Mom Inspires Sons to Join Vax Effort — “Quitting their jobs to help end the pandemic. That’s what some Springfield, Virginia men did after being inspired by a public health nurse who has been on the front lines responding to COVID-19. The nurse that inspired them to change careers is their mom,” who works at Arlington County Public Health. [WJLA]
Library Launching New Outdoor Storytime — “Outdoor Storytime is a fun and interactive program, presented by youth service librarians, and combines activities such as read-aloud stories, songs, rhymes, fingerplays and flannel boards. A kick-off event will be held on Tuesday, May 18, 10 a.m., at Central Library adjacent to Quincy Park, with special guest Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh.” [Arlington Public Library]
Dog Pee Causing Parking Meter Problems — From the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services: “Pooches, please: Take your aim game to more rustic targets. You’re jamming the parking meter coin doors.” [Twitter]
GOP Gov. Nominee on HQ2 — “[Republican nominee for governor Glenn] Youngkin supports Amazon’s big HQ2 project in Arlington, but argues he ‘would have cut a heck of a better deal.'” [Axios]
Nature is Healing — “After more than a year of reduced operating hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) stores will return to pre-pandemic operating hours on May 14, 2021. All stores will open by 10 a.m. every day, apart from some stores which regularly open later on Sundays.” [Press Release]
What’s better than celebrating a birthday? Celebrating a dog’s birthday, of course.
Walter the Bernese Mountain Dog is turning 4 and his parents are inviting all dogs and their humans (and pet-less people) to celebrate with them.
Walter has lived in Arlington since the fall of 2019 with his dog parents, Nick and Kayti Goebel. Now “135 pounds of pure muscle” as Nick likes to say, Walter has become a local celebrity. While walking around Clarendon and going to local restaurants with his parents, Walter attracts lots of attention.
“It’s amazing how people stop us to meet and pet Walter,” said Nick. “He gets a lot of attention and love.”
One day while they were sitting at one of their favorite local restaurants, the staff persuaded Nick and Kayti to make Walter an Instagram account. After leaving the restaurant, they met a writer from The Dogist, a website and social media account dedicated to pictures and stories of dogs around the world. The writer asked to take some photos of Walter and posted them to their 3.9 million followers on Instagram, tagging Walter’s new account.
In the first 24 hours of Walter’s account, he had 2,000 followers.
Now his account is up to nearly 4,800 followers. Nick and Kayti asked his Instagram followers if anyone in Arlington would want to celebrate Walter’s 4th birthday with them and they got lots of interest.
This Sunday, April 25, from 3-5 p.m. at The The Pinemoor in Clarendon (1101 N. Highland Street), the couple will be celebrating on the back deck and welcoming any humans and dogs to come party with them.
There will be Walter-inspired cocktails and a raffle items, the proceeds of which will go to the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation.
“With so many people wanting to attend, we saw an opportunity to do some good,” said Kayti. “So we reached out to the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation to see if they would like us to turn the party into a fundraiser.”
There is a sizable crowd expected, but the back patio is limited to 50 people so the couple encourages people to come early in order to celebrate and see Walter on his big day.
Photos via @this.is.walters.world/Instagram
During AWLA’s week-long Home Run Adoption Event, adoption fees will be cut in half for dogs six months and older to encourage potential adoptive parents to step up to the plate. Tomorrow (Saturday) through Friday, April 9, people can take home dogs under 25 pounds for $137, adult dogs for $100 and dogs 10 years and older for $87.
The shelter is reaching capacity and soon expects more dogs to arrive, Chelsea Jones, a spokeswoman said.
“Our dog kennels are very full, and with dog transports arriving next week, we really need to get our current dogs adopted to make room for the new dogs coming in from shelters in need in Texas,” Jones said. “Many of our dogs have also been with us for quite a while now, and it’s high time they found their homes.”
Some shelters in Texas are still dealing with the after-effects of the February storms and cold weather that knocked out power to much of the state, she said. Meanwhile, shelters nationwide are entering their busy season, when the number of animals needing shelter begins to rise.
“We get requests every day from shelters and rescues in need of transfer partners, and we always want to help if we are able to,” Jones said.
One year into the pandemic, which prompted many people to combat isolation with new furry friends, it seems adoption rates have come down, she said.
“We are still very busy with adoptions but not quite at the same level as a year ago,” Jones said. “We also seem to have some dogs who are having trouble finding their families and have been with us for a while — they just haven’t found their person yet, but we hope they will this weekend.”
Photos courtesy Animal Welfare League of Arlington
The first time Matt and Vicky Eichler saw Jazz, she was in a crate coming out of baggage claim at Reagan National Airport.
“They sounded the big siren at Reagan National and she came through the little cargo thing,” says Matt. “And she was born to us.”
That was in 2002.
Today, Jazz (short for “Jazzmatazz”) is a newly-turned 19-year-old, toothless, miniature dachshund who lives with her caretakers in the Arlington Forest neighborhood. And this birthday girl (her birthday was March 19) has gone Arlington viral.
As ARLnow’s Pet of the Week last week, Jazz made quite an impression. On Facebook, Jazz’s story have received more than 250,000 impressions, 16,500 likes, 650 shares, and 1,300 comments — and counting.
It’s the most viral Pet of the Week post on social media that anyone here can remember. (In terms of readership on the ARLnow website, Jazz was unable to overtake the all-time Pet of the Week pageviews leader, a pet rock named Steven.)
It’s not totally clear why Jazz has stolen the hearts of an NHL arena’s worth of Facebook users, but her caretakers think it’s because she’s lovable, cute, and alive.
“All of our neighbors when they see her say ‘Oh, she’s still alive?’ and we say ‘Oh, yeah!,” says Matt.
Nineteen years ago, the newly-married couple was looking for a dog to carry on the family legacy.
“My family has had dachshunds in their family since 1980,” says Matt. “And Vicky really wanted a dog, so [she] emailed a number of breeders.”
They found a match, but the dog was all the way in Louisiana. So, the young pup took a flight by herself to meet her new family.
“She came with the name ‘Jasmine,'” says Vicky. “But I didn’t like it. It was too girly.”
So, they named her Jazzmatazz. With her Louisiana origins, Vicky says that the name “totally fit her.”
That first day with her new family was full of surprises.
“We brought her home, went to the backyard, and she instantly knew how to play ball,” says Matt. “It was pretty amazing. She was more than eager to play and push [the ball] back with her nose and chase it down.”
Jazz also didn’t bark in her first days, but that changed, oddly, once she saw herself for the first time.
“She was really quiet. And then she saw herself in the mirror and started to bark for the first time,” says Matt. “Then, we couldn’t shut her up after that.”
A few years later, the Eichler got another addition to their family.
“When we brought [our son] home from the hospital, Jazz welcomed him to the house,” says Matt. “She would pop up on her hind legs and look into the cradle.”
On walks, Jazz was protective of the baby, barking at passers-by.
“She was a good older sister,” Matt says.
As the years have passed, Jazz has slowed down a bit. Her eyes have gradually gotten worse, her hearing is going, and her mobility isn’t great. But she still has a great sense of smell, always tracking down her treats.
APS to Fully Return to Classrooms in Fall — “Arlington Public Schools will bring all students who choose it back for five days of in-person learning every week starting in the fall, Superintendent Francisco Durán told the school board Thursday.
He emphasized that any families… who want to stay virtual-only will be able to do so, and noted that staffers have already begun to plot out what the remote option will look like.” [Washington Post]
County Still Seeking New Logo Ideas — “Calling all artists, and artists-at-heart! The County will choose a new logo this year that better represents our Arlington community, and we need your help… Submit your logo concept/art by March 14.” [Arlington County]
Fire Breaks Out in Route 1 Median — From Dave Statter: “Watch your cigarettes, matches & ashes. Dry & breezy. A small brush fire on Rt 1 south of 23rd St briefly blocked traffic. @Reagan_Airport MWAA Engine 301 handled it.” [Twitter]
Brooks Basking in the Sunlight — From the Arlington County Police Department yesterday afternoon: “It’s a pawsitively beautiful day in Arlington County! FRK9 Brooks hopes you get out and enjoy the weather!” [Twitter]
Va. Booze Sales Soar During Pandemic — “Virginians bought considerably more liquor in the second half of 2020 than they did during the same period of 2019. That’s according to figures Washingtonian obtained from the commonwealth’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, which show statewide sales of spirits were up 15 percent over 2019 from July to December of the worst year in recent history.” [Washingtonian]
State Tax Revenue Higher Than Expected — “On a year-to-date basis, collections of payroll withholding taxes — 61 percent of General Fund revenues — increased 1.1 percent, behind the annual forecast of 2.7 percent growth. Sales tax collections — 17 percent of General Fund revenues — increased 6.7 percent through February, ahead of the annual forecast calling for a 4.8 percent increase. Recordation taxes advanced 38.3 percent on a fiscal year basis, ahead of the 24.4 percent annual forecast. Total revenues rose 8.0 percent through February, ahead of the revised annual forecast of 3.0 percent growth.” [Gov. Ralph Northam]
Reminder: Spring Forward This Weekend — “The second Sunday in March is when Daylight Saving Time begins in most areas of the U.S., so in 2021 we’ll ‘spring forward’ one hour and on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 2 a.m. Be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour before bed on Saturday night!” [Farmers’ Almanac]
One year ago today, the coronavirus changed life over the course of one momentous day. Now, Arlington dogs may face a lockdown of their own due to a new viral outbreak.
Arlington County warned this afternoon that raccoons across North Arlington are testing positive for a virus called Canine Distempter. The disease can be transmitted to dogs and other pets — and is often fatal or debilitating.
Officials learned of the outbreak due to incidents involving sick raccoons that had rabies-like symptoms over the past few months. Of the three raccoons captured by animal control, only one ended up testing positive for rabies, according to a press release. But officials continued capturing and testing raccoons due to the concerning behavior.
More from the press release:
With ongoing issues and reports Arlington County Animal Control and the Arlington County Department of Human Services arranged for broader testing of six raccoons that were removed showing neurological signs and symptoms in early March 2021. All of the raccoons tested were clinically positive for Canine Distemper.
Distemper is a viral disease that is always present in wildlife populations at varying levels. Raccoons are especially susceptible to canine distemper, as well as foxes, coyotes, skunks, and unvaccinated dogs. This virus does not affect humans. The disease is transmitted when animals have direct contact with infected animals or indirect contact with body fluids/feces from an infected animal.
We are urging residents in North Arlington to be vigilant. This outbreak is no longer contained to a specific neighborhood.
The County is asking pet owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated against both rabies and distemper. Pets should be kept inside, or on a leash when outside, officials say.
More official advice from the County is below.
Residents are asked to:
- Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines
- Keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside
- Do not approach or feed any wild animals
- Feed pets inside
- Remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food and compost
If you see a raccoon that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive should stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241. If you come across a deceased raccoon in your yard or a public space, contact Animal Control immediately.
Rosslyn Dog Park Now Open — “Thanks to the support of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and R-DOGS, there’s a new interim dog park on the western side of Gateway Park. Now that’s something to bark about!” [Arlington County, Instagram]
Arlingtonian Confirmed as U.N. Ambassador — “The Senate voted 78-20 on Tuesday to confirm Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.” The long-time Arlington resident “has promised to restore the U.S. role as a defender of human rights and will look to repair multilateral relationships that fractured under former President Trump.” [Axios]
Crashes on I-395 Yesterday Morning — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “The units from Station 9C ran a three vehicle accident early this morning on 395NB. Upon arrival, they discovered a trapped patient who was quickly extricated. Two patients were treated and transported with non-life threatening injuries.” [Twitter, WUSA 9]
YHS Students to Continue Athletics in College — “A dozen Yorktown High School athletes participated in recent college signing ceremonies to continue their playing careers at the next level.” [InsideNova]
Local Woman Sickened By New Puppy — “An Arlington mother and daughter are warning those interested in purchasing a new pet about a disease called campylobacter. Audrey Glitt was thrilled when her mother, Katrina Metzler, brought home a new puppy named Fernweh as a surprise — but shortly after the dog’s arrival, the excitement quickly faded to worry. ‘I think it was about, a week later after we had gotten her, I started getting really sick and I couldn’t get out of bed,’ said Glitt.” [WDVM]
With FRK9 Brooks as its mascot, the Arlington County Police Department is hosting a “Fill the Cruiser” pet supply drive to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
“FRK9 Brooks has a case of puppy love and is asking for your help ensuring his furry valentines at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington have the supplies they need,” a press release said. “For more than 75 years, AWLA has served the Arlington community with animal sheltering and control services to help pet owners keep their animals healthy, happy, and home.”
The drive, this Friday, Feb. 12 from 2-5 p.m., will be held at a contactless, drive-through donation station set up outside the Animal Welfare League of Arlington on the 2600 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive.
FRK9 Brooks, who turned one in November, is being trained for this. A police service dog, his responsibilities include participating in community outreach events and helping officers deal with “strong emotions and stress that are often an inherent part of policing,” ACPD said back in August.
Suggested donations include cleaning supplies, treats, Vienna sausages, Easy Cheese, toys, pill pockets, leashes, and buckle collars. A full list of supplies AWLA can accept is available on its website.
AWLA cannot accept pillows, sheets, comforters, plastic dishes, used cat scratchers, towers, trees and litter boxes, used or extra-large dog beds or prescription medications.
On arriving, participants are asked to stay in their cars until they reach the unloading areas. Officers will be on-hand to remove donations from their vehicles.
There will be a separate area available for those arriving by bike or on foot.
Photos #1-3 from the file, photo #4 via Arlington County
Starting today (Tuesday), fencing is set to be installed for an interim dog park in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park.
Work on the dog park, including the installation of lighting and a water fountain, started in 2020. It is slated to finish in the first quarter of 2021, said Mary Ann Elliott, the director of R-Dogs, which is one of the main forces behind the project.
Eventually, the area will be fenced-in, with a section for small and disabled dogs and one for large dogs.
“Fencing is the last major part,” Elliott said.
The interim dog park at 1300 Lee Hwy fills Rosslyn’s growing need for dog parks, of which the county will need three by 2035, according to a county planning document. The temporary facility will be in place until a Park Master Plan is developed and funding becomes available for a potential permanent replacement.
The plan could be finished in 2022 and funded in 2028, Elliott said.
The interim park is the result of nearly three years of work by R-Dogs, a community group-turned-nonprofit, and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
“It has been a long process with rules and regulations that one comes to find with any rules of county governance,” said Elliott. “I’m very pleased, overall, with the County, and thrilled with what the BID has contributed.”
Mary-Claire Burick, President of the Rosslyn BID, said the park represents a “wonderful partnership” among the County, R-Dogs and the BID to meet the needs of Rosslyn’s growing residential population.
“We are excited to add in a designated place where owners and their pets can safely enjoy the fresh air,” she said in a statement.
The Arlington parks department anticipates a dog park will be considered in the master planning work, but will need to go through a community process before it can be more specific, department spokeswoman Susan Kalish said in an email.
Elliott said the interim dog park will cost about $40,000, and the BID, a veterinary practice, several small businesses and individuals have chipped in to fund it. This sets the dog park apart, she said.
“All of the other dog parks in the County have a sponsor group of community residents, but did not raise money or establish a company with by-laws in order to make it a reality,” she said.
Photo (bottom) via Arlington County
BBC Airs Segment on AFAC — The Arlington Food Assistance Center, which is seeing record food need and lines throughout the day, was profiled in a segment that aired on BBC World News this week. [Twitter]
Fares to Return on ART Buses — “ART buses will resume front door boarding and fare collection starting on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Riders will begin boarding buses through the front door and will pay their fare at the fare box using a SmarTrip card or exact change. The regular ART bus fare for a one-way trip is $2.00.” [Arlington Transit]
Teens Launch Hot Cocoa Company — “In July, Wakefield High School rising seniors Farah Bahr and Sithiya Reshmee (who goes by the nickname ‘Resh’) founded F&R Sweets, a line that includes chocolate-dipped strawberries, churro cheesecake (made with croissant dough, cream cheese filling and cinnamon sugar) and hot chocolate bombs… the bombs ($3-$10 each) grabbed my attention. They are bonbon-like orbs filled with mini marshmallows, Swiss Miss cocoa mix (regular, caramel or peppermint) and sometimes other add-ins.” [Arlington Magazine]
AWLA Treats Dog With Skin Condition — “On Sunday, we were very surprised when a brown-eyed dog with a severe skin infection and hair loss came through our doors. He desperately needs us, and together we can start him on the path to healing. Rufus was found all alone on the side of the road and was brought to AWLA for help.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Patch]
Fort Myer Bowling Alley Back Open — “The [Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall] Bowling Center had a small grease fire last week that temporarily shut down operations. Today, the fire department and health inspections were completed and they were given approval to re-open at 2 p.m.” [Twitter]
Arlington is Soldier’s Resting Place, At Last — “An Army sergeant from Panama, Oklahoma who was killed during the Korean War has been identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency,” from the 55 boxes containing remains of American service members turned over by North Korea in 2018. “Rodgers will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, at a later date that has yet to be determined.” [Times Record]
Local Dog Adoption Demand is High — “Kim Williams, who volunteers for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation of Arlington, Virginia, has tapped into a puppy pipeline of sorts to bring some of Georgia’s homeless pet population to the mid-Atlantic region where they are bombarded by requests for dogs to adopt.” [WMAZ]
American Reducing Service at DCA — “American Airlines is discontinuing service to more than 20 destinations from Reagan National Airport in January, according to new data reported by the Official Airline Guide. Cities and/or airports dropped range from major (New York-JFK; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Minneapolis-St. Paul) to smaller (Jackson, Miss.; Manchester, N.H.; Greensboro, N.C.). Many were served just once or twice per day.” [InsideNova]
Land Transfer May Speed Bridge Project — “Interesting: NPS is ‘supportive’ of conveying four acres of parkland to VA and DC to construct the Long Bridge(s), rather than just permitting. That would likely speed design and construction, and could result in a ped/bike span that doesn’t compromise as much on width and lighting in order to conform to NPS interests.” [@CarFreeHQ2/Twitter]
Local Wildlife Caught on Camera — “Arlington resident Levi Novey and his wife Alicia have captured footage documenting quite an array of critters passing through their yard via a fence that Levi has dubbed a ‘wildlife superhighway…’ So far their fence camera has photographed foxes, raccoons, mice, housecats, chipmunks, and lots of birds and possums.” [WJLA]
Redistricting Commission Applications Open — “Beginning Monday, Virginians will have a month to apply for one of eight public seats on the state’s new redistricting commission, which has begun its work with a panel of retired judges setting out plans for the application process.” [Washington Post]
Stormy Day Today — “Get ready for a wild weather finish to November. A strong storm system develops and moves through… bringing a mix of hazards to our area in a short time frame, capped off by the potential for strong to possibly severe storms Monday afternoon. No specific warnings or advisories have been issued, but expect a good soaking of one to two-plus inches of rain (and some wild temperature swings).” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]