Arlington Police Investigate “Annoying” Calls — The Arlington Police Department has received more than 150 reports of “annoying” phone calls from the 307 area code. Police say they believe the calls “may have been the result of a computer dialing error.” See the police statement here.
Emergency Landing at DCA — A U.S. Airways flight from Reagan National Airport to Boston turned around and made an emergency landing at Reagan National due to “mechanical problems,” the Washington Post reports.
Library Discusses Budget Impact — Although many of the funding cuts threatened for the Arlington Public Library system were restored thanks to a public outcry and a higher-than-proposed tax hike, the library will still face some service and material cuts. The official Library Blog has more details.
Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to announce tomorrow that Northrop Grumman has selected Northern Virginia for the location of its new headquarters, according to sources cited by the Washington Business Journal.
McDonnell is not expected to announce which Northern Virginia site has been selected quite yet. Among the reported finalists are the 800 North Glebe Road development in Ballston, along with a site in Falls Church and a site in Alexandria.
The giant defense contractor, which is relocating its headquarters from Los Angeles, was initially also considering locations in Montgomery County and the District.
Gov. McDonnell’s public schedule puts him in the Washington area tomorrow. He’ll appear on WTOP’s “Ask the Governor” from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., and at noon he’ll address a commercial real estate development trade association at the Tysons Corner Hilton.
Contacted by ARLnow.com, an official with Arlington Economic Development said he had talked with the governor’s office today, but refused to “speculate” about Northrop’s decision.
We are in the midst of the “peak” season for weddings. Something about spring — the warmer temperatures, the flowers and plants blooming, the absence of pro and college football games — seems to make it a perfect time for nuptials.
It also seems that there are quite a few engagements this time of year. All those happy couples need some place to get married, so we started to wonder if there were any wedding-worthy locations in Arlington. For the answer, we turned to Arlington-based professional photographer Jan Graves, of Jan Michele Photography.
Location-wise, it’s natural that most couples would immediately think D.C., with the monuments and the history and whatnot. But Graves says there are some worthy wedding venues to consider in Arlington. Here are her top six.
Ft. Myer Old Post Chapel (article)
Pro: “Light, bright and beautiful chapel, seats 200. And you can’t beat a Saber Arch upon leaving the church.”
Con: “Must be military to use. Can’t decorate the chapel.”
Top of the Town (website)
Pro: “Best views of DC you’ll find. Outdoor patio space — if the weather is nice.”
Con: “It’s at the top of a condo building so there are restrictions on music/noise. The ceiling is a bit low and it’s a long elevator ride plus a long hallway to get to the space, so it can feel a bit claustrophobic.”
Michael Brown, Arlington’s incoming county manager, was honored on Friday by the city of Savannah, where he’s spent the past 15 years as city manager. A who’s who of Savannah’s civic and political establishment was on hand to wish Brown well in Arlington.
Brown was presented with two parting gifts: a gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops (Brown is reportedly something of an outdoorsman) and a painting of Savannah, according to TV station WSAV.
It was a remarkably elaborate ceremony for an unelected civil servant, which seems to suggest that Arlington scored a big “get” with the hiring of Brown.
Brown’s last day in Savannah is May 2. His first day in Arlington is May 17.
After all the attention Brown’s departure is getting in Savannah, we hope he lowers his expectations regarding media coverage in Arlington. After all, this is a place where only two members of the media — a lone TV cameraman and a reporter for an upstart local news website — bothered to show up at the scene of a bank robbery that occurred on a weekday morning in the middle of a major commercial district.
The Arlington County Board unanimously approved a $959.9 million FY 2011 budget on Saturday. The budget includes a 8.3 cent property tax rate hike, 24 percent higher than the recommended 6.7 cent increase in the county manager’s proposed budget.
Together with fee increases totaling about $71 a year, the tax burden on the average household will increase by about $346 per year.
Arlington’s residential property tax burden will now total $0.958 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is still lower than most neighboring jurisdictions.
The board said it was responding to public concern over some of the spending cuts outlined in the county manager’s budget. Dozens of people spoke out against many of the cuts at public budget hearings, although the majority of speakers at a separate tax rate hearing spoke out against raising taxes.
Among the line items rescued from the chopping block as a result of the tax hike:
- Community policing
- The second of the fire department’s two heavy rescue units
- Emergency management personnel
- Merit pay raises for county staff
- Metro funding increase
- The Aurora Hills and Lee senior centers
- Sunday hours at the Central Library
- Funding for library materials, such as periodicals
- Park maintenance and nature centers
- Partial funding of non-profit organizations, arts grants
“This budget reflects the values of our community,” County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a statement. “We listened to residents and acted to preserve core services and our quality of life. We have also been fiscally prudent, making deep and sometimes painful cuts that affected services and reduced staff. This budget ensures Arlington’s fiscal sustainability while protecting the most vulnerable among us.”