33°Partly Cloudy

Arlington Needs Families to Foster, Adopt Children

Arlington County is searching for families willing to foster or adopt children, and anyone interested in learning about taking in a child can attend an information session tomorrow.

Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children who cannot live in their homes because of neglect, abuse or serious family trouble. These children might stay with a foster family for just a few days, or for years. Adults who are approved to foster can explore the possibility of adopting children as well.

Although the county needs families to accept all types of foster children, it has a particular need for people who will care for those of Hispanic, African American and other cultural backgrounds. There’s also high demand for families to take in teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.

Foster parents must be over 21, be employed either inside or outside the home and live in a house or apartment in or near Arlington County.

Adults interested in becoming a foster parent — or even just learning about what it entails — can attend an information session tomorrow (Thursday) night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Contact Erica Serrano for information about the session location, at [email protected] or 703-228-1559.

0 Comments

Want to Live Comfortably in Arlington? Here’s What It Will Cost You

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) It’s not cheap to live in one of the best places for millennials.

That’s according to figures from the Economic Policy Institute, which has come out with an interactive calculator to determine how much it costs individuals and families to comfortably live in Arlington and other U.S. counties.

For a couple with two children in Arlington, it costs about $9,493 per month to live comfortably, according to EPI, or just over $113,915 per year.

The highest monthly costs were attributed to housing, at an average of $2,040 per month — for a “modest” but “sanitary” two-bedroom apartment — but childcare costs in the county were just behind it at $1,801 per month.

Couples without children can make a lot less while still living comfortably in Arlington. Annual pay of $67,840 is what it takes for two people to live here comfortably, without kids, childcare costs and the requisite additional bedrooms.

Single Arlingtonians, though, have to make $56,221 annually to live comfortably — only $11,619 less than a couple does.

Across the Potomac, a D.C. family with two kids needs to bring in $123,975 a year, according to the EPI analysis, while the same family in Manassas City can get by comfortably on $96,314.

Notably, EPI’s methodology didn’t mention any consideration for student loans. There is, however, is a category for “other necessities.”

File photo. Hat tip to James Breiling.

0 Comments

Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation 5K & Family Fun Day Set For Saturday

A 5K race and festival in memory of an Arlington mom killed by a passing truck while placing her children in a minivan will be held for the third time on Saturday.

The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race begins at 9 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). It will feature a 5K race, a kids’ fun run with Teddy, one of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents, and a “Family Fun Day Festival.”

The family festival will live feature music from local band Gutterball Kingpin, as well as moon bounces, a rock climbing wall, obstacle course, in-line jumper, human hungry hippo, food trucks, a beer garden, corn hole, face painting, balloon animals and more.

The event benefits the Arlington Pediatric Center and the Virginia Hospital Center Outpatient Obstetrics Clinic, with a focus on prenatal and postnatal health services for underprivileged mothers and babies.

Police will close several roads to accommodate the event. Per the Arlington County Police Department:

The 3rd Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, November 18, 2017.  The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM to accommodate this event:

Main Closures:

  • Little Falls Road: N. George Mason Drive to Yorktown Blvd.
  • Yorktown Blvd.: N. George Mason Drive to Williamsburg Blvd.
  • Williamsburg Blvd.: Yorktown Blvd. to N. Emerson Street
  • 33rd Street: N. Emerson Street to N. George Mason Drive
  • George Mason Drive: N. 33rd Street to Yorktown Blvd.
  • Smaller closures exist within the race area
0 Comments

Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation Launches Mother’s Day Campaign

A nonprofit that supports low-income mothers and their children in Arlington is encouraging local residents to donate this Mother’s Day weekend.

The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation will use the donations from this year’s campaign to help those vulnerable mothers access proper care before and after they give birth.

It provides access to medical services, counseling and support for economically vulnerable mothers-to-be, newborn babies and new mothers who don’t have the means or resources to start their journey on solid footing.

The foundation is named for Jennifer Bush-Lawson, a mother of three who died in 2014 after being struck by a dump truck in front of Nottingham Elementary School while placing her children in a minivan.

Her husband Neal launched the foundation one year after her death, and has previously hosted a 5K race and festival in her memory.

JB-LF said that hundreds of mothers and babies lack proper care locally. It can be difficult balancing work and child care schedules, finding transportation, navigating health insurance and gaining information, and the foundation assists with those and more.

Already, the foundation has raised over $118,000 for Virginia Hospital Center, provided 12 months of wellness care for 240 babies, provided blood pressure cuffs for in-home monitoring, given a $5,000 grant for specialist care and provided transportation for pregnant mothers.

Members of the JB-LF board will match every dollar donated between now and May 14 up to $4,000.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

Call for Families to Foster, Adopt Children

Arlington County needs families to foster and adopt children, and it’s holding an information session tomorrow for those who might be interested in opening up their homes.

The children in need of foster care come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and can no longer live in their homes because of abuse, neglect or severe family issues. Fostering is a temporary arrangement, but in some cases it can lead to adoption.

Families willing to take in teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are in particularly high demand.

The county has the following qualifications for becoming a foster parent:

  • Able to accept a child who needs a lot of patience, understanding and love
    Over the age of 21
  • Married or single
  • With or without biological children
  • Employed inside or outside the home
  • Living in a house or apartment in Arlington County or the surrounding Virginia area

Staff with Child and Family Services will hold an information session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The location will be sent to those who RSVP to [email protected]

0 Comments

Second Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race Planned This Weekend

2015 Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race (photo via Facebook)Now in its second year, a 5K race and festival is being held this weekend in memory of an Arlington mom killed by a passing truck while placing her children in a minivan.

The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. It will feature a 5K race, a kids fun run and a “Family Fun Day Festival.”

The festival will feature “music, food trucks, a beer garden, photo booth, rock climbing, ambulance and fire truck display, face painting, moon bounce, obstacle course, balloon animals and more.”

The event is being held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It benefits the Arlington Pediatric Center and the Virginia Hospital Center Outpatient Obstetrics Clinic, with a focus on prenatal and postnatal health services for underprivileged mothers and babies.

“Last year’s race raised over $100,000, and the goal for this year is to raise $150,000,” according to a press release.

A number of road closures will be in effect for the race. From the Arlington County Police Department:

The 2nd Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2016.  The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM to accommodate this event:

Main Closures:

  • Little Falls Road: N. George Mason Drive to Yorktown Blvd.
  • Yorktown Blvd.: N. George Mason Drive to Williamsburg Blvd.
  • Williamsburg Blvd.: Yorktown Blvd. to N. Emerson Street
  • 33rd Street: N. Emerson Street to N. George Mason Drive
  • George Mason Drive: N. 33rd Street to Yorktown Blvd.
  • Smaller closures exist within the race area

Any questions regarding the race can be directed to the Emergency Communication Center at (703) 558-2222.  For day of information or emergencies, please instruct them to have the race supervisor (Lt. Ken Dennis) call you directly.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

Events for National Night Out on Tuesday

2014 National Night Out logoArlington residents will join others across the country on Tuesday night (August 5) in coming together to take a stand against crime in their communities.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to spend the evening getting out of the house and meeting their neighbors for National Night Out. Police officers and community leaders also will make the rounds to chat with residents.

The nationwide event happens the first Tuesday of every August and is sponsored by the non-profit organization National Association of Town Watch. It raises safety awareness and gives residents the opportunity to get better acquainted with the officers who patrol their neighborhoods.

Everyone is welcome to attend the family friendly events at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest Ice Cream Social — 200 block of N. Gavelston Street, 7:30 p.m. – TBD
  • Barcroft Ice Cream Social — Community House at 800 S. Buchanan Street, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Fairlington — 3001 S. Abingdon Street, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Douglas Park — S. 12th Street & S. Irving Street, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condominium — behind the community center on S. Arlington Mill Drive, 5:00 p.m. – TBD
  • Columbia Knoll Condominiums — 5111 S. 8th Road, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • 6207 N. 31st Street — 6:30 p.m. – TBD
0 Comments

Activities Planned for National Night Out Tonight

2013 National Night Out logo(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) Residents across the county are encouraged to head out tonight to meet their neighbors at the activities planned for National Night Out.

At National Night Out, neighbors take a stand against crime in their communities. They strengthen relationships with each other and the police officers who patrol the neighborhoods. The event is held across the country on the first Tuesday in August and is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Arlington has events planned for the occasion at the following six locations:

  • Arlington Forest Ice Cream Social — 200 block of N. Galveston Street, 7:30 p.m.–TBD
  • Barcroft Community House — 800 S. Buchanan Street, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
  • Fairlington Community Center — 3005 S. Abingdon Street, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Nauck Neighborhood at Drew Model Elementary School — 3500 S. 23rd Street, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condominium Courtyard — 800 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
  • Columbia Knoll Condominiums at Greenbriar Baptist Church — 5401 S. 7th Road, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

Police officers will be on hand at each of the locations to chat with neighbors and to answer questions about current crime trends. They can also answer questions about general safety and offer neighborhood-specific suggestions for staying safe.

Everyone is welcome to attend the family friendly festivities.

0 Comments

‘Old-Fashioned Fun’ at Gulf Branch Fall Heritage Fest

The Gulf Branch Nature Center at 3608 Military Road will be hosting its annual Fall Heritage Festival on Saturday.

The festival will feature live music and family-friendly autumn activities. Admission is $5 per person, though children under three may attend for free.

The nature center issued the following promotional blurb about the event.

On Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., visit Gulf Branch Nature Center for old-timey fun for the whole family. This is a beloved community event that has been attracting hundreds of Arlingtonians for over a dozen years. “We’re starting to see the second generation now – young families coming whose parents remember making cider here when they were little.” said Jennifer Soles, staff naturalist. Last year, two more activity stations were added: pumpkin-painting and scarecrow making, so bring old clothes! Families can also participate in activities such as butter-churning, candle-dipping, cornhusk doll-making and LOTS more. “Everyone always wants a chance to explore the log cabin when they visit” reports naturalist Marty Pross. The Blacksmithing Guild of the Potomac has ongoing demonstrations in the forge. “Kids love to see the sparks – but the dads are the ones who often have to be dragged away” smith Curt Welch remembers. Festival goers enjoy music by Andrew Acosta & the New Old-Time String Band too! Summing up, 4-year old Mason Schnell says of the whole festival “It’s my favorite!”

For details, please call (703) 228-3403. Gulf Branch Nature Center is located at 3608 Military Rd, Arlington, VA 22207. $5 per person (children under three enter for free). Parking lot is closed for the event. On-street parking available on Military Road and 36th Road North.

4 Comments

Bug Fans of All Ages Welcome at Firefly Festival

Lightning bugs will take center stage at this weekend’s Firefly Festival.

On Sunday, July 15, people of all ages are welcome to join representatives from Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation for a celebration of the bugs that light up the night. There will be bug walks, games, crafts, educational talks and scavenger hunts.

Attendees are welcome to bring a blanket and a picnic to enjoy while the sun goes down and the fireflies emerge.

This event takes place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Fort C.F. Smith Park (2411 N. 24th Street) and costs $5 per person, or $20 per family. It will be cancelled there is rain.

For more information about the event, call 703-228-6535.

Photo by Bruce Marlin via Wikipedia

11 Comments

‘Family Fun Day’ to be Held at Bluemont Park

The whole family can enjoy the outdoors on Saturday, during “Family Fun Day” at Bluemont Park.

The Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation is joining up with PBS Kids to provide the event. Activities include art projects, a nature treasure hunt, relay races, moon bounces and bingo. There will also be an opportunity to get up close and personal with live snakes, turtles and lizards.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy together. There will also be a $3 lunch available for purchase, which includes a hot dog, chips and a drink.

Be sure to watch the weather if you plan on attending, because if there’s inclement weather the event will be cancelled. If it is cancelled, the event will not be rescheduled.

The event runs from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Timing for each of the activities can be found online. For more information, contact Kevin Clements at 703-228-4729 or [email protected]

36 Comments

Programming Director Leaving Artisphere

After only six months on the job, Artisphere’s programming director has decided to leave.

Rosanna Ruscetti joined the struggling venue in October, and was seen as someone who could help stabilize it. Just this year, Artisphere received accolades for its exhibit featuring famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Prior to working at Artisphere, Ruscetti had served as a programmer at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium for 18 years. She had also been a consultant for arts programming and business development.

Ruscetti will be leaving for family reasons, we’re told.

According to a job posting, the new program director will have to plan performances and exhibits, negotiate contracts, and develop and manage a $500,000 budget. The position has a pay range of $53,580 to $88,545 annually.

75 Comments

Library Photo Display Prompts Online Family Reunion

The Arlington Public Library’s work at updating its website has produced a pleasant unintended consequence — an online family reunion.

Recently, the library has been digitizing historical documents and pictures that are stored in the Virginia Room at the Central Library. One of the collections was posted online just in time for Black History Month in February. The Ernest E. Johnson Collection, 1948-1955, features photos from when the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation was still segregated and had its own “Negro Recreation Section.” Johnson directed the section and was vital in advancing the desegregation of Arlington’s community activities.

A woman who works at Long Branch Elementary saw the photos while doing research for another project, and realized many of them included her family members. That’s when she got on the phone with her cousin, Kathlyn James Avila.

Avila says in addition to recognizing herself and her cousin in the pictures, she spotted her mother and two uncles. One uncle was in a tennis photo, another a photo of a meeting.

“I had never seen those photos before,” Avila said. “I had no pictures of myself from kindergarten, and to even have that, it was very special.”

Avila’s family, the James family, was active in the community and knew Johnson well. She’s grateful that the library posted the pictures and thinks they’re important for others to see.

“There are quite a few black families in Arlington from the 1950s and 1960s that made an important impact on the growth of the black community. I know my family was one of them,” Avila said. “I think it’s very important for people to see black families as role models and activists in the community.”

Library spokesman Peter Golkin echoes the importance of residents taking a look at this particular historical collection.

“They’re incredible pictures,” Golkin said. “They really capture life in Arlington County at a very important time in local history, in national history.”

He points out that although Arlington is considered a progressive community, that wasn’t always the case.

“Back in the 1940s and 1950s, just the notion that Arlington had a section of the Parks and Rec Department called the ‘Negro Section,’ it really makes you pause for a second,” Golkin said. “The Arlington of today is so radically different, and we’re so much the better for it.”

Once Avila saw the photos on the library’s website, she quickly spread the word throughout her family. She said they all logged on to look at the pictures, which brought back emotional memories for many of them. Several of the family members had worked directly with Ernest Johnson to provide activities for African Americans, including her mother, who was Johnson’s assistant.

“That was an important time in our lives,” Avila said. “It was segregated, yet we had Ernest Johnson trying to lift others and be active in the community. He tried to make sure we had all the experiences and activities that anyone would have.”

Golkin said there’s a lot to learn from that period of time, and the photos really bring the stories to life.

“These are people living their lives as best they could with the restrictions that existed at the time,” said Golkin. “Thankfully the people in these pictures were the first to experience the benefits of the integration that came just a few years later.”

Avila spoke of fond memories such as her mother teaching young majorettes how to twirl batons, and of ballet and tap dancing classes. Some of the photos posted online are from performances at a May Day event, which she remembers with pride.

“That special day was so important to us to dress up and perform in front of our families,” Avila said.

Avila contends that for many of the county’s African American youths, being involved in the community activities helped set them up for success.

“I really think that for a lot of us that went on to higher education, it helped provide us with a foundation of arts, of being aware of other cultures and other people,” she said.

Avila considers herself the family historian who gathers photos and puts them onto CDs. She’s looking forward to getting some copies of the pictures to put up in her home, and to send to other family members.

7 Comments

‘Arlington Fun Ride’ Planned for Saturday

Dozens of bicyclists will hit the trails around Arlington this weekend for the second-annual “Arlington Fun Ride.”

The family-friendly event, which will take place from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, is a fundraiser for the non-profit, Barcroft Park-based Phoenix Bikes shop. Registration is $5 for individuals and $10 for families. The first 280 registrants will receive a t-shirt, free food from Chick-Fil-A and refreshments.

The ride begins at 8:00 a.m. at Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive), and takes riders on a 17-mile loop around Arlington via the W&OD, Custis, Mt. Vernon and Four Mile Run Trails. Children’s activities, including a bike rodeo, kids dance fitness class, cycling safety instructions and a health fair, begin at 10:00 a.m.

“The Fun Ride promotes family fitness and provides support for Phoenix Bikes, a community bike shop empowering at-risk youth,” organizers say. “Our environmentally and fiscally sustainable bike shop helps Arlington teens become successful social entrepreneurs and benefits the entire community.”

The ride’s 25+ sponsors include Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools. County Board member Walter Tejada will serve as the ride’s Grand Marshall.

5 Comments

Two Family-Friendly Neighborhood Events This Weekend

Two family-friendly, Latino-oriented neighborhood events are planned for Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the Smithsonian Latino Center and Arlington County’s Tell Arlington’s Story initiative are sponsoring a “family afternoon” at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.).

The afternoon will feature “hands-on activities inspired by Central American ceramis, Mayan dance presentations, live music, storytelling and talks by archeologist Favio Amador about Central America’s indigenous civilization.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.

On Sunday, a Buckingham community street festival will be held from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. on N. Pershing Drive between Glebe Road and Thomas Street.

The festival will feature music, food, games, raffles, kids activities. Scheduled performers include Amla Boliviana and Luz De Luna.

The event is being organized by the community group BU-GATA, along with various county agencies including the Arlington County Police Department.

7 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list