A “Black Lives Matter” sign outside of Rock Spring Congregational church was vandalized earlier this week.
The church, at 5010 Little Falls Road near Yorktown High School, says that the word “Black” was cut out of the sign at some point between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
“We notified the Arlington police and we have ordered a new sign to replace the one that has been vandalized,” Rev. Kathy Dwyer told congregants via email (below).
Dear Members and Friends of Rock Spring,
I am writing to let you know that at some point between Tuesday evening at 9:30 p.m. and Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. the sign we have on our lawn inviting people to join us in a sacred conversation on racial justice and stating that black lives matter was vandalized. The word “black” was deliberately cut out from the sign, as shown below. We notified the Arlington police and we have ordered a new sign to replace the one that has been vandalized.
Several people saw the sign or heard about the incident and have reached out. Elizabeth Woolford, a member of Rock Spring and a student at Yorktown High School wrote to me. With her permission, I share the following from her note, “I wanted to share that today is one of the days I could not be more proud to be a member of Rock Spring. I woke up this morning and a group message I am in with 10+ other Yorktown HS members were passionately discussing the recent defacement of our church’s Black Lives Matter sign. I just went on Facebook to discover that several different Yorktown students …had posted about their sadness for the continual resistance we’ve received from our sign. Rock Spring’s discussions and our stand on racial justice are reaching far beyond our church community. For these people, it is a sign (literally) that there are parts of the Arlington community that are working towards a better, just filled, and equal future, and prompting thought filled discussions amongst the future voters and politicians in the high school community. I hope that our sign will once again remain up, as our resilience to resistance is resounding deeply, especially with the teens I know, as a beacon of hope.”
We will continue to bear witness with faith and courage. Our next sacred conversation is scheduled for this coming Monday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Saegmuller Room.
Photo courtesy Rev. Kathy Dwyer
Al Richmond, 74, is preparing to run the 40th annual Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. He’s one of the Groundpounders, the increasingly exclusive group of people who have ran all of the marathons. (The group had four active members as of 2013.)
The original group has dwindled down to two, both of whom are retired Marine Corps colonels.
While Richmond has run multiple marathons, including the Boston Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon has a special place in his heart. The retired colonel was part of the original team that set up the marathon, then called the Marine Corp Reserve Marathon.
“They were using it as recruitment when the all volunteer team first started,” Richmond said.
Richmond decided to run the race, even though he was not a long distance runner, and he got hooked.
“I ran the three miles for the Marine Corps and that was basically it,” he said. “And after running that first marathon I said that wasn’t bad and kept continuing to do it.”
Richmond started running multiple marathons, up to three or four a year, he said. While he used to run for speed — his top speed was a six minute mile — he now runs a slower mile and aims to finish.
He is lucky he hasn’t sustained an injury that would prevent him from running the race, he said, noting that there was one time he almost didn’t run.
Richmond was shot in a mugging in 1990 and underwent three serious surgeries. As a result, he was having trouble training and was going to throw in the towel, he said. He ultimately decided to run the race after reading an article in a newspaper.
“I was eating breakfast and I opened the paper and there was an article about the other colonel and how he was the only Marine to run all the marathons, and my wife looked across the table and said you’ve run all of them,” he said.
This year, Richmond will be running the course with one of his daughters. After the race he’ll go home to his house in the Maywood neighborhood, sleep and then either laze around or go for a walk.
“I’ll come home and take about a 20 minute hot shower and then I’ll go to bed for a couple hours because I’m exhausted,” Richmond said.
He doesn’t have a particular part of the race that he likes, he said, adding that he prefers the parts that have larger crowds.
“I wouldn’t say I really don’t like any of it except for 26.1 miles,” Richmond said.
The senior marathoner doesn’t have any longevity tricks for other runners, but he advises people to make sure to stay hydrated.
“It helps if you have a goal,” Richmond said. “If you are trying to get ready for a half marathon, a 10K, a 5K, that helps.”
It’s also important to listen to the body for when to push it and when to take a break. Sometimes a person has to push it in order to get past the mental wall, he said.
“Everyone’s different,” Richmond said. “You just have to go with it or play mind games.”
The inaugural Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation Memorial 5K and Family Fun Day will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Knights of Columbus at 5115 Little Falls Road, the same road on which Lawson was hit last year.
The 5K starts at 8 a.m., followed by the kids run at 9:30 a.m. After the races, the foundation will hold a family fun day, with music, food trucks and a beer garden. There will also be kids activities, including face painting, a moon bounce and balloon animals.
Registration for the race is still open. It costs $40 to run the 5K and $10 to participate in the kids run. All proceeds go to the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation, a memorial fund started by Lawson’s husband Neal to help provide pre- and postnatal care for families in need of financial assistance.
Lawson died on February 24, 2014, after being struck by a dump truck while loading her two-year-old daughter into her minivan. Her two sons were in class, across the street at Nottingham Elementary. After her death, a family friend created a memorial fund to help the family. He aimed to raise $5,000 and ended up raising more than $17,000.
A 14-year-old Arlington resident will be the youngest female runner in this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. As if that wasn’t unique enough, she’ll be one of the few to be running the race with her entire family.
Ella Alliston and her parents will all be running the marathon, the first for any of the Allistons.
The Marine Corps Marathon is open to anyone 14 years old and up, said marathon spokeswoman Tami Faram. Alliston said that she was surprised she was the youngest runner but was happy she could compete in a marathon at her age.
“When my friends found out they had kind of the same reaction, they were like ‘wow you are so young, I can’t believe you are doing it,'” Alliston said.
Alliston and her mom, Martha, and father, Ross, have run multiple races since Ella joined Girls on the Run in third grade. Ella and Martha started running 5K races, and encouraged Ross to join them. The family has since completed multiple races, including a half marathon last year.
“We did a half marathon and we didn’t want to get out of our routine so we decided our next step was a marathon,” Ella said.
The family has been training for the marathon for at least 18 weeks, Martha said. To prepare for the marathon, the family would run three days a week, with long distance runs on the weekends, Ella said.
“For the last month or so we’ve been running a half marathon or more on Saturdays,” Ross said.
The Allistons have run all over Arlington and D.C. in order to find enough miles for their long runs. They’ve run around downtown D.C., up the C&O Canal Trail and through Georgetown.
“I really liked running downtown and around the monuments,” Ella said. “It was another distraction to look at the monuments and everything. It was flat and there weren’t many hills.”
The family takes turns picking out which trail they’ll run. Ross likes the C&O trail, while Martha likes to run the urban environment of the District, they said.
“We run almost everywhere,” Martha said. “We’ve been through all parts of downtown by the Capitol, the monuments, all through Arlington.”
During the week, the family runs up N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive. Ella mapped out the exact routes that would meet the required mileage each week, Martha said.
After each run, the family heads home to shower and eat breakfast, a routine they plan to keep after the Marine Corps Marathon.
“We’ll probably head home. We have two little dogs we have to walk and then we’ll have lunch,” Ross said.
The family is looking forward to the marathon, they said, adding that they have already tested parts of the course, including the famous long first hill in Rosslyn.
“We’ve enjoyed training for it and we can’t wait to do the Marine Corps Marathon,” Martha said.
Office Vacancy Down in Arlington — Arlington has had a 1.6 percent positive net absorption of commercial office space so far this year. Crystal City in particular has done well, gaining 313,000 square feet of occupancy. [Bisnow]
History Plan for Arlington Centennial — Arlington County is seeking public comment on the mid-term report produced by the Arlington History Task Force. The task force is trying to come up with a plan for preserving Arlington’s history, in time for the county’s centennial in 2020. [Arlington County]
McLean Up in Arms Over Gun Store — Nova Firearms, the gun store that tried unsuccessfully to open a store in Cherrydale, has moved its McLean store to a larger location but is now incurring the wrath of a group of residents. Parents object to the fact that the new store is behind a local elementary school, in view of at least one classroom. [Washington Post]
Gym Responds to String of Sexual Assaults — Responding to a string of attacks on women in Arlington, including a sexual assault near Rosslyn over the weekend, the Nova MMA CrossFit gym is offering a free self-defense seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 7-9 p.m. [MyFoxDC]
Road Closures for Army Ten-Miler — Route 110, the northbound I-395 HOV lanes, S. Eads Street, Army Navy Drive, Long Bridge Drive and Washington Blvd are among the roads in Arlington that will be closed Sunday morning for the annual Army Ten-Miler race. [Arlington County]
The Tenth Anniversary of the Arlington Turkey Trot will be returning to town this Thanksgiving morning, giving everyone a reason to get moving before they sit down with family in the afternoon.
But it’s not all about the run– the event, which drew 4,000 runners last year, is also a huge charity event. This year, the beneficiaries are AFAC, A-SPAN, Bridges to Independence, Doorways for Women and Families and Linden Resources.
For those who want to trot it out for five kilometers, registration is now open. Volunteer opportunities are also available if running isn’t your thing, and volunteers should email [email protected] or go to the website to sign up.
This year is also special because the Trot has a new partnership with the Arlington Small Business Alliance and YOPP, whereby small business owners and employees will run and sponsor while registrants will be encouraged to patronize these businesses on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday with online discounts and goodies compliments of YOPP. The Trot welcomes donations and sponsors, whether individual or team donations or regular or special sponsorship opportunities.
Now’s the time to get involved with the 2015 Arlington Turkey Trot, a race that the race coordinators think will be the biggest and best yet.
The preceding post was written by ARLnow.com and sponsored by The Arlington Turkey Trot.
The Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ (5010 Little Falls Road) will discuss the intertwining of race and religion this month through sermons and evening session called “Starting the Conversation.”
The sermons and conversations were sparked by the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner while in police custody, which made national headlines and sparked a national dialogue on race, Rev. Kathy Dwyer said.
“I think we have just really been struck by the shocking events that have put the spotlight on racial injustice,” Dwyer said.
Starting on Sunday, Sept. 13, Dwyer will talk about racial justice through a series of three sermons about the story of Esther. The sermons will be a “broader brush stroke” about race and prejudice, she said.
“This series is based on the book of Esther, a dramatic story in the Hebrew Bible that is about an imbalance of power, privilege, prejudice, and taking risks to effect change,” Dwyer said. “In her sermons, Rev. Dwyer will reflect on Esther’s story and its connection with our lives, especially as it connects with the concerns about racial justice in America today.”
The church will also hold a series of three evening conversations about race and religion starting on Sunday, Sept. 20, which will be led by Dwyer and church leaders Susan Henderson, Laura Martin and Dale Dwyer. Each conversation will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Saegmuller Room at the Rock Spring church.
The conversations are open to youth, teenagers and adults, she said, and are part of a larger, “year-long focus on racial justice” that will extend into 2016.
Through the sessions, the church and its congregation will “explore the fundamental issues of racism, connecting the discussion to our church’s and denomination’s histories, to our our individual beliefs and actions, to the role of race in society and to the themes of race in religion,” according to the Starting the Conversation event page.
The discussion on Sept. 20 is called “Whose Story?” and will address what sparked the Church to talk about race. Participants will also talk about how race connects to the church and themselves in terms of their “denominational histories, identities and commitments.”
On Sept. 27, the church leaders will look at language and behaviors in terms of racism. The group will also look at the difficulties in talking about racism as part of the “Racism 101 and Beyond” conversation.
The last planned discussion, “The Bible and Racism” on Oct. 4, will examine the role of race in the Bible. Church members will also talk about how racial and cultural themes in the Bible are different than today’s experience with race.
“In our core values, we proclaim that we are an inclusive community, and a justice-seeking community. When we sing our centennial hymn, we pledge to loose the bonds of injustice,” Dwyer and church officials said in an email to congregants Thursday night. “We look forward to the start of this exciting program of learning, sharing, and taking action in support of our core values.”
Crystal City’s upcoming, eighth annual Twilighter 5K will give runners the opportunity to pound the pavement in the cooler hours of a summer evening.
The race is scheduled to kick off at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. The relatively flat course will start and finish at 2121 Crystal Drive, between 20th and 23rd Streets.
The opportunity for a twilight run isn’t the event’s only selling point: there will also be a post-race party with deals on drinks and food at several local establishments, as well as cash prizes for the course’s top finishers.
Pacers, the run organizer, is billing the race as a great way for high school cross country runners or teams to get energized for the upcoming season. Runners can sign up online; registration is $40 for adults and $20 for high school students.
Photo via Crystal City BID
This Sunday marks the second annual “Freedom Four” race, which will result in some road closures in the Rosslyn and Courthouse areas.
To accommodate the four-mile course, the Arlington County Police Department will be closing roads sections of Wilson Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and Route 110 on June 28 (below). All roads are expected to be open to traffic after 10:30 a.m.
Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Wilson Boulevard will be closed from N. Courthouse Road to N. Rhodes Street.
Between 7:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Wilson Boulevard will be closed from from Route 110 to N. Courthouse Road. Courthouse road will remain open. Again from 7:45 to 10:30 a.m., Route 110 Northbound will be closed from I-395 to I-66.
Parking in the area will be also be restricted during the race, and drivers should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. According to the ACPD, illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed.
The U.S. Track & Field-certified course will start and finish on Wilson Boulevard, near the restaurant Ireland’s Four Courts. The race begins promptly at 8 a.m., and participants are advised to arrive early.
Photo via Pacers Running.
The annual Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, hosted by Zero- The End of Prostate Cancer on Sunday, is a series of four events, with a four-mile run/walk, kids race, a one mile fun run and a “virtual” option for those who don’t want to wake up early.
“This series is a great chance for men, women, children, and families of all ages to increase awareness and raise funds to end a disease that affects one in seven fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, grandfathers, partners and friends,” said Jamie Bearse, the CEO of Zero in a statement.
The event starts with the Superhero Dash, a short sprint for kids ages nine and younger, at 8:15 a.m. Kids can dress up as their favorite superheroes and will receive capes.
The four mile walk/run starts at 8:30 a.m. and will take runners from Pentagon Row courtyard (1101 S. Joyce St.) down Army Navy Drive to S. Adams Street. Runners will turn around at S. Adams Street and finish at Pentagon Row. Participants can select and put on a tie shortly after the one mile mark at the “Tie One of for Dad” transition area (at S. Nash Street).
There will be awards for the top three male and female finishers, top three survivor finishers and top three male and female finishers in each age group.
This year, people can help support the end of prostate cancer from their beds by wearing a “Snooze for Dudes” t-shirt and posting a picture to social media.
Participants can register as an individual or as team. Registration is $40 for the four-mile race, $20 for the one-mile walk, $20 for the Superhero Dash and $35 for Snooze for Dudes.
The race will also feature the “Courage Wall,” a chalkboard wall where people can write what they wish they had the courage to be or do. The wall was created by Del Ray local Nancy Belmont and has since gone viral.
“The run/walk aims to bring together survivors, patients, families, friends and many in the community to raise funds for prostate cancer, and share hope and passion, and the Courage Wall will help us to do that,” said Amanda Pini, the marketing and communications coordinator for the race.
S. Joyce Street, between 15th Street S. and Army Navy Drive, and Army Navy Drive, between S. Joyce Street and 25th Street S., will be closed from 7-11 a.m. as a result of the race.
The Air Force Association Cycling Classic will take place in Clarendon and Crystal City over the weekend of June 13 and. The event will have several races, inviting cyclists of all ages and skill levels to participate in the event most appropriate for them.
The premier race of the weekend is Saturday’s Clarendon Cup, a pro/am race that will take riders up and down Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards in the heart of the neighborhood. That race is part of the National Criterium Calendar, a 13-race tour organized by USA Cycling.
During the Challenge Ride, staffs from congressional representatives will be invited to compete as teams, racing for their party. There are also races for kids, competitive amateurs and opportunities to compete as corporate teams. The Challenge Ride costs $60 to participate, with a $10 discount for active, reserve and retired military members.
Sunday afternoon, the event will conclude with the Crystal Cup, another National Criterium Calendar race, that will take riders along Jefferson-Davis Highway and Crystal Drive in Crystal City.
Arlington Ranks High for Tax Burden — Arlington County has the second highest overall tax burden in the nation, according to stats compiled by the website NerdWallet. Arlington’s high median income and high real estate costs factored heavily in the calculation, which includes federal, state and local taxes. [NerdWallet, Washington Business Journal]
Trevor Noah Performs in Arlington — Comedian Trevor Noah performed his first stand-up comedy show since being named the next host of The Daily Show last night in Arlington. It was the first of seven sold-out shows Noah is performing this weekend at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. In writing about the performance, the New York Times described the Drafthouse as “about a half-hour drive outside Washington, with drinks far cheaper than most places in the District.” [New York Times]
Amsterdam Falafelshop Offers Pot Pairings — Amsterdam Falafelshop, which has a location in Clarendon, is offering a “pot pairing menu” in time for 4/20. Also on April 20, the restaurant will offer sandwiches for $4.20. [Washington City Paper]
Arlington Resident in Voice Contest — Tara Cannon, an Arlington resident, is among the singers hoping to get a guaranteed audition for The Voice, via an online voting contest on NBC 4’s website. [NBC Washington]
Fairlington 5K Road Closures — Arlington County Police are planning on shutting down a number of roads Saturday morning for the second annual Fairlington 5K race. The roads are expected to be closed between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. [Arlington County]
Cherry Blossom Race Closures — Police are planning on closing the Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle to traffic Sunday morning for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K. The closure is scheduled to be in place from 5:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Starting this week, four 5K races will be held on consecutive Fridays — April 3, 10, 17 and 24. The races kick off from 2121 Crystal Drive at 6:30 p.m. each Friday, with a course that runs up and down Crystal Drive and Long Bridge Drive.
Registration for a single race is $20. Registration for all four races is $60. Runners can register online.
Drivers should expect road closures in the area during the race.
After each race there will be a post-race party at a local watering hole, with special deals for participants.
More information about the race is available on the Pacers website.
Disclosure: The Crystal City Business Improvement District is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Clement Running for County Board — Perennial local candidate Audrey Clement is running for Arlington County Board. Her paperwork was certified by election officials yesterday, placing her on the Nov. 3 ballot. Clement has ditched the Green Party label and is now running as an independent. Among her top issues are the historic preservation of Wilson School, getting developers to provide more community benefits and eliminating the 12.5 cent commercial real estate surcharge tax. [InsideNova]
Road Closures for Four Miler — A number of roads will be closed for much of Saturday morning for the Four Courts Four Miler. Among the planned closures are northbound Route 110 and Wilson Blvd from Courthouse Road to Route 110. [Arlington County]
Marine Corps Marathon Lottery Begins Today — Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon, which is being conducted via an online lottery, begins at noon today. The registration period closes at noon on March 23. The registration fee, for those who get in, is $125 plus processing fees. [Marine Corps Marathon]
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) It was the rallying cry on social media for activism after nationwide protest surrounding several police shootings and now it’s Arlington Public Library’s theme for Arlington Reads 2015: the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
The community-wide reading initiative focuses on race, according to a library press release, in two books: “Men We Reaped,” a memoir surrounding the deaths of five young black men close to author Jesmyn Ward, and “Americanah,” a novel about African emigrants struggling with race in Western civilization by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Arlington Reads is the library’s annual attempt to bring the community together around a single topic, to encourage reading and educated discussion. This year’s theme was selected because the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag was chosen as the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year in 2014 after police-related shooting deaths in Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, Ohio and elsewhere in the country.
The two authors will discuss their books — both published in 2013 to broad critical acclaim — in separate events at Arlington Central Library.
Ward, a professor at Tulane University, will speak at Central Library on Wednesday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. Adichie — known also for her TED Talk “We Should All Be Feminists” and her speaking part on Beyoncé’s song, Flawless — will speak at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. Admission to the events are free.
Images via Arlington Public Library