The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles opened online voting today for a license plate design contest intended to help combat distracted driving.
Voters in the Take Action Against Distraction contest have a choice between eight license plate designs created by Virginia high school students. Each license plate aims to raise awareness about distracted driving, whether it be by texting or drivers failing to keep their eyes on the road.
In 2016, distracted driving caused thousands of crashes and claimed 175 lives in Virginia, according to one report.
Voting will be open through March 20, and the winner will be awarded $1,000, courtesy of AAA Mid-Atlantic, the contest’s co-sponsor. Users can vote once every 24 hours.
“We’re so proud of the winners and their excellent license plate designs,” said Martha Meade, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, in a press release. “AAA Mid-Atlantic is proud to partner with DMV for this effort to bring distracted driving issues to the forefront.”
Murder of Crows Pooping All Over Shirlington — A large contingent of crows have taken up residence in Shirlington, and locals are getting fed up with cars and sidewalks being covered in bird doo-doo. [WTOP, NBC Washington]
Design Contest for 2019 ‘I Voted’ Sticker — “In an effort to gin up voter enthusiasm during what is expected to be a slow 2019, Arlington election officials… plan to hold a competition to design a logo for next year’s election.” [InsideNova]
Arlington No. 3 on ‘Best Counties’ List — A new list of “best counties” in the U.S. ranks Falls Church — a city — No. 1 while Arlington is No. 3 and Fairfax is No. 6. The list was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street. [WTOP]
Mitten Given the Boot By Grand Rapids — The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan is restarting its search for a new city manager after an outcry from residents and interest groups. Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten was among the three finalists for the job to speak at a community forum, prior to the city announcing the restart. [Fox 17, MLive]
Police Recruiting for Student Safety Patrol Camp — “The Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officer Unit is currently accepting applications to the Summer Safety Patrol Camp. This weeklong camp is offered to incoming 4th and 5th grade students who want to participate in safety patrols during the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.” [Arlington County]
More on Market Common Redevelopment Approval — The redevelopment of a portion of Market Common Clarendon will widen a narrow sidewalk that was the source of resident complaints, among other community benefits. Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey hopes the project can help “bring a little funkiness back into Clarendon.” [Arlington Connection]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Arlington County’s 2018-2019 vehicle decals will have a drawing of its skyline behind blossoming cherry trees.
At the Arlington County Board’s meeting Tuesday (January 30), Treasurer Carla de la Pava announced that Schuyler Workmaster, a junior at Bishop O’Connell High School, won first place in the annual design competition over three other finalists.
Workmaster, in her third year as a finalist, said she chose to draw the design as she was inspired by the county’s mix of urban and natural settings.
“I chose to do this because it shows both the urban and nature aspect of Arlington,” she said at the meeting before her win was announced. “It just comes together in both pieces, and works together to create beauty. I think it represents Arlington because it’s very diverse, but it comes together to form something beautiful.”
Workmaster’s work was chosen among design finalists from three fellow student competitors: last year’s winner Amy Kohan, a junior at Wakefield High School; Washington-Lee junior Tom Bolles; and Yorktown High School junior Maddy Heinemann. Workmaster will receive a $750 cash prize from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union and her design will be displayed on approximately 160,000 vehicles starting later this year.
A record 3,619 votes were cast in the competition, a figure de la Pava said is up 11 percent from last year. She said the interest in voting in the contest is huge across the county.
“The part that really tickles me is that it comes from all areas of Arlington,” de la Pava said. “All the nooks and crannies except for [Arlington National Cemetery]… it really represents how widespread the interest is in voting for this decal.”
Students are instructed to produce a design that represents Arlington. This year’s competition was widened to include anything that they felt represented World War I and the county’s participation in the war.
Arlington Chamber Seeking State Help — Possibly in response to the push for housing conservation districts, “the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is asking the General Assembly to ‘serve as a backstop and a safeguard’ against overreach by localities on planning and zoning matters.” [InsideNova]
Reminder: SmarTrip Change Next Week — As of Monday, Metro riders will no longer be able to run a negative balance on their SmarTrip cards. [WMATA]
‘Meet the Chair’ Scheduled — Arlington residents will be able to meet newly-minted Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol on the evening of Jan. 18, when the Leadership Center for Excellence holds its annual Meet the Chair event. [Leadership Center for Excellence]
SoberRide New Year’s Record — A record 1,225 people used the free safe ride service SoberRide on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Thanks to its new partnership with Lyft, SoberRide’s organizer says it “has removed well more than two times as many would-be drunk drivers from Greater Washington’s roadways as compared with the previous year.” [PDF]
District Taco Continues to Expand — Five Guys may be given a run for its money as the most successful Arlington-born restaurant chain. District Taco is now opening a location in the Center City section of Philadelphia. [Eater]
Snow Shovel Contest Winner — “This is Susan. She won our snow shovel, writing that her favorite phase of snow treatment/removal is Phase 1. Brine makes her giddy. Susan’s old shovel is from Nebraska and cracking. Way to go, Susan.” [Twitter]
Photo courtesy @BoccatoGelatos
More on Axios Staying in Arlington — Media startup Axios, which just inked a 10 year lease in Clarendon, is getting a $60,000 performance-based “Gazelle Grant” from Arlington County. It is the fourth company to receive the economic development grant, joining Stardog, VideoBlocks and Phone2Action. “Axios is an excellent example of a Gazelle tech company here in Arlington — fast-growing and a leader in Arlington’s robust media industry,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “Axios’ decision to remain here in Arlington as it grows and expands is the true purpose behind the Gazelle incentive program and demonstrates how Arlington’s assets are truly paying off. We are thrilled to continue to work with Axios as a partner in our business community.”
County Giving Away Free Snow Shovel — Updated at 11 a.m. — As part of a social media promotion, the Arlington County Dept. of Environment Services is giving away a free snow shovel, courtesy of Twins Ace Hardware in Courthouse, to one lucky winner who “describe[s] to us [on Twitter] or on DES Facebook your favorite phase of Arlington snow treatment and why.” [Twitter]
Public Invited to Gutshall Swearing-In — “The public is invited to join the Arlington County Board on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 for the swearing-in of Board Member-elect Erik Gutshall… The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m., and will be followed by a reception outside the Board Room, Room 307 in the County Office Building, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA, 22201.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
‘Great Chocolate Race’ Cancelled — “The Great Chocolate Race, originally scheduled to take place in Rosslyn on Saturday, December 9, 2017, has been canceled due to circumstances outside the control of Arlington County and its Police Department. Runners who signed up to participate are advised not to respond to the area as planned.” [Arlington County]
Tax Bill Could Boost N. Va. Over D.C. — The GOP tax bill currently making its way through Congress could make Arlington and Northern Virginia a significantly more attractive a place to live for higher-income residents, tax-wise, than D.C. That is due to the proposed elimination of state and local tax deductions. [D.C. Policy Center]
Decal Design Finalists Revealed — Four finalists have been chosen in the Arlington County treasurer’s annual vehicle decal design contest for high school students. The potential designs for the 2018-2019 decal include ball players atop a goalpost, a depiction of Arlington’s skyline with blossoming cherry trees in the foreground, a ferris wheel from the county fair and the Cherrydale War Memorial. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Courthouse will host a doughnut and beignet eating contest Sunday to coincide with the NFL game between the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints.
Nine participants will compete at halftime of the game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. on November 19, in the “Beignet and Brown-Butter Doughnut Eating Contest.”
Bayou chef and New Orleans native David Guas will be putting on the competition alongside District Doughnut chef Christine Schaefer.
Competitors will be asked to take on 10 beignets — a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry — and 10 doughnuts each, and the one to get through all 20 the quickest will win $150 cash.
Anyone wishing to compete should arrive by 12:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the contest is free. Bayou Bakery is located at 1515 N. Courthouse Road.
More from a press release, after the jump.
Arlington County high school students can now submit designs for the county’s 14th annual Decal Design Competition.
The winning design will appear on the 2018-19 decal that will be displayed on more than 160,000 vehicles registered in Arlington.
Wakefield High School sophomore Amy Kohan won the 2017-18 competition earlier this year with an image of the David M. Brown Planetarium next to Washington-Lee High School. Kohan’s effort, entitled “Arlington Sees Stars,” was one of a record 235 designs submitted.
Entrants are asked to submit designs that represent “the vibrant community that is Arlington,” according to an announcement from the Arlington Treasurer’s Office. The top four finalists will be selected by a panel of citizens.
The four finalists’ designs will be displayed at the main branch of the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (4121 Wilson Blvd) in December and January. The finalists will present their designs to the Arlington County Board and a winner will be announced at a Board meeting in early 2018.
“The competition gives students the opportunity to utilize their design skills in a real-world application, as well as participate in the workings of their local government,” the announcement reads. “The winner and runners-up will have a unique accomplishment to highlight on their resumés and college applications.”
Oppleo Security, a cybersecurity company from Montana, won the first Startup Arlington competition.
This year’s competition is nearly identical to the first, said AED spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell. Companies that apply by Jan. 31 stand to win three months of lodging at WhyHotel/The Bartlet and incubator space at 1776 “with access to expert mentorship and a powerful network to help the company grow,” according to the competition’s website. The winning company will also receive a $25,000 investment from Kiddar Capital.
Each applicant chosen as a finalist will be required to submit a 90-second video that demonstrates why their company should be chosen by a panel of judges and members of the voting public. Voting takes place between Feb. 21 and Feb. 28, according to the county.
But there’s a catch: Applicants can’t be residents of D.C.; Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun or Arlington counties in Virginia; or Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland, according to Startup Arlington’s rules.
“We’re hopeful for a wide pool of applicants,” O’Donnell said. “We launched the competition at this year’s CES to reach a large audience.”
The four finalists have been chosen for Arlington’s 13th annual Vehicle Decal Design Competition.
The contest, organized by the county Treasurer’s Office, received 235 submissions from Arlington high school students this year. It was narrowed down to the finalists, above, by a panel of local residents.
Arlington County residents can now vote (once) for their favorite through Monday, Jan. 16. Voting is taking place online and via mail.
The winner will be announced at a County Board meeting on Jan. 31, according to the Treasurer’s Office, and that design will then grace the windshields of 160,000 windshields from 2017-2018.
The winner will also get $750, while the runners-up gets $500 from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union.
Thanksgiving Travel in D.C. Area — More than 1 million D.C. area residents are expected to leave town for Thanksgiving, and 9 out of 10 of them will be traveling by car. The worst day and time for traffic in the region is expected to be next Tuesday afternoon. [Washington Post]
Arlingtonians Spend Big for the Holidays — The average Arlington household is expected to spend $1,741 celebrating the holidays, according to a new survey. That’s the highest expected holiday spending in the region and the 13th highest in the U.S. [InsideNova]
GMU Renames Building in Arlington — George Mason University’s Metropolitan Building in Virginia Square has been renamed for one of the school’s Nobel Prize laureates. The building will be renamed Vernon Smith Hall in a ceremony tomorrow (Friday). The university-owned building, at 3434 Washington Blvd, also houses the new Virginia DMV office. [George Mason University]
Beer Coming to Donut Shop — It’s a combination that would make Homer Simpson drool. Sugar Shack Donuts on Columbia Pike has applied for a Virginia ABC permit to serve beer. The application was filed Nov. 7. No word yet on how soon the store may be offering cold brews to pair with its donuts.
Good Stuff Eatery Opening at DCA — Burger restaurant Good Stuff Eatery is opening a new location today in Arlington: specifically, at Terminal B of Reagan National Airport. [Good Stuff Eatery]
Students Win Video Contest — “A team of students from the Arlington Career Center has won the fifth annual student video challenge sponsored by the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA), taking home the top prize for the fourth year in a row.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Lisa will get professional teeth whitening for two from VCO, a more than $800 value, while Sarah, as runner-up, will get teeth whitening for one.
Lisa received 332 votes for her humorous story of getting orthodontic headgear installed just before a televised holiday sing-along by her school choir. Needless to say, it was a very lispy “Crethmath.”
Sarah, meanwhile, received 107 votes for having to go dumpster diving for her retainer after leaving it on her lunch tray in fifth grade. She found it and actually wore it again, which frankly sounds worse than Lisa’s experience, but — ARLnow readers have spoken and she’s No. 2.
Our thanks to VCO and Dr. Crissy Markova, DMD, for sponsoring this fun contest. If you or your kids are in need of orthodontic help and want state-of-the-art care in a modern, comfortable and environmentally-conscious setting, VCO is the place for you.
Arlington Featured on MTP — Arlington County was featured in a Meet the Press segment on Sunday, comparing the level of support for Hillary Clinton here to support for Donald Trump in a rural Ohio county. The show interviewed residents in the Clarendon area. [NBC News]
Surge in Registration, Absentee Voting — Officials are anticipating about 43,000 absentee ballots in Arlington this year, up 50 percent compared to the last presidential election in 2012. Throughout the region and the state, absentee voting is on the rise, which is generally good news for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, a surge in last-minute voter registrations yesterday and a statewide software slowdown has the county advising that it could take several days to process all of the applications. [Washington Post, WTOP, WTOP]
Vehicle Decal Design Contest Starts — The Treasurer’s Office Decal Design Competition is back for another year. Local high school students will compete to design the next Arlington County vehicle decal, which will appear on some 160,000 vehicles in the county. The submission deadline is Nov. 28. [Arlington County]
Pike Recycling Center May Move — Next month the Arlington County Board is expected to consider whether to relocate the recycling facility at the corner of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive to the Arlington Trades Center in Shirlington. County officials want to lower the level of illegal dumping that’s currently taking place. [InsideNova]
Historic Designation for Ballston Cemetery? — On Wednesday night Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board will discuss the merits of a proposed local historic district designation for the Ball cemetery in Ballston. The cemetery is currently slated to be relocated to make way for the redevelopment of a church. [Preservation Arlington]
Last Day at Fuego Cocina — Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Clarendon served its final meals and margaritas Sunday. “We’re turning the light off now. Farewell,” the restaurant said via Twitter. [Twitter, Twitter]
Last month we asked our readers to tell us your most embarrassing orthodontics story.
You responded and… yowza… there were some really embarrassing and weird stories. We’ve whittled the submissions down to four cringe-worthy finalists and now it’s up to readers to vote for your favorite.
The winner will receive professional teeth whitening sessions for two from Rosslyn-based VCO Orthodontics. The runner-up will get a professional teeth whitening session for one.
These stories may be ugly but there is good news: if you or your kids need orthodontic treatment, the modern ortho techniques employed by VCO’s Harvard-educated founder, Dr. Crissy Markova, make for a much better experience than you might have gotten back in the day.
Here are the finalists:
The scene: middle school in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid 1970s.
The facts: I will admit that I didn’t wear my headpiece at night like I was supposed to. I was warned but didn’t believe the ortho. He said he would wire it in if I didn’t wear it.
The other fact: our choir was invited to sing on the local TV station, and I had a solo.
Next ortho appt: the ortho wired in my headpiece. I begged him not to. The next day I was in the TV studio in SF singing. With a big lisp. ” I THAW three THIPS come THAILING in on CRETHMATH DAY…..” Yep, lovely.
Once a few years ago I had an accident that required the repair of two broken teeth. While the operation itself, shots of novocaine and all was 100% successful, it was made most unpleasant when the saliva suction tube fell out while I was waiting for the orthodontist and the technician stepped away for a few minutes. I realized it had fallen out after my mouth started swelling up with spit, and I couldn’t swallow it because it built up too quickly that I was worried I would choke. All I could do was sit there and be frustrated that I had to essentially spill like a cup of my own spit onto the floor. Turns out those suction tubes are super important if removed for 5 minutes!
Back in fifth grade after I had my braces taken off I was given a retainer to wear. It was pizza day for lunch and I discretely took my retainer out, wrapped it in a napkin, and put it on my lunch tray. When I got home from school my mom asked where my retainer was and I realized I had thrown it away with my lunch tray. We hopped in the car, drove to the school, and I got in the dumpster to pull out the lunch trash bags. We sifted through a few bags, and found my retainer! She soaked and cleaned it and I went back to wearing it the next day.
Well my experience was terrible in the 80s and continues to haunt me. I had an appliance that was supposed to bring my lower jaw forward and it puffed my cheeks like a chipmunk. During my first week of middle school (living in Florida and I am female), someone asked me if I was chewing tobacco. I am now 48. A year ago, I was diagnosed with “short roots” attributed to the fast track method of orthodontia implemented in my early teens. Because of this, I now need to wear a retainer nightly so I don’t lose my front two bottom teeth.
So which embarrassing story has your vote?
Voting closes next week on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Good luck to the entrants!
Readers will vote on their favorite story (don’t worry, we won’t use your last name if you don’t want us to) and you could win professional tooth whitening sessions from VCO — perfect for anyone who has a special occasion coming up or who just wants to get rid of some stubborn coffee stains.
Send the short version of the story to us at [email protected], with a relevant photo if one is available. The new deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 4.
See more details on the contest here.