Arlington, VA

Following a week filled with marches and protests in Arlington, at least two more events are planned today.

One of the events is being organized by a pair of groups that largely serve the immigrant community. Another is being organized by four churches and a local civic association. Both events are being held to demand justice and to defend black lives.

The first is being from 5-6 p.m. along Wilson Blvd in the Boulevard Manor and Dominion Hills neighborhoods. From a press release:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9th, four congregations will come together in Arlington in a witness for justice on behalf of black lives.   The action will be centered along Wilson Boulevard on Tuesday, June 9th, from 5-6pm.

We will park and gather at the Arlington Community Church (6040 Wilson Boulevard) before moving to Wilson Boulevard at 5 pm.

We wish to observe safe social distancing so we will be standing six feet apart along Wilson Boulevard in silent witness, simply holding up signs of support from 5 pm to 6 pm. We ask that everyone wear facemasks and that every effort be made to maintain social distancing.

Hosted by the members of Boulevard Manor Civic Association, Arlington Church of the Brethren, Bethel United Church of Christ, Arlington Community Church, and Rock Spring United Church of Christ.

“We recognize the pervasive sin of white supremacy as something that people with privilege benefit from or participate in daily,” the organizers quoted from a recent Arlington Interfaith Network statement. “Communities of spirituality and faith with privilege need to use their place to have sacred conversations on race, and work for real change.”

At 7 p.m. tonight, La ColectiVA and Tenants and Workers United will hold a rally — dubbed Cacerolazo for Black Lives — in Arlington’s Tyrol Hill Park (5101 7th Road S.), in memory of George Floyd and others.

From an event description:

Join us for a Cacerolazo (pots and pans rally) for Black Lives – Tuesday, June 9 at 7pm. This rally will be in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and demands for accountability for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others who have lost their lives to white supremacy and police violence, including here in Virginia.

We’ll gather at Tyrol Hill Park, Tuesday at 7PM.

Please:
-Wear a face covering
-Maintain physical distancing
-Bring your pots and pans
-Bring signs that say #BlackLivesMatter #DefundPolice #DefendBlackLives #InvestInCommunities

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) Someone fired a gunshot into the air early Saturday morning during a dispute in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

The incident happened in the area of Tyrol Hill Park, on the 5100 block of 7th Road S., a few blocks north of the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2019-06010010, 5100 block of 7th Road S. At approximately 12:45 a.m. on June 1, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party was in the area when he heard the sound of a single gunshot and then observed numerous individuals running out of a park. Arriving officers canvased the area and located a vehicle matching the description provided in a lookout and initiated a traffic stop. It was later determined that the vehicle occupants were in the park when they observed a dispute between known individuals escalate and the suspect fired one shot into the sky, prompting them to flee in the vehicle. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

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After two years of design and one year of construction, Tyrol Hill Park has finished the last phase of its construction and is open to the public.

Tyrol Hill Park is a two-acre park adjoining the Forest Glen and Arlington Mill Neighborhoods, with connections branching out into the nature trails of Glencarlyn Park.

Phase Four of the project finalized the park with a new restroom, picnic shelter, and paved plaza. Phase Four also added several furnishings to the site and added accessibility and stormwater management improvements. Earlier phases relocated and upgraded the Basketball and Volleyball Courts on the site, added a new gateway entrance, installed a new playground and added a picnic shelter.

The Tyrol Hill Master Plan was adopted by the County Board in 2003, but after years of inactivity the project was revisited in 2016 when a community survey conducted by Arlington County staff showed there was still support for adding a unisex bathroom to the site and that renovating the paths around the site was a top priority.

Photo via Arlington County Department of Parks & Recreation

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Morning Notes

Park Upgrades Approved — At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Board approved contracts that will “upgrade the playgrounds and picnic shelter at Oakgrove Park and add a restroom/picnic pavilion and futsal court at Tyrol Hills Park.” The contracts total around $1.7 million. [Arlington County]

TJ Construction to Take Away Theater Parking — Construction of a new elementary school next to the Thomas Jefferson community center and middle school will mean a loss of parking for the community theater used by a number of local performing arts troupes. Those troupes, including The Arlington Players and Ballet Nova, will now have to decide whether to relocate to another community theater or stay and deal with the lack of parking. [InsideNova]

New Location for Children’s School Approved — Last night the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a site plan amendment allowing the Children’s School, a co-op child care center for Arlington Public School employees, to occupy two floors of a Ballston office building. The center is moving from an APS-owned building in Westover to make way for what’s expected to be a new elementary school. Some Ballston condominium residents expressed concerns about the child care center, primarily related to traffic; County Board member Christian Dorsey pointed out that the space it’s moving into was formerly used by a for-profit college. [Arlington County]

Ballston Profiled by WaPo — “With an array of amenities, it’s easy to see why Ballston is one of the area’s hottest markets,” says a real estate-focused profile of the neighborhood. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Renovations will begin soon at Oakgrove Park and Tyrol Hills Park if the County Board gives the go-ahead for construction contracts at its meeting on Saturday.

In recent years, the Board approved funding for the earlier phases of the Tyrol Hills Park (5101 7th Road S.) renovation project, including more than $878,000 in upgrades in 2015. The current phase — phase four — is the final one and requires Board approval for a nearly $1.6 million construction contract.

The main upgrades include installing a new unisex bathroom, adding another picnic shelter and converting a sand volleyball court into a futsal court. The new court was an idea that came up during community outreach. The scope of work also includes stormwater management improvements, site furnishings, a paved plaza and landscaping.

If approved, construction on the phase four upgrades is expected to start before fall and should take about nine months.

The Board also is expected to approve the $795,000 construction contract for renovating Oakgrove Park (1606 N. Quincy Street). This is the second phase of upgrades for that park; the grass field and track renovations were completed in 2015.

This phase focuses on replacing the existing tot lot and adding play equipment for school-age children. Other improvements including replacing the picnic shelter, adding site furnishings, improving accessibility and improving stormwater management.

If approved, construction at Oakgrove Park is expected to start by the summer and last for about four months.

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