Strangers Mourn Arlington Hero at Funeral — “I attended the funeral of a man I didn’t know. In the pew in front of me sat two women who also hadn’t met him. And in front them, in rows packed with people, there were others who knew nothing about Patricio Salazar’s love of sports or books or his ability to talk to anyone he met. They knew only how he had died: trying to help someone.” [Washington Post]
Rosslyn Circus Gets Poor Reviews — “The Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, Virginia, is a nondescript building that easily blends into the dull neighborhood of offices just outside of Washington. But for an hour on Thursday, November 1, the budget hotel felt like a dreamworld — an alternative universe of alternative facts.” [The Weekly Standard, Daily Beast, Periscope, Twitter]
Anti-DUI Event Cancelled — An anti-drunk driving community outreach event scheduled to take place in Clarendon tonight has been cancelled due to expected storms and downpours. The event was originally scheduled to take place the weekend before Halloween but was then postponed due to rain. [Twitter, Arlington County]
WMAL Broadcasting from Metro 29 — Radio station WMAL (105.9 FM) is broadcasting live from Metro 29 Diner on Lee Highway this morning. Among the guests stopping by for interviews are a cadre of Republicans: George Allen, U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart, and congressional candidates Thomas Oh and Barbara Comstock. [Twitter]
Friends and family of the Arlington man killed as he tried to stop a sexual assault plan to celebrate his life this weekend, remembering him as a kind, generous and “decidedly decent” person.
Arlington police say 54-year-old Patricio Salazar attempted to intervene when he saw another man, 27-year-old Michael Nash, sexually assaulting a woman near Doctor’s Run Park last Thursday (Oct. 18). Investigators claim that Nash struck Salazar and ultimately knocked him unconscious. Salazar died from his injuries a short time later.
Salazar’s family has organized a memorial service this Saturday (Oct. 27) at a local funeral home. In lieu of flowers, his family is asking people to donate to an online fundraiser that will benefit survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence, with plans to divide the money between a local charity and an organization in Salazar’s hometown of La Paz, Bolivia.
“My brother was very smart, funny, unassuming and humble about his gifts and talents,” Loty Salazar, Patricio’s sister, wrote in a description accompanying the GoFundMe page. “And, as he showed by his final act of great courage, he was a man of integrity and character, who believed in doing the right thing no matter what the cost. My family and I are at a loss to describe the depth of pain we are feeling. He has left us — and this world — far too soon, because we — and the world — really need heroes like him.”
Salazar’s sister declined a request for an interview, but his family did write in an online obituary that he attended college in Bolivia before transfering to the University of North Dakota, and eventually settling in Arlington.
Will Rubens, a Ballston resident and one of Salazar’s friends, told ARLnow that Salazar had lived in the county for close to 15 years. He first met Salazar at the old Greene Turtle bar in Ballston a few years ago, where they bonded over a shared love of sports, and the occasional beer.
“He was just a really warm, friendly, kind of goofy guy,” Rubens said. “He just had such a goofy lightness about him that immediately put a smile on your face. Most of our interactions were just joking around, and it always kind of made my day. You never knew exactly when you would run into him, so it was always a nice surprise.”
Rubens says Salazar had a passion for international soccer, the San Jose Sharks and the Oakland Raiders. But he was also a guitarist in his spare time, and loved attending local concerts, Rubens said.
His family added in the obituary that Salazar, known to his friends as “Pat,” had a passion for nature and animals and “was an avid walker and always longed for Bolivia and his Andean mountains.”
Rubens says that Salazar would return to La Paz fairly regularly to visit his family there, though he did also have some family around the D.C. area. In fact, Rubens says Salazar had offered to bring him back a memento after his next trip back home, in order to help Rubens complete his collection of fridge magnets from places he’s traveled for work.
“He was supposed to visit his family for Christmas and now that’s not to be, which is really sad… but I think it shows just what kind of guy Pat was,” Rubens said.
Rubens says he “felt like a freight train hit me” when he learned of Salazar’s death, as the two had just crossed paths a few days before his killing.
“I’m not surprised at all that he got involved, I think it was very brave of him,” Rubens said. “But Pat was not the kind of guy where he would’ve rushed in, guns blazing… he had no illusions of grandeur, he was not that kind of guy. But he always would’ve stopped if he saw somebody in need.”
Police arrested Nash this past Friday (Oct. 19), charging him with several counts related to the alleged sexual assault. He has yet to be charged in connection with Salazar’s death, but police say additional charges are likely forthcoming.
Nash is set for his first hearing in Arlington General District Court on Jan. 16.
This morning, dozens of bicyclists helped to escort the motorcade of a former Navy SEAL who was struck and killed by a car while riding his bike in Bethesda this summer.
Tim Holden was a Gulf War vet and retired from the Navy SEALs in 2001. He was killed on Aug. 28, as he was heading to visit his daughter in D.C., when a 22-year-old driver struck him from behind on a hilly stretch of Massachusetts Avenue.
Holden’s family invited fellow local cyclists to escort his motorcade from the Lincoln Memorial to Arlington National Cemetery, where he was buried this morning. Dozens showed up for the chilly ride around 7:30 this morning.
Holden was 64. He is survived by his wife and five daughters.
The 22-year-old Maryland man who struck him will not face criminal charges.
Funeral for Arlington Firefighter Injured on 9/11 — A funeral will be held today for an Arlington firefighter who was a first responder on 9/11. Phillip McKee III suffered a severe leg injury while battling fires at the Pentagon following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. He also inhaled toxic dust and later suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. His family says McKee, 41, died from complications from those injuries. McKee, who held degrees from Yale and Harvard, was openly gay and is survived by his husband and partner of 15 years. [Washington Blade]
County Officials: No Subsidies for Gov’t Agencies — With the county still reeling from the impending loss of the National Science Foundation, Arlington officials are sticking to their guns and saying that offering tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure federal agencies is bad policy. Arlington Economic Development Director Terry Holzheimer is pushing for the General Services Administration to disclose additional information related to the decision to move the NSF to Alexandria by 2017. “None of it makes any sense,” Holzheimer said of the decision and its impact to other government tenants in Ballston. [Washington Business Journal]
Bluemont Trail Improvements — Arlington County crews will be widening a section of the Bluemont Trail between Buchanan Street and the Ballston Holiday Inn this month. Crews will also be removing obstructions and landscaping around the trail. [Bike Arlington]
SUPERNOVA Photos — Dozens of artists invaded public spaces in Rosslyn over the weekend for the SUPERNOVA Performance Art Festival. Some of the artists and their performances can be seen in a series of photos published the the Ode Street Tribune blog.
Democratic Primary Today — Democrats will go to the polls today in Virginia to vote in the primary for lieutenant governor and attorney general. Among the candidates is Arlington resident Aneesh Chopra, who’s running for lieutenant governor. Polls will remain open in Arlington from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. [Arlington County]
Flags in Arlington are flying at half-staff today in honor of Alexandria paramedic Joshua Weissman.
Weissman died last week after falling 20-30 feet from I-395 while responding to a vehicle fire near Shirlington. Yesterday Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell authorized flags in Alexandria and Arlington to fly at half-staff in Weissman’s memory.
Family, friends, fellow firefighters and the public are mourning Weissman’s death at funeral services in Alexandria this afternoon. Some 2,000 people and 200 fire vehicles are expected to take part in the funeral procession and services, which have shut down several busy streets around the city and prompted an early dismissal from Alexandria schools.
Once called “the most modern funeral home in Northern Virginia,” the business has transferred its remaining operations to the Murphy Funeral Home at 4510 Wilson Blvd in Bluemont. Both funeral homes are managed by Service Corporation International under the Dignity Memorial brand.
The Arlington Funeral Home building and its surrounding surface parking lot was purchased by developer Crimson Partners in 2010. The developer is expected to bring a site plan before the County Board next month that calls for the property to be redeveloped as an office building with 173,700 square feet of office space, 3,200 square feet of retail space and a 9,900 square foot black box theater.
If the site plan is approved, a groundbreaking can likely be expected at some point next year.
Sergeant Michael Boehm, a 19-year Park Police veteran, suffered an apparent heart attack and collapsed while responding to man found critically injured under the Key Bridge in D.C. on Dec. 16. Boehm, an Army veteran, was rushed to a local hospital but was later pronounced dead. He is survived by a wife and a son.
According to USPP, Boehm’s funeral procession will depart from a Burke, Va. funeral home at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 28. It will head into the District, pass by Park Police headquarters near Hains Point, then head back to a cemetery in Fairfax.
A number of rolling road closures will accompany the funeral procession in Arlington. Closures are expected on I-395, Washington Boulevard/Route 27, and the Memorial Bridge.
“Partnering law enforcement agencies and departments of transportation will assist with the road closures. All roads will be reopened as soon as possible,” USPP said in a media advisory. “The U.S. Park Police anticipates that the procession will take about 1.5 hours. The beginning time is approximate.”
The motorcyclist who was killed in a crash on Route 50 last Friday will be remembered by friends and family at an Arlington funeral home this afternoon.
Gerald Glasper, a 41-year-old
former retired Marine, was pronounced dead at the hospital after his motorcycle collided with a car in the eastbound lanes of Route 50.
In a tragic irony, the man who police say was driving of the car, 25-year-old Jonathan Mendez, was himself a veteran — a Navy hospital corpsman — who deployed as a medic on a combat mission to Iraq with the First Marine Expeditionary Force, according to his LinkedIn page. More recently, Mendez had been working on a degree in emergency management from the University of Maryland. He has now been charged with manslaughter as a result the accident, according to police.
According to a friend, Glasper was a father who, after leaving the Marines, worked as a bar bouncer and as a construction project manager.
“He was a very special human being,” said the friend, who did not want to be identified. “I wish my son could grow up to be the caliber of a man that he was.”
On an obituary website, friends have been writing their memories of Glasper.
“What a funny, kind, big man,” wrote Chris Croissant of Arlington.
“I can’t begin explain how much joy you brought to everyone who knew you,” wrote Charles Galloway, a friend from the District. “You will be missed brother.”
“Gerald was a great Marine, a true friend and had a special soul,” wrote Richard Fisk, who served with Glasper at a base in Japan. “I will keep him and his family in my prayers. Rest in Peace Marine…Semper Fi.”
A memorial fund has been set up in honor of Glasper. Donations can be sent to Potomac Contruction Group c/o Matt Lentz, 1617 Swann St. N.W., Unit 2, Washington, DC 20009.
A memorial service is being held from 2:00 to 6:00 this afternoon at Murphy Funeral Home in Arlington. An internment will be held in California at a later date.
Photo via Facebook
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who died at the age of 92 last Monday, was a towering figure in the Senate, even as his health began to deteriorate in recent years. He chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee and has twice served as Senate majority leader. He was derided as the “King of Pork” for his tireless efforts to steer federal funds to his home state of West Virginia. His passionate floor speeches against the Iraq war and in support of the Constitution are the stuff of legends.
Byrd, once a local leader in the Ku Klux Klan, filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. His membership in the Baptist church would later prompt him to renounce intolerance and vote for the 1968 Civil Rights Act.
At this morning’s funeral at the Memorial Baptist Church on North Glebe Road, speakers focused more on Byrd’s Baptist beliefs than on his former bigotry.
“He described himself to me as a born-again, old-time-religion, Bible-based Christian,” Smith said, recalling a time when Byrd recited 20 Bible verses by memory following a church service.
A number of dignitaries were among those filling the wooden pews in the church’s sunny white sanctuary. They included Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), former U.S. senator Paul Sarbanes and Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Music played a central role in the service. The sounds of mountain fiddle music filled the church as mourners took their seats. A 21-person choir later performed “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” It was a fitting tribute to Byrd, who was himself an accomplished fiddler and occasional singer.
Following a funeral procession down Glebe Road, Byrd was laid to rest next to Erma, his beloved wife of 69 years, in a private ceremony at Arlington’s Columbia Gardens Cemetery. He was given a 21-gun salute as the two flags on his coffin were handed to his daughters amid the sweltering heat.
On Byrd’s tombstone were the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John, chapter 11: “Loose him and let him go.”
A public memorial service for West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest-serving U.S. senator in history, is being held at 11:00 this morning at the Memorial Baptist Church in North Arlington.
Limited public seating will be available at the funeral, which is also expected to draw a large media contingent to the church at 3455 North Glebe Road.
After the service, a private internment ceremony will be held at the Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Ashton Heights.
The Arlington Police Department is warning of parking and other restrictions near the funeral. There will also be rolling road closures during the procession to the cemetery.
Among the the rolling closures will be the southbound lanes of Glebe Road, stretching from the church, through Ballston to Route 50. Parts of North Pershing Drive, North Irving Street and the westbound lanes of Route 50 will also be closed for a time.
Twilight Fans Stay Up Late for Latest Film In Series — A sizable crowd showed up at the Regal Cinema in Ballston Common Mall last night for a midnight screening of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. There was no mob scene outside — moviegoers with advance tickets steadily filed past the box office and into the theater. Most were exuberant girls and young women, although about one in ten was accompanied by a doting and expressionless boyfriend (or father). To accommodate the unusual crush of people coming out of the mall parking lot at 2:30 a.m., police directed traffic near the theater after the movie.
Byrd Funeral Will Take Place in Arlington — The funeral and internment of long-time Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) will take place in Arlington on Tuesday. The funeral is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. at Memorial Baptist Church (3455 North Glebe Road). The service is open to the public, although seating is limited. Byrd, who died Monday at age 92, will be buried next to his wife Erma in a private internment at an Arlington cemetery.
Free Cab Rides Return for the 4th — For a while, it looked as though a lack of funding might cancel the SoberRide program for the Fourth of July. But thanks to last-minute donations, the program will be back offering free taxi rides in Arlington, the District, Fairfax, Loudoun and other locales. The program will cover fares of up to $50, but you must call 1-800-200-8294 to book the cab.
Summer Doldrums for Real Estate Agents — After a busy spring, local Realtor Laura Rubinchuk says there are not nearly as many people buying and selling homes this summer. More from Arlington Real Estate News.