Raytheon, Boeing Mostly Moving Execs — “The real answer is that these are relatively easy shifts for both new companies — each of which already had a sizable presence here for years. They are both racing to be closer to their top customer, the federal government, in what appears to be a pretty simple change for each. Based on the little that the companies have shared publicly thus far, it’s essentially relocating a few key executives and support staff from one existing office to another.” [Washington Business Journal]
Wardian Completes Coast-to-Coast Run — “Around sunrise on Friday, July 1, 2022, ultrarunner Mike Wardian completed his run across America… [he] was greeted by the soft waves of the Atlantic Ocean and a beautiful sunrise at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.” [iRunFar, Instagram, Washington Post]
Arlington SUV Used in Crime Spree — “An Arlington County man whose vehicle was stolen after thieves went inside his home to take the keys was surprised to find out his car was connected to a pursuit where three teens were charged with the attempted murder of an officer. The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said his BMW was stolen out of his driveway in the overnight hours of June 17 after thieves went into his home and took the keys.” [WUSA 9]
Fawn Finds Way Out of Stairwell — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “Earlier today Officer Barrett responded to a call for a fawn stuck at the bottom of a stairwell. It turns out the fawn wasn’t really stuck, but just needed a little encouragement!” [Twitter]
Colonial Place Listed for Sale — “A trio of Arlington office buildings dubbed Colonial Place at Courthouse Metro, which haven’t changed hands in going on three decades, hit the market this week. Colonial Place, located at 2101, 2107 and 2111 Wilson Blvd., weighs in at more than 750,000 square feet, immediately across the street from the Courthouse Metro station… the four parcels that comprise the total property, sitting on 7.1 acres, assess altogether at more than $315 million, per public records.” [Washington Business Journal]
Ed. Dept. Rules Against APS — From Arlington Parents for Education: “US ED’s Office of Civil Rights ruled against APS, finding that online platforms and paper packets used during remote instruction posed barriers to individuals with disabilities, particularly those with vision disabilities or who use assistive technology.” [Twitter]
New School Board Leadership — “The Arlington School Board held its annual organizational meeting for the 2022-23 school year and elected Reid Goldstein as Chair and Cristina Diaz-Torres as Vice-Chair. The terms for the new Chair and Vice-Chair begin immediately and will continue until June 30, 2023.” [Arlington Public Schools]
It’s Tuesday — Rain and possible storms in the afternoon and evening. High of 86 and low of 71. Sunrise at 5:50 am and sunset at 8:38 pm. [Weather.gov]
Arlington Man Arrested for Fairfax Murder — “A man was arrested in connection to the homicide of 32-year-old DonorSee founder Gret Glyer, according to Fairfax City Police officials. Joshua Danehower, 33, of Arlington, Va., was arrested at Dulles International Airport Tuesday night. He was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Glyer’s death, according to police. He was also charged with one count of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.” [WJLA, Fox News]
Air Quality Warning Today — “The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert Thursday for Northern Virginia. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups.” [National Weather Service]
Wardian Powering Through Dozens of Audiobooks — Achieving his Forrest Gump-esque goal of running some 3,000 miles coast-to-coast is not the only feat Arlington resident and decorated ultramarathoner Michael Wardian has tallied over the past couple of months. He says he has also listened to at least 35 audiobooks on 2x speed while on the journey. [NBC 4]
AIM ‘Coming Out Party’ Tonight — “The AIM and WERA teams invite you to join us tomorrow to celebrate our exciting new direction and plans! Come out and meet our new staff, learn about amazing programs and classes, and see how you can be a part of the future of inclusive public media in Arlington! Mix, mingle, meet Ms. Gay Arlington, dance to the tunes of drag queen DJ’s Katja and Giorgio — and have fun!” [Eventbrite]
Kitchen Fire and Power Outage in Ballston — “Kitchen fire at Uncle Julio’s. Sounds minor but the restaurant was evacuated, per scanner. There’s also a power outage in the area, affecting more than 600 Dominion customers, per the company’s outage map.” [Twitter]
It’s Thursday — Clear throughout the day. High of 88 and low of 68. Sunrise at 5:48 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]
Ultramarathoner Michael Wardian has almost made it home to Arlington.
The 48-year-old local resident began his Forrest Gump-style run across America back on May 1. Fifty-eight days later, he’ll arrive in Arlington today (Monday) with only a little more than 100 miles left to go in his journey.
Wardian plans to make a pit stop at South Block in Ballston around 5:30 p.m. before continuing on to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach in Delaware to dip his toes in the Atlantic Ocean. The aim is to get to the shore by July 1, several days ahead of his original July 4 goal.
“I’m so Team America right now,” Wardian told ARLnow from a West Virginia mountaintop, taking a quick breather from running to talk with a reporter over the phone. “Really, I’ve been impressed with just what a beautiful country we have and how much hospitality there is.”
He has run 50 miles every day, which takes him about 12 hours. He often starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. Besides a few blisters, he’s “feeling good” even after running a total of 2,600 miles over a nearly two-month period. He’s cataloged much of it on his Instagram account, as well.
There have been challenges, of course. Hundred-degree heat, road construction, rocky terrain, a tweaked hamstring, a hail storm, and even snow in Colorado all had to be navigated.
There were also drivers trying to run him off the road and at least one flying hamburger.
“Someone threw a half-eaten hamburger at me two days ago,” Wardian says. “It hit the girl I was running with right in the chest.”
Overall, though, he’s been heartened by the experience. So far, Wardian has raised about $50,000 for World Vision, an organization that provides clean drinking water to families around the world. The goal is to raise $100,000, with all of the proceeds made during his visit to South Block today being donated to the cause.
Wardian has also been met on his journey by many looking to show their support or run alongside him. In Missouri, he had even had a special running mate — a dog.
“I ran 40 miles with a stray dog that I called ‘Yellow,'” he says. “He just followed me.”
The canine loved to drink out of streams and lay in puddles when it got too hot. But he would always catch up to Wardian. Eventually, “Yellow” was adopted by one of the people in the running group and was renamed “Miles.”
This is not Wardian’s first claim to fame, of course. He has run seven marathons on seven different continents, ran across Israel pre-pandemic, ran 260 miles in loops around Arlington Forest during the pandemic, and is becoming pretty well-known in the local pickleball scene as well.
Wardian actually planned to run across America in 2020, but Covid delayed the feat for two years.
He says he’s probably going to be “emotional” when he makes his way into Arlington later today after thousands of miles on the road.
“Running all the way home to Arlington has just been a lifetime goal,” Wardian says. “It just shows you like you just keep putting the work in and you’re consistent… everything is possible.”
(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) Famed local ultramarathoner Michael Wardian is going full Forrest Gump and running across America.
The 48-year-old Arlington resident and noted athletic adventurer has a new running challenge: to run from sea to shining sea.
The journey begins this Sunday (May 1) at San Francisco City Hall. Wardian will follow U.S. Route 50 to Arlington and, then, onto Dewey Beach, Delaware. His mission is to dip his toes in the Atlantic Ocean on July 4. That’s 3,184 miles in 65 days.
“With no planned rest days,” he tells ARLnow on the phone from San Francisco. “At least, that’s the plan right now.”
Wardian is doing this to raise money for World Vision, an organization that works to provide clean and safe drinking water to families across the globe. His goal is to raise $100,000.
It will be his longest run ever, an attempt inspired by his run across Israel back in 2019.
“It’s something I’ve never done before. I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “But also a little nervous.”
Wardian is known for incredible feats of the foot. That includes running seven marathons on seven continents, setting treadmill records, and logging 260 miles running loops around Arlington Forest. He also has recently set his sights on mastering pickleball.
He was actually planning to run across the country back in 2020, but the pandemic pushed those plans back two years.
“This has been my dream for, like, 20 years. And now it’s finally coming to fruition,” he says.
With him running nearly 50 miles per day, Wardian acknowledges the effort will take a physical and, crucially, a mental toll. This will be the longest he has ever been away from his family, he noted.
But Wardian is not doing this alone. He’ll have support alongside him the whole way, including someone very special. Trailing behind him in an RV will be his dad, there to prepare meals, do laundry, and just be supportive.
“This is a chance to reconnect with my dad… this is the longest I’ve ever been with him since I moved out 25 years ago,” Wardian says. “He’s going to be cheering for me the whole time.”
There are several ways to keep pace with Wardian on his months-long journey from coast to coast. There’s the normal social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. There will also be real-time tracking along with a detailed day to day schedule (including endpoints).
For those who get the bug, runners can also join Wardian on his journey at any point and for any distance — yes, much like Forrest Gump and his running entourage — by reaching out to [email protected].
About 40 people have already committed to joining him at some point one the expedition, including a few Arlington pickleball buddies.
“Hopefully, I can pop in on some [pickleball] games along the way,” he says. “I’d also like to play chess at various places too.”
Oh, Wardian is an avid chess player as well.
Wardian understands why he’s sometimes compared to Forrest Gump: the beard, the long hair, and the jogging across America.
“I have been called ‘Forrest Gump’ about a gazillion times… over the years and across the planet so I completely understand and embrace that,” he says.
But there’s one difference, he says, between him and the fictional character.
“Forrest Gump, to me, wasn’t quite sure why he was running at first but eventually he found what he was looking for,” Wardian says. “Which is different than me.”
“I’m super into it. I just won my first tournament last weekend,” Wardian says, taking a breather from playing and a sporting a pink T-Mobile shirt and hat.
The 47-year-old Wardian is probably most well-known to area residents for his running feats, including completing seven marathons in seven days on seven continents, running more than 260 miles in a loop around the Arlington Forest neighborhood, and winning the inaugural Marine Corps 50k in 2019.
But now, he’s on to pickleball.
“There’s a sense of newness and beginning something [with pickleball],” Wardian says. “With running, if I want to do something I haven’t done before, I’ve got to do…something pretty huge to have some freshness. It’s fun to be a newbie at something.”
He only started playing the sport a few months ago, in May, when a friend asked him to join a game while in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He ran out to Walmart, grabbed a paddle, and played five games.
“And I just fell in love with it,” Wardian says. “I was like, ‘man, this is like the coolest sport ever.’ I thought it was an old person’s sport.”
While it’s true that pickleball began as a preferred sport for older adults due to its low-impact on joints, it has since grown in popularity with younger adults and, even, kids. There are now more than four million players nationwide, according to the USA Pickleball Association. That number includes Wardian.
“I had no idea how much skill was involved or how addictive it could be,” he says.
While there isn’t complete overlap, Wardian’s ultramarathon skill set has come in handy on the pickleball court. His discipline, endurance, and tall stature all have come in handy.
“I cover a lot of ground,” Wardian says. “I can get to almost any ball. I’m tall and long, so I have good reach.”
One of the pickleball skills he’s working on is controlling his shots and not hammering the ball so hard so it goes out of bounds.
But he’s learning quickly. He estimates he’s invested about 150 hours into the sport so far and is already doing well in tournaments. In fact, Wardian is considering becoming a pro pickleball player. The top players can make tens of thousands of dollars in winnings, not to mention sponsorship dollars.
Because of his running, Wardian has sponsorship deals with local businesses District Taco, Pacers, and MedStar Health as well as T-Mobile (hence, the shirt and hat). Now, he’s looking to get some for his pickleball prowess and is speaking with online retailer Pickleball Clearance about opportunities. He’s also hoping to become an ambassador for the sport through the US Pickleball Association.
“I just want to grow the audience and get more people excited about the sport,” he says.
Pickleball hasn’t been the only thing filling Wardian’s time in recent months. He’s also an owner and partner of Potomac Maritime, working with carriers and ships carrying humanitarian aid and food cargo, which is his main source of income.
Unsurprisingly, Wardian is good at chess too and plays in chess tournaments. He’s also part of several clubs (including the Arlington Chess Club), and coaches the game to younger players.
At one point, he compares chess to pickleball, saying both are about placement, strategy, and knocking the opponent off balance.
“You set up your shot,” he says. “You hit one shot to knock them back and, then, when they’re back, you can put the ball somewhere else.”
For Wardian, no matter what he’s competing in, he is always striving to be at a high level. There is a sharp competitive edge to it all, but his hardest opponent is himself.
“I like seeing what’s possible,” he says. “I like challenging myself.”
When asked what’s the next sport or activity for him to master, he rattles off cycling, surfing, open water swimming, and deep sea fishing. It’s clear he’s already thought about the future.
After talking and a few photos, he heads back to the pickleball court. An average game of pickleball takes about 20 to 25 minutes, but he’s still harping on the last game he played that lasted only about ten minutes.
“We got our asses kicked,” Wardian says. “But we will get the next one.”
No Citations for Mass Gatherings in Arlington — “Gov. Ralph Northam is limiting social gatherings to 50% of event space capacity, or 250 people, whichever number is smaller. A spokesperson for Arlington County says ‘there have been no reports of social gatherings of this size’ in the locality. Arlington County’s police department has not issued any citations for mass gatherings, and has not levied any fines for people who flout rules regarding mask-wearing.” [DCist]
Prosecutor Explains Fight With Judges — “Taking the court to court to preserve the discretion of this office is the only way I know to protect the will of the voters who elected me. This is how we weave the quilt of criminal justice reform: each locality using its voice to demand change and put its values into elected offices. Town by town, county by county, we must fight to shape the communities in which we want to live.” [Washington Post]
Wardian, District Taco Donate to School — “Ultramarathoner Mike Wardian, who recently ran a 62-mile run to all 12 DMV-area District Taco locations, asked District Taco to donate the proceeds of the run to Barrett students and families in need. District Taco employees made and delivered 200 burritos to over 100 Barrett families.” [Press Release]
Parking Blocked Off For Clarendon Bar Lines — A number of nightlife hotspots in Clarendon have been working with the county’s Arlington Restaurant Initiative to better space out patrons waiting in line. This past weekend, the county blocked off portions of lanes and some parking spots around bars to allow more physical distancing around the lines. [Twitter, Twitter]
Thousands Left Behind at DCA Security Lines — “A new… Transportation Security Administration report gives the amount of coins and bills left behind at security checkpoints at airports around the country, including Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. The amount unclaimed at checkpoints at National in the last fiscal year was $13,207.46.” [Washington Post]
Armed Robbery Near Courthouse — “The victim was sitting inside his parked vehicle when the suspect vehicle, which was occupied four times, pulled alongside him. Suspect One approached the victim, displayed a firearm and commanded the victim to exit his vehicle, lay on the ground and empty his pockets. Suspect Two then stole the victim’s personal belongings. Suspect One entered the victim’s vehicle and rummaged through items. The suspects fled the scene after an unrelated vehicle drove by the incident.” [Arlington County]
Local Man Killed in Crash Near Shirlington — “At approximately 7:44 p.m. on July 3, 2020, police were dispatched to the area of Walter Reed Drive and S. Wakefield Street for multiple reports of a crash with injury. The preliminary investigation indicates that the motorcyclist was traveling southbound on Walter Reed Drive at a high rate of speed when he lost control, struck a pole and was thrown from the vehicle.” [Arlington County]
Yorktown Grad Entering Third NFL Season — “The upcoming NFL season, if it is played, will be M.J. Stewart’s third, and the Yorktown High School graduate is more than eager for this month’s training camp then the 2020-21 season to start. ‘I just want to get to training camp,’ said the 5-foot-11, 200-pound defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.” [InsideNova]
Ethiopian Community Facing Dual Challenges — “The Supreme Court on June 25 okayed the Trump administration’s policy of limiting the number of asylum seekers in the country… Most likely to feel the impact locally is the Arlington-based Ethiopian Community Development Council Inc., the refugee-support and State Department-authorized transition agency with offices just off Columbia Pike… this sub-sector of Arlington’s diverse population is among those hit hardest by the coronavirus lockdown.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Why Galaxy Hut is Not Opening Indoors — Updated at 9:10 a.m. — “We just decided ultimately that the questions are too many. Too many questions about how safe it is to be out and dine. And we didn’t feel like with our small size in particular that we would be a good candidate for trying this out. We didn’t want to take the risk.” [WJLA]
River Rescue Blocks Chain Bridge — From Sunday afternoon: “River incident the Potomac River vicinity Fletchers boathouse. Injured 18 year old who fell approximately 20 feet from rocks. Will require patient to be lowered to shoreline and transported by boat.” [Twitter]
Wardian Completes Delaware Run — “Ultrarunner Mike Wardian ran the length of the state of Delaware, starting the 130-mile (209-kilometre) route on July 2 and finishing 26 hours later. He began the run in the afternoon, just north of Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city, near the state border with Pennsylvania. He ran in [93 degree] weather straight through the night and next morning, and 26 hours, 19 minutes and 43 seconds later, he crossed the state’s southern border and ran into Maryland.” [Canadian Trail Running]
Photo courtesy Eliana Carreño
Rep. Beyer: Stay Home This Weekend — “In the nation’s capital we finally managed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The people in our region sacrificed to make these gains, and we should do all we can to hold on to this progress. Staying home on July Fourth and avoiding large gatherings is the best way to do this. Those who go out should absolutely wear a mask, and social distance without fail.” [Press Release]
Local Unemployment Rate Improves — “The local employment picture in May crawled back slightly from the abyss of April, according to new state data, with most parts of Northern Virginia seeing modest improvements in unemployment rates. In Arlington, May’s jobless rate of 6.1 percent was a comeback from 7 percent in April, although it remains far above norms of the past decade.” [InsideNova]
Wardian Running Through Delaware — “With most major races wiped off the calendar, professional ultramarathon runner Michael Wardian was asked to run 96 miles — the length of Delaware — over the course of a month as part of a virtual charity event. ‘I was like, ‘It’s 96 miles, I’ll just do it in one day,” Wardian said.” Wardian said in an Instagram post that his route will actually take him 135 miles over the course of about 24 hours. [Delaware Online, Instagram]
Ballston Company Makes Big Donation — “Today The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) stepped up to provide immediate relief to hundreds of families who are struggling to put food on their tables as a result of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. A $25,000 contribution… will allow [Arlington nonprofits APAH and AHC] to provide $100 grocery gift cards to a combined total of 250 low-income households in their apartment buildings. This grant is the first tranche of a $75,000 total commitment from AES to the Arlington Community Foundation.” [Press Release]
Good News on ARLnow’s Instagram — Arlington Community Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a month-long series of “good news” stories posted to ARLnow’s Instagram account. The innovative partnership will further ARLnow’s journalistic mission and give our Instagram followers something to feel good about near the end of each day. [Twitter]
Reminder: Road Closures Tomorrow — “Road closures are planned from 4-11 p.m. Saturday around the Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Long Bridge Park. Street parking will also be restricted in the area.” [ARLnow]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
D.C. Now More Expensive Than Arlington — “D.C. has bumped Arlington County, Virginia, from the top of the most-expensive area jurisdictions by county for median home-selling prices — at least for the month of May. Long & Foster reports the median price of a home that sold in the District in May was $656,000, 10% more than May of last year. The median price of a home that sold in Arlington County was $646,000, up 4%.” [WTOP]
Lower Census Response Rate Than 2010 — “In 2010, 74% of Arlington households filled out their Census form and returned it by mail, which was the only option at the time. In 2020, despite being able to fill out the Census online, by phone and by mail, Arlington’s self-response rate is hovering at just over 70%.” [Arlington County]
Missing: BLM Banner — Someone took a Black Lives Matter banner that had been hanging on a pedestrian bridge over Route 50, and its creator wants it back. [Twitter]
JBG Wants to Improve VRE Station Plan — “JBG Smith Properties could soon play a key role in a second major transportation improvement project in Crystal City, performing design work to beef up plans for a new Virginia Railway Express station there. The developer is advancing a plan to manage the construction of a second entrance for the nearby Crystal City Metro station, and this work on the VRE designs would be closely tied to that effort.” [Washington Business Journal]
Another Unique Feat for Wardian — Arlington ultramarathon runner Michael Wardian ran 62.3 miles to every District Taco in the D.C. area, eating tacos along the way. [Instagram]
Schwartz Presents New Capital Plan — “County Manager Mark Schwartz has proposed a $277.5 million one-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The County Manager, rather than proposing the traditional 10-year plan, is presenting a short-term proposal until the County better understands the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of the one-year CIP is on projects that are already underway, those that improve failing or end-of-life infrastructure, and those required by legal or regulatory obligations.” [Arlington County]
Juvenile Court Reeling from Coronavirus Cases — “An outbreak of covid-19 in the clerk’s office of the Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has forced the court to close the office to the public and has concerned lawyers who practice there daily. Four of the seven clerks in the office have tested positive for covid-19.” [Washington Post]
Small Business Grants Announced — “Arlington County today announced 394 businesses are receiving the Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term). The GRANT program provides financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT funds were designed to bridge the gap to provide near-term relief for businesses and nonprofits, some of whom have experienced delays or limitations with federal relief initiatives.” [Arlington County, Arlington Economic Development]
Va. Not Ready for Phase 3 — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that statewide Covid-19 numbers ‘continue to look favorable,’ but that he will not move the commonwealth into phase 3 of reopening this week. ‘I want to have more time to see how the numbers look before we make changes, especially as we see surges in other parts of our country,’ Northam said.” [Washington Business Journal, InsideNova]
Wardian to Run to Every District Taco — “This is Mike Wardian, a Guinness-World-Record winning runner, who is partnering with DT on Saturday, June 20 as he runs to ALL 12 DMV LOCATIONS (just about 60 miles)! If you see Mike on his run, snap a pic and use #whereswardian for in-app credit for a free taco!” [Twitter]
County Offers Free Trees and Tree Maintenance — “Arlington County loves trees, and knows trees are critical for our stormwater infrastructure, environmental and human health benefits, and through its Tree Canopy Fund EcoAction Arlington offers grants to plant or maintain trees on private property.” [Press Release]
Arlington’s own extreme endurance athlete Michael Wardian is comfortable on a treadmill. Comfortable enough to play Madden while running. Comfortable enough to do an interview while running. And, he hopes, comfortable enough to reclaim the 50K treadmill world record tomorrow.
Starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Wardian says he’ll start running with an aim of breaking the 50K record (around 31 miles) in around two hours and 57 minutes.
For Wardian, it’s an attempt to take back a record he previously held, but one that he says has been broken a few times since quarantine started and more runners looking for records to beat have taken to treadmills. Wardian says he’s not worried.
“I’ve set a bunch of world records on the treadmill, I’m pretty confident,” Wardian said with a laugh. “There’s nothing you have to worry about other than picking your feet up.”
It would not be the first record Wardian, 45, has set during the pandemic. In April, he ran 262.52 miles in a loop around his neighborhood as part of a quarantine ultramarathon challenge.
Wardian said he enjoys the treadmill because it feels like the most “fair” kind of running, without other factors in the course that can give runners an advantage or disadvantage. He noted that at marathons people only usually see the runner at the start and the finish, but on a treadmill run they can watch him or her the whole time through the race.
“There’s going to be a live stream,” Wardian said. “We’ll send a link out later today and people can Zoom or they can go to my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and can make requests during the run. I think it will be awesome. We’ll have announcers and people there going for other records.”
For aspiring treadmill runners, Wardian also offered a little advice.
“Like a lot of things, it takes a lot of practice,” Wardian said. “A big part is just knowing where all the buttons are and changing the inclines. If you are running, you may want to put it at one percent grade because it mimics being outside. I also recommend changing the incline if you’re on a long run so your feet don’t hit at the same place every time.”
Photo courtesy Michael Wardian