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MLK Day of Service 2023 Volunteer Arlington W-L High School (via Volunteer Arlington/Facebook)

An Arlington high school is once again gearing up to become a hub for community service activities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

On Monday, Jan. 15, from 8:30 a.m. until noon, Washington-Liberty High School will host various in-person volunteer opportunities, such as a donation scavenger hunt, SNAP ambassador training and the assembly of winter hygiene and safety kits, organized by nearly a dozen local nonprofits.

In addition to in-person projects at the school, there will be several virtual and off-site options, including restoring Potomac Overlook Regional Park, the Long Bridge Connector Trail clean-up and Culpepper Garden clean-up.

Organized by Volunteer Arlington, a collaboration between the Leadership Center for Excellence and Arlington County, the MLK Day of Service event — now in its seventh year — aims to promote civic engagement during the federal holiday, per the organization’s website.

The event was held online for several years during the pandemic, but shifted back to an in-person setting at Washington-Liberty High School last year.

Participants are encouraged to sign up in advance through Volunteer Arlington’s website, with registration available until tomorrow — Thursday, Jan. 11. However, walk-ins are also welcome, with check-in starting at 8:30 a.m.

The first 750 volunteers to sign up also get a free shirt.

Post check-in, participants will be ushered into an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Following the ceremony, volunteers will proceed to their chosen service projects. Volunteers opting for off-site projects will need to arrange for their own transportation to each location.

While the event officially concludes at noon, some projects may go over.

The following opportunities are currently accepting volunteers, per the website.

Photo via Volunteer Arlington/Facebook

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Rosslyn Metro station (file photo)

Metro is planning a major closure of two Arlington Metro stations next month.

The Rosslyn and Courthouse stations will be closed the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day — from Friday, Jan. 12 to Monday, Jan. 15. The four-day closure is for repairs and maintenance.

“Blue Line trains will run from Franconia-Springfield to Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom to Downtown Largo; Orange Line service will operate from Vienna to Clarendon and Foggy Bottom to New Carrollton; and Silver Line trains will run between Ashburn and Clarendon only,” Metro noted in a press release.

The full press release is below.

During the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend, starting on Friday, Jan. 12 through Monday, Jan. 15, Metro will close segments of the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines, between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery/Clarendon to perform infrastructure repairs and maintenance. The Rosslyn and Court House stations will be closed, and free shuttle buses will provide frequent service between all affected stations.

The four-day closure will allow Metro to address critical repairs, infrastructure improvements and other maintenance at one time. The same work would have required multiple weekends of single tracking with severe disruption to service, including some lines operating every 26 minutes or with truncated service.

The work is scheduled for the MLK holiday weekend when it will impact the fewest customers. Ridership during the four-day period is historically 27 percent lower on Metrorail than the average Friday through Monday. Additionally, with post-pandemic changes 15 percent fewer customers use Metrorail on Fridays than the midweek peak and on MLK Day ridership is less than half of a normal Monday.

The Rosslyn tunnel beneath the Potomac River is one of the busiest sections of the system, with trains passing through every three to four minutes all day causing more frequent wear on the infrastructure.

During the weekend crews plan to replace dozens of concrete grout pads, which support the rails. To do this, the rails must be removed, and the old grout pads demolished. After framing, new concrete will be poured with additional time needed to set. The work will be coupled with installation of new rails, fasteners, platform edge lighting and fiber-optic cables, drain maintenance, and welding rails together to eliminate joints for a smoother, better ride.

Outside of the work zone, Blue Line trains will run from Franconia-Springfield to Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom to Downtown Largo; Orange Line service will operate from Vienna to Clarendon and Foggy Bottom to New Carrollton; and Silver Line trains will run between Ashburn and Clarendon only.

Travelers over the holiday weekend going to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport may use the Yellow Line via Gallery Place or L’Enfant Plaza as an alternative with service operating every six minutes during weekday peak periods and eight minutes at all other times. Customers may also use the Manassas Line on VRE to connect to the Blue or Yellow lines at Alexandria. South of the airport, the Blue and Yellow lines will continue to be available for customers with no impact for those headed to the airport.

Customers traveling through Washington Dulles International Airport should allow additional time for shuttle buses to connect to the Silver Line. Additional details will be provided on shuttle buses and other travel alternatives in January.

In addition, Saturday, Jan. 13 and Sunday, Jan. 14, the MDOT MTA Purple Line project will also be doing construction, impacting Metro’s Red Line. There will be no Red Line service between Takoma and Forest Glen. The Silver Spring Station will be closed. Trains will operate in two segments from Shady Grove to Takoma and Glenmont to Forest Glen. Metro will utilize the closure to perform leak mitigation, replace rail ties, and preparatory work for switch replacement.

Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts text or email messages for the latest service information or follow us on X @wmata @metrorailinfo @metrobusinfo. Metro’s customer service team is also available to respond to social media, email, chat, or by phone at 202-637-7000 (automated information available 24/7) weekdays from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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MLK memorial by moonlight (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Arlington County courts, schools, government offices, libraries and community centers will be closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

Along with the closures there will be a reduction in service for ART buses and Metro buses and trains. Additionally, there will be no parking meter enforcement in Arlington.

The county’s trash, recycling and yard waste collection will continue as normal despite the holiday.

Arlington County is holding its first in-person MLK Tribute event since the start of the pandemic on Sunday, as well as several volunteer events.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo via Arlington County)

(Updated on 1/13/23) Several community service events are taking place in the coming days across Arlington in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.

County offices may be closed on Monday (Jan. 16), but the county and local organizations are holding events on and around the federal holiday recognizing the civil rights icon’s birthday.

On Sunday, the county is set to hold its annual MLK Tribute event from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Washington-Liberty High. School auditorium at 1301 N. Stafford Street. This is a change from Wakefield High School due to a maintenance issue. The event will also be live-streamed.

The tribute will feature live music, spoken word, and dance while being produced by Encore Stage & Studio in Cherrydale. The program will highlight MLK’s visit to Arlington prior to the 1963 March on Washington.

Arlington’s annual MLK Tribute has been going on for more than five decades and “was first organized by Arlington County staff and community members in 1969, the year after Dr. King was assassinated,” per the county’s website.

Then, on Monday, Volunteer Arlington is working with a number of different local organizations to host its sixth annual day of service.

For the first time in a few years the event will be held in-person, though there will be virtual options as well.

It will begin at Washington-Liberty High School with opening ceremonies and t-shirt distribution for the first 500 volunteers at 9 a.m.

At 9:30 a.m., volunteers will disperse to participate in one of more than the 20 projects being hosted county-wide. These opportunities include making snack bags for students, cleaning up Barcroft Park, and learning how to help Arlington’s older residents. It’s recommended to sign up for the preferred project in advance since a number are already filled.

Also on Monday, Walk Arlington is planning a clean-up of the W&OD Trail.

Organizers are asking volunteers to meet on the trail where it intersects with Columbia Pike. A WalkArlington tent is expected to be set up near that intersection with the goal of walking the trail about half a mile toward S. George Mason Drive. The plan is to pick up litter and debris on “a beautiful trail that’s enjoyed by cyclists and walkers alike.”

In 1984, Virginia started officially commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. on the third Monday in January. But MLK Day was paired with the uniquely-Virginian Lee-Jackson Day, creating a peculiar and controversial holiday that recognized two Confederate generals and a civil rights icon on one day.

The two days were separated in 2000, though Lee-Jackson Day remained on the books as a state-wide holiday for another two decades. In 2020, a bill was signed into law that officially removed it as an official holiday in Virginia.

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Morning Notes

Hawk withdrawing (Photo courtesy of Huskerdont/Flickr)

Towers Coming to Site in National Landing —  “Developers have closed on the purchase of a vacant site near Crystal City and Potomac Yard in Arlington, a transaction that paves the way for a new two-building project there.” [Washington Business Journal]

Anti-Vaccine-Mandate Rally Growing — “The event, called ‘Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming,’ plans a march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial… [A spokesperson] says the group has more than 36,000 signups; a permit application filed with the National Park Service… says it expects 20,000 people.” Organizers have been encouraging attendees to stay in Arlington. [Washingtonian]

Keep Uncollected Bins Out — “Curbside recycling/trash/organics collection resumed Monday, Jan. 10, following last week’s storms. Keep any carts left unemptied this week at the curb through Saturday, Jan. 15. The County’s contractor is making progress collecting about twice the regular tonnage but runs are slower, trucks fill faster and Covid has affected staffing.” [Arlington County]

MLK Mass This Weekend — “On Sunday, January 16, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, will celebrate a Mass in Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More. The annual Mass honors the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader who was slain almost 54 years ago.” [Catholic Diocese of Arlington]

Shred and Recycling Material Drop-Off — Each Arlington resident can shred up to two boxes or bags of paper or unload a small truckload of inert materials for free at a regularly held recycling event this Saturday. [Arlington County]

Return of 7000 Series Delayed Again — “Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld said today he will not resume the placement of 7000-series trains into passenger service for about 90 days to allow Metro engineering and mechanical experts time to focus on root cause analysis and acquire technology to measure 7000-series wheelsets. During the 90-day period, Metro will accelerate efforts to restore 6000-series railcars to increase the availability of newer cars in the fleet and improve reliability for customers.” [WMATA, Washington Post]

It’s Friday — Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 46. North wind 8 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Sunrise at 7:25 a.m. and sunset at 5:10 p.m. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. North wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. On Sunday, snow is likely after 1 p.m. [Weather.gov]

Photo courtesy of Huskerdont/Flickr

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(Updated on 1/13/22) A number of events around Arlington this weekend will honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

The county will hold its annual tribute virtually this year, and Volunteer Arlington organized a video challenge and volunteer opportunities on Monday, the federal holiday recognizing King’s birthday.

The county’s annual tribute to King will be livestreamed on Sunday at 5 p.m., featuring music, dance and spoken word.

Kimberly Gordon will sing three songs, including “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Spoken word artist Kim B. Miller will share her work. Dancer Kamali Hill will perform to “Freedom” and Mahalia Jackson’s version of “Down by the River Side.” Malachi Alexander will dance to “It Ain’t Over” by Maurette Brown Clark.

The Volunteer Arlington’s MLK Day of Service will begin with a virtual ceremony Monday at 9 a.m. followed by a number of opportunities to be civically engaged both virtually and in person.

At the opening ceremony, the winner of the organization’s “Arlington Cares Challenge” will be announced and a $200 donation made toward the local nonprofit they featured in a 1-minute video posted on social media.

Below is a listing of Volunteer Arlington Day of Service opportunities that you can still register for.

The Arlington Regional Master Naturalists have also compiled a list of local environmental service opportunities this weekend.

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Arlington County’s annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is moving online this year, forgoing all in-person experiences due to COVID-19.

This 52-year tradition was first organized in 1969, about ten months after King’s assassination, by local community members and county staff.

This year’s edition honoring the civil rights leader life and legacy will be held on Sunday, January 17 at 5 p.m. It will include a collection of online performances, music, spoken word, and dialogue that participants will be able to select from.

The tribute is being produced in partnership with Encore Stage & Studio.

All videos and content will go live at 5 p.m on the event’s website, but will continue to be available on the site into the coming months.

In addition, Volunteer Arlington’s annual MLK Day of Service will also be online this year. On Monday, January 18, starting at 9:30 a.m., residents can participate in 12 different service opportunities, engage in volunteer trainings, or learn more about their community.

There will also be collection sites for the Arlington Food Assistance Center outside of eleven community and fitness centers.

The current schedule of programming for Arlington’s MLK Day tribute is below:

At 5 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 17, visit the MLK Tribute webpage for a dynamic experience that allows the user to select the content they wish to view. The content will remain online for the coming months.

Specific program elements will include content sections with videos from past MLK Tributes and never-before-seen works:

A video compilation highlighting clips of music, dance, spoken word and dialogue from recent MLK Tributes, including:

  • Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir’s renditions of The Best Is Yet to Come and Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
  • Original work by spoken word artist Kim B. Miller, Your Calling
  • Motherless Child and I’ll Rise Up, performed by the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Dance Ensemble
  • Scene from the 51st MLK Tribute, performed by actor Deshawn Harris (as MLK) and Yancy Langston (voice of Benjamin Mays)
  • Arlington native Joy Gardner solo rendition of A Change is Gonna Come
  • Remarks from Arlington resident Joan Mulholland, activist and educator
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing, produced by Balm in Gilead, Inc.

Specific Music Options

  • I’ve Been Buked and Scorned, soloist James Gibson
  • I Know I’ve Been Changed, soloist Karen D. Archer
  • You’re All I Need To Get By, duet with Duke Ellington School of the Arts students Kianna Kelly-Futch and Kyree Allen
  • Is My Living in Vain performed by local quartet The Four
  • The Wall Between Us, performed by Kimberly D. Gordon and written by Anne Smith
  • Arlington native Joy Gardner solo rendition of A Change is Gonna Come

Specific Dance Options

  • Chains, performed by Worship Without Words
  • Precious Lord Take My Hand and Glory, performed by the Inspire Arts Collective
  • If I Could, performed by Kailah Doles
  • Motherless Child and I’ll Rise Up, performed by the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Dance Ensemble

Specific Spoken Word Options

  • New original work from spoken word artist Kim B. Miller
  • Reflections from Encore Stage & Studio students
  • Original work by spoken word artist Kim B. Miller, Break the Chains
  • Original work, Stand, by Outspoken Poetress Audrey Perkins

Other options include historical footage and a presentation by Samia Byrd, Chief Race and Equity Officer for Arlington County.

About the Program

Arlington’s first tribute to Dr. King was in 1969, the year after his assassination. The goal of this program is to bring people together (virtually or in-person) to support the community’s vision of social justice and community. This year’s program is produced in partnership with Encore Stage & Studio.

Virtual Day of Service

Volunteer Arlington’s annual MLK Day of Service program has also pivoted to be online. On Mon., Jan. 18, from 9:30 a.m.-noon. Online volunteer opportunities include service projects, advocacy panels and volunteer trainings. Learn more and register by Thurs., Jan. 14. by visiting https://volunteer.leadercenter.org/mlk-day-service.

Food Donation Collection

Food donations to benefit Arlington Food Assistance Center clients will be collected outside at the centers below from Jan. 15-18.

Learn more about the 2021 MLK Tribute event at https://parks.arlingtonva.us/mlk-tribute/

Photo via Adam Fagen/Flickr

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An Arlington tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. scheduled for Sunday is planned to include original songs and spoken word performances.

The ceremony “Prayers of a King” is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 19, at Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street). Doors are scheduled to open at 4:30 p.m. with the program running from 5-6:30 p.m. The ceremony will feature music, dance and spoken word performances that tell the story of desegregation in Arlington, the county said.

According to a press release:

At 8:45 a.m. on February 2, 1959, four young students from the Arlington’s Halls Hill neighborhood entered Stratford Junior High School and became the first students to desegregate a public school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 2020 MLK Tribute program focuses on their journey; when they learn they will be the first African Americans to integrate a school in Virginia and into their first day of school, while simultaneously following Dr. King’s fight for equality during the same time period.

Admission to the event is free, though guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable goods to donate to the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Seating is given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Photo via Wakefield High School

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Morning Notes

Home Prices Up in 2019 — “Data from Bright MLS, a multiple listing service that analyzes real estate data in the Mid-Atlantic region… revealed the average home sale price in Alexandria City, Arlington and Fairfax counties, collectively, rose by 4%, from $590,582 in 2018 to $614,236 in 2019.” [WUSA 9]

Endorsements for Choun — Chanda Choun, who is running in the Democratic Arlington County Board primary against incumbent Libby Garvey, has received the endorsement of a pair of current and former elected officials: former County Board member Jay Fisette and, most recently, current Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy. [Twitter, Chanda Choun]

Chain Salon Locations to Close — “The parent company of Hair Cuttery, Bubbles, and other salon chains will close more than 80 locations around the country starting later in January… A full list of the stores that will shutter was not disclosed. There are more than 30 Hair Cuttery locations, 20 Bubbles locations, 14 Salon Plazas and three Salon Cielos in Greater Washington.” [Washington Business Journal]

Musical Performances at DCA — “Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will host its annual Black History Month celebration of achievements and contributions to American history by African Americans with musical performances for passengers traveling through both airports each Thursday during the month of February.” [Press Release]

Dorsey Absent from WMATA Board Meeting — Arlington County Board and WMATA Board member Christian Dorsey was absent from the latter body’s meeting yesterday, raising an eyebrow. A WMATA spokesman tells ARLnow that Dorsey was not at the meeting because we was “going to Richmond to provide testimony.”

Monday: MLK Day of Service in Arlington — “Celebrate the National MLK Day of Service by joining EcoAction Arlington to clean up trash and debris from Four Mile Run and surrounding streets. Everyone is welcome; we will provide supplies and snacks.” [ARLnow Events]

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Morning Notes

Wind Chill Advisory in Effect — A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect this morning due to a combination of gusty winds and bitterly cold temperatures. [Weather.gov]

MLK Day of Service — As of Friday, more than 850 people were signed up to volunteer for Arlington County’s MLK Day of Service today.

Rosslyn Building Sold — “Rosslyn’s Oakwood Arlington extended-stay apartments has changed hands for $70 million. Mapletree Investments, a Singapore real estate investment firm, has acquired the 184-unit property at 1550 Clarendon Blvd. from AvalonBay Communities Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Local Nonprofit Gets TV Donation — “Patricia Funegra founded La Cocina VA in Arlington as a way to create change through feeding, educating and empowering the community… FOX 5 and Easterns Automotive Group teamed up to help Funegra… with a $1,000 donation and all her students received new cast-ironed pots, recipe books and $50 gift cards.” [Fox 5]

Local Nonprofit Helping Puerto Rico — Wheels to Africa, which was founded by a 10-year-old Arlington boy in 2005 to send used bikes to Africa, is now sending used bikes to Puerto Rico to help residents still recovering from Hurricane Maria. The nonprofit’s founder has since gone to graduate from college and is now working in Arlington. [Washington Post]

County: Get a Flu Shot — “Flu season is officially underway. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is ‘elevated’ as flu viruses circulate nationwide. Arlington healthcare officials are urging residents to take precautions and get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: Kitten Lounge Coming to Georgetown — “What’s being called the first-in-America kitten-only place to rest, relax and interact with kittens between the ages of three-to-six months will open in early March, at 3109 M(eow) Street NW.” [WTOP]

Reduced Publishing Schedule Today — Due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday, ARLnow will be publishing on a limited schedule today. We’ll return with a full slate of local coverage tomorrow.

Photo courtesy Tom Mockler

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Arlington will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a free annual event featuring local performers this Sunday (Jan 20).

“Supernatural” actor Christian Keyes is set to host Arlington’s MLK Tribute, which is now in its 50th year. The event will run from 5-6:30 p.m. at Wakefield High School.

Community members and county staff created the annual tribute one year after King’s assassination in 1968 as a way to bring the community together around King’s vision for social equality.

“Arlington’s beloved MLK tribute event is a joyful celebration of Dr. King and his powerful advocacy for social and economic justice, non-violence and empowerment that continues to serve as a beacon for our nation more than a half-century after his assassination,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said in a press release.

The program features music, dance and spoken word roles.

The lineup includes:

  • Spoken word artist Outspoken Poetress (Audrey Perkins)
  • Inspire Arts Collective
  • Soloist Jackie Pate
  • Soloist James Gibson
  • Arlington resident Joy Gardner
  • The Hoffman-Boston All Star Chorus led by Molly Haines
  • Teen Network boardmembers
  • Winners of the Arlington Public Schools’ MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest

Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis, and overflow space with a live stream of the program will be available if the auditorium reaches capacity. Anyone attending is encouraged to bring non-perishable goods to donate to Arlington Food Assistance Center.

Photo via Arlington County

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