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Morning Notes

‘Great Chocolate Race’ Cancelled — “The Great Chocolate Race, originally scheduled to take place in Rosslyn on Saturday, December 9, 2017, has been canceled due to circumstances outside the control of Arlington County and its Police Department. Runners who signed up to participate are advised not to respond to the area as planned.” [Arlington County]

Tax Bill Could Boost N. Va. Over D.C. — The GOP tax bill currently making its way through Congress could make Arlington and Northern Virginia a significantly more attractive a place to live for higher-income residents, tax-wise, than D.C. That is due to the proposed elimination of state and local tax deductions. [D.C. Policy Center]

Decal Design Finalists Revealed — Four finalists have been chosen in the Arlington County treasurer’s annual vehicle decal design contest for high school students. The potential designs for the 2018-2019 decal include ball players atop a goalpost, a depiction of Arlington’s skyline with blossoming cherry trees in the foreground, a ferris wheel from the county fair and the Cherrydale War Memorial. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

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Morning Notes

Ballston May Be Next ‘Hot’ Neighborhood — Thanks to new development, the renovation of Ballston Common Mall, and the efforts of the Ballston Business Improvement District and others, Ballston is being mentioned as the region’s “next hottest neighborhood.” [Washington Post]

Wegmans Coming to Alexandria — A Wegmans grocery store is finally set to open within a reasonably short drive of at least some parts of Arlington. Per WBJ, the Rochester, NY-based chain will open an 84,000-square-foot store at Hoffman Town Center in Alexandria, not far from where the National Science Foundation recently moved. [Washington Business Journal]

Decal Deadline is Today — Today is the deadline to display the new 2017-2018 Arlington County vehicle decal. “Beginning November 16, you will be at risk of receiving a parking ticket if your decal is not displayed on your windshield,” says the county. [Arlington County]

‘News Dude’ Finds Human Seat — NBC 4’s Adam Tuss was able to catch up with the man who wore a seat costume in Virginia Tech and Ford’s unusual “driverless” car experiment in Arlington. The researcher said he was “pretty stressed out” after Tuss ran up to him at an intersection and asked what he was doing dressed as a car seat in a van. [NBC Washington, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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Arlington County high school students can now submit designs for the county’s 14th annual Decal Design Competition.

The winning design will appear on the 2018-19 decal that will be displayed on more than 160,000 vehicles registered in Arlington.

Wakefield High School sophomore Amy Kohan won the 2017-18 competition earlier this year with an image of the David M. Brown Planetarium next to Washington-Lee High School. Kohan’s effort, entitled “Arlington Sees Stars,” was one of a record 235 designs submitted.

Entrants are asked to submit designs that represent “the vibrant community that is Arlington,” according to an announcement from the Arlington Treasurer’s Office. The top four finalists will be selected by a panel of citizens.

The four finalists’ designs will be displayed at the main branch of the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (4121 Wilson Blvd) in December and January. The finalists will present their designs to the Arlington County Board and a winner will be announced at a Board meeting in early 2018.

“The competition gives students the opportunity to utilize their design skills in a real-world application, as well as participate in the workings of their local government,” the announcement reads. “The winner and runners-up will have a unique accomplishment to highlight on their resumés and college applications.”

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Decal Contest winner Arlington Sees Stars, image via Arlington CountyThe David M. Brown Planetarium will soon appear on the windshields of more than 160,000 vehicles throughout Arlington.

The planetarium, located next to Washington-Lee High School in the Virginia Square area, is prominently featured on the 2017-2018 Arlington County vehicle decal contest winner, “Arlington Sees Stars.”

The winning submission from Wakefield High School sophomore Amy Kohan was announced during a County Board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

“I chose this because it was one of the things I looked forward to [visiting] in elementary school every year,” Kohan said during the award ceremony. “It’s one of my favorite things about Arlington.”

For her hard work, Kohan will receive a cash prize of $750 from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union. Finalists Schuyler Workmaster, Sydney Machion and Marjorie Henriquez will each receive $500 for their submissions.

More than 3,200 votes were cast in this year’s competition, representing a 78 percent increase in votes compared with last year, said Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava.

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The four finalists have been chosen for Arlington’s 13th annual Vehicle Decal Design Competition.

The contest, organized by the county Treasurer’s Office, received 235 submissions from Arlington high school students this year. It was narrowed down to the finalists, above, by a panel of local residents.

Arlington County residents can now vote (once) for their favorite through Monday, Jan. 16. Voting is taking place online and via mail.

The winner will be announced at a County Board meeting on Jan. 31, according to the Treasurer’s Office, and that design will then grace the windshields of 160,000 windshields from 2017-2018.

The winner will also get $750, while the runners-up gets $500 from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union.

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Morning Notes

Mid-October in Clarendon

Arlington Featured on MTP — Arlington County was featured in a Meet the Press segment on Sunday, comparing the level of support for Hillary Clinton here to support for Donald Trump in a rural Ohio county. The show interviewed residents in the Clarendon area. [NBC News]

Surge in Registration, Absentee Voting — Officials are anticipating about 43,000 absentee ballots in Arlington this year, up 50 percent compared to the last presidential election in 2012. Throughout the region and the state, absentee voting is on the rise, which is generally good news for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, a surge in last-minute voter registrations yesterday and a statewide software slowdown has the county advising that it could take several days to process all of the applications. [Washington Post, WTOP, WTOP]

Vehicle Decal Design Contest Starts — The Treasurer’s Office Decal Design Competition is back for another year. Local high school students will compete to design the next Arlington County vehicle decal, which will appear on some 160,000 vehicles in the county. The submission deadline is Nov. 28. [Arlington County]

Pike Recycling Center May Move — Next month the Arlington County Board is expected to consider whether to relocate the recycling facility at the corner of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive to the Arlington Trades Center in Shirlington. County officials want to lower the level of illegal dumping that’s currently taking place. [InsideNova]

Historic Designation for Ballston Cemetery? — On Wednesday night Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board will discuss the merits of a proposed local historic district designation for the Ball cemetery in Ballston. The cemetery is currently slated to be relocated to make way for the redevelopment of a church. [Preservation Arlington]

Last Day at Fuego Cocina — Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Clarendon served its final meals and margaritas Sunday. “We’re turning the light off now. Farewell,” the restaurant said via Twitter. [Twitter, Twitter]

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Image of Winning Decal Design (courtesy Arlington County)The winner of the 2016-2017 Arlington County vehicle decal contest is a cropped photo of the neon “Arlington” sign on the front of the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse on Columbia Pike.

The winning entry, submitted by Wakefield High School sophomore Ryan Kovich, was announced at last night’s County Board meeting. Kovich’s photo will grace the windshield of more than 160,000 vehicles in Arlington County starting later this year.

“This building has been entertaining Arlington residents since the 1930s,” Kovich said of his entry. “This picture represents Arlington because the arts are very important to the residents. The Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse also represents friendship and time spent together. Every time I see the aged building and the nostalgic sign, it reminds me of the moments I have spent there with family and friends.”

Kovich will receive a cash prize of $750 from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union. Contest runners-up, who will receive $500 apiece, include Washington-Lee sophomore Gabrielle McKenna, Wakefield senior Amelia Wilt and Bishop O’Connell freshman Schuyler Workmaster.

As detailed in a press release, this year the winner of the contest was determined by an instant runoff voting process, in which the 1,800 Arlington residents who voted ranked the decals from first to fourth.

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Morning Notes

Quincy park snowball fight

County Board Takes a Rare Snow Day — The Arlington County Board cancelled its Jan. 23 meeting due to the snow. Government officials can’t remember the last time a monthly meeting was called off on account of the weather. [InsideNova]

Snowfall Covers Graves at Arlington National Cemetery — Accumulating snow covered headstones at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. Army sentinels continued to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier despite whiteout conditions. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Florida Teens Stuck in ‘Snowzilla’ — The monster blizzard stranded a group of Florida teenagers in Arlington all weekend. For many of them, it was their first real experience with snow. [WJLA]

Falls Church to Emulate Arlington’s Student Decal Competition —  The treasurer of Falls Church will copy Arlington’s student vehicle decal competition. Falls Church students stand to win $750, with lesser prizes for second, third and fourth place. [InsideNova]

Digging Out — From walking to work to dealing with limited Metro service, here’s how the D.C. area has coped with the remnants of the snow. [Washington Post]

Quincy Park snowball fight photo courtesy of John Kua

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2016-2017 vehicle decal design finalists

Four finalists have been announced for Arlington’s annual vehicle decal design competition.

The competition, which will determine which design graces the front windshields of some 160,000 vehicles in the county next year, is now in its 12th year. The finalists this year depict:

  • The Arlington Education Center, which houses top Arlington Public School administrators
  • Dark Star Park in Rosslyn
  • The “Arlington” sign at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse on Columbia Pike
  • The Netherlands Carillon near the Iwo Jima memorial and Rosslyn

The public will be able to vote for their favorite design, starting Thursday, on the Arlington County Treasurer’s Office website.

The designs will go on display at the Founders Hall Gallery at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus (3351 N. Fairfax Drive) starting Tuesday, Dec. 15. An exhibit opening event is planned from 5:30-7 p.m.

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"A Nod to History," the winning 2015-2016 vehicle decalArlington County high school students can now submit their entries for the 2016-2017 Vehicle Decal Design Competition.

Now in its twelfth year, the annual contest is open to all students who live or go to school in Arlington.

“This contest is an opportunity to practice your design skills, as well as participate in the workings of local government,” Susan Anderson of Arlington Treasurer’s Office said in a letter to students. “It is truly a unique accomplishment for all the winners to highlight on their college applications and resumes.”

The letter also explained the winning design will be displayed on registration stickers on more than 160,000 vehicles and will become a part of a decal exhibit at the county administrative building.

Submissions are due to the Treasurer’s Office on Nov. 30 at 5 p.m, either via e-mail or a mailed CD.

Each design should be in JPEG format and have a resolution of no less than 300 DPI. Next year’s decals will have a red background with the design measuring 1.5 inches by 2.25 inches. Students must also submit an application with a short essay describing the design and why it visually represents Arlington. More detailed submission instructions are available on the county’s website.

After the submission period closes, a “Citizens Panel” will select four finalists — each will receive a cash prize — to be announced on the county’s website on Dec. 10. Residents will then vote for their favorite design online or by mailing a paper ballot to the Sun Gazette newspaper.

Voting will be open for approximately five weeks, and the winner is expected to be announced at a County Board meeting on Jan. 26, 2016.

Last year’s design contest winner was “A Nod to History” by Yorktown High School student Tommy Casey.

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"A Nod to History," the winning 2015-2016 vehicle decalA Yorktown High School junior has won the county’s annual vehicle decal design contest for his nighttime photograph of an office building in Ballston.

Tommy Casey’s decal, entitled “A Nod to History,” was voted the winner by Arlington residents, who chose from four finalists that were announced in December. The decal is named in recognition of the design of the 10-story 800 N. Glebe Road office building, which itself is a nod to to the former Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that the building replaced.

Later this year the decal will be mailed to residents and placed on windshields of more than 160,000 vehicles in Arlington County.

From an Arlington County press release:

The scene is a nighttime photograph of a distinctive 10-story building in Ballston, owned by the JBG Companies. Casey, a senior at Yorktown High School, creatively retouched the picture with dynamic lighting and light streaks to show more vibrancy. In his Decal Competition application, Casey wrote, “I wanted to create a photo that represents the modern city that Arlington has become while recognizing the importance of Arlington’s landmarks. The building at 800 North Glebe Road symbolizes this by incorporating the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership diamond design into its modern front.”

Panel reviewed 114 entries The competition’s 114 entries were narrowed down by a panel of Arlington residents. “Our Citizens’ panel worked diligently to pare down the submissions to just four finalists. This was not an easy task considering how many great entries were received,” said Treasurer Carla de la Pava. The four finalists were put to a County-wide vote conducted over a six-week period during which 2,913 votes were cast online and by mail. Casey’s design came in first.

Thanks to the generosity of John Marshall Bank, each of the finalists received a cash prize. As the winner, Casey received $750 and the others each received $500.

The other finalists were:

  • Marisa DeFranco, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Hats of Our Heroes”
  • Ingrid Jacobsen, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Barcroft Community House”
  • Lauren Graft, 10th Grader at Washington-Lee High School, with her design “A Day at the Farmers Market”

Arlington began requiring local licensing of vehicles in 1949, which took the form of a metal tag attached to the license plate. The first windshield decal was issued in 1967; decals were first produced with a color image in 2000. In 2002, residents were given the opportunity to vote on the decal image, and in 2005 the Treasurer’s Office started the Decal Design Competition for high school students.

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