Arlington, VA

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Two peaceful marches in memory of George Floyd and in support of Black Lives Matter are planned in Arlington today and Saturday.

The first will be taking place from 5-7 p.m. today (Thursday), marching from the county parking lot in Courthouse to Clarendon. Some county offices are closing early due to expected crowds.

A second march is planned Saturday from noon-5 p.m. and is expected to be a “large scale event.” The march will go from Courthouse to the White House, via Rosslyn and the Lincoln and MLK memorials in D.C.

From an event page on social media:

Arlingtonians are coming together to stand in solidarity in a peaceful protest against racial oppression.

We will convene at the Arlington Courthouse at noon on Saturday, June 6 and march together past the Iwo Jima Memorial and across the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Memorial. From there, we will march up to Lafayette Park to join peaceful protests demanding meaningful and urgent reforms for racial justice.

All are welcome and loved. Bring a mask and join us!

The local branch of the NAACP will be participating, the group said in a statement. The marching will be preceded by a rally from noon-1 p.m. in front of county government headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

“Elected officials and members from the Arlington Branch NAACP, community activists, and elected leaders will be in attendance,” the organization said. “This is expected to be a large scale event and expect 250-500 attendees.”

County Board members Christian Dorsey and Libby Garvey, along with 1776 co-founder Evan Burfield, are listed a co-hosts on the Facebook event page for the Saturday march.

ARLINGTON MARCH FOR BLACK LIVESI know many of you have been moved by the events of the past few weeks and the need to…

Posted by Evan Burfield on Thursday, June 4, 2020

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What’s Next with Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

This year has certainly not been normal. Between the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on black and brown communities in our country, we continue to need to dig deep and to understand the why, to reflect, and to do better.

I watched the split screen of President Trump advocating the usage of our military against protesters across the country in his Rose Garden address, with another screen showing Arlington County Police on the front lines advancing against peaceful protesters prior to curfew in D.C. I was dismayed and broken-hearted. This was so inconsistent with the images I had been seeing of ACPD helping to block traffic and handing out water to peaceful protesters.

Thankfully, Arlington’s leadership quickly responded and acknowledged the problem. They took decisive and immediate action, and have vowed to re-evaluate the agreement that led to this situation to ensure our policing efforts better reflect the values of our community.

Changing course in inherently flawed systems isn’t easy, but it is necessary. This step was necessary and in a time that many leaders are unable to see a problem in their system, own it, and fix it we are lucky to have leadership with the willingness to do so. This applause though is not for a mission accomplished. This is just the beginning of a larger conversation.

First, we should continue our community conversation about policing. We need to support the national NAACP in their push for:

  1. A ban on the use of knee holds and chokeholds as an acceptable practice for police officers.
  2. Clear rules on the escalation for the Use of Force Continuum.
  3. A ban on shielding from the public officer misconduct information and disciplinary histories in each state’s Open Records Act and denial of recertification credentials for police officers if it is determined that their use of deadly force was unwarranted by federal guidelines.
  4. Implementation of Citizen’s Review Boards in municipalities to hold police departments accountable and build public confidence. Arlington NAACP also supports this and states that over 70 communities across the country, including Fairfax, already have one.

Additionally, we should continue our conversation about economic inequalities and building black wealth. When looking for a black-owned business for dinner this weekend I ran into a wall. After crowdsourcing on Arlington Neighbors Helping Each Other Through COVID-19, I found four Arlington black-owned restaurants where I could order dinner, six if I included one coffee shop and an ice cream store.

We must also continue our conversation about diversity within our state representation. Currently, of our seven state delegation members, all are white with the exception of one person of color. I could not find a current commission or working group chair that was black or a person of color (starting next month that will change with new leadership that includes people that are both black and other people of color).

Furthermore, we should continue our conversation about racial health inequalities now during COVID-19, as well as during less tumultuous times. How do we make sure black and brown people are not dying at disproportionate rates in our community?

Finally, we must continue this conversation about race and white privilege, on every front in our community: from policy to policing, to zoning, healthcare, to school boundaries, small businesses. So many of us are asking what we can do. We can listen, we can ask why, we can do better — we can actively work for change.

Nicole Merlene is an Arlington native and former candidate for Virginia State Senate. She has served as a leader in the community on the boards of the Arlington County Civic Federation and North Rosslyn Civic Association, as an Arlington Economic Development commissioner, in neighborhood transportation planning groups, and as a civic liaison to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

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Arlington and much of the rest of the D.C. region is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch.

The watch is in effect until 10 p.m.

Forecasters say strong storms with damaging winds are possible this evening.

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Bridge to Fall offers streamlined summer curriculum that is flexible enough for differentiation. All of our master-level educators will place an emphasis to ensure that students are engaged in their learning experiences.

Our platform integrates accessible quality resources with educational best practices. As experienced teachers, we are dedicated to mitigating and preventing potential academic losses that students might have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARLnow is providing Community Posts to local businesses free of charge during the pandemic. Submit your own here.

This weekend, Calvary United Methodist Church in Aurora Highlands is holding a “Stuff the Truck” donation event to collect food for the Chirilagua neighborhood in Alexandria.

The community — also known as Arlandria — has faced disproportionately high numbers of COVID-19 positive patients, as have Latino and Hispanic communities in Arlington and throughout the region.

Local nonprofits have worked to get food and other emergency supplies to hard-hit Chirilagua.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the Chirilagua neighborhood are experiencing hardship from job loss, sickness, and food insecurity,” Calvary UMC said in a media advisory. “Recent data revealed that over 40% of Chirilagua residents are unemployed and, in mid-May, over 55% of COVID tests taken by community members living in Chirilagua were positive.”

This Saturday, June 6, Calvalry UMC is hosting a donation event at the church (2315 S. Grant Street) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to fill a 20-foot truck with items most needed by Chirilagua residents and families.

“To participate, donors can come to Calvary UMC and bring donated food and supplies to place in the truck,” the church said. “Items needed most are shelf-stable foods such as rice, beans, canned food and cornflour.”

The event is the latest in a series of fundraisers and food drives for the church to support the Chirilagua community. So far, the church says it has raised $24,000 of its $25,000 goal. The church plans to make an additional $15,000 pledge to bring the total to at least $40,000, the church said.

“Donors wishing to make a financial contribution to MISSION:COVID can donate at the event or through the Calmeth.org website,” the church said, “or text GIVE to 703-936-2684 and select MISSION:COVID from the menu.”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected]. Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!

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While Arlington is celebrating a new high in drop-off glass recycling, after discontinuing the recycling of glass collected curbside, a pair of local brothers have set up their own business to fill a gap in the market.

In a local Facebook group, Joe Core said he and his brother — both college students — would pick up glass from people’s homes to take it to one of Arlington’s drop-off glass recycling bins for $7. The service is contact-free, reducing the risk of spreading disease through in-person contact.

“The idea came about as my brother and I began to recycle our own family’s glass at Quincy Park and realized it was easy for us to drive just down the street and do it,” Core said, “but for many people it may be something they wouldn’t want to go out of their way to do but rather pay someone else to do.”

Core and his brother are hoping to make some extra money during the pandemic while filling a community need.

“The transition from an idea to business occurred when my brother and I realized how boring quarantine could be and that we should use our time to make money rather than just sitting around,” Core said. “From then we put out advertisements and reached out to family friends to get our business going.”

The services can be booked online, by calling 703-517-9031 or through email at [email protected]

So far, Core said business has been decentm with a decent base of regular customers. There hasn’t been any feedback from the county so far about the business, he said.

“We haven’t gotten a response from the county yet but we have been active users of the glass recycling centers and are thankful for the centers which give us a place to recycle,” Core said.

The brothers typically do two or three pickups a day, according to Core, and it’s usually a plastic storage bin worth of glass, but sometimes it’s two or three containers per customer.

At this point, we’ve kind of hit a plateau in terms of acquiring new customers, but are trying to figure out new ways to advertise our services,” Core said. “We are also looking into building relationships with apartment complexes to do larger community pickups.”

Image via Arlington County

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(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) Arlington County will be holding a virtual public meeting tonight to discuss a trio of road projects set for later this year.

The county plans to repave and re-stripe portions of Wilson Blvd in the Dominion Hills and Boulevard Manor neighborhoods, Potomac Avenue in Potomac Yard, and Clarendon Blvd in the Courthouse and Rosslyn neighborhoods. The work is expected to take place this summer and fall, following the current public engagement process.

Arlington has been using its regularly-planned street maintenance to re-stripe roads in an effort make them safer, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. It often involves the addition or enhancement of bike lanes, sharrows and crosswalks.

At an online meeting tonight from 6:30-7:30 p.m., held via Microsoft Teams, county staff will present the concept plans for its three 2020 projects while seeking public feedback.

More from the event page:

The Master Transportation Plan identifies routine street maintenance as an opportunity to provide cost-effective and easy to implement measures to improve safety and access for all people using the street. Community engagement is a core value in Arlington, and we wanted to provide opportunities for community members to share their feedback on the concept plans for the 2020 Street Maintenance season.

Please join county staff for an online meeting on Thursday, June 4 from 6:30-7:30 pm to learn about the project, ask questions and share feedback on the design concepts for the three 2020 Resurfacing Projects for Complete Streets.

Staff will present concepts for:

  • Wilson Boulevard – N Larrimore Street to McKinley Road (Dominion Hills/Boulevard Manor)
  • Potomac Avenue – S Crystal Drive to Alexandria City Line (Potomac Yard)
  • Clarendon Boulevard – N Nash to N Oak Street (Clarendon-Courthouse/Radnor/Fort Myer Heights)

The country recently repaved and re-striped portions of Lorcom Lane and Military Road. The work was done in conjunction with construction on the new Dorothy Hamm Middle School.

An online open house in April discussed all four projects.

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Undeterred by the pandemic, a new outpost of a bánh mì sandwich chain is getting closer to opening.

As we reported in January, Lee’s Sandwiches is coming to 801 N. Quincy Street in Ballston, where a Subway sandwich shop closed last summer. Signs are now up outside the restaurant entrance, one of which says it is “coming soon.”

Lee’s serves “Asian-Euro sandwiches” including its flagship Bánh Mì, and is also noted for its fresh-baked baguettes and Vietnamese iced coffee. The chain opened its first East Coast store at 3037 Annandale Road in Falls Church in 2016.

“Founded in 1983 in San Jose, California, Lee’s Sandwiches is a quick-serve restaurant chain specializing in Bánh Mì, Vietnamese sandwiches and other Euro-Asian food products,” a press release said at the time. “From its beginnings as a food truck, Lee’s Sandwiches is now the largest Bánh Mì chain with over 60 locations in Arizona, California, Las Vegas (Nevada), Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Taiwan.”

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Have you found your quarantine oasis? Are you tired of paying down someone else’s mortgage? Please join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, June 10 at 6 p.m. via zoom (link to be provided upon RSVP).

Sip on your drink of choice and learn how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately! We will discuss the Home Buying Process and Rent vs. Buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking on the link by June 9. Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!

ARLnow is providing Community Posts to local businesses free of charge during the pandemic. Submit your own here.

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