Student Organizes Concert for Ukraine — “The granddaughter of a refugee from Ukraine who was forced to leave her home due to World War II, Sofia Parfomak knows all too well what millions of present-day Ukrainians are going through since the Russian invasion began in February. Parfomak, a dual enrollment student at Marymount University and Bishop O’Connell High School, has taken the crisis to heart.” [Marymount University]
Synetic Prepares for New Season — “Arlington-based Synetic Theater has announced plans for its 2022-23 season, which will explore ‘otherness’ and relationships to those who are different. ‘When I first came to this country as a refugee, I did not speak the language; it was disorienting but also magical,’ said Paata Tsikurishvili, cofounder and artistic director of the troupe.” [Sun Gazette]
Video: Drivers Blocking Bike Lanes — “Photo came out in ARLnow that police put a lighted sign to stay out of bike lanes so pulled a few clips from yesterday’s ride, which could be from any day I ride. I don’t even use the bikes lanes much then drivers get mad at me. Am sure drivers will give the sign all the attention it deserves.” [YouTube]
Nearby: Falls Church Transforming — “Under the guidance of the Falls Church City Council, the recent developments have increased City property tax receipts to fund such civic projects as constructing the new Meridian High School, renovating and expanding the Mary Riley Styles Library and updating and expanding City Hall, all while reducing the city’s property tax rate by roughly nine cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.” [Northern Virginia Association of Realtors]
It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 85 and low of 70. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:34 pm. [Weather.gov]
Fifth graders at Nottingham Elementary School raised more than a thousand dollars, via a lemonade stand, for relief efforts in Ukraine.
The fundraiser, held June 4, raised $1,250 to donate to World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit founded by Chef José Andrés that is providing freshly made meals to people in Ukraine. Students ran the stand as their graduation service project.
The fifth graders sold lemonade and popsicles from around 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on that Saturday. Their stand was decorated in blue and yellow, the national colors of Ukraine, and set up along a sidewalk near the school’s fields.
“We sold a lot of lemonades to baseball teams, a lot of coaches came,” said Juliette Schroeder, one of the fifth graders.
The students led the event largely by themselves, while their parents acted as coordinators.
“I would say this was really kid-run and kid-driven,” parent Alison Grantham said. “We stood back and they ran the lemonade stand and handled the money and everything.”
The fifth graders voted to run a lemonade stand from of a list of idea. The decision was “almost unanimous,” Juliette said. She voted for it because she was interested in helping the people in Ukraine.
“Since I’ve been interested in this conflict myself, I’ve been seeing things on the news,” she said. “There were a bunch of people that have been talking to me about it and I thought it’s interesting to try to do something.”
The students made posters promoting the event and posted them around the neighborhood, while the parents organized the signups, bought the materials and took out a cashier’s check for the money raised, Grantham added.
World Central Kitchen was chosen as the recipient of the funds because the students wanted to provide food assistance to Ukraine, especially warm meals, Juliette said.
“It’s one of the main things of living and honestly, I don’t think I could imagine, like, my world without having warm meal for me every single day,” she said.
Grantham’s daughter, Abby, was at the stand in the morning. Her most memorable moment was when multiple families were waiting around the stand to get lemonade.
“It was a very hectic moment, but it was also very nice, because they all wanted to come and support Ukraine,” Abby said.
(Updated on 5/18) A local family raised nearly $2,000 holding a yard sale this past weekend to help children impacted by the war.
Constantin, a Ukrainian-American who lives in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood and flew flags on 1-66 overpasses earlier this year, held the sale in his front yard Saturday morning in support of the D.C. area non-profit United Help Ukraine.
The funds will specifically go to the Hibuki Therapy Project, a program that pairs toy stuffed dogs and specialized therapists with children impacted by the ongoing war.
“It’s important to [bring] attention to the victims of the war,” Constantin told ARLnow via phone as he was rehanging Ukrainian and American flags over I-66. He asked his last name not be used for safety concerns.
He placed flyers for the yard sale near the Westover Library, the Lee-Harrison shopping center, and Nottingham Elementary. They attracted attention.
It was a “very strong turn out,” Constantin says, with neighbors donating both items and money to the effort. In all, he believes they made at least $1,600, though probably more since some folks donated money without buying items.
He held the yard sale not only to raise money to help those back in his homeland, but to show his own children how they can make a difference.
“I wanted to show my children how… they can take a specific thing, sell it, make money, and how it can go to a specific cause in Ukraine,” he says.
All of the money went to United Help Ukraine, which focuses on providing medical supplies and basic needs to Ukrainian refugees.
The local nonprofit has raised $25 to $30 million since Russia’s invasion in late February, President Maryna Baydyuk tells ARLnow. Through the Hibuki Therapy Project, 1,000 toy dogs have already been distributed to Ukrainian refugee children. The hope is to manufacture and distribute 6,000 in total, Baydyuk says, as well as train dozens of counselors who can help while the kids are at the refugee camps.
“Children are the most vulnerable group of refugees, so we want to focus on their psychological help,” Baydyuk says.
This yard sale won’t be the end of Constantin and his family’s efforts. He’s currently planning a block party fundraiser for early June that will give his East Falls Church neighbors. Even after close to three months of war, Constantin said it’s clear to him that Arlingtonians are still very much aware of and concerned about the ongoing human toll from the invasion.
“It’s very heart-warming as an American to see the number of Ukrainian flags going up in Arlington,” he said. “They are still everywhere.”
Poll: D.C. Residents Prefer Alexandria — A poll on Twitter with more than 1,000 respondents shows D.C. residents saying they’re prefer to live in Alexandria over Arlington, if they had to choose, by a ratio of nearly 2:1. [Twitter]
ACPD Lays Wreaths at Memorial — “Following the Observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day, ACPD’s Honor Guard laid wreaths at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in recognition of Arlington’s seven heroic officers who have died in the line of duty. The memorial features the names of more than 22,000 federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation. We are committed to never forgetting their sacrifices in service to their communities.” [Facebook]
Roads in Rosslyn Closing for Police 5K — “The 2022 National Police Week 5k will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2022. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures to accommodate the event.” [ACPD]
Reminder: Expect Police Motorcades — “Police Week is scheduled from Wednesday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 17. Most of the scheduled activities will take place Thursday through Sunday, though the arrival of families of fallen officers on Wednesday and Thursday will prompt many of the motorcades and rolling road closures.” [ARLnow]
Dems Honor Longtime Volunteer — “The recipient of the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s highest accolade for longtime service says she is pleased that the party continues to expand in both size and scope. ‘With more people doing more things, our organization is more complex than ever,’ Inta Malis said during a May 10 online event sponsored by Arlington Senior Democrats.” [Sun Gazette]
TV Station Honors Arlington Nurses — “As 7News celebrates the third day of Nurses Week, we salute the men and women of VHC Health in Northern Virginia. The community hospital in Arlington is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and is a designated Magnet hospital, one of the highest group honors for a hospital.” [WJLA]
Startup Founder Helping Refugees — “As the clock struck 11 p.m. on March 19, Yulia Yaani gathered a group of Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border. She stepped onto the bus that night, alongside roughly 50 women and children, and they traveled to Denmark for the next 17 hours — to escape the war with Russia… Yaani is co-founder and CEO of Arlington fintech [company] RealAtom, a 5-year-old startup.” [Washington Business Journal]
Kiwanis Donate to Ukraine Efforts — “The Kiwanis Club of Arlington has donated $5,000 to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) to assist with relief efforts in Ukraine. Proceeds from the club’s fund-raising activities, including its annual blueberry sale, are being used to support the WCK with their meals programs on the ground in Ukraine and in surrounding countries.” [Sun Gazette]
It’s Thursday — Mostly cloudy and cool throughout the day, with a slight chance of rain. High of 68 and low of 58. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:12 pm. [Weather.gov]
Chef David Guas was like many of us when he saw the images coming out of Ukraine — upset and desperate to do something.
“My wife was tired of me yelling at the TV… she says, ‘You should text José [Andrés] to let him know you want to do something,”’ the owner of Bayou Bakery in Courthouse and occasional television personality tells ARLnow. “And a couple of hours later, there was an email saying David was on his way to Poland. There was no turning back.”
Guas spent 15 days last month in Poland working with World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit founded by Andrés, to help feed Ukrainian refugees as they fled their war-torn home. Earlier this week, the Arlington-based chef also donated $21,000 from his Community Spoon initiative to WCK to help continue its mission in Europe.
“It’s going to be used to buy food. Beef, borscht, cabbage, some potatoes…It’s going to continue to just fuel them financially, so they can continue to think big,” Guas says about his donation.
This isn’t the first time that Arlington’s resident celebrity chef has helped during hard times. In the early part of the pandemic, he formed Chefs Feeding Families, which provided free, plant-based meals to underserved Arlington families. Then, he served up meals to the National Guard and local law enforcement protecting the Capitol. Last year, he put together Community Spoon, which was initially founded to help feed Afghan refugees coming into the region.
Then, came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the heartbreaking images of people fleeing their homeland.
Upon arriving in Poland, Guas was stationed at a WCK facility in the city of Przemyśl which is only about seven miles from the Ukrainian border. There, he cooked and made biscuits, soup, applesauce cake, and meat to serve to volunteers and refugees crossing the border.
“[We were making] a lot of broths, a lot of soups, and a ton of vegetables,” he says. “Beef stocks, pork stocks, chicken stocks, beef cheeks, beef shoulder, and a lot of chicken. Basically, a soup or broth every single day.”
There was also hot chocolate, served both in the morning and at night.
“Everyone needed a little sugar and a little chocolate,” Guas says.
He admits the work was hard and could be monotonous. For more than two weeks, his days were on repeat with him starting at 7 a.m., working 12 to 14 hours, trying to decompress, and going to bed. Then, he would start it all over again.
There were days when he spent hours defrosting hundreds of pounds of beef cheeks, but Guas knew this is where he needed to be.
“I was there because this is who I am… needing to help,” he says.
Amazon Hiring Update — “Amazon.com Inc. is one-fifth of the way to the minimum number jobs the company committed to fill at its second headquarters in Arlington, one of the tech giant’s top hiring locations. As of Wednesday, Amazon had hired 5,000 employees who are assigned to HQ2… It is a 1,500-employee uptick since the last announcement in November.” [Washington Business Journal, Amazon]
HQ2 Phase 2 Vote This Weekend — “Amazon’s proposal for the next phase of HQ2 construction, including the spiral-shaped Helix structure, is set to go before the Arlington County Board for a final vote on Saturday, April 23. The company wants to build three more HQ2 office buildings alongside a 350-foot tall, futuristic building it calls the ‘Helix’. The development would be built on a piece of property known as ‘PenPlace’, just off Army Navy Drive.” [WJLA]
Injured Crow Dies — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “UPDATE: this morning the crow passed away peacefully at @BRWildlifeCtr. We are very grateful to them for doing everything they could to care for him. We are still looking for information regarding this active investigation.” [Twitter]
Fire Station 8 Demolition Nears — “Arlington County will begin demolishing the Fire Station 8 structure during the week of May 2 and expects to complete demolition by the week of June 20. The demolition of the fire station, at 4845 Langston Blvd., will be in preparation for construction of the long-awaited new fire station at the same site. Demolition work will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.” [Patch]
Arlington Company’s Ukraine Donation — “Arlington defense contractor AeroVironment Inc. is donating more than 100 unmanned aircraft systems and training services to defense officials in Ukraine… the donation of the company’s Quantix Recon systems will provide Ukraine’s military with unmanned vehicles that can fly by enemy forces undetected and unaffected by radio frequency jammers to relay reconnaissance intel.” [Washington Business Journal]
It’s Thursday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day, with a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 67 and low of 45. Sunrise at 6:24 am and sunset at 7:52 pm. [Weather.gov]
Local Unemployment Rate Still Falling — “Arlington’s unemployment rate, which bumped up at the start of the year, dropped back down in the latest data. With 149,651 county residents in the civilian workforce and 3,192 looking for jobs, the county jobless rate stood at 2.1 percent in February, down from 2.6 percent a month before and off from 3.6 percent in February 2021.” [Sun Gazette]
Tree Pollen Levels Rising — From the Capital Weather Gang: “Tree pollen spiking. Today’s count is HIGH or 429.39 grains per cubic meter. Grass pollen is low/moderate. Further rises next few days with highs well into the 70s today and near/above 80 Wed and Thur.” [Twitter]
New School Board Candidate — “Bethany Sutton, chair of the Arlington Public Schools Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning, announced she is seeking the Democratic Party’s endorsement for the Arlington School Board. Sutton, a 20-year resident of Arlington, is a former PTA president and a parent of two daughters who attend middle school and high school in Arlington Public Schools.” [Patch]
No Dem Challenger for de Ferranti — “There is one less election on the horizon for Arlington this year. The April 7 filing deadline came and went with no challenger emerging to take on incumbent County Board member Matt de Ferranti in the June 21 election. As a result, the primary will be canceled and de Ferranti moves on to the general election.” [Sun Gazette]
Library Worker Helping With Ukraine Archive — “Arlington Public Library’s Digital Archivist, Greg Pierce at the Center for Local History (CLH), has been part of global volunteer effort to back up Ukraine’s digital heritage, currently at risk of being erased by the Russian invasion. Pierce’s involvement includes database verification, task and link wrangling, and internal communications with other volunteers.” [Arlington Public Library]
Marymount Announces Commencement Speakers — “In mid-May, approximately 1,080 students will receive their degrees.. The newest graduates of the mission-based university will hear from three distinguished speakers – the first female Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., Princess Reema; physicist and former NASA research center director Dr. Julian M. Earls; and global financier and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.” [Press Release]
It’s Wednesday — Warm and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 80 and low of 59. Sunrise at 6:36 am and sunset at 7:44 pm. [Weather.gov]
Two Local Spots on Best Bagel List — Arlington’s homegrown Brooklyn Bagel has ranked No. 4 on a list of the D.C. area’s best bagels, while Bethesda Bagel, which has an outpost in Rosslyn, ranked No. 1. [Washingtonian]
Dems Set School Board Caucus Rules — “The 2022 Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus will be an in-person-only affair with the controversial party-loyalty oath retained, based on rules adopted by the party’s rank-and-file on April 6. Democrats will select their School Board endorsee during four days of voting in June, using the instant-runoff format that has been a familiar feature of Democratic caucuses in recent years.” [Sun Gazette]
Ukrainian Ambassador Lauds Local Donation — From County Board Chair Katie Cristol: “It was profoundly moving to have Ambassador Markarova join us as we send off pallets of emergency protective equipment and kit to Ukraine. With these supplies, we also send our solidarity and commitment to help our sister city and the Ukrainian people however we can.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Preservationists Push Pols for Protection — “The trigger for the discussion was the possibility that the circa-1949 Joyce Motors building in Clarendon could be torn down to make way for new development, even though it was one of just 10 commercial buildings, and just 23 properties overall, that were designated ‘Essential’ (the top tier) in the 2011 HRI. That 2011 document was the culmination of a study of 394 properties – garden apartments, shopping centers and commercial buildings – completed in 2009.” [Sun Gazette]
Va. Senators on Supreme Court Confirmation — From Sen. Mark Warner: “Justice is served! I voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as our next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court because she’s qualified, brilliant, and honest. And for the first time in two centuries, the court will contain the voice of a Black woman.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington 9/11 5K Returns — “The Arlington Police, Fire, Sheriff and ECC 9/11 Memorial 5K is currently planning on having an in-person 20th Anniversary race on September 10, 2022. However, there is a possibility that some restrictions on runner capacity, social distancing measures and mask use may be in place in September due to COVID-19.” [Arlington 9/11 5K]
Fairlington 5K Returns — “After a 2 year pandemic hiatus, the 7th annual Fairlington 5K will take place on Saturday, May 7th. There is a new canine competitor entry this year! Here is the map route. The race will start at 8:30 AM.” [Twitter]
It’s Friday — A sunny morning, followed by a cloudy afternoon and possible rain later. High of 59 and low of 45. Sunrise at 6:43 am and sunset at 7:40 pm. [Weather.gov]
Arlington County is donating thousands upon thousands of items to Ukraine relief efforts.
The county is holding a media availability tomorrow (Thursday) morning to discuss the donations, which are primarily from Arlington’s public safety agencies, including the fire, police and emergency management departments, as well as the Sheriff’s Office.
“For this initiative, Arlington is coordinating with United Help Ukraine, a grassroots, entirely volunteer-based organization that will handle the shipping of the donated goods, including 200,000 disposable gowns, 9,000 Particulate Respirator N95s, 19,000 latex gloves, more than 100 ballistic vests, 150 sets of firefighting gear and breathing apparatus, and two pallets of firefighting hand tools,” the county noted in a press release.
Among those expected to speak at tomorrow’s press conference are County Board Chair Katie Cristol, fire chief David Povlitz, and emergency management director Aaron Miller.
Up until this point, Arlington County’s actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were mostly of the symbolic variety, including passing a resolution condemning the attack on Arlington’s Ukrainian sister city of Ivano-Frankivsk and illuminating the Ballston pedestrian bridge in the blue-and-yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Neighboring Falls Church and Fairfax County also recently announced donations of law enforcement ballistic vests to Ukraine.
Local Chef Now in Poland — “Bayou Bakery’s David Guas started the day the way he starts many days — before dawn with a table full of biscuit dough. This Friday morning, though, the New Orleans-native stood in a kitchen in Poland — far from his Arlington, Virginia, cafe… working with José Andrés’s organization World Central Kitchen (WCK). Guas is spending two weeks volunteering in Poland with WCK, cooking and packaging food for the tens of thousands streaming in from Ukraine.” [Eater]
Cars Collide Multiple Times on Bridge — From Dave Statter: “Caught on camera… this was a pretty wild #crash on the 14th Street Bridge (I-395N) at 2:15 this morning. Looked like bumper cars… You’ll see one car slowing down almost to a stop in VA b4 the bridge waiting for the 2nd car. Was this a #DragRace that went bad or #RoadRage or a little of both?” [Twitter]
Signs Up for New Target — The new Target store in the former Bed, Bath and Beyond space in Pentagon City is set to open on Sunday. New Target signs were just put up in advance of the opening. [Twitter]
Marine Corps Marathon Returns, Sells Out — “You’ve missed your chance if you haven’t already signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year.The 47th-annual running of the famous marathon will be held in person this year, the first time since 2019, and nearly 20,000 runners from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 47 countries are now set to run in the event. ‘We are thrilled to announce that the 47th MCM is officially sold out…’ said Rick Nealis, director of Marine Corps Marathon Organization.” [Potomac Local]
APS Announces Staff Award Winners — “Each year, Arlington Public Schools recognizes the hard work and dedication of our staff through our Principal, Teacher and Support Employee of the Year awards… We will be honoring the winners at our Celebration of Excellence reception and ceremony on May 4, 2022, starting at 5 p.m. at Washington-Liberty High School.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Local Barber Shop Moving — Rosslyn Metro Barber Shop said via social media last month that it will be moving to Foggy Bottom from its location at 1700 N. Moore Street. [Facebook]
It’s Thursday — Chances of rain throughout the day, with storms expected in the afternoon and evening. Some storms may be severe. High of 70 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:55 am and sunset at 7:32 pm. [Weather.gov]
The fundraiser begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, and Gerdan will play “original arrangements of traditional Ukrainian folk melodies” from 4-6 p.m., according to a flier.
Northside Social will donate a percentage of proceeds to the International Committee of the Red Cross and World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by local celebrity chef José Andrés that’s currently working to feed Ukrainian refugees and those still in the war-torn country. Proceeds from some wine sales will go to World Central Kitchen, the flyer says.
An Arlington-based glass artist, Maria Milton, will be selling pieces at the fundraiser and donating proceeds to United World Mission. The Arlington Sister City Association will be on-site raising awareness about the war and Ivano-Frankivsk.
“If you’d like to stop by and help support, I think it’s going to be a great event,” Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey said at the Board meeting on Tuesday. “I know it always feels like we’re doing not much, but I think every little bit helps, and the more awareness builds, the more there’s global pressure to bring this horrible, horrible invasion to a halt.”
Locals can also bring new and gently used coats, as well as new blankets, heavy socks and gloves, to Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street), where a collection bin was set up yesterday (Wednesday).
The Northern Virginia Regional Commission will be sending collected items to relief agencies and churches in Poland “waiting and wanting these goods,” Garvey said.
NVRC requests items be donated no later than April 15.
As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its second month, the U.S. has announced it will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Today, President Joe Biden is participating in an emergency NATO summit that could lead to more aid for Ukraine and additional sanctions against Russia.