Dems Debate in Ballston — The six Democratic candidates for County Board faced off in their first debate last night, before a standing-room only crowd at the NRECA conference center in Ballston. The debate was held by Arlington Young Democrats. Though knowledgable about current issues facing Arlington, candidates were light on specifics about what should be done to address those issues. [InsideNova]
Disruption Corp. Sold to 1776 — Disruption Corp., the Crystal City-based tech investment fund and office space, has been acquired by D.C.-based tech incubator 1776. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. [Washington Post]
Caps Pep Rally at Elementary School — Third grade students at Carlin Springs Elementary School have won a contest to bring a Washington Capitals playoff pep rally to their school today. The rally will start at 12:30 p.m. “There won’t likely be any players, but it will be a great time for all,” a teacher tells ARLnow.com. “The kids will be getting prizes, pictures with Slapshot (the Caps’ mascot) and learning some hockey skills. The Caps are also donating equipment to the school.” [Washington Capitals]
Artisphere ‘Doomed from the Start’ — Artisphere, which is on the budgetary chopping block next week, was “doomed from the start,” according to the artistic director of a theatre company that was booted out of its space at the cultural center two years after it opened. An anonymous Artisphere employee said of the early, over-optimistic attendance and revenue projections: “All of those numbers were so completely false.” [Washington Post]
McAuliffe Signs Special Needs Bill in Arlington — On Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to Arlington to sign the ABLE Act, which will allow individuals with special needs, and their families, to set up tax-exempt accounts that will allow them to save for future living expenses. Virginia is the first state to enact such legislation, which received the blessing of the U.S. Congress in December. [WJLA]
Security of Va. Voting Machines Blasted — The touch screen voting machines now being replaced in Arlington and elsewhere in Virginia were “so easy to hack, it will take your breath away,” according to reports. [Ars Technica, The Guardian]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
Alleged Bank Robber Was Staying at Retirement Home — The FBI tracked down an accused bank robber in an Arlington on Friday thanks to his cell phone usage. The so-called Bicycle Bandit is accused of a dozen bank robberies, including a robbery in Alexandria just a few hours prior to his arrest. Investigators used phone records to figure out his identity. The suspect, Woosen Assaye, was staying at his father’s apartment at The Carlin retirement home at the time of his arrest. [NBC Washington – WARNING: Auto-play video]
Arlington Named Healthiest County in Va. — A new study has named Arlington County as the healthiest county in Virginia. Albemarle, Fairfax and Loudoun ranked second, third and fourth, respectively. [Associated Press]
Fehr Reads to Key Students — Washington Capitals player Eric Fehr read his new anti-bullying book to students at Key Elementary School yesterday. [NBC Washington – WARNING: Auto-play video]
Blue Line Issues — A Blue Line train suffering mechanical problems offloaded passengers at the Pentagon station this morning, causing overcrowding on the platform. [Twitter]
Same-Sex Marriage Stats in Arlington — One in nine marriage license applications in Arlington — 11 percent of the total — have been from same-sex couples since October, according to Circuit Court Clerk Paul Ferguson. The first legal same-sex marriage in Arlington took place on Oct. 6, 2014. [InsideNova]
Disease False Alarm at Lubber Run — County officials were informed last week that two children in a preschool program at Lubber Run Community Center had been diagnosed with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. In response, parents of children in the preschool and a daycare program at the center were notified, toys and surfaces in facility were disinfected, and toys that could not be disinfected were thrown away. Within a day, however, county officials say they were told that the diagnosis was wrong and that the children did not, in fact, have the disease.
Sweet Leaf Now Open in Ballston — The Sweet Leaf Cafe at 650 N. Quincy Street in Ballston opened last week. The cafe is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., according to owner Arita Matini.
Storytime with Caps Player at Library — Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr stopped by the Westover Branch Library Monday night for a reading of his new children’s book, The Bulliest Dozer. Fehr signed books, hockey sticks and at least one library card. [Arlington Public Library]
For $6,500 a month, Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin could be your landlord in Arlington.
Ovechkin’s Arlington house, at 4906 16th Street N, in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, is currently listed on the rental market. The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom single family detached house has been on the market for several weeks, according to Buck & Associates Realtor Billy Buck.
Buck, who confirmed to ARLnow.com that the house is still available as of today, said that length of time on the market is to be expected at this time of year with a lull in the rental market because of the holidays.
The 5,000-square-foot house is described in its listing as having “gleaming hardwood floors” on the main level, a master bedroom with a sitting room and a whirlpool tub and separate shower in the master bath, a rec room with a wet bar and a rear deck. The security deposit is posted as $7,950, and tenants are required to be non-smokers, but pets are allowed.
Ovechkin is listed as the owner of the house, which was built in 2005, on Arlington’s property database. The house and 11,603-square-foot lot was assessed at $1,572,000 by the county last January. Ovechkin purchased a $4.3 million colonial in McLean in 2012.
This Saturday, November 9, blood donations will be collected from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Donors will receive a Braden Holtby bobblehead and a Capitals t-shirt.
In order to donate, a person must be feeling generally well on the day of the donation. Donors must be at least 16 years old (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood in the past 56 days (or 112 days for double red cells).
Donors can make appointments by calling 1-866-256-6372 or by going online and entering the sponsor name “Washington Capitals.” The whole process takes about one hour.
The annual Charity Hockey Classic will be held at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston next month.
The event is held yearly to benefit Inova Blood Donor Services. A team of Washington Capitals alumni will take on corporate teams from Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte, as well as a group of youth hockey coaches from around Northern Virginia, called the Virginia Coaching Cardinals.
The event is scheduled for Sept. 7 at 7:00 p.m. Admission $10 but children wearing hockey jerseys are admitted free. The event features a round-robin format of 15-minute games, and is expected to run until 10:30 p.m.
Among those expected to participate are former Washington Capitals defenseman Gord Lane, this year’s honorary captain. There will also be appearances by Elliot Segal of DC101’s Elliot in the Morning, Capitals’ mascot Slapshot, and the Capitals’ spirit team, the Red Rockers.
Organizers hope to raise more than $70,000 to refurbish one of Inova’s older bloodmobiles.
(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) The U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team will be in Arlington briefly next week, and tickets to catch a glimpse of the 40 players vying for a spot to represent their country in the Sochi Olympics in February are on sale now.
Doors open for the event, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston Aug. 27, at 7:00 a.m. and player autograph sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. There will also be open skate sessions at the Iceplex. Tickets may only be purchased in advance.
Those who purchase tickets won’t get the chance to see any hockey action, however — USA Hockey and the NHL couldn’t come to an agreement to allow the players to participate in hockey activities. Instead attendees will receive, according to USA Hockey, player autographs, a collectible puck, a limited-edition scarf, an American flag and pre-order access to the 2014 USA Hockey replica jerseys.
“This is a unique opportunity for fans to be part of an event that happens once every four years,” Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said in a press release. “It’s the first time we’ve conducted this camp in the nation’s capital region and what a great place to gather our top American players in preparation for Sochi.”
At 11:30 a.m., the official jerseys for the 2014 Olympics will be revealed, the players will be formally introduced — along with modeling their future jerseys — and there will be some crowd giveaways. Tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for youth 14 and under.
Photo via USA Hockey
A high profile property has gone on the market near Rosslyn. Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green has put his condo up for sale.
The loft style condo in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood is at 1615 Queen Street N. and has a full listing in the ARLnow.com real estate section. The two bedroom, 2.5 bathroom property has 2,041 square feet and lists an asking price of $1,595,000.
There are two master suites, a wine room, a two-story veranda and parking for two cars. The seller recently spent $300,000 in upgrades for the condo.
According to the listing, the buyer will “also get bragging rights.” Interested buyers can contact Casey Margenau with Re/max Distinctive Real Estate, Inc. at 703-821-1840.
Anyone thinking they can stop in to try getting a glimpse of Green should think again. According to the Washington Post, Green has already bought another home and moved out.
The Washington Capitals’ Development Camp Fan Fest took place last Saturday and those in attendance said Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston was the fullest they’d ever seen it.
“The event has multiplied by probably 50 from eight years ago,” said Oksana Zolotar, an employee of the Capitals who attended Fan Fest as a spectator. “You can barely find room to stand anymore.”
A Capitals official said more than 3,500 people came through the doors Saturday morning, and while that number is thought to be a record, no official records have previously been kept for Fan Fest attendance.
Saturday’s fan fest was held in Ballston for the seventh straight year and featured 21 Capitals prospects, including their 2013 first-round draft pick, Andre Burakovsky, competing for the attention of Capitals’ coaches and the chance to make next year’s squad. According to the Washington Post, only one player participating has a legitimate chance to make the Capitals’ 2012-2013 roster: 2012 first-rounder Tom Wilson.
For fans in attendance, most of whom were wearing red, it was a chance to see the future of their beloved Caps, and an opportunity to see some hockey on a sweltering July morning.
“I’ve always liked the prospect side of this event,” Zolotar said.
One Caps fan, a mom from Falls Church, comes to Kettler multiple times a year with her daughter, who enjoyed her time on the other rink during the children’s free skate.
“It’s nice to have something like this so close to us,” the mother said. “It’s really accessible.”
Coming all the way from Manassas, a mother and her college-age son used Fan Fest as a learning experience. He said he’s been trying to get his mother into hockey, and this was as good a chance as any to do it.
“He’s been trying to introduce me to hockey, so we thought we’d step by today to check this out,” she said. “Hockey is easy to get into because it’s never slow.”
From a hockey perspective, those in and around the organization considered Development Camp a success.
Capitals Outsider wrote: “On the whole, comments from both [General Manager George] McPhee and [head coach Adam] Oates were consistently positive regarding the prospects. Oates even went so far as to say that this year’s crop of attendees looked better than last year’s, though the change in camp format may have been a contributing factor. This year saw fewer scrimmages, and all of them held in the latter half of the week.”
–Audrey Batcheller contributed to this report.
If the Washington Capitals win tonight against the New York Rangers, the new Z-Burger in Virginia Square will offer free burgers tomorrow.
The Capitals are facing the Rangers tonight in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The game is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at Verizon Center. The winner will advance to the semifinals, against the winner of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs series, and the loser will go home for the summer.
Should the Capitals win, the Z-Burger at 3325 Wilson Blvd will give away free burgers during lunchtime on Tuesday.
“If the Caps win tonight, the Z-Burger location in Arlington will be offering free burgers for fans during Tuesday’s lunch from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.,” Z-Burger said in a press release. “All the fans have to do is show up during these hours and say the secret password — ‘CAPZ’ and they will be treated to any single hamburger, veggie burger, turkey burger or single cheeseburger of their choice.”
The offer is only valid at the Arlington Z-Burger location and is good for one burger per person.
Attendees at the upcoming Taste of Arlington festival will be able to get cozy with Ovie.
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin posed in front of a green screen at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston yesterday for a “virtual statue” video shoot. The video will be be used to allow smart phone users to take a photo with a virtual Ovechkin at Taste of Arlington, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 19.
As reported earlier this month, Ovechkin is one of three “virtual statues” that will be set up around the festival. The other two are Washington Wizards point guard John Wall or D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius.
Users will be able to walk up to a posted “Augmented Reality” (AR) marker at Taste of Arlington, scan a code with their phone, and see a brief video of a sports star. From a press release:
The AR marker is similar to a QR or “quick response” code. By targeting an AR marker with the camera on their phone or tablet, users will view a short video and have the opportunity to pose for a photo with the celebrity. After capturing their virtual photo op with the celebrity, guests may share the images to Facebook or Twitter, and are eligible to enter a contest sponsored by the Ballston BID to win a sports prize package including sporting event tickets and signed memorabilia.
The digital statue custom displays will be located throughout Taste of Arlington. Each display will have a backdrop, a statue base, and an event assistant to help facilitate the process or provide a tablet for those without a compatible mobile device.
The mobile app required to view the virtual statues will be available via the Google Play Market for Android and the Apple App Store, according to the Ballston Business Improvement District. Taste of Arlington will be held in Ballston on May 19th from noon to 5 p.m.
Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) campaign is the official youth development program of the National Hockey League. It celebrates grassroots hockey and the growing diversity of the game. Many activities throughout the month are aimed at giving kids of all backgrounds opportunities to play the sport. The programs highlight essential life skills and the core values of hockey such as commitment, perseverance and teamwork. The initiative also supports hockey programs that assist disabled military personnel in returning to active lifestyles.
There are numerous events throughout the D.C. area for HIFE Month. The following events will take place in Arlington:
- February 8 — The Capitals will team up with children’s charity Dreams for Kids to host an Extreme Recess Hockey Clinic at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, forward Jason Chimera and goaltender Braden Holtby will skate and play hockey with more than 100 children with physical and developmental disabilities.
- February 14 — The Capitals have partnered with the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) to provide an all-girls hockey clinic for players ages 6-14. It will be held from 6:20-7:20 p.m. at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Participants must bring their own gear and pre-register online.
- February 14-18 — The Capitals and Washington Pride will host the annual JWHL Challenge Cup at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road). Various teams from across the country will play in the tournament. Game schedules for the preliminary rounds can be found online.
A full schedule of all the HIFE Month events occurring throughout the D.C. area is available online.
In addition to the HIFE events, hockey fans in Arlington can catch a free high school hockey game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this week. The Yorktown Ice Hockey Club will face off against Madison at 6:40 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8.
No More Checks for State Tax Refunds — Starting this year, Virginia is no longer sending checks for state tax refunds. Instead, the Commonwealth will only issue refunds by direct deposit or by prepaid debit card. The debit cards are issued by a vendor at no cost to the state; the change is expected to save taxpayers about $200,000 in printing and mailing costs. [Virginia Dept. of Taxation]
Jobs, Wages Decline in Arlington — While wages in Arlington remain high, average wages and the number of jobs in Arlington both declined in the second quarter of 2012, according to new federal data. The decline is worrying some local real estate developers. [Sun Gazette]
Ovechkin Collides With Teammate at Kettler — At a practice yesterday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin and center Marcus Johansson collided at mid-ice. The collision sent both players to the ground, but they’re both said to be “okay.” [CSN Washington, Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Arlington’s ‘Bicycle Man’ Dies — Arlington resident Randy Lokke, 62, died late last month. Lokke was known as a prolific follower of local high school sports, riding his bike to games in and around the District. Lokke was a graduate of Wakefield High School. [Georgetowner]
Ovie Returns to Arlington — Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammates are back on the practice ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. The Capitals and other NHL teams are expected to begin a 48-game regular season on Jan. 19. [Washington Post]
Chick-fil-A Offers Free Breakfast — D.C. area Chick-fil-A restaurants, including the locations in Ballston and Crystal City, are offering free breakfast entrees through Jan. 30 to those who make “reservations” online. [Chick-fil-A]
Catalog Opt-Out Service Saves Paper — Arlington County says Arlington residents have saved 35,855 lbs of waste by participating in the county-sponsored “Catalog Choice” service. The free service allows residents to opt out of unwanted mail, catalogs and phone books. [Twitter, Arlington County]
Arlington Couple Promoting Phone Holder — An Arlington couple who spent several years and $25,000 to design “DashIT,” a car dashboard hold for smart phones, is selling and promoting the gadget at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by GmdVT. Hat tip to Brendan Lilly.
The Washington Wizards, Mystics and Capitals hosted a holiday party for underprivileged D.C. area families at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston over the weekend.
The holiday party, held from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Sunday, is a tradition for team owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
“This year 21 families were adopted through Family-to-Family, an initiative created by the Wizards 16 years ago that provides holiday cheer to underserved, deserving families in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area,” Monumental said in a press release.
At the party, families were able to skate on the Capitals ice, play games, and meet Santa Claus, Wizards mascot G-Wiz, Wizard Girls, Capitals mascot Slapshot and the Red Rockers. The parents were also given gifts, to be opened in celebration of the holidays later this month. The presents were purchased during a $25,000 holiday shopping spree by Wizards and Capitals wives and girlfriends, funded by Monumental.
Photos courtesy Monumental Sports & Entertainment