Organized by Arlington members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the rally will feature speeches from local leaders and voter registration with Arlington NAACP volunteers.
“I see rallies like this as an opportunity to raise awareness, to think about the daily violence that happens that doesn’t make the newspapers, but is something that impacts all of us,” Beth Fine, the local lead for Moms Demand Action, told ARLnow.
The event is one of 19 that will take place throughout the state this weekend, according to the Virginia Moms Demand Action Facebook page, and is among more than 350 planned across the country.
Arlington County Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey and School Board Chair Barbara Kanninen will both speak at the rally alongside Arlington Poet Laureate Katherine Young and student activists Karina de Leede and Chloe Fugle.
“I will be speaking about the School Board’s support for Wear Orange, our concern for the safety of our students and staff and the importance of student voices,” Kanninen said.
The Wear Orange movement began in 2013 when friends of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton wore the color after Pendleton was shot and killed. Everytown for Gun Safety, a national organization that advocates against gun violence, began promoting the campaign nationally in 2015.
But Fine notes that the movement also has plenty of support locally, including from the County Board. In May, the Board declared June 1 National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Arlington, a decision that Fine believes “sets the right tone.”
“It’s important too that they know we are out there supporting people who are on board with this message,” she added.
Over 200 businesses in the Arlington area will also post fliers or offer specials to customers wearing orange this weekend, according to organizers. Alto Fumo, Ambar, Busboys & Poets, Cafe Pizzaiolo and New District Brewing Company are among the local businesses expected to run Wear Orange promotions this weekend.
Ultimately, Fine said community members who attend the rally should feel empowered to make change.
“I think what they should should come away [from] it with is the idea that they can actually effect change,” Fine said. “They will have some ideas as they leave about what they can do to make a difference.”
Photo via Facebook
Police arrived at a building on the 3900 block of Fairfax Drive just before 1 a.m. last Friday after a person inside reported hearing a loud noise, then found a small hole in the wall and a metallic object.
During their investigation, police determined that a man in a neighboring apartment had been cleaning a gun and it accidentally discharged, shooting a bullet into, and creating damage to, the other apartment.
Police charged 28-year-old Alexander Kreitle with discharging a firearm into an occupied building.
No injuries were reported from the incident.
Crystal City Tops HQ2 Poll — The combined Crystal City-Potomac Yard site is the most likely D.C. area landing spot for Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an online poll conducted by the Washington Business Journal. Meanwhile, D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials are teaming up to promote the region as the HQ2 search continues. Amazon fever has even entered the world of local business conferences: an event dubbed “HQmania” is scheduled to be held in Rosslyn next month. [Washington Business Journal, WAMU, DCA Live]
Rosslyn Lands Nonprofit HQ — “It’s been a good week for Rosslyn. First came the news that Gerber, a Nestle subsidiary, would relocate its headquarters and 150 jobs from New Jersey to 1812 N. Moore St. And Friday, we learn that a D.C.-based global nonprofit has decided to cross the Potomac into Arlington.” [Washington Business Journal]
ART Bus Stop Vandalized — Someone smashed two of the windows on an ART bus stop in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood late last week. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Charged With Statutory Rape — A 47-year-old Arlington man was arrested at his home last month and charged with the statutory rape of a minor in North Carolina. The man arranged meeting the minor in North Carolina via the messaging app Kik, which is popular with teens. [Fox 8]
Local Columbine Survivor Addresses Student Protesters — “Salli Garrigan was in music class when the sound of gunshots reverberated through the halls of her high school… Garrigan, now 35 and an Arlington resident, stood Friday before a crowd of D.C.-area students gathered on the U.S. Capitol lawn and told them when she was their age, she didn’t know how to make her voice heard.” [Washington Post]
Long Bridge Park Field Renovations Starting — Work is set to begin today on new turf for Long Bridge Park’s heavily-used Field No. 3. The field is expected to be closed for 45 days. [Arlington County]
Past and Present School Board Members Gather — On Thursday, the Arlington School Board held its last meeting at the Arlington Education Center building next to Washington-Lee High School. The board room and administrative offices are moving to the Syphax Education Center along Washington Blvd. To mark the last meeting, past and current School Board members members gathered for a photo. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me
Remembering Barbara Bush — Via the Arlington GOP Twitter account: “Former First Lady Barbara Bush died today at age 92. She will always be remembered for representing the best of America. We pray for and send condolences to her family.” [Twitter, CBS News]
Arlington Man Facing Firearms Charges in Pa. — From a TV station near Pittsburgh: “A Virginia man is facing charges after police said he possessed 14 guns despite having a protection from abuse order against him. Perry Georgeadis, 63, of… Arlington, Virginia, is charged with 14 counts of person not to possess a firearm.” [WJAC]
Arlington’s Gain is New Jersey’s Pain — The announcement that Gerber is moving its corporate headquarters to Rosslyn, to the same building as corporate parent Nestle USA, is bad economic news for New Jersey. “This means close to 180 New Jerseyans will be out of a job. But the company promised to help employees affected, mostly in corporate positions such as marketing, finance and HR, by offering them the chance to relocate, and severance and outpatient support for those that can’t make the move.” [NJ.com]
Arlington Students Make TJ Science Cut — “Students from Arlington’s public-school system will represent about 5 percent of the incoming freshman class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. A total of 25 APS students have been offered admission to the regional magnet school.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: Alexandria Debates High School Lights — In a situation that may sound familiar to those in Arlington, the question of whether or not to add lights to the soon-to-be-renovated T.C. Williams High School stadium is pitting neighbors of the school against high school athletic boosters and school administrators. [Alexandria Times]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A gun store in Lyon Park is quietly doing steady business despite a roiling national debate over gun control policies.
“It’s a small growth every couple months, but I don’t think we can correlate it to an event,” Poulin said.
Poulin said that the store hasn’t followed typical gun sale trends because, he believes, his focus is on community, not profit. The store has become a place for people of all backgrounds, including law enforcement officers and military personnel, to hang out.
“We’re not here to get rich off this. We’re here because we like it doing a service for people,” he said.
According to CNN there was a national uptick in background checks, which correlated to increased gun sales, during the Obama administration, but gun sales and corresponding background checks fell nationwide in 2017.
NOVA Armory’s sales, according to its owner, have held steady and haven’t followed national trends since it opened in 2016. That includes upticks in sales seen nationwide after mass shootings during Obama’s presidency.
The store sells the AR-15, the same gun used in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting that recently reignited the gun control debate.
Poulin noted that NOVA Armory has reserved the right to refuse service on any reason the store sees fit. There have been no threats made against the store since the February shooting in Parkland, Fla., he added.
The store, however, faced major community backlash prior to and shortly after opening two years ago. NOVA Armory, at that time under different management, threatened to sue 64 individuals who spoke out against the store’s opening. Also in 2016, the store suffered a burglary and an incident in which “a man with mental health issues walked [in] and started yelling obscenities.”
Photo via NOVA Armory/Facebook
Sen. Tim Kaine has organized an “action planning meeting” in Arlington with gun violence advocates, victims’ families and faith leaders, the day before gun violence prevention marches are scheduled nationwide.
The event will be held at George Mason University’s Founders Hall on Friday (March 23) at 1 p.m. Per a press release, meeting attendees will “talk about the work they are doing in the community to promote safety reforms that make communities safer.”
The senator, according to the release, “is optimistic that the activism of students and parents who have spoken out all over the country has changed the dynamic of the gun violence prevention debate and could finally spur action in Congress.
Among the events is a “Town Hall for Action on Commonsense Gun Safety Measures” held by the Arlington County Democratic Committee. It is scheduled to take place on Sunday, the day after the rally, at Faith Lutheran Church (3313 Arlington Boulevard) from 2-4 p.m.
Virginia Del. Chris Hurst (D-12) will be the keynote speaker, discussing his personal gun violence story.
The following speakers will also attend the town hall and “offer unique perspectives on the issue of gun violence and concrete action steps,” per a Facebook event listing.
- Beth Arthur, Arlington Sheriff’s Office
- Kris Brown, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
- Karina de Leede, Arlington Student Activists
- Chloe Fugel, Arlington Student Activists
- Josh Horwitz, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- Celia Slater, Moms Demand Action Arlington
- Yasmine Taeb, Alumnus of Stoneman Douglas High School and current DNC member
- Tannia Talento, Arlington School Board
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be leading Arlington Democrats in the march on Saturday, starting on the Arlington side of the Memorial Bridge at 10:30 a.m., according to a press release from state Sen. Adam Ebbin’s office.
Sen. Tim Kaine joined Wakefield High School students this morning (March 16) to discuss gun violence and school safety.
Students offered their own perspectives and asked Kaine questions ranging from what he would do regarding the Dickey Amendment to school security measures to mental health treatment.
Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Sociology students were invited to the hour-and-a-half long event, which was also attended by Wakefield’s Michelle Cottrell-Williams, Virginia’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.
Over 40 students sat in the classroom, surrounded by members of the local press, most raptly attentive and occasionally emotional as they asked detailed questions of their senator.
“You’re shaking us out of our complacency and challenging us,” Tim Kaine said while introducing himself and his legislative background.
One student asked the senator whether or not he agreed that protection is emphasized over prevention, or that there is more concern with adding security than preventative gun control measures, which the senator affirmed he did.
He mentioned several times a desire to allow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct public health research on gun violence, as well as expanded mental health services and funding. He also said he supports cutting down on the power that interest groups have over Congress.
Kaine focused many of his responses not over assault weapons but on high capacity magazines, at one point saying that it is easier to write a bill outright banning high capacity magazines with over ten rounds than it would be to describe every permutation of what is broadly called an “assault weapon.”
He added that “every constitutional amendment has reasonable limits within it,” emphasizing the “well-regulated” aspect of the second amendment.
“You won’t eliminate violence, you won’t eliminate gun violence,” he began.”But that’s not the goal, the goal is to reduce it.”
ATS Parents Peeved About Overcrowding — Arlington Traditional School parents are protesting the addition of classes and relocatable classrooms to the already-overcrowded school. [Arlington Connection]
Alliterative Pothole Patching Update — Via Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Punctilious, present pothole people have plugged 500-plus problems post-2017 but prefer a plethora for practice. Please provide. http://topics.arlingtonva.us/reportproblem or call 703-228-6570.” [Twitter]
AIM Petition Nearing 1,000 Signatures — More than 900 people have signed a petition calling on the County Board to nix the proposed 20 percent cut in funding for Arlington Independent Media. “The proposed Arlington County FY ’19 budget would be catastrophic for AIM,” the petition says. [Change.org]
Arlington Ranks No. 2 in Virginia ‘Healthiest’ List — Arlington is second only to Loudoun on a list of the healthiest counties in Virginia, compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [WTOP]
Capitol City Files for Bankruptcy — Shortly after closing its Shirlington brewpub, Capitol City Brewing Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Owner David von Storch says he intends to keep Cap City’s downtown D.C. location open, serving its four core in-house beers, which will now be brewed by a contract brewery, as well as local craft brews. [Washington Business Journal]
Kaine to Talk Guns at Wakefield HS — Via press release: “On Friday, March 16, Senator Tim Kaine will hold a classroom conversation on gun violence and school safety with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington. Kaine will hear students’ perspectives on how policymakers should address this issue and which solutions they would like to see implemented to keep schools safer.”
Photo courtesy @thelastfc
The incident happened Wednesday night along S. Shirlington Road. Police responded to a parking lot for a report of gunshots. They arrived and found a vehicle damaged by BBs, but the suspect had already fled and could not be located.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
DISCHARGE FIREARM/MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED BUILDING, 2018-03070203, 2200 block of Shirlington Road. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on March 7, police were dispatched to the area after a witness reported hearing shots fired inside a parking garage. Arriving officers canvased the area and located a vehicle with damage from a BB gun. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. No injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a black male with curly, reddish dreads, wearing a black jacket. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Students at Arlington’s high schools walked out of class Wednesday morning to protest gun violence in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting.
The 10 a.m. walkout was planned nationally, on the one month anniversary of the shooting, and in Arlington it was the second such protest in as many months. Washington-Lee, Yorktown, Wakefield, Langston and H-B Woodlawn were among the schools participating. Students at Kenmore Middle School also walked out, according to the school’s Twitter account.
At Washington-Lee, hundreds — if not thousands — of students gathered on the football field amid cold, blustery weather for a solemn remembrance of the slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and teachers.
A group of students sat in the bleachers, holding signs with the names and photos of the victims, while another group of students read each of their names and a bit of biographical information, one by one, about one per minute. The gathered students stood still, in silence only broken by a brief applause at the end, before returning to the school.
A couple dozen administrators and teachers watched over the event, along with a pair of Arlington County police officers, there to provide security. A few W-L graduates, parents and local residents also attended, some holding signs.
During Yorktown’s walkout, meanwhile, students wrote letters about school safety to members of Congress
Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy said late last month that today’s walkout would be the last walkout in which participating students would be granted a blanket excused absence.
Wakefield Advances to Championship — The Wakefield High School boys basketball team has advanced to the Virginia Class 5 championship after defeating Edison last night 82-66. The team will face Varina tomorrow at VCU. Meanwhile, Wakefield senior forward A’Mari Cooper has been named Northern Region Class 5 Player of the Year. [Washington Post, InsideNova]
Metro Starts Selling Merch — Despite its reliability issues and subsequent image problem, Metro has launched a new line of clothing and gifts, sold online and at a new gift store at Metro Center. The reaction to the merchandise has been mixed. [WMATA, NBC Washington]
General Assembly Passes Car Seat Bill — “Today, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 708… which would change the commonwealth’s law to require that child safety seats remain rear facing until the age of two, or the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. The bill is now on its way to Governor Northam’s office for his signature. If signed, the new law would become effective July 1, 2019.” [AAA Mid-Atlantic]
More Restaurants Considering Ballston Quarter — Fresh off the announcement that Ted’s Bulletin was coming to Ballston Quarter, the owners of trendy D.C. spots Himitsu and Gravitas are said to be considering opening up eateries at the mall. Also in the works: a donut shop, an arepas stand, an oyster bar, and a barbecue joint. [Washington Business Journal]
Nicecream Expanding to D.C. — Liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream shop Nicecream Factory, which first opened in Clarendon, has since expanded to Alexandria and is now planning to open two D.C. locations, in Adams Morgan and Shaw. [Washington Business Journal]
Nearby: Gun Reform Discussion — Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting victims, will speak at an event called “A Conversation About Gun Safety And The Safety Of American Schools” at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria tonight. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is hosting the event, which will discuss “actions we can take to ensure no other parent has to experience this kind of trauma.” [Eventbrite]
In just six days, about 41 Arlington households have volunteered to host gun control demonstrators later this month.
That translates to approximately 131 beds for guest marchers in Arlington.
Altogether, 350 host families volunteered in the first six days that a website aimed at connecting protesters with host families went live, or about 1,120 beds, according to Tricia Duncan, an organizer who lives in Washington but grew up in Arlington. Duncan added that that is a conservative estimate of the currently volunteer housing stock.
Thousands of marchers will descend on Washington on March 24 for the March For Our Lives gun control protest, and a group of mothers with DC Local Ambassadors knew that they’d need a place to sleep.
That’s when the women issued the call last week seeking lodging for the thousands of anticipated protesters.
Initially, the group consisted of seven DC Local Ambassadors who had the same idea: finding free lodging for kids who were coming in for the march. Now there’s 15 organizers, working to find housing for a march that has already suffered from organizational challenges.
The group reached out to their “trusted network” — church groups, civic groups, and parent-teacher associations — for lodging locations.
Both potential hosts and prospective guests have to fill out a form online to be considered. Some social media vetting is conducted, said Elizabeth Andrews, a Washington resident and organizer, but it’s for safety reasons.
The group is also requesting biographical information to try to make “thoughtful matches” that consider the backgrounds of everyone involved, like gender, race, and ethnicity.
“We are trying to think about making it the best situation possible for everyone,” said Andrews.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee, meanwhile, is planning its own events for the March 24 demonstration, including a poster-making party, a walk from the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge to the march, and a rally at an Arlington church in support of action in Virginia
Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.) co-sponsored a bill this week that would prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of assault weapons.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018, H.R. 5087, was introduced by Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) on Monday (February 26). The bill comes as pressure mounts nationwide following the Parkland, Fla., school shooting which sparked renewed efforts to pass gun control legislation.
“We need the Assault Weapons Ban because we have to get weapons of war out of America’s communities,” Beyer said in a press release. “It is too late to stop the shootings in Parkland, Newtown, Aurora, and so many others which were carried out with an AR-15 style rifle, but we must act to prevent future such massacres.
“Congress should listen to the young people in Florida and across the country and pass this lifesaving measure immediately,” he added.
The ban would specifically prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of the following:
- Semi-automatic rifles and handguns with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine
- Semi-automatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds
- Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style features
- Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds
- 205 specifically-named and listed firearms
More from the press release:
When an assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine is used in a shooting, the number of victims who are killed increases by 63 percent. There have been almost 8,300 incidents of gun violence so far in 2018. More than 2,200 Americans have lost their lives. More than 500 children have been killed or injured.
The incident happened Monday afternoon, on the 3100 block of Columbia Pike, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
A SunTrust bank is located on that block of the Pike.
Police say that the suspect “became verbally irate” while waiting in line to use the ATM. More from the crime report:
BRANDISHING, 2018-02260160, 3100 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:10 p.m. on February 26, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing of a firearm. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was using the drive thru ATM when another vehicle pulled up behind him. The driver of the approaching vehicle became verbally irate, threatened the victim and allegedly brandished a firearm. The suspect is described as a black male, bald, approximately 25-30 years old, wearing glasses and a black shirt, driving a black Mercedes. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.
Photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 3 p.m.) With more school walkouts planned, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy is drawing the line on excused absences for student protests
Murphy sent an email to parents today, following a walkout by high school students last week to protest gun violence and gun policies. Murphy said APS will allow and grant excused absences for another national walkout planned for March 14, but will mark unexcused any student who walks out for the entire day on April 20, as apparently is being planned, without parental permission in advance.
“While we cannot condone weekly or even monthly occurrences like this, we try to encourage our students’ interest in expressing their ideas and opinions,” Murphy wrote. “Therefore, our secondary schools will support students’ participation in a brief national walkout on March 14, to allow them this one additional time to convey their feelings on school property and without greatly disrupting the school day.”
One parent noted to ARLnow.com that “some students and parents are opting to peacefully protest these walkout days by not going to school that day at all.”
The full letter from Dr. Murphy is below.
Dear APS Families,
Last week, many of our secondary students, in support of their student peers in Florida and throughout the nation, participated in a lunchtime “walkout” to peacefully protest the violence that has occurred in many schools across our nation. School staff and principals learned about these walkouts in advance and provided the students an opportunity to express their views. For the most part, each school’s walkout was very respectful and lasted about 20-30 minutes.
As you may have read or heard, students are calling for a similar, 17-minute national school walkout on Wed, March 14 at 10 a.m., which will mark the one-month anniversary of the tragic shootings that took place at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. As educators, part of our role is to help teach our students how to actively engage in civic conversations and the importance of being engaged in our democratic process. This happens in many ways – by voting; by writing to or speaking with elected leaders; by joining organizations that hold and advocate for similar ideas or beliefs; and, at times, by participating in peaceful and respectful demonstrations.
While we cannot condone weekly or even monthly occurrences like this, we try to encourage our students’ interest in expressing their ideas and opinions. We have also observed that this response does not reflect any one group’s opinion – its focus has been nonpartisan among students. Therefore, our secondary schools will support students’ participation in a brief national walkout on March 14, to allow them this one additional time to convey their feelings on school property and without greatly disrupting the school day. Students who participate will not be penalized for taking part in their school’s brief demonstration, and we will work to ensure that any students who are not interested in participating will not be pressured to do so.
The event will also allow students to honor the 17 lives lost in Florida as well as the other children and school staff who have been senselessly lost through similar events at other schools. This decision is in keeping with the moment of silence and other commemorations that all APS schools participated in and our community observed immediately after the events of September 11.
We believe that March 14 will present a minimal interruption to our instructional day; however, we also have heard that students are being encouraged to participate in another walkout on April 20 in the morning which includes not returning to school for the remainder of the day. In that case, students would be marked with an unexcused absence unless parents provide written permission in advance of the 20th. We believe that the event in D.C. on Saturday, March 24, will provide ample opportunity for students to participate in a Walk and to exercise their beliefs about gun control without interfering with their responsibility to school and their classroom work.
Finally, some of our families have asked about the involvement of our elementary schools. Elementary principals and teachers will find ways to be responsive to students that are age-appropriate and suitable for their interest in the topic.
If you have questions, I encourage you to speak with your school’s principal.
Patrick K. Murphy, Ed.D.