APS Receives Top Ranking — Arlington Public Schools is the top school division in Virginia and in the D.C. area, according to new rankings from Niche.com. All three comprehensive high schools in Arlington ranked in the top 10 in Virginia, according to the website. [Arlington Public Schools]
Alleged Racial Confrontation at Metro Station — A local man says a trio of older white men confronted him last week in the Courthouse Metro station, a few days after the election, and told him “good thing you’ll all be gone soon” — an apparent racially-motivated comment — and “it’ll be great again soon.” [Patch]
Remy Releases Post-Election Song — Arlington’s best-known libertarian comedian/musician, Remy, has released a new original song on the topic of Donald Trump’s election. [Twitter]
‘Isolated’ Schools in Arlington — Two schools in Arlington County, and 136 schools statewide, are considered “racially and economically isolated,” according to a new report from a liberal Richmond-based think tank. [Washington Post]
No Name Change Push for JD Hwy — Seeking a name change for Jefferson Davis Highway, the formal name of Route 1 in Arlington County, is not part of the county’s recently-approved legislative agenda. The chance of the Republican-dominated state legislature allowing the name change in its upcoming 2017 session was “all but nil.” [InsideNova]
Joint Meeting of N. Va. Jurisdictions — County Board and city council members from Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church held a joint meeting last night, in which they discussed ways to cooperate and save money. Together, the three inside-the-Beltway jurisdictions have about 500,000 residents, as compared to Fairfax County’s population of 1.1 million. [Washington Post]
A group of the orchestra’s musicians set up shop next to the Clarendon Metro station and invited random passersby to pick up a baton and conduct them. Their guest conductors ranged from small children to senior citizens.
“As we launch our 11th season, we want to raise our profile in the community,” said the Philharmonic’s president, Anne Wengrovitz.
The orchestra’s concerts are free and open to all ages, with donations accepted. Sunday’s concert, which will feature a collaboration with local dance troupe Bowen McCauley Dance, will be held at 4 p.m. at the Kenmore Middle School Auditorium (200 S. Carlin Springs Road).
Arlington Mansion Party Led to Shooting — Two people were shot in McLean early Sunday in what was described as a drive-by shooting following a party in Arlington. It turns out that the party was at a multi-million-dollar mansion overlooking the Potomac on tony Chain Bridge Road. The home has been the scene of numerous police incidents over the past couple of years, mostly robberies and various disturbances, and lately neighbors have said it’s become a “party house.” [NBC Washington]
Heat Advisory Today — Arlington is again under a Heat Advisory, with dangerous heat index values up to 109 expected. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” forecasters warn. [National Weather Service]
Standoff With Suicidal Man Ends Peacefully — There were some tense moments in a neighborhood just off of Columbia Pike yesterday. Between about 4-5 p.m., there was a police standoff with an armed, suicidal man at a home on 9th Street S. Roads were blocked and some neighbors were evacuated. The standoff ended peacefully and the man was taken into custody.
Arlington’s InfoSec Jobs Are Low Paying? — A compilation of city-level data from job search site Indeed suggests that Arlington has the lowest-paying average salary for information security specialists of 15 large cities. Adjusted for cost of living, Minneapolis had the highest average salary. Arlington’s COLA-adjusted salary is 72 percent below that of the Minnesota city. D.C. also ranked low on the list, placing just three spots above Arlington. [Indeed]
Arlington Rapper Releases Single — VA Prime, an Arlington-based rap artist who hails from the Nauck neighborhood and formerly attended Washington-Lee and Wakefield high schools, has released a new single. “School” encourages young listeners to “stay in school, plan it out, get your grades up.” The rhyme further encourages hard work and hustle: “Keep grinding, we going to raise up,” it says. [Soundcloud]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Earlier Metro Closing Time? — Metro is considering closing at 10 p.m. on Sundays and midnight each other day of the week. The earlier closing times will help with track maintenance and safety, Metro says. But Arlington County Board member and Metro board member Christian Dorsey says there needs to be more public discussion of the change, saying that “We are a region that requires transit service as late as possible to keep up with commerce, to make sure that it’s not just a commuter system.” [Reston Now, WTOP]
Home Prices Up Five Percent — The median home sale price in Arlington is now $625,000, up 5 percent compared to one year ago, according to the real estate firm Long and Foster. [Patch]
Big Fire in D.C. — The smoke from a fire in D.C. yesterday afternoon was visible to much of Arlington. The fire damaged a small apartment building near Logan Circle and injured a dog. [Borderstan]
Arlington Firm Investigates DNC Hack — Arlington-based cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect says it has traced the hacker who claimed responsibility for stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee back to Russia. The firm says the hacker “is more likely a collection of people from the propaganda arm of the Russian government.” [Daily Beast]
Local DJ Profiled — DJ Neekola, one of the D.C. area’s most sought-after club and event DJs, is a Pentagon City resident who used to do IT work for the government. [Arlington Magazine]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Set to the tune of Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” Remy skewers the chipping away of American civil liberties in the wake of terrorist attacks.
Video via Reason.tv
Talented local entertainers will participate in the fourth annual Arlington’s Got Talent competition tonight.
The event, organized by Leadership Arlington, is being held at the Salsa Room (2619 Columbia Pike) starting at 6:30 p.m. After a social hour, the performers will take the stage starting at 7:30.
“Arlington’s Got Talent offers exciting and fresh performances from some of the most vibrant and dynamic performers from the D.C. metropolitan area,” said Leadership Arlington.
Tonight’s seven scheduled performers are:
- Comedian Dan Nainan
- Singer Emma G
- Comedian Jason Weems
- Poet Lyfe
- Dance troupe Rhythmaya Dance
- Pop, funk and R&B singer Travis Tucker
- Acapella group Word of Mouth
The performers will be judged by Susan Anderson of the Arlington County Treasurer’s Office; MTFA Architecture owner Michael Foster, Nate Robertson of Datapipe and Marymount University President Matt Shank. Audience members will act as the fifth judge by voting for their favorite act.
It’s been a decade since its last public performance, but Arlington’s official song has now been recorded — and released on YouTube — for future generations.
The song is, well, a bit boring and dated, to be honest. But it is Arlington’s only official song and no one seems to eager to replace it.
The revival of the song has been spearheaded by county communications manager Peter Golkin. In December Golkin uploaded a scan of the sheet music — the first time the song has appeared on Arlington County’s website — and penned a press release recounting the County Board’s adoption of the song 45 years ago.
But back on the first Saturday morning of October 1970, a unanimous County Board deemed Ernest K. Emurian’s words and melody worthy of a place in Arlington’s official identity. Reasoning for such approval sits right there in the lyrics of the first verse: “[T]he songs of home are ones we really cherish/For home is the place we love the best.”
It was love in E flat and 4/4 time, consummated with a 10,000-copy print run funded by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, prime sponsor for the song’s adoption.
The composer, the Reverend Ernest Emurian, was already a local institution, a beloved and prolific man. Pastor of Cherrydale United Methodist Church, he had lived in the County for seven years before attempting his anthem for Arlington. The inspiration was his long-held belief that “if a place is worth living in, it is worth singing about.”
Golkin’s research suggests the last time the song was performed was at the opening of an Arlington Historical Society exhibit on county constitutional offices, in 2006. “VIPs listened politely but made no attempt to emulate the singing Board of ’70,” Golkin quipped.
Before that the song had been performed off and on at the Arlington County Fair, but was otherwise fading out of the public consciousness. That is, until now.
Among those performing the song in the video above are three members of the original teen chorus that serenaded the County Board before the song’s adoption in 1970. Also performing: three generations of Arlington’s Dodge-Strehle family, County Board aide Liza Hodskins and “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark, who also wrote about the song in December.
The full list of performers, in order from left to right, after the jump.
Police Seek Witness in Pentagon City Investigation — Arlington County Police are trying to find a witness who rendered aid to an injured man found face down in the street in Pentagon City. The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on February 25, on the 1200 block of S. Eads Street. The 65-year-old man remains in critical but stable condition. [Arlington County]
Group Forms to Oppose Gun Store — Updated at 11:05 a.m. — A group called Act4LyonPark has formed to oppose NOVA Armory, the gun store that’s planning to open on March 26 at 2300 N. Pershing Drive. So far, Act4LyonPark has raised $6,300 to support its activities. The group says that in a recent vote, 88 percent of residents who responded voted for the Lyon Park Citizens Association to take an official stance against the gun shop.
Board to Consider Relaxed Historic Rules for Schools — The Arlington County Board is expected to vote Saturday on a proposal to make it easier for Arlington Public Schools to make changes to schools within local historic districts. The proposal would remove schools from the oversight of the county’s rigid Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board. Facing a school capacity crunch, APS says going through HALRB adds unnecessary delays and costs to projects. [InsideNova]
One Person Filed 6,500 Noise Complaints Against DCA — A single individual is responsible for 6,500 of the 8,670 noise complaints filed against Reagan National Airport last year, according to the airports authority. [WTOP]
Chamber Savors Hotel Tax Victory — With Arlington’s 0.25 percent hotel tax surcharge reinstated, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is celebrating a long-awaited legislative victory. “Reinstating Arlington’s [Transient Occupancy Tax] was the Chamber’s top priority for the 2016 legislative session, with the funds generated by the additional TOT providing much needed support to ensure that Arlington remains competitive in attracting leisure and business travel,” said Chamber president and CEO Kate Roche. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
A long-time Arlington business is preparing to close its doors next week.
CD Cellar, purveyor of compact discs and vinyl records at 2607 Wilson Blvd, is planning to close on Friday, Jan. 15. The business is moving its inventory to a new location in Falls Church, where it opened its original store on West Broad Street back in 1992.
“Our flagship location in Falls Church is relocating to a bigger and badder space,” CD Cellar said on its website. “As of Dec. 31, 2015, CD Cellar will live at 105 Park Avenue, just a hop, skip and a jump away from our longtime home on West Broad Street. What’s more, we are moving our fantastic Arlington stock into the new Falls Church space, combining two stores into one super-awesome megastore.”
The new location in Falls Church is in a shopping center a block from the State Theater. The center is also home to Action Music, a guitar store; Hi-Fi Heaven, a high-end audio-visual equipment store; and Cue Recording Studios.
“We are thrilled about the change,” CD Cellar said. “In our new home on Park Avenue, we’ve got loads more parking and several very cool neighbors.”
Photos by Justin Funkhouser
Barcroft will hold its annual Chalk4Peace event on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. There will be music and chalk will be provided.
Children will be able to draw on the blacktop and sidewalks around the school. The art will stay there until it is washed away by rain, said Principal Colette Bounet.
“They [kids] get to hang out with their friends,” Bounet said. “They get to draw on the ground, which they usually don’t get to do.”
Chalk4Peace is a global initatiative started by artist John Aaron 10 years ago to help connect communities and promote peace and art.
“The peace aspect [for the Barcroft event] is more just getting out with your community,” Bounet said.
About 50 to 60 kids show up each year to the event, Bounet said, adding that at any one time there are usually 25 to 30 kids drawing.
Chalk4Peace first came first came to Barcroft nine years ago, said art teacher Marel Sitron, who helped launch the event. The original Chalk4Peace event was founded in Arlington in 2003.
“I just think it’s a wonderful event because art is an universal language,” Sitron said.
Both Bounet and Sitron draw during the event, they said. In previous years, Sitron chalked the Mona Lisa in chalk as well as other large pictures, she said.
Children who participate in Chalk4Peace also bring a box of cereal to donate. Last year, the school filled five to six large tubs of cereal boxes, Bounet said.
“We’ve just found it’s very appealing for kids to give to other kids,” she said.
Arlingtonians have an inordinate love of country and indie music, at least according to the most-played songs on Spotify’s “Sounds of Arlington VA” playlist.
Spotify, a streaming music service, released playlists of the most popular songs in various cities “relative to the rest of the world.” In other words, song that are distinctively popular in Arlington but less so elsewhere in the world.
While Arlington is a county, it was one of the “cities” to get its own playlist.
The top five songs on Arlington’s list are
- “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” by Keith Urban
- “The Fool” by Ryn Weaver
- “How Bad We Need Each Other” by Marc Scibilia
- “Dime Store Cowgirl” by Kacey Musgraves
- “Roses” by the Chainsmokers
Country music is highly represented on the playlist. Country singers to make the list include Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan, newcomer Canaan Smith, Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert.
While there are exceptions, especially in the form of songs from Kacey Musgrave, most of the country songs on the list can be heard on country radio stations or iTunes’ Top 100 Downloads.
Outside of country music, the playlist also heavily features indie bands and jumps between different genres with songs from Ryn Weaver, Halsey, Vance Joy and John Newman, among others.
Logo via Spotify
Rep. Beyer Holding Taylor Swift Fundraiser — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is holding a fundraiser with 15-20 guests at tonight’s Taylor Swift concert in D.C. The National Journal says Beyer is “Congress’ biggest Taylor Swift fan.” The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans pounced on that headline for a punny press release. “When it comes to the national debt and big government regulations, Millennials want to ‘shake it off,'” the AFCYRs wrote. [National Journal, AFCYR]
Arlington Appoints DHS Director — Arlington County Dept. of Human Services deputy director Anita Friedman is getting a promotion. Friedman has been appointed as head of the department by Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz, less than two weeks after Schwartz took over for now-retired County Manager Barbara Donnellan. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Metro Center Building Sold — The 22-story office building atop the Rosslyn Metro station has sold for $180 million. Rosslyn Metro Center, located at 1700 N. Moore Street, may be due for renovations following the sale. [Washington Business Journal]
Washingtonian Lauds ARLnow — ARLnow.com, along with its sister sites Borderstan, Hill Now and Reston Now, have been honored as the “Best News Blogs” in the D.C. area by Washingtonian. “Obsessive (but not mind-numbing) reporting on communities paid off,” the magazine said of our company’s expansion. Thank you to the staff of Washingtonian for this honor. [Washingtonian]
Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk
The library is working with an Ohio-based company called Hoopla Digital, which bills itself as a “free Netflix-like service” which users can access through their Apple TV, smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Hoopla offers a range of digital content including e-books, comics, audiobooks, music and streaming TV and movies.
The library’s current contract with Hoopla gives library patrons access to audiobooks and music, according to library spokesman Peter Golkin, who described the partnership as the next logical step in adapting to new technology, something libraries have been doing for decades.
Golkin said one particularly attractive feature of Hoopla was the elimination of waiting lists. In the past, when libraries bought audiobooks, they would have to buy several copies — and even then patrons could end up waiting a long time for more popular titles. Through Hoopla, however, one title can be checked out by an unlimited number of patrons.
The company also touts its automatic returns, which it says eliminate library late-fees. Users will be able to check out up to six items a month and listen to them as often as desired. Due to record label restrictions, the same album may only be checked out twice in a 30-day period.
Arlington Public Library began using Hoopla last Tuesday (June 16), and is the 10th library system in Virginia to do so. To start using the service, patrons can create an account through the library’s website.
Arlington Loses Lowest Unemployment Crown — Arlington’s years-long streak of having the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia has ended. In November Falls Church had the lowest jobless rate, at 3 percent, to 3.1 percent for Arlington. Statewide, Virginia’s unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in October to 4.5 percent in November. [InsideNova]
Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking — Arlington resident Anthony Tatum, 36, has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering and other related crimes, according to federal prosecutors.Tatum and a co-conspirator were accused of distributing cocaine and heroin, primarily in Maryland. Tatum, who agreed to forfeit $108 million in cash, vehicles, jewelry and other items, reportedly lived in a Pentagon City apartment building. [Patch]
Pinkberry to Close? — The future of Arlington’s Pinkberry frozen yogurt store is uncertain. The local Pinkberry franchisee has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. The franchisee, which has stores in D.C., National Harbor, Clarendon and elsewhere in Northern Virginia, cited debts of more than $1.2 million in the filing. Those debts include $44,121 in back taxes owed to Arlington County. [Washington Business Journal]
Wardian Sets New Record — Arlington resident Michael Wardian, 40, has set a new world record for the fastest indoor 50K. Wardian covered the distance in 3:06:07 at a 200-meter indoor track in Hagerstown, Md. That shatters his former world record, of 3:12:13, set at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington. [Herald-Mail]
Arlington Native Releases Music Video — Arlington-born rapper C-Luv has released a new music video for his track “Grind.” The video features scenes shot around Arlington, including in a skatepark, Wakefield High School and in the Nauck neighborhood. [YouTube – NSFW]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Amid the Noise and Haste is the nine-member band’s fifth full-length album and first Grammy nomination. The band’s 2012 album, “Strength to Survive,” was No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae charts in the U.S. for more than a year.
The band was formed by lead singer and guitarist Jacob Hemphill — an Arlington native who spent part of his childhood in Liberia while his father worked for the International Monetary Fund — and bassist Bobby Lee while the pair attended Yorktown High School in 1997. They recorded part of Amid the Noise and Haste at Lion and Fox Recording Studio in College Park, Md.
The band is currently on tour in Brazil and unavailable for interviews, its manager told ARLnow.com. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 8:00 p.m.