Tech Firm Staying in Arlington, Expanding — Applied Predictive Technologies, which was acquired by MasterCard last year, has decided to stay in Arlington after being courted by other jurisdictions. The company plans to move to a new office in Ballston and hire 368 employees. It was offered $6 million in conditional incentives by the state and the county. [Washington Post]
Archaeological Excavation Underway — The Arlington Historical Society is conducting an archeological dig at the historic Ball-Sellers House, hoping to learn more about a section of the property that was torn down a century ago. [InsideNova]
It’s National Farmers Market Week — This week is National Farmers Market Week and the Arlington Farmers Market in Courthouse will be celebrating with a raffle and a cooking demonstration by celebrity chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery. Arlington has eight official farmers markets countywide. [ARLnow Events]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
The Marymount Farmers Market is expected to open on Saturday, May 21. It will take place in the university’s surface parking lot, at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive, and will run on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., until Nov. 19.
Along with the use permit, the Board also approved a revision of the zoning ordinance allowing for an expansion of areas where open air markets will be allowed to take place.
Arlington currently has 11 open air markets approved throughout the county and until the revision, the markets were limited to fewer zoning classifications. They were also prohibited in residential zones.
Now, open air markets are allowed in residential zones after obtaining a special exception use permit. They will be allowed on any property along a major street that has an existing public, civic or institutional use such as a university or library.
“Arlingtonians love farmers markets,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a press release. “It makes sense to allow these markets to open in neighborhoods, where people can walk to buy fresh, healthy, locally grown produce, meats and more — and enjoy seeing their neighbors while they are shopping.”
The market will launch on Saturday, May 21, according to its website. It will be held at Marymount’s surface parking lot at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive, on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., through Nov. 19.
Free parking is available at Marymount’s Blue Garage.
The market, which was organized by local residents, is billing itself as the only farmers market in Arlington north of Lee Highway.
“Featuring a fresh, delicious, organic, and healthy variety of foods, the Marymount Farmers Market was created and developed by your North Arlington neighbors and Civic Associations in partnership under the Lee Highway Alliance,” the website notes. “It is hosted by Marymount University and managed by Field to Table.”
“The Marymount Farmers Market is a local producer-only market. Each of our vendors grows, bakes, roasts, cooks, or prepares all of their products within 125 miles of Arlington County. Produce is usually picked within a day or two of the market so it is as fresh as possible.”
Photo via Facebook
GMU to Tweak Name of Scalia Law School — A week ago, after receiving $30 million in donations, George Mason University announced that it was naming its Arlington-based law school the “Antonin Scalia School of Law,” in honor of the late Supreme Court justice. The internet promptly went wild for the school’s would-be acronym: ASS Law or ASSoL. GMU noticed, and is now adjusting the name to the “Antonin Scalia Law School.” [Above the Law]
Porch Fire in High View Park — A small fire broke out yesterday on the porch of a house in the High View Park neighborhood, on the 2300 block of N. Dinwiddie Street, about two blocks from Fire Station No. 8. The fire marshal is investigating the incident. [Twitter]
County Live Streams First Commission Meeting — Arlington County live streamed a Planning Commission meeting for the first time Tuesday night. To re-live those 102 minutes of excitement, you can now view the meeting online, on-demand. [Arlington County]
Clarendon Farmers Market Returns Today — The Clarendon Farmers Market is back for the season today. The farmers market typically takes place next to the Metro station from 3-7 p.m. [Clarendon Alliance]
APS Open to Selling Naming Rights — There’s no indication that anyone has inquired about it, but the naming rights to Arlington’s high school football stadiums, gyms and theaters could be for sale for the right price. Arlington Public Schools says it would consider naming facilities after large donors. [InsideNova]
Rosslyn Startup Gets Big Investment — Rosslyn-based LiveSafe has received a $5.25 million investment from FedEx founder Fred Smith. LiveSafe describes itself as an “enterprise-class mobile safety communications platform.” [Commercial Appeal, PE Hub]
Flickr pool photo by Airamangel
On Tuesday, April 5, the Crystal City FRESHFARM Market will open for the season. The farmers market is held from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday, along Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets S.
“Shop from nearly 20 local farmers and producers with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, container plants and herbs, farm-raised eggs, all-natural meats, artisan baked goods, specialty foods and much more,” organizer Crystal City BID said in a press release. “Stop by early and pick-up a free Crystal City banner bag from the market’s information table (while supplies last).”
Two days later, the BID will hold its first Food Truck Thursday of the season. The lunchtime event is held on Thursdays from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and features a flotilla of food trucks in two locations: the corner of 18th Street and Crystal Drive and at 12th Street and Long Bridge Drive.
Also coming soon to Crystal City: the first 5K Friday race of April, this coming Friday (April 1), and the neighborhood’s weekly Mobile Bike Repair Station will open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the corner of 18th and Crystal.
Crystal City isn’t the only local community with seasonal events and amenities that have opened or are opening soon. Among the others:
- Ballston: FRESHFARM farmers market returns on Thursdays starting in May; Taste of Arlington 2016 scheduled for May 15
- Clarendon: Farmers market near the Metro station is typically held on Wednesdays starting in April
- Fairlington: Farmers market returns Sunday, May 1
- Rosslyn: The Rosslyn sandbox has already reopened; a Cinco de Mayo Beer Garden is scheduled for May 5
A number of other farmers markets around Arlington are held year-round.
Price Dip for Orange Line Homes in 2016? — Houses and condos along the Orange Line in Arlington’s 22201 Zip code appreciated in value by double digits this year. But a dip in prices around the Clarendon and Ballston areas may be ahead in 2016, according to an analytics firm. [Washington Post]
Marymount Farmers Market Proposed — A farmers market has been proposed for Marymount University. This weekend, the Arlington County Board is expected to defer consideration of a use permit for the market until February due to “zoning-related issues.” [Arlington County, InsideNova]
Foggy Morning in Arlington — Updated at 10:50 a.m. — D.C. and much of Northern Virginia, including Arlington, are under a dense fog advisory through 1 p.m. Earlier this morning, the FAA was reporting departure delays between 31 and 45 minutes at Reagan National Airport due to low clouds. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Doug Duvall
If so, then the Arlington Farmers Market in Courthouse has just the fleshy bottom-feeder for you, starting tomorrow.
The weekly farmers market, which runs on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot at the intersection of N. Courthouse Road and 14th Street N., is adding blue catfish to its offerings.
In a press release, farmers market operator Community Foodworks says blue catfish tastes “delicious.” Knowing that eating it will help rid the Chesapeake Bay of an invasive pest will make it taste even better. Plus, for every pound of blue catfish bought at the farmers market, a portion will be donated to local anti-hunger groups.
The Arlington Farmers Market, located at Courthouse Plaza for over 35 years, is joining forces with Charlottesville-based fisherman Zac Culbertson, of Cold Country Salmon, and Maryland’s Wide Net Project to introduce residents to the joys of eating wild blue catfish as the best way to support local fishermen, eliminate invasive species and combat hunger.
Introduced to certain Virginia tributaries in the 1970s for recreational fishing, the blue catfish (ictalurus furcatus), North America’s largest, now outnumbers other fish 3-to-1 in bay tributaries. The Wide Net Project was founded to turn the plentiful, delicious fish into an affordable source of protein for both anti-hunger relief and paying customers. For every pound of catfish Arlington Farmers Market customers purchase, WNP will donate one portion to local anti-hunger organizations such as Miriam’s Kitchen and Martha’s Table.
As part of its mission to support regional food producers, Arlington Farmers Market recruited Culbertson, who runs a small acreage farm and travels to Bristol Bay, Alaska every summer to net salmon from a biologist-managed, sustainable fishery on the Ugashik River. Culbertson returns his “Beyond Sushi Grade” salmon, which is frozen immediately after catch, to Virginia where he produces salmon spread, salmon cakes, salmon animal treats, spices, and glazes.
Beginning November 7 at Arlington Farmers Market, Culbertson will sell Wide Net Project blue catfish, his wild salmon and salmon products and Virginia oysters from Seaford Oyster Company in Seaford, VA.
Photo by Flickr user rbairdpccam, via Chesapeake Bay Program
During lunchtime this Wednesday, Crystal City’s weekly arts market, Sparket, will return for the 2015 season.
From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Wednesday until Nov. 18, Crystal City’s arts market will occupy Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets S., providing the areas thousands of office workers a place to go to shop for craft works like paintings, jewelry and pottery.
In addition to the art work, there will be products like home-made bath scrubs and soaps, greeting cards and “artisan food products,” according to the Crystal City Business Improvement District, which organizes the market.
Each week, the BID plans on hosting a variety of makers and vendors to give market attendees new items to peruse and new gifts to buy.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
On Sunday, April 19, the Fairlington farmers market will debut at 9:00 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. returning every Sunday through November.
There are 11 confirmed venders, according to the Fairlington Citizens Association’s April newsletter, selling vegetables, fruit, eggs, meats, breads, flowers and coffee among others.
“This is Fairlington’s market,” FCA President Guy Land wrote in the newsletter. “It’s not intended to draw in customers from DC or the far suburbs of Northern Virginia. It was developed by Fairlington residents for Fairlington residents, and they will shepherd its operation.”
Every item sold will have been grown or made within 125 miles of Fairlington, the FCA wrote, and all of the vendors will be the producers themselves. Some of the vendors will accept SNAP benefits and senior checks. The market is still looking for volunteers from the community, and is hosting open houses at the community center on Tuesday, April 7 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 2, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Now that April is here, the other eight farmers markets are beginning to arise from their winter slumbers. The Columbia Pike Farmers Market is year-round on Sundays at the Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive and Wednesdays at Arlington Mill Community Center. Here are the other farmers markets in the county.
- Arlington Farmers Market (N. Courthouse Road and 14th Street); starts its April hours, Saturdays 8:00 a.m.-noon
- Clarendon Farmers Market (Clarendon Metro station); Wednesdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
- Westover Farmers Market (Washington Blvd and N. McKinley Road); Sundays from 9:00 a.m.-noon, starts at 8:00 a.m. in May
- Crystal City Farmers Market (Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets S); Tuesdays 3:00-7:00 p.m.
- Ballston Farmers Market (901 N. Taylor Street); starts May 7 on Thursdays, 3:00-7:00 p.m.
- Rosslyn Farmers Market (Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street); launches late May on Thursdays: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
According to an email forwarded to ARLnow.com, Marymount has agreed to support the idea of a Saturday morning farmers market at the university. The organizing committee is planning a community meeting to discuss the plan next month.
Organizers will have to go through a county permitting process and a number of other steps before they’re able to turn their vision into reality, however. No word yet on a potential launch date.
The following was sent to a number of residents earlier this week.
As you know, Lee Highway Alliance organized a North Arlington Farmers Market committee last spring, which included representatives from a number of neighborhoods and civic associations.
Through a lot of effort, we worked with a potential manager – Smart Markets of Reston – to identify a site for the Saturday morning market at Marymount. Last week the University agreed to support the idea, so now that we have a potential site, we would like you and your members/friends to meet with us to express either your questions, support or concerns.
We have organized a community meeting to discuss it on March 19, 7:30 pm, Marymount Library. Information on the many aspects of a farmers market will be presented, including information on producers (selection and local linkages), transportation (access, parking, impacts), trash, walkability/health, noise, marketing, insurance, County permitting process, scheduling, etc.
If you can not voice your concerns or support in person, please send me your questions or comments in advance, and we will research the answers to be sure that we can respond to you directly.
On behalf of our NoArl Farmers Market Committee, we hope to see you on March 19 at Marymount.
The eyes have it. A new art installation featuring interactive LED-lit eyes launched today at the final Ballston Farmers Market of the season.
The display is called “The Eyes of Ballston” and users interact with it through their mobile device. The concept is that five characters live in the tree in the middle of Welburn Square — the baby, the grannie, the flirt, the grump and the raver — and they look at users through the interactive eyes.
Visitors stand near the tree and answer a character’s questions on their mobile device, to which the character responds via the eyes. The character will display different emotions depending on the user’s answer. They can perform numerous actions, including crying, winking and blowing a kiss. Each character has a circadian rhythm, so they’re not all awake and interacting with people at all hours of the day.
“I want them [users] to have fun and interact and enjoy public art, and understand that a great piece of public art is great for place-making and bringing people together,” said artist Lola Lombard, who came up with the eyes concept. “It’s showing them it’s OK to have a little fun. I like my artwork to always have a sense of humor and I think this does that.”
More than 3,000 LED lights, hundreds of feet of wiring, a metal structure and a Linux-based computer make up the project’s technical components.
“It’s really nice to make this stuff as art,” said Branden Hall, whose role focused on the electronic aspects of the art display. “It’s nice to make people smile, I really enjoy that.”
The display is part of the Ballston BID’s “Public Displays of Innovation” series, which also includes the lifeguard chairs placed throughout Ballston.
“We want to bring the amazing creativity and imagination of the people who live and work in Ballston to the street level,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone. “We weren’t even sure at first if it could be done. I didn’t realize it was going to be this cool. It makes you stop to think about how you interact with your neighborhood.”
Sen. Tim Kaine showed up at the farmers market, campaigning for County Board candidate Alan Howze. He checked out the electronic eyes and said he likes the idea of having more public art in communities.
“Why not make communities beautiful?” Kaine said. “I think art, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, I think it makes people feel better about the place where they live.”
The interactive eyes will be in Welburn Square through November.
Residents in Fairlington won’t have to go as far to get fresh produce, starting next year. On Saturday, Arlington County Board members unanimously approved allowing a an open-air farmers market in Fairlington.
The market will take place at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street) from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Sundays from April through November. The special use permit allows for 15 to 20 vendors and up to 29 tents on a pedestrian path behind the community center.
The use permit will allow the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, Inc., to operate the market. That’s the same organization running the Westover farmers market. In order to accommodate concerns about noise, no amplified music or speakers of any kind will be allowed.
Nearly a dozen residents showed up to express their opinions of how the market may affect the community. With one exception, all the speakers supported the market.
“Farmers markets are intended to be neighborhood affairs,” said resident Douglas Penn. “It’s a natural enhancement to a community that already exists. It’s another jewel in the crown.”
Some residents previously had expressed concern that a farmers market at the community center would affect parking. County staff notes that the market is on several bus lines and there is ample free parking in the area. The special use permit will come up for renewal in October 2015, and Board members say at that time they would address any parking concerns that may still exist. The Board also has the authority to examine formal complaints before the permit comes up for renewal.
“I do think this is a good thing. I am aware that there are some folks that are upset. Which is part of the reason I’m going to look at the parking and try to reassure them. But we absolutely need to give it a try,” said Board member Libby Garvey, who is also a Fairlington resident. “I will kick up a fuss if there really is a problem for some folks who do not have the parking that they need.”
The Fairlington farmers market will be the ninth farmers market in Arlington. It is expected to open in April 2015.
County staff recommends the approval of the farmers market, proposed by the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, citing a positive response from the community. The market would be held in the parking lot and on the pedestrian path of the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).
The market, if approved, would be held on Sundays from April to November, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to the county’s staff report. The first market would be held in April 2015.
The Fairlington market would be the county’s ninth farmers market. Currently, the closest market for Fairlington and Shirlington residents is the new Arlington Mill farmers market.
Field to Table, in its proposal, anticipates between 15 and 20 vendors for the market, with up to 29 tents under which goods and produce would be sold.
Some in the community expressed concern about the market’s impacts, but county staff said those potential impacts will be mitigated thanks to proper planning.
“Staff received correspondence from area residents who are concerned about impacts to parking, traffic, safety, and trash/environmental impacts related to the proposed use,” according to the report. “The recommended conditions of approval will mitigate any potential adverse impacts to the site.”
Staff said there is ample parking in the community center’s parking lot, but the market is designed with intent of having Fairlington residents walk to the center. The community center, which has been open since 1940 and used to be Fairlington Elementary School, is closed on Sundays, staff said, so the market wouldn’t conflict with any of its regular programming.
If approved, the County Board will review Field to Table’s permit to operate the market next October.
The market will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Welburn Square on N. Stuart Street, across from the Ballston Metro station. All visitors 21-and-over can enjoy a taste of beer and wine, with additional pours for $5. Anyone who purchases more than $10 of merchandise from some of the market’s vendors can have a second free tasting.
The beer will be provided by Northern Virginia breweries Heritage and Old Ox, as well as cider maker Angry Orchard.
While the beer and wine garden is happening, local band Jumpin’ Jupiter will perform their brand of, as they put it on their Facebook page, “Crash, boom, bangy kerplopabilly krap.”
The beer and wine will be accompanied by Ballston’s usual array of farmers selling vegetables, fruits, herbs and other goods, as well market vendors selling their goods. Tomorrow afternoon, the Ballston Business Improvement District will also unveil a new public art installation, called “Clouds.”
The Clouds are 50 light-and-sound interactive lanters placed all over the square. The lanterns take in and emit light and sound, and “will be programmed and then connected to form a cloud-like, networked structure,” according to a Ballston BID spokeswoman. The cloudlets were designed by artists Aki Ishida and Ivica Bukvic from the Virginia Tech Research Center in Ballston. Members of the public will participate in a workshop all day tomorrow to help build the clouds, which be displayed at 5:00 p.m.
While tomorrow is the last “mega market” in Ballston, the weekly farmers markets will continue to be held on Thursday evenings until the end of the month.
Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has given the thumbs up to a proposal to put a farmers market in the open space next to Fairlington Community Center.
The request, by farmers market organizer Field to Table, will eventually be heard by the Arlington County Board and will include a public input process. If approved, the Fairlington Farmers Market will be the ninth in the county.
“After careful consideration, the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has determined that a farmers’ market is an appropriate use of the open space adjacent to the Fairlington Community Center,” The DPR said in a statement. “The site’s location, characteristics, context of the surrounding neighborhood, circulation and parking access appear to favorably support a farmers’ market.”
The community center is owned by the county, so county staff held two public outreach meetings — one in April and one in May — to determine whether the community was receptive to the market. According to the county’s report on the market, there were some concerns about parking, trash and noise levels, but the community was generally supportive of the concept.
There are 145 on- and off-street parking spaces, staff said, and other markets around the county do not exceed the Noise Ordinance if they do not play amplified music or sounds. In an online survey, two-thirds of respondents said they would approve of a market in the community center’s open space.
Of the county’s eight farmers markets, the closest one to Fairlington is the new Arlington Mill Farmers Market.
“Although the County does not currently seek the establishment of new farmers’ markets,” the staff report reads, “we recognize the important role that they can play in place-making and community wellness, a value shared by the Fairlington-Shirlington community.”
It’s unclear at this point when the market will go before the County Board for approval.