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by Adrian Cruz — July 27, 2016 at 6:20 pm 0

A panel of futurists and technologists made their predictions for Arlington’s future in a video released this week on the heels of the county receiving recognition as the top “digital county” of its size in the nation.

Due to the District’s building height restrictions, the panelists predicted increased urbanization is coming.

“I think that Arlington is uniquely positioned to be an urban center around a city that has height restrictions around its buildings,” said Shawn DuBrevac, chief economist for the Computer Technology Association. “We globally have this push towards urbanization. It will happen in an interesting way in the D.C. metro area because you can’t build skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. They’ll start to show up in Arlington and in other places.”

The panelists also noted that as the county becomes more digitized, more data will become available to analyze. That includes data gleaned from communication platforms, including social media and messaging apps.

“I don’t think the public square is physical. We’re on the cusp of virtual reality,” said Cheryl Foil, principal of Kiddar Capital’s tech ventures. “People right now are using Snapchat and other messengers. What’s great about that is when it’s not in person, it’s already digital, it’s already data. You can measure and analyze it.”

The futurists and technologists said community leaders can take the data they get to make decisions to improve residents’ lives. For example, Capital Bikeshare stations and retail outlets could have better locations based on street traffic data.

But brick-and-mortar retailers will face increasing competition from online retailers, the panelists predicted. Today, about 7 percent of purchases are made online. By 2050, DuBrevac sees that number increased to 40-60 percent, something he attributes computers making purchases without any human input.

“The retail environment that we visit today will not be the retail environment we need 40-50 years from now,” he said. “The infrastructure that we have will need to shift as we move towards these types of environments. The digitization of retail is going to change everything I do today in my home, in my building, how I walk, where I go to, the shops that I visit, all that could change.”

A video of the predictions and other discussions can be found above. The first part of the discussion can be viewed here.

by ARLnow.com — July 15, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Flyfishing in Four Mile Run (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Yorktown Neighborhood Profiled — Schools and a sense of community are two of the biggest attraction to the north Arlington neighborhood of Yorktown. Safety is another plus: there were no burglaries or robberies reported in the neighborhood in the past 12 years. [Washington Post]

County Still Seeking Private Money for Aquatics Center — Arlington County is still looking for private partners and sponsorships before moving forward on construction of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. It’s unclear if additional private money would be used to expand the center or reduce the estimated $40-44 million in taxpayer funding. Even without additional money, park bonds already approved by voters are expected to fully fund construction. [InsideNova]

Rosslyn Metro Express Guy Featured — The Express newspaper distributor who works at the Rosslyn Metro station was featured in a “happy news” video on the Facebook page of Seattle television station KING. [Facebook]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com — July 14, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Remember that weird costumed Pokemon thing taking place near the Clarendon Metro station Tuesday afternoon?

Well, they were filming a YouTube video and one of the creators, Cabot Phillips, tweeted the finished product to us last night. This morning he explained some of the story behind the video.

The video, above, is entitled “Pokemon Go in Real Life Prank.”

You might have seen the work of the Phillips siblings before. Earlier this year they scored a national viral hit with a video in which they convince their sister, who just had wisdom teeth surgery, that they were in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

by ARLnow.com — July 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Firefighters and a couple of extinguisher-wielding workers made quick work of a smoky garage fire along Columbia Pike this morning.

Arlington County firefighters were dispatched to a report of a fire on the 1800 block of Columbia Pike, near Washington Blvd, around 9:45 a.m.

Upon arriving units found a small fire in a screened-in patio area attached to a home’s detached garage. The fire had scorched the roofline of the patio and part of the garage, but had been kept in check by an off-duty Prince George’s County firefighter and a Dominion Power worker who were working on the block and spotted the smoke, according to a fire department spokesman.

The workers used a fire extinguisher to battle the flames. A resident was inside the home at the time and may have been alerted to the fire by a passerby. No injuries were reported.

Deputy Fire Marshal Paul Frank described the damage as minimal, mostly confined to the roof of the structure. He said a preliminary investigation indicates that the fire may have been caused by Christmas lights that were being used as “permanent mood lighting” for the porch. The lights likely ignited some plastic blinds, he said.

Using Christmas lights as permanent lighting is “inadvisable,” said Frank.

by Adrian Cruz — June 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington County hopes to teach locals about its “Car-Free Diet” initiative with a catchy new rap video.

The new song, titled “Options for Days,” highlights the different options Arlingtonians have to travel around the county without a car, including taking the Metro, walking, biking and riding the bus. Throughout the video, performers clad in tee shirts and sunglasses dance, rap and sing to promote the transit initiative.

This isn’t the first quirky video the County has released to help highlight the initiative. Officials released a “Car-Free Diet Show” sketch comedy series almost five years ago and have posted videos regularly on YouTube since 2009.

Video via Youtube / Car Free Diet

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Arlington County is out with a new video Public Service Announcement, reminding residents that they can now text 911 if they can’t call.

The video shows a humble office worker saving the day when he spots a bad guy trying to break into cars in his parking garage.

For the record, the “bad guy” in the video, Arlington County Public Information Officer Peter Golkin, is in fact regarded as one of the nicest guys in county government. Also, as an avid bike commuter, it’s quite doubtful that he would ever feel the need to steal a car.

More information about Arlington’s text-to-911 initiative can be found on the county website.

by ARLnow.com — June 3, 2016 at 10:10 am 0

Last night, dozens gathered in Courthouse Plaza to wear orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The rally was organized by Moms Demand Action. Among those attending were family members of gun violence victims and a number of elected officials.

Arlington School Board member Barbara Kanninen issued the following statement about the event.

Today, June 2nd, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. I want to thank my colleagues on the School Board and community members all over Arlington who have joined together today to wear orange.

On January 21st, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade. One week later, just after taking final exams, Hadiya was shot and killed in a Chicago park.

First Lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral and three weeks later, President Obama talked about Hadiya in his State of The Union address. He talked about how she loved Fig Newtons and that she was a majorette.

Later that year, on Hadiya’s birthday, June 2nd, Hadiya’s friends began the Wear Orange Campaign. They chose orange because it was Hadiya’s favorite color.  It’s also what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

On average, 48 children and teens are shot and 7 die from their injuries each day in the United States.

What started in a south side Chicago high school to celebrate Hadiaya has turned into a nationwide movement to honor all lives cut short by gun violence. Wear Orange is also a celebration of life – and a call to action to help save lives from gunfire.

Wear Orange is sponsored by the National PTA, National Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, YWCA and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, among many other groups and organizations.

Today, on Gun Violence Awareness Day, we remember Hadiya, the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the students of Virginia Tech, and the many, many students in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, who have been injured or killed by guns.  This includes students who attended school right here in Arlington and have died far too young, due to suicide.

Thank you for supporting Wear Orange, for raising awareness, and for remembering all those affected by gun violence, especially the children.

Video by Omar DeBrew

by ARLnow.com — June 2, 2016 at 10:35 am 0

One week ago today, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) placed an American flag on every grave in Arlington National Cemetery, as part of the annual Memorial Day weekend tradition of “Flags In.”

Those flags have since been removed, but what they stand for — remembering the sacrifices of our military service members — never fades away.

ARLnow.com captured this year’s Flags In in a brief video, above.

Video by Omar DeBrew

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm 0

Did you miss our Hot Topics on the Pike event last month?

Good news: our friends at Arlington Independent Media were there and they just released their video from the event (above).

The first half is a discussion among our opinion columnists — Mark Kelly (The Right Note), Peter Rousselot (Peter’s Take) and Larry Roberts (Progressive Voice) — on countywide issues. (The opinion columns will return next week. This week we are publishing candidate essays from the contenders for the Democratic School Board endorsement.)

The second half was a discussion of Columbia Pike-specific issues with County Board member Katie Cristol, Arlington County Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Chair John Murphy and small business owner Michael “Mike on the Pike” Garcia.

The event was held at the Celtic House Irish Pub (2500 Columbia Pike) and hosted by Amanda Fischer.

by ARLnow.com — May 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Lucas Mendes, a 5’5″, 125 lbs. senior at Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School, has been named the 2016 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Mendes helped to lead the No. 1 ranked W-L boys team to a 9-0-2 record this spring. The team is scheduled to play its first game in the Liberty Conference Boys Soccer Tournament tomorrow.

Mendes was presented with his award from Gatorade by former pro soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman at Washington-Lee on Tuesday. (A video of the presentation is above.)

From Mendes’ profile on the Gatorade Player of the Year website:

At the time of his selection, Mendes had scored 10 goals and passed for five assists in his first year playing high school soccer after previously playing with D.C. United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Ranked as the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News, he attended a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s National Team in January.

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach. He has also donated his time to the Color of Leadership Conference, where he served as a mentor and participated in workshops to help middle school students of color discover and utilize resources to achieve their personal goals.

Mendes has accepted a full-ride scholarship from the University of Virginia, according to a press release from Arlington Public Schools (below, after the jump).

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — May 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

Just over a month ago, ARLnow held a discussion about Arlington’s tech industry, in what is perhaps the epicenter of the county’s tech scene: Crystal City.

The event, sponsored by Vornado and the Crystal City BID, featured host Sarah Fraser and the following local innovators.

Above is the video from the event, courtesy of Arlington Independent Media.

So what did we learn? Here are just a few of the questions and answers.

Tell us a bit about your company.

Phillips: “Shift is a two-year-old startup that makes car resale easier. We handle all the paperwork, and take the stress out of it.”

Why do your companies choose Arlington?

Sundaram: “For us Arlington was a natural choice. Arlington offered a large residential piece and retail… [for] our employees who live nearby. It worked out geographically.”

What are some of the best opportunities for local tech?

Sundaram: “I think that there are a lot of high-tech companies but also lots of startups, so we get a balanced ecosystem. We are also in the D.C. area, this area has access to lots of political conversation.

What is your company working on right now?

Orazem: “We are creating a forum for people to ask questions about government cuts and revenue.”

You have offices all over the world, how do you keep everyone on the same page?

Fuccillo: “Big business problems in a small business is never good, we have to have really good communication. Webinar-based meetings with webcams definitely helps us connect a little bit better.”

Quotes compiled by Justin Funkhouser

by ARLnow.com — April 21, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Two weeks before a teen girl was struck by a car and seriously injured in Ballston, a local resident tweeted a video of a car blowing by him as he crossed in the same crosswalk.

The resident tweeted the video at police, asking for more crosswalk enforcement.

Today, he and others are saying that police do not adequately enforce traffic laws to keep pedestrians safe.

by ARLnow.com — April 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

It’s almost mosquito season in the D.C. area and Arlington County says it is “continuing to monitor” the potential danger from the Zika virus.

In a new county-produced video, Dr. Reuben Varghese, Chief of Arlington’s Public Health Division, said that there are no Zika-infected mosquitos in Arlington, but there have been travel-associated cases of Zika in the region.

Mosquito 4Ds (via Arlington County)Once thought to be largely harmless, Zika has now been linked to a major birth defect of the brain. Public health agencies in the U.S. are on alert as the virus spreads in South America.

Arlington County has an online “mosquito information center” that advises residents who want to protect themselves from mosquitos to drain standing water, dress in long sleeves and pants, stay indoors during dawn and dusk, and use mosquito repellent containing DEET.

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