Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Black Lives Matter Protest Held Saturday — “As protests continue around the nation following the death of George Floyd, the Black Parents of Arlington group welcomed families and neighbors on Saturday for a special gathering and vigil for the man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May. Over 100 people gathered at Drew Model Elementary School, some bringing signs while others wore shirts and face masks showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.” [WUSA 9]

Dorsey Discusses ‘Defund’ Demands — “‘We’re getting a lot of letters with the ‘defund the police’ calls,’ says [County Board member Christian Dorsey, on the WAMU Politics Hour]. He says that over the past few years, the police budget has only risen slightly above inflation. He said he’d be open to cutting tactical weapons and gear.” [Twitter]

Pentagon Entering ‘Phase 1’ Today — “Pentagon and Pentagon Facilities Employees: This Mon., June 15, begins Phase One of re-entering the buildings. Welcome back! Don’t forget your face covering and to social distance while inside.” [Twitter]

Current COVID-19 Hospitalizations Fall — “Fewer than 1,000 Virginians are now hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19, and the number of cases continued to slow both statewide and in Northern Virginia, according to reports Saturday morning. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported only 959 coronavirus patients in state hospitals, the lowest number since the organization began providing data in early April… Only 342 of those patients were in Northern Virginia, down from a high of 818 on April 30.” [InsideNova]

County Expanding Free Wi-Fi Spots — “Arlington residents can now access free Wi-Fi in the parking lots of the Charles Drew Community Center and Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center as part of the County’s ongoing effort to help residents without reliable internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with these two new locations, public Wi-Fi is available via the ArlingtonWireless network in the parking lots at Aurora Hills, Central and Columbia Pike libraries.” [Arlington County]

PTAs to Distribute Face Masks — “County staff from a variety of departments packing up more than 4,300 cloth face covers for [Arlington Public Schools] PTAs to distribute to families. Face covering is required in Virginia public indoor spaces. ” [Twitter]

Restaurants Seek Expanded Outdoor Dining Spaces — “Arlington County has allowed 19 restaurants to add new space for outdoor dining or expand existing options, as part of the growing trend of shifting tables outside and allowing safer dining while the Covid-19 pandemic persists… Through June 9, the county has seen a total of 66 applications and approved just under a third of them.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo courtesy Jean and James Knaack

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Morning Notes

Pentagon Mandates Face Masks — “All on the Pentagon reservation must wear cloth face coverings in open spaces/work spaces where it is difficult to maintain at least 6 ft social distance. You may remove cloth face coverings in a private office/workspace where at least 6 ft of social distance is maintained.” [Twitter]

County May Host Online ‘Open Door’ Sessions — “Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey announced today that the Board will pilot a virtual format for Open Door Mondays, the informal weekly sessions where individuals or small groups can meet one-on-one with a Board Member to raise any issue, on Monday, April 13, 2020.” [Arlington County]

I-66 Lane Closures This Weekend — “Single- and double-lane closures will be needed for bridge joint reconstruction work over Williamsburg Boulevard and Westmoreland Street. At least one travel lane along I-66 Eastbound will be maintained at all times during this work.” [Press Release]

County Accelerates Columbia Pike Work — “Starting Monday, April 13, we will no longer open an additional eastbound lane during weekday morning rush hours. As a result, the work done between S. Jefferson Street and S. Dinwiddie/Columbus Street will only have one lane open in each direction on weekdays from 7 a.m.-9 p.m.” [Twitter]

South Block Adapts to Delivery and Takeout — “Mostafavi founded South Block in 2011 and he’s slowly grown the business since then, with nine locations and two more in the pipeline. Since the pandemic forced closures of dining rooms, Mostafavi has leaned hard into the delivery and takeout side of his business. ‘I feel fortunate to be in a business that’s still considered essential and that we already had an app, were already doing deliveries and the product is desired right now because it’s healthy,’ Mostafavi said.” [Washington Business Journal]

CPRO Providing Free Banners for Businesses — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is launching several new initiatives to support our business community… Are you operating an essential business on Columbia Pike? Need help letting the public know you’re open? Contact us today to receive a FREE banner.” [CPRO, Instagram]

Arlington Pension Investment Chief Retiring — “Daniel E. Zito, executive director and chief investment officer of the $2.5 billion Arlington County (Va.) Employees’ Retirement System, plans to retire in the next year.” [Pensions & Investments]

Community Foundation Distributes $500k — “More than 40 Arlington nonprofits have received a total of over $500,000 in emergency response support from the Arlington Community Foundation COVID-19 Prompt Response Fund, with more funds being disbursed daily.” [Press Release]

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Morning Notes

APS Creates Learning at Home Guide — “We have created a Learning at Home webpage that pulls details on instruction, additional educational resources for families, activities and resources for coping with stress. If you have questions, please send them to [email protected]” [Arlington Public Schools, Twitter]

How to Report Price Gouging in Virginia — “If you see excessive price increases for coronavirus (COVID-19) necessities, report it to Attorney General Mark Herring’s office.” [Facebook, Attorney General Mark Herring]

Costco Encouraging Social Distancing — Costco in Pentagon City has had lines out of the door every morning since the start of the coronavirus crisis. The line has gotten longer — and more spread out — in the interest of social distancing. [Twitter]

Airports Remain Open — Reagan National Airport remains open, reportedly with no plans to limit access. Most stores and restaurants at DCA also remain open, but with modified hours. [Twitter, Twitter]

Signature Theater Show Goes Online — “Signature Theater in Arlington, Va., is looking to make its production of Dani Stoller’s ‘Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes’ available online to ticketholders.” [New York Times]

Ramen Shop Offering Free Food for Seniors — “Gaijin Ramen Shop management and staff are heartbroken by elders without food because of the COVID-19 pandemic… We are offering FREE delivery of fresh vegetable ramen soup to any elderly in need.” [Community Post]

Free Pizza for Kids at Troy’s Italian — “On March 20, from 12-8 p.m. we will be doing free pizza slices for kids. We are also offering contactless curbside pickup. Call us at (703) 528-2828 when you get here, and we will bring the food out, and put it into the trunk of your car for you.” [Facebook]

Vehicle Inspection Enforcement Suspended — “Governor Northam has directed the Virginia Department of State Police to suspend the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections for 60 days.” [Gov. Ralph Northam]

New Local Facebook Page — “Community activist and Arlingtonian Kellen MacBeth has centralized tools and resources for people in need during the coronavirus outbreak. His Facebook page, Arlington Neighbors Helping Each Other Through COVID-19, is up to 2,000 members in just one day of its existence.” [WDVM]

Nearby: Coronavirus Strikes Falls Church Senior Center — “A resident at The Kensington assisted living center in the City of Falls Church has tested positive for COVID-19, the Fairfax County Health Department reported today. It is the first reported case of the coronavirus in the City.” [Falls Church News-Press, Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Arlington Man Dies in Pa. Ski Accident — “A skiing accident at an eastern Pennsylvania resort claimed the life of a Virginia man, authorities said. Matthew Rosenstein, 23, of Arlington, Virginia died Monday of multiple blunt force injuries, the Lehigh County coroner’s office said Wednesday.” [NBC 4]

Fairlington Among Most Competitive for Homebuyers — “Two locales in Greater Washington have cracked Redfin’s list of the most competitive neighborhoods for homebuyers in 2019 — one in Arlington and one in the District.” [Washington Business Journal, Redfin]

Free Drinks Today at a Local Starbucks — The Starbucks store at Market Common Clarendon (2690 Clarendon Blvd) will be giving away free tall espresso drinks from 1-2 p.m. today. [WUSA 9]

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With Christmas just around the corner, the Ballston Business Improvement District has gotten into the spirit with festive a “Gnome for the Holidays” campaign.

This week, if you spot a gnome across Ballston’s 25-block neighborhood, don’t run away: each day, the gnome will be giving away bags of gift cards to more than 30 of Ballston’s shops and restaurants.

Every day until Friday, the gnome — an actual person wearing a pointy hat, not a cherubic holiday decoration — will hide in two different areas, switching off in the morning and afternoon.

The BID’s Instagram stories will be posting clues on the gnome’s whereabouts — for example, this morning, the gnome was spotted poking around the Ballston Metro station. The BID encourages those who interact with the gnome to share their experience using the hashtag #BallstonIsGnomeForTheHolidays.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year to activate our ‘life is full’ brand mantra in the form of ‘joy-full’ acts across the neighborhood,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone.

“We envisioned this campaign in the spirit of giving as a grassroots way to engage the community and celebrate our home here in Ballston because there is truly no place like home for the holidays.”

Photo via Hope Wheeler/Ballston BID 

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A state organization aimed at helping Virginians identify unclaimed property will set up a booth next week to help locals find previously unknown money.

On Thursday (Oct. 3) from noon to 5 p.m. and on Friday (Oct. 4) from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., the Virginia Department of the Treasury’s program VA Money Search is scheduled to set up in the lobby of the county government building at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

With a name like “vamoneysearch.org” and a mascot of a man in a trench coat, the program would seem a little suspicious, but Stephanie Shea, a spokesperson for the Arlington County Treasurer’s office, said the program is operated by the state government.

“The Treasury is mandated to try to find the rightful owners of money that is unclaimed,” Shea said. “There is no fee for this service, it’s totally free.  We invite everyone to stop by the team’s table in the lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd to find money.”

Last year, Shea said the organization found $68,026.68 in one day.

“Last year one County employee found over $3,000,” Shea said. “Money is found from closed bank accounts, insurance policies, wages from an old job, etc.”

A press release from the program said that overall it returned $79 million to Virginia citizens in 2018. According to the release:

Unclaimed Property can be generated in nearly every financial transaction with any company. Property becomes unclaimed when the holder company has not had contact with the owner of the property or funds for a specified time, then the account is considered dormant. Dormant accounts by law must be turned over to the state… Unclaimed Property stays in our database until the rightful owner or heir files a claim.

Photo via VA Money Search/Facebook

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Arlington residents can now register to receive a free tree for their homes, thanks to Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s annual giveaway of 400 native trees.

The available trees are termed “whips” and come in two-gallon containers ranging from 2-4 feet in size, according to the organizer’s website. Registration for the annual program opened Tuesday.

“This annual program is very popular and has yielded many beautiful trees and benefited our community,” organizers wrote.

There will be two tree distribution days this year, led by county landscaping staff and members of the Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards organization.

The first tree pickup will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Barcroft Baseball Field parking lot (4208 S. Four Mile Run Drive).

The second pickup will be on Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 4-6 p.m. at the Reed-Westover Baseball Field parking lot (5829 18th Street N.)

One tree is allowed per residential property. Those who live in a multi-family property, like an apartment complex, are asked to email the Tree Stewards for more information on obtaining trees.

Photo via TreeStewards/Facebook

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CorePower Yoga and VIDA Fitness aren’t open yet, but they’re offering free classes for anyone looking to get a little more limber in Ballston.

Today (Thursday), VIDA Fitness is offering a “Glow Up! Power Yoga Class” from 6-7 p.m. at the Ballston Freshfarm Market (901 N. Taylor Street). The VIDA Ballston website describes the class as an outdoor yoga class aimed at improving flexibility and reducing stress.

VIDA has been holding free fitness classes the first Thursday of every month since May, with rotating themes and topics. The next fitness event — Pinot and Pilates — is planned for Sept. 5. The free classes are scheduled to run through November.

VIDA is planning to open its new Ballston location in the still-under-construction 4040 Wilson Blvd tower The opening date has not been announced, but staff said VIDA is eyeing an early 2020 opening.

CorePower Yoga, meanwhile, is scheduled to open at Ballston Exchange on Thursday, August 22, and has also been holding a series of free yoga events ahead of its launch.

Next Friday, August 9, the yoga studio will host a sunset yoga event from 5:30-6:30 p.m at 4201 Wilson Blvd. The event is free and open to the public, though attendees are encouraged to bring their own mat and water. Another free yoga class is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 30.

Photo 1 via Facebook/Ballston Exchange

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Maizal is planning to open tomorrow (Thursday) with a free food giveaway.

The new restaurant serves South American street food, like arepas, yuca fries, plantains and street corn.

For its Aug. 1 grand opening in the Quarter Market food hall in Ballston Quarter mall, Maizal will be offering a free arepa and a side — with the purchase of a drink — from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and again from 5:30-8:30 p.m., according to a PR rep for the mall.

Employees could be seen preparing fresh ingredients in the restaurant’s open kitchen this morning, but a manager said it would not be serving customers today.

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District Doughnut is promoting its new location in Quarter Market — the Ballston Quarter mall’s new food hall — in the most popular way possible: free donuts.

The confectionary establishment is planning the donut party for tomorrow (Thursday) around 2 p.m. on the second level of the mall, across from Scout and Molly’s. The event is scheduled to last as long as there are still donuts to give out.

The eatery offers a range of donuts, from chocolate to various fruit flavors, though the website says the company does not offer gluten-free or vegan options.

District Doughnut is planning to open the Ballston Quarter location sometime within the next week, according to staff at another District Doughnut location.

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District Taco began as a stand-alone food cart and expanded into the burgeoning regional restaurant chain it is today.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of District Taco, which was co-founded by Marc Wallace and Osiris Hoil. The company is marking the occasion with an event in Rosslyn tomorrow (Thursday).

“ATTN, amigos!” the company said in a social media post. “Join us back where it all started for our 10 year anniversary… from 12-1 p.m. we will be on the corner of Lynn St & Wilson Blvd, in Rosslyn, handing out tacos and giveaways! Come celebrate with us and pose for a photo with our original taco cart.”

Hoil said he also plans on celebrating by taking a trip down to Mexico in August to visit family and reminisce about his mother’s cooking — the inspiration for many District Taco recipes.

Hoil’s entrepreneurial story began when he came to the United States as an immigrant and was laid off from a construction company during in 2007, around the time of the economic crisis. He said despite his dismay at the time, he still thinks highly of the firm and hired them to build several District Taco locations.

The District Taco cart launched in 2009, but was retired in 2014. Since then, two bricks-and-mortar District Taco locations have opened in Arlington: at 5723 Lee Highway — its very first storefront — in 2010 and in Rosslyn (1500 Wilson Blvd) in 2016.

District Taco now has 14 locations, according to its website, and plans to add at least three more in 2020, according to Hoil. They also want to double their office space by 2021.

“Everything we have done is by scratch,” said Hoil. “We have learned so much from other people and big companies.”

Photo 1 via Twitter

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