Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

County Board Candidates So Far — “Announced Arlington County Board special election (to replace Erik Gutshall, who sadly was forced to resign while being treated for brain cancer) Democratic candidates… so far are: Barbara Kanninen; Chanda Choun; Nicole Merlene.” [Blue Virginia]

Arlington Allocates $300k for Emergency Help — “Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has allocated $300,000 from the FY 2020 budget to meet increased demand for emergency financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be provided from the FY 2020 budget contingency fund to Arlington Thrive, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to County residents who experience sudden crisis.” [Arlington County]

Gov. Northam’s Reopening Conditions — “Gov. Ralph Northam offered what he called a ‘blueprint’ Friday for easing business restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lifting of restrictions will include a phased approach based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Beyond a steady decline in new cases, the state will also have to increase testing and contact tracing, while ensuring hospitals have the necessary capacity, Northam said.” [InsideNova]

Group Urges Northam to Take More Action — “We respectfully request that you immediately implement the following low-cost, high-impact actions: Empower local governments… Maximize social distancing… Expand mask usage… Deploy approaches that have worked elsewhere to cheaply scale up testing… Leverage volunteers to cheaply scale up contact tracing… Convert unused college dormitories into voluntary isolation facilities… Implement ‘safe travel’ rules to prevent importation of new cases.” [EndCoronavirus.org, Google Docs]

Arlington History Jigsaw Puzzles — “In Arlington County there are locally-designated historic districts, which provide the greatest protection for our historic resources… In order to celebrate these locally designated districts AND to provide some relief during the COVID-19 quarantine/stay-at-home order from our local and state governments, Preservation Arlington has put together two collections of online puzzles.” [Preservation Arlington, Jigsaw Planet]

History of Arlington Meteor Caper — A dull black meteorite, found in Murray, Kentucky, in 1950, had gone missing from a Vanderbilt observatory display case, replaced by a suspicious-looking black-painted papier-mache rock… law enforcement sleuths had found fingerprints traced to former observatory employee and student Hugh Heefner Howard, 24. The perpetrator had brought it to his Arlington River House apartment at 1111 Army-Navy Dr., where our cops arrested him for grand larceny.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Puzzlefest 2012 (photo courtesy Arlington Public Library)Puzzle masters can try to put their skills to the test this Saturday while competing in the third annual Arlington Puzzle Festival.

At the Reed-Westover gym (1644 N. McKinley Road), from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., there will be a crossword tournament with puzzles by New York Times puzzlemaster Will Shortz and a Sudoku tournament with puzzles designed by five-time Sudoku world champion Thomas Snyder.

Lunch will be served and there will be speeches by the president of Metropolitan Washington Mensa, Karen Canon, and puzzle developer Todd Etter. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each tournament.

The event is free to members of the Friends of the Arlington Public Library, and a $15 donation to the Friends group is requested for non-members. Participants can register online or at the door on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Photo courtesy of Arlington Public Library

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When thinking of head-to-head competitions, the Central Library’s quiet atmosphere may not seem like the obvious choice. Unless, of course, it’s part of the library’s annual Arlington Puzzle Festival.

This Saturday, November 3, the festival returns for a second year of words, logic, numbers and thinking. The mind games run from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Central Library’s (1015 N. Quincy Street) auditorium.

Crossword puzzles are provided by New York Times puzzlemaster Will Shortz and sudoku puzzles will be provided by U.S. and world champion sudoku solver Thomas Snyder.

The event is free for Friends of the Arlington Public Library members. A donation is suggested for non-members.

There will be speakers throughout the day, including professional crossword puzzle writer Matt Gaffney, the crossword tournament begins at 10:00 a.m. and the sudoku tournament begins at 1:30 p.m. The full schedule of activities throughout the day is listed online.

Registration for the crossword and sudoku competitions is available online, and will also be available at the door on a first come, first served basis.

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