This year’s Feel the Heritage Festival will celebrate African-American history on Saturday, Feb. 29.
Entrance to the festival — which includes live music and dance, food vendors, and activities for children — is free. The event will also feature vendors selling a variety of goods, from jewelry to homemade hot sauce.
For the cooks in attendance, there will be a chance to show off their skills at the festival’s third annual soul food cook-off competition. The festival will also include a Hall of History, where photos and artifacts from Arlington’s historically African-American neighborhoods and organizations will be on display.
On-site parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The community center is accessible via Metrobus 10B and ART bus 77, according to the Arlington Parks and Recreation website.
Photo via Arlington County
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
DHS Official Charged With Beating Wife in Arlington — A “senior career official with the Department of Homeland Security who… handles a ‘high volume’ of classified information in his role as an intelligence briefer,” served jail time after a 2016 incident in Arlington in which he was charged with assaulting his wife, breaking two ribs and causing bruising around her neck. [Washington Post]
Anti-DUI Event at Shamrock Crawl Tomorrow — The Arlington County Police Department will hold a St. Patrick’s Day-themed anti-DUI event dubbed “Don’t Press Your Luck” in Clarendon tomorrow (Saturday). The event will coincide with the planned Shamrock Crawl bar crawl. [Arlington County]
More on Wakefield’s Championship Run — But for a great defensive play by Varina, the Wakefield High School boys basketball team might have emerged victorious from yesterday’s state championship game in Richmond. [Washington Post]
Arlington to Co-Star in Travel Video — Arlington County has received grant funding that will help pay for its share of a new Virginia tourism video that will also feature Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Loudoun County, Richmond and Staunton. [Arlington County]
Long Branch Creek Profiled — “A mostly residential section of south Arlington, Long Branch Creek is a diverse community where almost 75 percent of residents are renters. In addition, there are condominium buildings, townhouses, duplexes and one single-family home.” [Washington Post]
Fire Station History to Be Recognized — Last month Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz established a “Fire Station No. 8 History and Legacy (FS8HL) Working Group,” to record and celebrate the history of the first Arlington fire station staffed by African Americans. [Arlington County]
Kanninen Gets Democratic School Board Nod — “An Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus? Fuggedaboutit. Incumbent School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen was the lone candidate to file to run in the caucus, which had been slated for several days in May. With no opposition bubbling up, the caucus was nixed.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Rex Block
ACFD Black History Month Tweets — The Arlington County Fire Department has been recounting the history of black firefighters in Arlington in commemoration of Black History Month. There were several African-American volunteer fire departments in the county during the first half of the 20th century, serving neighborhoods like Hall’s Hill and “Hell’s Bottom,” which was cleared to make way for the Pentagon during World War II. [Twitter, Twitter]
ARLnow Wins ‘Amazon Thirsty Thursday’ Recognition — Our scoop that an internal Amazon website devoted to its “HQ2” search steered thousands of visits to a two-month-old ARLnow article, has earned us the distinction of being named the “winner” of Washingtonian’s “Amazon Thirsty Thursday” weekly feature. Our article pointing out that Amazon has an office in Arlington was apparently the icing on the thirsty cake. [Washingtonian]
Arlington Among Top Places for Women in Tech — Arlington is tied with St. Paul, Minnesota as the No. 6 best place in the U.S. for women in tech. The District ranks No. 1. [WTOP]
Shamrock Shake Sighting — The Shamrock Shake is back at McDonald’s. We spotted it on the menu at a Lee Highway McD’s yesterday. Some locations have gotten the shake, a harbinger of spring, earlier than others, according to social media reports. [Fox News, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Firefighters Push for Raise — IAFF Local 2800, which represents Arlington firefighters and paramedics, is pushing for a raise in this year’s county budget process. The group says Arlington’s compensation for public safety employees “is at the bottom of the DMV.” [Twitter]
Chamber Concerned With 4MRV Initiative — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to the County Board expressing concerns with the Four Mile Run Valley Initiative and possible changes to or acquisition of the light industrial properties along Four Mile Run Drive. [Arlington Chamber]
Growing Up Black in Arlington — From 1950 to 1962, growing up black in Arlington meant facing segregation and racism at every turn, and not feeling safe venturing out of the largely self-contained confines of a historically African-American neighborhood like Hall’s Hill. [Falls Church News-Press]
Arlington Startup Raises $3 Million — What started as a way for the owner of conveyor belt sushi chain Wasabi Sushi to streamline his accounting is now a venture-funded startup. Arlington-based MarginEdge has raised $3 million to go national with its restaurant management software. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Optimal Physical Therapy Open House*
Optimal Physical Therapy (1700 N. Moore Street)
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Meet with physical therapists, enjoy light refreshments, and tour the new Optimal Physical Therapy location at the Rosslyn Metro Center building.
Pet Dental Care 101
Aurora Hills Library (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Clarendon Animal Care presents an pet oral health lesson. It’s national pet dental health month, so now is as good as ever to learn how to take care of your cat’s bad breath.
Toastmasters Open House
Asahi Restaraunt (2250 Clarendon Boulevard)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
An evening dedicated to the organization focused on improving public speaking and leadership skills, where interested potential toastmasters can ask questions and learn more over dinner.
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Introduction to Python
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Learn the Python programming language for free with this beginner’s course aimed at introducing debugging and other software programming fundamentals. Registration is required.
Arlington Committee of 100: Opioid Crisis Conversation*
Marymount University – Phelan Hall (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7 p.m.
A dinner conversation focused on addressing the opioid crisis’ causes and effects in Arlington, and what the community and officials can do to stop the epidemic. Dinner is $28 for members, $30 otherwise.
Thursday, Feb. 22
Pups & Pints*
Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Latitude Apartments presents a free happy hour for you and your puppies, with snacks, drinks, and socializing for all. Be sure to check out the puppy photo booth!
Right Proper Beer and Donuts Night at Sugar Shack
Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee (1014 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 4:30-9:30 p.m.
Right Proper Brewing brings several of their beers — including their cherry-aged Cheree Berliner-Weissenborn — to the donut shop for an evening of beer pairings, paninis, and pastries.
Black Music Matters
Aurora Hills Library (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Celebrate Black History Month with Katea Stitt, the program director at WPFW-FM 89.3, as she examines black music’s evolution and the impact it has had on social justice initiatives.
Friday, Feb. 23
Creative Coffee: Ink Washes
Connection: Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
A casual weekly creative meet-up for artists to experiment and improve their work in a social setting. Bring your own materials to this adult-friendly gathering.
St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.
Val Kilmer: Cinema Twain
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Actor and Director Val Kilmer, of Top Gun and Batman Forever, presents a screening on his one-man show, Citizen Twain. Tickets from $30-$75. Through February 24.
Saturday, Feb. 24
Poetry Reading: Douglass & Waters
One More Page Books (2200 N. Westmoreland Street)
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Two award-winning poets — M. Scott Douglass and Jesse Waters, come to the bookstore to read from their books as well as other collections.
Urban Agriculture: Plan & Prepare Your Vegetable Garden
Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Learn how to bring some gardening techniques to your balcony, roof deck, or larger urban space with the latest installment in the library’s urban agriculture series. This month’s topic will be planning and preparing a vegetable garden. Reservations requested.
Sunday, Feb. 25
A Diana Peterfreund Conversation: Omega City Trilogy
One More Page Books (2200 N. Westmoreland Street)
Time: 3-4 p.m.
Author Diana Peterfreund discusses the final installment of her tween intergalactic adventure series, Omega City. Peterfreund has penned over ten novels for adults, kids, and everyone in between.
* Denotes featured (sponsored) event
Northside Social Sued by Songwriters — Clarendon cafe Northside Social is being sued by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for “unauthorized public performance of its members’ copyrighted musical works.” [Patch]
Phil Vassar Visits Animal Welfare League — “We had a special visitor at AWLA today: country music singer Phil Vassar stopped by the shelter today to meet three neonatal kittens that are named after his hit songs; Deputy Ray, Carlene, and Amazing Grace.” [Facebook]
Focus on Arlington’s School Resource Officers — The Arlington County Police Department has thirteen School Resource Officers, whose job it is to connect with and protect the 27,000 students at Arlington Public Schools. [WJLA]
Arlington’s First Black Firefighters Faced Hardships — “The first of Arlington County’s black firefighters — members of the Hall’s Hill Volunteer Fire Department and the paid men at Station No. 8 — grappled with taunts and inequities in the days of Jim Crow, according to Arlington Public Library records.” [Arlington Fire Journal]
Dems Want More Social Followers — Arlington Democrats are pushing for more social media followers, particularly on Facebook, with the goal of having the most followers of any Democratic organization in the Commonwealth. At last check, Albemarle County Democrats had more followers than Arlington. [InsideNova]
The annual Feel The Heritage Festival, a black history month tradition now in its 26th year, is scheduled for Saturday, February 24.
The county-sponsored festival, held at the Charles Drew Community Center in Nauck, will host its first-ever soul food cook-off, with prizes for category winners. That’s in addition to dozens of vendors, music and dance acts, and fun for the kids.
Emceed by former WPGC 95.5 FM radio host Dr. Justine Love, a range of dance and musical groups will perform throughout the day, including a Joy of Motion dance center youth hip-hop group, and Elijah Jamal Balbed’s Chuck Brown-inspired The Jogo Project. Motown, hip-hop, gospel, and traditional African performers will also take the stage.
Festival organizers are touting dozens of artisan vendors selling jewelry, clothing, and more. Local African-American citizen associations and organizations, such as the Black Heritage Museum, will bring historical artifacts and photos for display in a “hall of history.”
Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company’s food truck will be parked outside of the community center, and the Nauck Youth Enterprise will sell hot dogs, half smokes, and more.
There will be plenty for kids to do, from creating a traditional African art inspired animal mask to face painting, balloon art, and oversize games of checkers and Connect Four. Colgate, the toothpaste company, will also be on-site from 2-6 p.m. to conduct free dental screenings and treatment referral for children up to 12 years old.
Photo via Arlington County
Arlington Tree Canopy Increases — “Arlington’s tree canopy increased slightly from 2011 to 2016, according to new data, but remains below levels of a decade ago. A total of 41 percent of Arlington’s acreage was filled with tree canopy when evaluated last year, an improvement from the 40 percent from the last time it was studied.” [InsideNova]
Police: Drive Safely This Weekend –Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and predicted six more weeks of winter, and the Patriots and Eagles will be facing off in Super Bowl LII on Sunday — both are occasions for the Arlington County Police Department to remind residents to drive safely. [Twitter, Twitter]
Thank You to Quantum — Staff from Clarendon-based recruiting firm Quantum Search Partners helped ARLnow’s team move some heavy furniture as we expanded into a new office yesterday. Thank you for lending a hand!
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Skimmers Found on Gas Pumps — Arlington County Police are investigating credit card skimmers that were found on gas pumps at the Shell station on S. Four Mile Run Drive. [NBC Washington]
‘Project DAPS’ Now Online — An Arlington Public Library project to digitize records, photos and oral histories of the effort to desegregate schools in Arlington County went online last month. Arlington “defied the state” when the first black students began attending Stratford Junior High in January 1959, though it would take another 12 years before county schools were fully integrated. [WAMU]
Candidate Withdraws from Delegate Race — It’s the shortest local primary challenge in recent memory. Alexandria City School Board member Karen Graf, who announced on Feb. 6 that she was challenging Del. Mark Levine (D-45) for the Democratic nomination, has withdrawn from the race. Levine’s 45th House of Delegates district includes part of Arlington. [Alexandria News]
Some Still Skeptical of High Water Bills — “Ridiculous” is how one local civic association president described Arlington County’s conclusion that big spikes in water bills charged to some homeowners last year were not the result of systematic errors. [InsideNova]
New Vape Store in Ballston — “House of Vape, one of the fastest growing retail vape chains in the Mid-Atlantic region, has opened a new brick and mortar store in Arlington, Virginia, near the Ballston Metro station.” [PR Rocket]
Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak
The “Feel the Heritage Festival” is scheduled to take place at the Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street South) next Saturday, Feb. 25, from 1-6 p.m. This is the event’s 25th year running.
As in previous years, attendees will be able to experience Arlington’s African-American roots through food, art, and entertainment. The event will also have free activities for kids and a “Hall of History” with photos and artifacts from Arlington churches and organizations.
Food vendors slated to sling food during the festival include the A.R. Seafood and Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. Additionally, the festival will have more than 20 artisans selling handmade and local goods and booths from community exhibitors such as BikeArlington and the Nauck Civic Association.
The festival is free to attend and parking will be “ample,” according to Arlington County.