92°Partly Cloudy

‘Fill the Cruiser’ Supply Drive Aims to Support County Schools

With a little over a month until the first day of school in Arlington County, the Arlington County Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will begin a school supply drive tomorrow (Aug. 1).

Community members can bring supplies to ACPD’s headquarters (1425 N. Courthouse Road) from Aug. 1-16. From 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 16, donors can also bring items to help “fill the cruiser” at Westover Shopping Center or Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The drive will support county public school teachers and students, whose expenses can add up quickly. Supplies and school fees for the average elementary school student cost $662 last year, according to the Huntington Backpack Index, and that number goes up as students advance to middle and high school. Teachers often spend hundreds out of pocket purchasing items for their classrooms.

Arlington Public Schools is charged with distributing the donations. Suggested items to donate include No. 2 pencils, glue and loose leaf paper.

0 Comments

ACFD’s ‘Operation FirePaws’ Supply Drive Kicks Off Tomorrow

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington cares for over 2,000 animals each year, and uses plenty of supplies in the process.

To support AWLA, the Arlington County Fire Department will aim to accumulate 650 pounds of pet supplies in its third annualOperation FirePaws” drive, which runs from tomorrow (Aug. 1) through Aug. 31.

Community members can drop off non-perishable items from AWLA’s wishlist between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to donation bins located at the front entrance of every Arlington County fire station.

AWLA asks that donations not include homemade treats, Milk Bones or other boxed hard treats. Desired donation items include canned food, collars and toys.

ACFD invites donors to pick up a pet alert decal when they make their donation. A full list of fire stations is available here.

Photo via ACFD

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Clement to Face Kanninen Again — “The 2018 Arlington School Board race is likely to be a rerun of 2014. Audrey Clement and incumbent Barbara Kanninen have qualified for ballot access, county elections chief Linda Lindberg told the Sun Gazette, setting up a reprise of their campaign from four years ago.” [InsideNova]

PenPlace Sketches Released — JBG Smith has released new sketches of its planned PenPlace development in Pentagon City. The development includes “two seven-story apartment buildings totaling 300 units, 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a future park.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Palooza Set for Saturday — The second annual Arlington Palooza,”a free outdoor program for all ages with live music, art, games and more,” is set to take place Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at Alcova Heights Park. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Arlington Historical Society Getting Donation — Per a press release: “The Arlington Historical Society will receive a significant donation this spring as Arlington welcomes National Capital Bank to the Courthouse/Clarendon area on Wilson Blvd. National Capital Bank President Randy Anderson, who grew up in Arlington, called to inform AHS President Johnathan Thomas that the Society was chosen as one of the charities the Bank will support with a grant award.”

Real Estate Inventory Crunch — “Long & Foster says… the number of houses and condos on the market, in D.C., Loudoun County and Arlington County was down 22 percent in March compared to a year ago.” [WTOP]

Live Construction Cam in Ballston — The new 672 Flats apartment building (an ARLnow.com advertiser) in Ballston set up a live camera to track the construction progress. The camera is viewable online and shows an aerial view of the apartments and a portion of the neighborhood. [OxBlue]

0 Comments

Japanese High School Donates Dogwood Trees to Arlington Career Center

A high school in Tokyo is donating two flowering dogwood trees to the Arlington Career Center.

The gift is intended to memorialize the 103rd anniversary of the United States’ gift to Japan of 60 flowering dogwood trees, according to a Japan-America Society of Washington DC press release.

The dogwood trees, donated by Tokyo’s Engei High School, is scheduled to be presented by the new Japanese ambassador, Shinsuke Sugiyama, on Tuesday, April 3, at 10:30 a.m. They will be planted near the Arlington Career Center’s S. Highland Street border.

Marc Hitzig, the group’s executive director, told ARLnow via email that Arlington was chosen because of a desire to set up a sister city arrangement between Arlington County and Setagaya ward.

According to the society’s press release, there are several similarities between Arlington and Setagaya ward — a Tokyo subdivision similar in arrangement from New York City’s boroughs — including proximity to bodies of water and area demographics.

“We chose the Career Center because we wanted to find a similar high school like Engei High School in Arlington County,” wrote Hitzig, a Bluemont resident, in an email.

“Engei is a horticultural high school in the heart of Tokyo, and since Arlington does not have a horticultural high school we thought the Career Center matched it the best of all of Arlington high schools.”

“Not to mention,” Hitzig added,”Virginia’s state flower and tree is the dogwood.”

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick. Photo (2) via Google Maps.

0 Comments

Arlington Free Clinic Receives $250K Donation

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.

0 Comments

‘Little Community Pantry’ Helps to Feed the Hungry in Ballston

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

0 Comments

Morning Notes

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

0 Comments

Courtyard at Marymount’s New Ballston Building Named for Reinsch Family

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.

“I am so thrilled to do this for Marymount, truly,” said Lola Reinsch, a member of Marymount’s Board of Trustees since 1992.

The $75 million multi-use Ballston Center opened in August for academic, office and residential purposes. LEED Gold Certified, the center is comprised of a nine-story academic/office building and The Rixey, a 12-story residential/retail building, each featuring multi-level underground parking. The complex is anchored by a public plaza and The Reinsch Pierce Family Courtyard.

The family’s relationship with the university began when Lola Reinsch introduced her late father, Arlington developer Emerson Gerald “Jerry” Reinsch, to Sister M. Majella Berg, RSHM. They became good friends and the family shared Thanksgiving dinners together. Later, the longtime Marymount president often visited Reinsch at his nursing home and took him for car rides, where he loved to visit his many properties.

“Our rides together all over Arlington were a lesson in local real estate and land deal history,” Berg recalled in the book, “College to University: A Memoir.”

That lesson was well-learned: Sister Majella, who served as Marymount’s president for 32 years, had the foresight to purchase the Ballston Center’s site and the building that occupied it, “the Blue Goose,” in 1992. She died in 2004.

In an interview before the dinner, Marymount President Matthew D. Shank said the courtyard is the gateway to the entire Ballston Center complex and will be used both by students and the community.

“It will be used for many years to come for events, as a place for students to relax and study and as a walkway for the community,” Shank said. “We’re thrilled that it will be honoring this wonderful family, not only because of Lola’s history as a trustee with Marymount, but also with her father’s history with our university. We’re thrilled that the family tradition is being carried on with such generosity.”

Other Marymount facilities named for Reinsch family members include Emerson G. Reinsch Library, Lola’s Café, and Reinsch Auditorium in the library. Lola Reinsch was accompanied by her son, Gerald Pierce, and her ex-husband, Al Pierce, who served as the architect of Reinsch Library.

Photos Nos. 3-5: Courtesy photos

0 Comments

Arlington Central Library Set for Renovations

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.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

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

0 Comments

District Taco to Donate Portion of Burrito Sales Today to Charity

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.

0 Comments

Fire Department’s ‘Operation Firepaws’ Donation Drive Begins Tuesday

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
0 Comments

Morning Notes

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

0 Comments

Arlington Nonprofits Raise Thousands During One-Day Giving Campaign

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).

0 Comments

Morning Notes

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

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list