Low House Rental Profits in Arlington — Of 448 U.S. counties with a population over 100,000, Arlington County has the lowest annual gross yield on rentals of single family homes. Those renting their homes can expect a low return on their investment: only 3.3 percent in Arlington. [RealtyTrac]
Mrs. Arlington Spotlights Child Sex Abuse — Former TV anchor and current Capitol Hill comms director Jen “Elizabeth” Peace is using her title as the reigning Mrs. Arlington to bring attention to the issue of child sexual abuse. Peace will compete for the title of Mrs. Virginia the weekend of April 22. [Arlington Connection]
Historical Society’s Washington Walk — The Arlington Historical Society will be hosting a “Washington Forest History Walk” next weekend. The free event will retrace the footsteps of George Washington as he surveyed his land in what is now Arlington. [InsideNova]
Creeping Easter Bunny on Newspaper Cover — This week’s cover of the Arlington Connection newspaper features an Easter bunny that’s trying to sneak up on kids in the woods, with the headline “Easter Surprise.” Is this the “creepiest Easter bunny ever,” as one emailer suggested? [Arlington Connection]
Washington Blvd Trail Design Approved — The Penrose Neighborhood Association voted to endorse a new design for Phase II of the county’s Washington Blvd Trail project. The trail was originally supposed to be built a few years ago, but residents objected to the loss of trees the trail’s path would have necessitated. [Greater Greater Washington]
Anti-Gun Store Car Towed — Opponents of the planned Lyon Park gun store say the store’s landlord ordered a car towed from the parking lot because it was covered in anti-gun store literature. Despite being covered in the articles, which were held in place by colorful magnets, the car actually belonged to one of the building’s tenants and wasn’t parked illegally, says the group Act4LyonPark. [Facebook]
Female Firefighters in Arlington — In 1974, Judith Livers became the first paid, full-time municipal firefighter in the United States when she took a job with the Arlington County Fire Department. On Friday, a graduation ceremony was held for the county’s latest firefighting recruit class. Continuing Livers’ legacy, four of the 14-member class are female. Nationally, only about 4 percent of firefighters are women, while 9 percent of Arlington’s firefighters are female. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.
By Krysta Jones
Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month as a way to honor and remember women who have been pioneers and who have helped shape our society and contributed to its success.
Nationally, the theme of the National Women’s History Project is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”
We in Virginia are also seeking to honor women who have been important contributors to Virginia’s progress as a Commonwealth.
We need look no further than Arlington to find women deserving of our respect, praise, and remembrance.
Mary Marshall was a public servant who represented Arlington County for 24 years as a Delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. She championed social services ranging from the rights of senior citizens to the needs of young children.
Evelyn Reid Syphax was a former Arlington elementary school teacher who served on elected and appointed school boards as well as many civic and community organizations. As Chairman of the Arlington School Board in the early 1980s, she led a successful overhaul of the County’s desegregation plan to reduce long bus rides for minority students. Mrs. Syphax’s family continues to provide leadership in our County and those who knew her honor her and remember her passing 16 years ago this month.
Both women exemplified Arlington’s progressive values. Yet despite their successes in and on behalf of Arlington, many current County residents know little about them. The same is true for many other women who were instrumental in bettering life in Arlington or Virginia.
Fortunately, the Women’s Monument Commission of Virginia is aiming to write more women into our history books by recognizing 12 outstanding women for their contributions to society with a monument on the grounds of the state Capitol in Richmond.
We can thank Em Bowles Locker Alsop, a feisty advocate for women’s issues, who in 2010 successfully lobbied for a resolution to establish a monument recognizing Virginia women on Capitol Square in Richmond. The Women’s Monument Commission selected the finalists for the monument from the many recommendations received from around the Commonwealth.
The Monument is likely the first of its kind at a state capitol. Its interactive design centers around an oval courtyard with statues of the 12 women — some standing, some sitting — greeting visitors with descriptions about their lives. Guests will be invited to learn and reflect on the important role women have played in our history, and inspire people to make their own positive mark on our Commonwealth’s history.
Here are just a few of their stories:
- In 1677, Cockacoeske — the first female chief of the Pamunkey tribe — signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation establishing peace between area tribes and the English settlers.
- In the late 19th century, Sarah Boyd Jones was the first African-American woman to pass the Virginia Medical Examining Board’s exam. With her husband, she helped create a medical association for Virginia’s African-American doctors and also started a hospital.
- Born in 1882, Adele Goodman Clark was an active suffragist who became president of the League of Women Voters in 1921. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Virginia Art Commission and is considered to be one of the founders of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
These are the untold stories of phenomenal women in Virginia’s history. The Honorable Mary Margaret Whipple, a former state Senator representing Arlington, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Commission, and is leading the charge to raise funds and awareness for the project.
The Monument also includes a Wall of Honor which will be updated regularly to reflect the continuous contributions women make to Virginia’s history. The deadline to nominate a woman for the wall is March 31. To find out more about the Monument or nominate your favorite Arlington woman, click here.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I hope everyone will learn more and teach our children about the women who worked to make Virginia, and communities like Arlington, places we are proud to call home.
Krysta Jones is founder and CEO of the Virginia Leadership Institute. In 2014 she was named by Leadership Arlington as a Top 40 Leaders Under 40 awardee.
(UPDATED: This event is cancelled due to the impending snowstorm.)
Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway) and Ladies of the Vine, a group of female wine importers, will be hosting a free tasting event next Sunday, Jan. 24.
From 1-4 p.m., there will be four separate tasting tables, with wines from all over the world including Portugal, South Africa, Germany, and California.
Ladies of the Vine are a group of importers, representing portfolios from around the world, who enjoy each other’s wines as much as each other’s company. They formed Ladies of the Vine to showcase all of their wines together, hosting events to give the attendees a greater experience and an around the world venture with their individual expertise.
Attendees will be able to purchase or order some of their favorites from the tasting at discounted prices.
RSVP for the event via Facebook.
The preceding was a sponsored article written by ARLnow.com for Arrowine.
Chester’s Billiards Bar & Grill at 2620 S. Shirlington Road is hosting the first Pink Friday Comedy Showcase on Jan. 22.
As the name suggests, the show is produced by women and will feature up-and-coming female comics in the greater metro area.
Hosted by D.C. Improv and Broadway Comedy Club alums Eryca Nolan and Alexx Starr, the lineup currently includes three comedians and additional, unnamed guest performers. However, the lineup is subject to change.
Tickets are available online for $10 (not including fees), but the first 25 people to reserve tickets will get them free.
On show night, doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show will start around 8:30.
Karen Bate, founder of communication firm KB Concepts, was part of multiple entrepreneurial groups in Arlington, but none were just for women. So she decided to start her own organization, now called Arlington Women Entrepreneurs.
The group has quickly grown since it started in 2014, with the 100th member having just joined the group this week, Bate said.
“I just know all these amazing business owners,” she said.
Bate started the group with an event for women entrepreneurs, inviting her friends and people she worked with to come to her house and bring other business owners. She expected it to be a small gathering, but had a large group of people show up on her doorstep.
“They were so happy to have a place where they could share their experience as solo business owners,” Bate said.
From the first event at Bate’s house, Arlington Women Entrepreneurs became a group of women who meet monthly to network and talk about running businesses.
The group is capping itself at 100 members and does not accept more than five members in each industry to allow the meetings to be useful for each member, according to the group’s website.
There is already a waiting list, as there are at least five industries that have five members, Bate said.
“I have such an interesting group of women,” Bate said.
Members include a woman who does mobile veterinary calls, artists, boutique owners, graphic designers, restaurant owners, include the women behind Lebanese Taverna, Trade Routes, Two the Moon and Nicecream Factory.
Meetings take place in member homes or businesses and include time to socialize with each other and a speaker who talks about some aspect of owning a business.
Previous speakers have included Tara Palacios, the director of BizLaunch of Arlington Economic Development, Liz Nohra from Leadership Arlington and County Treasurer Carla de la Pava.
Meetings give the women a chance to chat with one another, and most talk about being entrepreneurs and share their experiences, Bate said.
“They talk about a variety of things, but a lot of them talk passionately about their businesses,” she said.
At the meetings, the female business owners are also able to collaborate with each other on their businesses or find ways to give back to the community through various service projects, Bate said.
Helping each other is one thing that Bate has noticed about working with female business owners.
“I believe women owners are extremely generous about supporting one another,” she said.
Members brainstorm and collaborate with the other women in their industry, which helps the women come up with new ideas or solve challenges facing their businesses, according to AWE’s website.
Starting a new business can be challenging, Bate said, adding that she has found many women do it for the flexibility. Arlington County is very welcoming to new businesses, and some of the speakers at meeting are people involved with the county’s initiatives to help businesses, including the Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Arlington and Arlington Economic Development.
“I can’t say enough about how supportive Arlington is with starting new businesses,” she said.
Taking the leap and starting a business can be challenging, Bate said, adding that she had a lot of support from her family, who were also all entrepreneurs.
Working with women of AWE, Bate has noticed that many of the female business owners share similar traits, beyond wanting more flexibility with work, she said.
“Studies and anecdotal evidence reveal that many were not your traditional stellar students or over-achievers. A majority weren’t motivated by good grades or the approval of others, in school or in their early jobs and careers. Instead, they found what motivated them, followed their own path, and turned that inner need into a thriving business,” Bate said on her blog.
Chafee Announces Presidential Run in Va. Square — Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee announced that he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for president yesterday at George Mason University’s Founders Hall in Virginia Square. This morning at 10:30 a.m., possible Democratic presidential contender and former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) will be giving a foreign policy speech of his own at the Virginia Square campus. [New York Times]
More Cameras Coming to School Buses — Arlington Public Schools is moving forward with plans for a private contractor to install cameras on the “stop arms” of about 15 percent of APS school buses. The school system is also aiming to increase the percentage of school buses with interior cameras from just over 50 percent today to 100 percent within five years. [InsideNova]
Democratic Battle for Kupricka’s Seat — Five Democrats are seeking to replace Del. Rob Krupicka in the Virginia House of Delegates, but there are few policy differences among the candidates. Krupicka represents Virginia’s 45th legislative district, which is mostly Alexandria but also includes five Arlington precincts. The candidates facing off in the June 9 primary are Craig Fifer, Julie Jakopic, Mark Levine, Clarence Tong and Larry Altenburg. [Washington Post]
2015 Women of Vision Honorees — Next week the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women will honor its 2015 Women of Vision. The honorees are Karen Darner, former member of the House of Delegates; Mary-Claire Burick, executive director of the Rosslyn BID; and Sarah Summerville, head of the African American Leadership Council of Arlington. [Press Release]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Murphy Apologizes for Snowy School Opening — Arlington Public Schools superintendent Patrick Murphy has personally apologized for the unpopular decision to open schools on time yesterday, in the midst of a snow storm. Murphy said APS, like other local school systems that also opened on time, had to make a decision early in the morning, when the forecast still called for less snow. “Once that decision is made, we are kind of locked in,” said Murphy. [InsideNova]
Salt Truck Slides Down Hill — The refreeze may have claimed a salt truck last night. A reader spotted a salt truck being pulled out of a ditch on N. Roosevelt Street. [Twitter]
Crystal City Profiled — As part of its ongoing “Where We Live” series, the Washington Post has profiled Crystal City, which the paper says is “not just underground anymore.” The neighborhood is noted for being convenient to various forms of transportation and having a very low crime rate. [Washington Post]
Remembering Kathryn Stone — Kathryn Stone, a “legendary figure in the history of Arlington County and the Commonwealth,” is remembered for her role in advancing the role of women in government. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Decal Competition Underway — The annual competition for high school students to design the county’s new vehicle decal has begun. Entries for the 2015-2016 decal are accepted until December 1. [InsideNova, Arlington County]
DIY Network Casting Call — DIY Network is accepting applications from residents of the D.C. metro region for its show “I Want That.” It is not a renovation program, but rather focuses on the best and newest home and garden products. Homeowners within a 30 minute drive from downtown D.C. will be considered. [DIY Network]
Business Conference for Latina Entrepreneurs — The Shirlington Employment and Education Center will host a Latino Women’s Business Development Conference next Saturday, November 8. The goal is to find Latino women interested in starting their own businesses and connecting them with resources to succeed. The program primarily will be in Spanish. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Nathan Jones
World Trade Center Pieces Transported — An Arlington resident snapped a photo of the convoy on I-395 that way carrying pieces of the World Trade Center to the Marine Corps Museum in Triangle, Va. [Twitter]
Women in Business Conference — The Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women will be holding its third annual Women in Business Conference this week. The conference, to be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the NRECA conference center in Ballston, will highlight women in non-traditional fields. ABC 7’s Maureen Bunyan will host. [Arlington County]
Football and Open House Attendance — Do Washington Redskins games impact attendance at Sunday open houses? The Sun Gazette posed that question to 18 realtors — most said “yes” or “sometimes.” [InsideNova]
Noise Ordinance Approval Delayed — The Arlington County Board decided to delay approval of an update to the county’s noise ordinance after hearing concern from swim clubs that the ordinance could make cheering at swim meets illegal and punishable by fines or jail time. County staff will now try to craft an exemption for the summer swim leagues. In addition to strengthening prohibitions on loud TVs and music, the noise ordinance update calls for a “quiet period” in single-family home neighborhoods that would impact morning swim meets. [InsideNoVa]
Chatman Addresses Fraud Conviction — Fresh off the announcement that Oprah Winfrey would headline her upcoming fundraiser in Arlington, congressional candidate Lavern Chatman is trying to downplay word that she was found liable for $1.4 million in damages in a decade-old fraud case involving a D.C. nursing home operator. Chatman called the case a “nightmare” and said she “didn’t pay much attention to the details” when she agreed to provide a loan to a “trusted friend” — a friend who ended up withholding the wages of nearly 300 employees of the nursing home company. [Blue Virginia]
Arlington Honors ‘Women of Vision’ — Arlington County’s Commission on the Status of Women has announced the winners of the 2014 Arlington County Women of Vision awards. They are political strategist and Young Democrats of America president Atima Omara, Dominion regional manager Deborah Tompkins Johnson and Bowen McCauley Dance founder Lucy Bowen McCauley. [Arlington County]
Chamber Honors Hospitality Workers — On Tuesday the Arlington Chamber of Commerce honored more than 80 “frontline” hospitality workers at its 10th annual Hospitality Awards. One winner was Gadisa Bulla, who rescued a co-worker’s son from a fire across from the Sheraton hotel on Columbia Pike. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Rosslyn Company Scores Angel Investment — Encore Alert, a Rosslyn-based social analytics startup, has raised a $390,000 seed round from the local investment group NextGen Angels. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Keithhall
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Virginia’s Republican Leaders are continuing their multi-year crusade to stifle the hard-won rights of Virginia’s women.
In my March 19 column, I highlighted the systematic efforts by this year’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, to drive Virginia women’s rights back to the 1950’s.
But Cuccinelli is far from alone. The current Republican Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell—who is eyeing a race for President in 2016–doesn’t want to let Cuccinelli overshadow McDonnell’s own efforts to restrict women’s rights. Last week, McDonnell exercised his gubernatorial authority to modify legislation passed by the Virginia legislature earlier this year.
McDonnell added an amendment to Virginia health care reform legislation that interferes in women’s private medical decisions by prohibiting insurance companies from offering policies that cover safe and legal abortion as a part of Virginia’s health exchange. This is part of McDonnell’s effort to curry favor with the far right wing of his party. McDonnell does not want to be outflanked by Cuccinelli in Republican right wing circles just as jockeying among the 2016 Republican Presidential contenders begins to ramp up.
From 2011’s invasive ultrasound requirements (which made Virginia a laughingstock on late night comedy shows) to burdensome and medically unnecessary health clinic regulations, Virginia’s Republican politicians continue to generate outrage with their attacks on women’s health.
Important and private medical decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor, not by politicians. Caring for pregnant women means making sure they have all the options they need for all medical possibilities during pregnancy – whether carrying a pregnancy to term or making the decision with their doctor to end a pregnancy.
The federal constitutional right to an abortion is an integral part of basic health care for women, and must be part of comprehensive insurance plans in Virginia. McDonnell’s amendment sets yet another dangerous precedent of political interference into health care decisions by eliminating coverage for care to which he is ideologically opposed—but about which he lacks the medical training to evaluate.
McDonnell and Cuccinelli need to find other ways to cozy up to the far right wing of the Republican Party.
Peter Rousselot is a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column published on Tuesdays. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wants to be elected Virginia Governor this year. If he succeeds, the values on which he has built his political career ensure that he would exploit every opportunity to set Virginia’s women back 60 years to an era in which they were “stuck in the drudgery of domestic servitude.”
You think I’m exaggerating? Cuccinelli supports a “personhood amendment” to Virginia’s Constitution.
The practical effect of enacting a personhood law in Virginia would be to end or cripple a series of personal rights and private decisions that Virginia’s women have enjoyed for decades, such as:
- Birth control
- Fertility treatment
- Management of a miscarriage
- Access to safe and legal abortions
Cuccinelli is also the godfather of the effort to drive all abortion clinics in Virginia out of business. In 2011, the Virginia legislature passed a law that classified abortion clinics that perform more than 5 first-trimester abortions per month as hospitals rather than doctor’s offices. The intent of the law, candidly admitted by many of its sponsors, was to drive these clinics out of business entirely because of the expense of compliance.
This 2011 abortion clinic law was patterned after an earlier bill that Cuccinelli had sponsored when he was in the Virginia State Senate. In his current role as Attorney General, Cuccinelli has fought every step of the way to be sure that this abortion clinic law is harshly and mercilessly applied to wipe these clinics out.
Further cementing his role as a champion of setting women’s rights back decades, Cuccinelli recently welcomed a $1.5 million pledge to his campaign for Governor from the Susan B. Anthony List — “a national organization known for its extreme stance on women’s health care.”
A Virginia governed by Ken Cuccinelli would be a 21st century real-life version of Margaret Atwood’s classic 1985 science fiction novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Cuccinelli’s views on the proper role of women in our society are central to his values and the way in which he would govern our state.
This is not science fiction — this is all too real. We can’t afford to take a risk like this.
Peter Rousselot is a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
Arlington County will honor its 2013 Women of Vision award winners on Thursday.
Four women were selected to receive the annual award this year. Among them:
- Dr. Katharine Panfil — Former APS educator and principal of Key and Randolph Elementary schools, now retired.
- Denise Hart — Co-founder, The Leadership Foundry, which promotes the goal of more women serving on corporate boards in the Washington, D.C. area.
- Linda Denny — Former executive of for-profit and not-for-profit companies. Now a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum.
- Angela Guzman — Director of Fundraising and Constituent Relations at Integrated Direct Marketing. She has also chaired a women’s health organization and helped launch a scholarship program.
“Each year, the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women honors women recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to improving the lives and opportunities for Arlington residents, especially women,” the county said in a press release. “The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) works to advance initiatives and policies that empower women and serves as a community advocate and resource on the social and economic interests of all Arlington women. The CSW is an Arlington County Board advisory group and members are appointed by the County Board.”
The Women of Vision ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (4301 Wilson Blvd) in Ballston. Tickets are not required but a $25 donation to the Commission on the Status of Women.
Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Anna Maynard [email protected] or 703-228-7096.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is applauding today’s House of Representatives passage of the Violence Against Women Act.
This original bill expired in 2011. The latest version includes specific protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people, as well as Native Americans and immigrants.
The bill, which first passed the Senate, passed the house by a vote of 286-138. It not heads to President Obama’s desk.
Today’s passage of the Violence Against Women Act will ensure that our nation’s mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends continue to receive federal resources that help keep them safe from harm. I was proud to cosponsor this bill and vote for its passage today.
Violence is an all-too-common reality in the United States. Nearly one in four women are the victims of rape or abuse by a partner during adulthood. With the programs established through the Violence Against Women Act, no man or woman should be afraid to report domestic or dating violence.
VAWA works. Since it was first enacted in 1994, reporting of domestic violence has increased by as much as 51 percent, while the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased 34 percent for women and 57 percent for men.
While I applaud the passage of VAWA, its reauthorization took far too long. This bill passed in the Senate last May, but Republican House leadership refused to bring it to the floor. Instead, they wasted valuable time on an alternative version that deliberately omitted protections for certain vulnerable, underserved populations, allowing VAWA programs to expire at the end of the year. Today, their version of the bill failed on the floor while the Senate version was enacted.
The bill that now heads to the President’s desk includes important reforms to ensure LGBT, Native American, and immigrant women receive the protections they deserve.
Rep. Moran’s son, Patrick, pleaded guilty last year to assaulting his girlfriend outside a D.C. bar. Despite the plea, Patrick Moran’s girlfriend later said that the incident was “an accident that has been blown out of proportion.”