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Morning Notes

Fundraiser for Former Restaurant Employee — “My name is Dante. I’m the general manager at the Green Pig Bistro in Arlington. Recently we had a tragedy in our green pig family. One of our former employees, Myra died in child birth. Her husband, Rolando, is also a former employee. We are… [raising] money to help this single father out.” [GoFundMe]

First for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — “A historic first happened at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Friday. The Tomb at Arlington National Cemetery has been guarded continuously for the past 84 years… On October 1, for the first time ever, there was an all-woman shift change.” [WUSA 9]

Designers Weigh in on New County Logo — “I think if you think of it as a logo, it has some pretty obvious shortcomings in that it doesn’t say much about Arlington except as part of the larger region. It’s more of a reasonable mark for the DMV than it is for Arlington itself. It would be nice if they could’ve had something about Arlington to feature there. On the other hand, Arlington being part of the DMV might be what’s most interesting about it.” [Washingtonian]

Rent Keeps Rising in Arlington — “Median apartment-rental rates across Arlington continue their post-COVID rebound and are the highest in the Washington region, but the rate of growth over the past month was slightly below the national average. With a median cost of $2,061 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,495 for a two-bedroom unit, the median price for Arlington rentals over the preceding month was up 1.9 percent.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Jobless Rate Dropping — “Arlington’s jobless rate in August dropped to 3 percent, according to new data, as the county and region continue to wriggle free of the economic grip of COVID… The August data… showed 145,095 Arlington residents employed in the civilian workforce and 4,549 looking for jobs. The resulting 3-percent rate was down from 3.4 percent in July, and a healthy drop from the 5.2-percent rate recorded in August 2020.” [Sun Gazette]

Seeking Police Oversight Board Members — “The Arlington County Board is now seeking applications from residents interested in serving as part of the County’s new Community Oversight Board (COB) that will have independent oversight and help to increase transparency and collaboration with the Arlington County Police Department. This volunteer COB will work directly with an accompanying Independent Policing Auditor, who will be hired at a later date.” [Arlington County]

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Morning Notes

County Mulls Immigration Policies — “The Arlington County Board unveiled a draft framework for a Commitment to Strengthening Trust with Our Immigrant Community… ‘We are sharing an updated framework and seeking community engagement on policies on the next steps on access to public services, protecting resident’s information, and making sure Arlington County resources are not used to facilitate enforcement of federal immigration laws, which are the sole responsibility of the Federal government.'” [Arlington County]

Mixed Reaction to New County Logo — “For the Arlingtonians packed into outdoor restaurant seating on a warm night in Shirlington over the weekend, reaction to the new logo was mixed. ‘That’s what that is? That’s the river between Arlington and D.C.? I’m completely underwhelmed,’ said Lisa Peterson… But a few blocks away, Kaleb Tecleab, a 49-year-old security engineer, said he appreciated an ‘inclusive’ design that hinted at a greater sense of regionalism.” [Washington Post]

Local Teen Earns Prestigious Scholarship — “Adie Selassie of Arlington, a senior at Sidwell Friends School, was the only Virginian to be named a 2021 Calvin Coolidge Presidential Scholar. The program, overseen by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, is a merit-based competition that provides full tuition, room, board, books and expenses for four years at a college of the student’s choice.” [Sun Gazette]

Crystal City Eatery Wins Award — From the National Landing Business Improvement District: “We are so lucky to have [Peruvian Brothers] as a part of our National Landing community! Congrats on the RAMMY! Well deserved!” [Twitter]

Grumbles About Slow Library Reopening — “On Saturday, the board of Friends of the Arlington Public Library blasted the county government to its very face (electronically-speaking) at the County Board meeting. In no uncertain terms, the organization (not generally known as a group of bomb-throwers) blasted the county government for multiple failures in setting the stage for an expeditious, safe reopening.” [Sun Gazette]

Nearby: Police Warn of Overdose Danger — “Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Chief Kevin Davis on Tuesday said six people overdosed in the predawn hours in [the Skyline area], and warned that a potentially fatal batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl might still be circulating in the area. All six victims, who ranged in age from 23 to 35, survived, although one victim is still ‘clinging to life’ in a hospital, Davis said. Three others remain hospitalized. They were found at a residence in the 5500 block of Seminary Road, near South George Mason Drive, a little after 3 a.m.” [WTOP]

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Arlington County officially has a new logo.

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously at its Saturday meeting to approve the logo favored by county staff, concluding a nearly nine-month-long process to replace the previous logo, which depicted Arlington House, the former home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

More from a county press release:

In an effort to find a new symbol that represents Arlington’s values and assets as a community, the County Board voted 5-0 to adopt a new logo. The final choice, which represents Arlington’s close relationship with DC and Alexandria and echoes how Arlington was formed from the original Capital borders, comes after a months-long community engagement process in which residents were encouraged to submit ideas and then submit their preferences on top options that aligned with the County’s guidelines. More than 16,000 Arlingtonians shared their top choices in the most recent round of public engagement. 

Last year, the County Board approved a process to replace the County logo and seal, which depicted Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. For many residents, the home of the Confederate general is a painful representation of the slavery that took place in our region. Community members submitted hundreds of ideas for Arlington County’s new logo during two rounds of submissions earlier this year, which was then evaluated by a Logo Review Panel and further enhanced by a professional design firm to find images that best depicted the unique assets and values of the County and presented for public input.

More than 400 logo designs were submitted by members of the public, the county said.

The new logo appears to be a variation on a more minimalist design submitted by a National Geographic documentary producer.

Putting aside whether you would have preferred the original design — or the previous county logo — to the modified design that ultimately was selected to adorn everything from county flags to vehicles to stationery, what do you think of the new logo?

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The four final logo design recommendations are in, meaning the process of picking a new logo to adorn county flags, vehicles and stationery is nearly over.

This Saturday, the County Board is slated to choose a logo that will replace the current logo and seal, depicting Arlington House, the plantation house of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at what is now Arlington National Cemetery.

In the summer of 2020, the Arlington branch of the NAACP called on the county to ditch the “divisive and racist” logo, given its connection to slavery, and in December 2020 the County Board voted to kick off a process for choosing a new one.

This spring, the panel winnowed more than 250 submissions down to five that elicited some strong, negative feedback. Hearing the dissatisfaction, the County Board asked the panel to try again while allowing more time for people to submit potential logos for consideration.

The four going before the County Board this weekend include the top two from the second round of submissions as well as two from the first batch. In the second voting round, folks consistently voted for blue logos depicting the county’s geography and bridges, a departure from the colorful logos centering the county name (and possibly featuring abstract bridges).

But the logo that got the most community votes is not the Logo Review Panel’s first choice. Here’s how 16,082 survey respondents ranked their top three choices from the second round of voting:

The top five vote-getting logo designs (via Arlington County)

It turns out that bridges, although a common motif, caused some controversy.

The third logo, which depicts the Key Bridge, was nixed because “it came to the attention of the logo panel late in the process that Francis Scott Key was a slaveowner,” a county report said.

The county report did not say why the Logo Review Panel switched the first- and second-ranked logos — favoring a two-color design that abstractly depicts the geography of Arlington, D.C. and the Potomac River — but it did explain why the panel decided to keep the more generic bridge.

The panel determined the other bridge “was not based on a specific bridge, and was meant to signify ‘connection, and the open arch welcomes the future and encourages diversity and opportunity,'” the county report said.

References to the Key Bridge came to the fore during the second round of voting in part because local designers were asked to avoid federal monuments and state symbols, as the panel decided they did not represent what makes Arlington distinct.

Those who wish to speak at Saturday’s meeting about the logo choices can register to do so. Once the County Board chooses a design, it will consider a timeline for phasing out the current logo and seal. That will happen in stages as time and maintenance schedules allow.

“The new County logo will be introduced in all electronic media as quickly as time permits,” the report said. “Replacement of the logo on all vehicles, signs, and other materials will take place as materials are replaced over the coming years… Replacements of logos that appear on free standing signs and entrances to our buildings will be done within current building maintenance budgets over the course of time.”

So far, the costs for consultants, trademark-related fees and outreach during this process total $50,000, the county staff report said.

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Arlington County logo on basketball court in Waverly Hills

After its first set of finalists to replace the current county logo fizzled, Arlington officials went back to the drawing board and asked for more design submissions.

Now the county is seeking feedback on 10 proposed logo designs, eight of which are new and two of which are holdovers from the first iteration of the process.

Arlington is asking locals to vote for up to three logos as part of its feedback process, but we wanted to get a sense of which of the designs ARLnow readers like the best. Weigh in on your favorite below.

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Arlington County has reopened community voting on a new logo, and this round features eight new designs.

Voters can choose their top three from the expanded list of 10, which includes two finalists from the first round of voting. A Logo Review Panel tasked with soliciting and vetting submissions, refining a handful of designs and recommending one final look to the County Board will use voting results to make their final recommendation this September.

This is the second chance that community members have to vote on a design that would be emblazoned on everything from documents to vehicles to County Board members’ pins.

The first voting period this spring elicited some strong, negative feedback about the top designs. After hearing of the dissatisfaction, County Board asked the group tasked with refining designs and making recommendations to try again.

“I do like the idea of looking at a few additional logos,” Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said at the time. “Providing this one additional short opportunity might give us broader ownership of this decision.”

In June, the county called for new submissions. Notably, the Logo Review Panel asked aspiring logo designers to avoid referencing Arlington’s well-known monuments — such as the Air Force Memorial, Netherlands Carillon, Tomb of Unknown Soldier, and the Pentagon — or state symbols like the dogwood flower and “Virginia is for Lovers” icon.

“Arlington is a special and unique place that encompasses more than federal presence,” said guidance from the panel on the submission page. “We want our logo to convey what’s distinctive about Arlington on its own merits.”

Of state symbols, the guidance added: “These are not unique to Arlington and are used in commonly used in many other places.”

The new logo options include visual references to the county’s skyline, its geographic shape, and the Key Bridge.

Around this time last year, the Arlington branch of the NAACP called on the county to change its current logo — depicting Arlington House, also known as the Robert E. Lee Memorial — amid a national discourse on current and historical racism in the U.S. In December, the County Board voted to kick off a process for choosing a new logo.

Eager to see the logo changed, Board members agreed to speed up the timeline by one month.

In May, when the deadline was extended, staff members said part of the reason why the process took shape the way it did was that they were trying to meet the initial deadline set by the County Board.

Despite the change in timing, de Ferranti said in May that a new logo will be chosen at the end of this latest feedback process.

“The letters we’re signing right now have no logos on them,” he said.

Hat tip to Smiley456

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Arlington County is once more accepting new logo designs through June 17 — with more explicit guidelines about what the design should omit.

The county has reopened submissions and pushed back the timeline for choosing a logo in response to dissatisfaction in some corners about the five finalists (below) that were originally put to the community for a vote in May.

County Board members, who were scheduled to make a decision in June, appeared to take what people said online seriously. During a recessed meeting of the County Board last month, Board members directed County Manager Mark Schwartz to arrange more opportunities to submit logo ideas and possibly consider rejected designs.

“Providing this one additional short opportunity might give us broader ownership of this decision,” Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said during the meeting.

Those who already submitted a logo idea in the first round need not re-submit, according to the submission webpage. But designers who have since changed a design they already submitted are invited to send in the altered design as a new entry.

After the submission window closes at midnight on Friday, June 18, a Logo Review Panel will look over the new submissions and work with a design firm to refine the designs. The community is slated to vote on the new finalists in late July and the panel is scheduled to make a final recommendation to the County Board in September.

This time around, the Logo Review Panel is asking designers to avoid referencing Arlington’s well-known monuments — such as the Air Force Memorial, Netherlands Carillon, Tomb of Unknown Soldier, and the Pentagon — or state symbols like the dogwood flower and “Virginia is for Lovers” icon.

“Arlington is a special and unique place that encompasses more than federal presence,” said guidance from the panel on the submission page. “We want our logo to convey what’s distinctive about Arlington on its own merits.”

Of state symbols, the guidance added: “These are not unique to Arlington and are used in commonly used in many other places.”

The logo guidance encourages designers to consider what is special about the county that “best represents all residents and stakeholders” and “won’t go out of style quickly.”

County spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith said it is “too early to know” if the first five finalists (below) could resurface during the decision-making process.

All designs have to be original and new, the county says, and and individuals can submit up to three concepts. The logo should “look good” whether large or small, in color or black and white and in various media.

The new logo will replace an existing design featuring a stylized representation of Arlington House, the plantation house of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Arlington National Cemetery. The Arlington branch of the NAACP criticized it last summer as “divisive and racist.”

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The County Board appears to be listening to what locals had to say about the five finalists for the new Arlington County logo.

During the County Board’s recessed meeting yesterday (Tuesday), Board members directed County Manager Mark Schwartz to arrange more opportunities to submit logo ideas, while considering rejected designs.

“I do like the idea of looking at a few additional logos,” Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said. “Providing this one additional short opportunity might give us broader ownership of this decision.”

Schwartz said the community will have an update on what this extension will look like “later this week.” The Board vote on approving a new logo will likely be pushed from June to September, he said.

“I recommend we extend the time for citizen submissions and ask our group to pore over those,” he said. “Let’s see if there are any new nuggets or old ones that we can send back to the Board for further work.”

Arlington is developing a new logo to do away with the illustration of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s plantation house atop a hill on what is now Arlington National Cemetery. The county called for logo ideas in February and a community panel winnowed down more than a hundred submissions to five finalists.

Locals had until May 26 to weigh in on the five nominated designs, ahead of County Board consideration in June.

So far, a plurality of people — on some social media channels and according to an unscientific ARLnow poll — have rejected all five logos and asked the county to “go back to the drawing board.”

During the meeting, Board members praised the panel’s leadership for thorough work but indicated they are open to taking extra time to explore more logo options.

Board member Libby Garvey said the county does a good job communicating what it is up to but people tend to get involved when the Board prepares for a vote.

“It’s not until something is actually there before us, or it gets in ARLnow, that a lot of people pay attention,” she said. “You still won’t get everyone but it’s another moment to give it another chance, now that there are a lot more people paying attention.”

Logo Review Panel co-chair Minneh Kane said the meeting was a good time to address some of the questions members received about why more federal monuments and iconic Arlington buildings did not make it into the top five.

“The feeling was that we wanted to brand Arlington in a distinctive way as more than just D.C.’s little sister,” she said.

Choosing one military monument could open Arlington up to criticism for not choosing others while including more than one would be too busy, she said. Iconic buildings, meanwhile don’t represent the full community, Kane asserted.

Staff members on the call said part of the reason why the process took shape the way it did was that they were trying to meet the summer deadline set by the County Board.

Although the Board is requesting to extend the deadline, de Ferranti still emphasized proceeding quickly and reminding the community a new logo will be chosen at the end of the process.

“The letters we’re signing right now have no logos on them,” he said.

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Not everybody is a fan of the five finalists for the new Arlington County logo.

“There seems to be a LOT of dissatisfaction with the new county logos,” one reader said, in an email to ARLnow.

Locals are being asked to weigh in on the proposed logo designs by May 26, ahead of County Board consideration in June. But a plurality seem to be calling for more choices.

In an unscientific ARLnow poll this week, about 46% of more than 3,000 respondents said the county should “go back to the drawing board.” The most popular choice — the fifth logo above, on the far right-hand side — was the preference of 24% of respondents.

The dissatisfaction is more stark on some social media channels.

“I’ve noticed that the five new Arlington County logos that residents have been asked to vote on are being universally panned on both Nextdoor and Facebook,” another ARLnow reader said in an email. “In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a single positive comment out of scores. My Nextdoor group in North Arlington had more than 25 comments and not a single one positive.”

“Sure hope the County is listening,” the reader added. “Time for them to go back to the drawing board.”

Perhaps it’s not necessary to solicit new designs. As pointed out by a local resident on Twitter, the original call for design ideas from the county yielded dozens of notable submissions that were ultimately rejected.

The new logo is needed in order to do away with the illustration of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s plantation house — a prominent Arlington landmark — in the current logo, but the call for logo ideas in February specifically asked submitters to “think about the images, symbols and feelings unique to Arlington and shared by people across neighborhoods.”

The finalists seem to be more abstract in nature than many of the discarded designs that include the shapes of specific landmarks, buildings or geographical borders, however.

Part of that may be a function of the requirement for a logo that works in numerous visual settings and contexts. The new logo should “look good” in black and white and in color, and when it is printed on something as small as a pen and as large as a billboard, the county said in February.

Asked this morning whether the five finalists may be revisited and other logos considered, given the reaction so far, Arlington County spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith said only that the county is seeking more feedback.

“Engaging and involving the community is central to the process of developing a new logo — and that process is ongoing,” Smith told ARLnow. “We want as many people as possible to weigh in on the final design options. The Logo Review Panel will use the voting results to offer a recommendation to the Arlington County Board in June. To date, well over 9,000 people have voted on the new logo — and we’re looking for many more.”

Smith said a robust community process led to the five current logo finalists.

“A 14-member Logo Review Panel was appointed by the County Manager in late January of this year, following a communitywide call for applications,” she explained. “This is a diverse group representing different ages, ethnicities/races, neighborhoods, and backgrounds. Community members also were asked to submit their ideas and concepts over a series of week earlier this year — and we received about 250. Then, over the last several months, the Logo Review Panel has worked hard to further define the considerations as well as further develop the ideas submitted by the community, in collaboration with a design firm.”

The current county seal and logo — which both feature a representation of Lee’s Arlington House — were first adopted in 1983 and 2004, respectively.

The logo panel’s charge, from its first meeting: “Replace existing logo and County seal with new logo as soon as practicable.”

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Arlington County yesterday revealed the five finalists for the new county logo.

Aiming to replace the current logo that depicts Arlington House, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s former mansion, the county asked community members for design suggestions in February. Those were narrowed down with the help of a design firm and a Logo Review Panel, which met on April 15 to discuss the designs.

The county is now asking the public to vote on which of the colorful logo designs they like best. The Board is expected to hear a final recommendation from the Logo Review Panel in June.

The logos have some detractors, even among those who agree that the old county logo needs to change. What do you think of the designs?

Images via Arlington County. Note that ARLnow’s poll is unscientific, unofficial and not intended as a replacement for the county’s survey about the logo designs.

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Arlington County has revealed the five finalists for its new logo, and they’re decidedly more colorful than the current iteration.

The county is asking members of the public to vote online for their top two favorite logo concepts, which were selected by a Logo Review Panel.

Based on the vote, the panel will make a final recommendation to the County Board in June. Voting closes on May 26.

The new logo will replace the existing county logo, featuring a stylized representation of Arlington House, the plantation house of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Arlington National Cemetery. The logo has been criticized by the Arlington branch of the NAACP as “divisive and racist.”

Despite the forthcoming updated logo, the name “Arlington County” seems unlikely to change anytime soon, based on a recent discussion held by the Arlington Committee of 100.

“I believe changing the name of a county is a pretty heavy lift,” said local NAACP President Julius “JD” Spain, Sr.

The county press release about the logo finalists is below.

The search for the new Arlington County logo has been narrowed to five options by a panel of community members. Now, it is time for the greater Arlington community to weigh in.

Everyone who lives, works or plays in Arlington is invited to select their two favorite logo options from the top five. The voting webpage is available in English and Spanish.

The last day to vote is May 26.

The Logo Review Panel will use the voting results to offer a final recommendation to the County Board in June.

Last year, the Arlington County Board approved a process to replace the current County logo and seal, which depict Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. For many Arlington County residents, the Arlington House symbol represents one of the darkest chapters our nation’s history: slavery.

Community members of all ages submitted more than 250 ideas for Arlington County’s new logo. Over the past several months, the Logo Review Panel narrowed the options and further developed the logo concepts submitted by the community.

Image (top) via Arlington County

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