This Week in Arlington

This Week in Arlington

<sh>Storm Damage Totals $13 Million

<bt>Last week’s powerful storm caused an estimated $13 million in damage, Arlington county officials said.

This estimate includes all damage to businesses, private homes and county property.

The county’s parks and recreational facilities were hit hard during the storm, which dumped nearly a foot of rain on Arlington in a 72-hour span. Arlington parks suffered $3 million in damages, as the heavy rains caused soil erosion, impaired bridges and pushed picnic tables and parts of bridges into adjacent streams.

A Donaldsun Run Park trail washed away during the storm and pedestrian bridges were damaged in Glen Carlyn and Lubber Run parks. Two new athletic fields in Barcroft Park were severely damaged.

Public and private utilities also sustained an estimated $3 million in losses, county officials said.

<sh>Cab Driver Robbed, Shot

<bt>A cab driver was robbed and shot early Friday morning in the Bluemont neighborhood of Arlington, police officials said.

At approximately 6:46 a.m. on Friday, June 30, police responded to an emergency call in the 5600 block of North 4th Street, and found a cab drive suffering from a single gunshot wound to the lower leg. The cab driver’s injuries were not life threatening, and he was transported to a local hospital.

The victim told police that he had picked up a man in the area of Columbia Pike and South Glebe Road. The passenger directed him to the location on North 4th Street, produced a handgun and demanded the cab driver's money. The cab driver complied with the demand, but when he tried to exit the taxi, the suspect shot him in the lower leg and then fled on foot, officials said.

Police K-9 officers and a helicopter were used to search for the suspect but he was not located.

<sh>Moran Helps Arlington Small Businesses

<bt> Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) successfully added an amendment to a Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations bill enabling a small business resource center to be located in Crystal City to aid local entrepreneurs affected by the impending relocation of defense workers.

The resource center will help small businesses recover from the adverse affects of the federal Base Realignment and Closure process, which will lead to the loss of 17,000 jobs in the county, most of which will be from Crystal City.

"The decision to vacate millions of square feet of leased office space in Northern Virginia by the BRAC Commission and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was unprecedented and unwarranted," Moran said in a statement. "Despite this fact, we need to do everything possible to help the affected communities make a successful transition as the BRAC plan is implemented. This amendment should create a full-service resource center for small businesses affected by BRAC."

Under current law, communities affected by BRAC are eligible for economic support from the Small Business Administration, but not if the impact from BRAC was a loss of leased office space.

Moran's amendment ensures that the resource center would offer free counseling to small businesses affected by BRAC.

<sh>Fisette Honored

<bt>County Board Member Jay Fisette has been honored by the Virginia Housing Coalition and the VHC Information Service for his efforts to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing in Virginia.

Fisette is one of four individuals to receive Housing Leadership awards from the non-profit "sister" organizations, during a June 22 ceremony celebrating the organizations' 25th anniversary.

"It is truly an honor to receive this award from the Virginia Housing Coalition and VHC Information Service, two organizations that have done so much to promote housing assistance from federal, state and local sources for low- and moderate-income Virginians," Fisette said in a statement. "The preservation and expansion of our affordable housing pool is a priority for the Arlington County Board and for me personally. We are fighting to keep Arlington a great place to live for people of all income levels."

<sh> Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry Head Resigns

<bt>The executive director of the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry, Nathan Monell, will resign at the end of the month.

Monell departs after nine years serving NOVAM, and will join Foster Care Alumni of America as chief executive officer.

During his tenure, the organization tripled in size and added key prevention education programs that target youth populations at particularly high risk for HIV transmission. He also spearheaded the growth of services provided to children and families affected or infected with HIV/AIDS.

"Nathan has been an outstanding leader of NOVAM and the community. He has been conscientious and compassionate in the lives of those living and dying of HIV/AIDS," said Debra Peevey, President of the Board. "Nathan has dedicated himself to helping youth stay healthy, and to caring for the needs of hundreds of families living with HIV/AIDS. Northern Virginia is better for his ministry among us. We wish him continued success in his new position."