Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Gold’s to Open Outdoor Workout Space — “Gym goers in Arlington, Virginia, will soon take spin classes on an open air training terrace instead of peddling away indoors. Gold’s Gym will open a turf-covered outdoor promenade for classes and training sessions at a new location that’s set to open over the Rosslyn Metro station in early 2021.” [NBC 4]

Beyer Blasts Trump Stimulus Decision — Before the president seemingly reversed his reversal, Rep. Don Beyer said in a statement: “President Trump’s stunning reversal on stimulus negotiations could not have come at a worse time. Just as a bipartisan deal to support American families, boost the economy, and fight the pandemic seemed increasingly promising, the President made the bewildering decision to walk away from talks completely.” [Press Release]

Sexual Assault on Silver Line — “An attacker tried to rape a woman Tuesday on a Metro train in Northern Virginia, the transit system said. The attack occurred about 11:35 a.m. on a Silver Line train between the McLean and East Falls Church stations, Metro said.” [Washington Post]

Water Work in Rock Spring — “Emergency Water Main Break: 4953 Little Falls Rd. Crews have been dispatched to the location. Little Falls Rd b/w Old Dominion and N Columbus St will be closed until about 12pm on 8/7.” [Twitter]

Arlington Man Attempting Major Feat — “Ashley set a goal of being the first kidney donor to complete the seven summits — climbing to the highest point in every continent. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, but his goal remains on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on travel.” [RunWashington]

Local Events for Domestic Violence Awareness — “October 1 marks the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month… In moving our awareness into action, Project PEACE is partnering with Northern Virginia regional domestic violence agencies to #PowerUpNoVA with free awareness and educational opportunities that spotlight less commonly recognized forms of abuse.” [Arlington County]

Update on Northam’s Symptoms — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said this week that he has developed ‘mild’ symptoms of covid-19 more than a week after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, but he is continuing to conduct business remotely. ‘I had a little bit of cold-like symptoms over the weekend and lost my sense of taste or smell, but other than that, I feel fine,’ Northam (D) said Monday.” [Washington Post]

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A man groped a woman on a trail near Ballston Monday afternoon, according to Arlington County Police.

The incident happened on the Custis Trail around 12:30 p.m. Police say the woman was jogging when the man, who had just jogged past her, turned around and grabbed her buttocks.

More from an ACPD crime report:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2020-10050088, N. Glebe Road at 15th Street N. At approximately 12:37 p.m. on October 5, police were dispatched to the report of a sexual assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was jogging in the area on the Custis Trail when she observed the male suspect jogging towards her. After they passed each other, the suspect turned around, approached the victim from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The suspect fled on foot prior to police arrival. The victim was not injured. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, pudgy, 5’6″-5’8″, with brown eyes, wearing a tan baseball cap, a white shirt, cargo shorts and white tennis shoes.

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A dispute between a cyclist and a jogger led to an indecent exposure incident on the Mt. Vernon Trail yesterday afternoon, police say.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m., on the trail near Roaches Run and Gravelly Point. A man on a bicycle was engaged in an shouting match with a jogger; at one point, police say, the cyclist allegedly flashed the jogger.

“During the argument, the suspect exposed themselves to the other party,” said U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado. The cyclist rode off before police arrived.

Delgado did not provide a suspect description, but police radio traffic at the time described him as riding a road bike while dressed in spandex and red and white striped socks.

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Arlington is the third-best place in the United States for runners, according to a newly-released study.

The website SmartAsset “analyzed data for 95 of the largest U.S. cities across six metrics related to the safety, accessibility and popularity of running as well as the affordability of local housing,” a company spokeswoman said, adding that it’s the fourth year in a row that the list has been compiled.

Arlington has actually fallen in the rankings, from first in 2018 and 2019 to third this year. It appears that a lower percentage of parkland than other locales might have hurt the county in the rankings. It fared better in other metrics.

“Arlington, Virginia has the second-highest number of gyms per 10,000 residents of any of the 95 cities in our study, at approximately 2.4,” SmartAsset wrote. The county “also ranks seventh overall for housing costs as a percentage of income, at slightly more than 20%. Arlington has a walk score of 68.9, the 15th-best score for this metric of any of the cities we analyzed.”

Running, the website notes, “is a great way to stay fit during the pandemic, as it allows people to get outdoors while maintaining social distancing with minimal equipment.”

The top dozen best places for runners, according to SmartAsset, are:

  1. Minneapolis
  2. Omaha
  3. Arlington
  4. San Francisco
  5. New York City
  6. Seattle
  7. St. Paul
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Madison
  10. Pittsburgh
  11. Boston
  12. Chicago
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Morning Notes

Local Man Killed in Crash Near Shirlington — “At approximately 7:44 p.m. on July 3, 2020, police were dispatched to the area of Walter Reed Drive and S. Wakefield Street for multiple reports of a crash with injury. The preliminary investigation indicates that the motorcyclist was traveling southbound on Walter Reed Drive at a high rate of speed when he lost control, struck a pole and was thrown from the vehicle.” [Arlington County]

Yorktown Grad Entering Third NFL Season — “The upcoming NFL season, if it is played, will be M.J. Stewart’s third, and the Yorktown High School graduate is more than eager for this month’s training camp then the 2020-21 season to start. ‘I just want to get to training camp,’ said the 5-foot-11, 200-pound defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.” [InsideNova]

Ethiopian Community Facing Dual Challenges — “The Supreme Court on June 25 okayed the Trump administration’s policy of limiting the number of asylum seekers in the country… Most likely to feel the impact locally is the Arlington-based Ethiopian Community Development Council Inc., the refugee-support and State Department-authorized transition agency with offices just off Columbia Pike… this sub-sector of Arlington’s diverse population is among those hit hardest by the coronavirus lockdown.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Why Galaxy Hut is Not Opening Indoors — Updated at 9:10 a.m. — “We just decided ultimately that the questions are too many. Too many questions about how safe it is to be out and dine. And we didn’t feel like with our small size in particular that we would be a good candidate for trying this out. We didn’t want to take the risk.” [WJLA]

River Rescue Blocks Chain Bridge — From Sunday afternoon: “River incident the Potomac River vicinity Fletchers boathouse. Injured 18 year old who fell approximately 20 feet from rocks. Will require patient to be lowered to shoreline and transported by boat.” [Twitter]

Wardian Completes Delaware Run — “Ultrarunner Mike Wardian ran the length of the state of Delaware, starting the 130-mile (209-kilometre) route on July 2 and finishing 26 hours later. He began the run in the afternoon, just north of Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city, near the state border with Pennsylvania. He ran in [93 degree] weather straight through the night and next morning, and 26 hours, 19 minutes and 43 seconds later, he crossed the state’s southern border and ran into Maryland.” [Canadian Trail Running]

Photo courtesy Eliana Carreño

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Morning Notes

Schwartz Presents New Capital Plan — “County Manager Mark Schwartz has proposed a $277.5 million one-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The County Manager, rather than proposing the traditional 10-year plan, is presenting a short-term proposal until the County better understands the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of the one-year CIP is on projects that are already underway, those that improve failing or end-of-life infrastructure, and those required by legal or regulatory obligations.” [Arlington County]

Juvenile Court Reeling from Coronavirus Cases — “An outbreak of covid-19 in the clerk’s office of the Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has forced the court to close the office to the public and has concerned lawyers who practice there daily. Four of the seven clerks in the office have tested positive for covid-19.” [Washington Post]

Small Business Grants Announced — “Arlington County today announced 394 businesses are receiving the Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term). The GRANT program provides financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT funds were designed to bridge the gap to provide near-term relief for businesses and nonprofits, some of whom have experienced delays or limitations with federal relief initiatives.” [Arlington County, Arlington Economic Development]

Va. Not Ready for Phase 3 — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that statewide Covid-19 numbers ‘continue to look favorable,’ but that he will not move the commonwealth into phase 3 of reopening this week. ‘I want to have more time to see how the numbers look before we make changes, especially as we see surges in other parts of our country,’ Northam said.” [Washington Business Journal, InsideNova]

Wardian to Run to Every District Taco — “This is Mike Wardian, a Guinness-World-Record winning runner, who is partnering with DT on Saturday, June 20 as he runs to ALL 12 DMV LOCATIONS (just about 60 miles)! If you see Mike on his run, snap a pic and use #whereswardian for in-app credit for a free taco!” [Twitter]

County Offers Free Trees and Tree Maintenance — “Arlington County loves trees, and knows trees are critical for our stormwater infrastructure, environmental and human health benefits, and through its Tree Canopy Fund EcoAction Arlington offers grants to plant or maintain trees on private property.” [Press Release]

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) A fanny pack-clad man exposed himself to female jogger on a local trail, according to Arlington County Police.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. Monday. A crime report lists the location as being in proximity to intersection of 15th Street N. and N. Quincy Street, on the Custis trail near Washington-Liberty High School.”

“The victim was running on the Custis trail when she observed the suspect turn away from the trail, then turn back towards her, exposing himself,” ACPD says. “The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a white male in his 20’s, with brown hair, wearing blue shorts, no shirt, and a black fanny pack. The investigation is ongoing.”

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Arlington’s own extreme endurance athlete Michael Wardian is comfortable on a treadmill. Comfortable enough to play Madden while running. Comfortable enough to do an interview while running. And, he hopes, comfortable enough to reclaim the 50K treadmill world record tomorrow.

Starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Wardian says he’ll start running with an aim of breaking the 50K record (around 31 miles) in around two hours and 57 minutes.

For Wardian, it’s an attempt to take back a record he previously held, but one that he says has been broken a few times since quarantine started and more runners looking for records to beat have taken to treadmills. Wardian says he’s not worried.

“I’ve set a bunch of world records on the treadmill, I’m pretty confident,” Wardian said with a laugh. “There’s nothing you have to worry about other than picking your feet up.”

It would not be the first record Wardian, 45, has set during the pandemic. In April, he ran 262.52 miles in a loop around his neighborhood as part of a quarantine ultramarathon challenge.

Wardian said he enjoys the treadmill because it feels like the most “fair” kind of running, without other factors in the course that can give runners an advantage or disadvantage. He noted that at marathons people only usually see the runner at the start and the finish, but on a treadmill run they can watch him or her the whole time through the race.

“There’s going to be a live stream,” Wardian said. “We’ll send a link out later today and people can Zoom or they can go to my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and can make requests during the run. I think it will be awesome. We’ll have announcers and people there going for other records.”

For aspiring treadmill runners, Wardian also offered a little advice.

“Like a lot of things, it takes a lot of practice,” Wardian said. “A big part is just knowing where all the buttons are and changing the inclines. If you are running, you may want to put it at one percent grade because it mimics being outside. I also recommend changing the incline if you’re on a long run so your feet don’t hit at the same place every time.”

Photo courtesy Michael Wardian

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Morning Notes

Special Election Voting Starts Today — “Arlington election officials have announced plans for two Saturday dates for in-person absentee voting in advance of the July 7 County Board special election. Saturday voting will be available on June 20 and July 4, augmenting the usual Monday-to-Friday early voting that will begin May 22.” [InsideNova]

Big Food Donation to Green Valley Church — “3,300 lasagna and vegetable meals donated by chef Jose Andres’ @WCKitchen were given to those in need at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church in Arlington [on] May 21.” [@ZoeyMaraistACH/Twitter]

Flags In at Ceremony Despite Pandemic — “The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment has continued their tradition of placing American flags at every grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day.” [NBC 4]

Arlingtonian Aims to Run Every Street — “Before the pandemic hit, I hadn’t taken a big vacation in years. Since I’m at a dramatically reduced salary from not working full-time and, like so many Arlingtonians, dealing with underlying stress and anxiety while still feeling incredibly thankful, I’ve decided to use this time to discover my own city by walking or running every street.” [Arlington Magazine]

Local Wages Were Rising at the End of 2019 — “The average weekly wage for those working in Arlington (wherever they may live) stood at $1,963 in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to data reported May 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase of 4.7 percent from the same period a year before, well above the national growth rate of 3.5 percent (to $1,185).” [InsideNova]

Local Artist Creates Virus Sculptures — “The sculptures seem to be inspired by the latest breaking news headlines. A figure in a stark white face mask. A giant virus cell mutating into a tentacled sea creature that morphs back into a virus… The centerpiece was a spiky model of “a virus, with seven figures running away,” said [Hadrian] Mendoza, 46, a ceramic artist, sculptor and full-time art director at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington since 2017.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Rain and Storms Today — “Waves of showers or storms are a good bet as the slow-moving upper level low pressure system finally decides to wander by. Round one will end in the morning to midday, but skies remain mostly cloudy. If we do see enough sunshine and heating, it’s not impossible some severe storms will develop nearby.” [Capital Weather Gang]

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Arlington’s resident extreme endurance athlete has pulled off another improbable feat.

Michael Wardian was among the participants in the “Backyard Quarantine Ultra,” a virtual race conducted via Zoom and social media. The race kicked off Saturday and attracted worldwide attention for its unique format — it challenged runners to run about 4.2 miles on the hour, each hour, and broadcast it via the video conferencing app.

What started with 2,300 runners from 50 countries quickly became a battle of attrition. By day two, it was down to just two: Wardian, 45, and Czech runner Radek Brunner.

A TV crew from WJLA showed up to film the spectacle as Wardian repeatedly ran the same loop around the Arlington Forest neighborhood, where he lives, to the cheers of neighbors.

With the round-the-clock race dragging into its third night and surpassing the 250 mile mark, the audience grew.

Finally, at 11 p.m. last night, Brunner — who was running inside on a treadmill — made a mistake: not starting in time when the horn sounded. He was disqualified and Wardian crowned the champion after he completed his loops. He had competed for 63 hours, had not slept, and ended up running a total of 262.52 miles.

“It was a real honor and privilege to be a part of something beyond my imagination,” said an exhausted Wardian, who came a few hours shy of a world record after the race ended.

Congratulations flowed in from all corners of the globe, including from his hometown.

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With running retailer Pacers shutting down its brick-and-mortar stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, the regional chain has shifted its focus to newly-launched virtual fittings.

Like many other video conferences being scheduled for those working from home, virtual fittings are being conducted via Zoom. The customer books an appointment online then joins a one-on-one call with someone from Pacers, who walks them through the sizing and gives the customer some shoe recommendations based on their needs.

The shoes are then ordered online and sent to the house, but can be returned for a full refund.

“This has been incredibly popular,” Pacers CEO Kathy Dalby told ARLnow. “We booked almost 100% — over 50 appointments the first week — within 72 hours of launching. We had 100 scheduled as of this morning.”

Dalby said the company is aiming to increase its capacity for virtual fittings over the next few days. A chat feature on the website has also proven popular for the online store. Dalby credited much of that to outdoor running being one of the few allowable, socially-distanced exercises left and a popular form of stress relief.

“Our online sales have increased 10 fold, as has the option for people to have their product shipped or picked up curbside at select locations,” Dalby said.

Still, Dalby admitted the closure of the physical stores in mid-March hurt the company as closures throughout the region has severely impacted other local retail.

“We certainly saw a large dip the first week when the world was just trying to figure out what was going on,” Dalby said. “Spring is a big season for us so it certainly stings but we saw sales double from the first week of closure to last week as we mobilized our team and rolled out virtual fit options and promotion of our online shop. While the closures are incredibly difficult for all small businesses we are hanging in there and staying positive.”

Dalby said the crisis put pressure on the Pacers team to respond quickly. Virtual fittings, for example, went from concept to market in eight days.

“Normally a product like that would take 3-4 months to develop and test,” Dalby said. “We are design testing it on the fly making edits as we go. Finding these new ways to communicate with our customers will have staying power past COVID-19 for sure.”

The other side of Pacers is as an organizer of local races, like the now-postponed Crystal City 5K Fridays. All races have been put on hold for now.

“April is our biggest month for events constituting about 65% of our event revenue for the year,” Dalby said. “Through amazing partnerships… we have been able to pivot and reschedule a good number of events. We will certainly see a dramatic decrease in revenue for this year but are working now with many of our client events to help them find new dates in the fall.

“This will change the landscape of events,” she added. “We are working with other race producers across the country to mold what the future will look like.”

File photo

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