Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon at Lyon Village #MCM pics MM3

Mile Marker 3 of the Marine Corp Marathon was in Lyon Village this year.  The course led west on Lee Hwy, establishing a nice hearty climb to begin the course along the Arlington Hill.  The course then B-lined north down Spout Run, with Mile Marker 3 at Lorcum Lane.  There was a very health crowd of starbucks-drinking locals and dog walkers lining the route to watch the start. 

The first group to start were the Wheelchair and Hand Cycle group.

This was approximately 8 am.  The sun had not risen over the Arlington Hill yet.  The intersection of Lee Hwy and Spout Run was still in the shade, still cool, and still a good bit slick on this post-snow-storm October morning.  A group of visually impaired runners also came through.
Next was the big Marathon.  A river of runners flowed over the Arlington and down into Lyon Village sporting all manor of dayglo garb.
It was mile three, the sun was just pouring over the hill, and the runners by this time were running hot.  This means that the side of the road looked like a Goodwill Collection bin as runners were shedding layer after layer.  At this point it was only 36 degrees out.

It was at times hard to tell whether this was a marathon or a Halloween party.  There were many costumes in the race: Penguins, Bananas, Witches.... but the Award for Best Costume goes to the guy who was dressed up as a Wheaties Box, with himself at the featured athlete on the cover of the box (We Tip Our Hat to you Mr. Wheaties Guy!).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nov 9. Next DRCA Meeting - Nov. 5 Invasive Plant Pull

Next meeting of the Donaldson Run Community Association is Wed Nov 9 at Taylor Elementary School.  The guest speaker is County Manager, Barbara Donnellan

On Saturday, November 5, there will be a Donaldson Run Stream Invasive Plant Pull, starting at 10:30 am, meeting at N. Upton Street trail access (adjacent to 2507 N. Upton St.).  But remember.... the ground has to have some ground cover, or it is subject to erosion.  Some neighbors have done a stellar job of removing weeds and scrub, but have left hillsides exposed to the elements.  At the rain fall rates we currently get, erosion will be steady and swift.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Not Yet," a Film by Arlington Student Team The PUNishers, Nominated for Best Student Film at the 72 Hour Film Fest

A team of high school students from the Arlington Career Center and Yorktown High School recently participated in the 72 Hour Film Festival in Frederick, Maryland.  The Arlington team, known as The PUNishers, was one of 47 teams which participated in this years competition, 12 of which were student teams.  As the title suggests, each team had only 72 hours in which to write, record, and edit an original film creation. Each year the festival comes up with a new theme for the competition which is announced during the Thursdays evening launch festivities of the competition.  In this years competition, the festival gave the participating teams two pictures; the first picture had to be the teams first frame and the second had to be the last frame of their film.  The rest was up to each teams ingenuity and creativity.  Each film in the student competition could be no longer than 5 minutes and 30 seconds long.

The PUNishers, led by Jeremy Cannon and Charlotte Pence, submitted their film "Not Yet."  The film reflects a subject matter near to the hearts of many a high school senior; the decision of whether to apply for college.  In the film, Abby, played by Maddie Richhart, must decide whether she will leave her older brother, who took a job straight out of high school, and her younger brother.  The siblings' mother, in order to make ends meet, is working long hours, leaving to Abby to care for the family.

The PUNishers film was one of three films nominated for Best Student Film. All nominated films were premiered Saturday evening Oct. 8 at the film festival in the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Maryland.  The Student category included films by both high school and college students.  The category was won by a college team. 

"Not Yet"

Directed by:
Jeremy Cannon
Charlotte Pence

Maddie Richhart
Steven Duffy
Nick McNulty
Ariel Cadby-Spicer

Written by:
Charlotte Pence
Steven Duffy
Jeremy Cannon
Ryan Williams
Tom McNulty
Tim Russell

Ryan Williams
Jeremy Cannon
Charlotte Pence
Tom McNulty
Steven Duffy

Sound Mixing:
Tim Russell

Edward Meese
Ryan Williams
Tim Russell
Steven Duffy
Nick McNulty
Robi Rahman

Shot in Arlington, Virginia

Friday, October 7, 2011

Career Center Student Team Voted Finalist in 72 Hour Film Festival

A team of students from the Arlington Career Center were voted as finalists tonight in the 72 Hour Film Festival taking place in Frederick this weekend.  Their film submission will be shown Saturday Night during the festival at the Weinberg Center.

Students from the Career Center Television 1 & 2 class formed a team known as the PUNishers  and entered the 72 Hour Festival in which they had, you guessed it, 72 hours to compose, record, and edit a new film creation.  On September 29,  they attended the launch at the newly opened Artomatic in Frederick.  In this years contest, each team was given two photographs: the starting and ending frame for their film.  Everything else would be of their own creation - but they had to start with that one frame as their starting scene and the other as their end.  Adding to the challenge, it would not not be the most photogenic of weekends as it rained the entire time.

Friday October 7 was the viewing of all of the film submissions, including 12 films in the student category.  The PUNishers submission was one of three student films selected as a finalist that will move on to Saturday.

The PUNishers film will soon be available online for viewing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Learn How to Geocache at the NOVAGO Fall Event: Sunday Oct. 23 in Glen Carlyn Park

What in the world is geocaching. Um, okay. You see, its like this. You use billion dollar GPS satellites in order to search for tupperware hidden in the woods. It's really cool!  Seriously.

Geocaching is the outdoor adventure where you use GPS devices in order to find hidden treasure.  At the website is a database with a treasure-trove of information about hidden caches.  The database will give you the latitude and longitude of the geocache, a description of the hiding place, and perhaps a hint or two - along with the logs of all those who found it before you.  Armed with your GPS receiver, you are set to wander.  Generally the GPS receiver may get you within about 6 feet of the hidden container - and now you must sleuth.  What size is the container? How difficult is the hide?  Does the title of the cache or the hint give you a clue?  Did the previous geocachers in their logs slip up some useful information?
Geocaching is a great opportunity to be outdoors.  It can be what you want it to be when you want it to be.  It can be a bike ride or a hike.  It can be on top of a mountain, under the sea, or even in the space station (yip, there is cache up in the space station).  It can be in the city or it can be in the country.  For me, it was a great excuse to go hiking with the dogs.

Best yet - the cache owner tells you why the place where the cache is hidden is important.  One cache in Arlington tells the history of Stafford Junior High.  Another cache tells about Donaldson Run.  Another shows you an old air field located at Baily's Crossroads.

What better time to learn about Geocaching than the Northern Virginia Geocacher's (NOVAGO)  Fall Event.  Heck, just showing up to the event counts as finding one cache!  Sunday October 23rd.  It starts with a bike tour of Arlington (along with finding all the associated caches along the trail) and then a picnic at Glencaryln Park. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oct. 5 Meeting on Custis Trail Improvements

One of the truly great things about North Arlington is the ability to easily bike to work.  The Custis Trail along Rt 66 has become a major thoroughfare of bike commuter traffic all year long.  This is complemented by excellent bike lanes, bike rack on buses, ride on programs on metro, and the up and coming bike share program.  The ability to bike commute to work is one of the big reasons we chose to buy our house where it is.

Nevertheless, not all is perfect.  There is a place in the time space continuum where all traffic forces come together in a tumultuous splat.  That is N Lynn St.  To the car drive, that would be the intersection of Lee Hwy and Key Bridge.  To the bike commuter, that would be the intersection of the Custis Trail and "Please Dont Kill Me!" It is a horrifying crossing for a bicyclist, and bicyclists have been raising the issue with the county for decades.  Problem is, this point in the time space continuum is partly controlled by the County, partly controlled by the State, and partly controlled by the National Park Service.  Which of course means that there has been no control whatsoever.

This is a problem in need of a solution.  This is a time when we need to move beyond excuses.  The governments know that this is an insanely dangerous crossing.  Before another biker gets crushed by a car or truck, something needs to be done.

Title: Public Mtg: Lynn Street Esplanade & Lee Hwy./Custis Trail Improvements
Date/Time: October 5, 2011, 7:00 PM
Event Website:
Description: Arlington County has developed a proposal to rebuild the roadways, trail and sidewalks in the Rosslyn Circle area to improve public safety and to enhance access between Rosslyn and the Key Bridge. The proposed Lee Highway and Custis Trail improvements include trail upgrades along westbound Lee Highway (Route 29) between N. Oak Street and N. Lynn Street. Intersection improvements, lane reconfiguration, trail widening, curb extensions, wider curb ramps, signal modifications, and increased trail separation are proposed. Agenda will include a staff presentation of the project’s draft engineering plan and attendees are invited to comment on the design plan and potential alternatives.
Location: Arlington Temple Methodist Church, 1835 N. Nash St.
Location Website:
Transportation: Street parking is available nearby and the Rosslyn Metrorail Station is within one block.
Sponsor Name: Environmental Services
Contact Name: Tom Hutchings
Contact Phone: 703-228-3809