Sequester looms large over revenues across Northern Virginia.
Sales tax revenues are down across Northern Virginia, leading to concerns that balancing the books for the coming fiscal year could be even more of a challenge for budget officials and elected officials in the coming months.
January departure to open the way for special election in April.
After 18 years on the Arlington County Board, Chris Zimmerman announced last week that he is stepping down to take a position as vice president for economic development of Smart Growth America, a Washington-based advocacy group that promotes walkable neighborhoods near public transit.
The Arlington County Police Department has expanded its social media presence by joining Twitter. @ArlingtonVaPD will be a permanent tool for the department to share breaking news, stories, photos, crime tips and events.
The County Board unanimously adopted a resolution on Oct. 22 to advance new public safety technology in construction within Arlington County. In recent years, new construction materials have degraded the ability of public safety personnel to communicate with radios within buildings.
Local experts offer their best tips for creating your jack-o-lantern.
Whether your goal is to carve and decorate the best pumpkin on the block or simply use this fall gourd for Halloween inspiration, local culinary experts offer pumpkin ideas that will keep the season festive. Before embarking on a pumpkin carving project, take a look at the condition of your knives. “Generally speaking, a dull knife is a dangerous knife,” said Christine Wisnewski, a culinary instructor at Culinaria Cooking School in Vienna. “And a pumpkin, because of its size and shape, can be a challenge, even if you have good knife skills. If you use a knife, make sure it is sharp and work slowly.” Wisnewski generally advises eschewing chef’s knives for a pumpkin carving kit, usually found in supermarkets and craft stores. “The cutting tools may look less impressive than your best kitchen knife, but they do work well,” she said. “The small blades are deeply serrated and make quick work getting through dense pumpkin flesh.” Pumpkin carving kits are also a solution to the safety issue. “If the kids do want to carve, no one’s fingers are at risk with these little carving tools,” she said. “Our family has managed to get many years of use out of the tools that came with our first kits.”
University offers safe and festive Halloween celebration for disadvantaged children.
Local college students are working to ensure that some underserved area school children have a festive Halloween this year. Students at Marymount University, in Arlington, are turning their resident halls into themed wonderlands that run the gamut from Disney princesses to superheroes. The celebration is part of Marymount’s 19th annual Halloweenfest, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25, 3:30-7 p.m. “Each year, Marymount University opens its doors to disadvantaged children in the area to provide a safe and fun place to celebrate Halloween,” said Ashley Wells, community outreach coordinator at the school’s Office of Campus Ministry. During Halloweenfest, children receive free Halloween costumes and take tours through the resident halls where they trick or treat for candy donated by students, faculty, staff and community members. After trick or treating, they spend time participating in activities on the basketball court of the university’s Rose Benté Lee Center. “The gym is completely decorated and children have a blast as they visit over 35 tables with different activities … like face painting, crafts and games,” said Wells. “A dinner … is provided for each guest.”
Third annual festival brings together storytellers to share films and inspire change.
It's a very simple premise: there's something powerful, almost magic, about stories. Whether it's the friendship formed between a pilot of antique planes and an Indiana farm family, or the struggle for respect for African American soldiers following World War II; an unlikely meeting of a man with nothing left to live for and one struggling to continue; or a family's fight to stay in their home, stories are the common way in which humans relate to and learn from each other. Starting next Wednesday, the Washington West Film Festival strives to not only share tales from around the world, but to create new ones. Brad Russell, president of the festival, said the inspiration for the festival was the surprising lack of one in this area. "I saw a need or opportunity for a great, prestigious film festival," he said.
$50 million project was delayed by global financial crisis.
The high-speed elevators and new mezzanine at the Rosslyn Metro station were six years in the planning, a process that was delayed when developer JBG Properties was unable to move forward with a development that was supposed to be constructed concurrently. But when the global financial crisis dried up funding for the development, Arlington leaders decided to press forward anyway. Now commuters at one of Virginia's highest ridership stations in the system have three new high-speed, high-capacity elevators, a new fare mezzanine, a separate set of gates, a separate manned kiosk and a new emergency stairwell. "This project has a huge life-safety benefit, not only for the 36,000 people who use the station today everyone on the Orange Line and Blue Line and future Silver Line in that it enables us to get emergency response teams down into the station," said Dennis Leach, deputy director of Transportation and Development. "It also allows for an orderly evacuation in the event of an emergency either in the station itself or in the tunnel under the river."
Just before the government shutdown, the EPA announced proposed limits on carbon pollution from newly built power plants — a major breakthrough for our public health, the fight against global warming, and a clean energy future. However, the ongoing impasse in Congress has severely hampered progress on the issue, leaving Americans more vulnerable to the devastating effects of global warming and unmonitored pollution from dirty power plants.
Performances begin Thursday.
The curtain rises this Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Yorktown High School auditorium for the first of two community performances of “The Widow Ranter.” Written in 1675 by Aphra Behn, one of the world's earliest professional female playwrights and among the least-known writers of Restoration comedy, “The Widow Ranter” is set in the New World, a contemporary account of the real-life Jamestown uprising known as “Bacon's Rebellion.” While this historical-fictional adventure includes many invented subplots (romantic and comedic), it is also a document of Jamestown's true character, with its outlaws, American Indians, opportunists and individualists.
Calder & Pugh at Four Courts on Saturday.
Enjoy a night out in Arlington and a trip down memory lane at Ireland’s Four Courts as the local band Calder & Pugh headlines the stage on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 9 p.m. with a set of songs ranging from ‘90s hits to some of today’s hits to some of their own original music. “[It’s a] young crowd,” said Matt McIntyre, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist. “The kind of music we play is geared towards that crowd because they grew up with that music.”
Trade Roots offers handmade, fair trade goods from around the world.
When Lisa Ostroff's children were big enough that they didn't need her home full-time anymore, she decided to focus on a way to implement her college degree in international relations. However, she had a rather unusual idea in mind: Opening the first and only store in Arlington to offer fair trade goods, many from women in small villages. Now, her store, Trade Roots, is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and Ostroff is content. "I love the products, but it's more than that," she said from a tiny desk in the store, each nook and cranny filled with colorful earrings, scarves, house wares and stories. "I love the concept." She purchases all the items she sells in her store through the Fair Trade Federation, a network of wholesalers and retailers that purchase hand- and artisan-made goods from around the world in an effort to help small, typically women-owned, businesses earn a fair price for their work.
Virginia legislators work with Korean American groups to push for “East Sea” in textbooks.
Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) may be light years apart on most issues, but on one issue they’ve reached a consensus. Last month, they both pledged support to Virginia’s growing population of Korean Americans to use the dual names of “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” to denote the body of water between Korea and Japan in Virginia’s textbooks. Koreans view the “Sea of Japan” designation as a legacy of Japanese colonial rule. Currently, more than 2.5 million Korean-Americans reside in the U.S. and nearly 150,000 of them live in Virginia. “As governor, going forward, I will wholeheartedly support the effort … to have our textbooks and other teaching materials reflect the concurrent names as we pursue education excellence in Virginia,” Cuccinelli wrote in a Sept. 16 letter to the Korean Community of Virginia. “As governor, I will ensure that as new texts are purchased or downloaded, they reflect this important historical truth …,” McAuliffe wrote to the Korean Community of Virginia on Sept. 25. For the past year, state Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37) has been leading Virginia’s legislative efforts to add the “East Sea” in public school textbooks.
Local literature experts recommend their favorite Halloween books for children.
Mark Burch, who lives in Oak Hill, recently browsed through the children’s Halloween book section at a library near his Washington, D.C., office. He had his three children in tow and an armload of books with covers that included carved pumpkins, willowy ghosts and witches in black hats. “We’ve got about 15 books,” he said. “I think the limit of books you can check out is 50 and we might reach it.” Children’s literary experts say the month of October is a perfect time for children to explore their imagination, address their fears and have fun reading with their parents. In addition to traditional Halloween favorites, local booksellers say this season brings forth new offerings in children’s Halloween literature.
A full-scale emergency-preparedness exercise brought organized chaos to Reagan National Airport on Saturday, Sept. 21. The FAA mandates that a full-scale exercise be held every three years. Nearly 150 people volunteered to role play victims for the event. They were made up to simulate injuries that might be sustained in a plane crash. More than 50 emergency vehicles participated in the exercise.