Watch Caps Practice in Ballston Today for Free — The Washington Capitals will be preparing for their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins this morning at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. The Caps’ practice starts at 10:30 a.m. and it’s free to attend and watch. The Iceplex, the Caps’ administrative and training home base, is owned by Arlington County and leased to the Capitals. [Arlington County]
Garvey Turns 65 — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey celebrated her 65th birthday yesterday. Garvey’s reelection campaign wasted little time in using the occasion to ask for donations of $65 as “a special birthday gift.” [Reelect Libby]
Yorktown’s Efforts to Narrow Achievement Gap — Yorktown High School has been working with the Minority Student Achievement Network, a project of the University of Wisconsin, to help it narrow the school’s achievement gaps. The program at Yorktown specifically focuses on minority boys, a relatively small group at the school. [University of Wisconsin]
ACPD Shrouding Badges for Fallen Officer — The Arlington County Police Department is shrouding its badges to pay respect to Ashley Guindon, the rookie Prince William County police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Saturday. [Twitter]
Tourism Tax Authorization Passes Legislature — With bipartisan lobbying help from County Board member John Vihstadt (I), a measure reauthorizing Arlington’s hotel tax surcharge has passed the Virginia General Assembly. Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) still must sign the bill into law, and Arlington will have to get it reauthorized in two years due to a sunset clause. The tax will help fund Arlington’s tourism promotion efforts. [InsideNova]
Laich Traded to Toronto — Just a couple of days after he left a server a big tip at Don Tito in Clarendon, long-time Washington Capital Brooks Laich has been traded to Toronto. Laich and celebrity fiancée Julianne Hough were often spotted hanging out at Arlington bars like Don Tito and A-Town. [WJLA]
Wakefield on It’s Academic — Wakefield High School was scheduled to compete on an episode of the local TV quiz show It’s Academic on Saturday. [Twitter]
‘Treasure Island’ Reviewed — Arlington-based theater company Encore Stage and Studio has garnered positive reviews for its production of “Treasure Island,” which runs through March 6. [DC Metro Theater Arts]
Shirlington’s ‘Hula Girl’ Makes Mai Tai for Fox 5 — Mikala Brennan, the owner of Hula Girl Bar and Grill in Shirlington, stopped by Fox 5 midday show Friday to show viewers how to make her signature Hula Girl Mai Tai. [Fox 5]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Home Values Jump 14 Percent — Arlington County saw a big bump in the sale price of homes, at least according to one data set from January. Long & Foster says the median price of a home sold in Arlington last month was $590,000, up 14 percent from one year prior. [WTOP]
Caps Hold Fundraiser for Young Cancer Victim — The Washington Capitals held a fundraiser at Don Tito in Clarendon on Friday for the family of a three-year-old girl who just died of an inoperable brain tumor. The family has more than $100,000 in medical bills to pay and hopes to also raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. [NBC Washington]
Problems Persist at Arlington National Cemetery — More than 5 years after major problems were revealed at Arlington National Cemetery, there’s word of new problems. The cemetery’s burial backlog has increased, it’s taking longer to get headstones approved and previously unenforced rules are now being enforced, frustrating some families, reports a local TV station. [WJLA]
Arlington Students Serving as White House Interns — Three college students who hail from Arlington are on the list of spring 2016 White House interns. The interns are: Jeremy Brown, who attends the University of Michigan; Ryan Cowdin, who attends George Washington University; and Caitlin O’Grady, who attends Pepperdine.
County Board Approves Rosslyn Changes — At a relatively uneventful meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a series of land use, transportation and zoning changes as part of the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. The changes will allow a new school and new development. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Members of the Washington Capitals hockey team will gather in Arlington next month to help raise money for a local family whose youngest daughter, Emma, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
The fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. at Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd).
Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Orpik and John Carlson will make an appearance to support the cause.
Tickets to the benefit are $75 each, and all proceeds will go directly to Emma and her family.
Emma is the three-year-old daughter of Jason Hensel and Teal Jones-Hensel. Approximately two months ago, Emma was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It’s a rare, cancerous, inoperable brain tumor with a zero percent survival rate.
The February benefit was organized by John Carlson’s wife, Gina, who runs her own blog and uses it to raise money for her charity of choice, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In a recent post, Carlson described knowing she “had to help” after she heard Emma’s story.
According to Carlson, Emma’s father has taken a leave of absence from work, so she organized the fundraiser at Don Tito with several ways for guests to help the family through the difficult financial time.
In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, proceeds from a raffle of Capitals memorabilia — including a jersey autographed by the team — a portion of all food and drink sales will be donated to the Hensel family.
Carlson also designed a t-shirt campaign, requiring all fundraiser guests purchase one online and either wear it or bring it to the event. The shirts start at $17.99, and proceeds from each one purchased will also go to the family.
Last week, Jones-Hensel used the t-shirt campaign page to publicly thank Carlson and those who have supported the fundraising effort so far.
“Thank you to each and everyone who has participated to help my family,” she wrote. “We are forever grateful.”
“Gina and her family have come together to give us an amazing gift, one that we plan to pass along someday,” she continued. “Emma’s little body is struggling to make it through the nightmare of radiation and treatments. Although her body is failing her, Emma’s spirit and smile light up my heart.”
Those interested in attending the fundraiser for Emma’s family can reserve tickets via e-mail and should do so soon, as Carlson expects the tickets to sell out.
Photo via Facebook/Loving Emma
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