Construction at Shirlington Library — Construction is expected to begin this week on renovations to the Shirlington Branch Library, to bring the library into Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. Library administrators caution that “certain areas of the building may be closed for short periods, and noise may be unavoidable at times.” [Arlington Public Library]
Millennials Leaving D.C. for Cheaper Cities — “A new analysis by George Mason University researchers finds that… more people are leaving the region than arriving for the first time since the Great Recession. Millennial deserters — ages 20 to 29 — are one factor. But another big one is baby boomers leaving to begin retirement life elsewhere. Families and the unemployed are also going.” [Washington Post]
‘Anti-Muslim’ Group Holding Conference — Despite opposition, ACT for America — which describes itself as “a nonprofit national security organization” but which is described by critics as “the largest anti-Muslim organization in the U.S.” — kicked off its annual conference yesterday at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City. [Southern Poverty Law Center]
Yorktown Teacher Publishes Third Book — “Melanie McCabe, an English teacher at Yorktown High School and now three-time author, will debut her new work, His Other Life: Searching For My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams at the Arlington Central Library (1015 N Quincy St., Arlington) on Thursday, Oct. 5.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Region’s Dry Spell Continues — Today is expected to be the 20th straight day without measurable precipitation at Reagan National Airport. But it is still far from the region’s record of 34 straight rainless days in the fall of 2007. [Washington Post]
Photo courtesy Leslie Aun
‘Hate Group’ Holding Conference in Arlington — ACT for America, which describes itself as the “nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots national security organization” — but which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group — is holding its annual conference at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City next weekend. Marriott is refusing calls to cancel the event, saying: “We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space. Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual.” [Slate]
Private Middle School Opens in Arlington — A ribbon cutting was held earlier this week for the grand opening celebration of The Sycamore School, a new, private middle school in Arlington. “More than 80 percent of our inaugural students are coming from public school, which tells me that our community is aching for smaller class options and more individualized learning,” said the school’s founder. [InsideNova]
Another Arcing Insulator Outside of Rosslyn — A track issue caused problems yet again between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom Metro stations this morning. The initial call for a possible arcing insulator went out around 5 a.m. Normal service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines was restored around 7 a.m. [WJLA]
First Day of Fall — Grab your maple lattes, today is the autumnal equinox and the first day of astrological autumn. The equinox will happen just after 4 p.m. Eastern time. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
BlerDCon, an “exclusively inclusive” convention for geeks of all colors and backgrounds, arrives at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy) today.
BlerDCon strives to help people embrace their inner nerd across a variety of genres, including “anime, comic books, sci-fi, gaming or cosplay.” It’s taking place today through Sunday, July 2.
The weekend’s events will include panels, celebrity guests, presentations, workshops, gaming tournaments, cosplay contests and more.
The convention will be open 24 hours each day. Tickets start at $45 per person.
More from the BlerDCon website:
Despite the rapid growth of the nerd universe, however, conventions have failed to proportionately represent the expansive minority nerd audience. Fans of all backgrounds and cultures are embracing their inner nerd. This includes POC (Black, Asian, Latino, etc.), women, disabled, LGBTQ and many more types of nerds across the globe. This is where BlerDCon comes in.
For those who don’t know, “Blerd” is an acronym for Black nerd; this has become a phrase embraced by minority nerds of all backgrounds, no matter what their skin color. The word blerd has evolved to become a symbol of unity for all nerds; BlerDCon is a team of lifetime geeks that has rallied around this concept to create a con for all.
BlerDCon says it anticipates between 3,000-4,000 attendees.
Key Bridge Marriott Lease Sold — The ground lease for the 57-year-old Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn has been sold to a luxury hotel and resort operator, leading to speculation that the hotel — Marriott’s longest continuously-operating property — may soon be replaced. [WTOP]
Sales Tax Receipts Nudge Up — Arlington received $39.68 million in sales tax disbursements from the state this year, up 0.2 percent compared to the year prior, pointing to an ever-so-slight increase in retail sales in the county despite some challenges dragging that figure down. [InsideNova]
Arlington to Host Community Conference — Arlington County is hosting the 17th annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Hundreds of neighborhood leaders, community activists and government agencies are expected to attend. [Arlington County]
Local Yoga Studio Featured on National TV — Spark Yoga, an aerial yoga studio on N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park, was featured in a segment on business news channel CNBC with reporter Diana Olick. [CNBC]
Bikes With Roofs — Is the hot summer sun beating down on you during your bike commute? If so, perhaps you can follow the lead of these two local cyclists and attach a canopy to your bike. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
View from Central Place — An ABC 7 reporter visited one of the top floors of the still under-construction Central Place residential tower in Rosslyn. The residential building is slated to open in 2017 while a twin office tower next door is set for 2018. [Twitter]
Wine in the Waterpark Extended — Crystal City is extending its popular Friday night Wine in the Waterpark events through July. The event offers beer, wine and music in an outdoor setting. [Crystal City]
‘Women in Secularism’ Conference — A Crystal City hotel will be hosting the fourth “Women in Secularism” conference in September. The conference “brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a ‘woman in secularism’ — not just in theory, but in practice.” [Women in Secularism]
Photo by Jackie Friedman
County Creates Veterans Committee — Arlington County is creating a Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, to “identify, prioritize and implement programs and initiatives to recognize and support our active duty military population, our veterans, and their families.” The committee will also serve as the county’s liaison to the Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemoration. [Arlington County]
Pot Legalization Advocates Meeting in Arlington — The 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference is being held in Crystal City today through Saturday. The group holding the conference is planning to lobby Congress for laws that would make it easier for states to legalize marijuana and decrease penalties for non-violent drug offenders. [Associated Press, Drugpolicy.org]
Arlington Startup Gets $2 Million Investment — Arlington-based cybersecurity startup TruStar Technology has raised $2 million in seed round funding, led by Silicon Valley-based investors. [Washington Business Journal]
Weather Gang, Topper Predict Less Snow — Contrary to NBC4’s Doug Kammerer, who predicted a snowier-than-average winter, the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang and WUSA9’s Topper Shutt both are predicting less snow than usual and warmer than usual temperatures. [Washington Post]
A TedX event in Arlington this fall will feature nine speakers, including a transgender teen, an 11-year-old YouTube vlogger and the founder of a local nonprofit.
TedXArlington is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street), and tickets are $75. The theme of this year’s conference is “Connectedness.”
“Connectedness means building community through connections and networks. At TEDxArlington, we will explore connectedness from different layered perspectives including family, neighbors, community — even strangers — and from the lens of science, nature, art, technology, culture, history, athletics, work and more,” according to the TedXArlington website.
Each speaker will give a talk or presentation about different topics that all have to do with connectedness.
- Norton Beckerman — The author of “A User’s Guide to a Healthy Brain,” Beckerman will give a talk about cognition and tell the story of how he bounced back from a loss of cognitive function.
- Kristina Dorville — Dorville, the chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Education and Awareness branch, will discuss cybersecurity and cyber safety.
- Patricia Funegra — Funegra, the founder of non-profit La Cocina, will talk about creating jobs for minority communities through food.
- Adryann Glenn — Glenn will discuss how he turned his life around after serving three years in jail.
- Lisa Nisenson — Nisenson will look at how transportation connects people.
- Evie Priestman — Priestman will talk about his journey from female to male and the support he received.
- Carolyn Rickard-Brideau — Rickard-Brideau will share how buildings are connected and impact daily physical and mental health.
- Elizabeth Tippens — Tippens will show how she uses her YouTube channel to connect kids and local Arlington businesses.
- John Wanda — Wanda will speak about the Arlington Academy of Hope, which helps children in rural Uganda.
TEDxArlington is planned for Oct. 3, organized by a of Arlington residents hoping to think about connectedness “in broad terms.” That could mean how people are connected to or by “technology, science, nature, art, music, athletics, vocation, passion” or with “our families, neighbors, schools, community, strangers, country, world,” event organizer Laura Novak said in an email.
“We are seeking unique stories, ideas and concepts with some connection to Arlington,” Novak said. “Speakers need not be recognized experts, but rather people who can inspire with their passion, their story and their ideas .. The goal is a unique group of people with a wide, thought-provoking set of ideas.”
Novak and co-organizer Joey Skoloda are accepting nominations for speakers until May 1. Nominees do not have to be polished public speakers, Novak said, just passionate about their topics. Coaches will be provided to help the chosen speakers refine their presentations.
There is not yet a location or time set for the event, although Novak said it could be at Rosslyn’s Spectrum Theatre. TEDx is an offshoot of the popular TEDtalks, which allows communities to organize their own events for sharing ideas about a central theme. TEDxArlington follows the 2013 TEDxRosslyn conference with the theme of “Imagining the Future.”
The theme of “Connectedness” is intended to bring people together to have an honest conversation about the community, Novak said.
“The reason for it is to promote a conversation that is unbiased, nonpolitical about not just the things that are happening in Arlington, but the things that can bring us together,” she said. “I wouldn’t say that we’re divided, but I think there’s a lot of conversation going on. TED and TEDx are just great forums and formats for beginning a conversation and doing it in such a way that’s open and honest.”