Local Pet Rescue Orgs Take in Hurricane Evacuees — “One of the first transports of dogs arrived Sunday with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, which was able to find fosters to take in evacuated dogs from Mississippi shelters… Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is another rescue urgently working to take in dogs and cats in Hurricane Ida’s path… ‘Fostering or adopting an animal NOW will save more than that one life. It will save dozens. Please donate, foster and adopt NOW.'” [WUSA 9, WTOP, WJLA]
Arlington Girl Hooks Record-Setting Fish — “If you happen to meet 5-year-old Caroline May Evans, she may want to tell you about the fish she caught. It’s a story worth hearing: She and her mom and dad hiked 12 miles into the remote Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, where she swung a red worm over the outlet of a lake with no name and caught what turns out to be a world-record golden trout. Caroline’s fish, landed on July 8, a few days before her 5th birthday, weighed 2 pounds, a remarkable size for a golden.” [Field and Stream]
Young Dems Blast Arlington Bishop — From the Arlington Young Democrats: “In a letter penned to his church community, Bishop Michael F. Burbridge of Arlington made heinous statements about trans folks and even trans children, where he stated that “no one is transgender.” Not only is this statement harmful to the hundreds of thousands of trans people that live in this country, many of whom live here in Arlington, but it is categorically false.” [Twitter]
APS to Punish Less, Teach More — “The Arlington County, Virginia, public schools are reimagining discipline, in the hope that teaching valuable life lessons will benefit students more than punitive consequences. On the first day of the 2021-2022 school year, Superintendent Francisco Duran, standing outside the newly opened Cardinal Elementary School, in North Arlington, said the school system is shifting the focus of discipline from punishment to making amends.” [WTOP]
Glebe Road Over Pimmit Run Back Open — “After more than two weeks, N. Glebe Road between Military Road and Chain Bridge Road/Virginia Route 123 in Arlington reopened Monday morning after delays caused by storm damage. The stretch was was originally set to be closed for nine days beginning Aug. 13 and ending Aug. 23, but an additional week was added on because of the impact of severe weather.” [WJLA]
Police Make Credit Card Theft Arrest — “The officer located the owner of the wallet, contacted him, and learned the wallet was previously stolen and there were fraudulent charges on the victim’s credit cards. The officer initiated a follow-up investigation and developed a suspect description. At approximately 8:22 a.m. on August 29, the officer was on patrol in the area of Wilson Boulevard and N. Randolph Street, observed the suspect on foot, and took him into custody without incident.” [ACPD]
APS Getting EV Buses — “Arlington Public Schools (APS), working collaboratively with the County’s Department of Environmental Services (DES), will receive a $795,000 grant from the state, to be spent on three fully electric buses (EV buses) that will replace three with diesel engines. The EV vehicles, each with a capacity of some 65 passengers, will be equitably assigned to routes throughout Arlington. Currently there are no EV buses in the APS fleet of 200. The vehicles slated for replacement each travel some 8,000 miles a year.” [Arlington County, Gov. Ralph Northam]
No PARK(ing) Day This Year — “PARK(ing) Day is an annual international event where the public collaborates to temporarily transform drab parking spaces into small parks… Due to continuing COVID-19 issues, Arlington County will not participate in 2021 PARK(ing) Day. We hope to welcome participants back in 2022.” [Arlington County, Twitter]
USS Arlington to Help in Haiti — “The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) departed Naval Station Norfolk to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to Haiti in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) led mission, Aug. 17.” [Navy]
Arrests in Ashton Heights Armed Robbery — ” The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is announcing the arrest of three suspects in an armed robbery that occurred during the early morning hours on Wednesday, August 18… At approximately 1:08 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a robbery that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the two male victims and a witness were sitting at a bus stop in the 700 block of N. Randolph Street when the three suspects approached.” [ACPD]
Arlington Org Deals with Afghanistan Fallout — “The young women of Ascend were used to spending their days doing yoga, preparing for mountain climbing excursions and teaching women at mosques in Kabul how to read… After the Taliban swept through Afghanistan this week, retaking control after two decades as the Afghan government collapsed, most of Ascend’s participants have been sheltering at home in fear of reprisal. Some have destroyed documents that would associate them with the Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit group, and are pleading for assistance from its leadership to help them find refuge in other countries.” [Washington Post]
Arlington Bishop Talks About Trans Youth — “The topic of transgenderism is discussed routinely in the news, on television shows and in schools. This prevailing ideology — that a person can change his or her gender — is impacting Catholic families, too, said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington… Burbidge knows many will be criticized and ostracized for their belief that men and women cannot change their sex, but he asks the faithful to speak out anyway. ‘We cannot be silenced. The mandate to speak on this issue clearly and lovingly is greater than ever,’ he said.” [Catholic News Service]
It’s July — Today is the first day in the month of July, named after Julius Caesar around the time of his assassination in 44 BC. Prior to that, the month was called Quintilis. In addition to today being the start of July, it’s also the start of the second half of the year. Expect the month to be especially hot and rainy. [Capital Weather Gang]
New Va. Bike Law Now In Effect — “A new state law requires motorists to change lanes when passing a bicyclist, if the lane of travel is not wide enough to accommodate 3 feet in distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle. Existing law had allowed, but did not require, a motorist to move into the other lane when passing a bicyclist in order to ensure at least 3 feet of distance.” [Sun Gazette]
ACFD CPR Battle — “Recruit Class 80 was certified in CPR yesterday. Recruits went head to head in partner CPR races. The top recruit team took on the FTA Cadre in a final race. Watch to find out who won! Our manikins give live feedback on the quality of compressions and ventilations.” [Instagram]
ACPD’s LGBTQ+ Outreach — “The unit provides educational outreach to the LGBTQ community on issues of concern to that community, including the types of crime that some LGBTQ people become victims of. Among those issues, he said, are same-sex domestic violence and online dating scams in which criminals pose as a potential dating partner to gain access to a gay person’s home, where they rob and sometime assault the unsuspecting victim. Penn said he was unaware of any anti-LGBTQ hate crimes that have occurred in Arlington in recent years.” [Washington Blade]
CPRO Gets Amazon Donation — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Amazon. To kick off this partnership, CPRO has received a generous $25,000 donation from Amazon this month to support three of its upcoming events: the recent Columbia Pike Blues Weekend, the upcoming Columbia Pike Drive-In Movie Nights, and CPRO’s 35th Anniversary Celebration in October.” [Press Release]
Monday, June 21
One Across, One Down: The Most Popular “Sport” in the Country
Time: 3-4:30 p.m.
Encore Learning Presents and the Arlington Public Library is hosting crossword puzzle expert Adrienne Cadik to discuss her experience and offer tips on getting better at crossword puzzles. The event can be accessed via Zoom.
Tuesday, June 22
Drama Discoveries: Animal Adventures
Trinity Presbyterian Church (5533 16th Street N.)
Time: 9:15-10:15 a.m.
Soaring Starts is continuing its Tuesday/Thursday nature learning programs. On Tuesdays, the program focuses on “Animal Adventures” and educating children about natural habitats. On Thursdays, the “Worldly Wonders” program explores different locations around the planet. Classes are primarily held outdoors. Individual classes are $18 but with cheaper pricing on larger packages.
Wednesday, June 23
Virginia Hospital Center Diabetes Prevention Program
Time: 7-8 p.m.
The Virginia Hospital Center is hosting a year-long class focused on healthy eating, increased physical activity and weight management to lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The class is $180.
Party like it’s 1991
The Plaza at Westpost (1201 S. Joyce Street)
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Grab your neon fanny pack and best 90’s attire, DC Fray is hosting a 90s-themed party with food and beverage from Aslin Beer Company, along with arcade games and interactive painting. Registration, along with some basic supplies, is $30.
Thursday, June 24
Beyond the Hashtag Book Club
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Arlington Public Library is hosting author Janet Mock to discuss her book Redefining Realness and experience growing up poor, multiracial and trans in America. The book discussion is part of a series discussing systemic racism. Attendees can register online.
Saturday, June 26
Civic Federation Election Reform Task Force Forum
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
The Arlington County Civic Federation Task Force in Governance and Election Reform is hosting its fourth in a series of forums on possible models to reform the county’s electoral system. Topics of discussion will include single and multi-member districts, implementation of nonpartisan elections, ranked choice voting and staggered terms.
Learn the Art and Science of Storytelling with Storymasters Toastmasters Club*
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Storymasters Toastmasters Club is hosting a class on storytelling tips and techniques, working on items like tone, timing, and engaging with your audience. The class is free with access information available on registration.
COMMUNITY PRIDE at Arlington Arts Center
Arlington Arts Center (3550 Wilson Blvd)
Time: Noon-5 p.m.
The Arlington Arts Center is hosting a family-friendly day celebrating LGBTIA+ community, artists, and contemporary art. Outdoor activities include various art-making activities and live music, and a reading by Citrine from Drag Queen Story Hour from 3-4 p.m. Inside, summer exhibitions will be on view for guests to explore eight galleries. This event is free and open to the public.
* Denotes sponsored listing
Lee Highway Planning Update — “Arlington county staff have produced different future land use scenarios for five sections, or neighborhood areas, of the [Lee Highway] corridor. These scenarios offer different visions for the route that note anticipated intensity and uses of land as well as potential future transportation and public space improvements. Ultimately, the initiative will culminate in an area plan that will guide future development along the corridor over the next 30 years.” [GGWash]
Postal Flexibility for Route 29 — “To borrow from a phrase of Barack Obama: If you like your Lee Highway address, you can keep your Lee Highway address. Arlington County officials say they do not expect the pending renaming of the 5.2-mile stretch of U.S. Route 29 in the county to impact delivery of mail addressed to the old ‘Lee Highway’ address when the roadway becomes ‘Langston Boulevard.'” [InsideNova]
Blood Drive in Courthouse Today — “Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar… is working with INOVA Blood Donor Services to host an Arlington Community Blood Drive with an INOVA Bloodmobile, which will be located near the intersection of Clarendon Boulevard and North Adams Street, on Monday, June 21, 2021, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.” [Press Release]
A-SPAN Buys Westover Apartments — “This eight-unit apartment building, originally built in the 1940s for Pentagon workers, looks modest. But it’s the centerpiece of an ambitious pilot program from the Arlington-based non-profit A-SPAN. ‘This is for people who have too many housing barriers, [meaning] felonies, no credit, no rental history, immigration status,’ says A-SPAN’s director of development Scott Miller.” [DCist]
Police Pride Event at Freddie’s — “In recognition of Pride Month and the significant contributions of Arlington’s LGBTQ+ communities, the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) will host Pride with the Police… on Friday, June 25.” [Arlington County]
Last Week: Protest Outside Boeing HQ — “Supporters of Palestine demonstrate outside of Boeing’s office building in Crystal City, 6/16/21.” [Instagram]
Trump Official Trying to Sell D.C. Condo — “The condo was then taken off the market, and re-listed in April at the same price. In mid-May, the listing was withdrawn for a second time, and it remains off the market. [Stephen] Miller, meanwhile, has reportedly moved to Arlington with his wife, Katie Miller, another former Trump administration official.” [Washingtonian]
Reminder: This Week’s Arlies Vote — There’s one day left to vote for your favorite Arlington food truck. [ARLnow]
County Lauded for LGBTQ Inclusiveness — “Arlington scored 100 points out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 9th annual Municipal Equality Index for its high standards of inclusiveness and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. While Arlington has been a top-ranked community in the past, this year it was recognized for adding gender identity/expression protections to its Human Rights ordinance and providing all-gender bathrooms in County-owned offices and facilities.” [Arlington County]
Traffic Cam Feeds Back On — After a few weeks of Arlington’s web-based traffic camera feeds being off due to technical issues, the feeds are back on. The traffic cameras can also now be viewed on the My Arlington mobile app. [Twitter]
Traffic Cam Policy Still in Place? — Some cold water on the traffic camera news, from local public safety watchdog Dave Statter: “Cutting cameras during @ArlingtonVaPD incidents is a bad look for the department… Giving a government employee the power to censor what’s in public view based on their own whims and/or a vague county standard sure gives the impression that 1A is not that important to @ArlingtonVA.” [Twitter]
CivFed to Get Aircraft Noise Briefing — “Arlington County government officials and their consultants will update delegates to the Arlington County Civic Federation on the ongoing noise study related to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at the federation’s Dec. 15 meeting.” [InsideNova]
Audit Committee Seeking Members — “The Audit Committee is seeking new member applications for a two-year term beginning February 1, 2021. The committee advises the County Board on County government’s exposure to financial, operational, and reputational risks.” [Arlington County]
Nearby: School Names to Change in F.C. — “After six months of a lengthy and often contentious debate involving the entire City of Falls Church community, the Falls Church School Board voted unanimously tonight to change the names of two of its five schools, ones named for U.S. founding fathers who famously owned slaves, George Mason and Thomas Jefferson.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Not once, not twice, but four times, vandals have targeted a Black Lives Matter sign in front of the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington near Ballston.
Church officials were first alerted of the vandalism on Saturday morning, and presume that the destruction occurred overnight.
“It’s been a rocky history at this point,” said Scott LaGanga, an elder at the church, which is located at 601 N. Vermont Street in the Bluemont neighborhood.
First Presbyterian is at least the fourth church in Arlington reported to have a racial-justice sign vandalized this year.
The church has gone through four signs since one first went up on Oct. 4, LaGanga said. The sign read “Black Lives Matter” on a striped background imitating the Philadelphia Pride flag, which includes the colors for Gay Pride and Trans-rights flags as well as black and brown stripes to symbolize people of color.
“They’re clearly doing it in the dark because they have a certain viewpoint and don’t want to share that they have it,” LaGanga said.
After the first sign was stolen, the church invested in steel cables to secure it. Instead, vandals covered it in graffiti. Once, they crossed out the “V” in “Black Lives Matter” to read “Black Lies Matter,” LaGanga said.
This time, someone cut the sign out of the cables and took it.
LaGanga explained that the church has been more engaged in issues of racial justice, putting up signs and hosting a weekly outdoor vigil for an end to racial injustice. Acts of vandalism will not shaken the resolve of the church, he said.
“The church has taken a strong position on inclusion and racial justice,” said LaGanga. “It reaffirms the stance we are taking and the reason we’re going to replace the sign.”
This time, LaGanga said the church is considering security cameras, which he hopes will catch whoever is targeting the sign.
“We’re so resolved that if someone wants to do it, they’ll do it on camera,” he said.
First Presbyterian has received strong support from people in the community, many of whom are neighbors but not members, LaGanga said.
“We were surprised in the uptick in support from others in the community who were upset by this,” he said.
The first time, the church submitted a police report, but LaGanga does not see much point in submitting more since there have been no leads to date on the vandal.
In the wake of the protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd this summer, a rash of church signs were vandalized. Black Lives Matter sign were vandalized at Rock Spring Congregational church and at St. George’s Episcopal Church as well as a racial justice sign was vandalized outside of Clarendon United Methodist Church.
Acts of vandalism against BLM signage also occurred in secular spaces this summer, including S. Abingdon Street bridge over I-395.
Photos courtesy Mark Blacknell
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The company, at 1515 N. Courthouse Road, trained eight creators to make video collections specifically depicting people of color and members of the LGBT communities doing everyday activities. These reels are part of a campaign, Re: Stock, which was launched to address the need for videos of people with different racial identities, sizes, abilities and sexual orientations.
“Sourcing from authentic places will lead to authentic footage and authentic representation,” said Sydney Carlton, Director of Brand Marketing at Storyblocks.
The first batch of videos were released starting in mid-October. Although the pandemic delayed the launch from this spring Storyblocks aims to double its diverse content by the end of 2021 and quadruple it by the end of 2022.
The push comes after years of feedback from clients asking for more diverse footage, since existing footage tends to skew towards white subjects and straight couples.
“We were receiving hundreds and hundreds of comments for more people of color and more same-sex couples,” Carlton said. “It really ran the gamut, but it was loud and a lot.”
A recent company survey found that 72% of users — who include independent filmmakers, advertisers and journalists — said diverse content is important for their projects, but people of color are represented in just 5% of Storyblocks’ current digital library.
“You can only find happy white women eating salads,” Carlton said.
The problem is primarily due to location and access, since most stock video contributors hail from Eastern Europe, where creators do not have the same access to a diverse array of subjects, she said.
The first collections were produced by Monica Singleton and Samson Binutu. They focused on Black families educating their children, Black teens and adults in romantic relationships, family dinners at home and Black women enjoying the outdoors.
“These are things people do every single day,” Carlton said. “That’s the power of the campaign.”
In a statement, Singleton said her personal experience searching footage libraries made her excited to join the project.
“In the past when I’ve looked for certain stock footage or music, it’s been really hard to find representation for people that look like me,” Singleton said.
Future Storyblocks projects will focus on people with from other racial identities, and with a range of body shapes and sizes as well as abilities. Going deeper, Carlton said the goal of Re: Stock is invert stereotypes of who plays board games, does homework with their kids, and lives together.
“That’s where you instill a sense of humanity in people,” she said.
The Supreme Court issued a pair of momentous rulings this week, and Arlington’s Congressional delegation is celebrating both.
On Monday, the high court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ individuals from workplace discrimination. Earlier today, it blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Arlington’s Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said the DACA ruling is “a great moment” for the nation, but cautioned that more work is to be done to reform the immigration system.
Dreamers are Americans, they belong here. This ruling is a great moment for the United States. It is important to remember, though, that even with this decision from the Supreme Court very important work remains. The ball once again is in Congress’ court to pass meaningful, humane, and comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system in ways which reflect our values as a nation of immigrants. The Senate could take a big step forward in that regard at any time by passing the Dream and Promise Act.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) likewise cheered the decision.
President Trump’s decision to end DACA plunged hundreds of thousands of innocent young people into legal limbo and wreaked havoc upon nearly every area of American life. I’m so thankful the Court has put an end to this Administration’s ill-conceived broken promise. Congress should now pass the HEROES Act to prevent the deportation of undocumented essential workers during the pandemic and the American Dream and Promise Act to permanently protect these kids and young adults.
Earlier this week, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said via social media that the Supreme Court “did the right thing” in giving LGBTQ Americans protection against employment discrimination under law.
It was *always* wrong to fire a person simply for being gay or transgender. I’m so glad the Supreme Court did the right thing today. https://t.co/PSZwT4cA2S
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) June 15, 2020
Virginia became the first Southern state to ban conversion therapy for people under the age of 18, thanks in part to Arlington’s Del. Patrick Hope (D). Hope’s bill, HB 386, was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday, March 2.
Conversion therapy “is any of several dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” according to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth. Virginia is the twentieth state in the country to have banned the practice.
Hope first proposed the conversion therapy ban seven years ago, and has continued to do so during each legislative session, but before this year it kept getting killed in the Republican-majority subcommittees.
Hope deems the success of the bill “very partisan,” crediting the Democratic majority in both houses of the General Assembly in getting the bill passed. This is the first time in 26 years that the Democrats have controlled the state government.
The path to the ban, however, involved some bipartisan cooperation.
The Virginia Department of Health Professions played a role in building the bill. In 2018, the Chairman of the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee, Bobby Orrock (R), turned to the Dept. of Health Professions to regulate conversion therapy practices without the help of lawmakers. The department had refrained from doing so for the past seven years because officials felt that the state legislature was sending them a message by killing the conversion therapy ban in subcommittee so many times.
However, after Orrock reached out, the department created a workgroup to look into the issue and, because of Hope’s work on the bill, he was asked to take part.
“[The Dept. of Health Professions] set up a workgroup, and I was a part of that workgroup,” Hope said. “They got all the chairs of all the different health professions that touch conversion therapy — so they had social workers, they had psychiatrists, they had psychologist, they had school counselors, etc. — they had everyone who might have a hand in conversion therapy. And they all decided in at that meeting for each of them to develop their own regulations prohibiting conversion therapy.”
The meetings informed the details of the bill. In the end, however, it was the Democratic majority that gave Del. Hope the victory he had been seeking for seven years.
“It really is a defining moment,” Hope said. “To be the 20th state and the first state in the South to [ban conversion therapy] really shows how hearts and minds have changed across the country and I couldn’t be more proud.”
I am not a woman or a man. I am an Arlingtonian.
In the twenty-first century, gender is social limitation. Biological differences between sexes are irrelevant in the age of AC, GPS, and iPads for middle-schoolers. ‘Gender roles,’ we often say, are archaic and obsolete. Gender limits women’s salaries to four-fifths of men’s, and limits men to emotionally-stunted friendships and a suicide rate three times higher than women’s. It limits girls from enjoying the thrill of a touchdown and boys from the elegance of a flowing dress. It limits how we eat, how we speak, and how we love.
But gender doesn’t limit me. I deny its two traditional roles. My friends refer to me as ‘they,’ rather than ‘she’ or ‘he.’ At work, I might wear a necktie, button-down, and a skirt. I don’t deny that I grew up with a gender, but I have chosen to live beyond it.
I call myself ‘nonbinary.’ Others use other terms: ‘gender nonconforming,’ or ‘two-spirit,’ or ‘genderfluid,’ or ‘enbie.’ My generation has found many labels for an identity that defines itself through freedom.
This life comes with its own limitations. I uninstalled some dating apps because they don’t include nonbinary options. At work, I have to walk up an extra flight of stairs to get to the gender-neutral bathrooms (which are legally mandated in D.C., but not in Arlington). Sometimes people look at me funny on the Metro. But I’m freer than I ever could have been as a boy or a girl.
On a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago, I visited the new makerspace at the Central branch of the Arlington Public Library. It’s an inspiring place, embodying our community’s respect for learning. In the building where I learned as a child to love to read, people are finding creativity in mediums from embroidery to 3D printing. That afternoon, I learned to make buttons.
Buttons: they’re for politics, they’re for low culture, they’re for art, they’re for identification. I spun off a quick design. A shiny button an inch across, with the blue-pink-white-pink-blue transgender flag in the background (flip it upside-down and it’s the same). In the center, I drew the outline of our 26 square miles. Superimposed, three words: “Arlington is nonbinary.”
“Arlington is nonbinary.” What does that mean? For me, it holds three truths.
In the first sense, it’s literally true. Like me, this county is neither a woman nor a man. No geographic locale is a woman or a man. Maybe this is pedantic, but I think it’s a nice thing to remember.
In a second interpretation, Arlington is nonbinary because it is an exceptionally welcoming place for those of us who are nonbinary or transgender.
After I’d punched out a few dozen buttons, an adult at the next table interrupted.
“Excuse me,” she asked, “could I have one of those?”
She was a teacher at one of our middle schools, and had recently seen a student through a gender transition. The student, she said, never faced any bullying — at least, not for being trans. The teacher wanted a single button to put on her desk, and I gave her handfuls of them.