Since starting Arlington-based Cozy Cleaning during the pandemic, its co-owners have viewed it as a way to support other Mongolian Americans.
Otgon Altankhuyag and Munkhzul Nergui, who are both Mongolian, decided to start the house cleaning and organizing service after hearing that demand for residential cleaning was up given that many people were stuck at home all day.
“We can also help Mongolian women,” Altankhuyag said. “We pay our employees, so we support Mongolian women who (are) staying home with lots of kids. They can’t work full time.”
The owners are planning to join other local business owners for a fundraiser in Ballston organized by Hamkae Center next Thursday, June 9, to support Asian American communities. It’s the first fundraiser for Hamkae Center since it changed its name from NAKASEC VA, which stood for National Korean American Service & Education Consortium Virginia, in November 2021.
This is the first time the center has organized the event on its own, and it’s the first in-person fundraiser since the pandemic began, said Growth and Operations Team Lead Patrick Canteros. The event was canceled in 2020 and virtual in 2021.
“A lot of our sponsors previously were national organizations,” Canteros said. “This time around, a lot of our sponsors, a lot of the organizations and businesses that are supporting us, this time around with food and auction items, they are all local businesses.”
Altankhuyag had previously worked with Hamkae Center as a translator, as well as donating masks to the organization during the pandemic. Her company decided to join the upcoming fundraiser because she wanted to encourage others and contribute, said Altankhuyag.
“I would like to show the neighbors that everybody has the potential to learn a small business and make a small amount of money and enjoy their (lives),” she said.
As of 2021, there were over 70,000 businesses owned by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Washington region, which accounted for 12.4% of all private businesses in the area, according to a report from the Virginia Asian Advisory Board.
The fundraiser, called Pursuing Our Dreams 2022, is set to feature around 20 Asian American businesses in the D.C. area, including various restaurants, a rock-climbing gym and the soccer team The Washington Spirit. The event is set to be held between 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Marymount University’s Ballston campus (1000 N. Glebe Road).
Participants can choose to sponsor and donate to the fundraiser, according to its application form. Canteros said Hamkae Center wishes to have 20% of its funding come from community donors.
During the event, Hamkae Center is set to give out a few awards to individuals and organizations for their work in issues in which the center is also involved.
“We definitely selected them based on the work that we’ve done and who have been key instrumental folks in helping us move that needle forward,” said Policy and Communications Team Lead Zowee Aquino.
The four awards this year will go to Del. Kathy Tran (D-42), the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the Vietnamese Resettlement Association and organization member Onion Ha, according to the organization’s Twitter announcement.
The fair is set to include a range of activities such as origami tutorials, tarot card and birth chart readings, and a silent auction. Food and drink will be provided by local AAPI-owned restaurants.
New Rosslyn Food Hall Now Open — “Assembly, the area’s latest food hall, located above the Rosslyn Metro stop in Arlington, hopes to entice you by taking a something-for-everyone approach, including plenty of healthy-ish options. Their lineup includes Great Lake Diner; Charo’s vegetarian tacos; Asian street food stall Beng Beng; GiGi’s salads, smoothies, and grain bowls; Big Day Coffee; sandwich joint Sammy Pickles; modern-minded bodega PNTRY; and Fog Point, a 40-seat sit-down oysters and seafood restaurant with a separate entrance.” [DCist]
Abduction Suspect Arrested in Va. Square — “The victim was inside a business when the suspect approached and attempted to engage her in conversation. The suspect then left the business, but remained seated outside. When the victim left the business, the suspect followed her into a neighboring building and onto an elevator, where he again attempted to engage her in conversation, advanced towards her, grabbed her waist and touched her buttocks. The victim attempted to step away but the suspect prevented her from exiting the elevator.” [ACPD]
Courthouse ‘DMV Select’ Office Reopening — “‘DMV Select’ services operated by the Arlington Commissioner of Revenue’s office in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen Sept. 7 after an 18-month COVID shutdown. The office will operate by appointment Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd.” [Sun Gazette]
How Ashton Heights was Sold — “‘Build Your Love Nest in Ashton Heights, Virginia,’ read the ad in the Evening Star a century ago. ‘$500 cash will finance your home; $20 will reserve your lot.’ Exclusive sales agents at the D.C.-based (all female) Kay-Alger Co. were luring federal employees to join the automobile generation’s embrace of suburbanization, to ‘get away from the crowded city and enjoy the freedom of a most picturesque surrounding.'” [Falls Church News-Press]
Amazon Leases Former PBS Building — “Amazon.com Inc. is gobbling up more office space in Crystal City, signing a lease for another full building owned by frequent partner and current landlord JBG Smith Properties. The tech giant is now set to occupy another 272,000 square feet at 2100 Crystal Drive… The building is currently home to the Public Broadcasting Services’ headquarters, though the nonprofit announced plans last year to move to a different building within Crystal City.” [Washington Business Journal]
W-L vs. Wakefield in the Semis Tonight — “Having been blown out by the Yorktown Patriots a few days earlier, the Washington-Liberty Generals turned the tables on their Arlington rival, winning 66-61 Feb. 25 in a quarterfinal game of the 6D North Region boys high-school basketball tournament… Washington-Liberty will now face another big Arlington rival – the Wakefield Warriors (17-9) – in the Feb. 27 region semifinals at Wakefield at 7 p.m.” [InsideNova]
JBG Selling Properties to Fund Development — “JBG Smith Properties sold a 50% stake in its 552,000-square-foot Central Place office tower in December for $220 million… The sale to PGIM Inc. of the Rosslyn asset netted JBG Smith $53.4 million and comes as the company seeks to both shed properties outside of its core business and fuel a development pipeline.” [Washington Business Journal]
Another Possible N. Va. Coronavirus Case — “Health officials in Virginia said Tuesday they are monitoring two residents for possible coronavirus, including one in Northern Virginia.” [Washington Post]
DMV Urging Residents to Get REAL ID Now — “More than 850,000 Virginians in 2019 took the steps necessary to get a ‘REAL ID’-compliant driver’s license or identity card, but perhaps twice that many are still in need of one, state officials say. ‘We estimate approximately 1.5 million more Virginians will want to get a REAL ID between now and October,’ said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb.” [InsideNova]
Scooters May Be Allowed on Arlington Sidewalks — “The Board voted unanimously to advertise a public hearing at the Nov. 16, 2019 County Board Meeting to consider proposed regulations of shared mobility devices. The proposed revisions include allowing the [scooters] to be used on County streets, sidewalks and multi-use trails and putting in place a permit fee structure for private companies offering the devices. During the pilot program, the devices have been prohibited on County sidewalks.” [Arlington County]
Clarendon Cafe Rebrands as ‘Three Whistles’ — “CoworkCafe founder Ramzy Azar rebranded the space this week. In addition to a new name, Three Whistles (2719 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia) has a new look and a new menu. Azar expects to roll out a menu full of Mediterranean small plates in the next few weeks. He says sharable dishes help create the feeling of a gathering place.” [Eater]
Arlington Man Sentenced for Gun Smuggling — “An Arlington man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in the trafficking of firearms to his native country of Honduras. According to court documents, in October 2018, Chris Rodriguez, 57, attempted to smuggle a firearm and 247 rounds of ammunition out of the United States, concealed in a bucket of roofing tar destined for Honduras.” [U.S. DOJ]
‘Verizon Site’ Building OKed — “Crystal City’s Verizon site will be redeveloped with a 19-story apartment tower within walking distance of Metro that will include 12 affordable housing units… The [County] Board voted unanimously to approve the vacation of a portion of the right-of-way for Old South Eads Street, a rezoning and site plan amendment for the proposed redevelopment.” [Arlington County]
Amazon Avoids Donating to Arlington Pols — “Amazon.com Inc. just sent $23,000 in campaign contributions to a total of 26 Virginia lawmakers, resuming its political giving in the state for the first time in months as a crucial statehouse election draws near… it only sent checks to six lawmakers in Northern Virginia (and did not send money to a single politician representing Arlington).” [Washington Business Journal]
DMV Select Staff Fights Fraud — “Three members of [the Commissioner of Revenue’s DMV Select office] staff (Isaac Kateregga, Ahmad Abdalla and supervisor Michelle Neves) recently were honored by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in Richmond. They were presented with ‘Fraud Busters’ awards for their work in disrupting efforts to commit misdeeds… [involving] title fraud.” [InsideNova]
Reminder: Arlington Restaurant Week Kicking Off — “Arlington Restaurant Week, organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, will run from October 21-28. Diners can visit a number of Arlington restaurants offering special menu items at discounted prices.” [ARLnow, Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
A brief power outage turned off the lights at homes, businesses and even the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles office in Virginia Square this afternoon.
The outage was reported prior to 2:30 p.m. A map from Dominion Power said more than 2,600 customers were without power across a large swath of North Arlington, from the far northern reaches of Arlington County to part of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
Power has since been restored, according to Dominion’s map.
The Virginia DMV customer service center in Virginia Square is currently closed, due to some emergency duct work in its office building.
A sign on the door of the location at 3434 Washington Blvd says the temporary closure is due to “unsafe conditions” and that “every attempt is being made to restore service as quickly as possible.”
DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker says staff arrived at the building this morning to discover the office was badly in need of duct repairs. Accordingly, they decided to shutter it temporarily “out of an abundance of caution,” she said.
Staff expects the office will reopen by Friday, but Brubaker said that anyone looking to visit should consult the DMV’s website before swinging by.
The DMV also operates customer service centers along S. Four Mile Run Drive and near the Pentagon, as well as in Alexandria and Tysons Corner.
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.”
The recent spate of major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. has raised the possibility of flood-damaged vehicles making their way up to the local used car market, Virginia officials warn.
Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are thought to have been damaged by hurricane-related flooding. That has prompted warnings from Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and attorney general.
Although Virginia state law requires owners to report water damage when selling their vehicle, not everyone does. The AG and DMV have released guidelines of what to watch for when purchasing a used vehicle.
Their full statement is below.
RICHMOND (October 3, 2017) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are urging customers in the market for a new or used car to be on the lookout for vehicles with water damage in the wake of massive flooding caused by a recent onslaught of hurricanes that has damaged or destroyed countless vehicles.
“All Virginians purchasing a used car directly from another individual should have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic, but that advice is even more pertinent in the wake of massive flooding when the risk of purchasing a water-damaged car increases,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Virginians need to be on the lookout for signs of water damage when purchasing a vehicle, and should always trust their instincts – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
“Nearly one-out-of-three car sales occurs directly between individuals,” DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said. “The dangers of water-damaged cars can be hidden. Aside from mold and rust, electrical systems could erode and fail over time. Computer sensors could be damaged and safety protections like air bags could fail in a crash.”
State law requires water damage to be reported on a vehicle’s title; however, dishonest sellers can find ways to circumvent these requirements, putting buyers at risk. If a vehicle is branded as non-repairable, the vehicle cannot be titled in Virginia, but a non-repairable car could be titled in another state. If a Virginian purchases that car and tries to title it in Virginia, the vehicle’s history would show it as non-repairable and the customer couldn’t obtain a title.
Virginia Code § 46.2-624 requires insurance companies to report to DMV when they have paid a claim of $3,500 or more on a vehicle due to water damage. Insurers are required to notify DMV of such water damage, even if the owner intends to continue driving the vehicle.
One tool consumers can use to check a vehicle’s history is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). By centralizing national title records, NMVTIS can help customers take extra precautions to identify flood-damaged, stolen or otherwise unsafe vehicles prior to titling. For more information, visit vehiclehistory.gov.
While there is no sure method to test for vehicle flood damage, here are several inspection tips that may help detect significant water damage:
- Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
- Check for recently shampooed carpet, and check under the floorboard carpet for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
- Look for rusting on the inside of the car and under interior carpeting, and visually inspect all interior upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
- Check under the dashboard for dried mud and residue, and note any evidence of mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
- Check for rust on screws in the console or other areas where water would not reach unless submerged.
- Check for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses, and around the small recesses of starter motors, power-steering pumps and relays.
- Complete a detailed inspection of the electrical wiring system, looking for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
- Inspect the undercarriage or other components for evidence of rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late-model vehicles.
- Ask a lot of questions and be thorough. Trust your instincts: if you don’t like the answers or the deal sounds too good to be true, walk away.
While these inspection suggestions will not detect flood damage in every case, they do provide some information to protect consumers from purchasing a vehicle damaged by floodwaters. If you are purchasing a used vehicle, always consider having it inspected by a mechanic.
Photo (top) via U.S. Coast Guard
County Wary of Lifetime Dog Licenses — Virginia may soon have a new law that allows localities to issue lifetime dog licenses. However, Arlington officials say that the current 1-3 year dog licenses help remind residents to keep their rabies vaccinations up to date. [InsideNova]
Road Paving Season Begins in a Month — Arlington’s road paving season starts at the beginning of April and runs through October. Pre-paving concrete repairs have already begun. Residents whose streets are set to be paved this year can expect to receive notification letters from the county. [Arlington County]
Wait Times Improved at DMV — After a month of renovation work, the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles office on S. Four Mile Run Drive reopened in January. Local and state officials held a ribbon-cutting for the renovated DMV location, which features “a new efficient countertop and workstation design to maximize customer flow and efficiency,” thus reducing wait times. [Facebook]
Native Plant Recommendations — Arlington County naturalist Alonso Abugattas has shared a list of his “favorite native plants for attracting and supporting wildlife.” [Mid-Atlantic Gardener]
Nearby: D.C. Issues Record Number of Tickets — The District of Columbia issued 2,760,482 traffic citations last year, an all-time high totalling $300 million in fines. That includes 1.1 million photo-enforced tickets, a 70 percent increase compared to a year prior. [WTOP]
Clarendon Restaurant Opening Basement Lounge — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar is planning to open a cafe, restaurant and cocktail lounge called Baba later this month. The basement space will have a separate kitchen and will serve craft cocktails and La Colombe coffee. [Washington Post, Facebook]
Four Mile DMV Still Closed — Though it was originally supposed to reopen on Monday, the Four Mile Run Virginia DMV office renovations are taking a bit longer than expected. “The reopen date for the Four Mile Run office is now tentatively January 12,” a DMV spokeswoman told ARLnow.com. “Our contractor is working hard to put the finishing touches on everything.”
County Publishes Paperless ‘Citizen’ — Arlington County has published an online-only “bonus” version of its Citizen newsletter, which is usually mailed to every household in the county. “You’re probably recycling lots of tree-based products this month so we’re saving a bit of room in your curbside bin,” the top of the online publication says. [Arlington County]
The DMV office on Four Mile Run Drive closed Thursday night and is not expected to reopen until Jan. 9.
“Upgrades to the office include four additional service windows and a new countertop design that will allow for a more efficient customer flow and minimize customer wait times,” the department said in a press release (below).
The Arlington DMV Customer Service Center (CSC), located at 4150 South Four Mile Run Drive, will temporarily close at 5 p.m. on December 1 for an interior renovation. The CSC is expected to reopen January 9 at 8 a.m. Upgrades to the office include four additional service windows and a new countertop design that will allow for a more efficient customer flow and minimize customer wait times.
During the renovation, customers are encouraged to conduct transactions online at dmvNOW.com. More than 40 transactions are available online including vehicle and driver’s license renewals, address changes, license plate purchases, and reinstatement fee payments.
Customers who need to conduct in-person transactions can visit the new Arlington DMV Metro at Virginia Square, located at 3434 Washington Blvd., accessible via Metrorail Orange and Silver lines at Virgina Square-GMU, Metrobus 38B or ART 52. Limited paid parking is available in the area. Customers may also visit the Alexandria Customer Service Center at 2681 Mill Road. Vehicle-related transactions such as a registration renewals, title issuances or replacements, and license plate purchases, can be conducted at the Arlington DMV Select at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard; Lorton DMV Select at 8210 Cinderbed Road; or Fairfax City Select 10455 Armstrong Street.