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by Bridget Reed Morawski March 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A long-time pharmacy volunteer at the Arlington Free Clinic has donated a quarter million dollars to the nonprofit medical center.

The $250,000 gift came from a retired Arlington special education teacher who prefers anonymity.

The clinic’s benefactor grew up in Pennsylvania coal country with immigrant parents. Her mother died of diabetes when she was nine; her father continued raising her until he died  of an untreated dental infection that spread to his brain when she was 18.

She came to the clinic one day and sat down with Arlington Free Clinic staff and asked what could be done with better funding.

“We started talking about dental, and her eyes lit up and the lights came on,” recounted Nancy White, the clinic’s executive director. White says that the volunteer wanted to support her father’s legacy with a gift that would prevent others from suffering how he did and to prevent children from losing their parents to preventable health problems.

The gift inspired the Arlington Free Clinic to set a $1 million fundraising goal to develop an in-house oral health program that would benefit low income adults without health insurance.

Currently, the clinic uses one dental chair at Arlington’s Department of Human Services to perform dental procedures. With the funding, the clinic hopes to rearrange their space at 2921 11th Street S., near Columbia Pike, so that three dental chairs could be installed where the pharmacy currently is, among other dental-related improvements.

The nonprofit has already raised $800,000 toward that goal, which they hope to achieve by November, and has planned upcoming events like a Bites & Blues fundraiser at Whitlow’s on Wilson on April 28.

This is not the first large donation received by the clinic. In 2011, the Arlington Free Clinic received a $677,500 gift to benefit mental health services.

by Anna Merod January 31, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

After the 2016 presidential election, Tori Phillips said she felt “helpless” and thought there was a community divide in Arlington.

To address that, Phillips reached out to multiple churches in 2017 with the idea of launching a “Little Community Pantry.” The idea is similar to that of a “Little Free Library,” from which people can give and take books as they please, except with Phillips’ pantry people can donate non-perishable food items and other items such as foot and hand warmers, packaged toothbrushes and tampons.

This past August Phillips was able to establish her “Little Community Pantry” outside the Central United Methodist Church, just across the street from the Ballston metro.

Phillips said she monitors the pantry weekly with the help of family, friends and members of the church. A member of the church also painted the pantry box, she added.

Some weeks she has been pleasantly surprised to find the pantry full, but in general she said the demand is higher than the supply.

Phillips said she thinks the pantry has helped bring the community together. Multiple people have stopped and thanked Phillips when she fills up the pantry. Sometimes people donate scarves, hats and gloves though the pantry doesn’t prompt it.

In the future Phillips hopes to see more pantry boxes outside of Arlington. She has her sights set on the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria as the next Little Community Pantry location.

Photo by Tori Phillips

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2017 at 8:00 am 0

Local Entrepreneur Scores on Shark Tank — “Sharmi Albrechtsen, founder and CEO of Arlington-based tech toy company SmartGurlz, landed an investment from FUBU founder Daymond John on Sunday’s “Shark Tank” episode: $200,000 for 25 percent of the business.” [Washington Business Journal]

New Year’s Meeting Nixed Again — For the second year in a row, what was once the traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting of the Arlington County Board will not be held on Jan. 1. The meeting is instead expected to be held on Jan. 2, according to a draft 2018 County Board calendar. [InsideNova]

ACPD Holding Toy Drive — The Arlington County Police Department is holding its third annual Fill the Cruiser Holiday Toy Drive for children in need in Arlington. Officers will be collecting toys on the evenings of Tuesday, Nov. 28 and Tuesday, Dec. 5 in various locations around the county. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by Chris Teale October 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The courtyard at Marymount University’s new building in Ballston has been named for a prominent Northern Virginia family.

The Reinsch family paid $1 million to name The Reinsch Pierce Family Courtyard at the “Newside” building (1000 N. Glebe Road), university officials announced yesterday (Thursday) at Marymount’s annual President’s Circle Dinner, held at District Wharf in Washington, D.C.

Other Marymount facilities named for Reinsch family members include Emerson G. Reinsch Library, Lola’s Café, and Reinsch Auditorium in the library. Lola Reinsch has been a member of Marymount’s Board of Trustees since 1992.

She introduced her father, developer Emerson Gerald “Jerry” Reinsch, to Sister M. Majella Berg, the longtime president of Marymount. After that meeting, they became good friends.

More from a Marymount University press release, after the jump.


by Chris Teale October 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Arlington Central Library is in line for renovations on its first and second floors as well as some modernization of its technology.

The library at 1015 N. Quincy Street will receive what county staff described in a report as a “partial refurbishment,” with improvements to open seating areas, newer and larger public meeting rooms and the conversion of an existing computer lab into a multipurpose technology lab.

Existing mechanical, electrical and communication systems would also get a refresh.

The library, which opened in 1961 and was renovated in 1992, will remain open for its normal business hours (Sunday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) during the work, which will take place one floor at a time.

The project will be funded in part by former Arlington County resident Rosemarie Bowie, who died in 2013 and left the libraries her home on N. Danville Street and half of her estate. The Executor of her estate sold her home and remitted the proceeds to the Arlington County Board along with half her estate.

Bowie’s estate funds just over $1.1 million for this project. The County Board will vote on whether to award a construction contract worth just over $1.4 million at its meeting Saturday, with contingency funds of just over $220,000.

by ARLnow.com September 7, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

ACPD Sending Supplies to Houston — The Arlington County Police Department is sending relief supplies to Houston Police, “who have been tirelessly serving those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” the department announced yesterday in a tweet. [Twitter]

More on County Board Debate — At Tuesday night’s Arlington Civic Federation debate, the two independent candidates blasted the County Board for supposedly being too pro cozy with business interests. Charles McCullough “several times ripped the county government for extending millions of dollars in ‘payola and corporate welfare’ in an effort to win economic-development successes,” while Audrey Clement “portrayed Arlington leaders as sharing a matrimonial bed with the development community, rubber-stamping new projects to reap the tax revenue they generate.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Encouraging Vanpools — Arlington County, via its Arlington Transportation Partners program, is encouraging commuters to join a vanpool, touting savings of up to $10,000 a year compared to solo commuting. [Arlington Transportation Partners]

Arlington Free Clinic Women’s Health Program — Grants from the Susan G. Komen foundation are funding a women’s health program at the Arlington Free Clinic and in turn saving the lives of breast cancer patients who otherwise could not afford their healthcare costs. Among those who beat breast cancer with the clinic’s help is one of its employees, a mother of three who found a lump while attending a breast health event in 2003. [WJLA]

Nearby: Rabid Raccoon Found — A raccoon found in an Alexandria park has tested positive for rabies. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by Vandiik

by Katherine Berko August 7, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

District Taco will donate $1 today (Monday) from every regular burrito and breakfast burrito it sells to a nonprofit that serves underprivileged children.

The event, called Back to School Burritos, will take place all day at each of District Taco’s 10 locations across the area. The money will be donated to the National Center for Children and Families, which will help purchase school supplies for underprivileged children and families in the region.

District Taco CEO and co-founder Osiris Hoil said he came from a disadvantaged upbringing and so tries to give back to the community whenever he can.

“When I was a child my parents were very poor, and it was very hard for them to buy school supplies for me and my brothers,” Hoil said in a statement. “Helping other kids makes my heart feel full and makes me extremely happy.”

Hoil started District Taco as a food cart in Arlington, before opening his first brick and mortar location on Lee Highway. It has since added restaurants in D.C. and Northern Virginia, with its first locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania both set to open this fall in College Park and King of Prussia, respectively.

by Chris Teale July 31, 2017 at 5:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Fire Department’s month-long donation drive for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington begins tomorrow (Tuesday).

Now in its second year, Operation Firepaws will run throughout August as firefighters across the county collect various non-perishable items for AWLA. Last year, more than 600 pounds of pet supplies was donated, a total ACFD hopes to beat this year.

The fire department and AWLA ask mostly for donations of canned food, collars, toys and some office supplies. The Animal Welfare League asked that Milk Bones, other boxed hard treats and homemade treats not be donated.

Throughout the month, the fire department will feature pet safety tips and profiles of pets up for adoption from AWLA on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

Donations will be accepted through August 31, and are encouraged between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Donation bins will be located in front of the entrances of all county fire stations:

  • Fire Station 1 – 500 S. Glebe Road
  • Fire Station 2 – 4805 Wilson Blvd
  • Fire Station 3 – 4100 Old Dominion Drive
  • Fire Station 4 – 3121 10th Street N.
  • Fire Station 5 – 1750 S. Hayes Street
  • Fire Station 6 – 6950 Little Falls Road
  • Fire Station 7 – 3116 S. Abingdon Street
  • Fire Station 8 – 4845 Lee Highway
  • Fire Station 9 – 1900 S. Walter Reed Drive
  • Fire Station 10 – 1559 Wilson Blvd

by ARLnow.com July 31, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Texas Murder Suspect Arrested in Arlington — A suspected MS-13 gang member, wanted for two Houston-area homicides, was arrested in Arlington on Saturday. Twenty-year-old Douglas Alexander Herrera-Hernandez, also known as “Terror,” was taken into custody while walking near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive. [Fox 5, WTOP]

Family of Murder Victim Donates Reward Funds — The family of an Iraq war vet shot to death in front of the Pentagon Row shopping center in 2006 has donated $5,000 in unclaimed reward money to Arlington Crime Solvers. “Despite an intensive investigation, a suspect and motive have not been identified,” said Arlington County Police. “This case remains an active cold case investigation.” [NBC Washington, WJLA, Twitter]

Some Arlingtonians Pay to Attend D.C. Public Schools — A handful of Arlington residents pay tuition for their children to attend D.C. public schools. Most are paying for enrollment in the renowned Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Northwest Washington. Arlington, which is still facing a school capacity crunch, does not allow nonresident students as does D.C., Fairfax County and Montgomery County. [Washington Post]

APS May Buy Home Next to Glebe Elementary — The Arlington School Board is considering buying a home next to Glebe Elementary School for $525,000 to provide emergency vehicles another point of access to the school. The home was recently sold to an investment firm for just over $400,000 this past January. [InsideNova]

Explanation for Low-Flying Helicopter — If you spotted a helicopter making low passes over Arlington this past weekend, it might have for a survey by the National Nuclear Security Administration “to measure naturally occurring background radiation.” [Twitter, National Nuclear Security Administration]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com June 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

Arlington-based nonprofits have raised more than $16,000 so far as part of the United Way’s Do More 24 campaign.

The 24-hour fundraising campaign encourages D.C. area donors to give to any of more than 700 local participating nonprofits, thus funding “programs and services right here in our own community.”

“Held on June 8, 2017, Do More 24 is the DMV’s largest 24-hour online fundraiser,” said the United Way of the National Capital Area. “Last year, Do More 24 raised more than $1.55 million, which allowed nonprofit organizations to fill holes in their budget, buy desperately needed new equipment and serve more people in need across our region.”

Among the Arlington-based organizations on the Do More 24 leaderboard as of 5 p.m. Thursday were:

To help generate excitement for the campaign, many local nonprofits were active on social media, posting videos, detailing good things for which donations would be used, and setting goals for matching donations.

The donation campaign runs through 11:59 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

by ARLnow.com March 14, 2017 at 9:35 am 0

Frozen daffodil buds in the snow (Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak)

Arlington Sports Hall of Fame Seeks Permanent Venue — There is an Arlington Sports Hall of Fame, but it does not have a permanent home. Boosters are seeking to change that, discussing a possible display in Arlington Central Library. [InsideNova]

Local Man Graduates Parris Island With Honors — Arlington native Allen M. Gibbs has graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island with honors. [Beaufort Gazette]

Police, Fire Departments Hold Book Drive — Starting Wednesday and running through April 30, Arlington police and firefighters will be holding a “For the Love of Reading” book drive, collecting specific books for elementary school students at Arlington Public Schools. Donation boxes are located at police headquarters in Courthouse and at local fire stations. [Arlington County]

Avalon Bay Donates to APAH — Arlington-based apartment, publicly traded building owner AvalonBay has made a $35,000 donation to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The company has raised $85,000 for APAH since 2015. [Yahoo Finance]

Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak

by ARLnow.com December 21, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Renderings of the planned 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center are up at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

The renderings, located next to the elevator bank in the food court area, show the vision for the gleaming center, with a wall of glass allowing visitors to see the side of the Pentagon that was struck by Flight 77 on 9/11/2001.

The visitor center is set to be built within the highway cloverleaf at the junction of Columbia Pike and Washington Blvd, within easy walking distance of the existing Pentagon Memorial.

At last check, the visitor center was expected to be built by 2020.

The mall display encourages shoppers to donate to the project. The Pentagon Memorial Fund is asking for special individual donation of $90.11 to help build the center.

More on the project, from the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website:

The Pentagon is the only 9/11 attack site without a visitor center or museum to explain the historic significance of the site. Among the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Memorial each year, few know that this memorial is different from all others in Washington, DC in that it is located where the event took place. Research showed that there is a unique teachable moment at the Memorial to explain the events on 9/11; the stories of the victims and heroes; the role of the Department of Defense and Pentagon; and how the United States and governments around the world are working to help prevent another 9/11.

With the guidance of the project’s official education partner, National Geographic, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center’s interactive exhibits and education programs will give visitors a sense of the broad impact of the tragedy from a variety of perspectives. Stories of the courage and resilient spirit demonstrated by Pentagon employees, first responders and residents of the area will be shared throughout the exhibits…

There will be a multi-media interactive exhibit space, a Children’s Education Area, a Reflection Area, conference and meeting rooms, an Auditorium, and a Sky Terrace.

The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center site is in a dramatic location, right where the attack of 9/11 took place and adjacent to the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and Air Force Memorial. Its orientation corresponds to the path of Flight 77. This thoughtful arrangement creates a powerful backdrop to heighten the experience for visitors as they arrive at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center.

by ARLnow.com December 8, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Snow man painted on a restaurant window in Shirlington

W-L Student Pens Open Letter on Boundary Changes — The boundary changes approved by the School Board on Dec. 1 will decrease socio-economic diversity at Arlington’s high schools, despite diversity being a stated “core value” at Arlington Public Schools. That’s the argument made by a Washington-Lee student in an open letter to the School Board, published by the Crossed Sabres student newspaper. The article has been widely shared online and, we’re told, has broken traffic records on the newspaper’s website. [Crossed Sabres]

Rollover Crash Last Night — A crash involving an SUV that flipped on its roof was reported near the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Glebe Road just before 8 p.m. last night. Another crash, involving a person potentially trapped in a vehicle, was reported on Old Dominion Drive just over the border in McLean, around 6 p.m. [Twitter, Twitter]

AFAC Collecting Lots of Donated Food — Holiday-time food collections are bolstering supplies at the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Just yesterday AFAC said it had received around 3,900 lbs of food from property owner Vornado and 1,900 lbs from apartment operator Dittmar. Dittmar says its total holiday food drive goal this year is 5,500 lbs. Other organizations collecting food for AFAC include local real estate agents that have formed a group called Arlington Realtors Care. [Instagram]

More Special Needs Students at APS — The percentage of special needs students at Arlington’s public schools has remained steady, but due to enrollment growth the number of special needs students has increased, presenting budgetary and instructional challenges. [InsideNova]

Cruz and Cornyn’s Queso Comes from Ballston — When Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn needed some authentic Texas-style queso to square off in a taste test against cheese dip from Arkansas, they went to Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurant in Ballston. (The restaurant chain is based in Texas.) Unfortunately, the Arkansas cheese won the competition. [Roll Call]

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Ice skating at Pentagon Row

County to Continue Westover Study — Arlington County’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board has asked county staff to study garden apartments in the Westover neighborhood. The study is expected to take 6-12 months, after which the board will consider whether to recommend a historic designation. Some residents want Westover designated as historic in order to prevent redevelopment. The study limits the historic designation to the garden apartments and not to other parts of Westover. [InsideNovaArlington County]

Donations Needed for ANC Wreaths — The nonprofit Wreaths Across America is seeking donations to help sponsor wreaths for the gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. Without additional donations, nearly half of the graves at the cemetery may be bare for the holidays. [Washington Examiner, WTOP]

New Name for New Street — A new street that will be built as part of a planned apartment development along Columbia Pike may be getting a new name. Originally set to be called S. Smythe Street, the short connector road behind the Wellington apartments may instead be named S. Ross Street. [InsideNova]

High School Boundary Change Approved — Despite some resident complaints, the Arlington School Board on Dec. 1 approved a series of high school boundary changes that will move students, starting with high school freshmen next year, from overcrowded Washington-Lee High School to Wakefield and Yorktown. [Arlington Public Schools, InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com December 1, 2016 at 10:10 am 0

Christmas trees (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Per Student Spending Questioned — Arlington Public Schools is again being questioned about why it has the highest per-student costs — $18,957 — of any suburban D.C. jurisdiction. Fairfax County, the largest school system in the state, has a per-student cost of $14,432. [InsideNova]

Woman’s Tireless TSA Protest — Alyssa Bermudez, a former Army staff sergeant and Bronze Star recipient, has been tirelessly protesting in front of Transportation Security Administration headquarters in Pentagon City, claiming that she was sexually harassed and fired for complaining about it. Other complaints and a lawsuit point to an alleged culture of harassment within the agency. [Washington Post]

ACPD Officers Meet Shaq — NBA great Shaquille O’Neal visited with D.C. area police yesterday on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs. Several ACPD officers were photographed with the 7’1″ O’Neal. [Twitter, Twitter]

AFAC Needs New Van — The Arlington Food Assistance Center is seeking donations to help it buy a new cargo van, after one of its old vans broke down while on a grocery run. [Fox 5, AFAC]

LiveSafe Launches Navy Pilot ProgramArlington-based startup LiveSafe has launched a six-month pilot program with a big client: the U.S. Navy. LiveSafe’s app will be used by sailors in Hampton Roads, Va. and in Rota, Spain “in an effort to prevent sexual assaults and combat other destructive behaviors before they happen.” [Stars and Stripes]

Arlington Man Tweets Hillary Sightings — Arlingtonian Adam Parkhomenko, a long-time Hillary Clinton aide and booster, is helping grieving Democrats by turning the former presidential candidate into a “wandering folk hero.” He’s doing so via a social media account that keeps track of photos of Clinton “in the wild” since she lost the election. [Vanity Fair]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman


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