Arlington, VA

An annual, family-friendly outdoor festival is scheduled to return next weekend with music, dancers, and games.

The 3rd annual “Arlington Palooza” will be held in Alcova Heights Park (901 S. George Mason Drive) from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13.

This year, organizers at the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation say there will be laser tag, a bouncy house, face painting, and lessons in making flower crowns and pinwheels, among other activities listed on the event’s website.

Four food trucks will serve the festival, including Big Cheese, El Encanto Latino, Little Miss Whoopie and Salou’s Softy.

This year’s musical line-up includes:

  • 1-1:30 p.m. — The Sunshine Gang, a classic rock and roll band
  • 1:50-2:20 p.m. — Sarah Baumgarten, an H-B Woodlawn student and singer-songwriter who plays the ukulele
  • 3:15-3:50 p.m. — The Blue Flames, an five piece Arlington-based rock band

The Sultanas Troupe will perform a fusion of traditional Middle-Eastern and modern dances from 2:40-3 p.m.

The Arlington Art Truck will also join the festivities with a traveling show about electricity by Baltimore artist Neil Feather.

Police will close one block of 8th Street S. between S. Randolph Street and S. George Mason Drive during the event.

The county is warning that parking near the event will be “extremely limited” and is encouraging attendees to find alternative transportation. A spokeswoman for the event noted there will be bike valets, and that scooter company Bird is offering a $5 credit with the coupon code BEFREE.

The department said there will be a “designated drop-off area along S. George Mason Drive near 8th Street S.” for people with disabilities.

Photo via Arlington County

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Morning Notes

Kevin Spacey Pulled Over at DCA — “After appearing in court Monday morning to address sexual assault allegations in Massachusetts, actor Kevin Spacey had yet another brush with law enforcement in the afternoon, this time around Reagan National Airport.” [TMZ, WTOP]

Family Trio All Serves on ACPD — “33 years ago, Corporal Diane Guenther swore she’d never date another police officer. Police Lieutenant Mark Guenther persuaded her otherwise, and they married a year after they started dating. Their daughter, Harley, just celebrated two years as an Arlington County police officer.” [WDVM]

Police Holding Outreach Meetings — The Arlington County Police Department’s latest quarterly outreach meetings will be held at the Fairlington Community Center on Thursday, Jan. 24 and at Arlington Central Library on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Both meetings start at 7 p.m. [Twitter]

Group to Hold Forum on Entrepreneurship — “The Arlington branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will feature a program on starting a business, led by the founders of Amazing Women Entrepreneurs. The meeting is slated for Monday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 527 of Arlington Mill Community Center. The community is invited.” [InsideNova]

Federal Workers Driving for Uber to Make Ends Meet — “‘With the government shutdown, you have more people working for the government doing Uber, and for the full-time Uber drivers, that is really affecting us too, and our money,’ said rideshare driver Nate Murrell.” [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman

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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.

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(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.

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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
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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

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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]

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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

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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
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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.

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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.

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