Arlington firefighters are responding to the Pentagon Metro station for smoke in the station.
Initial reports from the scene suggest that leaves and debris on the track caught on fire, causing light smoke to fill the station.
Metro employees extinguished the fire using a powdered fire retardant. Arlington firefighters are now investigating.
Trains are still traveling to and from the station.
Politico is reporting that an Arlington Young Democrats-sponsored “absentee voting happy hour” last week may have broken federal election laws.
The event, at Velocity Five in Courthouse, promised free beer for anyone who showed up with a sticker proving that they voted absentee.
“In elections in which federal candidates are on the ballot, no one can offer any kind of benefit or reward for voting,” an election law professor told Politico.
AYD President Gordon Simonett said “zero people” showed up to take advantage of the group’s offer.
Republican Patrick Murray skipped the last scheduled candidate debate in Arlington last night, leaving Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Moran and Independent Green candidate Ron Fisher to have more of a “discussion” in front of nearly 100 residents.
During the interview, Murray blasted Moran’s outspoken support of earmarks, calling the ten-term congressman “irresponsible” and “an anachronism from the past.”
“The earmarks benefit [Moran] more than anyone else,” Murray said. “The way he works earmarks, it’s called ‘pay to play.’ The defense industries and the IT industries, they feel forced to participate in it. They give him campaign donations in return.”
In response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com, the Moran campaign broke its usual silence and fired back.
“Patrick Murray has no clue about the needs of the 8th District because he only moved here 18 months ago,” the campaign said. “If he had more knowledge of Northern Virginia, he’d be aware of the importance of earmarks for building Dulles Rail, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Springfield Mixing Bowl and countless other projects that create jobs and benefit our region’s quality of life.”
“Mr. Murray’s attacks on the Federal Government, such as calling for the elimination of the Department of Education, are way out of touch and will fall on deaf ears,” the campaign added. “Northern Virginians know how integral the Federal Government is to our economy, which includes thousands of contracting jobs, consulting positions and related service industry jobs.”
In other parts of the surprisingly topical NTD TV interview — it may have been the most issue-oriented interview of the entire campaign — Murray tried to strike a more moderate tone.
That question is up for debate — but what’s for certain is that there are plenty of Halloween-related events happening around Arlington this weekend.
Kids will be able to enjoy the Falloween family festival from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Market Common Clarendon on Saturday. A YMCA haunted house for kids 11 and up is being held at the Madison Community Center from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. And on Sunday, a children’s parade and pumpkin carving contest will be held at Lyon Park Community Center from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, most Halloween-related events for adults will be happening on Saturday.
P. Brennan’s (2910 Columbia Pike) is holding its first annual Halloween costume party starting at 9:00 p.m. Gonzo’s Nose will be playing a Halloween party and costume contest at Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street) starting at 10:00 p.m. And The Front Page (4201 Wilson Blvd) will also be throwing a Halloween party and costume contest, featuring performances by Kicking Norma and DJ Pat Premiere.
Also happening this weekend, but not Halloween-related: The Arlington Kiwanis 39th Annual Oyster and Barbeque Fest, which will be attended by most if not all of the local candidates for public office. That’s being held from 5:00 to 8:00 Saturday night at, of all places, the American Service Center garage (601 North Randolph Street).
See our events calendar for more details on each event.
It’s going to be very hard to get around certain parts of Arlington on Sunday. The Marine Corps Marathon will shut down streets in Rosslyn, Crystal City and Pentagon City. The Key Bridge and a stretch of Lee Highway will also be closed.
The good news is that Metro will be opening at 5:00 a.m., two hours earlier than usual, to accommodate marathon runners and spectators (the race starts at 8:15 a.m.). Metro will be running additional Blue Line trains for much of the day, but the agency says riders should expect the system to be especially busy.
“Customers can expect crowded conditions, especially after the race as people will have to wait in long lines to get back into the rail stations,” Metro said in a statement.
Also due to the marathon, buses that normally serve the Pentagon Transit Center will be relocated to the Pentagon City station until 4:00 p.m.
The Arlington County Police Department’s full road closure list, after the jump.
(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) A fire aboard a CSX locomotive near Potomac Yard is out, but Amtrak trains may be slightly delayed while crews work to clear the scene.
All CSX and Amtrak trains that use the tracks were temporarily halted while firefighters worked to put out the fire. Train traffic is now being allowed through again on two of the three tracks that run through the area.
Arlington Fire Department spokesperson Lt. Ed Hughes said there was a “minor smoldering fire” in the train’s engine compartment, caused by overheated bearings. The fire was extinguished quickly and the train will be moved shortly, Hughes said. Amtrak trains may experience minor delays, he said.
Blue and Yellow Line Metro trains that run on nearby tracks were apparently not affected.
Republican county board candidate Mark Kelly has started running an ad on local cable television.
The ad emphasizes the “diversity of opinion” Kelly says he would bring to the board. Arlington viewers started seeing the ad on cable TV shows on Wednesday.
“We’re trying to use every means available to reach people,” Kelly said after a debate in Highland Park last night.
Kelly’s opponent, incumbent Democrat Chris Zimmerman, says he has no plans to air any TV ads, although he has done so in the past.
“I’m not buying cable ads,” Zimmerman said, adding that cable viewership is down. “Cable doesn’t have the penetration it used to.”
Zimmerman said that his campaign was based on a 12-month strategy, not a short-term strategy.
Police and paramedics are on the scene of an accident involving a motorcycle and an SUV at the intersection of North Moore Street and 19th Street in Rosslyn.
The motorcyclist’s injuries are said to be minor.
No word on how the accident happened, but traffic patterns on North Moore Street recently changed.
Another witness has come forward with additional details about the accident involving the Patrick Murray for Congress campaign bus in Old Town Alexandria. At the same time, however, the woman whose Jeep was sideswiped by the bus says she’s ready to move on.
Barbara Reeder, the Jeep’s owner, says she’s very happy with the way the Murray campaign handled the incident in the hours after our story was published.
“Patrick Murray’s office was just delightful to work with,” the New Jersey resident said, in an unsolicited phone call to ARLnow.com. “I thought they were very responsive.”
“I would hate to see this be a political issue,” she said.
Meanwhile, another witness has shed more light on what happened immediately after the accident, which Alexandria Police say they’re investigating as a possible hit and run.
Workers broke a sweat yesterday while installing the Pentagon Row’s winter ice rink in 70+ degree weather.
The rink will open for the season at noon on Monday. See the skating schedule here.
Arlington Neighborhoods Host Marathon Events – A number of events are planning in Arlington in connection with Sunday’s Marine Corps Marathon. Among them: Crystal City will be hosting a family-friendly race viewing festival, complete with music, face painting, a moon bounce and carnival-like food. After the race, Rosslyn will host the official MCM Finish Festival. Live music, food, a beer garden and a “recovery area” with free massages.
Dan Kain Trophies Closing Up Shop — Today is the last day for an Arlington original. Dan Kain Trophies (2207 North Pershing Drive) is packing up and moving to Merrifield, where the rent is considerably cheaper. The store is trying to sell its remaining trophy inventory, and they’re willing to make a deal for anybody who walks in before close of business today. More from TBD.
Arlington Man Sentenced for Threats — A 27-year-old Arlington man was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for threatening to torture and kill his ex-girlfriend and her family. The man, Kyle McDonald, made the threatening phone calls while serving time in the Arlington County jail for stalking and violating a protection order. The phone calls were recorded by jail officials. More from the Washington Examiner.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Today is the first day in business for Bada Bing Cheesesteaks and Spiedies, a new Arlington-based food truck.
What is a Spiedie, you ask? It’s an upstate New York delicacy — a sandwich made with marinated meats cooked over an open flame.
While the truck’s name doesn’t exactly convey an aura of culinary sophistication, the man behind Bada Bing is Nicholas Terzella, a trained chef whose resume includes fine dining restaurants in Napa Valley and Palm Beach.
Terzella, who has also worked as a private chef for an actress in Manhattan (he won’t name names), says he will be serving gourmet seasonal side dishes in addition to sandwiches. Needless to say, it’s not often that you hear the words “truffle oil” uttered by a tough-looking guy selling cheesesteaks out of the side of a truck.
Terzella, a Centreville resident, says he’ll be operating the truck as a full-time business in Arlington, though he’s hoping to eventually start selling in the District once the DC government starts issuing vendor licenses again.
Bada Bing will be stationed outside the Virginia Square Metro station tonight and tomorrow. Next week the truck will start on a regular rotation around Ballston, Clarendon, Rosslyn and Crystal City.
More photos after the jump.
The event starts at 6:00 p.m. at Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon (3165 Wilson Blvd).
A tipster tells us that houses, cars, a fence and a park were all vandalized in a neighborhood in the northern part of Virginia Square.
The vandal used blue paint to deface property in the area late Tuesday night.
We spotted what remained of the blue paint on a white picket fence at the corner of North Lincoln Street and 14th Street. Also, blue writing was scrawled on a building in Hayes Park, two blocks away.
Fortuitously timed between yesterday morning’s downpours, local officials and Sen. Jim Webb gathered under a tent near North Lynn Street to break ground on a new entrance to the Rosslyn Metro station.
The entrance will be located across from the existing Metro entrance, between the planned CentralPlace office and residential towers and near the future 1812 North Moore Street tower. It will feature three high-speed elevators and an emergency staircase, but no escalators.
The $32.6 million project also includes the construction of new fare collection and vending equipment, as well as a new kiosk and a new entrance mezzanine.
“I think it’s a good investment,” said Webb, who pointed to heavy traffic on the nearby Roosevelt Bridge as evidence of the importance of the Metrorail system.
The entrance will be able to serve up to 2,000 riders per hour, officials say. Local leaders hope it will help keep pace with the station’s soaring ridership, which has increased 23 percent in the past decade and is expected to increase even more with all the new development in the area.
“The project that’s being initiated today will increase the capacity of the station,” said county board member Chris Zimmerman, who is also sits on Metro’s board of directors. “It will be easier for people to get in and out of Rosslyn station… It’s going to make Rosslyn a more vital place, and help us achieve the vision for Rosslyn that everyone here has been working on for quite a long time.”
The project is being funded by a combination of federal, state and county dollars.
Construction is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2013. In the meantime, construction has necessitated some traffic changes in the Rosslyn area.