(Updated on 1/8/20) Long-time Washington Post reporter Patricia Sullivan, who covered Arlington, Alexandria, and much of Northern Virginia, has retired from the paper.
Some personal news: I'm retiring from the Washington Post today. Feeling lucky because so many better journalists didn't have this choice. Please support journalism by subscribing to your local newspaper, news site or news station. It's imperative for our democracy.
— Patricia Sullivan (@psullivan1) December 31, 2020
The retirement was effective as of January 1. Sullivan started with the newspaper in 2001 as the local technology editor. In 2012, she became the go-to reporter for everything related to D.C.’s closest Virginia suburbs.
She’s covered everything from why more than 2 million Northern Virginia residents lost 911 emergency service after a 2012 summer storm to Arlington’s success in housing military veterans to Amazon’s arrival in the region.
Sullivan would also occasionally be taken off the local beat by the Post to cover major national news events, like hurricane landfalls.
Prior to her time covering Northern Virginia at the Washington Post, Sullivan wrote obituaries for the paper’s Metro section, was the local technology editor covering tech companies in the D.C.-area, and helped teach the newsroom new content management systems.
She began her career as an intern at the Milwaukee Journal. Since, she’s worked and reported at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Missoulian, San Jose Mercury News, and the Industry Standard. She was awarded a John S. Knight Fellowship in 1992.
In total, her career spanned more than four decades.
Sullivan’s replacement on the beat has not been named as of yet, according Washingtonian’s Andrew Beaujon, though the paper plans on filling the role.
I asked the Washington Post whether it had named a replacement for @psullivan1 on the Arlington/Alexandria beat. The Post tells me it plans to fill her role but didn’t offer any names.
— Andrew Beaujon (@abeaujon) January 4, 2021
Sullivan herself noted on social media this could take a few months, but current staff will fill-in in the meantime.
When reached via Twitter messenger, Sullivan declined an interview.
A memo regarding Patricia Sullivan’s retirement from Post Local editors was sent to the Washington Post newsroom staff. The full memo from the Post is below.
We are sad to announce that Patricia Sullivan is retiring after 19 years at The Post.
Pat started at The Post in September 2001 as the local technology editor in Business. She then worked in Metro, writing news obituaries on the biggest names of the day — pastors to potato chip purveyors, scientists and socialites. “Somewhat to my surprise, it’s incredibly interesting and wide-ranging,” Pat once said of the role. She went on to help train the newsroom in Methode before she returned to reporting for Metro, where she has been covering Arlington and Alexandria for the past eight years.
Pat’s deep well of sources and diligent reporting landed numerous scoops, including that Amazon had chosen Crystal City as a site for its much-coveted East Coast expansion. Her contributions strengthened and deepened The Post’s stories on Amazon’s development, and she wrote movingly and authoritatively about the potential effects of the deal on the surrounding neighborhoods. Pat wrote compelling pieces about life in two of the District’s most densely populated and liberal suburbs, including fights over a “spite house” in Del Ray and a gun shop in Arlington. She penned several memorable stories about the slave trade in Alexandria. She traveled to West Virginia, where she produced a poignant story about one community’s division over a new Rockwool plant, played a lead role in chronicling the historic passage of the ERA in Virginia and was a stalwart member of Team America’s hurricane and natural disaster response team.
Always a kind and unfailingly generous colleague, Pat happily pitched in on stories that needed a team effort, whether it involved Virginia politics or the daily ledealls on the novel coronavirus.
Pat began her journalism career as an intern at the Milwaukee Journal before moving on to roles at the Joliet Herald News, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Missoulian, the San Jose Mercury News and the Industry Standard. She was a John S. Knight Fellow in 1992-1993, a longtime Journalism and Women Symposium leader and role model for female journalists. She also was a pioneer in developing a website for the Missoulian and one of the first email newsletters of tech news for the Mercury News.
We will miss her and we wish her well on her next adventure.
Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu, courtesy of The Washington Post.
If there’s one thing Arlington does particularly well, from a culinary perspective, it’s barbecue.
Four Arlington restaurants have made it on to Washington Post critic Tim Carman’s new top 10 D.C. area barbecue joints list, placing Nos. 3, 4, 8 and 9.
The BBQ joints that made Carman’s 2020 list (below) include two that opened this year: Smokecraft and Ruthie’s.
- Texas Jack’s (2761 Washington Blvd, Lyon Park) — “This Arlington restaurant has topped this list for the past two years, a difficult task given the vagaries of barbecue, and it might have retained the title if not for some tiny slippages.”
- Smokecraft Modern Barbecue (1051 N. Highland Street, Clarendon) — “Darneille buys Duroc pork, Wagyu beef and all-natural chicken and cooks them over six different types of wood, constantly tinkering with techniques to get the best out of his gas-assist smokers. The results are often mouthwatering.”
- Ruthie’s All-Day (3411 5th Street S., Arlington Heights) — “Formerly the culinary director for the Liberty Tavern Restaurant Group, including its smokehouse in Falls Church, Hill is blessed with an all-wood smoker at Ruthie’s… where he turns out superb specimens of brisket, pulled pork and spare ribs.”
- Sloppy Mama’s (5731 Lee Highway & 4238 Wilson Blvd in Ballston Quarter mall) — “The shop’s chopped pork, rich and smoky, remains the gold standard. The housemade sausage, a pork link emboldened with brisket fat, snaps on first bite, its richness cut ever so gently with pickle brine.”
Western Smoke Causing Hazy Skies — “The local National Weather Service office pointed out today in its technical discussion that the smoke is caught in the jet stream and moving overhead around 20,000 to 25,000 feet high. Smoke from the historic fires out West now covers much of the country, and it is expected to continue to be an issue in the days ahead.” [Washington Post, Twitter]
Board Approves Road Project — “Arlington County Board members on Sept. 12 approved a contract worth up to $805,000 for improvements to the intersection of 18th Street North with North Glebe Road and North Wakefield Street, aimed at providing a better walking and biking experience for children and others headed to Glebe Elementary School.” [InsideNova. Arlington County]
Ret. Deputy Seeking Answer to 9/11 Mystery — “Nineteen years after the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon, a retired Arlington Sheriff’s deputy still doesn’t know if the badly injured man he pulled from the burning building survived. He doesn’t know his family or even his name — and Art Castellano still cries about it whenever something reminds him of that day. Now, WUSA9 is trying to help reunite the two men.” [WUSA 9]
Teacher Seeking Desk Donations — “Students across Northern Virginia are turning homes into classrooms, so Arlington art teacher Jeff Wilson decided to rally the community to help. Wilson posted a request online for people to donate their old desks to help students who are learning from home.” [WJLA]
Local Business Legend Dies — “Russell A. Hitt, who helped transform the family business into one of the nation’s largest and most successful general contracting firms, died Sunday at his Falls Church residence. The 85-year-old Arlington native is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joan; four children and 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, many of whom now work at Hitt Contracting Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]
No, the FBI Didn’t Conduct a Raid in Rosslyn — “The FBI’s Washington field office says it did not raid the home of Arlington conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman, despite a Washington Post story that apparently took Burkman’s word that his home had been tossed by federal agents.” [Washingtonian, Daily Beast, Washington Post]
Storm Results in Minor Damage — Isaias only caused minor damage in Arlington as it roared past the D.C. area as a tropical storm. Arlington received about 2 inches of rain and some gusty winds as the storm passed. The rain did cause Four Mile Run to top its banks and cover the bike path near Carlin Springs Road. [Twitter]
Thousands of Local Renters Seeking Help — Arlington County “has been besieged with requests for help — in the eight months before the county declared an emergency because of the pandemic, her division received 821 requests for financial- and eviction-prevention assistance. Between March and May, that number was 2,378. The county hired temporary workers to supplement the county workers, who are working from home, and is trying to assist residents, some of whom don’t have Internet access and must rely on sending and receiving forms by mail.” [Washington Post]
Lots of Retail Rent Not Getting Paid — “Retail tenants have been hardest hit during the pandemic, across the board and for JBG Smith. The company collected 58% of rent due from those tenants in the second quarter, compared with nearly 99% for office and 98.5% for multifamily… JBG Smith is exploring the possibility of incorporating ghost kitchens, or food preparation facilities for delivery-only meals, to fill some of the void created by empty retail spaces as a temporary measure.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington GOP vs. WaPo Reporter — The Arlington County Republican Committee, in response to a Washington Post article about its chairman’s social media posts, posted the following on Twitter last night: “#FakeNews opinion columnist @psullivan1 was forced to change her slanderous headline… She apologizes for Communist China, but falls all over herself for a headline. lol, Peopermint Patti” [Twitter]
This One Time, Not at Band Camp — “APS has decided to cancel all August activities until further notice. The WL marching band camp for 2020 has been canceled.” [Twitter]
Fox News in Arlington — “An apparently news-starved fox has taken matters into its own paws and has been spotted stealing copies of the Post from the porches of unsuspecting Arlington residents.” [Washingtonian]
In-Person Census Visits Starting — “To achieve a complete count, Census Takers will begin conducting home interviews. Starting the week of July 20 — nearly three weeks before the nationwide August 11 launch date — Census Takers will be visiting homes in Arlington, including an estimated 27,000 households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.” [Arlington County]
Longtime Local Mail Carrier Dies — Jesus and Luz Collazos “immigrated to the United States and settled in Arlington, Va., where he spent 25 years as a postal worker. They raised a family in a home he bought after admiring it on his delivery route. On June 6, about a year into his retirement, he died of covid-19 at 67.” [Washington Post]
Should Route 29 Become John Lewis Highway? — One idea for the renaming of Lee Highway: name it after Rep. John Lewis, who died Friday. The civil rights leader grew up in Troy, Alabama, for which U.S. Route 29 is the main street. The highway also runs through his congressional district in Georgia. [Twitter]
Deer Rescued from Church Basement — “A huge thank you to Animal Services officers Schindler and D’Eramo from Humane Rescue Alliance for jumping in late last night to help our AWLA officers Ballena and Rose rescue a young deer.” [Facebook]
Synetic’s ‘The Decameron’ Project — “The Decameron, a series of 14th century Italian novellas about surviving the Black Death, is enjoying a surprising renaissance during the current coronavirus crisis… Now, Crystal City’s Synetic Theater, a physical theater troupe that specializes in literary adaptations, usually relying on music and movement to tell stories rather than spoken dialogue, has created a Decameron of its own.” [Washington City Paper]
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Reminder: Tap Water Change Today — “The District of Columbia, Arlington County and northeastern Fairfax County will clean out their tap water network starting Monday — a safe, annual process. Service continues uninterrupted during the process, which runs from March 30 through May 4. During that time, drinking water in the may taste slightly different. But the purification process remains unchanged and the water is essentially unchanged.” [ARLnow]
Jail Takes Extra Precautions — “We have created a unit that is strictly for all new individuals that are committed to the jail. These individuals are ‘quarantined’ from the rest of the population for an initial 14 days and checked daily by our Medical Staff. With the Detention Center population being low, we were able to move inmates around, creating the safest environment for those individuals that have been remanded to our custody and for new individuals entering the facility.” [Arlington County]
Human Services from a Distance — “Arlington’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is taking steps to provide services that don’t require in-person visits in an effort to contribute to the community slowdown of the spread of COVID-19.” [Arlington County]
Post Editorial Assails Arlington Judges — “Parisa Dehghani-Tafti last fall ran for commonwealth’s attorney on a promise of criminal justice reform, and voters in Arlington County and Falls Church chose her — and that platform — over the longtime, tough-on-crime incumbent. Now her efforts to deliver on her promise of progressive justice have run into opposition from judges who have taken highly unusual — and some say inappropriate — steps to undermine her discretion as the jurisdiction’s top elected prosecutor.” [Washington Post]
Shirlington Circle Closure in Place — “The northern section of the Shirlington Circle bridge over the general purpose and express lanes on I-395 will close from 10 p.m., Sunday, March 29 until midnight, Wednesday night, April 1… Travelers driving north on the I-395 general purpose lanes will not be able to access Shirlington from Exit 6.” [Press Release]
New Cap Gets Arlington Orientation — “When trying to adjust to life in a new city, it can be nice to have a familiar face around to help you. That’s exactly what Brenden Dillon had after he was traded to the Capitals in Joel Ward… Dillon and Ward were teammates in San Jose for three seasons from 2015 to 2018. Dillon credited Ward for helping him get acclimated to Arlington, Va. and the Washington area.” [NBC Sports Washington]
Tree Advocates Worry About Fate of Big Oak — “In the latest in Arlington’s tree wars, homeowners at 5920 N. 35th St. joined with passionate volunteers from the Arlington Tree Action Group to sound alarms over the threat to a towering water oak outside their home of 28 years, which might soon be a tear-down… The owners believe it is Arlington’s tallest outside the national cemetery.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Arlington is understood to be well behind D.C. in terms of fine dining restaurants and awards, but when it comes to barbecue it’s a closer contest.
Last week Washington Post food critic Tim Carman boosted the county’s ‘cue cred by naming two Arlington spots in his list of the top BBQ joints in the D.C. area.
The 2019 WaPo Best Barbecue list returns Texas Jack’s in Lyon Park (2761 Washington Blvd) to the top spot, praising it as being “as close to perfection, I dare say, as you’ll get in Washington barbecue circles.” The restaurant opened in 2015 and was recently the backdrop of a reality show filming in the area.
Sloppy Mama’s is No. 5 on the list, down from No. 3 last year, with Carman noting that “in the past few months, I’ve tasted the best that pitmaster Joe Neuman can produce (meltingly tender slices of moist brisket at Ballston), and I’ve observed the flaws in the system (spare ribs that had hardened into meat sticks, presumably from an extended stay in a holding unit at the Lee Highway shop).”
Express’s 16-year run was made memorable by the friendly men and women who would greet commuters each morning, papers in hand. Now one reader is trying to ensure they’re not forgotten.
While the Post’s Union works to try to make sure the 20 laid off Express staffers are hired elsewhere, amid a tough time for local media employment, a local IT project manager has organized a GoFundMe campaign for the 75 Express distributors, who worked for a third-party company contracted by the Post.
“In order to help these kind-hearted individuals who brightened the day of thousands of commuters for many years, we would love to see the greater community come together and offer support in order to keep them on their feet while they look for new opportunities,” wrote fundraiser organizer Annie D’Amato.
So far, more than $5,100 has been raised from nearly 150 donors.
Word about the campaign is being spread at local Metro stations, including the Courthouse station where flyers and posters were placed around the entrances Monday.
D’Amato is seeking volunteers to print the flyers and post them at more local stations. In addition to the Courthouse station, flyers were found at a number of stations in the District yesterday.
Meanwhile, some Express distributors are still working on behalf of the Post — passing out coupons for free digital subscriptions to the Post itself. At least one other returned to his usual Metro station, asking for help.
I saw the same thing outside the Brookland station. https://t.co/x8hmOMDnCu
— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) September 16, 2019
The former @WaPoExpress distributor at L'Enfant is standing outside the station this morning, wearing his branded hat and apron and with a sign explaining the paper folded and asking for help.
— Paul Connolly (@paulconndc) September 16, 2019
The GoFundMe campaign remains far from its fundraising goal, but donations continue flowing in.
“Raising $75,000 would be enough to give them each $1,000, but any amount collected above or below that goal will be distributed evenly between all of the workers,” wrote D’Amato. “Whether your commute has been made better by the friendly face and greeting of an Express worker, or you just want to help and support those in need, please consider donating to this campaign.”
Ovi Visits Local Elementary School — “In conjunction with the launch of Ovi O’s, Alex Ovechkin’s limited-edition breakfast cereal, the Washington Capitals’ captain surprised Arlington Traditional School, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and a local Giant store with a visit on Sept. 10.” [NHL]
9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Courthouse — “Officials in Northern Virginia held a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Sen Tim Kaine, Rep. Don Beyer, military commanders, local Arlington County officials and members of the Virginia House attended the remembrance ceremony on Arlington County government plaza.” [NBC 4, WUSA 9]
Local Leaders Set Housing Goals — “Local governments around Greater Washington now plan to set targets for housing production over the next decade, as part of a regional initiative to build 320,000 new homes by 2030 and ease the region’s cost pressures.” [Washington Business Journal, Twitter]
ACPD Plans ‘Coffee With a Cop’ — “Wednesday, October 2 is National Coffee with a Cop Day and the Arlington County Police Department is hosting four events with our Community Outreach Teams to celebrate. Community members are invited to join police at these informal events to ask questions, voice concerns, get to know their neighbors, interact with the Community Outreach Teams and meet officers from other sections of the department.” [Arlington County]
Orthopaedic Office Celebrates Grand Opening — “Ortho OIC Orthopaedic Immediate Care, the area’s first independent orthopaedic specialty urgent care… will be holding a grand opening event on September 19 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event is open to the public and will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony.” [Press Release]
Farewell, Subway-Centric Paper — “The Washington Post is closing down its free daily commuter paper, Express, this week. The final edition of Express will be published on Thursday. The staff learned of the news at a meeting at noon on Wednesday.” [DCist]
Kaine Event at Federico’s — Updated at 8:55 a.m. — “On Monday, May 13, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine will hold a roundtable in Arlington with fair housing advocates to discuss the work ahead to ensure equal access to housing for all Americans and address discrimination that LGBTQ Americans continue to face as they search for homes.” The event is now being held at 9 a.m. at Federico’s Ristorante Italiano (519 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City, per an updated media advisory.
Amazon Hiring for Alexa Job in Arlington — Among other open job positions for Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, the company is now hiring a “Principal Product Manager” for its Alexa Experience team. [Amazon]
Puppy Recovering from Pike Crash — “Earlier this week Yoda ran into oncoming traffic after escaping his leash. I ran after him in attempt to save him, which resulted in both of us getting hit by a car. I am okay but Yoda was not so lucky. He has two major fractures in his back leg which lead him into surgery. He is resting but having a difficult time.” [GoFundMe]
Satisfaction with Metro Rebounds — “Metro’s reputation in the region has improved dramatically in the past two years and has almost reached the positive levels it enjoyed before a fatal smoke incident in 2015, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll… A 68 percent majority of Washington-area residents rate Metrorail positively, up from 42 percent in 2017. In 2013, 71 percent had positive ratings of the subway system.” [Washington Post]
Post Endorses Tafti — The Washington Post has endorsed challenger Parisa Dehghani-Tafti over incumbent Theo Stamos in the Democratic Commonwealth’s Attorney primary. [Washington Post]
SoberRide Record for Cinco de Mayo — “Nearly 800 (792) persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used the free safe ride service, SoberRide, this Cinco de Mayo as opposed to possibly driving home drunk.” [WRAP]