Water Meter Replacement Nearly Complete — An effort to replace outdated water meters in Arlington with more modern meter technology is nearly complete. The project, which began in 2007, is now 98 percent complete and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year. [InsideNova]
Emergency Preparedness Month — September is Emergency Preparedness Month in Arlington. This year’s theme, which is also the theme of National Preparedness Month: “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” [Arlington County]
Donations Sought for Funeral — Residents in the Barcroft neighborhood are raising money following the passing of a beloved neighbor. Abuelita Pacheco was “a ‘grandmother’ to many of the neighborhood kids… a lady full of joy and resilience, always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it.” Now, funds are being raised to cover the cost of a funeral and burial in Pacheco’s native Colombia. Her family is already facing financial hardship: Pacheco was grandmother to five, include three blind triplets. [Crowdrise]
Arlington Neighborhood College Enrollment — Applications for Arlington County’s Neighborhood College program are due Sept. 10. The program “provides the knowledge and skills necessary for residents from across the County to get involved in local issues that affect their day-to-day lives and the lives of their neighbors.” [Arlington County]
Metro Delays This Morning — There were delays on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines during the latter part of the AM rush hour this morning, due to “police activity” at the L’Enfant Plaza station in D.C. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
A Courthouse restaurant owner is hosting a gathering to celebrate the city of New Orleans’ progress since Hurricane Katrina.
Chef David Gaus, a New Orleans native who owns the Bayou Bakery, is holding an event called “Katrina 10” to show how far the city has come in the 10 years since the hurricane’s destruction.
Katrina 10 will be held at the Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 29. There will be New Orleans-style food and drinks, with music provided by Laissez Foure. The gathering will also have an open mic for anyone to share their Katrina stories.
“Chef David Guas, who is a fellow New Orleans native, has and continues to give back to his beloved home city through charities and fundraisers. After watching the waters ravage the neighborhoods in which he grew up and his parents’ home, he truly knows the real impact of the disaster all too well,” said Simone Rathlé, the PR rep for the restaurant and Guas’ wife.
The event kicks off Guas’ charity week, where he will donate $10 from each sale of his cookbook, DamSweetGood, to the Roots of Music, a nonprofit that helps provide free musical education to children in New Orleans. The charity week runs from Aug. 29 until Sept. 5.
“As a New Orleans native who has seen the devastating affects of Hurricane Katrina first hand, it is both with a heavy heart, and hopeful focus on the road ahead, that we think back to the day it struck 10 years ago,” Rathlé said in a press release. “Tragedy often gives way to hope and brings people together to rise up.”
The officer, whose first name is DeDe, set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $800 to cover the medical expenses of veterinary knee surgery. (Ed. note: officer’s last name has removed due to safety concerns.)
Smyth, a 6-year-old Chihuahua, injured his knee while jumping off of a bed to get a toy stuffed monkey, DeDe said. The injury is common for small dogs.
Smyth can still walk, but the veterinarian recommend limiting his movement to stop him from hurting his knee more.
“Despite his injury, he continues to be a loving little dog that keeps trying to play with his brother and neighboring dogs,” says the fundraising page. “Smyth is in need of a surgery that I am unable to fund at this time to repair his patella luxation. I don’t want my little guy to suffer, while I’m trying to save up the money. Any donation help my little guy get back to his fun playful little loving self.”
The surgery, anesthesia and pre- and post-operation care total $800, she said. During the procedure, Smyth will also have to get a heart echo to determine if he has a heart murmur.
“My concern is his treatment being prolonged by trying to raise the funds,” DeDe said. She said she’s usually a private person but is going public with this in order to speed up the treatment.
A couple years ago, her other dog, a Chihuahua named Wessin, had to have a similar surgery on both knees. DeDe said has a special connection with Smyth, who can pick up her moods and try to make her feel better.
“I’d never admit this to the other one [Wessin], but he’s my favorite,” DeDe said.
Two Arlington dog daycares are also helping DeDe raise money. Wag More Dogs (2606 S. Oxford Street) and WOOFS! Dog Training Center (4160 S. Four Mile Run Drive) will hang flyers about Smyth and his surgery, DeDe said.
DeDe did not want the police agency she works for named because she’s raising funds as a private individual and not as a representative of the department.
Fundraiser for Arlington Store Owner — The owner of Maley’s Music (2499 N. Harrison Street) has been hospitalized with a rare disease, just weeks after his wife suffered a debilitating stroke. That has prompted the couple’s daughter to start an online fundraiser to help the family pay its expenses. [Facebook, GoFundMe]
Arlington’s Inaccessible Bus Stops — About two thirds of Arlington’s 1,100 bus stops are not fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Metro estimates that the average cost of upgrading a bus stop to ADA standards is $10,000. [Washington Post]
USS Arlington Readies for Deployment — More than two years after its commissioning, the USS Arlington is getting ready for deployment. The ship has a 40 year expected lifespan in active naval service. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Crystal City BID
The annual Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, hosted by Zero- The End of Prostate Cancer on Sunday, is a series of four events, with a four-mile run/walk, kids race, a one mile fun run and a “virtual” option for those who don’t want to wake up early.
“This series is a great chance for men, women, children, and families of all ages to increase awareness and raise funds to end a disease that affects one in seven fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, grandfathers, partners and friends,” said Jamie Bearse, the CEO of Zero in a statement.
The event starts with the Superhero Dash, a short sprint for kids ages nine and younger, at 8:15 a.m. Kids can dress up as their favorite superheroes and will receive capes.
The four mile walk/run starts at 8:30 a.m. and will take runners from Pentagon Row courtyard (1101 S. Joyce St.) down Army Navy Drive to S. Adams Street. Runners will turn around at S. Adams Street and finish at Pentagon Row. Participants can select and put on a tie shortly after the one mile mark at the “Tie One of for Dad” transition area (at S. Nash Street).
There will be awards for the top three male and female finishers, top three survivor finishers and top three male and female finishers in each age group.
This year, people can help support the end of prostate cancer from their beds by wearing a “Snooze for Dudes” t-shirt and posting a picture to social media.
Participants can register as an individual or as team. Registration is $40 for the four-mile race, $20 for the one-mile walk, $20 for the Superhero Dash and $35 for Snooze for Dudes.
The race will also feature the “Courage Wall,” a chalkboard wall where people can write what they wish they had the courage to be or do. The wall was created by Del Ray local Nancy Belmont and has since gone viral.
“The run/walk aims to bring together survivors, patients, families, friends and many in the community to raise funds for prostate cancer, and share hope and passion, and the Courage Wall will help us to do that,” said Amanda Pini, the marketing and communications coordinator for the race.
S. Joyce Street, between 15th Street S. and Army Navy Drive, and Army Navy Drive, between S. Joyce Street and 25th Street S., will be closed from 7-11 a.m. as a result of the race.
Arlington Expects ‘Speedy’ Election Returns — The Democratic primary for Arlington County Board and the 45th Virginia House of Delegates district is taking place today, utilizing Arlington County’s new optical scanners. The county issued a press release on Monday promising that “changes should result in speedier reporting of unofficial results on election night.” Polls close at 7:00 p.m. and the first results are expected to be reported on the county website around 7:30.
Reminder: Candidate Essays — If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, you can peruse the “why should you vote for me” essays written by the six Democratic County Board candidates: Andrew Schneider, Bruce Wiljanen, Katie Cristol, James Lander, Peter Fallon, Christian Dorsey.
Working Group to Discuss S. Arlington School Site — Following the County Board’s scuttling of plans for an elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, the Arlington School Board has created a working group to help decide the location for a new South Arlington elementary school. Former School Board candidate Greg Greeley was appointed chairman of the group, which is charged with creating a final report by November. The School Board is expected to take action on the new school on Dec. 15. [InsideNova]
Swimming Fundraiser Planned — The swim teams from four private clubs are coming together for a fundraiser on Sunday, June 28. Teams from Arlington Forest Club, Donaldson Run, Overlee and Washington Golf and Country Club will swim laps to raise money for the Arlington-based Marjorie Hughes Fund for Children. The fund helps low-income children obtain medical care and medications. [GoFundMe]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) An Arlington resident will take off on a 3,000-mile cycling race from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis next week.
Frank Fumich will ride more that 250 miles a day, since the Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most grueling athletic events around even for an endurance athlete like Fumich, must be completed in 12 days.
He is doing it in the hopes of raising thousands for a local man he does not know that well, but can really use his help.
Ryan Diviney, who was born in Reston, is cared for full-time by his father, Ken, in their Ashburn home. That care costs about $2 million annually, Ken Diviney said. Much of it is paid for by the family’s insurance, but there are still tens of thousands of dollars left uncovered.
Fumich, who also attended WVU, said he heard of the Diviney’s story a little over a year ago — shortly after he raised more than $75,000 to aid victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Fumich ran 78 miles in 19 hours — representing three marathons for the three spectators who were killed on April 15, 2003. He then ran the money up to Boston.
“My plan was to run to Morgantown (W.Va.) from Northern Virginia,” said Fumich. “But it was too close to another race. But I knew I wanted to do something to help. I told Ken I was going to to the RAAM. I thought he would think I am crazy.”
Said Ken Diviney: “I did [think he was crazy].”
But he is also already very grateful.
“This helps enormously,” he said. “[The money] is a substantial amount that can help us in two ways. We put away money for Ryan’s longterm comfort and care and also help us in the short term with something he needs, like a therapeutic massaging chair.”
Fumich said Ken Diviney “has not left Ryan’s side since that day in 2009.”
In November of 2009, Ryan was a 20-year-old sophomore who had earned an academic scholarship at WVU. Ken Diviney said his son was attacked by two other men (who later served jail time for the incident), suffering a fractured skull, a broken jaw, and bleeding of the brain.
Ryan had a third of skull removed in surgery to control the brain swelling and has suffered numerous complications. He has been a vegetative state since.
Ken works with Ryan, now 25, every day to keep his body and muscles moving. he also cares for his hygiene needs and feeds him via feeding tube.
“It’s relentless,” says Ken Diviney. “It never really ends. I try to keep his body in motion six to eight hours a day.”
Fumich, a father of 5-year-old twins, says being a dad has made him more empathetic. He said taking on an athletic feat like the RAAM for a worthy cause will make the miles worthwhile.
“It feels good to help someone,” he said. “When I was reintroduced to [the Diviney’s] story from a friend, I couldn’t help but be struck hard by the difference in our lives and how just a few seconds sent our destinies in completely different directions.”
“I knew I was going to do something to help Ryan and his family, and this is it. Every time I hit “the wall” and feel the urge to quit, I’m going to think of how hard Ryan has continued to fight, and how hard his dad Ken and family continue to push onward.”
Because of changes to local grocery stores’ policies in the last two years, donations that have come from shoppers signing up to donate a portion of their purchase to schools have almost disappeared. According to Drew PTA President Evan Thomas, grocery store donations accounted for $22,700 of the PTA’s $30,000 budget in the 2012-2013 school year.
This year, the PTA projects $495 in revenue from the two stores that it has received money from, Harris Teeter and Safeway.
A manager at Harris Teeter said their program hasn’t changed, but schools are no longer allowed to sign up shoppers on the way in, which has hamstrung participation, Thomas said. According to a manager at Safeway, the chain was just purchased, and in the lengthy negotiations over the past two years, the “program has changed some.” According to Safeway’s website, donations through its eScrip program aren’t taken from credit card purchases.
Thomas doesn’t begrudge the grocery stores, he said, but the fiscal reality of the PTA’s current budget is inescapable.
“We felt fortunate that we were able to work within the program as we were before those changes were made,” he told ARLnow.com today. “It’s just a reality of where we are, and we’re just trying to look for ways to move forward and fundraising without doing it on the backs of our families.”
The PTA has responded by hosting a Spring Fair next Saturday, May 16, to draw families to the school and raise a few thousand dollars.
The fair will take place on the school’s grounds (3500 23rd Street S.) from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There will be foods from a variety of food trucks, a moon bounce, a cake walk game, and raffles. There will also be carnival style games, with the price of participation going to the Drew PTA.
“We’re really hoping the Spring Fair can serve as a signature event so we can have a little more certainty going into each year to allocate comfortably,” Thomas said.
The PTA has received help from its counterpart at Nottingham Elementary School in North Arlington. The Nottingham PTA has chipped in $1,500 to offset costs and provided mentorship and support — Drew is hoping to model the Spring Fair after Nottingham’s annual MayFest.
As for the drastic downturn in PTA revenue, Thomas said purchases the group has made in the past, like smartboards for classrooms and a climbing wall, will no longer be feasible. Thomas said 65 percent of Drew students are on a free or reduced lunch program. APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said it’s one of nine schools in the county that have at least 40 percent of its students receiving free or reduced lunches.
Image, top, courtesy Drew Model School PTA. Photo, bottom, via Google Maps
A pair of Yorktown High School students, and flying projectile enthusiasts, are hosting a two-day, free dodgeball tournament next weekend.
The tournament starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25 and runs all day, both days, at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road). Adults, teenagers and children are welcome, and will be split into divisions based on age. There are divisions for 11 and younger, 14 and under, 17 and under and 18 and over.
The tournament is the brainchild of Yorktown students Patrick Wallace and Hayden Kickbush. While the tournament is free, Wallace and Kickbush are asking for attendees to donate what they can to fund the tournament and raise money for physical education equipment for D.C. area schools in need. They have set up an online fundraising page, and have already raised $1,325 of a stated $9,000 goal.
The boys got the idea for the tournament from a trip to Hawaii, where one of them saw a community dodgeball tournament and was inspired, according to the tournament’s website.
“We experienced a heartwarming community and a tournament based on good morals and having a good time,” the website reads. “We were so moved by the experience that we wanted to replicate the same thing here in the Arlington area. Arlington Dodgeball aims to have a very community friendly tournament while also giving back to the community.”
According to Wallace’s father, Marc, the boys have received nonprofit approval by the IRS, so all donations are tax-deductible. The tournament itself will cost about $7,000 to run, Wallace said. If there is money left over, the boys will determine which school in the area will receive the donated equipment.
Photo via Arlington Dodgeball
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, best known for his “You might be a redneck if…” bit, is coming to Arlington on April 12 for a reflux disease and esophageal cancer awareness fundraiser.
The fundraiser will include stand-up comedy from Foxworthy and an opening act, determined by a nationwide competition, and it’s called “No Laughing Matter.” The event will be at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway) at 7:00 p.m., and tickets are on sale for between $79 and $790.
The fundraiser aims to educate people on the link between acid reflux disease and esophageal cancer, and it’s sponsored by the Esophageal Cancer Action Network.
Along with the chance to hear Foxworthy’s routine, attendees will get access to an open bar of beer and wine, “light fare” at their table and the chance to win prizes like a walk-on role on HBO’s “Veep” and a tour of the White House’s west wing.
VIP tickets are available for the chance to take photos and mingle with Foxworthy — plus get an additional 90 minutes of open bar — for $200.
Photo via JeffFoxworthy.com
From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 2057 Wilson Blvd, any customer who mentions the Arlington-based The Reading Connection will have 25 percent of their order donated to the nonprofit.
“The Reading Connection is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families, who are living in shelters,” Reading Connection board of directors member Lynn Cannon told ARLnow.com, “by helping them create and sustain literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading.”
The Ballston-based nonprofit has partnered with the Mexican food chain, which has agreed to donate 25 percent of gross sales over the three-hour period. Many similar fundraisers involve a retailer donating 10 percent or so of gross sales but, Cannon said, “The folks at Cal Tor have been really nice to work with and very generous.”
The money will go toward funding readalongs at homeless shelters and community centers, buying books for children, parent literacy workshops and training for family support workers who promote the importance of reading.
This Friday afternoon, an Arlington family is hosting an ice skating fundraiser to help fund childhood cancer research, in memory of the daughter they lost to the disease.
Ellen and Tom Blair lost their daughter, Catherine Elizabeth Blair, in 2011 to neuroblastoma, a deadly cancer that mostly affects children younger than 5 years old, according to the Mayo Clinic. In her memory, they started the Catherine Elizabeth Blair Foundation to provide grants to researchers searching for a cure for the disease that kills more than 60 percent of those afflicted.
Friday’s event, Skate for Catherine, is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, now in its fourth years. From 1:30-3:00 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road), attendees will skate on the ice and participate in raffles for prizes like an iPad mini or a package of tickets to Capitals, Wizards and D.C. United games.
“Even though the reason is serious, the event is a lot of fun,” Ellen Blair says in the foundation’s promotional video, embedded above. “Catherine would have loved it. It’s a skating party with food, music, lots of prizes and your friends will be there.”
Tickets for the event are $20 and include skate rental and refreshments. The deadline for purchasing online is today (Wednesday), but tickets can be purchased at the door. Blair told ARLnow.com this morning that the event typically sells out, so online purchasing is strongly encouraged.
Fire Works Pizza in Courthouse (2350 Clarendon Blvd) will be staying open all night tonight as part of a military veteran’s 24 hour cancer fundraiser.
The Stand Up To Cancer 24 Hour Stand-In event will kick off at 4:26 p.m. and will run through Wednesday afternoon. It will feature late night movies, bar bites buffet, popcorn, ping pong, pizza, cornhole and other fun activities for the wee hours.
There will also be a silent auction featuring VIP Caps tickets, signed hockey sticks and more.
(Alcohol will be served until 2:00 a.m. and pizza until 3:00 a.m. A complimentary movie bar bites buffet will be provided but there will not be full restaurant service overnight.)
The event is being hosted by Pat Malone, a retired Air Force veteran, and timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Pat’s successful, seven hour operation to remove a malignant tumor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
After months of radiation, rehabilitation and physical therapy, Malone is currently cancer-free with the strong desire to both raise money for cancer research and to honor and highlight the dedicated work of his military and civilian medical team at the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed.
Pat is hoping to raise $5,000 during the fundraiser. Fire Works is offering to match up worth of $1,000 of donations from dine-in guests. All donations will benefit Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research programs.
The preceding was a promoted post sponsored by Fire Works Pizza.
Arts Center Gets Warhol Grant — The Arlington Arts Center has received a $70,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. “Funding from the Foundation will increase AAC’s capacity to support and present the work of new artists and spur the development of new initiatives and exhibitions,” AAC said in a press release. “Programming support of this scale makes new programs possible, like one for rising curators, while also furthering the ongoing work of the arts center.”
Bicycle Billboard Towers Sought — The Washington Area Bicyclist Association and BikeArlington are seeking bike ambassadors for a safety campaign. Volunteers will ride around Arlington while towing a large, wheeled billboard that tells drivers to pass bikes with at least three feet of space. The sign also encourages all road users to be predictable, alert and lawful. [WABA]
Arlington Couple Get Baby Wish Times Three — The Washington Post’s “This Life” feature profiles an Arlington couple who had trouble conceiving a child when, all of a sudden, fate blessed them with three via various means. [Washington Post]
Voting Machines May Go Old School — As part of a state-wide switch, Arlington election officials are considering replacing all touch screen voting machines with digital optical scan machines in time for the 2016 presidential election. The new machines will utilize what is fundamentally an old-school voting method: scanning paper ballots, which then leaves a paper trail for recounts. [InsideNova]
Jane Goodall to Speak at Marymount Benefit — Famed primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall will speak at a benefit event for Arlington’s Marymount University this spring. The event is taking place at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday, April 17. Ticket proceeds will “help establish a fund at Marymount that will enhance the work of volunteerism and community engagement.” [Marymount University]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Noormustafa “Noor” Shaikh, a 40 year old Stafford, Va. resident, was still in critical condition as of Friday afternoon, we’re told. He suffered numerous injuries last Tuesday when a Fairfax woman allegedly ran him over with her SUV, as he tried to prevent her from leaving the parking lot of his automotive business on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.
Alexandra Mendez, 39, was arrested the next morning and charged with aggravated malicious wounding. She was also charged with hit and run for allegedly striking two cars in the parking lot, which prompted Shaikh — a co-owner of MK Auto Sales and Service — to try to stop her from leaving.
Shaikh was run over by the SUV’s tires and suffered at least eight significant injuries — including multiple rib fractures, liver laceration, bruised lungs, a leg fracture, spine fractures and facial fractures — according to a family friend who contacted ARLnow.com but did not wish to be identified by name.
“He’s awake and aware but can’t talk because he’s on a respirator full time,” the friend said of Shaikh’s condition. “He still has to undergo more surgeries.”
A group of friends and coworkers have set up an online fundraising campaign for Shaikh, who is better known by his nickname, Noor. So far the “For Noor” GoFundMe campaign has raised $895, but it is seeking more money to help provide for Noor’s wife and three sons.
Said the friend: “His wife, Durdana, is trying to keep his spirits up. She tough and hanging in there. She [is] with him all day… always keeping a watchful eye on him. As for the kids they are aware he was hurt, but they do not the extent for his injuries. Makes it easier for them. They all keep asking when their dad is coming home.”