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Morning Notes

Heavy rain along the Potomac River, with Rosslyn in the background (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Mysterious Bug Bites Reported — Arlington residents are against dealing with red and intensely itchy bug bites, the cause of which is so far unclear. One theory is that last year’s scourge of oak mites are back. [Facebook, WUSA 9]

Catalytic Converter Thefts in Fairlington — “A resident has reported that the catalytic converter on their Toyota Prius was stolen during the night March 21, 2022. The converter was physically cut away from the vehicle. There have been 7 similar thefts of catalytic converters reported from the Fairlington neighborhoods.” [Twitter]

Man Pistol Whipped By Intruder — “2000 block of S. Kenmore Street. At approximately 2:15 p.m. on March 22, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when the three known suspects forced entry inside and struck him with a firearm. The victim then deployed pepper spray and the suspects fled the scene. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. Warrants were obtained for one suspect.” [ACPD]

Gym in Crystal City Unionizes — From Washingtonian’s Andrew Beaujon: “Movement Crystal City is the US’s first unionized climbing gym. We wrote about this place when it was called Earth Treks.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Help for Arlington’s Ukrainian Sister City — “That partnership, which came to fruition after years of advocacy by Sonevytsky, has mostly focused on cultural and professional exchanges. But the unprovoked Russian attack on Ukraine last month changed all that. Now, the Arlington Sister City Association and the volunteer group that runs the Ivano-Frankivsk relationship are focused on a new mission: helping send humanitarian aid to their partner city and educating Arlington residents about their community’s ties to a place now in a war zone.” [WAMU]

Reminder: Free Observation Deck in Rosslyn — “If you’re looking for views of the blossoms at the Tidal Basin and beyond, head to The View of DC, located at 1201 Wilson Boulevard! This 360-degree observation deck is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with evening hours until 9 p.m. on Mondays!) and admission is free with a valid government ID.” [Rosslyn BID]

Injunction Against Va. Mask-Optional Law — “Preliminary injunction granted by the federal court preventing defendants from enforcing EO 2 and SB 739 (the mask-optional law) in schools where the plaintiffs & their children are enrolled.” [Twitter, Washington Post, WJLA]

Pappy Is Back at Virginia ABC — “Good news bourbon lovers: Virginia’s annual Pappy Van Winkle lottery is back — this year with two types of Van Winkles… Anyone 21 and over with a valid Virginia driver’s license (you have to prove it when you show up to purchase) can enter the lotteries on Virginia ABC’s website from Wednesday, March 23 until Sunday, March 27 at 11:59pm.” [Axios]

It’s Thursday — After early morning storms, light rain throughout much the day. High of 66 and low of 58. Sunrise at 7:06 am and sunset at 7:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Chair Katie Cristol issuing a resolution condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine (screenshot via Arlington County/YouTube)

The Arlington County Board has issued a resolution condemning Russia’s “unprovoked attack” on Arlington’s sister city Ivano-Frankivsk in southwestern Ukraine.

At last night’s special County Board meeting, Chair Katie Cristol announced a resolution declaring the county’s solidarity and support for the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk. Last week, a missile hit the city’s airport amid Russia’s ongoing, bloody invasion of Ukraine.

“The Arlington County Board… stands in support and solidarity with the people of Ivano-Frankivsk and all of Ukraine in their defense of sovereignty and democracy,” reads the resolution, in part.

The resolution also defends Ukraine’s right to be independent and self-governing. It condemns the invasion and attacks on Ivano-Frankivsk, which has also made international headlines during the conflict due to the hundreds of Indian college students that are stranded there.

Ivano-Frankivsk is one of five Arlington sister cities. The designation became official in 2011 when, in March of that year, then-Board chair Chris Zimmerman was joined by the city’s mayor for a signing ceremony in Crystal City.

A number of Board members have visited the city of about 240,000 people, Cristol noted in her remarks.

The relationship also extended to first responders with Ivano-Frankivsk firefighters having become “friends and students” of their Arlington counterparts. There was also a student exchange program with Swanson Middle School.

“It has been a sister city in every sense of the word,” Cristol said.

In recent days, both D.C. and Alexandria have lit up government buildings and monuments in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. While Arlington has no current plans to do that, a county spokesperson tells ARLnow, the resolution shows the connection the county has with the eastern European country.

“We are keeping our sister city and all of the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and hearts at this time,” Cristol said. “And I know many members of our community are joining us in doing so.”

Full resolution is below.

SUPPORTING ARLINGTON COUNTY’S SISTER CITY IVANO-FRANKIVSK DURING THE RUSSIAN MILITARY INVASION OF AND ATTACK ON UKRAINE

Whereas, on March 4, 2011, the Arlington County Board voted to establish a partnership with the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, the purpose of which is to foster friendship and promote mutual tolerance and understanding by establishing ties between the citizens and institutions of the two communities.

Whereas, our two communities through its Sister City partnership have welcomed opportunities to participate in mutual exchanges of people, culture, and ideas, including a student exchange program with Swanson Middle School.

Whereas, the Arlington County Board has welcomed several exchanges to share information and expertise with public safety responders in our Sister City and the Board has participated in formal meetings with government officials, while the Government of Ivano-Frankivsk has similarly participated and welcomed delegations of our own Government and staff.

Whereas, in the spirit of friendship, understanding, and mutual respect of our cultures and histories, we believe it is important to speak out against unjust actions and demonstrate our support for our friends and partners.

Whereas, we learned on February 24, 2022, a Russian missile struck the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk, Arlington’s sister city in Ukraine, only hours after leaders of the Russian Federation launched an invasion into the sovereign country.

Resolved, that the Arlington County Board –

Condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and unprovoked attack on our Sister City, Ivano-Frankivsk.

Reaffirms our community’s unwavering belief in the principles of international law and in the right of sovereign nations like Ukraine to be respected and safe within their established borders, independent and self-governing, and free to follow their own values and build their own future.

Stands in support and solidarity with the people of Ivano-Frankivsk and all of Ukraine in their defense of sovereignty and democracy.

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Morning Notes

Advocates Pushing for Less Parking at HQ2 — “Amazon wants employees at its new Northern Virginia headquarters to commute car-free to work… So why does the development’s current design include an underground parking garage with nearly 2,000 spaces — guaranteeing that a significant chunk of Amazon’s workforce will drive to work?” [Greater Greater Washington]

Express Lanes Causing 14th Street Bridge Slowdown? — Some commuters have been taking to social media to gripe about what they say is heavier traffic caused by the I-395 Express Lanes: “This morning the express lanes made 395N regular lanes undriveable. The problem is they closed off the 14th street bridge hov to regular traffic, which is creating a tremendous clog point. Its now taking 30 mins just to cross the 14th street bridge.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Northam in Arlington Today — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is scheduled to attend the Governor’s Transportation Conference this morning at a hotel in Crystal City. [Cvent]

‘Feuerwehrmann’ Joins ACFD for Three Weeks — “Two Arlington County Fire Department crews had a unique opportunity recently when they welcomed a fellow firefighter from the Aachen Fire Department in Germany.  Lieutenant Sebastian Ganser, a firefighter, paramedic, and fire instructor in Arlington’s sister city of Aachen, Germany, spent three weeks with Station 5C in Crystal City and Station 2B in Ballston — living and working alongside Arlington’s firefighters and paramedics.” [Arlington County]

Long-Distance Runners Arriving in Arlington Soon — “Josh and Brian will be running roughly 500 miles from Massachusetts National Cemetery to Arlington National Cemetery in VA for your donations. This journey will take between 10-14 days averaging 40-50 miles per day. They will start on November 11th, 2019 (Veterans Day) and will only stop to eat and sleep until they make it to Arlington, VA.” [Mission 22]

Road Closures for Annual 5K — “The 5th annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, November 23, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will implement several road closures from approximately 8:00 AM until 11:00 AM to accommodate this event.” [Arlington County]

Planetarium Boosters to Stay Active During Closure — “The Arlington school system’s lone planetarium will be closed for about a year and a half starting later this month, as construction takes place turning the nearby Arlington Education Center building into classroom space. But leaders with the Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium say they will fill the gap with programming elsewhere during the closure.” [InsideNova]

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Morning Notes

An ice resurfacer at the Pentagon Row ice rink

School Enrollment Surging — Enrollment in Arlington Public Schools is now projected to increase from 22,657 pre-K to 12th grade students today to 30,777 students by the 2023-24 school year. The projections suggest that enrollment will near 27,000 by the 2017-18 school year, breaking the previous record for APS enrollment. [Sun Gazette]

Ukrainian Mayor Presents Library With Sculpture — Viktor Anushkevychus, the mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk, Arlington’s sister city in Ukraine, presented Arlington Central Library with a metal sculpture of a tree yesterday. [Arlington Public Library]

Libby Garvey Looking for New Assistant — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey is seeking a new aide in the County Board office, after her previous aide left for a new position in the county. “If you know of anyone who might be interested in the position, please encourage them to check out the announcement and apply,” she said in a recent email to supporters. The full-time job pays between $39,062 and $63,523, plus benefits. [Arlington County]

Model Bootcamp Coming to Pentagon City — A “bootcamp” for wanna-be models is coming to the Pentagon City mall on Saturday. From 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will host a promotional event for “The Face,” a new modeling competition show on the Oxygen network. Participants will be put through a “casting session” that will include a short photo shoot; in the end, they’ll be emailed an animated GIF of photos from the shoot. [Oxygen]

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Morning Notes

Examiner: It’s All Zimmerman’s Fault— In an editorial, the Washington Examiner encourages drivers stuck on I-66 to “call or tweet Arlington Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman” to complain, since “he’s one of the most vocal opponents of widening I-66 inside the Beltway.” Regarding local opposition to adding a third lane to I-66, the paper concludes: “This whole scenario is beyond short-sighted and incompetent. This is insane.” [Washington Examiner]

Flat Fare Could Cost Arlington Metro Riders — Arlington transit riders take, on average, the shortest trips of any local residents on the Metrorail system. As a result, county officials warn that Arlington riders will pay more if Metro ever switches to a flat fare system — as has been proposed as a way to simplify the agency’s fare system. [Sun Gazette]

Arlington’s First Female K-9 — The Arlington County Police Department recently received its first female police dog. Roxy, a Belgian Malinois, graduated from an intense, 15-week K-9 patrol school in June. Roxy and handler Cpl. Thorpe Lichtenberg are one of Arlington’s nine K-9 teams. [Examiner]

Exchange Students Arrive — Arlington fifth graders will be waiting at the airport today to greet 44 sixth graders from Aachen, Germany, as they arrive with their parents for “a whirlwind week in the D.C. area.” The German students will stay with the families of fifth graders who attend Nottingham, Tuckahoe and Arlington Traditional elementary schools. In addition to attending classes, they will visit memorials and museums, go on hikes and attend sporting events. Aachen is Arlington’s sister city, and the exchange is being organized by the Arlington Sister Cities Association.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

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