NAACP Slams APS Diversity Czar Process — “The Arlington school system’s effort to appoint a diversity czar has run into a buzzsaw of criticism from the county’s major civil-rights organization. The two co-chairs of the Arlington NAACP’s education committee took to the Dec. 5 School Board meeting to complain that the selection process was leaving out many of those the position is designed to support.” [InsideNova]
Snow Likely Overnight — “Temperatures are poised to leap to near 60 degrees Tuesday, and it won’t feel at all like it could snow. But, in a flash, that will change. An Arctic front charging to the East Coast will switch our weather from fall-like to winterlike in a matter of hours, setting the stage for possible wet snow overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]
Local Bus Routes on Chopping Block — Metro is considering cutting or restructuring a number of local bus routes as part of its new, proposed budget. Among the Arlington bus routes that could be cut are the 5A, 16G, 22A and 22C. [WTOP]
Wardian Attempts Elvis Record — “Local ultramarathoner Michael Wardian has unfortunately failed to re-capture the world record time for the fastest marathon run while dressed as Elvis.” [Canadian Running]
Letter: County Shouldn’t Rescue Fallen Phones — “I question whether retrieving personal property is really an appropriate use of Arlington County resources. It must have cost significantly more than the value of the phone to provide the personnel for the recovery effort. As an Arlington County taxpayer, I resent that.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Over a dozen Arlington firefighters descended on U.S. Air Force veteran Frank Price’s house in Hall’s Hill on Saturday afternoon.
They weren’t there to fight a fire — but to decorate. The firefighters hung lights and ornaments and trimmings with the help of Decorate A Vet, a non-profit that helps area veterans with decorations and light yard maintenance for the holidays.
The group has decorated veteran’s homes for the holidays for 10 years, according to event organizer and board member Moe Jafari.
Ballston Quarter will be hosting a festive, day-long “Holiday Kick Off” event this Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m..
Across all four levels of the mall, there will be family-friendly holiday activities — “from holiday movies, to crafts (for all ages), to photo ops, and of course a special appearance from Santa.”
Beginning on the lower level in Quarter Market and outside plaza, there will be a snowman ice sculpture and photo booth, along with face painting, glitter tattoos, and a hot chocolate bar from District Doughnut.
On level M1, there will be a “Ballston Quarter Gingerbread House” for take-home photo ops. In addition, children can write letters to Santa and leave it in the “Ballston Quarter mailbox for special delivery,” per the event website.
On M2, crafting opportunities include making holiday ornaments with local art studio Art House 7 along with special Ballston greeting cards.
Starting a 11 a.m., there will be a pajama party at the Regal Cinemas with a free movie screening of the animated Disney movie, The Polar Express, as well as train rides around the M3 level of the mall until 5 p.m. (Seats for the movie are reserved, so advanced tickets are required).
Continue Saturday’s festivities into the evening at Ballston Exchange (4201 Wilson Blvd), where the Ballston Business Improvement District has begun pop-up weekly holiday movie nights.
“Each movie will be held in our pop-up theater in Ballston Exchange, so bring your own chair, and blanket to complete your experience,” the BID said. “DIRT, Shake Shack, CAVA, We The Pizza, Philz Coffee will have food and drink specials prior to showtime for moviegoers. Guests will also enjoy free popcorn, candy, and drinks in the theater. For the adults in the family, Movie Night is BYOB!”
The movie schedule is:
- December 7: A Christmas Story (PG)
- December 14: The Polar Express (G)
- December 21: Elf (PG)
If fighting horrific traffic and crowds to see the National Christmas Tree Lighting tonight in D.C. isn’t your thing, there’s an Arlington alternative to consider.
The Village at Shirlington will be hosting its annual Light Up the Village event tonight, from 6-8:30 p.m. along Campbell Avenue.
The event will feature a tree lighting hosted by NBC 4’s Adam Tuss. Also on the agenda: “holiday musical performances by Signature Theatre and Bishop O’Connell High School, plus horse and carriage rides with a donation to Arlington Food Assistance Center, photos with Santa, merchant specials, and so much more.”
The schedule is as follows:
- 6 p.m. — Musical performance by Signature Theatre’s cast of Motown Christmas
- 6:30 p.m. — Tree lighting hosted by Adam Tuss
- 6:40 p.m. — Horse and carriage rides
- 7 p.m. Photos with Santa (located inside Hardwood Artisans)
The event will also necessitate a number of road closures and parking restrictions. From Arlington County Police:
The annual Light Up the Village at Shirlington is being held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 6:00 PM until 8:30 PM. Set up will begin at approximately 12:00 PM and cleanup should be completed by 9:00 PM.
The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways to all vehicular traffic to accommodate the event:
- Campbell Avenue, from the Harris Teeter to S. Randolph Street — closed beginning at 12 PM
- Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street — closed beginning at 4 PM
- S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind the businesses on the south side of Campbell Avenue — closed beginning at 4 PM
Additionally, vehicles will not be allowed to enter or exit the covered Harris Teeter parking structure onto Campbell Ave after 4 PM. Harris Teeter customers can access the parking garage via the alternate entrance behind the store.
Traffic is expected to be impacted in and around the immediate area. Motorists are advised to allot extra travel time and seek alternate routes to reduce road congestion. Attendees are encouraged to utilize multimodal and public transportation options to reduce vehicular congestion.
Street parking in the area will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.
Fire Behind Restaurant in Crystal City — Firefighters responded to a small blaze outside a restaurant in Crystal City last night around 7:30 p.m. The fire, reported to be under a deck behind Andalusia Hookah, Bar & Lounge (525 23rd Street S.), was quickly extinguished, but not before a large fire department response swarmed the scene. Some smoke damaged was reported. [Twitter]
Santa, Carolers at DCA — ” Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport [is] ready to celebrate the holiday season with a variety of performances, giveaways and surprises for passengers throughout the month of December.” [Press Release]
Christmas Tree Fire Safety — “It’s the holiday season in Arlington, which means it’s time to put up your own Christmas tree in the living room. However, be aware you are bringing a major risk into your home… The Arlington County Fire Department says they don’t encourage a live tree in the house, but if you do have a live tree, keep it really watered. Also, make sure to keep any sources of ignition at least three feet away.” [Patch]
Arlington Resident Makes 30 Under 30 List — Adam Richelieu, a 29-year-old Arlington resident who works as a salary cap manager for the NFL Players Association, has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Sports list for 2020. [Forbes]
Impeachment Banner on Arlington Overpass — “Spotted [Monday]: a banner saying ‘Impeach for our country’ on the George Mason Drive bridge over Route 50. County staff said signs of any kind placed on country property like this are not permitted and will be removed.” [Twitter]
Nearby: New Restaurant Near Fairlington — “The tables are set and the staff at El Saltado Restaurant and Carryout (3616 King Street) say it’s just about ready to open in the Bradlee Shopping Center. The restaurant is replacing the Hong Kong Bistro on the east side of the shopping center.” [ALXnow]
With the Thanksgiving holiday over, the Christmas season now begins. And for Arlington residents in search of a Christmas tree, there are a number of options around the county for finding the perfect pine.
The Optimist Club of Arlington began its annual sale Friday in Wells Fargo Bank lot along Lee Highway (2213 N. Glebe Road). All workers are volunteers from around Arlington, including members of youth athletic teams, high school honors societies, and Optimist Club members. The lot will be open every day until December 23, with the following hours:
- Monday through Thursday: 2-8 p.m.
- Friday: 12-8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Clarendon United Methodist Church, meanwhile, is selling trees and wreaths to support a variety of the church’s mission projects. The volunteer-run lot — at the intersection of 7th Street N. and N. Irving Street — will be open until December 21, or until supplies sell out. The schedule is:
- Sunday: 12-6 p.m.
- Monday through Friday: 6-8 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Arlington South Lions Club is hosting its annual Christmas tree sale at the corner of S. Four Mile Run Drive and Columbia Pike. The sale continues until December 22, or until the club run out of trees. The lot is open:
- Weekdays: 12-7 p.m.
- Weekends: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Knights of Columbus kicked off its 25th annual Christmas Tree Sale on Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Center near Crystal City, at the corner of 23rd Street S. and S. Hayes Street. The Knights are selling most trees for between $35-90, though some larger and more expensive trees are available. The lot hours are:
- Weekdays: 6-9 p.m.
- Weekends: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
“As usual, we feature fresh cut Fraser and Douglas Fir trees in varying sizes up to 9 feet,” the Knights said in a press release, noting the sale will end on Dec. 22 or when the supply of trees runs out. “We will also have wreaths in 3 sizes (10″, 16″, and 24″ measured from the inside wire), white pine roping available by the foot, and tree stands. Come early to get the best trees!”
Additional Christmas tree sales to check out include a fundraiser for Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road) and its boys and girls scout troops. The sale will be held this weekend, beginning on Friday, December 6 from 4-9 p.m.
At St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (400 Lorcom Lane), two hundred Christmas trees have been delivered, with sales continuing this weekend. On Saturday, the trees will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and then on Sunday the lot will be open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Peter Golkin
With Thanksgiving right around the corner and the winter holidays quickly approaching, a festive day-long event is coming to Rosslyn next week.
Hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID), Rosslyn Cheer will take place on Wednesday, December 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and then from 5-7:30 p.m, at the Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street)
During the lunchtime hours, there will be free hot chocolate, holiday cookies for sale, and a performance from an a cappella group.
Later in the evening at 5 p.m., the H-B Woodlawn Chamber Singers will be performing and a holiday food and drink bar will be offered.
Throughout the day, the BID will host its annual Rosslyn Holiday Clothing Drive, where they will be collecting warm hats, coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, and gloves. All items will go towards the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.
“Rosslyn Cheer is a time for the community to come together and kick off the holiday season, from the tree lighting in Central Place Plaza to the lighted buildings across our distinctive skyline,” said Rosslyn BID president, Mary-Claire Burick. “The highlight will be a performance from Rosslyn’s new school, H-B Woodlawn, who have brought their own light to the neighborhood since moving in this September.”
H-B Woodlawn, meanwhile, held a Thanksgiving parade along Wilson Blvd this morning.
— Shana Curtis, Ed.S. (@AP_Curtis) November 26, 2019
— H-B Woodlawn Library (@Hbwlibrary) November 26, 2019
The time-honored Arlington holiday tradition, Miracle on 23rd Street, returns this year on December 6 in Crystal City and is better than ever.
Last year more than 400 neighbors and families from across the area kicked off the holiday season with Miracle’s festive community tree lighting and pictures with Santa Claus. Plus, this year Melwood will be offering “Poinsettias with a Cause” grown by individuals of differing abilities for just $10 (supplied will be limited).
Melwood, one of the leading nonprofit employers of people of differing abilities and wounded veterans in the Greater Washington D.C. area, is pleased to host this event which has run for more than 50 years. This year we are also announcing a new partnership with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), so please bring canned food to donate at the event.
“Melwood is proud to keep the Miracle tradition alive and make it even better this year.” said Cari DeSantis, President and CEO of Melwood. “This is our neighborhood and we are excited to be a part of this vibrant community. This past year, we started abilIT on this campus, an innovative program to train individuals of differing abilities and injured veterans for high-demand IT jobs.”
The celebration begins with the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree and the much-anticipated arrival of Santa, escorted by Arlington’s Police and Fire Departments. Photo opportunities with Saint Nick, face painting, hot cocoa, cookies, virtual reality experience and sales of poinsettias grown by our individuals of differing abilities will all be part of the festivities.
For 55 years, Melwood has offered job placement, job training, life skills for independence and support services to nearly 2,600 people each year in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. To learn more about abilIT or apply to our program, see here.
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City will offer festive holiday activities to celebrate the coziest time of the year with friends, family and loved ones.
The hotel greets the upcoming season with spirited brunches, a special Sleigh Belles event with gingerbread decorating & cocktails for the ladies, delightful holiday teas and an engaging gingerbread workshop to create lasting memories.
- Thanksgiving Day Brunch — Thursday, November 28
- Holiday Tea — Starting Friday, November 29
- Gingerbread House Workshop — Sunday, December 8
- Sleigh Belles — Wednesday, December 11
- Christmas Day Brunch — Wednesday, December 25
Enjoy these one-of-a-kind offerings, and more, this holiday season!
Water Taxi Coming to Arlington? — The Potomac Riverboat Company, which operates a water taxi between the Wharf, Georgetown, Alexandria and National Harbor, is reportedly considering new commuter-oriented routes, includings a stop at the Pentagon. [ALXnow]
Dems Want to Boost State Affordable Housing Funds — “Virginia Democrats are salivating at what they might be able to achieve now that they’ve finally won unified control of state government, particularly when it comes to affordable housing… new money from the state could be ‘rocket fuel’ for efforts in Arlington if developers can pair that cash with existing funding.” [Washington Business Journal]
Pentagon City Mall to Host New Holiday Display — “Residents and visitors are invited to Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s inaugural Festival of the Trees! From November 23 through December 24, a variety of Christmas trees decorated by local nonprofits, including Arlington Food Assistance Center, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Doorways for Women and Families,” etc. [Fashion Centre at Pentagon City]
Zone 4 Leaf Collection Starts Today — Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection effort is continuing, with crews starting to roam “Zone 4” neighborhoods including East Falls Church, Arlington Forest and Arlington Ridge today. [Arlington County]
Congregation Returns After Redevelopment — “On Sunday, November 17, Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC) celebrated their homecoming. APC returned to their former site opening a new worship, office and multi-use space on the ground-floor of Gilliam Place, a 173-unit affordable housing community developed by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) along Columbia Pike.” [Press Release]
The Arlington County Police Department is kicking off its annual Fill the Cruiser holiday toy drive tonight.
ACPD is “asking community members to donate new, unwrapped toys to bring holiday cheer to children ages newborn-17,” the department said in a press release. “Donations will be distributed by the Police Department throughout the month of December.”
Three events are being held this week, starting tonight at Ballston Quarter mall. A fourth is planned on Black Friday — Nov. 29 — at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
More from ACPD (emphasis added):
Officers will collect toys at the following locations:
- Tuesday, November 19, 2019 from 5 to 7 p.m. — Ballston Quarter — 4238 Wilson Boulevard — A cruiser will be located on the sidewalk between Ted’s Bulletin and True Food Kitchen
- Wednesday, November 20, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. — Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church — 830 23rd Street S.
- Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. — Lee Harrison Shopping Center — 2425 N. Harrison Street
- Friday, November 29, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. — The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City — 1100 S. Hayes Street — A cruiser will be located in the food court next to the Christmas tree
Those wishing to donate toys, but unable to attend the Fill the Cruiser events can drop off donations at Police Headquarters, located at 1425 N. Courthouse Road, until Friday, December 13, 2019 at the 2nd Floor Administrative Support Unit Front Counter.