]

Dorsey Pushes for Clearer Metro Refund Policy — “When one Metro train crashed into another soon after a Nationals playoff game, Metro decided to cancel its ‘Rush Hour Promise’ refunds for the following afternoon’s commute… Arlington County Board Chair and Metro Board member Christian Dorsey hopes for more discussion about how explicit the terms should be, even if it is not reasonable to foresee every possible event.” [WTOP]

Nearby: New Bank Near Fairlington — “A new Bank of America location is coming to the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria. The space at 3690G King Street was previously home to Queen Bee Designs.” [ALXnow]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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We heard your call and we answered: here are some of the bars around Arlington offering specials for the upcoming Nationals World Series games.

Game 3 kicks off at Nationals Parks tonight at 8 p.m., followed by games 4 and 5 on Saturday and Sunday.

This list is not comprehensive and is comprised of bars that either posted specials on their social media or picked up the phone at 11 a.m.

Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive) will have specials all night long, including:

  • $1 hot dogs and beers during the first inning
  • $5 Maker’s Mark drinks all night
  • $5 beer tub specials all night
  • And if the Nationals win, free Jello shots.

In Ballston, Rustico (4075 Wilson Blvd) will be extending their happy hour pricing for beer and wine through the end of each game, which includes $2 off all draft beer and $5 glasses of house wine.

Also in Ballston sports bar First Down (4213 N. Fairfax Drive) is doing $5.50 “Baby Shark” shots layered with vodka, sour mix, Blue Curacao, grenadine, and a splash of Sprite, in addition to the discounted drink and food specials.

Meanwhile in Courthouse, the Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill (2424 Wilson Blvd) will be offering $5 shots of Jameson, Fireball, and Jager, along with $25 buckets of White Claw seltzer, $20 buckets of beer, and $18 pitchers all throughout the games.

The Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City will be projecting the game on its 18-foot video wall, with specials including an $18 Yuengling bucket of beer, $5 shots, and a hot dog platter covered in chili, cheese, and more.

In Rosslyn, Quinn’s On the Corner (1776 Wilson Blvd) has  events for every inning, with free Jello shots after the first Nationals pitch, a gift card raffle in the middle of the fourth inning, and raffles for various Nationals bobbleheads during the seventh-inning stretch.

Also in RosslynRhodeside Grill (1836 Wilson Blvd) will extend its happy hour until 7 p.m., featuring $4 draft beer and $6 cocktails, plus food specials after 5 p.m., while Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Blvd) will honor its happy hour pricing throughout the entire game, which includes a spiked apple cider and a whiskey smash for $7, plus wines for $6.

Bonus: if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in luck. Here’s where you can find specialty Nationals desserts in Arlington as well:

  • Nationals-decorated cupcakes at Pastries by Randolph (4500 Lee Highway)
  • Nats Red Velvet ice cream at Ice Cream Jubilee in Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd)
  • “DoughNat” doughnut, topped with caramel glaze and dark chocolate caramel popcorn, at District Donuts in Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd)
  • “Nats Tarts” at Sidekick Bakery in Ballston (4238 Wilson Blvd)

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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