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Expect a Yarn Bomb to Hit Clarendon This Week

A yarn bomb will be hitting the Clarendon Metro Plaza this week to raise awareness about metastatic breast cancer.

More than 30 trees in the plaza will be covered in colorful yarn from April 20-30, according to Arlington native Ann McLean, the project’s organizer. McLean has been collecting both knitted pieces and monetary donations through her organization called Stitch 4 Stage IV, which was created in November.

More than 200 knitted pieces were donated for the yarn bomb.

“I was really worried that we weren’t going to get enough and it turned out we got more than enough,” she said. “We actually may turn out doing more trees than we thought we were going to do.”

McLean is also using the yarn bomb as a way to celebrate the six-year anniversary of her own diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer has no cure and the survival rates are grim — around 70 percent of people with it don’t live past 3 years, she said.

“I’m considering this quite an anniversary,” McLean added.

It also sends cancer cells to other parts of the body, and in McLean’s case, it’s in her liver. The cancer is treatable, but not curable, she noted. The yarn bomb is symbolic of the cancer, she said.

“Metastatic breast cancer is like a bomb going off, sending breast cancer debris to other parts of your body — bones, lungs, liver and brain,” McLean wrote in an email.

McLean also got 40 people to sponsor a tree for $100 each and also received other donations, totaling $10,000 raised for the Karen Ribeiro Drug Discovery Research fund at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute.

Knitting was a hobby for McLean when she was a child and she picked it back up when she got her diagnosis. She said it helps her feel “zen,” keeps her busy, and calms any anxiety.

She also got the idea for a yarn bomb when she took a trip to New Zealand and thought the knitting community would support a similar project in Arlington. But the donations have come from all over, including Encinitas, Calif., Palm Harbor, Fla., Rehoboth Beach, Del. and even the United Kingdom.

This will not be Arlington’s first yarn bombing — a group called the Guerrilla Stitch brigade covered Rosslyn in yarn back in 2013.

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Morning Notes

ACPD Sending Supplies to Houston — The Arlington County Police Department is sending relief supplies to Houston Police, “who have been tirelessly serving those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” the department announced yesterday in a tweet. [Twitter]

More on County Board Debate — At Tuesday night’s Arlington Civic Federation debate, the two independent candidates blasted the County Board for supposedly being too pro cozy with business interests. Charles McCullough “several times ripped the county government for extending millions of dollars in ‘payola and corporate welfare’ in an effort to win economic-development successes,” while Audrey Clement “portrayed Arlington leaders as sharing a matrimonial bed with the development community, rubber-stamping new projects to reap the tax revenue they generate.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Encouraging Vanpools — Arlington County, via its Arlington Transportation Partners program, is encouraging commuters to join a vanpool, touting savings of up to $10,000 a year compared to solo commuting. [Arlington Transportation Partners]

Arlington Free Clinic Women’s Health Program — Grants from the Susan G. Komen foundation are funding a women’s health program at the Arlington Free Clinic and in turn saving the lives of breast cancer patients who otherwise could not afford their healthcare costs. Among those who beat breast cancer with the clinic’s help is one of its employees, a mother of three who found a lump while attending a breast health event in 2003. [WJLA]

Nearby: Rabid Raccoon Found — A raccoon found in an Alexandria park has tested positive for rabies. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by Vandiik

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ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk Coming to Pentagon Row

An organization that’s working to end prostate cancer will hold a charity fun run and walk on Father’s Day in Pentagon Row.

Participants can take part in a 5K run/walk, a one-mile walk or a “Kid’s Superhero Dash for Dad” on Sunday, June 18 at 8:15 a.m. Snooze for Dudes is for those who cannot attend the race but still would like to contribute.

Funds raised from the races benefit ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, a national nonprofit that works to stamp out prostate cancer.

There is no fundraising minimum, but participants are advised to consider making a self-donation or to raise at least $100. All registered participants and volunteers receive a personal fundraising page and coaching on how to raise money.

Money raised will go towards providing research for new treatments, free prostate cancer testing and education for men and families about prostate cancer.

This year alone, 7,730 men in D.C., Maryland and Virginia will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to ZERO.

“Our Capital Area Run/Walk gives members of the community a voice in the fight to end a disease that affects 1 in 8 American men, as well as the opportunity to connect with others who have been impacted,” said Shawn Supers, Mid-Atlantic chapter director for ZERO. “We’re raising awareness and funds to ensure that each man knows he is not fighting prostate cancer alone.”

Participants can park in the mall lot on the corner of Army Navy Drive and S. Joyce Street or in the Pentagon Row garage. Dogs are permitted to race as long as they are kept on five-foot, non-retractable leashes.

Photo via ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer

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Happy Hour in Clarendon to Raise Money to Fight Breast Cancer

BFF Happy Hour

A happy hour event that combines networking with raising money to help combat breast cancer is coming to Clarendon next week.

The third annual “Breast Friends Forever” event, a young professionals’ happy hour that raises money for the Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund, is taking place on Thursday, March 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at MakeOffices Clarendon (3100 Clarendon Blvd, Ste. 200).

The event will feature cocktails, beer, wine and appetizers, plus a bra decorating contest and raffle.

All donations from the event will go towards funding SMBHF’s efforts to provide uninsured women and men in Arlington and Falls Church with life-saving and preventative breast cancer treatment and tests, giving free access to mammograms, sonograms, biopsies, medical devices and medications.

“We are proud to be sponsoring this event for its third year,” said MakeOffices CEO Raymond Rahbar. “The Sharon McGowan Breast Health fund works hard all year to support our community and this evening allows us to celebrate their efforts.”

The event is also sponsored by TTR Sotheby’s International Realtors. Those interested in attending can RSVP online.

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Morning Notes

9/11 flag in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Kevin White)

Arlington Remembers 9/11 — Arlington County is marking the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks with a solemn ceremony in Courthouse. A moment of silence will be held at 9:37 a.m. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Sidewalks on the Pike Still Need Work — The new Freedman’s Village Bridge over Columbia Pike includes new, wider sidewalks along the Pike, but there are problems. Just up from the new sidewalks, narrow old sidewalks have telephone poles in the middle of them, obstructing pedestrians and bicyclists. And there are multiple crossings among the new sidewalks that make the going slow. [Greater Greater Washington]

Letter Writer: Everything Is Awful — Most people probably find Arlington a pleasant place to live. But a resident who wrote a guest commentary about Arlington for a Falls Church newspaper finds a lot to dislike, warning Falls Church residents of Arlington as a “cautionary tale” of development gone wrong. The letter blasts Arlington’s overcrowded schools, “scorched-earth development practices,” “critical shortage of parkland and green space,” “failed policies and inadequate planning,” “poor local air quality,” lack of mature tree canopy and “urban heat island effect.” [Falls Church News-Press]

AHC Repays Loan — Nonprofit affordable housing developer AHC Inc. has made a $2.5 million loan repayment to Arlington County, one of the organization’s largest lump sum repayments. AHC presented retiring County Board members Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada, along with other county officials, a giant check to mark the occasion.

Janet Howell Announces Breast Cancer Diagnosis — State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd), who represents part of Arlington, announced yesterday that she was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. She has undergone treatment and says her prognosis is “excellent.” [Reston Now]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Zero Prostate Cancer Run Returns to Arlington

ZERO8Hundreds of runners will celebrate Father’s Day in Pentagon City with a race to help end prostate cancer.

The annual Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, hosted by Zero- The End of Prostate Cancer on Sunday, is a series of four events, with a four-mile run/walk, kids race, a one mile fun run and a “virtual” option for those who don’t want to wake up early.

“This series is a great chance for men, women, children, and families of all ages to increase awareness and raise funds to end a disease that affects one in seven fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, grandfathers, partners and friends,” said Jamie Bearse, the CEO of Zero in a statement.

The event starts with the Superhero Dash, a short sprint for kids ages nine and younger, at 8:15 a.m. Kids can dress up as their favorite superheroes and will receive capes.

The four mile walk/run starts at 8:30 a.m. and will take runners from Pentagon Row courtyard (1101 S. Joyce St.) down Army Navy Drive to S. Adams Street. Runners will turn around at S. Adams Street and finish at Pentagon Row. Participants can select and put on a tie shortly after the one mile mark at the “Tie One of for Dad” transition area (at S. Nash Street).

There will be awards for the top three male and female finishers, top three survivor finishers and top three male and female finishers in each age group.

This year, people can help support the end of prostate cancer from their beds by wearing a “Snooze for Dudes” t-shirt and posting a picture to social media.

Participants can register as an individual or as team. Registration is $40 for the four-mile race, $20 for the one-mile walk, $20 for the Superhero Dash and $35 for Snooze for Dudes.

The race will also feature the “Courage Wall,” a chalkboard wall where people can write what they wish they had the courage to be or do. The wall was created by Del Ray local Nancy Belmont and has since gone viral.

“The run/walk aims to bring together survivors, patients, families, friends and many in the community to raise funds for prostate cancer, and share hope and passion, and the Courage Wall will help us to do that,” said Amanda Pini, the marketing and communications coordinator for the race.

S. Joyce Street, between 15th Street S. and Army Navy Drive, and Army Navy Drive, between S. Joyce Street and 25th Street S., will be closed from 7-11 a.m. as a result of the race.

File photo

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Arlington Firefighters Selling T-Shirt for Breast Cancer

Arlington County firefighters are selling a t-shirt in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

IAFF Local 2800, the local firefighters union, says members will be wearing the shirt while on duty this week. The shirts can be purchased online or at an Arlington fire station.

From a union spokesman:

“During the week of October 13-19, ACFD/L-2800 members will wear their member designed t-shirts on-duty as a way to raise awareness of breast cancer. The t-shirts will also be sold with the goal of raising as much money as possible to benefit breast cancer treatment and/or research. This year all proceeds will benefit the Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund, a local non-profit right here in Arlington, that provides breast cancer screenings and other related services free of charge. The Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund is developed and managed by the Arlington County Medical Society (ACMS). More information can be found at http://www.arlcoms.org/found.shtml. Shirts are available in Pink or Blue. Shirts are $15, and anyone wishing to purchase one can contact any fire station or any member of the ACFD or go to http://www.iaff2800.com/ to purchase from the online store.”

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Morning Notes

Kaine Coming to Arlington — Former Virginia governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) will be in Arlington this afternoon. Kaine is scheduled to have an economic discussion with local Latino business and community leaders at 4:00 p.m. The closed event is taking place at The Salsa Room (2619 Columbia Pike).

Cancer Charity Event This Weekend — The second annual Erica Paul Fabulous event will be held at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) on Saturday. The fundraiser runs from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and benefits the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. The ‘Fabulous’ event also celebrates the life of Erica Paul, who died last year, at the age of 29, from metastatic colon cancer. [Clarendon Nights]

Ham Operators to Have a ‘Field Day’ — Arlington County will host its annual “Field Day” exercise for amateur radio operators this weekend. The exercise, held at Minor Hill Park (3400 N. Powhatan Street), is described as part of a nationwide event “during which thousands of Hams across the United States and Canada will operate portable radios and antennas to contact each other, simulating emergency conditions.” [Arlington County]

HOT Lanes Suit Costs County Transportation Funds –Virginia is contributing more than $16.5 million to Arlington’s road maintenance and construction budget for fiscal year 2013, which starts on July 1. But that figure is $100,000 less than it otherwise could have been. The Commonwealth Transportation Board has stripped $100,000 from Arlington’s allocation as retribution for the county’s costly lawsuit against the proposed I-395 HOT lanes project. The money will be used to help pay the legal bills of a former state transportation official who was sued by Arlington as part of its fight against the project. [Sun Gazette]

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Cops, Delegate Shave for Childhood Cancer Research

Del. Patrick Hope (D) joined Arlington County Police Chief Doug Scott and about 20 ACPD officers at Pentagon City mall over the weekend for the third-annual Be Brave and Shave fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

Hope, who was scheduled to speak at the Sunday afternoon event, surprised the audience when he revealed that he was going to have his meticulously-maintained coif shaved off to help raise money and awareness.

Be Brave and Shave is the signature event of Heroes Against Childhood Cancer, which raises money for cancer research at Children’s National Medical Center. Since its founding in 2009, Be Brave and Shave events have raised some $1.5 million for the cancer programs at Children’s, making it possible for the hospital to hire its first professor of oncology. The organization is hoping to raise enough money to hire another pediatric cancer researcher in the near future.

“The medical team at Children’s is performing miracles everyday in the lives of children facing this dreaded disease,” Hope said in a statement. “We need to aggressively pursue innovative research and therapies and cure childhood cancers once and for all. I’m so honored to associate myself with Children’s and hope in some small way I can help raise awareness.”

Hope wasn’t the only notable local who went above and beyond the call of duty at the fundraiser, held this year in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City food court. Chief Scott got his rank-and-file officers fired up when he announced that he would not only shave his head, but he’d also shave his mustache for the first time in 25 years. The mustache alone brought in $400 in donations, according to Det. Matt Owens.

“The response from our department is quite gratifying,” Scott said later, in a statement. “While about 20 officers had their hair shaved or cut off, many more participated in fundraising and donations. I think it is wonderful to be part of an organization that feels so strongly about giving back to the children in our community.”

Learn more about donating to Heroes Against Childhood Cancer here.

Courtesy photos. See more photos from the event on Flickr.

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To Do This Weekend: Columbia Pike Blues Fest and Relay for Life

Be sure to check out the annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival this weekend, featuring acclaimed blues guitarist Debbie Davies, 16-year-old jazz prodigy Matt Wigler and plenty of other great performers.

While you’re there, you won’t want to miss the barbecue being provided by Pike resident “Big Daddy” Isaac Brown, who has been grilling mouthwatering Texas-style BBQ for more than 50 years.

The festival is taking place from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, at the intersection of South Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike.

Another big weekend event is the Arlington Relay for Life, which is being held Saturday and Sunday at Wakefield High School. Nearly 400 people on 45 teams will participate in the annual fundraiser.

So far, the event has raised more than $73,000 for the American Cancer Society.

For more weekend events, see our events calendar.

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Morning Notes

Flags In at Arlington National Cemetery — Service members from each branch of the armed forces placed decorative flags in front of Arlington National Cemetery’s quarter million graves yesterday. “Flags In” has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition at the cemetery since 1948. See more photos here.

Remembering Arlington’s Forgotten Baseball Phenom — He was considered one of the greats of his day, although he was never voted into Cooperstown. George Hartley McQuinn, born in 1910, was a six-time All-Star who spent 12 years playing professional ball. In his rookie season, McQuinn went on a 34-game hitting streak. Take that, Ryan Zimmerman. Plus, McQuinn was an Arlington resident who opened a sporting goods store in Clarendon after he retired from the game. He would have turned 100 on Saturday. Read more about him here.

School Board Member Has Breast Cancer — Arlington School Board Vice Chairman Libby Garvey announced last night that she had a lumpectomy on May 17. She was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this month, following a mammogram. Garvey will continue receiving follow-up treatments over the next several months and is expected to make a full recovery.

Photo courtesy Arlington National Cemetery.

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