Join Club
Athletic field in Quincy Park is used for soccer practice (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington County is looking to tweak how its athletic fields are used and reserved.

Through Sept. 8, residents will have the chance to participate in a survey which county staff plan to use to develop policy that will “ensure more equitable access for recreation.”

The study is part of the Public Spaces Master Plan which calls for the county to solicit feedback from residents every five years on how frequently and at what times of day people use the fields.

The county started gathering feedback in 2021 and surveyed 107 people which was used to create an “Athletic Field Draft Availability Framework.”

In the initial survey, residents highlighted that there was not enough time and space dedicated to unscheduled casual “drop-in” or “community use” of athletic fields for community activities and requested better access to lighted fields — currently 36 out of 96 fields have lights — on weeknights and weekends.

The issue of access to athletic fields for unplanned athletic and non-athletic activities has become increasingly contentious in recent years.

Before it was adopted in 2019, the Public Spaces Master Plan came under fire from opponents who argued the county had set aside more space for athletic fields than it needed, reducing the amount of available land for other facilities, such as parks and schools.

In 2021, the Aurora Highlands Civic Association wrote numerous letters to the Arlington County Board and circulated a petition pushing for “open access” to nearby diamond athletic fields during hours when there are no scheduled games “to relax, throw frisbees, sunbathe, or even write petitions.”

However, proponents claim demand for scheduled use of sports fields is growing and believe the county should invest to help solve this problem.

To resolve these issues, Jennifer Fioretti, deputy director of Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said county staff have proposed two solutions via the Athletic Field Availability Draft Framework.

First, staff have developed a formula that calculates the “utilization rate” for each field in the county. Fioretti said she believes this strategy will help the department better understand individual field use, thereby improving “operational efficiency.”

“We will use the data, for example, to inform the re-balancing of scheduled activities and to create opportunities for community use that may have not been available in the past,” she told ARLnow in an email.

Second, county staff propose reclassifying the six fields currently labeled as “Drop-In/Community Use” to a “Permit Takes Priority” status.

Fioretti said the six drop-in fields, which include Gunston 3, Barcroft 5, VA Highlands 2, Westover, TJ Lower Field and Rocky Run, can still be reserved, which causes confusion because “Community Use/Drop-In” implies there are no activities scheduled.

The idea, she noted, is to “further simplify our field designations” in order to “spread scheduled community time throughout the County.”

“By eliminating the Drop-In/Community Use designation we will be identifying community time and scheduled sport specific times at more locations throughout the entire county,” Fioretti said.

Of Arlington’s 96 athletic fields, 12 are currently “Permit-Only,” 78 are “Permit Takes Priority,” and 6 are “Drop-In/Community Use fields.”

By participating in the second survey, residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback about the proposal which Fioretti said will help county staff determine whether it is “on the right track” or whether its proposal needs to be modified.

0 Comments

Soccer fans can plan to watch and celebrate the Women’s World Cup at several bars in Arlington.

The World Cup kicked off today (Thursday) in Australia and New Zealand and the tournament will run until the final game airs on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 6 a.m.

The festivities start tomorrow evening at 9 p.m., with Quincy Hall hosting a watch party at 4001 Fairfax Drive for the first game for the U.S. women’s team, against Vietnam.

The bar will be serving an IPA from a women-owned, Maryland-based brewing company and host a “steal-the-pint night,” where customers who purchase a pint of beer can take the glass it comes in home with them.

Next Wednesday, the U.S. women’s team will play their second game, against the Netherlands, at 9 p.m. The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse at 2903 Columbia Pike will open its doors at 8 p.m. for fans to watch the game on the big screen.

The watch party is free but the theater says attendees should reserve a spot in advance to ensure the event is well-staffed.

Over in Clarendon, O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub says it will be showing the U.S. team’s currently scheduled games along with Ireland’s first game.

Many local bars not listed here will likely be showing the games, even if not hosting special events. According to Yelp reviewers, McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant and Crystal City Sports Pub in Crystal City, as well as The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant on Columbia Pike, are also stalwart watering holes for soccer viewing.

Know of other local watch parties? Let us know in the comments.

2 Comment

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

A sponsor for Arlington’s premier youth soccer league is helping girls hone their skills as players and coders.

Tim Yang, who owns an online coding school called 355Code, has been hosting classes for members of the Arlington Soccer Association Girls with Goals program this year.

Girls With Goals is a free, six-week after school club that helps low-income families at select elementary schools in Arlington Public Schools participate in sports. It aims to break down barriers to participation, including cost and transportation, while increasing membership in the soccer league.

Yang, who liked the mission of the program, decided to offer his services as a coding coach during a six-week session this spring at Drew Elementary School.

“I felt Girls with Goals was a great program and wanted to connect further,” he told ARLnow.

Tim Yang provides coding coaching to two girls through Girls with Goals (courtesy Jerome Boettcher)

Yang says elementary school students are the “perfect age” for the first stages of instructional coding.

In the last session, Yang — who has previously worked as a software engineer for the IRS, the bank Citigroup and Nike — conducted 45-minute classes. Girls warmed up with 15 minutes of typing, moving to 15 minutes of computer activities and then 15 minutes of theory connection, reflection and discussion.

After witnessing the girls’ passionate, dedicated attitude and persistence, Yang says he hopes to continue hosting classes for Girls with Goals this fall.

“The girls are great — they work very hard,” Yang said. “There is no reason not to [continue].”

The coding lessons were in part possible through the partnership Girls With Goals has with the Extended Day after school program through Arlington Public Schools.

Christyna Haskins, a program assistant supervisor, says coding was new to the girls and they love it.

“Every day they come in asking if he is coming today,” she told Arlington Soccer Association. “They really do enjoy it. Some of the girls said they want to do coding as they get older. So it has opened new doors for them.”

Yang offers classes for Javascript and Python to students from grades 4-12. This summer, he is offering a Javascript course for one hour a week, on Zoom or in person at 901 N. Glebe Road, according to the Arlington Soccer Association.

0 Comments
The 2006 Boys Academy team last year, in a group photo (courtesy of Arlington Soccer Association)

Arlington’s preeminent youth soccer league is nixing white shorts.

The Arlington Soccer Association announced yesterday that it would replace white shorts with blue shorts, starting in the fall. The move will create the “best possible environment for [female athletes] to feel comfortable and perform at their highest level.”

The issue, a spokesperson for the association says, is that the white shorts can be somewhat transparent at times and are easily stained. Similar moves away from white shorts for female soccer players have been reported this year among national teams and a U.S. National Women’s League Soccer team.

A Time article about the New Zealand and England national teams adopting new shorts colors cites “female athletes around the world voic[ing] concerns over period anxiety during matches.”

White shorts will be replaced by blue shorts for all travel teams — boys and girls — ASA says.

“We already have an all-blue uniform set for our home games. And then we currently wear all white for our away game uniforms,” noted Jerome Boettcher, ASA’s Director of Communications and Engagement. “The new away uniforms will be a white jersey top with blue shorts. The away uniforms will remain all blue.”

The organization’s full press release about the move is below.

The Arlington Soccer Association will replace white uniform shorts with blue beginning in the fall of 2023 for all of its travel teams for home and away games. The change is intended to promote player confidence.

“We believe in empowering our female athletes,” Arlington Soccer Executive Director Frank DeMarco said. “As a result of player feedback, and their concerns about wearing white shorts, we have decided to implement a change. We want to support them by creating the best possible environment for them to feel comfortable and perform at their highest level.”

Arlington Soccer values all its players and strives to foster their love of soccer. The club recognizes the importance of supporting girls in sports throughout their adolescence and providing every opportunity for them to continue playing. Ensuring that all players are comfortable and confident in Arlington Soccer uniforms is one of many efforts that demonstrates the club’s commitment to player well-being and their overall experience.

2 Comments

As a Special Victims Unit detective with Arlington County police, and as a graduate student and a mom, Tiffanie McGuire does not have a lot of free time.

But she makes time for coaching the Dorothy Hamm Middle School girls and boys soccer teams, something she has been doing since 2019 when she was a School Resource Officer. Over the last three years, she has watched her players become leaders who understand personal responsibility and sportsmanship.

“I have seen many players come through and have watched them grow in both the game and in their personality,” she tells ARLnow. “My sixth graders often come in quiet, recently transitioning from elementary school, and are chosen because there is usually something in them that we see that can be developed with time. By 8th grade, they are the leaders of the team.”

As an SRO, she says consistency was key for forming relationships with middle schoolers, who can be a challenging bunch.

“Pre-teens are beginning to find themselves and push boundaries with adults,” she said. “Finding a way to connect with them took consistency and showing them that I was there to be an adult they can trust, not get them in trouble.”

She stuck it out as a coach event after the School Board voted to remove School Resource Officers from school grounds in 2021. The move responded to calls from some community organizations, including the Arlington branch of the NAACP, citing higher arrest rates for Black and Latino kids.

Throughout all that change, she says she has earned the respect of her players, which she considers her proudest accomplishment.

“Many of these players have been under the same coaches for many years and to them, I have to prove that my style will work,” she said. “Kids question and compare their other teams to this one, and we are bringing together players that have all played on separate teams.”

McGuire played travel soccer from middle school through her senior year of high school. She decided to become a police officer in college, when she realized her sports-related injuries would prevent her previous plans to join the Army. Having her daughter directed her toward working with kids as an officer.

“I realized I wanted to be a positive influence in the lives of other children the way I would want someone to be for my daughter,” she said.

After SROs were removed from schools, McGuire moved to the Youth Outreach Unit that ACPD formed to maintain those student connections outside of the school environment.

“Having great relationships with community organizations and the schools meant that we were not starting from scratch, and everyone loved having us come participate in activities,” she said.

Since becoming a detective and taking on a second master’s degree and undergraduate teaching, McGuire has looked forward to the much-needed break from work even more.

“There are times it feels very overwhelming, but everything I do brings me joy and has a purpose,” she said. “I considered giving up coaching, but in my heart, I knew I would hate the decision and miss the kids.”‘ Read More

0 Comments

For the first time in three decades, two Marymount University teams won their conference titles on the same day with both earning a trip to their respective NCAA tournaments.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, Marymount’s women’s volleyball team and the men’s soccer team each won the NCAA Division III Atlantic East Conference championship.

It was a bit of sports history for the small Catholic university on N. Glebe Road, marking the first time since 1992 that two Marymount teams won such big matches on the same day. Both are now headed to their NCAA tournaments to vie for a national championship.

For the volleyball team, this is the third time in five seasons and the first such trip since 2019. The program has been around since 1981, with head coach Beth Ann Wilson at the helm for the last 30 of those years.

The team will head about an hour away to play the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg on Thursday in the opening round of the national tournament, the program learned on Monday afternoon.

This season has been a true turnaround for the Marymount men’s soccer team. It’s the first time in its 33-year history that it won more games than it lost in a season, wrapped up a conference championship, and made the NCAA tournament.

The men’s soccer team will also make their way to Mary Washington and Fredericksburg for their tournament game, set to play Eastern University on Saturday in the first round.

“We’re so proud of our men’s soccer and women’s volleyball team for winning the Atlantic East Conference and earning automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament on Saturday,” Marymount Director of Athletics Jill McCabe tells ARLnow. “For men’s soccer to win the first conference title in program history in front of an amazing home crowd, it was truly a special moment for Marymount University. Our women’s volleyball team went on the road to beat a team they had lost to just over two weeks ago to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019.”

Marymount University has 22 varsity-level sports teams, including men’s and women’s wrestling, which was just added this past spring. They all compete in NCAA Division III, which typically includes smaller schools and provides no athletic scholarships — though student athletes are eligible for other types of scholarships.

The university, meanwhile, is developing plans to build a new sports facility on a piece of county-owned land near campus. Before anything is built, however, it will need to go through a formal review process. Marymount is planning to hold an informational meeting on Nov. 29 to discuss the plan with the community.

2 Comments

Morning Notes

Sunset along Columbia Pike at the Arlington National Cemetery expansion site (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington Resident Moving to San Diego — Baseball superstar Juan Soto, who recently moved to Arlington, has been traded by the Nats to the San Diego Padres. He’ll presumably take with him some photos and art that were framed at a Clarendon frame store. [MLB]

Fairfax Barricade EndsUpdated at 9:25 a.m. — A man reportedly barricaded in a condo with a rifle near Lake Barcroft has been taken into custody. The barricade situation prompted a Fairfax County police helicopter to circle over parts of Arlington for hours. [FFXnow, Twitter]

County Getting Part of Opioid Settlement — “It’s not a princely sum, but cash is cash and the Arlington County government is set to receive its share of a new payment based on a legal settlement with a number of opioid distributors… Of the first settlement payout, about $9.94 million will go to the state government’s Opioid Abatement Authority and about $4.07 million will be distributed to localities. Arlington is entitled to 1.378 percent of that latter figure, which works out to $56,034.” [Sun Gazette]

Ballston Quarter Gets Small Tax Break — “Owners of the Ballston Quarter retail-restaurant-and-entertainment complex came away from a recent Board of Equalization hearing with a very partial victory, as that body reduced the property’s assessed valuation but not nearly as much as its owners had sought. On a unanimous vote, Board of Equalization members on July 13 voted to reduce the assessment rate – which is used to calculate the property’s annual tax bill – from $91.1 million as determined by staff to $86.7 million.” [Sun Gazette]

Va. Sens. Celebrate Vets Bill — “Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine celebrated Senate passage of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 following obstruction efforts by Senate Republicans last week. This legislation will expand health care and benefits for toxic-exposed veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs.” [Sen. Mark Warner]

YHS Grads Makes Youth National Team — “Yorktown High School graduate Lauren Flynn was named to the U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team soccer roster for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica from Aug. 10-28.” [Sun Gazette]

Feedback Sought for Eco Plan — “Arlington County would like your input on the draft Forestry and Natural Resources Plan. To assure future generations of Arlingtonians enjoy the benefits of nature, the County must identify what needs are urgent, what are aspirational, and how each can be addressed through both long-term initiatives, incremental change and immediate action.” [Arlington County]

Crash in D.C. Shut Down Chain Bridge — From WTOP’s Dave Dildine: “Chain Bridge closed both ways along with Canal Road and Clara Barton Parkway at the bridge. A crash occurred when traffic signals were malfunctioning. Witnesses say an officer was struck under the malfunctioning signals. These lights fall out of phase frequently.” [Twitter]

It’s Wednesday — Another hot and humid day. High of 90 and low of 71. Sunrise at 6:13 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]

0 Comments

Two local boys soccer teams have qualified to compete at national tournaments.

The 2005 Boys Red team is set to participate in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship from July 19-24 in Orlando, Florida, according to a news release from the Arlington Soccer Association.

Another team from the association, the 2006 Boys Academy team, is set to participate in the quarterfinals of the Elite Clubs National League National Playoffs. The tournament is scheduled between July 15-18 outside of St. Louis.

The 2005 Boys Red team gained its qualification by winning 2-0 over FC Bucks Dominion from Pennsylvania in the U.S. Youth Soccer U17 Eastern Regional Championship in Charleston, West Virginia on June 29. The team is made up of students from different schools who are below of the age of 17.

“Arlington Soccer Association 05B Red (VA) put forth a dominant showing at the Eastern Regional Championships,” said a press release from U.S. Youth Soccer. “Going 6-0-0 in the span of seven days, they demonstrated extreme toughness and grit, highlighted by a 2-0 win over Council Rock United FC Bucks DOMINION 2005 Boys (PA-E) in the final. Arlington scored 17 goals and only gave up one goal.”

This is the first time the 2005 Boys Red players have gone to the USYS National Championship, its coach Matt Badiee said. In preparation for the finals, Badiee is planning on organizing a few more additional practices on top of the usual practices the team has. The team currently practices at least three times a week.

He is focused on making his team more consistent on the tactical side, such as being able to “finish their chances when they are in their attacking third” as well as “reading the game” based on their opponents’ actions, said Badiee.

The 2006 Boys Academy Team advanced to the quarterfinals in the ECNL National Playoffs by defeating Marin FC of California by 4-0 on June 30. Most of the players on the team are between 15 and 16 years old, its coach Oscar Feliu said.

This team is not set to change its practice schedule significantly before the national tournament. Instead, Feliu planned to add “some fun” during the team’s practices to help the players feel less nervous. He added that he would focus on “[cleaning] up a few tactical details” and the team “recovering physically [or] mentally these next few days.”

“Our hope is that we can be ourselves on the field, that we play together as a team, embrace the competitive challenge and play in a way that regardless of the final result we have no regrets when we step off the field,” Feliu said.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Raining Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington Medic Saves Man at Nats Game — “The Clements were sitting in the front row of section 209 when John suffered a heart attack. He thought he was going to die… Jamie Jill, an Arlington County EMT, and Lindy Prevatt, an emergency room nurse, were sitting in different sections when they saw something was wrong and jumped into action.” [NBC 4]

Arlington Soccer Players on National TV — A group of Arlington Soccer players were prominently featured last night on an NBC Nightly News segment on the 50th anniversary of Title IX. [Twitter]

Would-Be Candidate Changes Mind — “Brandon Clark is officially off the Nov. 8 ballot for School Board after he decided not to make the run. Clark, a public-school teacher, initially announced plans to seek the Democratic endorsement for the School Board seat being vacated by Barbara Kanninen. But he later dropped that bid, saying he instead would run as an independent in the general election. Then he changed his mind again, getting out of the race entirely.” [Sun Gazette]

Rail Bridge Proposal Advancing — “For now, a single rail bridge carries millions of Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express passengers and freight trains between Virginia and D.C. each year. But a $1.8 billion expansion plan to ease that congestion and add a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists spanning the Potomac River is picking up steam… The National Capital Planning Commission is scheduled to vote July 7 on the project’s preliminary site development plans.” [Washington Business Journal]

May Home Sales Stayed Strong — “It’s an admittedly lagging indicator in a fast-evolving market, but Arlington home sales held up strong in May, according to new data, overcoming inventory challenges and a more complex economic environment. A total of 313 properties went to closing during the month, down just 6 (or 1.9%) from a year before.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 74 and low of 64. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Post-it Notes on the office building at 1600 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, congratulating a graduating H-B Woodlawn student who’s noted for her Post-It Note art (courtesy photo)

School’s Out for Summer — Today is the last day of high school for Arlington Public Schools students. Tomorrow is the last day of middle school and Friday is the last day of elementary school. [Arlington Public Schools]

Meetings Planned for Route 1 Changes — “Two upcoming online forums will look at Virginia Department of Transportation proposals for U.S. Route 1 through the Crystal City corridor. On June 15 at 7 p.m., the Livability 22202 Route 1 Working Group and VDOT proposals will be presented and feedback sought… On June 21 at 6:30 p.m., VDOT will host a public-information meeting on the proposal.” [Sun Gazette, VDOT]

Yorktown Girls Win State Soccer Tourney — “A season that began with a loss ended with no other setbacks and a state championship for the Yorktown Patriots. The girls soccer team won the Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament by nipping the Kellam Knights, 1-0, in the June 11 title game.” [Sun Gazette, Washington Post]

DJO Softball Wins State Title — “The [Bishop O’Connell] Knights capped a dominant campaign with their 26th Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state title over the past 28 seasons. Katie Kutz tossed 235 strikeouts and went 17-0 while batting .482 at the plate en route to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and VISAA player of the year nods.” [Washington Post]

Groundbreaking for Bus Maintenance Yard — “Arlington County will host a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning for its new Arlington Transit (ART) operations and maintenance facility. The public is invited to attend. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at the site of the future facility at 2629 Shirlington Rd. in Arlington in the Green Valley neighborhood.” [Patch]

School Board Absences — “The board, whose schedule of meetings is approved at the start of each fiscal year, has had a tough time gathering all five members on the dais at one time in recent months. Goldstein frequently has been absent, and at the May 26 meeting Priddy was gone. (On May 26, Diaz-Torres was not attending in person but did participate remotely from Puerto Rico, Kanninen said at the start of that meeting.)” [Sun Gazette]

More Bad Driving on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “This is a new one. Driver just stops at the end of the gore partially blocking the left lane until they can figure out their next move.” [Twitter]

Gov. Proposes Three-Month Gas Tax Holiday — “In Arlington, Virginia, the cost of regular gas is around $5.29. As gas prices continue to climb, CG Green says he’s pumping the brakes on unnecessary trips. ‘Look at it, it’s crazy,’ said Green. ‘It’s $5.29 for gas. I have to rethink where I’m going.’ Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin says he is in favor of temporarily suspending the commonwealth’s gas tax.” [WUSA 9]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 86 and low of 68. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list