Golf Course Tax Bill Passes — A bill that would provide a massive tax break to two Arlington country clubs has passed the Virginia General Assembly. The bill, if signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam (D), would cost Arlington $1.5 million or more in tax revenue. [Washington Post]
Military Couple Fights Wife’s Deportation — The wife of a retired Army special forces veteran was to face deportation in an Arlington-based immigration court next week, but the Dept. of Homeland Security is now offering to drop the proceedings. Prior to the reversal, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called said via social media: “Military families should not be targeted like this. It’s unconscionable.” [Military Times, Twitter]
Cherry Blossom Bloom Prediction — The National Park Service expects peak bloom for the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms to take place March 17-20. [PoPville]
Beyer’s GOP Challenger — “The Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D) used a Feb. 28 meeting of the Arlington County Republican Committee to introduce himself to the county’s GOP rank-and-file. ‘I look forward to the campaign,’ said Thomas Oh… an Army veteran and currently a contractor in Falls Church.” [InsideNova]
County Seeking Budget Feedback — Arlington County is seeking feedback on its proposed budget. The online survey asks residents to weigh in on various priorities, including county employee raises, economic development, Metro funding, school funding, infrastructure investment and affordable housing. [SurveyMonkey]
APS Named Best School System in Va. — Arlington Public Schools is the best public school system in Virginia, according to a new set of state-by-state rankings. APS received an A+ rating for academics, diversity and teachers, and an A rating for health and safety. [Business Insider]
DES Scrambles to Deal With Water Main Breaks — Staff from Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services had their hands full again over the holiday weekend, dealing with numerous water main breaks in various parts of the county. “A number of Arlington residents experienced low pressure/no water issues” as a result of the breaks, DES said. At least one significant break, along Wilson Blvd in the Bluemont neighborhood, is still being repaired as of Tuesday morning. [Facebook, Twitter]
Marymount Grad Helps Save Family — A Marymount University graduate, now a law enforcement officer in North Carolina, helped to rescue a family from a house fire last month. [The Pilot]
Bill Could Allow Instant Runoff Elections — A bill proposed by Del. Patrick Hope, currently under consideration in the Virginia General Assembly, would allow the Arlington County Board to mandate instant-runoff voting in local races. [InsideNova]
Nearby: Old Town Church Now a Basilica — “The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship declared St. Mary Church in Alexandria a minor basilica, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge announced to parishioners during Mass [on] Jan. 14.” [Arlington Catholic Herald, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Marymount University President Dr. Matthew Shank will be stepping down from his post next year.
In an email to members of the Marymount community, Shank said that he decided not to extend his contract, which ends on June 30, 2018.
Shank oversaw a period of growth for the Arlington-based university, including the opening of its new Ballston Center complex. His decision to step down was a surprise, said a source, noting that there was “not an inkling of it.”
The full email from Shank is below.
After much personal reflection and prayer, today I am announcing that this will be my final year serving as President of Marymount University. My second contract with the University ends on June 30, 2018, and although asked by our Board of Trustees to extended for a third term, I felt that it was best for me and Marymount to step down at this point in time.
Many significant accomplishments have or will come to closure by the end of this year. The strategic plan, Building the Institution of Choice, is in the final year of execution. The SACSCOC reaccreditation will reach its conclusion in the spring. Our new Master Plan is complete and, of course, the new Ballston Center has been built and truly reflects the image of Marymount. Our new athletics conference will be approved by the NCAA in February with competition to commence in the fall of 2018. I’m confident that our $40 million capital campaign goal will be met and exceeded at the end of this fiscal year, two years ahead of schedule. In short, these milestones are all coming to fruition this year and the timing is right for new leadership.
There are important goals for the university to achieve this fiscal year and, as you know, there is much work to be done. Please be assured that I will continue to work hard on behalf of Marymount until my term as President ends. The Board of Trustees has granted me the option of taking a year’s leave and then joining Marymount’s School of Business Administration in the fall of 2019 as a professor of marketing.
On a personal note, I want to thank everyone for their support in sometimes challenging times over the past seven years. Additionally, from the time we arrived on campus, everyone in the Marymount family has embraced my family with open arms. For that, Lynne, Grace, Olivia and I are forever grateful.
It has been an honor to be the President of Marymount University since starting my tenure in 2011. I will always be thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the success of our students and our university. I am equally grateful for the opportunity to build bridges between Marymount and the Greater Washington region, the nation and the world. Finally, it has been a joy to work with so many intelligent, passionate and genuinely caring colleagues. I look forward to even greater success for Marymount and contributing in whatever ways I can to ensure future growth.
A new Starbucks has opened its doors in Ballston.
The new development should supply plenty of potential Starbucks customers. It consists of a nine-story office building and a 12-story, 267-apartment residential building that will house students and other renters.
Marymount Student Killed By Jumper — Updated at 1:50 p.m. — A 22-year-old Marymount University graduate student was killed Saturday when a 12-year-old boy leapt from an overpass onto her car as she was driving down I-66 in Fairfax County. The boy was last reported to have survived but with life-threatening injuries. [NBC Washington, Twitter]
Food Hall Coming to Rosslyn — The restaurateurs behind Pamplona and Bar Bao in Clarendon are reportedly planning to open a new food hall in Rosslyn, above the new McDonald’s. The trendy food hall concept usually consists of “several different operators offering food from counters around a communal seating area.” [Washington Business Journal]
Drug Take-Back Day a Success in Arlington — Local law enforcement collected hundreds of pounds of prescription drugs in Arlington over the weekend. “The public safely disposed of 741 pounds of potentially dangerous unused, unwanted or expired medication during… Prescription Drug Take-Back Day,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow. “This exceeded the spring Drug Take-Back Day in which 562 pounds were collected.” [Twitter]
Drug Problem at Yorktown HS — “Bridget Loft, Yorktown’s new principal, took the doors off the bathrooms at school because students were using bathrooms to deal or use drugs. One of the most popular and easily disguised items of drug use, is the juul, a highly concentrated nicotine vaporizer… [which] can be refilled with marijuana, tobacco, or a substance of the student’s own invention. Youths often plug them into their school-issued laptops to charge them in class.” [Arlington Connection]
40 Under 40 Announced — The Leadership Center for Excellence has announced its annual Arlington 40 Under 40 honorees. The honoree luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at Army Navy Country Club. [Leadership Center of Excellence]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The courtyard at Marymount University’s new building in Ballston has been named for a prominent Northern Virginia family.
The Reinsch family paid $1 million to name The Reinsch Pierce Family Courtyard at the “Newside” building (1000 N. Glebe Road), university officials announced yesterday (Thursday) at Marymount’s annual President’s Circle Dinner, held at District Wharf in Washington, D.C.
Other Marymount facilities named for Reinsch family members include Emerson G. Reinsch Library, Lola’s Café, and Reinsch Auditorium in the library. Lola Reinsch has been a member of Marymount’s Board of Trustees since 1992.
She introduced her father, developer Emerson Gerald “Jerry” Reinsch, to Sister M. Majella Berg, the longtime president of Marymount. After that meeting, they became good friends.
More from a Marymount University press release, after the jump.
Workers in Ballston have a new option for a quick meal with the opening of Marymount University’s new cafeteria.
The new eatery in Marymount’s “Newside” building at 1000 N. Glebe Road, called “eat>,” is open to the public for breakfast from 7:30-10:30 a.m. on weekdays, and open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. It is closed at the weekends.
Per Marymount’s website, the following options are available at stations in the cafeteria:
From the Get Go: Freshly made to-go sandwiches, salads, snacks, and more
From the Bowl: Fantastic comforting meals. Choose your base, your entree, and a bread for a great price
From our Favorites: Comfort food that everybody knows and loves
From the Heart: Abundant garden-fresh ingredients, creatively prepared to enhance a healthier lifestyle that satisfies the palate
From the Exotic: Adventurous, hand-crafted foods, representing innovative dishes from around the globe
From the Field: Delicious and bountiful veggies to create the ultimate salad
The cafeteria is frequented by Marymount students, faculty and staff but is open to the general public.
Delays on Blue, Orange Lines Due to Person Struck — A person was struck by a train at the L’Enfant Metro station around 9:30 this morning. The incident is causing delays on the Blue and Orange lines, as service has been suspended between L’Enfant and Federal Center. Silver Line trains are operating between Wiehle and Ballston. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]
Reminder: E-CARE Event This Weekend — Arlington County is holding its biannual Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This time around the venue has changed; the recycling and hazardous household materials collection event is now being held at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd). [Arlington County]
Scott Disick Comes to Arlington, Disses ARLnow — Updated at 12:10 p.m. — Reality TV personality Scott Disick lorded over the grand opening ceremony for Sugar Factory in Pentagon City last night. About 100 people, mostly young women, showed up for the event, according to an ARLnow employee on the scene. Disick did interviews with local news outlets, but PR reps cut off the interviews and ushered Disick away just as our employee was next in line. [Twitter, Facebook, Daily Mail]
Kirwan’s Opens to Big Crowds — Mark Kirwan, owner of Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, may have another hit on his hands. His new bar, Kirwan’s on the Wharf in Southwest D.C., was packed last night before the Foo Fighters concert at the Anthem. [Facebook]
Courthouse Plaza Parking Lot Closed Sunday — The county’s Courthouse Plaza parking lot will be closed most of the day Sunday for the 2017 Animal Welfare League of Arlington Pints 4 Paws event. [Arlington County]
Marymount Makes USNWR Top Tier — “Marymount University is once again in the top tier among Regional Universities in the South in several categories, ranking 52nd overall in the 2018 edition of ‘Best Colleges’ by U.S. News & World Report.” [Marymount University]
AIRE Wins Regional Award — The Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy was among this year’s recipients of the Climate and Energy Leadership Awards from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. AIRE’s Energy Lending Library “makes it easy to check out a thermal camera, a box of 10 different LED bulbs, energy meter, and Do-It-Yourself energy retrofit books through the library system free of charge,” notes COG. [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The building has 267 units ranging in size from studios to two bedrooms, and a rooftop deck on the 15th floor.
Several of the first-floor windows at the apartment tower sport posters with a retro-looking, mustachioed man in sunglasses, keeping in line with the the development’s “vintage” vibe. According to a spokesperson for the development, “The Rixey combines a vintage Americana aesthetic with luxurious amenities, a prime location, and incredible 360 views of both Virginia and DC.”
The building is one of the two replacing the demolished Blue Goose at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive. Marymount’s Newside building next door is a 9-story, mixed-use office building that currently houses a Starbucks.
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office should rethink its relationship with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a leader at a criminal justice nonprofit.
Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, legal director at the Falls Church-based Legal Aid Justice Center — which provides legal representation for low-income Virginians — said with President Donald Trump’s harder line on illegal immigration, Arlington and other jurisdictions should look again at how they work with ICE.
Under former President Barack Obama, he said, ICE was focused primarily on deporting illegal immigrants who are gang members and criminals. But now, according to Sandoval-Moshenberg, their orders appears to be broader as they seek to deport non-criminals as well.
Fellow panelist, Deputy Sheriff David Kidwell, said that Arlington is legally required to provide information on people under arrest electronically to Virginia State Police. VSP then shares that data with the FBI and ICE, among other law enforcement agencies.
If a person in jail is wanted by ICE for deportation and the Sheriff’s Office receives a request to hold onto them, it notifies ICE 48 hours before the person is released to come and collect them. But Sandoval-Moshenberg said that should change.
“I think there are a lot of assumptions and agreements under the old administration that need to be revisited given the new administration’s policies,” he said.
The pair were on a panel Wednesday night to discuss the impact of the changes in immigration law and enforcement as part of the Arlington Committee of 100’s monthly program at Marymount University.
Kidwell echoed County Manager Mark Schwartz’s statement earlier this year that Arlington cannot protect anyone from federal immigration enforcement. Instead, he said, Sheriff Beth Arthur has made the decision to “uphold the law.”
“She has decided once that request has been made [by ICE], to honor that request,” Kidwell said.
A third panelist, Laura Newton, director of Student Services at Arlington Public Schools, said APS will not require families or students to reveal their immigration status when they register. She added that families should not be afraid of sending their children to school.
“We need to make sure people know we are an open and welcoming county, and we will not stop anyone registering for school because of their legal status,” Newton said. She added that policy has not changed over the past several years, and APS has not received any complaints about it.
Still uncertain is the future of the approximately 800,000 people that will be affected when President Trump’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program starts to take effect in March. Trump is reported to be working on a deal with congressional Democrats to preserve DACA protections via legislation.
The decision, which affects people brought into the country illegally as children who were granted work permits and protection from deportation, was criticized by local members of Congress as well as the County Board.
Sandoval-Moshenberg estimated there are around 17,000 undocumented immigrants in Arlington. He said the dearth of affordable housing has meant the immigrant population has been slowly squeezed out. In 2000, 30 percent of Arlington residents were foreign-born, but in 2010, that figure went down to 20 percent.
“As the laws and policies have become more and more welcoming to immigrants and more and more friendly to immigrants, less and less are living here as fewer and fewer can afford to live here,” Sandoval-Moshenberg said. He said that ending DACA could mean more people go back into the shadows.
Both Kidwell and Newton said their agencies will not change their stances on illegal immigrants. Kidwell said sheriff’s deputies and police officers will not ask anyone under arrest about their immigration status, while Newton emphasized that APS mission to educate anyone and everyone who lives in Arlington.
“It’s not our place to judge the reasons why you are here,” she said. “Our job is to educate you.”
The Committee of 100 will discuss the impact of immigration policy and enforcement on private organizations and civic groups at its November meeting in the second of its two-part series on the issue. In October the group will hold a forum with local candidates for public office.
(Updated 4:35 p.m.) The first retail tenant at Marymount University’s “Newside” building is getting closer to opening.
Signs are up for the new Starbucks at the property at 1000 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, but the build-out inside still ongoing. Marymount faculty and staff started moving into the new building earlier this month ahead of the new school year.
Marymount is using six floors of the nine-story office building on the site, with the other three floors available for other companies. Next door is a 12-story, 267-apartment residential building.
No word on an exact opening date yet.
VT Says It Is Behind ‘Driverless’ Van — The “driverless” van seen driving around Clarendon over the past week was actually a Virginia Tech research project designed to record the “real world reactions” to a vehicle without a driver. However, there was a driver: a man dressed as a car seat. The mystery was solved in real time on Twitter yesterday and quickly went viral. [NBC Washington, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Twitter]
Retired Colonel Saved By Quick-Acting EMS Crew — Firefighters and EMS personnel from Arlington and Alexandria helped to save the life of a retired U.S. Army colonel who went into cardiac arrest in his home in Crystal City. The crew used defibrillators to revive him. [Facebook, WJLA]
(Updated at 3 p.m.) An under-construction replacement for the former Marymount University “Blue Goose” building in Ballston is on fire.
Firefighters are on the scene of a two-alarm apartment fire on the seventh floor of 1008 N. Glebe Road, according to scanner traffic. They’re reportedly having issues with water pressure in the building, though as of 2:55 p.m. the fire is said to have been extinguished. In addition to stairs, firefighters used a ladder truck to reach the apartment that was on fire.
Police have closed the southbound lanes and one northbound lane of N. Glebe Road between 11th Street and Fairfax Drive. Drivers should expect traffic impacts in the area.
The nearly-completed building, with more than 260 apartment units, was expected to be move-in ready this summer, according to the developer’s website.
— Shooshan Company (@ShooshanCompany) May 18, 2017
Construction is almost complete at Marymount University’s “Newside” building, and it has landed its first retail tenant.
Two buildings are under construction on the site: a nine-story office building and a 12-story, 267-unit residential building.
The former will be owned by Marymount University, with the university using six floors as office and educational space. The top three floors will be leased out as office space.
Between the two buildings, there will also be a 10,600-square-foot public plaza and pedestrian passageway.
Construction is expected to be completed this summer.
Update at 8:40 p.m. — Glebe Road remains closed in both directions. Multiple Dominion units continue to repair the downed wires. Police officers at the scene couldn’t say how much longer the road will be closed, but they guessed it could easily be another hour.
Earlier: Emergency crews have closed part of N. Glebe Road north of Marymount University due to a downed power wire.
Police and fire crews are on the scene and have shut down N. Glebe Road between Williamsburg Blvd and Dittmar Road.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) April 11, 2017
Emergency crews are waiting for Dominion Virginia Power to repair the line.
A police spokesperson says responders are investigating a leaning tree at the scene. There’s no word yet on whether the tree may have caused the power lines to topple.