Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Arlington Is Top Destination for Young Adults — Arlington County is one of “the 40 places where young people are moving… based on the number of 18 to 34 year-olds who moved there in 2017 as a share of the total county population.” [USA Today]

Local Team Notches ‘World Series’ Win — “With their bats coming alive, the Arlington Senior Babe Ruth All-Stars improved to 1-2 in pool play Aug. 10 to win for the first time in the 15-under Babe Ruth World Series in Bismarck, N.D.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Firm Fined — “A military contractor has agreed to pay $4 million to settle an overbilling case. The U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey announced the settlement with Mission1st Group on Friday. The Arlington, Virginia-based company specializes in systems engineering, information technology and telecommunications.” [Associated Press]

Why the Crashed ART Bus is Still ThereUpdated at 9:25 a.m. — “The vehicle at Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive can’t be moved until the building structure is stabilized. Once repairs are made to the structure, the bus & the other vehicle pushed into the building will be moved and County Police will finalize their investigation.” [Twitter]

Photo courtesy @netforceone/Instagram

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Arlington Public Schools has been named the top school system in Virginia for the second year in a row.

Ranking site Niche recently released its new 2020 Best Schools list and APS topped all others in the Commonwealth with an A+ ranking. Falls Church City Public Schools was No. 2, Loudoun County Public Schools was No. 4 and Fairfax County Public Schools was No. 6.

APS received an A or A+ grade in the six major categories evaluated by Niche: academics, teachers, clubs and activities, diversity, college prep, and health and safety.

User reviews also gave APS high marks. One recent review, which Niche says was posted by a high school senior:

I have grown up in Arlington my entire life. This small town has taught me how to love home football games and holiday-themed parades. Every school, elementary, middle, and high school, has provided me with tools to grow as a student. The faculty has laid down the stepping stones for me to become a successful woman, and I cannot thank them enough.

Among individual high schools, Fairfax County schools dominated the top 10 in the state, while Arlington’s Washington-Liberty ranked No. 13, Yorktown ranked No. 17 and Wakefield ranked No. 51.

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Morning Notes

Feds Looking for Facility for Migrants — The federal government “has kicked off a search for a site in Northern Virginia to host one of several planned shelters for unaccompanied minors, part of the Trump administration’s answer to the ongoing immigration challenge playing out along the nation’s southern border.” While Arlington is among the jurisdictions included in the search, it’s unclear if the county has any site that would suit the requirements, which include 2 acres of recreation space. [Washington Business Journal]

Verizon Launches 5G in Crystal City — Last week Verizon launched 5G “Ultra Wideband” wireless service in parts of D.C. and Arlington, including Crystal City and Reagan National Airport. [Verizon]

Arlington Among Best Places for Young Pros — The website SmartAsset just ranked Arlington the No. 15 “city” for young professionals, ahead of D.C. (#21) but well behind Sioux Falls, S.D. (#1). [Thrillist, SmartAsset]

Water Main Break Near Crystal City — S. Eads Street was closed between 31st Street S. and S. Glebe Road last night for a water main break. The break affected a 12-inch main near the bus depot. [Twitter, Twitter]]

ACPD to Mix and Mingle in Clarendon — “Arlington County Police Department’s Restaurant Liaison Unit invites members of the public to join us for Conversation with a Cop in Clarendon on August 29, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Arlington ranks high for lots of things — parks, fitness, bike friendliness, livability — but not so much when it comes to safe driving.

Allstate’s just-released 15th annual America’s Best Drivers Report ranks Arlington No. 168 out of 200 cities studied.

According to the insurance company, drivers in the county go an average of 7.4 years between car insurance claims (compared to a national average of 10.57 years) and have an average of 25.3 “hard-braking events” per 1,000 miles (compared to the national average of 19).

The good news: Arlington drivers are getting safer. The county’s 2019 ranking is an improvement over 2013, when it was ranked 10th worst in the country.

Arlington also ranks better than other nearby cities. Washington, D.C. ranks No. 199 and Baltimore is dead last at No. 200. Alexandria, meanwhile, slots in at No. 192.

In Alexandria, Route 1 (Richmond Highway) was said to be the most “risky road” to drive on. In D.C., I-295 was the riskiest road, according to Allstate’s data.

Top on the list this year: drivers in Brownsville, Texas ranked No. 1, going 14.9 years between crashes on average.

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On the heels of being named the fittest “city” in America, Arlington has also earned a fourth-place ranking in parks from the Trust for Public Land (TPL).

The national ranking has been fairly consistent for Arlington, while neighbor D.C. surpassed Minneapolis to take the first place spot. The “ParkScore” rankings rank the quality of the park system of the top 100 cities in the United States, including Arlington.

Arlington scored in the top percentiles for access, investment and amenities, though it scored fairly low in overall acreage.

The TPL noted in its report that 98 percent of Arlington residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park — exceeding the national average of 54 percent — and that park access was consistent across all income levels.

“Parks build community. Our mission is to promote wellness and vitality through dynamic programs and attractive public spaces. And it looks like we are right on track,” Jane Rudolph, Director of Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement. “Our public spaces, which include parks, playgrounds, trails, fields and nature and community centers, bestow a unique and irreplaceable benefit to everyone in Arlington. Our public spaces make us happier and healthier.”

The assessment noted that Arlington has a particularly high amount of basketball hoops — 7.8 per 10,000 people — and playgrounds — 4.4 per 10,000 people.

Arlington was commended for the amount the county spends on parks: $267.23 per resident.

But with 11 percent of Arlington’s land used for parks and recreation, the TPL noted this as being below the national median of 15 percent and D.C.’s 21 percent.

The TPL also pointed to locations across Arlington in need of a new park, mainly locations around the northwest periphery of the county.

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Arlington County is ranked the fittest “city” in America, according to a new report by the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Arlington, VA’s balance of both healthy behaviors and community infrastructure earned them the #1 overall rank,” reads the 29-page American Fitness Index report released today (Tuesday)

The American Fitness Index scored the nearby District of Columbia at No. 6.

Arlington ranked as high as it did in part because 92.6 percent of adults reported exercising in the last 30 days. By comparison, 75.7 adults in D.C. reported exercising in the last 30 days.

Arlingtonians also ranked the highest in terms of health, with 71.4 percent of people recorded as being of “excellent” or very good health.

Other specific data helped improve Arlington’s ranking, including the low number of smokers (6.5 percent), and a low pedestrian fatality rate of less than one fatality per 100,000 people.

Pedestrian fatalities is a new variable for the study, which this year also added criteria to the ranking based on bicycling, air quality, and street infrastructure.

The study was funded by a grant from the Anthem Foundation.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

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Arlington County rode ahead of D.C. in a newly-released bike friendliness rating.

The county was ranked No. 5 nationally for best urban area to bicycle, in rankings compiled by Colorado-based PeopleForBikes. The District of Columbia ranked No. 15. Boulder, Colorado was No. 1.

Arlington achieved its ranking in part due to a strong safety record, said spokesman Alex Showerman. Arlington ranked first in the U.S. for bicycle safety, according to the organization.

PeopleForBikes used data in five categories to rank each location: ridership, safety, network, acceleration, and reach.

Arlington County’s Department of Environmental Services took to social media Tuesday morning to tout the results.

The county recently updated its bike master plan for future cycling infrastructure after advocates shared the need for more safe routes.

PeopleForBikes studied cities nationwide based in part from data via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The organization is planning to host a webinar with more details about the rankings and the data behind them next Tuesday, from 3-5 p.m.

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Arlington County is the “best city for runners” again, according to the results of an annual study.

The county was also the top-ranked place for runners in last year’s list, compiled by the number crunchers at the website SmartAsset.

“Arlington has more races per 10,000 residents than any other city in our study,” SmartAsset wrote. “And residents who want to participate in races have places to train. Almost all residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. If you prefer to run indoors, the city also offers the third-highest number of gyms per 10,000 residents.”

“Beyond being a great locale for running, Arlington is also a very livable city,” the website added. “It ranked ninth in the study for lowest housing costs as a percentage of income and 16th for walkability.”

Upcoming races in Arlington include Crystal City’s 5K Fridays, which take place during the month of April, and the Arlington Bunny Hop Charity 5K, which is set for next weekend.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Family of Detained Arlington Man Seeks Answers — “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met privately with the families of Americans detained abroad Tuesday and urged them not to abandon hope. The State Department declined to share the names of those present but they included… the daughter of Majd Kamalmaz, a 61-year-old psychotherapist from Arlington, Virginia, who has been missing in Syria since 2017.” [NBC News]

Jury Duty Changes — “The verdict is in, and at least from the standpoint of Arlington officials, a two-year-long revamp of how local jurors are selected appears to be a success. ‘We have received positive feedback,’ said Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson.” [InsideNova]

Arlington is Near Top for Dog Owners — Arlington has ranked No. 14 among the most dog-friendly places in the U.S. in 2019, according to pet website Rover. The most popular breed in Arlington: mutts. [Zebra]

Va. to Implement Conversion Therapy Ban — Virginia’s Board of Psychology is a month away from potentially implementing a ban on conversion therapy on minors by licensed psychologists. “This has been a long, arduous process but make no mistake, Virginia is going to ban this ineffective, harmful practice on children,” Arlington’s Del. Patrick Hope (D) said via Twitter. “This is the first of many steps toward protecting Virginia’s children.” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]

Nearby: Woman Runs All of Alexandria’s Streets — “For the last 19 weeks, Stephanie Lasure has been running every street in the City of Alexandria. She is weaving her way through every nook and cranny — down every block in Old Town, around every cul-de-sac in Seminary Hill and up every ascent in Rosemont.” [RunWashington]

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Arlington is ranked as Virginia’s second healthiest county, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin.

The county ranked right behind Loudoun County when it came to overall health of residents, and scored third best (behind Fairfax and Falls Church) for lacking environmental and behavioral issues that affect residents’ health.

Arlington’s rate of premature deaths is about half the state average and part of a downwards trend of premature deaths — a trend the county has followed since 1997.

The project’s report on Virginia noted that statewide, the healthiest counties experienced an average of 3,400 premature deaths per 100,000 residents, versus 18,600 premature deaths in the counties ranked least healthy. The report also noted that seven percent of babies born in healthiest counties were low-weight, compared to 12 percent in the least healthy counties.

The study is part of a project mapping the health of residents in all U.S. counties, called the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, which ranked counties using the following data:

  • Lifespan (measured against life expectancy of 75 years)
  • Quality of life (measured by people self-reporting)
  • Percentage of babies born with a low birth weight

The study’s health factors measured variables known to affect people’s wellbeing, like air and water quality, length of commutes, prevalence of addictions, and access to housing, healthcare and employment.

The study was done by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Photo via County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

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Morning Notes

‘I Voted’ Sticker Design Competition — “The Arlington Electoral Board is teaming up with the Arlington Artists Alliance and the county library system on its first-ever ‘I Voted’ decal competition. Modeled on a similar effort in New York City, the contest encourages Arlington residents to submit designs for the decal that will be distributed to voters on Election Day and used in a variety of outreach campaigns.” [InsideNova]

Crystal City Startup Implodes — “One of Trustify’s investors is asking Delaware’s Chancery Court to appoint a receiver to oversee the company, claiming in court documents that founder and CEO Danny Boice ‘misappropriated Trustify corporate funds for personal use’ and effectively abandoned the business.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington No. 1 for Working Moms — Arlington is the No. 1 best “city” for working moms, according to a new study. “Women in Arlington earn a median salary of $76,438, and the pay gap is narrower than the U.S. average,” the study notes. [Haven Life]

Local Gov’t Contractor Makes Acquisition — Clarendon-based By Light Professional IT Services LLC yesterday “announced the acquisition of [Tysons-based] Phacil, Inc., a diversified software, cybersecurity, systems engineering and managed services provider to the US Government. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.” [PR Newswire]

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