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Morning Notes

County Board Stalls on VRE Decision — The Arlington County Board, at a Tuesday meeting that stretched into early Wednesday morning, declined to endorse one of the options for a proposed new Virginia Railway Express station in Crystal City. VRE officials, county staff, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Arlington’s Transportation Commission backed Option 2, which places the station closer to the Crystal City Metro station and transit center. Some local condominium residents and the Planning Commission, citing concerns about noise, wanted Option 3 — which places the station behind an office building — to be considered as well. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Michelle Obama Stops By Arlington for Salon Opening — Former first lady Michelle Obama and her Secret Service entourage were among “a crowd of about 40 VIPs” who came to Arlington Tuesday night for the opening of a new salon. The business, Aesthetics Salon, is owned by stylist Yene Damtew, who was part of Obama’s “glam squad” while she was in the White House. Aesthetics Salon is located at 2412 26th Road S. in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood just south of I-395. [Washington Post]

Clarendon Day Closures — Expect lots of road closures in central Clarendon on Saturday for the annual Clarendon Day festival, which is taking place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. On Sunday morning Wilson Blvd will be closed from Clarendon to Rosslyn for the Clarendon Day 5K, 10K and Kids Dash races. [Arlington County, Arlington County]

More on Proposed Columbia Pike Bus Revamp — “Recently Metro unveiled the latest proposed changes to the Metrobus network which includes a major restructuring to the 16 series bus lines on Columbia Pike in Arlington. The long-awaited restructuring is aimed at simplifying and improving bus service in the corridor.” [Greater Greater Washington]

County Seeking Pike Bus Feedback — While WMATA continues to collect feedback on the proposed Columbia Pike bus changes via an online survey, a public meeting is scheduled tonight (Thursday) to discuss the changes in person with residents. The meeting is taking place at the Arlington Mill Community Center from 6-8 p.m. [Arlington County]

Local Nonprofit Lender Steps Up Loan Volume — “Arlington-based Capital Impact Partners said Wednesday it provided $75 million in private financing in the second quarter of 2017, the largest quarterly loan volume in its history. The nonprofit community development financial institution backs projects that support increased access to health care, education, affordable housing and healthy food in the United States.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

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APS Students Trick-or-Treat at the White House

Over the weekend, 300 lucky Arlington elementary school students got a chance to trick-or-treat at an address that most kids could only dream of visiting some day: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Students from Abingdon, Arlington Science Focus, Campbell, Barrett, Barcroft and Key elementary schools went trick-or-treating at the White House on Saturday night. Students — including the two Key Elementary students pictured — were handed Halloween treats from none other than the President and Mrs. Obama themselves.

Photo courtesy Arlington Public Schools

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Michelle Obama Lauds Military Kids at Pentagon City Ceremony

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the welcoming remarks at an awards ceremony in Pentagon City last night.

The Military Child of the Year Awards recognize the “strength, resilience and leadership” of military kids from each of branch of the armed services. The event, held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, was organized by the group Operation Homefront.

Support of military families is one of Mrs. Obama’s signature issues. She spoke glowingly of the honorees’ maturity, wisdom and bravery.

“When our troops are called to serve, their families serve too,” Mrs. Obama said to an audience chock full of military officers, spouses and media personnel. “[Military children] play their own very unique role in keeping our country safe… their strength and support helps our troops serve.”

The five recipients of this year’s awards were:

  • Taylor Dahl-Sims, 17, of Oceanside, Ca. Dahl-Sims helped to care for her baby brother —  who was suffering medical problems — while dad was away at war. When her father, a Marine, returned with a traumatic brain injury and facial injuries from multiple IED blasts, she also helped to take care of him. All the while, she has been doing volunteer work, taking college classes and commanding her school’s Air Force Junior ROTC.
  • Kyle Hoeye of Tucson, Ariz., whose Army father has been deployed three times. At 16, Hoeye “has made helping military families his life’s work.”
  • Melissa Howland, 17, of Millis, Mass. Howland nearly died from a blood disorder, the symptoms of which are now keeping her from playing her favorite sports. Nonetheless, Howland has managed to rack up nearly 500 volunteer hours while her Navy father was deployed in Iraq.
  • Nicole Goetz, 17, of Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Nicole’s father has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. With dad gone for months at a time, Nicole has stepped up to help raise her 10-year-old brother, all while donating hundreds of hours of her time to community service, earning a 4.0 GPA and serving as president of her school’s Key Club.
  • Margaret Rochon, a 17-year-old Coast Guard kid from Jacksonville, N.C. In addition to numerous extracurricular activities at school, Margaret helped to organize a seminar about the “stresses of wartime deployment on students and the effects of PTSD on families.” The seminar became mandatory training for teachers in her county.

More photos, after the jump.

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First Lady to Give Speech at Award Ceremony in Pentagon City

First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver a speech at the Operation Homefront 2011 Military Child of the Year Awards on Thursday evening.

The award show is being held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City. The awards honor “military children who demonstrate resilience, strength of character and leadership within their families and communities.”

Five outstanding children from each branch of the military will receive awards.

Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.

White House Photo

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