Seven Arlington students graduated Friday from a culinary program that trains individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the skills necessary to get a job in a commercial kitchen.
This was the sixth incarnation of the D.C. Central Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program, which meets locally at the Fairlington Community Center. The graduation ceremony was held in Rosslyn Friday afternoon and the Arlington students were joined by eight other students from the Central Union Mission, a homeless shelter in D.C.
One of the speakers at the ceremony was Napolean Boakye, a graduate of the fifth Arlington class. He first found out about the program while living in the Carpenter’s Shelter in Old Town Alexandria. As a result of the program, he was offered two jobs in the culinary field and he now works with the National Youth Escape Arena in Maryland.
“This job training sponsored by Arlington County positively influenced me and prepared me to change my way of thinking and my life,” said Boakye. “I said to myself, never again. I’m tired of failure. I’ve been there, done that, I’m moving on to success.”
Two students won the program’s Ron Swanson Life Skills Award: Bryce Churchman from the Arlington program and Gary Lucas from the D.C program.
Along with culinary classes, the students also receive self-empowerment classes and get to train outside of the classroom, with each student receiving a month-long internship. Some of the internship sites included the Key Bridge Marriott, Mess Hall in D.C. and Nando’s Peri-Peri.
The graduation rate for Arlington students ranges between 85 to 90 percent and graduates have an 90 percent job placement rate.
Photos by Jackie Friedman
(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) An SUV smashed through the front of the Hallmark store at the Bradlee Shopping Center near Fairlington around noon today.
Firefighters from Arlington County were dispatched to assist Alexandria units on scene, but no injuries and no serious structural damage was reported. The area was closed off to shoppers while crews worked to remove the SUV from its final resting spot, most of the way into the store.
The store is located at 3670 King Street in Alexandria, near the center of the strip mall shopping center.
1st arriving on car in bld. No injuries no serious structural damage. pic.twitter.com/O3E5AokcdS
— Robert Dubé (@AFDChief200) May 20, 2016
Tow truck starting to pull vehicle from building at Bradlee Shopping Center. Area opening up soon! pic.twitter.com/H7idqUm4YO
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) May 20, 2016
A man robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of N. Quaker Street and Fern Street, just across from Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood, this morning.
The man passed a note to a teller shortly before noon, Alexandria Police said in a press release (below). He was wearing a gray coat, dark pants and a “Brooklyn Nets” hat.
Other bank customers can be seen lined up behind the man in one of the surveillance photos released by police.
The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank located at 1711 Fern Street. On Thursday, April 28, at 11:40 a.m., a man entered the bank and passed the teller a note. He demanded money, the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.
The suspect is described as a male with a medium complexion, approximately 5’6″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a baseball cap, glasses and a gray coat. Investigators believe this is the same suspect from the bank robbery on April 18, 2016.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this bank robbery.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Christine Deibes at 703.746.6819.
Update at 5:50 p.m. — The same bank robber struck in Alexandria 10 days ago, says the FBI.
An open field next to Abingdon Elementary School in Fairlington is now being used by the school’s relocatable classroom trailers, ahead of an expansion and renovation of the school.
The trailers were recently relocated to the field, next to a playground and on top of a paved loop that’s often used by those learning to ride a bike. About a dozen trees around the field have also been cut down.
According to a construction bidding document, part of the field will also soon be used as a temporary parking lot.
The changes are connected to the expansion and renovation of Abingdon, which was approved last year and is expected to wrap up in 2017.
“The relocatable classrooms have been moved onto the site in preparation for the upcoming construction project,” said Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia. “The existing field will be used for relocatable classrooms and temporary classrooms and then restored at the end of the construction project.”
“In accordance with the approved Use Permit and as agreed upon by the County, some trees were removed prior to the start of construction, prior to April 1 and before birds and animals start nesting in them,” Bellavia added.
Arlington DMV Wait Times — The Arlington DMV office on Four Mile Run Drive has the longest wait times in the state. The average wait time is just shy of 45 minutes. Outside of the D.C. area, the wait times at Virginia DMV offices generally range from 20-25 minutes. [Twitter]
Dueling I-66 Letters to Dr. Gridlock — The widening of I-66 would “cripple Arlington forever,” says a letter writer to the Post’s Dr. Gridlock. “A significantly wider I-66 would be an even worse physical barrier to Arlington residents than I-66 is now,” and “turning I-66 into a repeat I-395 would send a devastating message to Arlington homeowners.” An earlier Arlington letter-writer said critics of widening were “whining” and pointed out that plenty of those who work and live in Arlington use I-66. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Arlington County is preparing to update and add new features to the park next to the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).
Fairlington Park currently has exercise equipment, an exercise path, an athletic field, a playground, a gazebo and a small amphitheater.
The county says the scope of the upcoming park project will include “design and reconstruction of the playground, exercise equipment, circuit trail, picnic area, site circulation, site furnishings, fencing, stormwater management and landscaping.”
Before creating an initial design, the county is gathering community input, including via an online survey, which is active through April 15.
The survey asks a number of specific questions about exercise equipment, including: “would you like to be able to do a total-body workout in the park for strength and cardio fitness using equipment that’s similar to indoor fitness equipment?”
Firefighters used heavy machinery to rescue a woman from her car after a wreck near Shirlington Circle this morning.
The two-car crash happened around 8:30 a.m, on the ramp from Quaker Lane to Shirlington Circle, near the Fairlington neighborhood. A Toyota SUV collided with a Buick sedan, trapping the Buick driver inside her car.
It took Arlington County rescuers about a half hour to free the woman from the wreckage. She was transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Quaker Lane remains blocked in each direction in the area of Shirlington Circle while debris from the crash is cleared.
Fairlington is the last neighborhood in Arlington to be wired for FiOS, according to Rob Billingsley, Arlington County’s Cable Administrator.
Under an agreement with Verizon enacted in June 2006, the company agreed to complete a county-wide implementation of FiOS service within 10 years. The initial service build-out took place mostly in north Arlington, before Verizon’s fiber optic lines were brought to other parts of the county during a second phase of the project.
The final phase, in Fairlington, is expected to wrap up this summer, Billingsley said.
One unanswered question — which is one of the subjects of a scheduled Feb. 10 Fairlington community meeting — is how Verizon will get service from the fiber optic lines that run along the street to the thousands of condo units that make up the World War II-era neighborhood.
It’s a straightforward process for single family homes, for which the home owner also owns the surrounding lot. In historic Fairlington, however, various condominium associations own the land and control changes to the property.
Verizon will need to strike agreements with each condo association to outline how it will get service from the street to each unit. It’s theoretically possible that FiOS could fulfill its contractual obligations to the county by laying the fiber lines without actually providing any residents with service, Billingsley noted.
While FiOS is widely available to homes in the county, many apartment buildings and condo complexes still lack the infrastructure to support FiOS service.
The following letter to the editor was submitted by Thomas Crane, a Fairlington resident who had a recent experience in Courthouse that inspired him to write us.
As the winter storm interrupts our lives for the next few days, most of us will likely get along just fine. If you’re like me, you’ve stocked up on the essentials and plan to binge watch Netflix . . . until the power goes out, at least. Others will need help.
On Wednesday night, there was a lesser storm in the area that served as a proper wakeup call. I nearly lost all faith in humanity that evening. Sadly, most people stood idly and laughed as cars collided with other cars, curbs, and signs. On the other hand, one person was extremely helpful and his actions inspired me to write this piece.
It was about 8 p.m. and I was on my way home from a community meeting — ironically, the meeting topic “emergency preparedness”– and a few inches of snow caused extremely icy conditions. I took a shortcut to avoid reckless drivers and I came to a “T” where I could turn left and slide down a steep icy hill, turn right and get stuck and probably slide backwards down the hill, or go in reverse up a hill and probably slide into every car parked to the left and right. Two other car accidents were already visible as I approached so I pulled over and got out to see if everyone was okay. They were.
A crowd of mostly young men formed and, with hands in pockets, watched as several cars attempted the hill. The crowd was entertained as car after car slid dangerously up and down the hill. Not one person jumped in to help. Eventually, some onlookers half-heartedly tried advising drivers from attempting the hill. Some convinced the drivers they could make it if they just took their foot off the brake and did this or that. It seemed like all the onlookers were armchair experts. I did my part to deter some cars and push a couple others.
I started talking with a guy named Mike who lived next door and was late to the scene. We were chatting and I said I’d been there for over an hour and was waiting to see if a car of my caliber could actually conquer the hill. He invited me inside his home to warm up and check the news to see if conditions would improve. Soon, he invited me to stay the night, and I did. His family was extremely welcoming and kind. I remain blown away by his kindness to a complete stranger.
In emergencies and difficult times, we must be able to rely on our neighbors. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and please, don’t be hesitant to offer help. Below are 5 great ways to help others.
Knock on your neighbors’ doors and say “hi.” Ask if they’re prepared to hunker down for a couple days. You can learn who may need help and who can give help. Maybe you’ll want to get friendly with those who have a propane grill, generator, firewood, and other essentials that may be shared if need be.
Shovel snow. This is as desirable as helping a friend move, but those you help will be eternally grateful. I remember a young Marine helped shovel a bunch of cars out of our apartment complex during Snowmaggaden of 2010. Thank you, Marine!
Give a push. If you see a car that is stuck, go ask them if they need a push. And push! And get others to help you push.
Inform and advise. Some people are apathetic to this storm. But if you’re well informed about the current forecast and hazards and know what action to take, tell others. Spread the word on how to get prepared.
Give shelter. Offer to open your home to those in need. Of course, take safety precautions but don’t let fear deter you from hospitality.
Please comment on other ways to help, and how others have helped you.
ARLnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity.
The remnants of a recent car fire were still sitting on a busy road near Shirlington around lunchtime Monday.
A BMW 3-series sedan, with its front end burned out, is parked along 31st Street, a road that connects Shirlington and the Fairlington neighborhood.
The acrid stench of burned vehicle components was still fresh in the air for residents walking their dogs near past the car. There were no fire department vehicles or tow trucks in the vicinity when ARLnow.com walked by the wreck.
No word yet on when the vehicle will be removed.
Police say a man and a woman robbed the convenience store on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street around 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday. They also allegedly assaulted a 55-year-old man who works at the store.
“The first suspect is described as a black male in his thirties, approximately 6’2″ and weighed 225 lbs, He was wearing a black zip-up hoodie, black sweatpants, black hat, black/red sneakers, and gloves.,” according to an Arlington County Police crime report. “The second suspect is described as a black female in her late twenties, approximately 5’5″ and weighed 130 lbs. She was wearing a black puma sweatshirt, black leggings, and black sneakers.”
The store is popular with residents of Shirlington and the nearby Fairlington neighborhood.
‘Monica the Medium’ Renewed — The ABC Family series “Monica the Medium” will be back for a second season. The show stars Monica Ten-Kate, a 21-year-old college student with ties to Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood. The first season finale will air tonight. [Deadline Hollywood]
‘Most Interesting Man in Arlington’ Selected — According to a competition in Clarendon over the weekend, the “Most Interesting Man in Arlington” is an economist who has lived in Arlington for a year and a half and can turn the word “kumquat” into a description of a sex act. [DCist]
NAACP Honors Superintendent — The Arlington chapter of the NAACP has honored Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy with its Community Appreciation Award. Murphy “exemplifies what it means to be a leader in education,” the organization said. APS has seen gains in minority achievement under Murphy’s administration. [InsideNova]
Last week, at least four cars were broken into and one was reported stolen in Fairlington. All of the cars broken into were unlocked, and the car that was stolen was reportedly unlocked with the keys left in the ignition.
Also last week, items were stolen from a number of cars within a one block radius of the 2000 block of S. Eads Street, in the Crystal City area, according to a crime report.
This past weekend, at least 16 cars were broken into in the City of Falls Church, according to the Falls Church News-Press.
Arlington County Police are continuing to remind residents to lock their cars and to not leave any valuables in plain sight within the vehicle when it’s parked.
Just steps away from the trendy shops and restaurants of Shirlington is a gorgeous two-bedroom loft that makes quite a statement. This light-filled “Ashlawn” model might just be your ideal home in the sought-after Fairlington community.
From the curb, this 1944 garden apartment converted to condo looks classic, with red brick and black shutters, but on the inside, an updated, open floor plan is revealed. A soaring two story foyer and living room over looked by the loft space is the signature — but don’t stop there. The home features two bedrooms, and an option for one or two bathrooms — and loads of storage throughout including three large closets in the master bedroom.
The open-plan living room with neutral carpeting has a spiral staircase that adds architectural interest to the living space and easy access to a cozy reading loft or office.
In addition to the bedrooms and relaxing spaces, this three level condo has lower-level flex space, which could be a home gym or office, and an unfinished attic space for storage. The kitchen has an electric stove, sleek countertops and cabinets and an inviting breakfast-nook-style dining space. This residence also has central air cooling and forced air heating. Additional community amenities include tennis courts, swimming pool, ball fields, basketball courts and community center.
The area around the home is great for people looking to walk, bike, or just spend time outside. The home has a balcony overlooking the property’s backyard that can easily accommodate an al fresco dining table. With a home close to bike and jogging trails, homeowners will love to explore the vibrant Shirlington community, and can easily access anything they may need on foot, including Harris Teeter, the public library, coffee shops, and many top-notch local restaurants and retail shops.
This property is listed at $409,900. For more information or to schedule a showing please contact Bret Brock via email at [email protected] or by phone at 703-538-6030.
The preceding post was sponsored by Brock Realty and written by Eleanor Greene for ARLnow.com.
Fairlington Dental will be buying back candy after Halloween this year.
Kids can bring their Halloween candy to the dental office from Nov. 2-5, where they will be paid $1 per pound.
The candy will be sent to Operation Gratitude in California, a program that sends care packages to troops serving overseas. Dawn Patrick, patient concierge at Fairlington Dental, said that the candy is used as filler in boxes that mostly include personal cards, games, hygiene products and snacks.
This is the 10th year Fairlington Dental has bought back candy, and the office has donated to Operation Gratitude since it started the program.
Fairlington Dental will also donate a portion of the candy to the Mattie Miracle Foundation, Patrick said. The foundation collects candy for a free snack cart for children and families at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, as well as for other hospitals and cancer wards, according to the website.
The dental practice used to buy candy for $3 per pound but dropped the price to $1 per pound as the program became more popular. The office also pays for the shipping, which can get pricey with such heavy packages.
“Back then, we were getting about 100 pounds,” Patrick said. “Now our biggest year has been around 600 pounds.”
The office asks that the donations are capped at five pounds for the buy back program.
Donors also have the option to donate their candy as an entry in a contest where groups can win an $100 pizza party for selling back the most candy. Patrick said a group Fairlington mothers has won the contest for the past few years, with a group donation of about 35 pounds of candy.
The key for eating candy and other foods high in sugar is to do so in moderation, Patrick said, adding that a one-time pizza party is much better than eating candy for days or weeks after Halloween.
Instead of sugar, Fairlington Dental tries to encourage eating candy with xylitol, a sweetener that breaks down bacteria instead of feeding it.
A full list of local dental practices that buy back candy can be found on the website halloweencandybuyback.com.
Filckr pool photo by Ddimick