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Morning Notes

Fisette Has To-Do List for Final Months — Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette has a number of items left on his to-do list as he nears retirement from the Board at the end of the year. Among the items with some momentum is a plan to name the county government headquarters after long-serving Board member Ellen Bozman. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Purple Ribbons on ACPD Cruisers — “During the month of October a purple ribbon, donated by [local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families], will be displayed on many Arlington County Police Department vehicles in support of the efforts to reduce the incidence and severity of domestic violence in our community.” [Arlington County]

Beyer Gets Press for Security Clearance Letter — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is getting some national media attention for his continued push — alongside Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) — for the Trump administration to revoke the security clearances of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. [CNN]

History of Sushi Zen — Sushi Zen, a Japanese restaurant on N. Harrison Street, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year by holding 20 fundraisers for local nonprofits. But the path to success for the sushi spot was bumpy. The family-owned restaurant struggled in its early years and enlisted the help of Georgetown MBA students to help turn things around. [Connection Newspapers]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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Local NOW Chapter to Host Charity Spin Class for Doorways

(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) The Arlington Chapter of the National Organization for Women will host a charity indoor bike ride later this month to raise money for local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families.

The 50-minute ride takes place from 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 at Cyclebar, an indoor cycling center at 3400 Columbia Pike. Online reservations are required.

For a $25 donation, participants receive a 50-minute spin class accompanied by a “Girl Power” playlist, as well as cycling shoes, a towel and a water bottle. The local NOW chapter is also asking for song suggestions for its ride playlist.

The event will raise money for Doorways, which works to transform the lives of those who are homeless or face abuse in the community.

Since its founding in 1966, NOW looks to take action to “promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.” NOW’s national organization describes itself as a nonprofit that is the “grassroots arm of the women’s movement.”

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Doorways Partners With Local Restaurants For Sexual Assault Awareness

Five Arlington restaurants are partnering with local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families to raise awareness of sexual assault and help available for victims.

Starting tonight, Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Northside Social and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Clarendon and the Crystal City Sports Pub in Crystal City will provide customers with coasters that feature Doorways’ 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881) and the message, “Sexual assault impacts everyone.”

The weekend campaign coincides with the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Our goal with this outreach is twofold,” said Doorways president and CEO Caroline Jones in a statement. “First and foremost, we want to show survivors that they’re not alone. Secondly, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the resources here in Arlington, namely our 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline — help is available in our community.”

Last year, 187 adults and 40 children were served by Doorways’ hotline response as a direct result of sexual assault.

According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, and 54 percent of sexual assault victims are between the ages of 18 and 34.

Other services offered by Doorways include hospital accompaniment, counseling and court advocacy, which provides education about the legal system, companionship during the petition and court hearing processes and extensive safety planning for anyone impacted by family violence.

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Meet Our Opinion Columnists and Enjoy a Pint on Columbia Pike Later This Month

The Celtic HouseDevelopment, affordable housing, school crowding, Metro’s woes. Those are just a few of the local issues we’ll discuss during ARLnow Presents: Hot Topics on the Pike on Wednesday, April 27.

The event is taking place at Celtic House, at 2500 Columbia Pike, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

(Feel free to take advantage of the $5 Wednesday wing special or stick around afterward for Celtic House’s weekly trivia night at 8:30.)

The first half of the event will be a debate among our opinion columnists — Mark Kelly (The Right Note), Peter Rousselot (Peter’s Take) and Lawrence Roberts (Progressive Voice) — on countywide issues.

Next up is a discussion of the future of Columbia Pike. It’s been more than a year since the cancellation of the streetcar, yet development has continued on the Pike seemingly unabated. So what does the future hold for the corridor? Among those joining us for the conversation are County Board member Katie Cristol and Arlington Transportation Committee Chair Chris Slatt.

Doorways for Women and Families logoRSVP is required — tickets are only $5 online.

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month. All of ARLnow’s proceeds from the event will be donated Doorways for Women and Families, an Arlington-based nonprofit that creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault.

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Calls to Arlington Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline Up 50 Percent

Doorways for Women and Families logoApril is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families is reminding Arlington that sexual assault remains a significant problem in our community, even though it’s sometimes hidden.

Based in Arlington — the group doesn’t publicize its office address for security reasons — Doorways “creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Last year, calls to the group’s 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline — at 703-237-0881 — was up 53 percent year-over-year, Doorways said. A total of 1,244 callers reported incidents impacting 2,012 adults and children.

Doorways attributed much of the rise to increased awareness.

“Thankfully, more and more people are becoming aware of the hotline and are feeling empowered to reach out to us to access the resources they need,” said Doorways President and CEO Caroline Jones.

Doorways has several awareness events planned for April, as detailed in the following press release, after the jump. (ARLnow.com will also be helping out, by donating 100 percent of the proceeds from our soon-to-be-announced April event to the organization.)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Doorways for Women and Families is calling on Arlington community members to learn more about the issue and take action to raise awareness this month. Doorways, a nonprofit community service organization that creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault, provides support and services to individuals and families impacted by these issues as well as community education and advocacy to address their root causes. 

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Doorways is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Arlington County Police Department, the Metro Transit Police Department, the City of Alexandria’s Sexual Assault Center, PAVE, the Marymount University Counseling Center and more to raise awareness at various events throughout Arlington. On April 6, Doorways encourages community members to participate in Start By Believing Day, which stresses the importance of people’s reactions to friends and family members’ disclosures of assault, by committing to believe survivors when they say they’ve been raped or sexually assaulted. Community members can also demonstrate support for survivors by wearing teal for Teal Out on April 20. Additional information about these and more ways to make an impact are available at www.DoorwaysVA.org/SAAM.

Raising awareness that interpersonal violence impacts people in Arlington is an important part of addressing these issues. “It can be difficult to grasp the scope of the problem in our community because these issues are often hidden” said Doorways President and CEO Caroline Jones. Last year alone, Doorways responded to 1,244 callers through their 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline — a 53 percent increase over calls received the previous year — impacting 2,012 adults and children. “Thankfully, more and more people are becoming aware of the hotline and are feeling empowered to reach out to us to access the resources they need,” said Jones.

Through the hotline, Doorways offers free and confidential crisis support, information and referrals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, survivors of sexual assault can access Doorways’ trained staff and volunteers to accompany them to area hospitals for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) exams. This accompaniment support is offered in partnership with Arlington County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Hotline support is available to all survivors, regardless of their choice to pursue medical attention and/or legal action. For those in need of safe shelter to escape interpersonal violence, Doorways’ Domestic Violence Safehouse can also be accessed through the hotline.

“We are so grateful to our community partners who are supporting Doorways’ safe, immediate response to survivors and helping to educate our community,” said Jones. “By coming together during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we can help one another better understand the realities of sexual assault, survivors’ varied needs and so critically learn together how best to prevent and respond to sexual violence as a community.”

To learn more about how Doorways creates pathways leading to safe, stable and empowered lives, and to join the cause, visit www.DoorwaysVA.org. If you or someone you know needs support, please call Doorways’ 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at (703) 237-0881.

About Doorways for Women and Families:

Doorways for Women and Families is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that envisions a community where all people live free of violence and have safe and stable housing. For over 37 years, we have worked to transform the lives of women and families who are facing homelessness or suffering from abuse. Beginning with a safe place to stay and continuing with services that address each individual’s needs, Doorways creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault leading to safe, stable and empowered lives. Thanks to community partnerships and the generosity of our supporters, our four-tiered strategy meets both the immediate and long-term needs of our clients and addresses the economic and societal issues that lead to violence, poverty and family homelessness. Join us online at www.DoorwaysVA.org.

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New Sexual Assault Hotline Launches in Arlington

Doorways for Women and FamiliesVictims of sexual assault in Arlington have a new number to call for support when they are most vulnerable.

Doorways for Women and Families, a nonprofit designed to support women and children who suffer from domestic violence and homelessness, launched the hotline to pair with its 37-year-old, 24-hour domestic violence hotline.

The hotline’s number is 703-237-0881.

Like the domestic violence hotline, victims can call in and Doorways partners with Arlington County to provide resources, such as shelter or police support.

“We’re pleased to partner with Doorways for Women and Families on this important resource for our community,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a press release. “Doorways’ track record with the domestic violence hotline has been outstanding, providing victims with expert advice and linkages to needed services. By expanding hotline services to include sexual assault, we will again tap into Doorways’ expertise and knowledge to quickly and effectively link people to vital community services and resources.”

The hotline will pair Doorways with the Arlington County Police Department, the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office and Department of Human Services. Among the services provided will be Commonwealth’s Attorney accompaniment during hospitalization for victims — a frequently traumatic event, Doorways said.

“We will play an important role in our community’s response, but it is one of many,” Doorways Executive Director Caroline Jones said. “Now is the right time to intentionally define our community’s coordinated response as we are seeing record numbers of people reaching out for our help — realizing they no longer have to face these issues in silence and shame.”

The full press release announcing the new hotline can be read after the jump.

ARLINGTON, VA. – After 37 years of providing Arlington residents with a 24-hour hotline and emergency response for domestic violence, Doorways for Women and Families is expanding to offer these services to survivors of sexual assault in our community.

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive, single emergency response for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and after conducting a thorough selection process, Arlington County has chosen to partner with Doorways for Women and Families to provide this much needed community response.

“We’re pleased to partner with Doorways for Women and Families on this important resource for our community,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Doorways’ track record with the domestic violence hotline has been outstanding, providing victims with expert advice and linkages to needed services. By expanding hotline services to include sexual assault, we will again tap into Doorways’ expertise and knowledge to quickly and effectively link people to vital community services and resources.”

Doorways has operated Arlington’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline and Safehouse for nearly four decades. “While sexual assault and domestic violence are unique in many ways, survivors of these experiences share the need for a timely, well informed response. Access to police and legal assistance, medical assistance, counseling, safety planning and education, advocacy and accompaniment, and safe shelter are critical elements in helping survivors move forward. Getting to all of these begins with a call for help- a call that must be answered quickly and at any time of day or night.” Caroline Jones, Doorways’ Executive Director.

Beyond the 24-hour hotline response for survivors, Doorways will be partnering with the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to provide hospital accompaniment for survivors. “Going through a sexual assault exam can be extremely traumatic. Our staff and volunteers are trained to provide women and men in these difficult circumstances with counseling, compassion and referrals to our community partners who share in this response.” Claudia Zaborsky, Doorways’ Domestic & Sexual Violence Program Director.

This new, comprehensive hotline unites many agencies working to care for people impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Doorways will proudly partners with the Arlington County Department of Human Services – Violence Intervention Program, Arlington’s Victim Witness Department and Arlington Police and Sheriff’s Departments.

“We will play an important role in our community’s response, but it is one of many. Now is the right time to intentionally define our community’s coordinated response as we are seeing record numbers of people reaching out for our help – realizing they no longer have to face these issues in silence and shame.” Caroline Jones, Doorways Executive Director.

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AWLA, Doorways Receive Human Rights Awards

Doorways for Women and FamiliesThe Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Doorways for Women and Families are two of this year’s recipients of Arlington County’s annual James B. Hunter Human Rights Awards.

The awards are given each year to individuals and organizations who show a “sustained commitment and/or outstanding accomplishment in the area of human rights made in Arlington,” according to the county’s press release.

The award winners will be honored at a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Arlington County Board room on the third floor of 2100 Clarendon Blvd, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The winners are selected by Arlington’s Human Rights Commission.

“It is a true honor and privilege to recognize these outstanding individuals and organizations,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “They are the true heroes of our community and what makes Arlington such a great place to live. We should all be grateful for having such outstanding individuals and organizations in our community who have dedicate their lives and their work to look after those in need.”

Below is the complete list of winners, from the county’s announcement:

  • Barbara Amaya is a long time Arlington resident who was a victim of violence through human trafficking during her adolescence and early adulthood stages of her life. She has been able to turn her personal pain and suffering into relentless advocacy against human trafficking and violence.
  • Stephen Fowler is the president of the board of directors of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, a non-profit entity committed to provide legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney in civil matters. He has gone beyond his policy commitments as president of the board, and volunteers his time representing victims of domestic violence in court, among others, to obtain protective orders.
  • The Animal Welfare League not only protects animals from violence but the stability of families and the safety of a spouse or a child. Studies have demonstrated that people who abuse pets are at an increased risk of becoming domestic abusers. Other studies have shown that almost half of the victims of domestic abuse — who need to leave their homes — fear for the safety of the pets and delay leaving. Pets play a significant part in the emotional stability and sometimes the physical safety of children and people who owned them.
  • Doorways for Women and Families is a provider of shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence. It provides immediate and lon- term housing for women and families fleeing domestic violence and homelessness. It delivers support services aimed at helping women and families learn how to get back on their feet and live safe and independent lives. It advocates for changes that will help eliminate domestic violence and homelessness.
  • The Reading Connection has been serving Arlington County for more than 25 years. It provides an array of literacy programs aimed at children at-risk and families. Creating a literacy-rich environment helps children succeed and serves as a long-term strategy to escape the cycle of poverty. Last year, The Reading Connection served 218 at-risk children in Arlington County, through its Read-Aloud program, and 118 parents through the Reading Family Workshops. Reading is an important element of education, which is one of the best tools against all kinds of violence.

Image via Doorways

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Ballston Movie Theater, Doorways Home Closed Due to Flooding

Ballston Regal theater closed due to flooding Ballston Regal theater closed due to flooding

Update at 8:45 p.m. — First Down Sports Bar and Grill had to shut down tonight, also due to a burst water pipe. From the businesses’ Facebook page: “We have had to close down suddenly for tonight because of a water pipe burst. Hopefully, we’ll be back up and running tomorrow. We will have an update on here as soon as we figure it out. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Update at 8:35 p.m. — Tonight’s Arlington County Democratic Committee debate for County Board candidates was briefly evacuated tonight when a reported burst pipe triggered the fire alarm in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association building.

(Updated at 11:40 p.m.) The Regal Ballston Common 12 theater was closed tonight due to flooding from ruptured water pipes.

Three pipes burst this afternoon, sending water spilling across several floors of the theater, we’re told. A clean-up is underway and the theater is hoping to reopen tomorrow (Thursday).

The water also impacted elevators in the mall building.

“Please be advised this afternoon, the sprinkler pipe broke in the Ballston Mall movie theatre and water is going into the freight elevator,” said a memo sent to workers in the offices above the mall. “As of right now, all elevators are out of service.”

Burst water pipes have plagued homes and businesses across Arlington this week, as temperatures dipped into the teens and single digits. The Trader Joe’s store in Clarendon reopened this morning after a burst water pipe last night. Also last night, the Doorways Family Home in North Arlington, which houses homeless families and victims of domestic violence, was closed when “a sprinkler head in a second floor ceiling burst due to freezing conditions” and flooded the floors down to the basement.

The women and children who were in the home were evacuated to hotels. Restoration crews worked today to make the house habitable again.

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Fall-Themed Events Planned in Clarendon

Clarendon seems to be a hotbed of fall-themed events over the next week.

Tomorrow (Oct. 22), from noon to 2:00 p.m., the Whole Food Market in Clarendon (2700 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting AppleFest — a “harvest tasting event” devoted entirely to apples.

“From juicy and aromatic apples to those that are fine textured, families and apple-enthusiasts can welcome the new fall season while sampling a variety of tasty apples and enjoying its culinary and crafty delight,” Whole Foods said in a press release. Planned activities include cooking demonstrations, crafts, tastings and an apple scavenger hunt.

Next Saturday (Oct. 29), the Market Common shopping center in Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) — across from Whole Foods — will be hosting its annual FALLoween event.

The free, family-friendly event will feature a petting zoo, a kids circus, face painting, sidewalk chalking, a comedy show, a DJ and other live entertainment. Plus, there will be trick-or-treating for the kids at a number of stores and each attendee will have the opportunity to take home a free pumpkin.

FALLoween is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Costumed people and pets are also invited to join a FALLoween parade, which kicks off at 11:30 a.m.

Also on Saturday, Oct. 29, Doorways for Women and Families will be organizing a Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk for the Homeless.

From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., dog owners are encouraged to dress up their pooches and bring them to the James Hunter dog park for a mini-walk to support Doorways. The park is located at the corner of N. Herndon and 13th Streets in Clarendon.

“All human participants will help Doorways to reach our walker goal for the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon, while our animal participants will get the chance to compete for prizes from local pet store merchants, including Wylie Wagg and Kissable Canine,” Doorways said on its website.

Registration for the walk is $30 for adults and $20 for youth 25 and under. Pets are free.

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Doorways Celebrates New Dating Protection Law

Arlington-based women’s shelter Doorways for Women and Families is celebrating a new state law that went into effect on Friday.

Until the legislature acted earlier this year, Virginia was one of only six states that did not offer protective orders — a legal means of preventing contact with abusive partners — to men and women in dating situations. Now, as of July 1, the state allows individuals who are not married and not living with their partner to obtain a protective order.

Yesterday, Doorways issued the following press release about the new law.

Women ages 16 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing an abusive relationship. Yet for the vast majority of those women — specifically those in dating relationships — the legal system offered little defense. That is because protective orders, a civil order issued by a judge to protect one person from another’s threatening behavior, were previously only available to those in a “domestic” situation — married, living together or having a child together.

July 1st marks a historic day for the protection of those previously unprotected as a bill passed in the Virginia legislature goes into effect, allowing survivors of dating abuse to be eligible for protective orders against their abusers. Until the beginning of this month, Virginia was one of only six states that did not afford this legal protection to dating partners. Doorways for Women and Families, one of Arlington’s leading providers of services to women and families experiencing homelessness and abuse, encourages all in our community to spread the word that help is now available to survivors of dating abuse.

“This is a huge step forward in protecting our community from intimate partner violence” explained Caroline Jones, Executive Director of Doorways. “ Given the incidence of violence in younger relationships, Doorways has been actively partnering with schools, universities and community partners to bring greater education and prevention strategies to our youth. The toll of violence in relationships is far too great to become complacent in our efforts.”

[ … ] With the implementation of the new protective order law, a whole new segment of the population should know that there is help available. One in five teens in a serious relationship has experienced physical abuse with an estimated 33% of high school students having been a survivor of dating abuse.

Doorways encourages any survivor of dating abuse to call their 24-Domestic Violence Hotline at 703-237-0881 to find the help they need to be safe. Any survivor seeking a protective order can speak with Doorways’ Court Advocate by calling 703-244-5165 and be guided through the legal process.

“We want everyone to know that they are not alone in the pathway to safety,” Jones concluded.

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