The Arlington County Board is expected to approve $555,000 in interior upgrades to the Aurora Hills Community Center and Library at its meeting this weekend.
The low-slung building, located at 735 18th Street S., near Pentagon City, houses both a library and a senior center. In explaining the need for upgrades, county staff said the center is “an aging facility.”
“The proposed renovation includes demolition of existing and construction of new office, storage rooms, kitchen, new ADA bathrooms, receptionist desk, circulation desk, new floor finishes, additional electrical and mechanical system upgrade,” county staff wrote. “The work will also include the restoration or repair of ceilings and walls in areas that are impacted by this interior renovation.”
Some programs at Aurora Hills will be moved to the Gunston Community Center during construction. The renovations were originally set to take place a bit later than currently scheduled, but were “accelerated” by the County Board, staff say.
The county staff report hints that the Aurora Hills center may eventually be torn down to make way for a new elementary school.
“The site was also identified during the Arlington Public Schools’ South Arlington Working Group process as a possible site for redevelopment in conjunction with Schools;” says the report. “The proposed improvements will provide operational and program value for a number of years until such time that the County and Schools choose to pursue a redevelopment.”
A new “pop-up” library is coming to Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood.
The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved an agreement with the Crystal City Shops that will allow the county to open the temporary library in a vacant retail space rent-free for at least nine months.
The county will pay nearly $1,900 per month for maintenance and utilities and incur one-time costs of $60,000 for a connection to the county’s fiber optic network and about $113,000 to renovate the space. The funds have already been allocated in the county’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
With the “pop-up” library open, those who live and work in Crystal City will be able to walk to a library without having to cross busy Route 1. The nearest library is the Aurora Hills branch near the Pentagon City mall.
“We chose Crystal City as the first neighborhood to experiment with a pop-up library both because we have found that Route 1, which runs through Crystal City, poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library, and because people in the neighborhood expressed interest in the approach,” Library Director Diane Kresh said in a press release (below).
Taking an innovative approach to meeting patrons where they live and work, Arlington Public Library plans to open a temporary “pop-up” library this September in Crystal City.
Library Director Diane Kresh sees the pop-up facility as a low-cost way to push library services into more neighborhoods and introduce people of all ages to the wide scope of what the County’s public library system has to offer. In addition, the Crystal City pop-up branch is expected to help enliven the Crystal City Shops.
“We chose Crystal City as the first neighborhood to experiment with a pop-up library both because we have found that Route 1, which runs through Crystal City, poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library, and because people in the neighborhood expressed interest in the approach,” Kresh said.
Dubbed “The Connection: Crystal City,” the pop-up will be a compelling location for checking out books, accessing the internet, holding community meetings and attending workshops.
The County Board approved a lease this month with CESC Plaza Limited Partnership for 1,222 sq. ft. of space inside the building located at 2100 Crystal Drive, within Crystal City Shops at 2100, 2117 Crystal Plaza Arcade.
The pop-up library staff will hold community discussions this summer to learn more about what types of services people would like offered within the constraints of space, time and budget, Kresh said.
The County’s nine-month lease may be renewed on a month-to-month basis. One-time funding for the pop-up library was approved in the adopted Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
Although the space is being offered to the County rent-free, the County will pay a monthly fee for its share of common area maintenance expenses, real estate taxes and electricity associated with the shopping center. That share is estimated to be $1,603 a month for maintenance, $176 for real estate taxes and $100 for electricity. The County expects to spend about $113,000 to renovate the space. Kresh notes that many of the features the County will install – carpeting, shelving and furniture – will be reused elsewhere by the County after the lease is terminated. The County also will spend $60,000 to install fiber and conduit to connect the pop-up library to the County fiber optic network, ConnectArlington.
The Arlington Food Assistance Center is looking for volunteers to help with everything from bagging to food drives and more. Teens above the age of 14 (or under 14 with parental supervision) are welcome to help out.
If you are at least 13, you and a parent can volunteer at So Others Might Eat in D.C. This organization runs food drives and dining rooms that provide food to the homeless.
Arlington Science Focus School needs help shelving books in the library from July 11 until August 12. This can include working a single day from 8:30-11:30 a.m., or signing up for more than one day of work.
The Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department needs both administrative assistants and firefighters or EMTs. For those who lack the stomach or physical ability to participate in emergency operations, working as an administrative member entails record keeping, fund raising, and other support functions. For those who live for excitement, being an operational volunteer means being prepared to put out fires and save lives.
Back on My Feet, a nonprofit that’s fighting homelessness through running, is co-sponsoring the Crystal City Twilighter 5K race on Saturday, July 23. Volunteers are needed to help with the bag drop and to man water stops along the course.
The Playtime Project needs volunteers to play games, read books, and create art projects with homeless children while their mothers participate in skills workshops. Volunteers must make a two hour weekly commitment for at least six months.
D.C. Central Kitchen needs volunteers to help turn 3,000 pounds of food each day into 5,000 balanced meals for homeless residents of the District.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the Arlington-based Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation needs dog and cat handlers for adoption events. More volunteer opportunities are available through Lost Dog as well.
There are also some positions that require volunteers be at least 21 years old.
This includes being a CrisisLink Hotline volunteer, a job which requires empathy and a commitment of 50 hours of training and 150 hours of service. Volunteers can earn college credit and receive letters of recommendation.
More volunteer opportunities can be found through the Volunteer Arlington website.
From 6-8 p.m., the group Jewish Voices for Peace, together with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Committee for Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine, is showing the film “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.”
The viewing is taking place at the library’s second floor meeting room. (Outside groups often rent out rooms in the library, which does not imply a county endorsement.)
Opponents describe the film, which is narrated by rocker Roger Waters, as anti-Semitic, saying that attacking the legitimacy of Israel as a country lends credibility to terrorism. A protest is planned in response to the film screening.
“A group of concerned, pro-Israel advocates, led by Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art (COPMA), plans to protest at the event, including distributing literature inside the room,” says the conservative activism website Truth Revolt.
The event from 9:15-11:30 p.m. Thursday is intended to help 20- to 39-year-old locals meet new people and explore the Arlington Central Library at 1015 N. Quincy Street.
Activities include Twister, Nerf tag, fort building and something to do with bubble wrap.
“Bring your friends and your inner child for an evening of fun and games,” the event’s page says. “Play clothes, including sneakers or athletic shoes, are highly recommended.”
Alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed, however. The recess is free, but online registration is required.
Shark Tank Casting in Crystal City — ABC’s “Shark Tank” is holding a casting call today at the 1776 incubator in Crystal City. “Applicants will have roughly 90 seconds to make their initial pitches to casting producers, with about three minutes for a Q&A portion.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Man Is Suspected Serial Bank Robber — Police have identified a serial bank robbery suspect who was arrested Friday in Falls Church as 42-year-old Arlington resident Amin Huie. Police say Huie is the “Forever Loyal Bandit” who has robbed seven banks since 2014, including a Capital One Bank on Columbia Pike last year. [Fairfax County PD, WJLA]
More on Garvey’s Win — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey’s “unorthodox, controversial” strategy of appealing to non-Democrats in the Democratic primary is “likely to alter future campaigns,” writes Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey, in an analysis of Garvey’s decisive primary win last night. [InsideNova]
Repairs to Westover Branch Library — Work to repair water damage and install new windows at the Westover Branch Library will take place from mid-July to late September. The library will remain open during that time. [Arlington Public Library]
County Touts Increase in Trail Usage — “After a week of single tracking along the Orange/Silver Line between Ballston and East Falls Church, automated counters in the County’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor show an increase of between 70 and 90 percent in bike ridership from the same period last year. Capital BikeShare use in Arlington is up between 20 and 50 percent.” [Arlington County]
Crystal City Bus-Only Lanes Opening Soon — Bus-only lanes in Crystal City, part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway, are set to open April 17. It’s the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit line. [Washington Post]
Civ Fed Wants Lower Taxes — The Arlington Civic Federation voted Tuesday to call for a one cent reduction in property taxes. The current annual rate is 99.6 cents for every $100 of assessed value. [InsideNova]
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Visits Today — Anthony Doerr, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” will discuss this best-selling novel at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium from 7-8:30 tonight. The discussion is part of Arlington Public Library’s 2016 Arlington Reads program, the theme of which is “the human displacement of World War II.” [ARLnow]
WW2 Exhibit at Library — In addition to the Doerr event and two other author talks, Arlington Central Library is hosting “an artifact-rich exhibition on Arlington County in World War II. It’s the story of a community undergoing rapid transition from fading farms to new home to the Pentagon, all while sending its young men to fight in Europe and the Pacific. ” [Arlington County]
GMU to Hold Talk With Camille Paglia — On Tuesday, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University’s Arlington campus will be holding a discussion with Camille Paglia, the “cultural critic, intellectual provocateur, and feminist icon.” The discussion will be hosted by GMU’s noted economics professor Tyler Cowen. RSVP is required. [Mercatus Center]
Former Willow Team is Now at the Watergate — Tracy O’Grady, the chef and owner of the former Willow restaurant in Ballston, is now running Campono, an Italian restaurant in the Watergate complex. O’Grady’s husband Brian, who also worked at Willow, is on the Campono team as well. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
A “Muslim Town Hall Meeting” has been organized and is scheduled to take place from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
- “Civic engagement panel discussion”
- “Political engagement panel discussion”
- “Tackling Islamophobia”
Scheduled speakers at the event include:
- State Sen. Adam Ebbin
- Arlington County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey
- Arlington School Board member Nancy Van Doren
- Arlington Police Chief Jay Farr
- Baroness Pola Uddin of the British House of Lords
- Jim Driscoll of Veterans Challenge Islamophobia
- Kip Malinosky, Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee
- Eric Brescia of the Arlington County Republican Committee
- Ghizlane Moustaid, Chair of GMU Muslim Association
- Yasmine Taeb, co-author of “Fear, Inc. 2.0”
Cheesetique to Open in Ballston — Cheese-and-wine shop Cheesetique has signed a lease for the former Pizza Vinoteca space at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston. It’s Alexandria-based Cheesetique’s third location and its second in Arlington. Cheesetique opened in Shirlington in 2011. [Washington Business Journal]
Snow Forum Tonight — Amid a driving rainstorm, Arlington County will hold a public forum to gather feedback on its post-blizzard snow removal efforts. The forum is taking place starting at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Key Elementary (2300 Key Blvd). Arlington received more than 3,000 responses to an online questionnaire about snow removal, most from the 22207 ZIP code and 46 percent saying they were dissatisfied. [Arlington County]
More on Snow Feedback — At the County Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, County Manager Mark Schwartz said many residents expected to see a plow on their neighborhood street within a day or two of the historic storm. “There seems to be a disconnect between people’s expectations and our resources,” he said. “We simply don’t have the resources to do that.”
Palette 22 Up and Running in Shirlington — Art-themed street food restaurant Palette 22 opened its doors on Monday. Defying those dubious about its theme and small plate offerings, Palette 22 was busy when ARLnow.com walked by Monday night. (The other two busy Shirlington restaurants Monday: Busboys and Poets and Guapo’s.) At 6,000 square feet, Palette 22 will have to keep packing them in even after the opening hype dies down. [Washington Post]
Hillary Clinton Event in Courthouse Tonight — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will be holding an event in Courthouse tonight with women’s health advocate Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Richards will talk about what’s at stake for women in this election and highlight Hillary Clinton’s proven record of standing up for women’s access to affordable reproductive health care regardless of income, race, or ZIP code,” said a press release. The event is taking place at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill (2424 Wilson Blvd) starting at 7 p.m.
Changes to Library Fines Proposed — Under a proposed change, Arlington Public Library’s daily fine structure for overdue materials would change — from 20 cents for children’s materials, 30 cents for adult written books and $1 for DVDs — to a flat 30 cents per day for everything. The flat rate structure would be similar to that of Fairfax County’s libraries and is expected to be a wash financially. [InsideNova]
Baseball Teams Joust at Barcroft Field — During a rain delay yesterday at Barcroft Field, the George Washington University baseball team and their opponents from Delaware State had a bit of a jousting duel, video of which was posted online. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr will be the featured speaker for Arlington Reads 2016.
Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See” earned him widespread literary fame after it was published in 2014. The New York Times bestseller won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last year.
The novel tells the story of “a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.”
Doerr is scheduled to speak at Washington-Lee High School’s auditorium on Thursday, April 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 6 p.m.
Two other authors will speak as part Arlington Reads 2016, the theme of which is “the human displacement of World War II.”
Julie Otsuka, author of “When the Empire Was Divine,” will speak on Thursday, May 5 and author Richard Reeves of “Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II” will speak on Thursday, May 19. Both events will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
That’s the takeaway from the library’s list of top books and DVDs for 2015, which was released Thursday.
The top 10 print books in circulation last year:
1. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins
2. “All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel” by Anthony Doerr
3. “Gray Mountain” by John Grisham
4. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
5. “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler
6. “The Paying Guests” by Sarah Waters
7. “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson
8. “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler
9. “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee
10. “Gone Girl: A Novel” by Gillian Flynn
2. “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
5. “Despicable Me 2”
7. “House of Cards: The Complete First Season”
8. “The Wolf of Wall Street”
9. “Gone Girl”
10. “Saving Mr. Banks”
See the full list of books, eBooks and DVDs here.
Snowy Scenes in Arlington Make National TV — A number of national television outlets have used video of snowy streets and outdoor activities in Arlington during their coverage of the East Coast blizzard. [ABC News, Weather Channel]
Groundhog Day at Aurora Hills Library — The 1993 Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day will be played “over and over again” at the Aurora Hills library branch on Tuesday, Feb. 2, starting at 1 p.m. [Arlington Public Library]
APS: Please Clear Your Sidewalks — In a letter to parents, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy urges Arlingtonians to clear sidewalks and bus stops in their neighborhood so that students can go back to school safely. APS is closed through at least Wednesday. Students have Monday off due to a regularly-scheduled grade preparation day. [Arlington Public Schools]
Photo courtesy Bryanna Lansing
The session will be held at the Central Library at 1015 N. Quincy Street on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 7-8:30 p.m.
It will involve both a book discussion focusing on the need for pet emergency preparedness across the country, as well as a talk about ways residents can train their pets in case of an emergency, such as unusual or extreme weather events.
The discussion will focus on Cathy Scott’s book “Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned.” It’s a journalistic account of the aftermath of the hurricane that hit Louisiana more than a decade ago, telling the stories of pets who were separated from their owners because of the storm. The book recounts the rescues of these pets as well as the reunions with their families.
After discussing the book and the issue, participants will receive safety advice and a free pet preparedness starter kit. The kit will include a collar strobe light, a collapsible food/water bowl and a waste bag dispenser.
Copies of the book will be available to borrow from the Central Library reference desk starting on Jan. 25.
Photo via Turner Publishing
The incident happened just before 7 p.m. The man was standing in one of the library’s aisles when he “took his pants off in front of” the girl, according Arlington County Police.
The teen immediately ran to an employee and reported the incident, said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Police were called but by then the man had fled.
“The suspect is described as a black male in his forties, approximately 5’10” with a thin build,” said a crime report. “He was wearing a blue collared shirt and black sweatpants.”
Tom Gjelten’s latest book A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story considers the impact of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.
Gjelten will be at the Arlington Central Library auditorium at 1015 N. Quincy Street from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10. for a conversation on immigration and book signing.
The book uses demographic and political issues in addition to personal stories to analyze this topic. The stories used are those of families in Fairfax County, including the family of Delegate Mark Keam. He will also be at the event as a special guest and contributor to the conversation.
Copies of the book will also be on sale from One More Page Books, and 10 percent of all sales will benefit the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia.
The book talk is free and open to the public. Interested guests do not have to register in advance.
Photo via Literacy Council of Northern Virginia