Arlington, VA

With FRK9 Brooks as its mascot, the Arlington County Police Department is hosting a “Fill the Cruiser” pet supply drive to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

“FRK9 Brooks has a case of puppy love and is asking for your help ensuring his furry valentines at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington have the supplies they need,” a press release said. “For more than 75 years, AWLA has served the Arlington community with animal sheltering and control services to help pet owners keep their animals healthy, happy, and home.”

The drive, this Friday, Feb. 12 from 2-5 p.m., will be held at a contactless, drive-through donation station set up outside the Animal Welfare League of Arlington on the 2600 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive.

FRK9 Brooks, who turned one in November, is being trained for this. A police service dog, his responsibilities include participating in community outreach events and helping officers deal with “strong emotions and stress that are often an inherent part of policing,” ACPD said back in August.

Suggested donations include cleaning supplies, treats, Vienna sausages, Easy Cheese, toys, pill pockets, leashes, and buckle collars. A full list of supplies AWLA can accept is available on its website.

AWLA cannot accept pillows, sheets, comforters, plastic dishes, used cat scratchers, towers, trees and litter boxes, used or extra-large dog beds or prescription medications.

On arriving, participants are asked to stay in their cars until they reach the unloading areas. Officers will be on-hand to remove donations from their vehicles.

There will be a separate area available for those arriving by bike or on foot.

Photos #1-3 from the file, photo #4 via Arlington County 

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Even though the Christmas tree lighting, Santa Claus’ arrival, face painting and hot cocoa can’t be enjoyed in person this year, the Miracle on 23rd Street holiday tradition is still happening.

The event has been hosted at 750 23rd Street S. in Crystal City for more than 50 years, in front of what is now Melwood, the employment and job training nonprofit for people of differing abilities.

This year, however, families are being asked to stay home to virtually watch the lighting of the Christmas tree at 6:45 p.m. tonight (Friday). They can enhance the experience with a $10 “Miracle on 23rd Street In A Box” kit for kids.

“The box includes supplies to decorate cookies, make a wreath and reindeer food,” the organization said. “It can be picked up in a contactless process (after registering with Melwood), and kids can follow along with activities with special guests on its Facebook page.”

Santa Claus is still making a drive-by appearance, too, and will be escorted by the Arlington auxiliary police and firefighters from Fire Station 5.

“If you live near 23rd St. and S. Grant Ave in Arlington, you can expect to see Santa in your neighborhood between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.,” Melwood said.

Locals are being discouraged from trying to view the tree-lighting in person, however.

“While we won’t be able to come together in person for this time-honored tradition, Melwood will keep the Miracle tradition alive in a new way,” the organization said. “In compliance with Arlington County COVID-19 guidelines, Melwood is actively discouraging our neighbors from gathering near the campus for the tree lighting. We look forward to next year when we will be able to come together to continue this holiday tradition.”

Images via Melwood

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The second annual Cranksgiving charity bike ride returns to Arlington this Saturday (Nov. 21), and this year the choose-your-own adventure experience includes COVID-19 safety rules.

“Cranksgiving is a way to have a lot of fun on a bike while also helping others during the holiday season,” said event organizer Sarah Billington. “COVID-19 has caused dramatically increased demand for food assistance, and we’re trying to engage people who ride bikes to help contribute to fulfilling that need.”

Solo and team riders (up to 10) get a scavenger hunt list of tasks, like buying up to $15 in high-demand food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center and ALIVE! in Alexandria. But due to the pandemic there is no designated starting point, and participants will need to take pictures of completed tasks and share progress on social media.

Participating organizations include The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. A virtual award ceremony will conclude the Thanksgiving-themed event, which runs from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“Join your Cranksgiving family for a physically, but not socially distant Award Ceremony via Zoom to hangout, meet other participants, announce the winners, and earn fabulous prizes!” the event registration page says.

There are dozens of Cranksgiving bike events held around the country each year between September and December. The first was held in New York City in 1999.

Courtesy photo (above) from 2019

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This Saturday, local residents can drop off their expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs in Arlington for safe disposal.

The Arlington County Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration is offering contactless, drive-thru disposal of pills and patches from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at police department headquarters (1425 N. Courthouse Road) and Fire Station No. 5 (1750 S. Hayes Street). It’s part of a nationwide effort by the DEA.

“This disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked,” ACPD said in a news release. “This is the DEA’s 19th nationwide event since its inception 10 years ago.”

The program comes as the number of police-investigated opioid incidents in 2020 has surpassed those in 2019, with 16 fatal overdoses so far this year — nearly equal to that of the past two years combined.

First responders have been working to counter the overdose trend. In the first seven months of 2020, officers using Narcan helped nine people recover from opioid overdoses.

“Based upon the preliminary investigations into these incidents, police suspect the deaths are linked to heroin and prescription painkillers mixed with fentanyl,” said ACPD spokeswoman Kirby Clark. “While the investigation into these incidents has revealed no direct evidence that the increase is fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely a factor given timing, the loss of income and jobs and the isolation of stay-at-home orders.”

The pandemic forced the police department to cancel the spring iteration of the drug take-back event, which is normally held twice annually. This Saturday, all participants are expected to practice physical distancing and wear a face covering while dropping off items for disposal.

Upon arrival, participants should stay in their vehicle until they reach the unloading areas, where officers will be on hand to take items for disposal. A separate area will be available for those arriving by bike or foot.

The event does not accept liquids, nor needles and syringes, collectively known as “sharps.”

“For those looking to dispose of sharps, Arlington County recommends placing the item in hard plastic container such as detergent bottle, cap securely and place in trash cart,” the news release said. “Do not put this container in your recycling.”

During the take-back event in October 2019, 211 pounds of medications were collected, Clark said.

Arlington County has four permanent drug take-back boxes available. To date, these boxes have collected 1,572 pounds of medications in 2020, and nearly 5,068 pounds of prescription drugs since they were installed in June 2018.

The public can safely dispose of prescription medications, ointments and patches, pet medications, vitamins and over-the-counter medications 24/7, “no questions asked,” at the following locations:

  • Fire Station #2 (4805 Wilson Blvd.)
  • Fire Station #5 (1750 S. Hayes Street)
  • Fire Station #9 (1900 S. Walter Reed Drive)
  • Arlington County Police Department (1425 N. Courthouse Road)
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Have some pumpkins that you want to become compost? Paper that you want shredded? Rocks that you want out of your yard?

You’ll be able to do all three of those things at a single county-run event next month.

Arlington County is planning a free “Pumpkin Drop-Off, Free Paper Shredding & Inert Material Drop-Off” event on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. It’s being held at the county’s Earth Products Yard near Shirlington (4300 29th Street S.).

“Unload that moldering pumpkin and have it become compost – just be sure to remove decorations, paint, etc.” says the county website.

The paper shredding is available for county residents only, with a limit of two boxes (up to 18″ by 11″ by 10″)  or paper bags per person. You can bring your paper with staples and paper clips, but magazines, catalogs, and phone book-sized material will not be accepted.

Inert material — asphalt, ceramic tiles, concrete, dirt, masonry blocks, rocks, and sand — will also be collected. Up to 3 cubic yards, or a small pickup truck load, will be accepted per person.

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

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Arlington Chamber of Commerce is organizing its second annual Arlington Restaurant Week later this month.

Arlington Restaurant Week will run from October 19-26. During the week, diners can try set menu items from many local restaurants, at a discounted price. The idea is for diners to find a new to-go place for dining out.

“The Chamber is thrilled to celebrate and showcase the diverse restaurant scene in Arlington through hosting the second annual Restaurant Week event specifically for the Arlington community,” said Chamber President Kate Bates. “Now, more than ever, restaurants need our support… We are proud to support and highlight the importance of the entire local restaurant community, particularly during this trying time.”

The current list of participating restaurants includes:

  • Ambar
  • Bonefish Grill
  • Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant
  • Colony Grill
  • Copa Kitchen & Bar
  • Fire Works Pizza
  • Good Company Donuts & Café
  • Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
  • La Moo
  • La Côte D’or
  • Potomac Social
  • Rien Tong Thai
  • SER
  • Smokecraft Modern Barbecue
  • Rocklands Barbecue
  • Thai Select
  • TTT Mexican Diner

(Colony Grill, as we reported yesterday, is planning to open Oct. 14. Potomac Social, on which ARLnow has not previously reported, is the restaurant connected to the Crowne Plaza hotel in Crystal City. Potomac Social opened earlier this year, then closed, and then reopened in August.)

Diners can stay up-to-date on participating restaurants and the event by following the Chamber’s Facebook page or visiting its website.

The full press release about the second annual Arlington Restaurant Week is below.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce our second annual Arlington Restaurant Week, happening on October 19-26. Through this event, diners will enjoy some of the best food the area has to offer at special prices. This is a great opportunity for participants to take the week to explore the diverse restaurant scene in Arlington and find a new go-to place for dining out.

Now, more than ever, restaurants need our support. Arlington Restaurant Week is designed to help local restaurants gain exposure through extensive media promotion and to attract new patrons through experiencing their food. This event runs differently from your average Restaurant Week in that it is open to all restaurants from fast-casual spots to five-star dining establishments. Restaurants pick their own price point, market their menu on our website, and offer both dine-in and carry-out options. The Chamber is pleased to offer free participation for member restaurants, courtesy of our sponsors.

“The Chamber is thrilled to celebrate and showcase the diverse restaurant scene in Arlington through hosting the second annual Restaurant Week event specifically for the Arlington community,” said Kate Bates, President & CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. “This event offers participants the opportunity to try a variety of dining experiences and culinary options at discounted rates, and in return, restaurants gain exposure and are able to expand their customer base. We are proud to support and highlight the importance of the entire local restaurant community, particularly during this trying time.”

The current list of participating restaurants and their menus can be found here. Visit the Chamber’s website and follow the Arlington Restaurant Week event page on the Chamber’s Facebook to keep up-to-date on the event. Diners are encouraged to further support the restaurants by posting a picture of their dining experience to social media. Make sure to tag the location, tag the Chamber @ArlVAChamber, and use the hashtag #ArlRestaurantWeek.

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Over 8,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records will be on sale this Saturday (Sept. 26) at the annual Rosslyn Reads Book Festival.

The festival is an annual fundraiser for Turning the Page, a non-profit that aids underserved students in the community. Carpe Librum, a non-profit used bookstore, will be partnering with Rosslyn BID this year to contribute to the fundraiser.

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, attendees can buy “gently used” items at a price range of $2 to $6 in Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street).

Several procedures will be in place to promote social-distancing:

  • Attendees must pre-register for a one-hour time slot to shop and provide confirmation of registering upon arrival
  • Review Rosslyn BID’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols before registering
  • Those who do not pre-register must sign a waiver before entering
  • A maximum of 50 people will be allowed inside the plaza to shop at a time
  • Masks will be required for all attendees
  • Hand-sanitizer stations will be available at the entrance
  • Attendees will be required to follow a one-way flow of foot traffic

Photo via Rosslyn BID/Facebook 

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Arlington County has undergone drastic changes over the last 100 years to become what it is today.

In celebrating the county’s history and the 2020 census, County Manager Mark Schwartz will compare a snapshot of the area from 100 years ago and today’s Arlington during a virtual discussion.

The two-hour program will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. and can be viewed on the county’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, or on Arlington TV (Comcast 1085/Verizon 40).

An interactive storybook and map will be paired with the discussion. The session will also feature a “conversation with the members of the Complete Count Committee appointed in 2019 on their experiences with working on the 2020 census,” according to Schwartz.

“Viewers can expect a summary of how Arlington of today compares with the Arlington of 100 years ago on a number of measures, including population, family size, demographic makeup (race, age, gender, languages spoken, housing types),” Schwartz wrote in an email.

Schwartz added that the discussion will include “a history lesson on what Arlington looked like and some stories from 100 years ago that shed some light on the Arlington of today.”

The broadcast will explore the county’s transformation since its naming as a nod to the Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery — an association that is now under scrutiny. The name was officially changed from Alexandria County in 1920 to avoid being confused with the city of Alexandria.

Arlington County grew from a primarily rural area of farms — the last of which closed in 1955 — as its population steadily increased and new developments were established.

Farms gave way to housing developments, new businesses and modernized infrastructure over the years. The population followed suit as an increase of federal workers spilled into the area during the 1930s, as National Airport opened in 1941, as World War II saw the construction of the Pentagon, and as the Metrorail corridors were introduced in the 1970s.

The county’s population has grown exponentially from the 16,040 residents counted in the 1920 census, which included sections of Del Ray and the City of Alexandria that were part of the county then, according to Arlington’s website.

Arlington County has grown every decade since 1920, except in the 1970s when the area’s population dropped by 12.4%. However, the population rebounded and steadily grew to 207,627 in 2010, according to census data.

The latest estimates peg the county’s population at 228,400, a 10% increase from 2010. A forecast by the county shows the population growing to 301,200 in 2045.

“Today, Arlington is a diverse and inclusive world-class urban community with a population that continues to grow at approximately 1% per year,” the county website says.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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An Arlington-based organization wants people to join them for a peaceful protest on wheels.

Arlington for Justice, is asking community members to “Ride for Black Lives” on Saturday, Sept. 26, as they pedal about 14 miles in the name of justice.

The ride will begin at 3 p.m., starting at Drew Elementary School (3500 23rd St. S.) and is expected to end around 5 p.m. in front of the county courthouse (1425 N. Courthouse Road).

The route will take riders by sites in Arlington that are of Black historical significance, organization member Yolande Kwinana said.

Arlington for Justice wants the ride to:

  • Call attention to racial injustice and the need for criminal justice reform in Arlington.
  • Celebrate Black resilience and history in Arlington.
  • Advocate for the elimination of School Resource Officers.
  • Advocate for the community’s involvement in selecting a new police chief who is committed to justice system transformation.
  • Advocate for ending police intervention in mental health crises.

Kwinana said there will be a rally at the end of the ride, upon arrival at the Courthouse.

“We ride together with our partners, MOMS Demand Action, Black Parents of Arlington, VA Coalition for Transforming the police, WofA, APS Reform and many more. There will be multiple speakers at the rally including elected delegates who have recently submitted bills,” Kwinana said.

County police will escort the cyclists and close some streets along the route, according to Kwinana.

There will also be a shorter ride for those with kids.

“We will have a FAMILY RIDE at the tail end of the protest,” says the event’s Facebook page. “Families can meet at 4:00 PM at the parking deck at Washington-Liberty High School… The family ride will process out towards Courthouse around 4:15-4:30 PM, joining the main ride. The ride will be about 2 miles with gentle hills. MASKS ARE REQUIRED.”

All participants are asked to bring face masks, portable bike-repair tools, and water. Water will also be handed out, and there will be first-aid volunteers along the way.

Photo via Asya Vee/Unsplash

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Update at 11:15 on 9/25 — The flyover has been postponed due to weather, according to the event’s livestream. The flyover is being rescheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Well, we tried, but we never got the weather visibility we needed for the #ww2flyover so today’s flight is off. The…

Posted by Arsenal of Democracy Flyover on Friday, September 25, 2020

Earlier: This coming Friday, the sound of freedom will roar over the Potomac River, as the skies are filled with dozens of vintage World War II aircraft.

The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover is scheduled to happen around 11:30 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 25. The aircraft will fly down the Potomac from the north, over the Key, Roosevelt and Memorial bridges, and down the National Mall.

“Approximately 70 World War II aircraft will take to the skies over Washington D.C.,” the event’s website says. “These historically sequenced warbird formations will fly over the Washington Mall in two minute intervals. The formations will represent the War’s major battles concluding with a missing man formation.”

“The first formation is estimated to be over the Lincoln Memorial
 at 11:30 a.m.,” the website says. “The Arsenal of Democracy aircraft will proceed to a holding point about 10 miles west of Leesburg where they will begin the flight down the Potomac River towards D.C. As they approach the Lincoln Memorial, they will turn East and proceed down Independence Avenue. At the completion of the flyover of the WWII Memorial, the aircraft will turn south and begin their flight down the Potomac River and back to their original airports.”

This year’s flyover commemorates the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day, on May 8, 1945. A similar flyover took place in 2015, in honor of the 70th anniversary.

Aircraft participating in this year’s flyover include P-40 Warhawks, F4U Corsairs, P-51 Mustangs, B-25 Mitchells, B-29 Superfortresses and C-47 Skytrains.

We're in the home stretch for the #WW2Flyover! Planes will start arriving in the DC area next week, and you'll start…

Posted by Arsenal of Democracy Flyover on Saturday, September 19, 2020

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