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Autumn moon over Fairlington

‘Monica the Medium’ Renewed — The ABC Family series “Monica the Medium” will be back for a second season. The show stars Monica Ten-Kate, a 21-year-old college student with ties to Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood. The first season finale will air tonight. [Deadline Hollywood]

‘Most Interesting Man in Arlington’ Selected — According to a competition in Clarendon over the weekend, the “Most Interesting Man in Arlington” is an economist who has lived in Arlington for a year and a half and can turn the word “kumquat” into a description of a sex act. [DCist]

NAACP Honors Superintendent — The Arlington chapter of the NAACP has honored Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy with its Community Appreciation Award. Murphy “exemplifies what it means to be a leader in education,” the organization said. APS has seen gains in minority achievement under Murphy’s administration. [InsideNova]

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Chiefs v. Chefs logo (via AFAC)Three firefighters will see if they can handle the heat in the kitchen as they take on three local chefs in an annual cooking competition and fundraiser in Clarendon.

The Chiefs v. Chefs 4: Too Hot to Handle challenges chefs and firefighters to cook three courses using ingredients found in the Arlington Food Assistance Center’s pantry. The competition will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) on Oct. 28.

“Pick your favorite team and watch three of the area’s most scintillating chefs go toe-to-toe with three of Arlington’s hottest firehouse cooks in a three-course throw-down! This infamous on-stage battle is on fire as each team tries to impress our panel of judges and set their taste buds ablaze,” AFAC said in a press release.

This year, Chef Josu Zubikarai of SER Restaurant, Chef Tom Madrecki of Chez le Commis and Chef Jesus Guzman from the U.S. Navy will take on three different firefighters. The competitors will battle to impress judges Chef George Pagonis of Kapnos Taverna, Becky Krystal from the Washington Post and Scott Brodbeck of ARLnow.com to win the “Golden Eggplant.”

“This competition is going to be a challenge, but it’s nothing like the one faced every day by hundreds of Arlington residents. It’s on us to raise awareness and help AFAC continue to deliver positive results in our local community. As a chef, what better way to do that than to show the judges how you can transform commonplace ingredients into something interesting, complex and unique,” Madrecki said in a statement. “It’s going to be an uphill battle against the chiefs, but no matter the results, the real winner will be Arlington families who need greater access to nutritious food.”

Tickets for the competition start at $100, with a package of two tickets selling for $175. Proceeds will go to helping AFAC feed Arlington families.

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Morning Notes

Rosslyn on a summer evening (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

County Seeks Input for County Manager Search — Arlington County is seeking public input as it begins its search for a new county manager. “In the coming months, [executive recruiters] will be evaluating candidates for the position,” the county said in a press release. “They are seeking your input, suggestions, and comments on what will be important in the selection of a County Manager.” The county is conducting an online survey and holding a public meeting on July 20 to gather public input. [Arlington County]

Tejada Attends Trump Protest — Retiring Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada is getting a bit of national media attention after joining other local officials in a demonstration in front of Donald Trump’s under-construction hotel in D.C. The “Dump Trump” protest was held in response to the Republican presidential candidate’s inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants. [CBS News, MyFoxDC]

Bernie Sanders Speaks in Ballston — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders drew a “boisterous crowd” of nearly 500 supporters at a policy forum in Ballston last night. Sanders railed against the political influence of the “billionaire class” while calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage, expanded Social Security, guaranteed health care coverage and free public college tuition. [Washington Post]

Arlington College Student Gets Reality TV ShowMonica Ten-Kate, a 21-year-old Fairlington resident who is currently attending Penn State, has scored her own reality TV series — “Monica the Medium” — on ABC Family. Ten-Kate claims she can talk to the dead, and the “docuseries” will follow her as she balances classes and homework with her part-time profession of charging people money for “readings.” The show will premiere on Aug. 25. [Patch, ABC Family]

Signature to Launch Revamped Singing Competition — Signature Theatre in Shirlington will launch “Signature Voice,” a new singing competition, at its annual open house on Aug. 2. “The new ‘Signature Voice’ competition will replace the popular Signature Idol Competition held over the last five years,” according to a news report. “Held in Signature’s MAX Theatre, the competition will host a panel of three celebrity judges in search of the best undiscovered singers in the DC region.” [Broadway World]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Lavender (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Arlington Scores Lidl HQ — Arlington County will be the home of the new $77 million U.S. corporate headquarters of Lidl, a discount German grocery chain that’s seeking to expand in the United States. The headquarters is expected to create 500 new jobs in Arlington and will anchor the National Gateway office development near Potomac Yard. “Lidl chose Arlington for its U.S. corporate headquarters because of our commitment to diversifying our economy, a terrific workforce, regional transit connections and access to a major airport,” Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. [Arlington County]

Arlington Teen Advances in Singing Competition — Kenmore Middle School student Samantha Rios, who is competing on the Telemundo singing program “La Voz Kids,” has advanced to the semifinals and is now being coached by Reggaeton musician Daddy Yankee. [Washington Post]

Young Republicans Blast Anti-Gun-Store Tactics — Opponents of a gun store that’s trying to open in Cherrydale are urging their supporters to confront the owners of the store and the shopping center in which it’s opening in person. That has Republicans crying foul. “Having exhausted reasonable avenues, the anti-gunners encourage their flock to harass property owner,” said the Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans. [Twitter]

Immigration Center to Open in Crystal City — A planned immigration services center in Crystal City, which has been delayed due to legal wrangling over President Obama’s executive action deferring the deportation of certain illegal immigrants, is now reportedly set to open soon. Hundreds of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will be working out of the office building at 2200 Crystal Drive, processing immigration applications and petitions. [Breitbart]

Praise for ‘Alice’ Production — The Encore Stage and Studio production of “Alice in Wonderland” is garnering critical kudos for its star, Brandi Moore, a Harvard-bound Washington-Lee High School senior. The show wraps up its run this weekend at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre at 125 S. Old Glebe Road. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Morning Notes

Changing Colors (Flickr pool photo by Nathan Jones)

Decal Competition Underway — The annual competition for high school students to design the county’s new vehicle decal has begun. Entries for the 2015-2016 decal are accepted until December 1. [InsideNova, Arlington County]

DIY Network Casting Call — DIY Network is accepting applications from residents of the D.C. metro region for its show “I Want That.” It is not a renovation program, but rather focuses on the best and newest home and garden products. Homeowners within a 30 minute drive from downtown D.C. will be considered. [DIY Network]

Business Conference for Latina Entrepreneurs — The Shirlington Employment and Education Center will host a Latino Women’s Business Development Conference next Saturday, November 8. The goal is to find Latino women interested in starting their own businesses and connecting them with resources to succeed. The program primarily will be in Spanish. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Nathan Jones

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Morning Notes

Ginkgo leaves in north Arlington

Rosslyn Apartment Building to Sell for $220 Million — The JBG Cos. has reached a deal to sell its new Sedona Slate apartments in Rosslyn for $220 million. The company spent about $150 million to develop the two-building apartment project, which had a ribbon cutting ceremony in June. [Washington Business Journal]

APS Competition to Reduce Dropout Rate — Arlington Public Schools (APS) announced a competition for data analysts to help the school system prevent students from dropping out. Analysts will help APS identify trends and hopefully will find ways to flag students who could use more one-on-one time with counselors. Assistant Superintendent for Information Services Raj Adusumilli told ARLnow.com the winning team of analysts likely will be announced by the end of this winter. Although no firm date is in place for finishing the data analysis, the school system anticipates being able to use the gathered information by about February 2014 in order to help students make class choices for next year. [Washington PostArlington Public Schools]

Opera Singer Wins Talent Competition — Opera singer Garrick Jordan won first place in the second annual “Arlington’s Got Talent” competition. Jordan beat out six other competitors on Sunday (November 18) at Clarendon Ballroom. [Sun Gazette]

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Chie TamakiThis article was written by Maddy Berner

When Chie Tamaki walked into one of Virginia’s Toastmasters speech clubs four years ago, a member asked her if she was interested in speaking.

She wasn’t. At least not yet.

After moving from Japan to Arlington 13 years ago, Tamaki was shy and lacked English speaking skills. She was so timid that even after one year with Toastmasters, she remained quiet, unable to overcome the language barrier. Now, four years after joining, the Arlington resident is winning public speaking competitions.

Last month, Tamaki defeated 200 local participants to win the district level of the largest speaking competition in the world: the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. On Aug. 21, Tamaki will travel to Cincinnati for the semifinals, representing District 27 — D.C., Southwest Maryland and Northern Virginia. If she qualifies, Tamaki will be one of nine people participating in the finals two days later.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through various events and conferences. During the competition, participants’ 5-7-minute speeches are judged on content, organization, gesture and style.

Tamaki, who works as a translator and as a bilingual paralegal, said she joined the Toastmaster organization to learn English. But she quickly learned that the only way to come out of her shell and improve these skills was to participate in other speech contests. She had been to conferences before and wanted to be like the people she saw on stage, but her poor language skills hindered her.

“But I did step by step and I did my best,” she said. “Sometimes, I have to work harder.”

When she won the district-level competition, she only thought one thing: It’s a miracle.

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Morning Notes

Fourth of July celebration in Barcroft (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)

Beauty Pageant in Crystal City — The annual Miss United States beauty pageant is taking place at Synetic Theater in Crystal City today and tomorrow (Saturday). Single women between the ages of 20 and 29 come from 55 states and U.S. territories to compete in the pageant. [Miss United States]

Marymount Launching Baseball Program — Arlington’s Marymount University is launching a baseball program, with a team composed largely of freshmen from Northern Virginia high schools. The team will play at Bishop O’Connell High School’s baseball field. [Washington Post]

County Still Reviewing Streetcar Finance Options — Arlington County officials are still trying to decide on their preferred funding mechanism for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The streetcar could be built and in operation as early as 2017. [Sun Gazette]

Yelp Details ‘Yuppie’ Concentration in Clarendon — The business review site Yelp has published a map that shows the concentration of certain words in reviews. In the D.C. area, the word “yuppie” has the highest concentration in Clarendon. It also shows up to a lesser degree in Ballston, Courthouse and the Columbia Pike town center area. [Yelp]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

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Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting a “for teens, by teens” battle of the bands this weekend.

The show will features eight bands from high schools around the D.C. region, including two from Arlington: New Metro (Yorktown H.S.) and Challenger Deep (Washington-Lee H.S.). Each of the bands in the show writes and performs their own music.

The audience will decide who wins the Battle of the Bands showcase. The winner will receive 32 hours of professional recording time at 4Mile Studios in Arlington.

The show will be held at Artisphere’s Dome Theatre at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. Tickets are $5 and are available online.

The Battle of the Bands is being produced by four teen interns at Artisphere, including Yorktown students Burke Justice and Charlotte Raskovich.

“Artisphere’s Teens Work Experience is a month-long interactive internship for DMV area high school seniors,” Artisphere said in a press release. “The four participants in the program, mentored by Sasha Lord of Sasha Lord Presents, have learned through professional experiences and workshops various aspects of running a performing arts center with the main project being the curation and presentation of a Battle of the Bands.”

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Morning Notes

ACFD Vehicle Involved in Rollover Accident –An Arlington County Fire Department SUV was involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident on the Dulles Toll Road on Monday afternoon, the McLean Patch reported. No one was injured in the accident, fire department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl confirmed to ARLnow.com. No other details about the crash were immediately available.

Arlington’s Mongolian Community — Arlington is home to one of the country’s largest Mongolian communities. In fact, Mongolian is the fourth most common language in Arlington Public Schools. [Washington Post]

Miss Gay Arlington Crowned — “Stardust” won the title of Miss Gay Arlington 2012 over the weekend. The annual eventat Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City included a talent contest, an evening gown competition and a questions and answer session. [Sun Gazette]

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The Arlington Arts Center (3550 Wilson Blvd) is holding its annual “Critique the Critics Art Bash” on Saturday.

During the fundraiser, “culture critics” and other local notables will compete in a live art competition. They’ll make their pieces out of a variety of children’s toys and supplies, such as finger paints, Legos and pipe cleaners.

The list of competitors includes WJLA anchor Maureen Bunyan, D.C. City Paper Arts Editor Jonathan Fischer, Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur and Hanky Spanky from the D.C. Rollergirls.

The fundraiser’s attendees serve as judges for the event, and will vote for the winner. In addition to taking in contemporary art and listening to music, guests can participate in a silent auction while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.

The event will run from 8:00-11:00 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased online.

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