Days Inn’s Days May Be Numbered — “An aging hotel along Route 50 in Arlington could be redeveloped… Arlington’s Planning Commission will study a roughly 2-acre site at 2201 Arlington Blvd., currently the home of the Days Inn by Wyndham hotel, to understand how it could accommodate new construction in the future. Shooshan is pitching a mix of apartments over retail, and perhaps some townhomes, for the property.” [Washington Business Journal]
Police Planning Halloween Parade — “In lieu of traditional trunk-or-treat events in the neighborhoods, the Arlington County Police Department’s Community Outreach Teams are dressing up their cruisers in creative costumes for a vehicle parade through the County” on Saturday afternoon. The parade will go through: “Lyon Village, Bluemont/Westover, Buckingham, Arlington Mill/West end of Columbia Pike, Green Valley, Aurora Hills, and Shirlington/Fairlington.” [ACPD]
Halloween Health Reminders — “While Halloween is not an official holiday, and is not regulated by the County, Arlington is asking everyone to continue to practice the behaviors we know slow the spread of COVID-19: avoid close contact with people not in your household, wear a mask and practice social distancing and frequent and proper hand washing. This may mean choosing not to participate in Halloween this year.” [Arlington County, @kcristol/Twitter, ARLnow]
W-L Grad Indicted for Philly Fire — “Ayoub Tabri, 24, of Arlington, VA, has been charged by Indictment for the arson of a Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) vehicle. Both incidents occurred during violent civil unrest in Philadelphia on May 30, 2020.” [Dept. of Justice, Philadelphia Inquirer, FBI]
MCM is Woman’s Arlington Farewell — “Since COVID, my husband and I, we found out we’re moving out west to Seattle, Washington,” outgoing Arlington resident Elizabeth Sloss told WTOP, about her upcoming virtual Marine Corps Marathon run. “I’m using this race as a farewell tour of D.C. to visit all my favorite places and important locations that have a lot of significant meaning to me.” [WTOP]
Bishop’s Statement on France Attacks — “In union with people of goodwill throughout the Diocese of Arlington, the people of France and around the world, I express my deep sorrow and offer fervent prayers for those impacted by the terror attack at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, France, this morning. My prayers are with the individuals killed and those injured, as well as their families and the larger community.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]
The Trump campaign famously has had boat parades. Over the weekend the Biden campaign organized a car parade in Arlington.
On Saturday, the first day of expanded early voting, Biden’s Virginia campaign held a Latino Car Parade “to encourage Latinos to vote early and highlight the importance of the Latino vote in Virginia.”
Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), Arlington School Board member Tannia Talento, and School Board candidate Cristina Diaz-Torres participated in the morning event, which culminated in early voting at the Walter Reed Community Center near Columbia Pike.
“The Biden-Harris Administration will get this pandemic under control, protect Latinos’ access to health care, and reform our broken immigration system,” the campaign said in a press release about the event.
Those participating in the car parade and subsequent rally were required by the campaign to adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions, “including wearing masks, temperature checks, and practicing social distancing.”
President Trump’s reelection campaign, which is based in Rosslyn, does not currently have any publicly-listed events planned in Arlington.
The car parade was not the only local Democratic political happening of note this weekend. Elected officials, including Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Don Beyer, visited several early voting locations on Saturday.
I am out at the polls today with @parisa4justice @MarkWarner @Lopez4VA @Monique4APS @RepDonBeyer & @MeganBeyerVA It is perfect voting weather! Make a plan to vote! pic.twitter.com/GI1Ueb9zFf
— Barbara Favola (@BarbaraFavola) October 17, 2020
Big Response to Small Biz Grant Program — “Those hit hard by the pandemic can receive help through the small business emergency grant program. More than 1,100 businesses have applied, [County Board Chair Libby] Garvey said, and at least 63% of them are owned by women or minorities. ‘With an additional $1.6 million, we can provide grants to a total of 400 businesses, more than 50% of those that… were eligible,’ Garvey said,” during her State of the County address Tuesday morning. [WTOP, Zoom]
Chamber Presents Valor Awards — Also on Tuesday, “awards were presented to honor Arlington County’s public safety personnel and first responders. Fourteen honorees were recognized for their courageous, and often lifesaving, actions in the line of duty. Leadership of all respective departments submitted nominations for the honorees, based on their performance over the past year.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce, InsideNova]
Road Closures for Grad Parades Tomorrow — “On Thursday, June 18, the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will support Senior Graduation Parades for Wakefield High School and Washington-Liberty High School. Traffic around the schools will be impacted at the below listed times. The public can expect to see increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods.” [Arlington County]
CivFed Wants More Open Space — “The president of the Arlington County Civic Federation on June 13 delivered his message quietly but bluntly: The county government needs to put much more emphasis on acquiring land for parks and open space before the window of opportunity closes. Allan Gajadhar handed County Board members a Civic Federation resolution calling on the county government to better balance open-space and passive-recreation needs with facilities for sports and active recreation.” [InsideNova]
COVID Cases Among DCA Construction Workers — “Employees with 17 contractors working on Reagan National Airport’s massive capital improvement project have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a staff report issued ahead of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s upcoming board meeting… The most recent positive result was confirmed June 7.” [Washington Business Journal]
Juneteenth May Become State Holiday — “Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Tuesday that he will support legislation to make Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery, a state holiday in Virginia. He gave executive branch state employees the day off Friday — June 19 — in recognition of the event. On that date in 1865, federal troops told enslaved people in Texas they had been freed, more than two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Hope for Arlington Summer Camps — ” As summer is approaching, we know many families are anxiously awaiting information on Summer Camp 2020. While we hope to operate summer camp this year, the ultimate decision will be based on our ability to operate safely within national and state guidelines.” [Dept. of Parks and Recreation]
County Board Primary Cancelled — “The Democratic Primary for County Board, originally scheduled for June 9, 2020 and subsequently delayed until June 23, 2020, will not be held… Accordingly, Libby T. Garvey is the Democratic nominee for County Board in the General Election to be held on November 3, 2020.” [Arlington County]
Call for More Coronavirus Transparency in Va. — “Several Virginia legislators are calling for the release of information regarding specific long-term care facilities, saying the public has a right to know how many residents and staff have tested positive or died at each location… ‘In a situation like this, transparency is very important,’ said Del. Patrick Hope, D-47th District, of Arlington.” [NBC 4]
GGW, Blue Virginia Endorse Takis — “This week, a select group of Arlington Democratic party members will choose a nominee for the county board seat held by Erik Gutshall, who tragically died of brain cancer in April… We recommend eligible party insiders select Takis Karantonis as their first choice and then Nicole Merlene or Chanda Choun as second and/or third choices in the ranked-choice ballot.” [Greater Greater Washington, Blue Virginia]
Parade for McKinley Teacher — “Arlington County students and their parents held a drive-by parade to honor their third-grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School. Almost a dozen cars drove by the home of Amanda Herr, honking their horns and holding signs” [Patch]
Dutch Foundry Working on New Carillon Bells — “It took more than a week for the big bronze bell to cool. Over that time, a glowing crucible full of molten alloy was transformed into a 7,595-pound behemoth nearly six feet in diameter that next year will sing out across Arlington. The big Netherlands Carillon is getting bigger.” [Washington Post]
Bayou Bakery Has Provided Thousands of Free Meals — “Since the beginning of March, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington has been feeding Arlington County kids and their families for free. Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery enlisted Real Food for Kids to partner with him to serve free, plant-based meals 5 days a week.” [WJLA]
It started with a post on Nextdoor, which was then cross-posted on a popular local Facebook page.
“In need of a MAJOR favor from all who are willing!” wrote the poster, Columbia Pike resident Ashley Johnson. “I have a sweet sweet kid I met while volunteering at a homeless shelter 4 years ago. The shelter closed and his family was forced out but I still pick him up and try to give him good experiences.”
The post continued: “His 6th birthday is today and sadly I didn’t get to host a party this year BUT I just got a last minute reply from the fire station, and they’re willing to do a drive by and lead the way for a mini birthday parade… My family all lives out of state, but if anyone is free and willing to line up tomorrow around 5:15p, on 16th Rd. and Walter Reed, next to Pupatella, to jump in behind the fire truck when it passes to do the drive by Walter Reed Community Center, where we’ll be waiting, please let me know!”
Little did Johnson know, but Arlington residents and first responders would show up in a big way for 6-year-old Jessiah.
Friday night, several fire department vehicles, 16 Arlington County police cruisers and about 50 cars full of local residents paraded down the street, in perhaps the biggest traffic jam the Columbia Pike corridor has seen since the start of social distancing.
ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott was there to capture the moment.
The coronavirus outbreak may have curtailed traditional birthday parties, but it could not curtail kindness among neighbors and the big smile on Jessiah’s face.
Mardi Gras is cancelled for Clarendon — again — and it seems increasingly likely that cancellation is permanent.
The tempestuous February weather takes some of the blame. Crocker said the parade has been frequently cancelled or postponed because of bad weather, and the organization lost money it had spent. Given this year’s damp winter, unfavorable conditions seem likely to repeat.
While the parade is cancelled, Green Pig Bistro in Clarendon (1025 N. Fillmore Street) is still planning a Fat Tuesday celebration at 5 p.m.
Clarendon residents will go without any sort of local Mardi Gras celebration this year, but there are still plenty of ways to mark Fat Tuesday around Arlington.
The Clarendon Alliance, which normally puts on an annual parade and ball to celebrate the impending start of Lent, says it has no plans for the annual event this year.
The business booster group has gone through a bit of a transition recently, just tabbing a new executive director. Elizabeth Crocker is stepping in for Matt Husmann, the alliance’s longtime leader who retired from the post last year (and accepted a new position as the new manager of the Arlington County Fair).
Crocker urges residents to “stay tuned for information about new events and happenings, coming soon,” but apologized for not being able to put on the events this time around. The alliance even had trouble with Mardi Gras last year, cancelling the annual ball and “jester jaunt” in the face of stiff competition from events elsewhere in D.C.
However, Bayou Bakery will once again be offering its signature king cakes for sale on its website — the Courthouse eatery is also inviting Arlingtonians to a party at The Showroom on 14th Street in D.C.
According to StayArlington, the Heidelburg Pastry Shoppe on Lee Highway is also selling king cake, while Sugar Shack is offering up king cake donuts for a limited time.
The Chasin’ Tails Crawfish restaurant in East Falls Church (2200 N. Westmoreland Street) will also offer food and drink specials for Mardi Gras, including deals on raw oysters.
The Arlington Jaycees, an organization that organizes events for young people aiming for “personal and professional growth, community involvement and social engagement,” is also hosting a Mardi Gras happy hour at the G.O.A.T. in Clarendon.
Primary Voting Underway — It’s an election day in Virginia. On the ballot in Arlington is the Democratic race for County Board, between Chanda Choun and Matt de Ferranti, and the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, with candidates Corey Stewart, Nick Freitas and E. W. Jackson. Voting will continue through 7 p.m. [Twitter]
Post-Parade Party in Courthouse — Those heading to the Capitals Stanley Cup victory parade downtown today can head on back to Arlington for an afterparty at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill, hosted by the Caps blog Russian Machine Never Breaks. The event starts at 3 p.m. [RMNB]
Final Issue of ‘The Citizen’ — Arlington County’s “The Citizen” newsletter is publishing its last issue this week. The county-run publication is ceasing its print issues due to budget cuts. The move was lamented by the Sun Gazette, which wrote that The Citizen provided “information that, most likely, many local residents will now not get, despite the government’s plethora of online-centric public-relations efforts.” [InsideNova]
Clement: Strip Washington from W-L Too — Independent Arlington School Board candidate Audrey Clement says it is “hypocrisy in the extreme” for the “Lee” in “Washington-Lee High School” to be removed without also removing “Washington.” Wrote Clement: “Had not George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson — all Virginia native sons and all slave holders — greased the skids of institutionalized slavery by agreeing to write it into the U.S. Constitution, Lee would not have taken up arms against his own nation.” [Audrey Clement]
Apartment Building to Get Free Broadband — “Arlington’s Digital Inclusion Initiative, announced in December 2017, will leverage the County’s fiber-optic network, ConnectArlington, to bring free broadband Internet access to low- and moderate-income households in Arlington, including those with school-age children. Arlington Mill Residences, a low- and moderate-income residential development, will serve as the demonstration project for the initiative.” [Arlington County]
Paving on Lorcom Lane — Crews are paving Lorcom Lane between N. Fillmore and Daniel streets today. [Twitter]
Nearby: Second Northside Social Opens — The new Falls Church outpost of Clarendon cafe Northside Social has opened in the Little City. “The business itself will offer a menu similar to its Clarendon location, but a basement that allows for a commercial-sized bakery and chef Matt Hill’s creative inklings will provide new lunch and dinner options.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.) is raining pointed criticism on President Donald Trump’s parade.
Calling the president’s idea of a grand military parade in the nation’s capital “terrible” and “an embarrassing misuse of our military leaders’ time,” Beyer says he is also concerned about the impact of tanks and large military vehicles on local roads.
Beyer is particularly concerned that if the parade follows the same route as Trump’s inaugural parade, as suggested, it could take heavy equipment over the deteriorating Memorial Bridge, which is currently undergoing major repairs.
The congressman issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon.
Most of the reasons why Trump’s idea of huge military parade is a terrible one are immediately obvious. Our military is already strong without having to waste millions of dollars on a parade that could be better spent improving veterans’ services. In 2018 such displays are reminiscent of authoritarians than they are of healthy democracies. Planning this vanity project for President Trump is already an embarrassing misuse of our military leaders’ time, which should be focused on keeping Americans safe.
But there is also regional opposition to this idea because of its local impact. At least one Department of Defense official has already expressed concerns that running heavy military equipment of the kind Trump has asked for could damage local infrastructure. We are still waiting to see the details of Trump’s long-heralded national infrastructure plan, and I fear that my constituents may see their roads ‘chewed up’ before they see any progress toward rebuilding roads and bridges.
Tanks rumbled and troops marched over the Memorial Bridge in 1991 as part of the National Victory Day Parade celebrating the end of the Gulf War.
Update on 2/6/18: The Clarendon Alliance has issued an update to their plans. Citing “a large Mardi Gras ball with major sponsors” in Union Market and a Mardi Gras parade planned for the same time at Washington’s District Wharf development, the Mardi Gras Ball and the Jester Jaunt have been cancelled. The parade will still go on as scheduled.
“They’ve got marketing dollars and fireworks,” said Matt Hussman, The Clarendon Alliance’s executive director. “It’s a different market than it used to be. But I wish the Wharf and Union Market the best of luck [with their own Mardi Gras activities].”
According to Hussman, approximately 60% of previous years’ Mardi Gras Ball tickets were sold either the day before or day of the event. He cited the difficulty in prepaying for beer and food expenses without knowing the exact number of participants as a major consideration in the decision. Another factor was the quantity of ball attendees: Hussman noted that the vast majority of ball ticket holders were Batalá Washington performers or Louisiana State University alumni. Both groups, he said, would be parading at the Wharf instead of in Clarendon.
Currently there are approximately 20 registered parade floats or groups, and registration is still open for additional marchers.
Earlier: Clarendon’s annual Mardi Gras procession of dressed-up dogs, cyclists, floats, and revelers is quickly approaching, and registration for several events has opened.
The festivities will kick off on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard at N. Barton Street, following along Wilson Boulevard before ending at by The Liberty Tavern at N. Irving Street.
Parade registration fees range from $50 for a nonprofit or community organization to $250 for a business outside of the Clarendon-Courthouse corridor. Revelers can also preorder a box of 720 beaded necklaces for $75.
Though few want it to rain on their parade, last year’s Mardi Gras procession went on despite the downpour.
The following street closures have been reported for the parade and fun run:
- Wilson Boulevard, from Veitch Street to Barton Street, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Wilson Boulevard, from Barton Street to Irving Street, will be closed from 6:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Photos (as marked) courtesy of Jason Dixson Photography