Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

County Opposes Second McD’s Drive-Thru Window — “Maybe, in the end, they can all sit down amicably over a Happy Meal. But the mood was decidedly unhappy when the Arlington County Board and representatives of McDonald’s recently tangled over redevelopment of the restaurant chain’s 60-year-old outlet in the 4800 block of Lee Highway.” [InsideNova]

Sloppy Mama’s to Reopen Today — “Sloppy Mama’s BBQ owner Joe Neuman also isn’t in a rush to open his dining room, though he is launching takeout at his Arlington restaurant on Friday. He received a Paycheck Protection Program loan, which has terms that reward businesses that rehire staff. Neuman closed Sloppy Mama’s on March 16, just as barbecue season beckoned.” [Washington City Paper]

Va. Trying to Ramp Up Testing — “As the state plans to reopen on Friday — though it will delay Northern Virginia’s reopening until after Memorial Day — the commonwealth is still not meeting Gov. Ralph Northam’s testing goal of 10,000 tests a day. This week, Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management signed contracts with three commercial labs in an effort to ramp up testing as the state gears up to reopen.” [DCist]

March Hotel Occupancy Rate Shows Big Drop — “Arlington hotel and motel occupancy took a pummeling in March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold… March’s occupancy rate of 34.5 percent for Arlington resulted in a first-quarter occupancy rate of 52.3 percent.” [InsideNova]

GMA Profiles YHS Senior Photo Project — “In Arlington, Virginia, photographer Matt Mendelsohn has made it his mission to give the senior class of Yorktown High School the celebration they deserve… With the growing popularity of his project, which he’s named ‘Not Forgotten: The Yorktown Seniors of 2020,’ he’s enlisted the help from his daughter on shoots and a parent.” [Good Morning America]

Library Launches Virtual Career Services — “Arlington Public Library is offering virtual one-on-one appointments to job seekers who want career help or to improve their resume. All appointments are free and confidential. Appointments are available Mondays and Thursdays, 5:30-7 p.m., and Tuesdays, 9:30-11 a.m. No library card is required.” [Arlington County]

Signature Helps With Inn’s Mannequins — “Instead of letting tables sit vacant, the [Inn at Little Washington] chef plans to outfit his dining rooms with mannequins… The chef (who majored in drama in college) has been working with Shirlington’s Signature Theatre to get the faux humans costumed in 1940s-era garb. Servers will be instructed to pour them wine and to ask them about their evening.” [Washingtonian, Eater]

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Morning Notes

Northam Announces COVID Changes — Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesdays that, starting today, Virginia residents can start having nonemergency surgeries and dental procedures again. The governor also announced that the state Dept. of Health will soon start releasing ZIP code-level coronavirus case data. [WTOP, @kamamasters/Twitter]

County Announces New Housing Director — “Arlington County has selected Anne Venezia to be the County’s new Housing Director… She most recently served six months as the Acting Housing Director and was the Housing Finance Manager for four years prior. Venezia joined Arlington County in 2008.” [Arlington County]

Arlington Pushing for More Census Participation — “Arlington government officials say the county’s census-response rate has passed 60 percent, and local efforts will now be made to reach out to low-response hotspots across the community… the 2010 response rate of 74 percent [was] slightly below the overall Virginia average that year.” [InsideNova]

County’s Memorial Page for Erik Gutshall — Arlington County has established a “Remembering Erik” page on its website, memorializing the late County Board member Erik Gutshall, who passed away earlier this month from brain cancer. [Arlington County]

Library Seeks Material for New Archive — “Arlington Public Library announces the COVID-19 Archives project, designed to create a comprehensive picture of Arlington during an extraordinary period in our history. The Center for Local History (CLH) seeks donations of journals, photos, and objects to help document this time of difficulty and struggle, but also of resilience and hope.” [Arlington County]

Overnight Crash on Carlin Springs RoadUpdated at 9:10 a.m. — “Video appears to show a car crash took down electric lines on Carlin Springs Rd near 7th St. S.” [@statter911/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Governor Extends Business Closures — “Governor Ralph Northam today announced that he will extend Executive Order Fifty-Three for two weeks, through Friday, May 8, 2020. Executive Order Fifty-Three originally signed on March 24, bans crowds of more than 10 people; closes recreation, entertainment, and personal care businesses; and limits restaurants to offering takeout and delivery services only.” [Gov. Ralph Northam]

Wi-Fi Available in Two Library Parking Lots — “Arlington residents who lack reliable internet service at home during the COVID-19 pandemic can now benefit from two new free County Wi-Fi hotspots. Access to the ArlingtonWireless network is now available at the Central Library and Columbia Pike Library parking lots.” [Arlington County]

Lane Closures on I-66 This Weekend — “Extended lane closures will occur this weekend beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 17, on I-66 East between the Dulles Connector Road and Sycamore Street for bridge work and other construction for the I-66 Eastbound Widening Project.” [Press Release]

Buses to Toot Horns in Unison — “[Today] at 3 p.m., ART buses will join transit agencies around the country in honking their horns to honor transportation and other essential workers. Thank you to the ART bus drivers and staff, and all essential workers, for your work!” [Twitter]

Police Warn of Coronavirus Scams — “FRAUD ALERT: Be aware of COVID-related scams and know how to protect yourself. ACPD reminds you that the IRS will not call, text, email you or contact you via social media to request money or personal information related to economic impact payments.” [Twitter]

Disastrous Debut for Fairfax Distance Learning — While Arlington Public Schools catches flak for deciding not to teach new material until the fall, Fairfax County public schools have cancelled online classes for the rest of the week after the school system’s distance learning technology suffered a series of major failures. [Fairfax County Public Schools, Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

Three COVID Cases at Pentagon City Apartment — “Three residents of the largest apartment building in Arlington — The Bartlett owned by JBG Smith Properties — have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to messages sent to Bartlett tenants.” [Washington Business Journal]

Elton John Tweets About Barrett Elementary Video — “The staff at @BarrettAPS recorded their own music video to @TaronEgerton’s version of ‘I’m Still Standing’ and it’s so much fun!” [Twitter]

Library Launches ‘Quaranzine’ — “Liz Laribee, the programs and partnerships librarian at Arlington Public Library, says she thinks in puns. So, when the word ‘quaranzine’ popped into her head a little over a week ago, it gave her an idea. On April 3, the library published the first issue of Quaranzine, a weekly online collection of works by local artists responding to the coronavirus pandemic.” [DCist, Arlington Public Library]

Dems See Few Refund Requests After Event Cancelled — “Arlington County Democratic Committee leaders say the party did not take a big financial hit due to the cancellation of its Blue Victory Dinner, which traditionally brings in about a third of operating revenue for county Democrats each year. ‘We had very few folks ask for refunds,’ party chair Jill Caiazzo said… Democratic leaders offered those, who were willing to let the party keep the ticket prices, access to an online event.” [InsideNova]

ACFD Accepting Donations of Food But Not Supplies — “Thank you all for the generosity. You are amazing!! We have have been getting a lot of questions about donating PPE (masks, gloves, respirators, etc). At this time we are NOT collecting any supplies.” [Twitter, Arlington County]

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Have some unopened boxes of surgical gowns or masks lying around? If so, Arlington is hoping you’ll donate them.

The county is setting up a one-day only drive-through donation drive this coming Friday. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Arlington Central Library parking lot along 10th Street near N. Quincy Street.

The county is seeking unused boxes of nitrile or vinyl examination gloves , N95 or KN95 masks , surgical masks, protective surgical gowns , homemade masks, cleaning products and supplies , and non-perishable food items.

There is a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment like masks and gowns amid the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to get worse in Arlington.

More from a press release:

Arlington County is seeking donations of unused, unopened containers of essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and certain food to assist essential employees, nonprofits and community organizations with coronavirus (COVID-19) response operations.

A drive-thru donation station will be available on Friday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Library parking lot on 10th Street North. This activity conforms to the requirements of Governor Northam’s Stay-At-Home order, but if you are ill, please do not come or donate supplies.

Requested items include:

  • Nitrile or vinyl examination gloves
  • N95 or KN95 masks
  • Surgical masks
  • Protective surgical gowns
  • Homemade masks
  • Cleaning products and supplies
  • Non-perishable food items, especially heart-healthy items low in sodium or sugar

No other donations will be accepted at this event. 

Upon arrival, donors must stay in their cars until they reach the unloading area. There, donors will place their donation onto a cart and return to their vehicles to ensure proper social distancing. A separate line will be available for donors who arrive on foot or by bike.

All donors are expected to observe the proper physical distance of six feet in accordance with Governor Northam’s Stay-At-Home Order.

If you are unable to drop off donations, many other essential requests from Arlington nonprofits are posted on the Volunteer Arlington webpage. Most nonprofits’ primary need is funding.

People who donate are helping ensure essential supplies get to Arlington health care workers, first responders, and County and community workers whose essential jobs put them at risk of coronavirus exposure. Together, we will protect the health and safety of all Arlingtonians.

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The remaining open Arlington Public Library locations will close at the end of the day amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Arlington Central Library and the Columbia Pike branch library remained open yesterday and today, after the other library branches closed. The two libraries continued to offer wi-fi and computer use, as well as self-service access to non-children’s materials.

The library system announced the closures, effective as of 9 p.m., this afternoon.

“In an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Arlington Public Library is closing all locations,” said the library website. “We made this decision to support the overall health and wellness of our community and for the safety of our patrons and staff.”

All fines and due dates for physical materials are suspended until further notice, and book drops are closed.

“Please keep library items at home until we can resume library operations,” Arlington Public Library said.

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Arlington County Police are investigating the theft of numerous laptops from Arlington Central Library.

The theft was discovered this morning and immediately reported to police.

“At approximately 11:10 a.m. on March 2, police were dispatched to the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street for the report of a late larceny,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow. “Upon arrival it was determined that between 5:00 p.m. on February 29 and 10:40 a.m. on March 2, an unknown suspect stole 12 MacBooks.”

Library spokesman Henrik Sundqvist said the Apple laptops were stolen from The Shop, the library’s recently-opened makerspace.

At this point, police don’t know who stole the computers.

“There is no suspect description,” Savage said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

File photo

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Morning Notes

Big Costco Crowds Over the Weekend — The Pentagon City Costco drew big crowds and long queues of cars over the weekend, as people stocked up on supplies amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. There were some reports of the store running low on items like toilet paper. [Twitter, Twitter]

Vets Visit Iwo Jima Memorial — “This February marks 75 years since the American flag was raised atop Mt. Suribachi, depicted in the famous photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. That photo became the model for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. This milestone is the reason a group of more than 50 Battle of Iwo Jima veterans descended on the memorial this week.” [WJLA]

Strong Finishes for W-L Teams — Among other action this weekend, the Washington-Liberty boys placed second in the 6D North Region boys basketball tournament — and will now advance to states — while the W-L girls track team placed third at the state track tournament. [InsideNova, Twitter]

Arlington Deploys Mobile Library Truck — “Arlington Public Library announces the arrival of The Truck, a traveling library designed to hold hundreds of books, games, crafts and DVDs for all ages and interests. The Truck’s first outing will be to Plaza Library on Wednesday, March 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.” [Arlington Public Library]

Voice of America Profiles Local Cornhole League — “A number of bars in Arlington, Virginia, offer their customers more than a selection of craft beers and cocktails, they offer them a chance to try their hand at cornhole, a game in which players take turns throwing small bags of corn kernels at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. It’s a unique bit of Americana that’s bringing people together.” [VOA News]

Owners of Bar Bao and The Lot Squabble — “The owners of Social Restaurant Group are accusing one another of fraud, financial mismanagement, and breach of contract in half a dozen lawsuits spanning the past year. The litigation involves at least five restaurants.” [Washingtonian]

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Arlington Public Library is hosting author Roxane Gay as part of its 2020 Arlington Reads spring series.

Gay’s collection of essays, “Bad Feminist,” was a New York Times best seller, and was named as one of the best books of the year by NPR. She has also written several other works, including the novel “Untamed State,” the collection of short stories “Difficult Women,” and her memoir “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.”

Gay currently co-hosts a podcast named “Hear to Slay” with Tressie McMillan Cottom, “a podcast with an intersectional perspective on celebrity, culture, politics, art, life, love, and more,” the library website said. She is also a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times.

The talk will take place on March 10 from 7-9 p.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).

Other authors set to talk at Central Library as part of the series — dubbed “Who Are We the People?” — include Laila Lalami, Rebecca Traister, Valeria Luiselli and Brooke Gladstone.

From the library’s website:

The spring series authors transcend genre, medium and subject to wrestle with our political and social moment and tackle complex questions of identity and belonging With humor, fervor and compassion, they explore what our duties and obligations are to each other, our nation and our world.

As these writers probe the nature of justice and equality today, they show us that, even with all our imperfections, we can move together to form a more perfect Union for a more equitable tomorrow. Arlington Reads asks us, “Who are We the People?” What will our answer be?

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Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) next month will host an exhibition that pays tribute to women who have helped to shape Arlington.

The exhibit, open from March 5 to April 2, will display “stories, photographs, letters and memorabilia, which spotlight individuals and groups of Arlington women who dedicate their work to improve their community and the lives of others,” according to the library website.

Dubbed “Women’s Work: Then & Now,” the exhibit coincides with both Arlington County’s centennial and the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and was passed in 1920.

Liza Mundy, the author of “Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II,” will participate in an author talk after the opening reception, which is being held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5. Attendees are asked to RSVP for the event.

More from the library website:

Discover and learn about the work of Anna Barber, Charlene Bickford, Ellen Bozman, Judith Brewer, Elizabeth Campbell, Gertrude Crocker, Pauline Haislip Duncan, Alice Fleet, Alice Foster, Saundra Green, Critchett Hodukavich, Seema Jain, Carolyn (Carrie) Johnson, Cintia Johnson, Dr. Phoebe Hall Knipling, Puwen Lee, Marguerete Luter, Mary A. R. Marshall, Sushmita Mazumdar, Ruby Lee Minar, Constance (Connie) Ramirez, Caroline Gary Romano, Cornelia Bruere Rose, Jr., Virginia Lillis Smith, Florence Starzynski, Margarite Syphax, Nancy Tate, Marjorie Varner, and Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez.

The nominees, selected by the 16 exhibition partners, were based on their groundbreaking, visionary and ongoing contributions to the communities they serve. Also included in this exhibition, are women who were curated from the Center for Local History’s online exhibition, “Women’s Work: Stories of Persistence and Influence.”

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Join the Friends of the Arlington Public Library on Friday, October 18 at 7 p.m. at Central Library for a special after-hours trivia experience.

Match wits against your friends and neighbors in this celebration of women’s achievements — in sports, entertainment, politics and government — as we celebrate 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment!

All proceeds from this event benefit the Friends of the Arlington Public Library in their mission to support Arlington Public Library and strengthen literacy in the community.

Friday, October 18, 7-10 p.m.
Central Library, 2nd floor
1015 N. Quincy St. Arlington

Buy tickets here.

Tickets are $30 for an individual, $160 for a table of six and sponsored tables are available for $350.

Sponsors will receive premium seating, recognition during the event and one free drink per person. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Guests must be 21 or older. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

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