Zoning Board Rules in Favor of Gun Store — Arlington Board of Zoning Appeals has rejected a challenge to the Certificate of Occupancy for Nova Firearms, the gun store at 2300 N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park. A group of residents filed the appeal, claiming that the store’s owner submitted false information to the county. [Daily Caller]
Complaints About Aircraft Noise in Barcroft — Residents of Arlington’s Barcroft neighborhood are organizing a working group to address the issue of aircraft noise, particularly noise from low-flying helicopters. [Chamandy.org]
Another IRS Phone Scam — Arlington residents are reporting yet another phone scam. If someone calls you out of the blue, says they’re from the IRS and tries to get you to reveal personal information, it’s probably a scam. [WJLA]
New Leader for Arlington Arts Center — Holly Koons McCullough has been named the new executive director of the Arlington Arts Center. Previously, McCullough served as director of the Greater Reston Arts Center. [Washington City Paper]
New Director of Transportation for APS — The Arlington School Board has approved the appointment of Angel Garcia-Ablanque as the school system’s new Director of Transportation. He was previously Assistant Director of Transportation for Montgomery County Public Schools. [Arlington Public Schools]
Fundraiser at Celtic House — Celtic House (2500 Columbia Pike) is holding a fundraiser for two veterans organizations today. The Irish pub, an ARLnow.com advertiser, will be donating a portion of all sales today to Wings for Warriors and Links to Freedom.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The Arlington Community Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year in style.
The nonprofit, which awards scholarships to local students and grants to community groups, is holding a gala fundraiser Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City.
The event is changing its format this year — instead of a sit-down dinner, there will be food, wine, beer and dessert tastings from a number of local restaurants and stores, thus encouraging guests to move around and mingle. Among those slated to be mingling: chef and prolific restaurateur Mike Isabella.
The event will have a silent auction, as usual, but this year it will feature a four-night stay for four people at a castle in a Tuscany, Italy vineyard, donated by Total Wine, which is opening a new store in Ballston. The stay is valued at $5,000.
Music at the event will be primarily by the band Marquise. The full press release about the event is below.
The Arlington Community Foundation will host its 25th Anniversary Gala on May 14 at The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. The Foundation has been serving the Arlington community in the areas of scholarships and grantmaking through the management of charitable funds for 25 years.
With an exciting “Celebrate Community” theme, this year’s gala promises to be a one-of-a-kind evening featuring culinary delights and gourmet tastings presented by local chefs. You can also expect wine tastings by Barrel Oak Winery; craft beer tastings by The Brew Shop; and desserts by local bakeries – Artisan Confections, Bakeshop, Buzz Bakeshop, The Cheesecake Factory, Clement’s Pastry Shop, Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe, LeoNora Gourmet Bakery, Northside Social, Pastries by Randolph, Livin’ The Pie Life & Whole Foods.
There is an exciting auction planned for the evening, featuring unique items that have never been offered before, as well as bringing back some very popular items from past events. The celebration will also feature the unveiling of a new video – “Arlington: Past, Present and Future” – featuring interviews with Foundation founder the Honorable William T. Newman Jr., current executive director Wanda Pierce, and past chairs of the organization.
The Foundation is honored to have this year as Gala Co-Chairs Mr. & Mrs. John & Marcia Shooshan and Mr. & Mrs. Brad & Cathy Coyle. “We continue to be impressed by, and grateful for, the outpouring of support to make this year’s gala a success,” Cathy Coyle said. “There are so many people . . . [who] have gladly and generously donated time, energy and resources.”
“They are bringing a tremendous amount of energy and creativity to the event,” said Wanda Pierce, Executive Director of the Foundation. “They are leading a committee that is bringing a different look and feel – it will be the event of the year! We are looking forward to a fun evening to raise funds that will enable the Foundation to continue operating and supporting the stellar work of nonprofits and deserving students in the area.”
County Board Contenders Debate — The two Democratic contenders for Arlington County Board, incumbent Libby Garvey and challenger Erik Gutshall, debated who would be the most transparent and the best agent of change last night. Gutshall criticized Garvey for the lack of action on new transit options for Columbia Pike and for supporting the creation of a “blue ribbon panel” to study county priorities. [InsideNova, Washington Post]
Residents Concerned About Sex Offender — Some residents in the Bluemont neighborhood and the area around Bon Air Park are concerned about a registered sex offender who recently moved to the area. There have been reports of the man watching children’s soccer games and leaving balloons in the backyard of a family home. Police say they’re investigating. [Fox 5]
Vornado Attracting Millennials With Cool Restaurants — “Vornado has carefully curated its retail in Crystal City and Pentagon City to appeal to creative Millennials, bringing in tenants like DIY design and fabrication space TechShop and hip restaurants like We The Pizza, Sweetgreen and Taylor Gourmet, which just opened Monday. That’s not to mention the Whole Foods anchoring the retail section of Vornado’s The Bartlett, a trendy ‘city within a city’ with nearly 700 residential units.” [Bisnow]
Chinese News Agency Profiles Arlington’s Tech Scene — Xinhua, the state-run news agency that’s said to be the largest and most influential media organization in China, has published a feature story that discusses how Arlington has become a “hot spot for tech startups.” The story notes that in addition to a robust talent pool and the availability of investment capital, “government has also played a vital role in the development of startups in Arlington.” [Xinhua]
Outdoor Lab to Celebrate 50th Anniversary — The Arlington Outdoor Lab, a nonprofit facility that hosts more than 9,000 students annually for outdoor and environmental education, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an event in Ballston next month. [Arlington Outdoor Lab]
Flickr pool photo by James L.
Cooley Joins DJO Football Staff — Former Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley has joined the Bishop O’Connell High School football staff as the offensive line and tight ends coach. Cooley, who currently co-hosts the afternoon drive radio show on ESPN 980, is shifting to a morning slot at the station, thus allowing him to coach. [Arlington Catholic Herald]
Arlington Tech Light on Female Students — Only 21 percent of incoming freshmen at the new Arlington Tech high school program are female. That number is “not high enough,” an administrator told community members. [InsideNova]
North Arlington Road Closure — N. Sycamore Street is scheduled to be closed from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today between Little Falls Road and 27th Street due to water service installation work. [Arlington County]
Architect Chosen for Gondola Study — Portland, Oregon-based ZGF Architects has been selected to conduct the feasibility study for a gondola system between Rosslyn and Georgetown. ZGF, which also has offices in D.C., worked on the preliminary concept for the Portland Aerial Tram, which opened in 2006. [Georgetowner, Urban Turf]
Real Estate Firm Raises $100,000 for Free Clinic — McLean-based Stewart Commercial Realty has helped to raise more than $100,000 for Arlington Free Clinic’s dental program. The program provides dental care to low-income, uninsured Arlington residents. The company held a fundraiser for the program in Courthouse last weekend. [Facebook]
Community Garden Fundraiser Fizzles — Arlington County’s attempt to crowdfund a community garden accessible to those with disabilities has not gone so well. As of Sunday the county has only raised $465 out of the $10,000 it sought, with only five days to go in the fundraiser. The failure raises questions about local government use of crowdfunding, the Post suggests. [Washington Post]
Meeting on Career Center Changes — Some major changes could be coming to the Arlington Career Center. Arlington Public Schools will be discussing that and other South Arlington school projects at a meeting Tuesday. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Career Center, at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive. [Taylor PTA]
More on Notable Tree Planted at Fire House — A Southern Magnolia tree planted outside Fire Station No. 4 in Clarendon was recognized as a “Notable Tree” last week. The tree was planted in 1965 in memory of ACFD Capt. Archie Hughes, who died while responding to a house fire at the age of 33. [NBC Washington]
New Movie’s Arlington Connection — A new indie flick, “Green Room,” follows the travails of a fictional Arlington-based punk band. The film was written and directed by Alexandria-born filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier. [DCist]
Spotluck Launches in Crystal City — Restaurant discovery and discount app Spotluck has launched in Crystal City. Participating restaurants include Crystal City Sports Pub, Kora and Kabob Palace. [Spotluck]
Arlington’s Diversity Highlighted — The world is learning about Arlington’s diversity. The Voice of America notes that Arlington is home to more than 130 ethnic groups, particularly around Columbia Pike. [VOA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
It’s five months away, but registration is open for the annual Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K.
Early bird registration, through June 6, is $35. It’s $40 after that.
The race will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10 in the Pentagon City area. It is limited to 5,000 runners.
“Since its inception, the Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial Race has had over 30,000 runners cross its finish line and has raised over $500,000 for 9/11-related charities,” notes the race website.
Race organizers are also helping to promote a race this weekend in Alexandria.
The Run for 32 is being held at Cameron Run Regional Park (4001 Eisenhower Avenue) on Saturday, April 16. Held in remembrance of the victims of the 2007 Virginia Tech school shooting, the race helps to raise money for the Koshka Foundation, which was founded by one of the shooting’s most critically injured survivors.
Development, affordable housing, school crowding, Metro’s woes. Those are just a few of the local issues we’ll discuss during ARLnow Presents: Hot Topics on the Pike on Wednesday, April 27.
The event is taking place at Celtic House, at 2500 Columbia Pike, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
(Feel free to take advantage of the $5 Wednesday wing special or stick around afterward for Celtic House’s weekly trivia night at 8:30.)
The first half of the event will be a debate among our opinion columnists — Mark Kelly (The Right Note), Peter Rousselot (Peter’s Take) and Lawrence Roberts (Progressive Voice) — on countywide issues.
Next up is a discussion of the future of Columbia Pike. It’s been more than a year since the cancellation of the streetcar, yet development has continued on the Pike seemingly unabated. So what does the future hold for the corridor? Among those joining us for the conversation are County Board member Katie Cristol and Arlington Transportation Committee Chair Chris Slatt.
RSVP is required — tickets are only $5 online.
April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month. All of ARLnow’s proceeds from the event will be donated Doorways for Women and Families, an Arlington-based nonprofit that creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Water Main Repairs to Close Road — Arlington Ridge Road is scheduled be closed in both directions at 23rd Street S. from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. today for water main repairs. Detours will be in place, but drivers should consider alternate routes, Arlington County says.
Airport Strike is Back on Starting Tonight — A strike by contract service workers at Reagan National and other major U.S. airports is back on, starting tonight. The strike was initially planned for last week but was postponed due to the Brussels terror attacks. [Washington Post]
Arson Suspect Due in Arlington Court — A Reston man suspected of a home invasion and arson in Fairfax County is scheduled to be in an Arlington courtroom tomorrow. Antwan Green is also facing multiple charges stemming from crashing a stolen vehicle in Arlington on Dec. 10 and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. [Reston Now]
Fundraiser for Accessible Community Garden — Arlington County is trying to raise $10,000 from donors in order to build four “vertical gardens” that are accessible to those with disabilities or mobility issues. Currently, none of the county’s community gardens are accessible. The vertical gardens would be built at the Glebe & Lang Street Community Garden, along S. Glebe Road. The county is hoping to complete fundraising and construction by the end of June. [Fund Your Park]
Arlington Startup Acquired — Arlington-based startup Encore Alert has been acquired by Meltwater, a San Francisco-based brand analytics and consulting firm. As a result of the acquisition, the Encore Alert team has moved to the Bay Area. [DC Inno]
Co-Working Growing Quickly — Co-working providers are growing quickly and are expected by some analysts “to absolutely explode over the next five years.” Two of the top players are WeWork, which just opened a new office in Crystal City, and MakeOffices, which is opening a new flagship co-working space in Clarendon within the next few months. MakeOffices is based in Rosslyn, after being founded as UberOffices in 2012. [Bisnow]
Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk
Home Values Jump 14 Percent — Arlington County saw a big bump in the sale price of homes, at least according to one data set from January. Long & Foster says the median price of a home sold in Arlington last month was $590,000, up 14 percent from one year prior. [WTOP]
Caps Hold Fundraiser for Young Cancer Victim — The Washington Capitals held a fundraiser at Don Tito in Clarendon on Friday for the family of a three-year-old girl who just died of an inoperable brain tumor. The family has more than $100,000 in medical bills to pay and hopes to also raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. [NBC Washington]
Problems Persist at Arlington National Cemetery — More than 5 years after major problems were revealed at Arlington National Cemetery, there’s word of new problems. The cemetery’s burial backlog has increased, it’s taking longer to get headstones approved and previously unenforced rules are now being enforced, frustrating some families, reports a local TV station. [WJLA]
Arlington Students Serving as White House Interns — Three college students who hail from Arlington are on the list of spring 2016 White House interns. The interns are: Jeremy Brown, who attends the University of Michigan; Ryan Cowdin, who attends George Washington University; and Caitlin O’Grady, who attends Pepperdine.
County Board Approves Rosslyn Changes — At a relatively uneventful meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a series of land use, transportation and zoning changes as part of the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. The changes will allow a new school and new development. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Trendy salad purveyor Sweetgreen will be opening the doors of its new Crystal City location (2200 Crystal Drive) this Thursday, Feb. 11.
The store will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., offering organic salads and seasonal bowls. During the grand opening, Sweetgreen will be donating 100 percent of the day’s proceeds to FRESHFARM Market’s Matching Dollars program.
Another popular and growing local fast casual restaurant chain, Taylor Gourmet, is expected to open next door later this winter.
Members of the Washington Capitals hockey team will gather in Arlington next month to help raise money for a local family whose youngest daughter, Emma, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
The fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. at Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd).
Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Orpik and John Carlson will make an appearance to support the cause.
Tickets to the benefit are $75 each, and all proceeds will go directly to Emma and her family.
Emma is the three-year-old daughter of Jason Hensel and Teal Jones-Hensel. Approximately two months ago, Emma was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It’s a rare, cancerous, inoperable brain tumor with a zero percent survival rate.
The February benefit was organized by John Carlson’s wife, Gina, who runs her own blog and uses it to raise money for her charity of choice, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In a recent post, Carlson described knowing she “had to help” after she heard Emma’s story.
According to Carlson, Emma’s father has taken a leave of absence from work, so she organized the fundraiser at Don Tito with several ways for guests to help the family through the difficult financial time.
In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, proceeds from a raffle of Capitals memorabilia — including a jersey autographed by the team — a portion of all food and drink sales will be donated to the Hensel family.
Carlson also designed a t-shirt campaign, requiring all fundraiser guests purchase one online and either wear it or bring it to the event. The shirts start at $17.99, and proceeds from each one purchased will also go to the family.
Last week, Jones-Hensel used the t-shirt campaign page to publicly thank Carlson and those who have supported the fundraising effort so far.
“Thank you to each and everyone who has participated to help my family,” she wrote. “We are forever grateful.”
“Gina and her family have come together to give us an amazing gift, one that we plan to pass along someday,” she continued. “Emma’s little body is struggling to make it through the nightmare of radiation and treatments. Although her body is failing her, Emma’s spirit and smile light up my heart.”
Those interested in attending the fundraiser for Emma’s family can reserve tickets via e-mail and should do so soon, as Carlson expects the tickets to sell out.
Photo via Facebook/Loving Emma
Boards Cooperate on Stratford History — The Arlington County Board voted yesterday to collaborate with the School Board on a historic designation for the Stratford school, cutting the sometimes meddlesome Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board out of the process to save time and money. Said County Board Chair Mary Hynes: “There is perhaps no building in Arlington more worthy of historic designation than Stratford — both for the seminal events that occurred there in 1959 and the unique architecture of the building.” [InsideNova, Arlington County]
Police: Inmate’s Death Due to Natural Causes — A 53-year-old man who died while being held at the Arlington County jail in October died of natural causes, according to Arlington County Police. Detectives determined that Edward Straughn had an “extensive history of medical issues.” He was originally arrested for being drunk in public. Straughn’s death was the second in-custody death for Arlington in 2015. [Arlington County]
Land Purchase Agreement With Hospital Approved — The Arlington County Board last night voted to approve an option agreement that would allow Virginia Hospital Center to buy 5.5 acres of county-owned property next to its campus for a minimum of $12.5 million. The eventual purchase may include cash and/or a land swap. [Arlington County]
Fundraiser for Local Dad Who Died Suddenly — Nathan Graham, the father of four young sons and a volunteer bishop at the LDS church in Crystal City, died unexpectedly while on a business trip to China. An online fundraiser to help support Graham’s family has raised more than $95,000. [YouCaring]
History Task Force Makes Final Recommendations — Arlington County’s History Task Force has presented its final recommendations to the County Board. The task force says Arlington should devote resources to better preserving Arlington’s history, including via the development of a unified digital archive. [Arlington County]
A 5K race is being held in North Arlington this weekend, in memory of an Arlington mom killed by a passing truck while placing her children in a minivan.
The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, at 8 a.m. There will also be a children’s fun run featuring two of the Washington Nationals racing presidents, starting at 9:30 a.m.
A Family Fun Day will be held in conjunction with the races, at the Knight of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road), from 8 a.m. to noon. The event will include “activities like face painting, air brush tattoos, balloon animals, photo booth, moon bounce, obstacle course, rock climbing wall, local food trucks, and even a beer garden.”
The fundraiser will help to fulfill Jennifer Lawson’s dream of helping mothers in need of medical care. Proceeds will benefit the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial Foundation, which provides prenatal and postnatal health services for underprivileged mothers and babies at Virginia Hospital Center and the Arlington Pediatric Center.
Expected at the event: Lawson’s husband and three young children, pictured above.
The following road closures are planned for the races, from 7:30 to 10 a.m., according to Arlington County Police.
- Little Falls Road: N. George Mason Drive to Yorktown Blvd.
- Yorktown Blvd.: N. George Mason Drive to Williamsburg Blvd.
- Williamsburg Blvd.: Yorktown Blvd. to N. Emerson Street
- N. 33rd Street: N. Emerson Street to N. George Mason Drive
- George Mason Drive: N. 33rd Street to Yorktown Blvd.
Sun Gazette Endorses Cristol — After endorsing Michael McMenamin last week, the Sun Gazette is endorsing Katie Cristol for the second open Arlington County Board seat. The paper opined that Cristol had one of the worst campaign kickoffs in Arlington Democratic history, but “very few candidates in recent memory have improved so quickly.” [InsideNova]
Board Candidates Agree on Accessory Dwellings — The candidates for County Board reportedly agreed on one thing at a recent candidate forum: the need to loosen Arlington’s restrictive rules on accessory dwellings, “so that more seniors and young people could afford living in residential areas.” Accessory dwellings are sometimes called “granny flats,” “in-law apartments” or “backyard cottages.” Currently, Arlington approves the construction of no more than 28 accessory dwellings per year. [Falls Church News-Press]
GGW on County Board Race — The urbanist blog Greater Greater Washington has a breakdown of the Arlington County Board race and the stances of candidates on I-66, bike lanes, transit and development. [Greater Greater Washington]
Reminder: E-CARE This Weekend — Arlington County will hold its biannual E-CARE recycling event on Saturday. The event was rescheduled to take place on Halloween due to bad weather earlier this month. [ARLnow]
Walking for Lung Cancer Research — An Arlington woman is walking in a lung cancer fundraiser Sunday in memory of her sister, a nonsmoker and recent mother who died from the disease earlier this year. The event, “Breathe Deep D.C.,” is being held on the National Mall and is raising money for lung cancer research. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk
Church Squatter Arrested — A man who has managed to squat in the attic of an Arlington church for three years has been arrested and charged with trespassing. An air conditioning repairman discovered the man and his makeshift living space in the attic of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, near Ballston. [NBC Washington]
New Rosslyn Sushi Restaurant Close to Opening — Rolls By U, a new sushi restaurant at 1731 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is getting set to open next week, after originally hoping to open last month. The restaurant will offer burrito-sized sushi rolls in addition to regular-sized rolls. [Washington City Paper]
Fundraiser for Former Yorktown Football Player — Friends have organized an online fundraising campaign for a former Yorktown High School football player who was injured in an incident that was caught on video. Josh Bunche was attempting a flip while tailgating at a Clemson football game, but he slipped and suffered serious facial injuries. [Patch, GoFundMe]
McMenamin Responds to Sewage Plant Fence — Independent Arlington County Board candidate Mike McMenamin has issued a statement calling the $350,000 public art installation along a fence at the county’s sewage plant “wasteful.” Said McMenamin: “Extravagant projects like this help drive up taxes in Arlington County, making it more costly to own a home or to start a business.”
County Touts Fully Funded Pension — Arlington County’s employee pension fund is now 99 percent funded, thanks to prudent management. While some other communities struggle with underfunded pensions, Arlington has now been able to decrease the percentage of employee compensation going to the pension fund, from 24 percent — about $58 million — last year to 22 percent this year. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman