Arlington, VA

If you get to work on Arlington Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, you could earn tickets to a Nationals game and other prizes.

The summer reading program challenges children, teens and adults to read for 25 days between June 1 and Sept. 1. Readers can keep track of their progress either on a printed calendar, a library app, or online.

Once they’ve read for 25 days, readers can come into the library and show staff how much they’ve read. They’ll receive a prize and an entry into a grand prize that varies based on their age group.

According to the library website:

Adults, teens and kids in kindergarten and above who complete [the Summer Reading Challenge] will each receive a voucher for two tickets to see the Washington Nationals play at Nationals Stadium.

Seating is in the scoreboard pavilion, upper gallery or right field terrace.

The grand prize for adults is a chance to enjoy a Washington Nationals game from a private suite.

A press release noted that books, newspapers, magazines and audiobooks all qualify.

Several events are planned along with the Summer Reading Challenge, including a visit from Nationals pitcher Aníbal Sánchez to Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The event description notes that there will be opportunities to take photos and get memorabilia signed.

For each person that completes the Summer Reading Challenge, the press release also notes that the Friends of the Arlington Public Library will donate $1 to provide books for the Arlington County Child Advocacy Center.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

In a shocking playoff game, Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard won the series against the 76ers with a buzzer-beating three-point shot.

The tense moment of the ball bouncing precariously around the rim of the basket kept viewers glued to their screens and sharing the moment across social media.

Within moments, Ballston-based company BreakingT was turning it into a t-shirt.

BreakingT turns popular sports moments into authorized fan paraphernalia produced with a rapid turnaround, cofounder and CEO Alex Welsh said.

“The sports fan apparel market is a massive market,” Welsh said. “You can look it up, it’s between $25-$30 billion globally. It’s a global industry. We have found with our data-driven, real-time approach that there’s absolutely a demand.”

The company recently celebrated its five-year anniversary and Welsh has ambitions to keep growing. The company raised $400,000 in angel investments in 2017 and hired its first full-time employee. Now, Welsh said his goal is to raise $2 million to expand licensing and marketing.

“One of our biggest corporate objectives is to make our service and company indispensable,” Welsh said. “We have deals now with 30 pro sports teams. They see the value in what we do — the social value in these big moments.”

Beyond just tracking trending sports moments on social media, the company also has a revenue-sharing agreement with SB Nation — a blogging network owned by D.C.-based Vox Media — where team blogs promote those viral moments and BreakingT’s associated paraphernalia.

Welsh said the NBA playoffs have been a big focus lately. The group has a license from the NBA Players Association that allows them to make official merchandise.

“We’re looking for the very specific moments in these games and what the fans are talking about,” Welsh said. “When he shot the ball at the buzzard, the basketball bounced four times on the rim before it went in. Everybody was holding their breath. It was a massive moment for Toronto fans.”

Welsh said the company’s proximity to D.C. let it build a relationship with the Washington Nationals, which Welsh credits for helping to put BreakingT on the map. From there, the company was able to expand into partnerships in other locations and sports, like a partnership with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Welsh said one of his favorite sports moments captured on BreakingT apparel was when a team leaned into being called a “bunch of jerks.”

“A sports broadcaster called the [Carolina] Hurricanes players a bunch of jerks because they started doing choreographed celebrations on the ice,” Welsh said. “It was breaking with the tradition of hockey, but fans loved it. Our social data monitors were going off about this moment. The team leaned into that, and that’s been one of our biggest hits of all time. We sold over 20,000 units of that one shirt.”

Photo via Facebook

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Morning Notes

Amazon’s Offices Will Be Dog-Friendly — Amazon’s new “HQ2” offices in the Crystal City area will be dog-friendly, its head of economic development said at an event yesterday. Property owner JBG Smith wooed Amazon, in part, by making sure there were lots of dogs around during Amazon’s visit to the area. [Bisnow]

HQ2 Still Not a Certainty — “While there aren’t any signs Amazon.com Inc. plans to walk away from National Landing after abandoning Long Island City, the company’s future landlord and development partner warned Tuesday that HQ2 is still just an agreement in principle, not a done deal.” [Washington Business Journal]

Autonomous Vehicles in Ballston? — “In collaboration with the Ballston Business Improvement District, [a Virginia Tech] research team is seeking current public attitudes towards [self-driving vehicles] in Ballston through an online survey.” [Virginia Tech]

Arlington Gets ‘Love’ Tourism Grant — “The Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS) announced today that it has received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) ’50 Years of Love’ grant fund. ’50 Years of Love’ is part of VTC’s efforts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers tourism slogan.” [Arlington County]

Marymount Names New Provost — “Marymount is pleased to announce that the search process for its new provost has drawn to a successful conclusion. From a distinguished national pool, the University has selected Hesham El-Rewini, Ph.D., P.E. as the newest member of the Marymount team.” [Marymount University]

Beyer on Bryce — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) quoted Star Wars upon new of now-former Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper signing with the Phillies: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Emergency Water Main Repairs — Work is scheduled from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today to repair a 20-inch water transmission main along 7th Road S. from S. Florida Street to S. Dinwiddie Street and Columbia Pike. Upwards of 200 customers are expected to lose their water service during the work. [Twitter]

Stamos Picks Up Challenger — Parisa Tafti, a “lifelong public defender and innocence protection attorney with a more than 18-year record of defending the indigent and speaking for the innocent,” has announced that she will be running against Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos in her bid for reelection to the top prosecutor job. [Blue Virginia]

Kanninen Calls for Kaepernick — Arlington School Board member Barbara Kanninen is among those calling on social media for the Redskins to “#BringColintoWashington” amid a rash of season-ending injuries at the quarterback position. [Twitter]

Fisette Launches Consulting Firm — Former Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette has started a consulting firm to “advise business, nonprofits and local governments throughout the Washington region” with former Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner. [Bethesda Beat, Maryland Matters]

Office Rent Expected to Rise in Crystal City — “Crystal City is at risk of losing its status as the low-cost alternative for nonprofits and others on the hunt for office space in Northern Virginia as Amazon.com Inc. rolls out its headquarters plans… Colliers projects rental rates in Crystal City could jump by 17 percent in five years and by 37 percent in a decade.” [Washington Business Journal]

Amazon Effect on Residential Real Estate — “Any immediate impact on the local housing market is expected to be muted… Long & Foster predicts the Amazon effect will add an additional 3 percent to appreciation the Washington area would otherwise experience.” [WTOP]

Harper Leaving Rosslyn? — Possibly outgoing Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper “has chosen not to renew his lease at his penthouse condo in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, VA, according to a source.” [Real House Life of Arlington]

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With the MLB’s All-Star squads in town, some Arlington Little Leaguers got a chance to hit the field at Nats Park.

The MLB invited 10 members of the county’s “Challenger” squad, reserved for kids with special needs, to square off in a special game Friday (July 13) against other players from across the D.C. region.

Players from other Little League Challenger teams and similar “Miracle League” teams took the field alongside several former Nats players — Sean Burnett, Scott Hairston, Kevin Frandsen and John Lannan — not to mention Nats mascot Screech and “Racing President” Teddy Roosevelt.

Each player participating got their own at-bat and a chance to circle the bases. Parents and volunteers from the various teams, including five from Arlington’s squad, helped staff the event.

MLB will wrap up its All-Star Week festivities with its 89th annual All-Star game tonight (Tuesday) at Nats Park.

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The Washington Nationals’ fourth inning Presidents Race looked a little different on Saturday (June 9) — as Teddy, Abe and Tom rushed to catch up with George, they hit an obstacle in the form of six smaller presidents.

Arms outstretched, the little presidents — boys from Abingdon Elementary School — blocked the racers from passing, while a seventh student, dressed as Nats mascot Screech, waited to greet a victorious George at the finish line.

“The boys were just freaking out,” parent Catherine Ladd said. “They were like, ‘This is epic, this is amazing.'”

Their path to Nationals Park began last Halloween, when all seven boys attended a parade at their elementary school wearing paper mache George, Tom, Bill, Herbie, Teddy and Screech heads to go with Nationals jerseys and baseball gear.

Ladd spent five weeks crafting the costumes, and things escalated quickly from there. Parents at the parade tweeted pictures to the Nationals, a team representative called the next day and the racing presidents themselves were at Abingdon Elementary the following Monday (Nov. 6) to invite the boys to a race, Ladd said.

“I never thought that we’d ever get the invitation to go down to Nats [Park]… I was just hoping [the costumes] looked okay at the end,” Ladd said.

Given that it has been 13 years since their inaugural season, the Nationals are older than the “Little Presidents” themselves, making them part of “the first generation that’s die-hard Nats fans as kids,” Ladd said.

“Seeing the Nationals do this for them was such a special experience and such a treat and so kind of them,” she said.

Several of the boys participated in Arlington Little League playoff games Saturday morning before heading to the stadium.

“It was kind of cool to see [them] live out their major league dreams in a way,” Ladd said.

Before racing, the Little Presidents also got to spend some time with their bigger counterparts and collect autographs.

“The presidents and Screech [signed] a ball for each of the kids,” Ladd said. “For them, that’s just as cool as a major league baseball player.”

As for next Halloween, Ladd has a feeling the Little Presidents might make another appearance.

“I think this is going to be the gift that keeps on giving,” she said.

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Start your National Rosé Day celebration at Nationals Park.

Purchase an exclusive $35 Rosé All Gameday ticket for Saturday, June 9 at 12:05 p.m. against the Giants and enjoy a complimentary can of Sofia rosé while you watch the game from the special Baseline Reserve or Baseline Box field level sections. Rosé All Gameday fans will:

  • Sip Rosé in the pop-up Rosé Garden
  • Snap away in the Rosé photobooth
  • Snag give-aways all game long
  • Swing a ring at the Rosé bottle toss
  • See the game through commemorative rosé colored sunglasses!

Keep the rosé flowing at our exclusive pop-up Rosé Garden where rosé and frosé will be available for purchase!

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Morning Notes

Northam Talks Golf Course Bill — Speaking on WTOP’s “Ask the Governor” program, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) addressed the country club tax bill that Arlington officials want him to veto. Northam said the taxation of Army Navy Country Club, which counts numerous veterans among its members, particularly “needs to be addressed” and that if negotiations are not successful he will “step in and take action,” though the exact action he would take is unclear. [WTOP]

How Arlington Almost Was Home to the Nationals — Boosters of baseball in Arlington almost succeeded in bringing a Major League Baseball team to the county. The Nationals, before landing near Navy Yard in D.C., were considering a stadium site in Pentagon City, but a series of unfortunate events nixed it. [Arlington Magazine]

ART Bus Turns into Sauna — From a Twitter user yesterday: “@ART_Alert my bus driver just begged me to contact you and ask to get his bus fixed. The heat is stuck on the bus and it must be 95 degrees inside.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Can’t wait until April to get your Washington Nationals first home game fix? You’re in luck, sort of, because the Nationals’ racing presidents are coming to Clarendon.

The Nats mascots will be racing around The Loop at Market Common this Sunday, Feb. 18. Celebrating President’s Day a little early, George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy will race at 3 p.m.

The event starts at 12:30 p.m. with a presidential photo booth, complimentary hot cocoa from Nicecream, and a prize wheel for children to spin to win a paper president ($5 bill).

This fall the mascots came to Arlington to pay tribute to Abingdon Elementary students who donned elaborate “little presidents” costumes for the Fairlington Halloween parade.

Courtesy photo

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