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Morning Notes

Metro Assault Suspect Arrested — The registered sex offender from Maryland suspected of groping a woman on an Orange Line train in Arlington has been arrested by Metro Transit Police “following media coverage” of the case. MTPD is now looking for additional victims. [Twitter]

Scott Parker Eyes D.C. for Next Venture — “Boston burger chain Tasty Burger has closed its sole D.C. location… Eater has learned Scott Parker — the restaurant owner of millennial-targeted bars such as Clarendon’s Don Tito and Ballston’s A-Town Bar and Grill — is pursuing a project at the Shaw location of the former burger joint in the Atlantic Plumbing building (2108 8th Street NW).” [Eater]

Circus Coming to RosslynJack Burkman, conspiracy theorist and Rosslyn area resident, says he’s going to hold a press conference at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn tomorrow to “reveal the first of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sex assault victims” — though he has not offered any evidence to back up the accusation and is now facing a possible FBI investigation into a woman’s claim that he tried to pay her to testify that she was abused by Mueller. Burkman’s last Rosslyn press conference, in which he promised a bombshell revelation, was instead panned by fellow conspiracy theorists. [The Atlantic, Daily Beast, Heavy]

Arlington Nursing Homes Lauded — Two Arlington nursing homes — ManorCare and The Jefferson — were included in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Nursing Home” list. A total of 2,975 facilities across the U.S. received the “Best Nursing Home” distinction. [WTOP]

Caps Host Special Hockey Players in Ballston — Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals hosted more than 80 players from the American Special Hockey Association at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Ballston on Tuesday. [NHL]

Snowy Winter Ahead? — “Consulting meteorologists and weather companies like AccuWeather and the Weather Company unanimously agree: Washington is in for a snowy winter. So, now, do the forecasters you watch on television.” [Washington Post]

Nearby: 5K to Raise Money for Pittsburgh Victims — A 5K run/walk has been planned to raise money for the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting victims and the non-profit refugee group HIAS. The run is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 2 along the C&O Canal Towpath in D.C. [Active, Safety and Health Foundation]

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Morning Notes

When Is Trick Or Treating in Arlington? — Wondering about tomorrow’s Halloween candy gathering? There are no official trick-or-treating hours in Arlington, but as in previous years you can expect to see the first little ghouls and goblins around 6 — sometimes a bit earlier — and the last door knocks should happen by 8 or 9 p.m.

Engagement Ring Found in Courthouse — “I found an engagement ring today on Wilson and N. Troy… Happy to reunite if owner can provide accurate description!” [Twitter]

ACPD Lieutenants to Split Settlement — “Lieutenants in the Arlington County Police Department will split a pot totaling $1.24 million and the county government would avoid the possibility of legal action under an agreement inked – without public notice – on Oct. 23. The agreement, tacked on without forewarning to the community at the end of a County Board meeting, brings the county government in line with changes in federal law regarding overtime payments through the Fair Labor Standards Act.” [InsideNova]

AWLA Fundraiser a Success — Via an email from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “We are thrilled to announce that $45,000 was raised for animals in need at our 3rd annual Pints4Paws Pet Fest! We are so grateful to the more than 800 guests that attended, and to all of the volunteers and sponsors that made this event possible.  Thanks to you, we are going to be able to continue saving thousands of lives every year!”

Emergency Exercise at Fort Myer — Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hill “will conduct a Full Scale Exercise today, Oct. 30. Community notifications will be delivered until 4 p.m. by text, email, and loudspeaker.” [Twitter]

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Arlington Public Library Helps Rebuild a Puerto Rico Library

One year after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library is donating $5,369 to help rebuild a damaged library on the island.

The Águedo Mojica Marrero Library at the University of Puerto Rico is still in rough shape, located in one of the hardest hit areas on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast. The building and the collections inside were both damaged by the storm.

According to Henrik Sundqvist, communications officer the Arlington Public Library, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library donates $1 to a charitable organization for each person who completes the summer reading program. This year, a total of $5,354 Arlingtonians completed the program, 700 more than last year, with an additional $15.17 from unsolicited cash donations from Arlington kids.

Additionally, the library will be hosting a free panel discussion about Puerto Rico, moderated by Michelle Fernandez, a librarian and University of Puerto Rico graduate.

The event will be held next Thursday (Sept. 20) from 7-9 p.m. in the Central Library (1015 North Quincy Street).

Photos contributed by Friends of the Arlington Public Library

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Morning Notes

Parking Changes Among Child Care Proposals — Changing onerous parking requirements for child care centers is going to be “on the list of proposed ordinance changes we’re introducing” at a community meeting next Monday, according to a tweet from Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol. [Twitter]

Smoke the Dog Dies — “Smoke, the Arlington, Virginia, dog with a bucket list, died this week, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington announced Friday. In July, Smoke captured a lot of hearts in the area when the Arlington shelter announced that he had terminal cancer and that they’d created a bucket list for him.” [WTOP]

Letter: Arlington Lacks Airbnb Enforcement — A letter to the editor argues that Arlington County has been ineffective in enforcement of a short-term rental ordinance passed in 2016. Per the letter: “Short-term rental industry websites showed more than 1,000 units advertised for short-term rent in Arlington as of early July, but only 72 residents had obtained permits, down from 86 in January.” [Washington Post]

Dems Make Money Via Mail — The top fundraising activity for the Arlington County Democratic Committee: sending hand-addressed and hand-stamped letters. [InsideNova]

Tree Falls on Chain Bridge Road — Chain Bridge Road was closed Sunday after a tree fell and took down utility lines, for at least the second time this year. The stretch of Chain Bridge Road in Arlington that was closed is home to the most expensive house in the D.C. area. [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani

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Kennan Garvey Memorial Bike Ride Rolls Along This Saturday

The fifth annual Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride is planned for this Saturday (Aug. 25). The bicycle ride along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail will raise money to help Phoenix Bikes afford a new van to help transport students and day to day operations.

Rides range from 15 miles to the full length of the trail. Every 15 miles, volunteers greet riders with water, snacks, maintenance and high fives.

Online registration has closed, but participants can register at the race for a $100 donation and a $25 entry fee. Donations can also be made for teams or individuals.

The ride commemorates Kennan Garvey, an avid cyclist and late husband of County Board member Libby Garvey, who died of a heart attack in 2008. Kennan Garvey was a supporter of Phoenix Bikes, a non-profit that aims to educate the community about biking and help make it more affordable, and the fundraiser in his name has helped Phoenix Bikes afford a new location in the Arlington Mill Community Center.

This year, the goal is to replace the van currently used by the facility. The current van helps transport students to and from bike clubs, races, and special events as well as picking up and delivering donated bicycles.

“Although I’m very close to being able to ride my bike again, my new knee isn’t bending quite enough for me to ride this year…but I signed up anyway,” said Libby Garvey. “I’ll be there for the beginning and plan to help out at one of the rest stops on the ride.”

Courtesy photo

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Workout Fundraiser Planned for Local Hotel Manager and Advocate

An ’80s themed bootcamp will take place in Rosslyn tomorrow to honor Ralf Hofmann, a man remembered as a passionate advocate for Arlington’s homeless and recent immigrants.

Hofmann, a former General Manager at the Hyatt Centric Arlington who was very active in several local charities, passed away on July 30 after a battle with a rare and aggressive cancer. All proceeds of the bootcamp will go towards a GoFundMe set up to support his wife, Heather, and their two sons.

The bootcamp will be held in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). Sign in for the event starts at 6:30 p.m., with the workout starting at 7:30. A raffle afterwards will give attendees a chance to win a weekend stay at the Hyatt Centric, free dinner at Cityhouse, or a month of free coffee from Key Bridge Terrace. Attendees are encouraged to wear ’80s themed workout attire and plenty of neon.

Hofmann worked in culinary arts for over 30 years, working in the Hyatt Centric as executive chef before becoming general manager. In his work at the hotel, he regularly partnered with groups like the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and served on the board of La Cocina, a program that offers local latino immigrants a bilingual course in job training and language skills.

“We approached [the Hyatt Centric] to become a partner, meaning they hire our students for internships,” said Paty Funegra, CEO of La Cocina. “Ralf right away pushed to sign that agreement. They hosted our students there in the kitchen, and when he got promoted to operations manager, he approached me to offer more help. ‘I’m here,’ he told me, ‘can I help you in any other capacities?'”

Funegra said Hofmann was one of La Cocina’s biggest advocates, and was active in helping the group fundraise.

“He was my mentor,” said Funegra. “He was very generous, very open. He had a big heart, and cooking was his passion.”

Funegra said that Hofmann himself was an immigrant and that he was very conscious of trying to offer opportunities to others. Hofmann had a large collection of cooking books, which he donated to La Cocina to form the start of their library at their new facility at 3507 Columbia Pike. Funegra said they will be naming it the Hofmann Family Library in his honor.

Kathy Sibert, CEO of A-SPAN, said Hofmann was a driving force behind having the Hyatt host events for local charities and holding donation drives. For those in A-SPAN ready to work, Hofmann made sure there were internships available.

“Ralf was very involved,” said Sibert. “He worked on all of these things. He came to the events and really set the tone with his staff: to be very involved in the community.”

“We thought the Hyatt might be a good relationship, but Ralf really brought it to a personal level,” said Scott Miller, senior director of development at ASPAN. “He was absolutely the first to offer up an internship program, giving people a second or third chance. That was one of our first corporate partners for an internship. There are a lot of hurdles to jump, you had to get that person willing to raise their hand and say, ‘I’ll be your champion.’ Without Ralf’s help, we wouldn’t have had those jobs and internships, and those people wouldn’t have had their second chance. He opened up their facilities. It was his willingness to take that chance and be that champion with them.”

As a manager, Miller said Hofmann was very inclusive and made sure everyone had a voice and felt included.

“It was never a manager talking down to people, it was seeing people eye to eye,” said Miller. “He wanted to make sure people felt comfortable and friendly.”

Miller said whenever someone new would start working at the Hyatt Centric, Hofmann would make sure they had a “coffee break buddy”, someone who could help show them around and make sure they didn’t feel isolated.

According to his friends, Hofmann was also a very smart dresser.

“He would always wear beautiful suits; tailored with a handkerchief,” said Miller. “One time, we borrowed a riser for our open house… When we finally got it back to him, it must have been 100 degrees outside. The hospitality people were out there doing other stuff, and he’s out there in his expensive suit moving it by himself.”

Miller said Hofmann tore part of his suit moving the heavy riser, but that he was dismissive of it.

“That was Ralf; willing to help,” said Miller. “He wouldn’t pull someone off desk duty if it was something he could do himself.”

Photo via Rosslyn BID

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Arlington College Student Starts Fundraiser to Counter ‘Unite the Right’ Rally

As white supremacists prepare to march through D.C. this weekend, on the first anniversary of last year’s violent rally in Charlottesville, an Arlington college student hopes to match every step they take through the city by raising money to push back on hate.

Allison Herrity, a Washington-Lee graduate and a rising junior at George Washington University, kicked off the “Stomp Out Hate Walk-A-Thon” ahead of the “Unite the Right 2” rally coming to the city Saturday (Aug. 11).

While the white nationalists participating in the event, led by many of the organizers of the deadly demonstration in Charlottesville, may very well be outnumbered by counter-protesters, Herrity and fellow GW student Kendall Keelen say they wanted to find some way for people across the region to show their opposition to “Unite the Right” without actually heading into D.C. this weekend.

“We see this as a way for individuals who are unable to protest physically for a variety of reasons to make it clear that the actions of these white nationalists are not okay, and will not be accepted here or anywhere,” Herrity told ARLnow via email.

Herrity, who grew up in Ashton Heights and still lives in Arlington, says the proceeds of the fundraiser will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization dedicated to monitoring hate groups across the country. Herrity and Keelen will accept donations of any size, but the online fundraising site they’ve set up gives people the option to donate “per step” that the rally-goers take through D.C.

They estimate that the group will take roughly 1,700 steps if all goes according to plan and they march from the Foggy Bottom Metro station to Lafayette Park. Herrity said she was inspired by people in the German town of Wunsiedel, who similarly donated money to an anti-extremist organization for every meter neo-Nazi demonstrators marched through the town.

“We would have done a per mile pledge, but the protesters will not even be walking a mile,” Herrity and Keelen wrote on the fundraising page. “But hey, carrying around all that hate must be exhausting.”

So far, the pair have managed to raise just under $1,000, and they’ve set a $5,000 goal for the effort.

Photo via MightyCause

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Arlingtonians Cycle, Raise Thousands of Dollars to Support Cancer Research

Five Arlington residents will cycle through parts of Massachusetts next weekend (Aug. 4-5) to support cancer research and care.

Since 1980, the Pan-Mass Challenge bike-a-thon has raised over $598 million. All of the funds raised by riders go to Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The Arlington participants — Andrew Carpenter, Ryan Gillis, Robyn Norrbom, Chris Smith and Andrew Evans — have been riding in the PMC for between one and nine years including this year, according to their profiles on PMC’s website.

Norrbom, who is racing for the first time, is a breast cancer survivor and has seen multiple family members battle cancer.

“My motivation was really to go to give back… to research especially,” she said. Norrbom will ride 109 miles in one day, and her team has raised over $20,000.

Gillis began biking in the PMC in 2012 while his father and a close friend struggled with cancer. He will bike 192 miles over two days, and has raised over $6,000.

“The significant amount of money that this raises makes a real difference,” Gillis said.

Riders must raise at least $600 to participate in the challenge, and required fundraising amounts increase depending on the rider’s route. PMC aims to raise $52 million this year with over 6,300 participants.

When a loved one has cancer, “it’s really hard not being able to do something,” Norrbom said. Participating in the PMC “just empowers you, I think,” she said. “Even if I’m not the scientist [or] not able to give lots of money per day out of pocket.”

Photo courtesy Pan-Mass Challenge

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Family of Man Shot by ACPD Raising Money for Medical Care, Legal Defense

(Updated June 1 at 4:50 p.m.) The family of an Arlington man shot by county police, after he allegedly rammed police vehicles with his van, is raising money to help pay for his medical care amid claims he was treated poorly while in custody.

Relatives of 51-year-old Steven Best have so far raised more than $5,100 through a GoFundMe page since police shot Best during the May 3 incident.

Arlington police say they were trying to pull Best over near the intersection of 12th Street S. and S. Edgewood Street, just off Columbia Pike, after spotting a woman in his car wanted on outstanding warrants for violating her probation.

Police allege that Best ignored commands from officers and struck their vehicles in an attempt to flee the scene, prompting two officers to shoot him. Department spokesman Ashley Savage added that neither Best nor the woman in his car, 40-year-old Jessica Lary of Annandale, “displayed any weapons during the incident,” and were arrested after being found hiding in the area.

Best is now charged with three counts of the attempted malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, though he was released on bond on Tuesday (May 29).

During the last few weeks in police custody — in the hospital then in the Arlington County jail — Best’s family says he received “minimal medical care” for the six gunshot wounds he suffered. They are raising money to fund his “legal defense and medical rehabilitation.”

The family further alleges that Best was held “in protective custody and in isolation 23 hours a day” during his time behind bars, which took “a toll on him mentally and physically,” and that ACPD’s accounting of events leading to the shooting is false.

“We believe that this was an unlawful shooting by police, use of excessive force, abuse of power and now cover up,” the GoFundMe page says.

Maj. Susie Doyel, a spokeswoman for the county sheriff’s office, told ARLnow via email that Best was held in the detention facility’s medical unit, “where there are nurses on-duty 24 hours a day.”

“Mr. Best was initially placed on protective status due to the high profile of his case in the media (this is standard practice),” Doyel wrote. “However, he was removed from protective custody status on May 25. Had he not made bond, he would have gone to another unit once he had been cleared by medical.”

Best’s attorney, Michael Sgarlet, declined to comment on the case.

Best is set to appear in Arlington County District Court for a preliminary hearing on his charges on June 25.

“I believe in him,” Heather Rose-Walker, Best’s sister, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “However I don’t believe in the system anymore.”

Photo via GoFundMe

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Morning Notes

Fundraiser for Family in Need — Money is being raised online for an Arlington woman and her two school-aged sons after her husband — their dad — passed away from stomach cancer. The De Leon Ordonez family was very active with the Barrett Elementary School community, volunteering “countless hours of time and energy” to the school and the PTA. “Please donate to help them get back on their feet,” wrote Del. Patrick Hope. [YouCaring, Twitter]

Tenant-Landlord Guidelines Changed — “County Board members on May 22 approved revisions to the guidelines that developers either can or must follow – depending on the specific circumstance – if they are renovating residential properties and displacing tenants in the process. The revisions… will provide many tenants with more notice and, in some cases, higher relocation payments if they find themselves displaced.” [InsideNova]

Turtle Causes Flight Delay at DCA — A flight from Reagan National Airport to Chicago had its departure delayed a few minutes due to a turtle on the runway. [WUSA 9]

Radnor/Fort Myer Heights Profiled — WaPo has published another profile of an Arlington neighborhood and this time around it’s the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, just south of the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stations. The neighborhood’s civic association president said the neighborhood is “concerned about increased density” from development, “want it reasonable” and “open to affordable housing and diversity.” [Washington Post]

County May Hold Discussion of School Construction Costs — “Members of the [Arlington County] government’s audit committee are seeking to hold a summertime discussion of the high costs of Arlington school construction, hoping to piggyback on a report due out in coming weeks from the school system’s auditor. The audit committee has ‘made overtures’ to school officials about holding a joint community forum – date and place still undetermined – to discuss the findings of the report.” [InsideNova]

Ribbon Cutting for New Crystal City Office — Helicopter manufacturer Bell has opened a new office — its “Advanced Vertical Lift Center” — in Crystal City. A ribbon cutting was reportedly held yesterday. The new office “is designed for the company’s military customers, partners and policy makers to ‘interact with technology that is defining the future of vertical lift.'” [Rotor & Wing]

Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani

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Fairlington 5K Tomorrow to Benefit Girl with Rare Disease

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) The Fairlington 5K Run and Walk tomorrow will raise money for an Arlington girl with a rare, degenerative disease.

In 2011, Ellie McGinn was diagnosed with LBSL (leukoencephalopathy with brainstem and spinal cord involvement and lactate elevation), which causes impaired nervous system functioning that can lead to muscle stiffness, tremors, weakness, poor balance and difficulty coordinating body movements.

The nonprofit organization “A Cure for Ellie” has been set up in her name to raise awareness of LBSL and funding for research. McGinn appeared on the Today Show last year for her and her parents’ work in their search for a cure.

Tomorrow’s non-competitive run/walk in Fairlington aims to promote general health and physical fitness while also supporting McGinn, who is a third-grader at Abingdon Elementary School. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Abingdon Elementary (3035 S. Abingdon Street) and registration is $35 for adults, $20 for children ages 6-16 and free for children five and under.

Arlington County police will oversee the following road closures from approximately 7-9:30 a.m. to accommodate the race:

  • Abington Street between S. 29th Street and S. 36th Street
  • 36th Street between S. 34th Street up to, and including, Stafford Street
  • Wakefield loop off S. 34th Street
  • Utah Street between S. 32nd Street and S. 34th Street

Photo via A Cure for Ellie

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Morning Notes

Community Concerns Over Hospital Land SwapUpdated at 1:50 p.m. — Virginia Hospital Centers needs to expand to keep up with patient demand but the planned expansion is in a holding pattern as resident concerns are addressed. “Tracy Greiner, chair of a task force of three nearby civic associations, said the hospital has ‘failed to effectively address three years of homeowner feedback.’ Neighbors — some who’ve been in Halls Hill for three generations, others who just bought in — worry about traffic, nighttime lights and construction.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Beyer Wants Answers from FBI — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is requesting a meeting with the director of the FBI to discuss the investigation into the fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar by U.S. Park Police along the GW Parkway, to ensure that it proceeds expeditiously. Of note: “Beyer said that Arlington County, where the 911 calls came in, will not release the 911 tapes because the FBI hasn’t given them permission because it’s an ongoing investigation.” [WTOP]

Wilcox to Headline Arlington Gala — “Arlington’s own Amy Wilcox, a recording artist and star of A&E Network’s ‘Crazy Hearts: Nashville,’ will be the featured performer at the Arlington Community Foundation’s annual gala – ‘This Is Us’ – to be held April 21. The evening event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, with funds raised being used to support the philanthropic initiatives of the foundation.” [InsideNova]

Candy Dispute Prompts Call to Police — According to scanner traffic, police responded yesterday evening to a domestic incident in which “a father is not allowing his kid to have candy and they’re all fighting.” [Twitter]

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Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Ballston Homicide Victim

The family of homicide victim John Giandoni is raising money via a crowdfunding campaign.

Giandoni, who would have turned 41 on Wednesday, was found dead in his home in Ballston last weekend. Police later determined his death to have been a homicide, though few details have been revealed about the circumstances.

In a crowdfunding campaign dubbed the “Freebird Fund,” Giandoni’s family is raising money for expenses. So far, more than $4,000 has been raised by nearly 50 donors.

The page also includes a brief biography of Giandoni, a father of one who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and was active in the Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans.

John Alexis Giandoni, born March 21, 1977 to Guillermo and Mary Ann Giandoni, passed away Friday, March 16, 2018. John loved spending time with his young son, Jack, more than anything else in this world and was a truly dedicated father and a devout Catholic in the Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th Degree. His desire for adventure and zest for life fueled his enjoyment for and allowed him to excel in snowboarding, soccer, rock climbing, surfing, scuba diving, and anything outdoors. He enjoyed camping, hiking, going to concerts, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends who he truly cherished, valued, and respected. John always had a bright smile on his face that could light up a room and a sincere, kind word for everyone.

John worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as a Data Analyst and he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, leading to constant personal and professional growth. After graduating from Woodbridge Senior High School, he earned his undergraduate degree at James Madison University and later his graduate degree at Virginia Tech.

A memorial service for Giandoni is being held tonight (Friday) in Dale City, Virginia.

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Arlington Free Clinic Receives $250K Donation

A long-time pharmacy volunteer at the Arlington Free Clinic has donated a quarter million dollars to the nonprofit medical center.

The $250,000 gift came from a retired Arlington special education teacher who prefers anonymity.

The clinic’s benefactor grew up in Pennsylvania coal country with immigrant parents. Her mother died of diabetes when she was nine; her father continued raising her until he died  of an untreated dental infection that spread to his brain when she was 18.

She came to the clinic one day and sat down with Arlington Free Clinic staff and asked what could be done with better funding.

“We started talking about dental, and her eyes lit up and the lights came on,” recounted Nancy White, the clinic’s executive director. White says that the volunteer wanted to support her father’s legacy with a gift that would prevent others from suffering how he did and to prevent children from losing their parents to preventable health problems.

The gift inspired the Arlington Free Clinic to set a $1 million fundraising goal to develop an in-house oral health program that would benefit low income adults without health insurance.

Currently, the clinic uses one dental chair at Arlington’s Department of Human Services to perform dental procedures. With the funding, the clinic hopes to rearrange their space at 2921 11th Street S., near Columbia Pike, so that three dental chairs could be installed where the pharmacy currently is, among other dental-related improvements.

The nonprofit has already raised $800,000 toward that goal, which they hope to achieve by November, and has planned upcoming events like a Bites & Blues fundraiser at Whitlow’s on Wilson on April 28.

This is not the first large donation received by the clinic. In 2011, the Arlington Free Clinic received a $677,500 gift to benefit mental health services.

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Morning Notes

Instant Runoff Bill Passes Committee — A bill that authorizes the Arlington County Board to use instant runoff voting for Board elections has passed a state committee. The legislation from Del. Patrick Hope (D) is intended to “encourage consensus candidates and eliminate the likelihood that a fringe contender could sneak through with 25 or 30 percent of the vote in a crowded field.” [InsideNova]

Foxcroft Heights Fire — Arlington County and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall firefighters battled heavy fire in a townhouse near the eastern end of Columbia Pike Saturday evening. No injuries were reported but the home sustained serious damage. [Twitter, Twitter]

Fire at Willston Centre — A fire broke out Saturday night at a store in the Willston Centre shopping center in Seven Corners. TV news reports said the fire started in the Steven’s Shop tuxedo shop. Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. No one was injured. [Patch]

Community Foundation Gala Set — The Arlington Community Foundation will be holding its annual gala on Saturday, April 21 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. The theme for this year is “This Is Us.” The event will feature a performance by “Arlington’s own Amy Wilcox and her band from L.A.” [Arlington Community Foundation]

Pushback on Naming Gravelly for Nancy Reagan — The pushback to the pushback against naming Gravelly Point park for First Lady Nancy Reagan has arrived. Writes a conservative website: “Opposition to the name change is… mean-spirited, petty partisanship. Nancy Reagan deserves better.” [Daily Signal]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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