County public safety leaders held a press conference with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this morning to discuss next-generation 911 services, which “will one day enable consumers to send text messages, videos and photos to 911 call centers via broadband applications.”
“The current 911 system is efficient and reliable… but [it] doesn’t support the communications tools of tomorrow, Genachowski said, pointing out that 70 percent of all 911 calls now come from mobile phones.
“With today’s advances in commercial mobile broadband technologies, consumers are using their phones less to make calls and more for texting and sending pictures… but right now, you can’t text 911,” he added. “It’s time to bring 911 into the digital age.”
“Some students and witnesses tried to text 911 during that emergency,” he said. “Those messages never went through and were never received by local 911 dispatchers.”
In addition to emergencies where speaking to a dispatcher could jeopardize a caller’s safety, Genachowski said 911 texting systems could help in other situations.
“Next generation 911 could allow a caller to transmit a photo of a car leaving the scene of an armed robbery, [or] could enable a deaf person to communicate with an emergency call center by sending text messages to the call taker,” he said. Devices like environmental sensors, highway cameras or personal medical devices could be set up to text 911 in the event of emergency situations.
Genachowski announced that at its meeting next month, the FCC will take an “important first step” toward figuring out how to roll out next-generation 911 nationwide. No time frame was given for the technology’s implementation.
A pervasive chemical odor has prompted some residents in the neighborhood just north of the Washington Golf and Country Club and east of Glebe Road to call the fire department, thinking something was amiss, when in fact the odor is actually a byproduct of scheduled sewer work in the area.
Contractors working for the county’s Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau are relining the sewer pipes along the 4700 block of 34th Road North until about 8:30 p.m. tonight. Water service has been cut to a number of homes in the area to facilitate the work, which is being done without any excavation.
The sewer bureau’s contractors using “a trenchless technology known as Cured-In-Place Pipe,” according to county Department of Environmental Services spokesperson Myllisa Kennedy.
The odor is the result of the styrene resin that’s used to reline the pipes. Kennedy says the resin “is not harmful to pets or people.”
Here’s how she explained the process:
The process involves inserting a resin-impregnated felt liner similar to a sock into an existing sanitary sewer main through the manhole. Once the liner is in place, hot water is injected into the sock, and the heated water activates the resin material which is impregnated in the liner. As the resin is activated, it cures and forms into a solid plastic material which transforms the flexible liner into a rigid pipe which exhibits structural strength equivalent to a new sewer. Additionally, the new cured pipe provides a smooth and efficient flow channel which thoroughly renews the sewer without excavating the pipe.
Once the pipe liner has cured, a robotic tool is inserted into the new pipe and is remotely directed through the pipe to cut out the lateral service connections, and the new pipe is placed back into service. The entire process typically requires 6-12 hours. The County’s Capital Improvement Program funds the relining program to replace approximately 1.5 percent of the sewer system annually, about 7 miles of pipe.
Similar work will be performed on the 4700 blocks of 34th Street and Dittmar Road between Nov. 29 and Dec. 3 next week. Sewer bureau staff will hand-deliver notices to affected homes.
With just two days until Thanksgiving, the Optimist Club of Arlington is getting ready for its annual Christmas tree sale.
The sale will begin on Saturday, at the Wachovia Bank parking lot near the corner of North Glebe Road and Lee Highway. Prices we saw posted ranged from $30 to $210.
The Optimist Club has been selling Fraser firs, Scotch pines and other tree varieties in Arlington since 1950, according to the Sun Gazette. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s youth programs.
If you celebrate the holiday, where do you go to buy your Christmas trees?
The Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe sign has finally come down from 1515 North Courthouse Road.
A Bayou Bakery sign will be taking its place later today, staff tells us.
Bayou will be open for breakfast and lunch but will close at 5:00 p.m. for the rest of the week, except for Thursday when it will be closed for Thanksgiving.
The event, being held on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., will feature arts and cultural performances, culminating in “a large public display of affection by people from all walks of life.”
“We expect 300-500 people to attend, including many straight allies,” the event’s Facebook invitation reads. “A YouTube video will be produced from live footage recorded at the event… Our video will be premiered at the Artisphere Dome Theatre on December 20th along with an opening reception and will then be posted on YouTube.”
Cookies and hot chocolate will be served between video shoots.
The event is sponsored by the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance.
Flickr pool photo by Afagen
It now appears that Buffalo Wild Wings will be opening its Crystal City location in December, after all.
An insider tells us that the wings, beer and sports joint is planning to open on
Monday, Dec. 13 (Update: Thursday, Dec. 16). Last month we told you that the restaurant’s opening would either be in December or February, depending on the pace of progress.
The restaurant is located in a large, glass-paneled retail space at the corner of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, across from Jaleo. Crews were hard at work preparing the interior when we peeked inside yesterday afternoon.
This will be the sixth Buffalo Wild Wings location in the area. It will be one of two that are near a Metro station (in addition to the Rockville location) and the closest to D.C. proper.
Airport Body Scanner Company Is Based in Crystal City — One of the companies behind the controversial “naked” body scan machines in U.S. airports is located right here in Arlington. Recently, writer Annie Lowrey visited the company’s Crystal City offices to see how they were handling the controversy. More from Slate.
AT&T Rolls Out Pentagon City Store – AT&T’s new wireless store in the Pentagon City mall opened its doors yesterday, just in time for the holiday shopping rush. The store features “a state-of-the-art, hands-on design to engage customers and provide a ‘try before buy’ service experience,” according to a press release.
Verizon Activates New Cell Site – “In a continuing effort to provide the best wireless service for local residents in the Arlington County, Va., Verizon Wireless has expanded its network with a new cell site,” a company press release says. “The new cell site provides increased wireless voice and 3G data coverage in the neighborhood near 22nd Street North.” Verizon did not elaborate on the site’s exact location.
Crystal City ArtJamz Reviewed – The ladies from the DC on Heels blog created their own personal masterpieces at ArtJamz in Crystal City last week. What exactly is ArtJamz, you ask? The explanation, with plenty of photos, from DC on Heels. (Disclosure: ArtJamz is an ARLnow.com advertiser.)
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99