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This Week in Arlington

<sh>Civic Federation to Grill Legislators

<bt>The Arlington County Civic Federation will welcome Arlington's state delegates and senators to its monthly meeting on May 2.

The delegation to Richmond will speak about the recent session, including the state budget, and what became of the Federation's legislative agenda. Delegates and Senators will be available for questions from Federation delegates and alternates.

The program begins at 7:40 p.m., at the Hazel Conference Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

<sh>Jamestown Open House to Kick Off Anniversary

<bt>To find out more about how Arlington and Virginia will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the settlement at Jamestown, residents are invited to an open house on Monday, May 1.

From 7-9 p.m. in the auditorium at the Central Library, residents will hear about the events being planned by the county's Jamestown 2007 commemoration and help generate new ideas for Arlington's involvement in the celebration.

At the beginning of the meeting a short film produced by the National Geographic Society, "Captain John Smith's Voyage of Discovery," will be shown.

Arlington is one of the few communities in Virginia with a direct link to Jamestown. In 1608, Capt. John Smith sailed up the Potomac River and mapped the area, which is now the Arlington shore, noting the Native American villages.

For more information, email Anne Morrison at amorrison@arlingtonva.us

<sh>Potomac Overlook Park Festival

<bt>The Potomac Overlook Regional Park hosts its 21st Annual Open House and Heritage Festival on Sunday, May 7, from 1 to 4 p.m.

This year's festival includes a program by master storyteller Odds Bodkin, a community potluck lunch and a May pole dance performed by Taylor Elementary School students.

Other events include music by Greentree, live animal exhibits and a performance by a juggler.

Potomac Overlook Regional Park is located at the end of Marcey Road, off of Military Road, in north Arlington, Virginia. For more information about the Open House, call 703-528-5406.

<sh>Columbia Pike Construction Gets Underway

<bt>The county is closing one lane of traffic eastbound on Columbia Pike between Oakland and Monroe Streets to accommodate construction for underground Dominion Power and Verizon utility cables.

The road closure will last until early July. Crews are excavating trenches for the utilities along Columbia Pike. Once the cables are in place, the overhead poles and lines can be removed. Work will occur during the day until summer, at which time crews will work at night on the street crossings.

<sh>AHC Apartments Plant Vegetable Gardens

<bt>Residents of Fort Henry Gardens and The Berkeley Apartments, both AHC apartment complexes, have been working to create community vegetable gardens.

At the Berkeley, 25 residents helped fill two 16-by-4 raised beds with topsoil and mulch. Children in the after-school program have spent the past few weeks planting pumpkins, green peppers, tomatoes and green beans in recycled yogurt containers.

The garden project incorporates lessons in nutrition, environmentalism and community service for teens and younger children. Summer field trips are scheduled to Claggett Farm, operated by the National Capital Area Foodbank, and to the local water treatment plant.

At Fort Henry, residents will learn about finance and small business through trips to the local farmer's market to sell their produce. At harvest time, the vegetables will be available to all residents who help with the gardens.

<sh>County-Produced Show to Air on Radio

<bt>The Arlington library system has signed an agreement with Radio Latina to bring the award-winning bilingual program "Cuentos y Mas" to the region's Latino community.

Starting in May, Radio Latina will air the program weekly, representing the first time that a county-produced program will be heard on a commercial station.

The goal of the partnership is to promote reading among Latino children, county officials said.

In the show host Mariela Aguilar performs bilingual stories and music geared toward children between the ages of 4 and 8. The show has been awarded the Outstanding Children's Program by the Virginia Public Library Directors Association.

<sh>Arlington Hires New Media Relations Director

<bt>Arlington has named Mary Curtius as its new director for Media Relations.

Curtius, 48, joins Arlington after a 27-year career in journalism, during which she wrote for some of the nation's most acclaimed newspapers.

Curtius served as Middle East bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor and the Boston Globe. She also served two tours of duty in Jerusalem for the Los Angeles Times, and directed national security coverage for the paper during the invasion of Iraq.

Curtius lives in Arlington with her husband, Ori Nir. Their two daughters, Noa and Maya, attend Arlington public schools.

"We are thrilled to have a person of Mary's caliber and expertise join our team," Diana Sun, Arlington's director of communications, said in a statement. "Mary brings not only tremendous experience, but also enthusiasm and passion for this community."