Competing Convention Watch Parties — The Arlington GOP and Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans are hosting a Republican convention watch party tonight at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill in Courthouse. The Arlington Young Democrats, meanwhile, are holding their own watch party for the last night of the GOP convention. That event is being held at Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon. [Facebook, Facebook]
Youth Hockey Team Profiled — As part of its “Harris’ Heroes” segment, TV station ABC 7 yesterday profiled the NOVA Cool Cats, a hockey team for youth with developmental disabilities. The team plays at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. [WJLA]
Road Rage Incident in Rosslyn — A man allegedly brandished a handgun and followed two women during a road rage incident on Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, after the female driver honked her horn while the man’s vehicle blocked her path. [Arlington County]
Lighting Task Force Needs More Time — A task force trying to determine whether to add lighting to the Williamsburg Middle School athletic fields says it will present its findings in January. The task force, chaired by former County Board primary challenger Erik Gutshall, was originally expected to wrap up its work in June. [InsideNova]
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 at Pentagon Metro Station — A trash fire on the tracks at the Pentagon Metro station just before 8:00 this morning caused the station to fill with smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished by Arlington firefighters, but not before it resulted in delays on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines.
Capitals to Hold Blood Drive — The Washington Capitals will hold their annual summer blood drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston this weekend. The event will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. [Associated Press]
New Bus Route Serving Shirlington — Alexandria’s DASH will begin new service to the Shirlington Transit Center on Monday. The DASH AT9 will run from the Mark Center to Shirlington to Potomac Yard. [DASH Bus]
WJLA Sale Approved — The sale of Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7) has received FCC approval. Long-time owner Allbritton Communications is selling WJLA, NewsChannel 8 and seven other stations to Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
This Saturday, Jan. 4, the Washington Capitals will host their annual blood drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road) in Ballston.
From 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., donors can spend their time — about an hour — giving blood to Inova Blood Donor Services at the Iceplex. Donors will receive a Jay Beagle bobblehead and a Capitals T-shirt.
To schedule an appointment to donate, donors can go online and enter the sponsor name, “Washington Capitals,” or call Inova at 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372).
Potential donors should be feeling healthy the day of the drive and should have not given blood in the last eight weeks, or 16 weeks if the donor gave double red cells.
This Saturday, November 9, blood donations will be collected from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Donors will receive a Braden Holtby bobblehead and a Capitals t-shirt.
In order to donate, a person must be feeling generally well on the day of the donation. Donors must be at least 16 years old (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood in the past 56 days (or 112 days for double red cells).
Donors can make appointments by calling 1-866-256-6372 or by going online and entering the sponsor name “Washington Capitals.” The whole process takes about one hour.
Building Permits for Major Projects — Developers have filed applications to begin construction on two major building projects. At 20 stories, the soon-to-be-built office building at 4040 Wilson Blvd will be the largest of the three Liberty Center buildings in Ballston. Also set for construction: 2145 Lee Highway, better known as the Bergmann’s development. That project will include 175 apartments, 27 townhouses and a MOM’s Organic Market. [Washington Business Journal]
At Kettler, Olympic Hopefuls Expect Gold — The prospective USA Hockey players who are holding orientation camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston through Thursday expect to be a favorite to win gold at the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014. [Associated Press]
Copperwood Tavern Now Hiring — “Cabin-style” restaurant Coppperwood Tavern, located in the former Bistro Bistro space at 4021 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington, is now hiring. The restaurant will hold an employment open house for all positions tomorrow (Thursday) from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. [Facebook]
Catching Up With Dave Arlington — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark chats with WASH-FM deejay Dave Arlington, who used to be a disc jockey at Arlington-based WEAM. [Falls Church News-Press]
The annual Charity Hockey Classic will be held at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston next month.
The event is held yearly to benefit Inova Blood Donor Services. A team of Washington Capitals alumni will take on corporate teams from Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte, as well as a group of youth hockey coaches from around Northern Virginia, called the Virginia Coaching Cardinals.
The event is scheduled for Sept. 7 at 7:00 p.m. Admission $10 but children wearing hockey jerseys are admitted free. The event features a round-robin format of 15-minute games, and is expected to run until 10:30 p.m.
Among those expected to participate are former Washington Capitals defenseman Gord Lane, this year’s honorary captain. There will also be appearances by Elliot Segal of DC101’s Elliot in the Morning, Capitals’ mascot Slapshot, and the Capitals’ spirit team, the Red Rockers.
Organizers hope to raise more than $70,000 to refurbish one of Inova’s older bloodmobiles.
(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) The U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team will be in Arlington briefly next week, and tickets to catch a glimpse of the 40 players vying for a spot to represent their country in the Sochi Olympics in February are on sale now.
Doors open for the event, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston Aug. 27, at 7:00 a.m. and player autograph sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. There will also be open skate sessions at the Iceplex. Tickets may only be purchased in advance.
Those who purchase tickets won’t get the chance to see any hockey action, however — USA Hockey and the NHL couldn’t come to an agreement to allow the players to participate in hockey activities. Instead attendees will receive, according to USA Hockey, player autographs, a collectible puck, a limited-edition scarf, an American flag and pre-order access to the 2014 USA Hockey replica jerseys.
“This is a unique opportunity for fans to be part of an event that happens once every four years,” Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said in a press release. “It’s the first time we’ve conducted this camp in the nation’s capital region and what a great place to gather our top American players in preparation for Sochi.”
At 11:30 a.m., the official jerseys for the 2014 Olympics will be revealed, the players will be formally introduced — along with modeling their future jerseys — and there will be some crowd giveaways. Tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for youth 14 and under.
Photo via USA Hockey
The U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team will start preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics at Kettler Capitals Iceplex later this month.
This is the first time the Iceplex has hosted a USA Hockey Orientation Camp. The Ballston facility will host the full contingent of USA Men’s Hockey, including Conn Smythe winner — the NHL’s award for its Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP — Patrick Kane and several members of the team that won the silver medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
The Olympians will be at the facility from Aug. 25-29, and the camp itself will be held from Aug. 26-27.
Just one Capitals player is among the 40 invited to the camp: defenseman John Carlson. The roster of players attending will not be finalized until closer to the camp’s start, according to Capitals officials.
Although the orientation itself will be closed to the public, one event will be open to fans who want to catch a glimpse of 2014’s Olympians. Nike will be hosting a USA Hockey jersey unveiling at the Iceplex Aug. 27 at 11:30 a.m. USA Hockey players will be modeling the jerseys, and fan attendance is encouraged.
The Washington Capitals’ Development Camp Fan Fest took place last Saturday and those in attendance said Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston was the fullest they’d ever seen it.
“The event has multiplied by probably 50 from eight years ago,” said Oksana Zolotar, an employee of the Capitals who attended Fan Fest as a spectator. “You can barely find room to stand anymore.”
A Capitals official said more than 3,500 people came through the doors Saturday morning, and while that number is thought to be a record, no official records have previously been kept for Fan Fest attendance.
Saturday’s fan fest was held in Ballston for the seventh straight year and featured 21 Capitals prospects, including their 2013 first-round draft pick, Andre Burakovsky, competing for the attention of Capitals’ coaches and the chance to make next year’s squad. According to the Washington Post, only one player participating has a legitimate chance to make the Capitals’ 2012-2013 roster: 2012 first-rounder Tom Wilson.
For fans in attendance, most of whom were wearing red, it was a chance to see the future of their beloved Caps, and an opportunity to see some hockey on a sweltering July morning.
“I’ve always liked the prospect side of this event,” Zolotar said.
One Caps fan, a mom from Falls Church, comes to Kettler multiple times a year with her daughter, who enjoyed her time on the other rink during the children’s free skate.
“It’s nice to have something like this so close to us,” the mother said. “It’s really accessible.”
Coming all the way from Manassas, a mother and her college-age son used Fan Fest as a learning experience. He said he’s been trying to get his mother into hockey, and this was as good a chance as any to do it.
“He’s been trying to introduce me to hockey, so we thought we’d step by today to check this out,” she said. “Hockey is easy to get into because it’s never slow.”
From a hockey perspective, those in and around the organization considered Development Camp a success.
Capitals Outsider wrote: “On the whole, comments from both [General Manager George] McPhee and [head coach Adam] Oates were consistently positive regarding the prospects. Oates even went so far as to say that this year’s crop of attendees looked better than last year’s, though the change in camp format may have been a contributing factor. This year saw fewer scrimmages, and all of them held in the latter half of the week.”
–Audrey Batcheller contributed to this report.
Officer Long Dinh was critically injured in a February chase that ended with the suspect crashing head-on into his police cruiser at a high speed. The suspect died and Dinh was just released today from his nearly two month hospital stay.
Dinh has undergone multiple surgeries to repair his two broken legs, and continues physical therapy for the injuries. He is also dealing with short term memory issues stemming from the head trauma he sustained during the incident.
To help offset the costs of Dinh’s treatment and ongoing hospital stay, members of the Fairfax County Police Department are challenging members of the Metropolitan Police Department to a fundraiser hockey game. It will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston (627 N. Glebe Road). The public is welcome to attend and donations will be collected at the event.
Anyone who cannot attend Sunday’s event but wishes to contribute to Officer Dinh’s rehabilitation fund can do so online.
Attendees at the upcoming Taste of Arlington festival will be able to get cozy with Ovie.
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin posed in front of a green screen at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston yesterday for a “virtual statue” video shoot. The video will be be used to allow smart phone users to take a photo with a virtual Ovechkin at Taste of Arlington, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 19.
As reported earlier this month, Ovechkin is one of three “virtual statues” that will be set up around the festival. The other two are Washington Wizards point guard John Wall or D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius.
Users will be able to walk up to a posted “Augmented Reality” (AR) marker at Taste of Arlington, scan a code with their phone, and see a brief video of a sports star. From a press release:
The AR marker is similar to a QR or “quick response” code. By targeting an AR marker with the camera on their phone or tablet, users will view a short video and have the opportunity to pose for a photo with the celebrity. After capturing their virtual photo op with the celebrity, guests may share the images to Facebook or Twitter, and are eligible to enter a contest sponsored by the Ballston BID to win a sports prize package including sporting event tickets and signed memorabilia.
The digital statue custom displays will be located throughout Taste of Arlington. Each display will have a backdrop, a statue base, and an event assistant to help facilitate the process or provide a tablet for those without a compatible mobile device.
The mobile app required to view the virtual statues will be available via the Google Play Market for Android and the Apple App Store, according to the Ballston Business Improvement District. Taste of Arlington will be held in Ballston on May 19th from noon to 5 p.m.
Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) campaign is the official youth development program of the National Hockey League. It celebrates grassroots hockey and the growing diversity of the game. Many activities throughout the month are aimed at giving kids of all backgrounds opportunities to play the sport. The programs highlight essential life skills and the core values of hockey such as commitment, perseverance and teamwork. The initiative also supports hockey programs that assist disabled military personnel in returning to active lifestyles.
There are numerous events throughout the D.C. area for HIFE Month. The following events will take place in Arlington:
- February 8 — The Capitals will team up with children’s charity Dreams for Kids to host an Extreme Recess Hockey Clinic at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, forward Jason Chimera and goaltender Braden Holtby will skate and play hockey with more than 100 children with physical and developmental disabilities.
- February 14 — The Capitals have partnered with the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) to provide an all-girls hockey clinic for players ages 6-14. It will be held from 6:20-7:20 p.m. at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Participants must bring their own gear and pre-register online.
- February 14-18 — The Capitals and Washington Pride will host the annual JWHL Challenge Cup at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road). Various teams from across the country will play in the tournament. Game schedules for the preliminary rounds can be found online.
A full schedule of all the HIFE Month events occurring throughout the D.C. area is available online.
In addition to the HIFE events, hockey fans in Arlington can catch a free high school hockey game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this week. The Yorktown Ice Hockey Club will face off against Madison at 6:40 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8.
No More Checks for State Tax Refunds — Starting this year, Virginia is no longer sending checks for state tax refunds. Instead, the Commonwealth will only issue refunds by direct deposit or by prepaid debit card. The debit cards are issued by a vendor at no cost to the state; the change is expected to save taxpayers about $200,000 in printing and mailing costs. [Virginia Dept. of Taxation]
Jobs, Wages Decline in Arlington — While wages in Arlington remain high, average wages and the number of jobs in Arlington both declined in the second quarter of 2012, according to new federal data. The decline is worrying some local real estate developers. [Sun Gazette]
Ovechkin Collides With Teammate at Kettler — At a practice yesterday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin and center Marcus Johansson collided at mid-ice. The collision sent both players to the ground, but they’re both said to be “okay.” [CSN Washington, Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Ted Leonsis, the billionaire owner of the Washington Capitals and Wizards, says Ballston could soon be known as a haven for entrepreneurs and the “creative class.”
Leonsis made the remarks at a launch event Thursday night for the new Ballston Business Improvement District, which has announced a new campaign to brand Ballston as “home to some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative industries.” The campaign will capitalize on the fact that the community is home to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Virginia Tech Research Center, and various science and technology-related companies.
Leonsis, whose Capitals practice at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, said he’s encouraged to see the BID unifying Ballston’s public agencies, private companies and academia around the theme of innovation.
“The community is really coming together to try to stimulate everything about the creative class,” he said.
As part of the BID’s campaign, Leonsis, a former AOL executive, is helping to conduct and underwrite a business competition for entrepreneurs called the Ballston LaunchPad Challenge. He said the winning business idea may receive funding from the $450 million investment fund he set up with AOL co-founder Steve Case.
“We’re here to help and mentor and to help find the next great companies that will start their businesses here and will create employment for residents in Northern Virginia,” Leonsis said.
“Right now there’s this mythology that the only great companies that can get started happen out in Silicon Valley, and that’s not what we adhere to or we believe,” he continued. “We think that there’s a creative class, that there’s unbelievable gifts, talent and infrastructure in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. and Maryland — and we want to help stimulate that. We think that there are great young entrepreneurs walking among us.”
Leonsis said the contest, which is just one component of the BID’s overall branding and business improvement effort, will pay dividends in terms of stimulating economic activity in the area.
“This is a small part of this overall branding and outreach program, but I think it can be a very important part, because jobs are still the number one issue facing our country,” he said. “There’s no more noble, higher calling for an individual to create a company, see your vision come to life, and to employ people. Families get supported, kids get to go to good schools in the community, you start to shop in the mall, you start to eat in the restaurants, and the money stays within the community.”
“This is very strategic not just for Ballston, but for our country,” Leonsis added. “If we are to make an investment… we want a commitment that you’ll stay in this community that’s treating you and supporting you so well.”
Leonsis said that small business in particular can help “get young people get back to work” and out of their parents’ homes.
“We should never lose sight of the importance of small business,” he said. “Big companies right now retain earnings and shed jobs. Small businesses are creating all of the new opportunities and all of the innovation that’s keeping us competitive against global competition.”
Leonsis started and ended by addressing a topic that was on the minds of many — one concerning the return of dozens of wealthy individuals to the Ballston area.
“Thank you, and let’s go Caps,” he said, concluding his remarks.
Disclosure: The Ballston Business Improvement District is an ARLnow.com advertiser.