WERA 96.7 FM is an AIM project with a focus to air programming for the local community, by the local community.
“We would really like to reach out to all of Arlington’s communities and have widespread participation,” AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley said. “We’re working to ensure the programming is compelling, and we hope people will be open minded about giving us a shot.”
As a public radio platform, the station’s funding will come from listener and member contributions, as well as local business underwriting.
According to Andrew Rosenberg, member of the AIM Board of Directors and the station’s Program Advisory and Review Council (PARC), the primary means for keeping residents so closely involved has little to do with money.
“We want to create a service that fills a need in the area so people know this is their station,” he said. “My greatest hope is that we become a real fixture for the community.”
Though the schedule itself will be a work in progress as the station grows, Rosenberg said they’ve received several proposals for programs of all varieties. Some of these include:
- music programming (disc jockey, world beat, ska, music collection shows, etc.)
- local news and events
- world news summaries
- school news summaries
- call-in discussions
- content from independent public radio producers
In the beginning, WERA will also air programs sourced from other public radio outlets, if their content is relevant to Arlington listeners. However, Rosenberg said he hoped that over time community programming will displace these.
“We’ll be very much in touch with what the community wants to hear,” he said. “We’ll also be taking proposals on a rolling basis and changing up shows to keep things interesting.”
To celebrate, the station is also hosting a party from 3 to 8 p.m. on the launch day in the WERA control room . There will be refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided. The family-friendly event is free open to the public, though all attendees should expect to get involved.
“We’re making this participatory because that’s the whole idea behind community radio,” LeValley said.
In addition to demonstrations of the equipment and facilities, guests can rehearse and record a radio drama, share a short story, or participate in a sing-along to “This Land is Your Land.” These recordings will be some of the first segments to go on the air shortly after the ribbon cutting at 6 p.m.
“The more people, the better,” LeValley added. “We would love to have the whole community come and help us launch.”
Photo courtesy of Paul LaValley/AIM
Water Main Break in Courthouse — Courthouse Road is closed between Route 50 and 14th Street N., near the police station, due to a water main break that was discovered overnight. Repairs are still underway as of this morning’s rush hour. [WTOP]
Arlington Scores New Office Tenant in Va. Square — Arlington County will fill 50,000 square feet of vacant office space in Virginia Square thanks to a new tenant. GW Medical Faculty Associates will be moving into 3811 N. Fairfax Drive this coming spring, creating more than 200 jobs. [Arlington County]
Secret Chopsticks Open Today — The previously secretive Secret Chopsticks is planning to open to the public today. The 120-seat upscale, white tablecloth Chinese restaurant is located at 1850 Fort Myer Drive, on the ground floor of the Turnberry Tower condominium. [Washingtonian]
Garvey Wants Strategic Plan for County — Should County Board member Libby Garvey become the board chair next year, she wants to develop a strategic plan for Arlington. “We really don’t have one,” she said over the weekend. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The first incident happened about a block from the Whole Foods, just before 7 p.m. From an ACPD crime report:
EXPOSURE, 151113043, 2600 block of N. Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 6:55 p.m. on November 13, an unknown male subject exposed his genitals to a female victim. The suspect is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’9″ and weighed 160 lbs. He was wearing dark jeans, a dark zippered hoodie, and had short cropped hair.
The second incident happened in Courthouse, near the Wendy’s.
EXPOSURE, 151113045, 2000 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:30 p.m. on November 13, an unknown subject approached a woman with his genitals exposed. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male approximately 5’7″ with a medium build. He was wearing a blue hoodie, light frayed blue jeans, and white tennis shoes.
So far, no arrests have been reported.
A playable parody of the popular, irreverent card game “Cards Against Humanity” is getting an Arlington spin.
Cards Against Urbanity was created by some local planners, architects and economic development professionals to get players thinking about urban planning while poking fun at the cities they live in.
The game, which was inspired by Arlington, is now getting its own local edition, just in time for an event in Courthouse tomorrow night.
Arlington Cultural Affairs is hosting a Cards Against Urbanity game night Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Courthaus Social (2300 Clarendon Blvd), the restaurant where Lisa Nisenson and her co-creators decided to make the idea for the game a reality.
“I’m a longtime civic activist, so I know how frustrating it is to try and learn all the things about how the city works, so that’s where this came from,” Nisenson said. “We just want people to have a good time and get to know their community in a creative way.”
The deck used during the game night will include some new cards specifically relevant to Arlington.
Players could come across black question cards with prompts like “The tolls on the I-66 should be used to fund ____” and “Arlington is world famous for ____.” We’re told there may also be a card referencing the ARLnow.com comment section.
Some of the white cards address relevant community issues and in-jokes with answers like “Cardboard classrooms” and “Brown flip flops.”
These cards were added to the original deck distributed to backers last year after the game’s Kickstarter campaign exceeded its goal. Nisenson said some of the original cards — including “A desire named streetcar” — could apply in the local edition of the game.
Guests in the crowd will also have the opportunity to make suggestions for new cards.
“We want people to be really clever,” Nisenson said. “We hope to add the best, most clever suggestions to Arlington’s deck.”
The event is free and appropriate for all audiences. Snacks will be provided, and there will be a cash bar.
This is the first of three game nights in Arlington. The next one scheduled for Jan. 12, with another planned for later in this spring.
A new MOM’s Organic Market is opening next week on Lee Highway, within walking distance to Courthouse.
The store, at 1901 N. Veitch Street, is planning a grand opening celebration between Friday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 15.
“Join us for a weekend of local tastings, environmental activities, henna art and more!” the company said on its website. “Five percent of Grand Opening sales will be donated to Moms Clean Air Force, a community of moms and dads united against air pollution and climate change to protect our children’s health.”
There will also be meet and greets with environmental organizations, like the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, and live music Saturday and Sunday afternoon from Arlington singer-songwriter (and H-B Woodlawn student) Calista Garcia.
In addition to the grocery store, MOM’s is also opening a Naked Lunch storefront along Uhle Street. Naked Lunch is an organic, vegetarian and vegan-only eatery that serves soups, sandwiches, bowls and raw juices.
Other MOM’s features include free car charging stations, local beer and organic wine, and recycling drop-off for wine corks, CFL bulbs, eye glasses, plastic bags, household batteries and shoes.
MOM’s is located in the new Verde Pointe development, along with 162 luxury apartments and 36 townhouse flats.
On Friday a building permit application was filed calling for a tenant fit out for an establishment called “Basic Burger.” The restaurant will be located on the first floor of the new apartment building at 2001 Clarendon Blvd.
Little information is available about Basic Burger, but one could make obvious assumptions about the type of food it will serve.
The arrival of a new burger restaurant could come at a good time for Courthouse: the Wendy’s just up the street is slated to be torn down at some point for a new office development approved by the County Board earlier this year.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt. File photo.
The little-noticed item came at the end of a long County Board meeting on Monday, Sept. 21.
At issue during the 40 minute discussion of the item: whether the dentist’s office — Courthouse Art of Dentistry — should be allowed to stay in the Courthouse Plaza shopping center at 2250 Clarendon Blvd as part of a regularly-scheduled Site Plan Amendment review.
County Board member Libby Garvey, who supported the office in the vote, wrote about it in her most recent email newsletter to constituents.
There has been a dentist at Courthouse Plaza for about 20 years, although the site plan originally called for retail to be in that space. Repeated attempts by retail stores to locate there had resulted in several store closures, so a waiver was granted to allow a dental office. The waiver was up for renewal. The dental office has thrived, the dentist does pro bono work for the Free Clinic and takes hotel guests when they need a dentist. A few people insisted that this location was not compliant with the site plan and the dentist had to go. The building owner said he could find no one else to fill that space and asked us to please allow the dentist to stay. Hundreds of patients and supporters signed a petition asking for the dentist to stay. Still…..this was the third time in a year he had to come before the Board pleading for us to allow his successful business to stay. He can stay, but the vote was far too close: 3-2. I thanked the dentist for all he does for our community. I told him and his many supporters who stayed until 11:55pm I was embarrassed the Board made this so hard for a successful business that serves Arlington well. It really was one of the more bizarre issues I’ve dealt with as a Board member.
Speakers at the meeting universally called for the Board to let the dentist office stay. The attorney for owner Dr. Joseph Khalil said that they had collected about 500 signatures in support of the practice. (The office is thriving and has 2,200 patients, the attorney said.)
“CCCA renews our objection and voted to firmly oppose a permanent exception to the dentist office in a space designated for anchor retail as far back as 10 years,” civic association president Adam Thocher said in an email to county staff. “We encourage ongoing discussion between [landlord] Equity and Arlington Economic Development to market and secure a tenant that will help fulfill the promise made to the community of activating Courthouse Plaza.”
County staff, however, said that the use was appropriate and consistent with the county’s new Retail Action Plan, which allows for “retail equivalent” uses like medical and dental offices in lieu of more traditional stores and restaurants in certain retail zones, including the Courthouse area.
“We believe the use provides service to residents and to office workers in the plaza,” said Michael Cohen, a county staff member.
The dentist’s attorney, meanwhile, said that the retail landscape has changed since a dentist’s office first opened in the space in 1993. (It has since changed ownership.) She said that online shopping has limited the utility of small retail storefronts and that Courthouse Plaza already has stores that commonly use such spaces — a coffee shop, a cell phone store, etc.
“Voting against this would be inconsistent with policy… and inconsistent with the notion that we should be supporting long-standing local businesses,” said the attorney, Sara Mariska.
Mike Farrey, brother of a dentist at the practice, suggested that a dentist office might even be preferable to an “active” use.
“There are enough coffee shops and restaurants in Arlington, and enough empty storefronts,” he said.
Patients of the office who spoke at the meeting said that there’s no justification for making a successful, community-serving business pack up and move. One called it “un-American.”
“I feel like this is a complete waste of community resources,” said the man. “It’s not a gentlemen’s club, it’s not a bar, it’s not an adult bookstore… what use is it to create another empty storefront?”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said another patient.
In the end, the Board voted 3-2 — with retiring County Board members Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada voting in the minority — to renew the site plan amendment and allow the dentist to stay, with no further scheduled reviews.
County Board member John Vihstadt said that kicking the dentist out would only create an empty storefront, agreeing with Dr. Khalil’s attorney in suggesting that the space was too small and ill-configured to be attractive to any likely “active” retail tenant.
“Why would we want to open up a new cavity in Courthouse Plaza?” he quipped.
Arlington County’s new year-round homeless shelter will open its doors next week.
The Homeless Services Center officially opens on Oct. 1 with day programs and will start offering beds to the county’s homeless population on Friday, Oct. 2.
The new shelter has 50 year-round beds — 36 on the men’s side and 14 on the women’s side — and 25 “hypothermia prevention beds” for cold winter nights.
The center has a sitting room for people to relax or watch TV, a cafeteria serving meals around the clock and a classroom, where the shelter plans to hold job training, budgeting and art classes, said Kathy Sibert, the president and CEO of Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.
The shelter is colorful, with a bright orange wall greeting people as they approach the front desk. The bedroom walls are painted blue on the women’s side and green on the men’s side. Even the floors are colorful, with green tiling on the women’s side and blue on the men’s side.
Macy’s will be providing sheets in blues and greens for the beds, Sibert said, making the accommodations slightly less spartan.
“Anita [Friedman], the director of Department of Human Services, and I were really intent that this wouldn’t look like an institute,” she said.
The color extends to the bathrooms, which have blue or green tiles instead of gray, said Scott Miller, senior director of development at A-SPAN.
“Color costs nothing,” he said. “Let’s make this place welcoming.”
The center will replace the emergency winter shelter two blocks away in Courthouse, which was open from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m. Other homeless services, including meals, will also be done at the new shelter.
“We’re going to have everything in one place, which is awesome,” Sibert said.
Having the shelter open 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year means A-SPAN will rely on volunteers to help keep things running, in addition to the 30 A-SPAN staff members, Miller said.
“We gobble up 15,000 volunteer hours here,” he said.
The new shelter is located directly across of the police station and near some Courthouse condominiums. Neighbors had voiced security concerns about having the shelter so close to their homes.
In response, A-SPAN hired security officers to patrol inside and outside of the building and installed cameras. People at the shelter will be allowed to go out for smoke breaks, but A-SPAN will limit it to three or four people going on a break at a time.
“Here’s the thing. You’ve got to remember that they’re people, too,” Sibert said.
There may still be occasional problems that arise, admits DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick, but A-SPAN and the County are working hard to take preventative measures.
“We want to be good neighbors,” he said.
Concerned residents can call Sibert or the homeless shelter to report problems, she said. There is also a Homeless Services Center Neighborhood Advisory Committee to help keep positive communication between the county and neighbors regarding issues with the shelter.
The county has worked with the police department to train about half of its offices on crisis intervention techniques, which help officers identify people with possible mental illnesses and bring them to a hospital instead of jail.
“Many, many officers have that training and are good at working with mental illnesses,” Larrick said.
About one-third of homeless people in Arlington have a mental illness, including substance abuse or general anxiety, Sibert said, adding that the homeless shelter has therapists and doctors to help provide support.
Getting people into a stable home situation also helps people deal with mental illness, Larrick said.
“So many mental illnesses are treated by medications, but its hard to stay on medications when you are on the street,” he said.
Ultimately, the goal of the homeless shelter is to help end homelessness by helping people get off the street and into homes, Sibert said. A-SPAN does this by providing case managers who follow each person throughout the process.
“[The shelter] is really a bridge so people don’t have to live on the street,” she said.
Tucked in the northeast corner of the country’s #3 most walkable mid-sized locality is Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood. This urban village close to bustling Washington, D.C., has a lot to offer in terms of living “green” — from transportation to dining to dwelling.
With so much of Arlington County on a Car-Free Diet, by train, bike or foot, green transportation is a breeze in Courthouse.
Take the Orange and Silver lines from the Court House Metro station or jump on an Arlington Transit Bus or the Metrobus. Grab a bike from one of the many convenient Capital Bikeshare stations and ride the bike lanes of Clarendon and Wilson Boulevards. Hop on the mesmerizing Custis Trail at North Veitch Street or cruise the Arlington Boulevard Trail from Courthouse Road.
MOM’s Organic Market offers 100% certified organic produce, locally sourced products, an extensive grocery selection, as well as a free customer recycling center. And when you are in a hurry, you can make a quick stop at Naked Lunch, MOM’s all-organic eatery featuring prepared foods and made-to-order meals.
The year-round Arlington Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning near the County Courthouse, just off of the Custis Trail. For more than 35 years, market vendors have peddled everything from fresh produce to fresh pasta grown and made within 125 miles of the Courthouse neighborhood.
At Courthouse’s new eco-conscious Verde Pointe Apartments, just off of Lee Highway at Uhle Street, living green is simple.
Not only does “Verde” mean “green” in Spanish, but each of the unique studio, convertible, one- and two-bedroom, and one-bedroom plus den units are chock-full of green features. Built to LEED Gold standards, the pet-friendly apartment homes feature ENERGY STAR appliances, high efficiency toilets and individually programmable thermostats. And with additional high-end amenities such as a rooftop pool and large balconies, combined with easy access to Capital Bikeshare and electric car charging stations, the Custis Trail and Mom’s Organic Market, it’s easy being green at Verde Pointe!
The preceding post was written and sponsored by Verde Pointe.
(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) The Boston Market store at 2046 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse has closed.
A sign on the door says the restaurant closed on Sept. 20. A reason for the closing is not listed. The sign directs customers to the Boston Market at 3233 Columbia Pike, which remains open.
The low-rise commercial building that housed Boston Market is just a block from the Courthouse Metro station and has been said to be a likely target for future redevelopment.
The restaurant business in Courthouse is no tea party: restaurant owners have been complaining that food trucks are hurting their lunch business, which is critical to their survival amid high rents.
Hat tip to Eric LeKuch
A plan to significantly transform the Courthouse neighborhood by guiding new development, turning the county’s large surface parking lot into a public square and park, and improving Metro access and pedestrian facilities, has gotten the green light.
The Arlington County Board on Monday unanimously approved what it’s hailing as a “visionary” new Courthouse Sector Plan.
“This plan pulls together some of our most successful policies to create a 21st century civic heart for Arlington,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “It calls for undergrounding Courthouse Square parking to create vibrant open space, improving transit connectivity by adding a new Metro entrance on the square, and improving sustainability through district energy and stormwater management.
“The new Courthouse Square will welcome all Arlingtonians to a new, transparent County administration building, but will also preserve a couple of key historic facades and explore additional cultural amenities in the future,” Hynes added.
A county press release highlighted ten “big ideas” included in the plan:
21st Century Civic Square – the top priority replaces an existing surface parking lot to create the new Courthouse Square, a network of open spaces that can support a wide variety of existing and future programs and events. A new parking garage, below the square, will accommodate parking needs.
Central Metro access – a new, centrally-located Metro access point will provide a welcoming entrance and serve as a highly visible landmark for visitors.
Shared streets – diverse, walkable streetscapes will surround the square and help connect open spaces to the buildings and pedestrian activities in the immediate area. 15th Street North and 14th Street North are envisioned as curbless, shared streets that are uniquely designed to extend the usefulness of the square, accommodate vehicles and transit, while providing priority to pedestrians and promoting safety.
Courthouse Square promenade – a key pedestrian connection, between Wilson Boulevard and 14th Street North, will be a vibrant promenade that links the square to activities, Metro, open spaces, County facilities, local businesses and surrounding neighborhoods.
Symbolic civic building on South Square – a focal-point building will introduce County, civic, cultural and/or market uses in this prominent location. The future facility should be devoted to highly-accessible community functions or integrated with other compatible civic and cultural activities.
Verizon Plaza redevelopment – the existing Verizon Plaza has seen little use in the last several years due to its design, shadows and location. The plan realizes the site as a new development opportunity that will contribute to and further the plan’s goals.
County administration building – a key charge for the study was to examine the future location and building massing for a County administration building. The prominent location, adjacent to the promenade and 14th Street North, is on axis with the Judicial Center and provides entrances located on the square.
Enhanced pedestrian connection at North Veitch Street and 14th Street North – an improved connection from the south will ease and enrich the pedestrian experience in an area with topographical and visual barriers, and pedestrian conflicts with parking and loading access points.
Cultural and civic facilities – cultural and civic facilities have the ability to enliven and enrich the Courthouse Square experience and create a multi-purpose regional destination. A number of locations could accommodate cultural uses ranging from a museum to a performing arts venue. Through the civic engagement process, the community shared a number of potential uses that are included in the document.
Sustainability – creative and responsible sustainability solutions are integrated with recommendations throughout the plan.
The sector plan also includes language that supports maintaining affordable housing in the neighborhood, which it described as a “mixed-use, mixed income, premier location.”
The community process for the plan began in 2013. While some elements of the plan could be implemented in the next few years, many of the big goals are expected to take at least five years, if not a decade or more, to bring to reality.
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) It’s slow going for drivers and bicyclists on the stretch of Wilson Blvd between N. Wayne and N. Adams Street in Courthouse, as two construction projects are underway.
Wilson Blvd is currently down to one lane, with cars navigating through traffic cones, due to construction on the new Hyatt Place hotel and a county project to install fiber optic cables below the street, said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
Driving down the stretch of Wilson puts the cars half on the bicycle lane, while crews access underground wiring for fiber optic cable installation. The utility project is set to finish in the “early part of next week,” Baxter said.
Once the utility work is finished, the left lane and parking lane on Wilson Blvd will reopen to vehicles, she said.
However, the righthand parking lane and possibly one travel lane of Wilson Blvd between N. Wayne and N. Adams Street will remain blocked off until the end of September for hotel construction, Baxter said, and lanes may also be closed periodically after that.
“Each periodic closure will require the issuance of a right-of-way use permit from the Department of Environmental Services, and that closure will only be for the timeframe requested on such permit,” she said.
The new Hyatt Place in Courthouse, the hotel brand’s first in Arlington, is on schedule for an August 2016 opening, according to Jim Villars, a spokesman with Schupp Company, the hotel’s developer. Contrary to information from the county, Villars said the hotel construction project will not require the closure of a travel lane on Wilson Blvd.
The topping out of the eight floor structure is expected to be complete before the end of the month, Villars said. At that point, all eight floors above grade and the two floors below grade for underground parking will have been built.
After sealing the structure, crews will start constructing the hotel’s interior, he said.
Once finished, the Courthouse Hyatt Place will 161 rooms, two restaurants and a bar. The hotel will also be the first hotel with gold LEED certification in Arlington and the first Hyatt Place to receive gold LEED certification, according to Villars.
The company is currently looking for a tenant to fill one of the restaurant spaces, which is almost 1,300 square feet, he said. The hotel is replacing a low-rise commercial building that was formerly home to Wilson Tavern.
Henninger Media Services, a production company with ties to Discovery Channel, National Geographic and Oscar-winning documentaries, has found a new home in Courthouse.
The production company is responsible for “finishing” videos, whether it be a show on National Geographic or a documentary that wins an Academy Award. In finishing, or post production, specialists at the company edit the film, color and audio in order to make a show look cleaner. It’s very much a behind the scenes job — if it’s done correctly, a viewer wouldn’t realize that anything had been done.
In addition to editing, the company also does design work, such as creating the main menu on a DVD, and archive work, including helping the National Archives.
The company’s new space is tucked away at 1320 N. Courthouse Road, near the Arlington County Police Department and county government offices. It was previously located on Wilson Blvd, next to Earl’s Sandwiches. Although slightly hidden, the company’s new office on the first floor of the building is anything but small.
The company has 13 editing suites, six audio studios, three color correction suites, two quality control rooms, a voice recording studio, various administrative and design spaces and the “core,” where it hosts all the servers and technology needed to run a production company. Henninger bills itself as “the largest production/post-production company in the Mid-Atlantic.”
“It is relatively rare that one company houses all the expertise,” said Mike Weiss, vice president of Business Development.
The new move allowed Henninger Media Services to have a fresh start when it came to the technology in the office, said CEO Robert Henninger. The space now uses fiber glass cables with the capability to run videos in ultra high definition, one of the newest trends in video.
“It gave us a lot of flexibility in terms of technical capability,” Weiss said. “It modernized us.”
Innovation and embracing new technology is one of the five core values of the company, Henninger said, with the other four being quality, service, teamwork and creativity.
These five values have helped Henninger Media Services, which was founded in 1983, become the company it is today, he said.
Today, the company works with big names like Discovery Channel, National Geographic and PBS, where they put finishing touches on shows and documentaries run on the networks. It also works with corporations, such as Capital One, small businesses, colleges, such as American University, and political campaigns.
The company declined to list some of the well-known television programs it works on, citing confidentiality agreements, but one such program — verified independently by ARLnow.com — is “Gold Rush: Alaska,” one of the Discovery Channel’s top-rated series.
Henninger Media Services worked with President Barack Obama’s first campaign to help edit a 30-minute paid ad. They also worked with Sen. John McCain when he ran against George W. Bush in a presidential primary.
Political campaigns are a specialty because they have an intense workload and very quick deadline.
“You have to really be prepared to do what it takes,” Henninger said.
The company has also worked with Oscar-winner documentary “Innocente.” The company has done multiple projects with directors Sean and Andrea Fine, as well as Sean’s father, who was also a director.
“We were part of the team that won an Oscar,” Henninger said.
In addition to the many non-fiction films that company works with, Henninger said he would like to get involved with feature films.
“Doing some fiction work would be fun,” he said.
The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, on the 2200 block of Fairfax Drive.
According to police, the man entered his brother’s bedroom while he was sleeping, locked the door and then pressed the knife against him while making threatening remarks. The brother then tried to defend himself and was stabbed three times, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The victim was rushed to George Washington University Hospital and is expected to survive.
The suspect remained in the apartment and was taken into custody by police.
“Pablo Rivera Pena, 21, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and abduction,” according to the crime report. “He was held without bond.”
So far there’s no word on a motive.
A Courthouse restaurant owner is hosting a gathering to celebrate the city of New Orleans’ progress since Hurricane Katrina.
Chef David Gaus, a New Orleans native who owns the Bayou Bakery, is holding an event called “Katrina 10” to show how far the city has come in the 10 years since the hurricane’s destruction.
Katrina 10 will be held at the Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 29. There will be New Orleans-style food and drinks, with music provided by Laissez Foure. The gathering will also have an open mic for anyone to share their Katrina stories.
“Chef David Guas, who is a fellow New Orleans native, has and continues to give back to his beloved home city through charities and fundraisers. After watching the waters ravage the neighborhoods in which he grew up and his parents’ home, he truly knows the real impact of the disaster all too well,” said Simone Rathlé, the PR rep for the restaurant and Guas’ wife.
The event kicks off Guas’ charity week, where he will donate $10 from each sale of his cookbook, DamSweetGood, to the Roots of Music, a nonprofit that helps provide free musical education to children in New Orleans. The charity week runs from Aug. 29 until Sept. 5.
“As a New Orleans native who has seen the devastating affects of Hurricane Katrina first hand, it is both with a heavy heart, and hopeful focus on the road ahead, that we think back to the day it struck 10 years ago,” Rathlé said in a press release. “Tragedy often gives way to hope and brings people together to rise up.”