Va. Hospital Center Changing Name — “Arlington’s Virginia Hospital Center is charging forward with its regional expansion under new leadership — and a new moniker to match. The nearly 80-year-old independent hospital, which had the same CEO for nearly half of that time, is now going forward as VHC Health. The change aims to better reflect its role in the region, said Christopher Lane, the hospital’s new leader since March 28.” [Washington Business Journal]
Auditor Eyes Site Plans — “Auditor Chris Horton has proposed spending about 300 of his 2,000 work hours during fiscal 2023 evaluating past site plans to determine if the benefits that were promised to the public actually materialized. His work plan, which will have to be ratified by the County Board, won a receptive audience at the April 7 meeting of the government’s Audit Committee. ‘I really love this idea,’ said John Vihstadt, a former County Board member.” [Sun Gazette]
Holiday Weekend Changes — “Whether you celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter, the Jewish holiday of Passover, the two holidays will overlap during the weekend of April 16-17. As the Easter holiday falls on a Sunday, closures may be limited.
Arlington County government does not typically close for Good Friday before Easter. However, there are a few service changes for services that do operate on Sundays.” [Patch]
W-L Student Competing in History Bee — “Aaron Lopez, a ninth-grade student at Washington-Liberty High School, will compete in the History Bee national championships after scoring success at the state level.” [Sun Gazette]
Disobedient Dog Infuriates Pentagon City Resident — From Reddit, as highlighted by Monkeyrotica: “I hear you every damn day, twice a day from my apartment window. Your dog acts up around other dogs every [expletive] day. You keep shouting ‘ROBERT’ at your dog every time he acts up. Your dog keeps [expletive] misbehaving. See how your tactic just doesn’t work?” [Reddit]
Newspaper Opposes Ukraine Donation — “Everybody should feel bad for what the Ukrainian people are going through and appalled by the actions of the Russian government. And if people want to donate funds or humanitarian supplies, amen to that. But ballistic-vest donations? That may be a one step too far over the line.” [Sun Gazette]
Good Luck, Jo! — ARLnow’s Jo DeVoe is now on maternity leave. We expect her to return in the fall.
It’s Good Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 68 and low of 49. Sunrise at 6:33 am and sunset at 7:46 pm. [Weather.gov]
For the second year in a row, the pandemic is preventing the annual Easter sunrise service at Arlington National Cemetery from being an in-person event.
This year’s service, hosted by Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, will be live-streamed on Facebook starting at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, Apr. 4.
The event will be a Protestant service celebrated by Chaplain (Col.) Michael T. Shellman, Command Chaplain for the Joint Force Headquarters and Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Andrew R. Harewood, Deputy Chief of Chaplains for the Army Reserve.
“The Easter Sunrise Service supports military families and service members by providing spiritual enrichment and supports the joint base command’s mission to provide for the free exercise of religion in the military,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Kennaugh, Deputy Chaplain at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, in a statement.
To comply with COVID-19 guidelines and keep the number of people at the service as low as possible, a brass quartet and four vocalists from the U.S. Army Band will be on-site along with a sign language interpreter.
In case of inclement weather, the service will be live-streamed from the joint base’s Memorial Chapel, also in Arlington.
A Facebook account is not required to view the event.
Photo by Tim1965
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has a trio of new stores, four more on the way, and an imminent visit from the Easter bunny.
Once a virtual ghost town during the pandemic, the mall has been getting busier and vacant storefronts are being filled. Three opened recently:
But perhaps the biggest upcoming arrival is none other than the Easter bunny.
The floppy-eared mascot of the spring holiday will hop in on Thursday, March 18 for socially distanced visits and photos with kids, seven days a week.
“The Bunny Photo Experience hours are Monday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday,” mall operator Simon noted in a press release.
Photo sessions will be available through April 3, the day before Easter Sunday, and reservations are “strongly encouraged.”
Just avoid getting too close to ol’ Peter Cottontail, as there’s still a pandemic going on.
“For everyone’s safety, visiting the Bunny will be a socially distanced experience,” the mall said, adding that the bespectacled bunny “will be wearing a concealed mask.”
With Arlington National Cemetery closed to all visitors other than loved ones of the deceased, the cemetery’s annual Easter sunrise service will be broadcast online.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall announced the planned live stream (which will be hosted on its Facebook page) this morning:
The annual Easter Sunrise Service, hosted by Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, will be live-streamed via Facebook beginning at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 12, from Arlington National Cemetery.
The Easter Sunrise Service has annually been held in the cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater, but given the closure of the cemetery due to the COVID-19 threat and the fact that the amphitheater is undergoing renovations, this year’s service will be virtually live-streamed from the Tanner Amphitheater, the cemetery’s historic structure built in 1873 that served as the cemetery’s main public meeting space until the completion and dedication of the Memorial Amphitheater in 1920.
The Easter Sunrise Service is a non-denominational worship service and will begin with the call to worship at 6:30 a.m. by Chaplain (Colonel) Michael T. Shellman, the Senior Army Chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery. The U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Thomas L. Solhjem, will deliver the Easter message. To maintain the required mandate for social distancing and to keep the number of personnel participating in the service under ten, the chaplains will be joined by just three members of the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” and a sign language interpreter.
According to one of the Easter Sunrise Service coordinators, the deputy chaplain at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Chaplain (Maj.) John Lee, the heart of the Easter message is hope. “Everyone needs hope,” said Lee. “Human life is not perfect, we all have life challenges. Through resurrection you still have hope to start again.”
In case of inclement weather, the service will be live-streamed from the joint base’s Memorial Chapel located on the Fort Myer side of the base in Arlington, Va.
Please access the JBM-HH Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jbmhh/ at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 12, to view the live feed. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the service.
More on Arlington National Cemetery’s visitor restrictions, and a look at springtime at the cemetery, below.
Update: Closed to the public. Open to family pass holders. No temporary passes. Funerals are conducted as scheduled with modified funeral operations. Access may not be used to visit popular sites. ANC is closed for tourism. Everyone on grounds asked to wear a face covering.
— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) April 7, 2020
The cemetery may be closed due to the current situation, but we can still enjoy the beauty of Spring through this video. pic.twitter.com/B3mYF4HsQ8
— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) April 9, 2020
Photo by Tim1965
This year Easter and the Passover Seder fall on the same weekend, and Arlington is hosting celebrations for people of Christian and Jewish faiths.
In addition to services at local churches, on Sunday, April 21, Arlington National Cemetery is reprising its annual Easter Sunrise Service starting at 6:51 a.m.
The non-denominational service is held at the Arlington National Cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater where gates open at 5 a.m. The service will feature a performance by the U.S. Army Band and a message from Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Thomas L. Solhjem, the Army’s Deputy Chief of Chaplains.
The cemetery’s parking garage will be free for all attendees until 8 a.m. and a shuttle will escort people from the cemetery welcome center to the amphitheater. DoD ID holders can park at the Tri-Services parking lot in the base where a shuttle will also ferry riders to the amphitheater.
The sunrise service is free and attendees are encouraged to check Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Facebook page for updates. Backpacks and pets, except service animals, will not be allowed in for the event.
For Passover, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd) is hosting two events together with the Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Jewish Community — on Sunday, April 14 from 5-6:15 p.m., and on Saturday, April 20 from 6-8 p.m.
On April 14, Rabbi Gilah Langner and Tot Shabbat Coordinator Andrea Cate will perform Passover songs and stories and give “tips and practice for leading your own Seder at home” per the event description on their website.
The event is free and advertised as “great for kids 0-8.” Attendees are asked to RSVP to [email protected].
On April 20, UU congregation member Herb Levy will read from Kol Ami’s Haggadah and lead the evening’s events. The “Community Seder” potluck features poached salmon and costs $20 per adult, and $5 per child, plus a dish to share.
The online event description asks attendees to sign up by April 13 online and let organizers know if they can help with set up and cleanup.
Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography
First Debate in Prosecutor Race — “In a contentious series of exchanges that marked their first debate, candidates for Arlington commonwealth’s attorney left no doubt they have decidedly different views on the role of prosecutor – and aren’t particularly fond of one another, either.” [InsideNova]
Road Closures Tonight in Crystal City — “The Crystal City 5K Fridays races will take place each Friday evening in April (5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th). The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways each race day from approximately 6:15 p.m. until 8:15 p.m. to accommodate these events…” [Arlington County]
Pentagon City Ritz Hosting Easter Event — “Based on the huge success we had in 2018 holiday season with Breakfast with Santa, we have decided to celebrate Easter with the Easter Bunny for our little ones.” [Ritz-Carlton]
School Board Challenger Announces Candidacy — “He aims to knock off incumbent School Board Chairman Reid Goldstein, but in a kickoff April 3, David Priddy avoided mentioning the incumbent by name and only tangentially touched on reasons he thinks Goldstein should be ousted.” [InsideNova]
County Starts Census Push — “In a packed room at Arlington Mill Community Center, County Manager Mark Schwartz launched Arlington’s Complete Count Committee — a group of 39 community members who will serve as Census ambassadors to ensure that every person in Arlington County is counted in the 2020 Census on April 1, 2020.” [Arlington County]
Arlington Tech Firm Acquired — “Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEK) announced today that it has acquired eGlobalTech, a high-end information technology (IT) solutions, cloud migration, cybersecurity, and management consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia.” [BusinessWire]
Police Warn of Numerous Scams — Arlington County Police are warning members of the community about a number of scams that have recently been reported, among them the “Imminent Account” fraud, the “I am in Trouble” scam and the “Jury Duty” or “IRS” scam. [Arlington County]
If the 76-degree weather and the blossoming cherry trees around Arlington weren’t enough of a sign of spring, here’s another: the Easter bunny is coming to town.
The fluffy, often bespectacled mascot of Christianity’s second-most-celebrated holiday will be on hand for photos with children at the Pentagon City mall starting on Friday, April 5.
More from a press release:
Families are invited to celebrate spring by snapping photos with the Easter Bunny at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Beginning Friday, April 5, shoppers can hop down the bunny trail near Nordstrom on the First Level to meet and take egg-citing photos with the Easter Bunny. As an added convenience, shoppers can make an appointment online to skip the line by visiting simonbunny.com!
Shoppers can also look forward to a Caring Bunny event on Sunday, April 7. Caring Bunny is a private event designed for children and young adults with special needs to have an opportunity to visit the Easter Bunny and take memorable photos with their families. Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will make the necessary adjustments to the environment to support special sensory, physical and other developmental needs. The event will be held from 9 a.m.-11 a.m., and guests are encouraged to use the entrance closest to Nordstrom. To reserve an appointment, visit bit.ly/FCPCCaringBunny19.
Little ones are invited to ring in the season with a special Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City on Saturday, April 13 from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. The festive morning will include a cookie decorating station as well as a special appearance by the Easter Bunny! Breakfast is $42 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call 703.412.2728.
Update at 3:15 p.m. — The all clear was given around 1:30 p.m. and Marymount’s campus was reopened, according to police. The threat that prompted the evacuation was posted on social media, according to the university.
FINAL: Campus has been swept, determined to be clear and is now re-opened.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 1, 2018
Marymount University Statement Regarding Campus Evacuation
April 1, 2018: pic.twitter.com/6u8Zg1sj1l
— Marymount University (@marymountu) April 1, 2018
Earlier: One suspect has been taken into police custody after a bomb threat prompted the evacuation of Marymount University.
Bomb dogs are sweeping the north Arlington campus “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the Arlington County Police Department. Students and others on campus have been evacuated to a nearby park.
The threat comes on both April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday. The university is closed through Tuesday due to the Easter holiday, according to an academic calendar.
ACPD is asking the public to avoid the area as the investigation continues.
More via social media:
Campus Evacuation! Campus Evacuation due to bomb threat. This is not a drill. Entire campus community walk to park across from Osta. Follow directions from authorities.
— Marymount University (@marymountu) April 1, 2018
UPDATE: One suspect has been taken into custody. Campus remains evacuated while EOD K9s sweep campus out of an abundance of caution.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 1, 2018
Dear Marymount students, please take the evacuation directions seriously, and we will update you with more information. This is not a drill. pic.twitter.com/rmkYBwfbXS
— Marymount Univ. SGA (@MarymountSGA) April 1, 2018
Less than three weeks away from its namesake holiday, the Easter Bunny will be available to snap photos in the Pentagon City mall starting Friday (March 16).
The public can take photos with the Easter Bunny on the mall’s first floor adjacent to the Nordstrom through March 31. For those who don’t want to wait in line, the mall is taking “bunny fast pass” photo reservations online.
There will also be a “Caring Bunny” event on Sunday (March 18). with an adjusted, less stressful environment for children and young adults with special needs. That event will be held from 9-11 a.m. in the same location.
Here are the rest of the Easter Bunny’s hours below:
- 3/16: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- 3/17: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- 3/18: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- 3/19-3/22: 12-8 p.m.
- 3/23: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- 3/24: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- 3/25: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- 3/26-3/29: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- 3/30: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- 3/31: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Budget Plan Has Slightly Lower Tax Rate Hike — The 2017-2018 county budget that Arlington County Board members are set to vote on this weekend includes a 1.5 cent tax rate hike, a half cent lower than first proposed. The budget includes increased funding for schools, Metro, county employee raises, land acquisition and services for immigrants faced with deportation. It raises the tax burden on the average homeowner by about $300. [InsideNova, Washington Post]
No Easter Egg Roll Tix for APS — Arlington Public Schools received hundreds of tickets to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll under the Obama administration, but did not receive any for President Trump’s first egg roll this year. D.C. Public Schools also were not invited. Critics say minority children were under-represented at the event. [Patch]
Big County Events This Weekend — Among the events in Arlington this weekend are a trio of major annual happenings: the Arlington Homeshow and Garden Expo at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, the Arlington Teen Summer Expo at Wakefield High School and the Arlington Festival of the Arts in Clarendon.
Blue Virginia’s County Board Endorsement — Influential local Democratic blog Blue Virginia has endorsed Erik Gutshall in the race for Arlington County Board. A party caucus will be held next month for the four-way Democratic contest. [Blue Virginia]
The weekend is shaping up to be warm and pleasant — despite high pollen counts — which is good news for those celebrating Easter on Sunday. That’s also the final day of spring break for Arlington Public Schools students.
There are plenty of special Easter happenings including church services, egg hunts and brunches.
Although county community centers are closed on Sunday, parks will remain open to visitors who may want to hike, picnic or use playground equipment.
Other spring activities include taking advantage of newly-opened farmers markets.
What are you planning to do this weekend?