Just two months ago, a 107-page county-commissioned study suggested that it could cost up to $3.5 million to get the deteriorating amphitheater back up to current code standards. With tight county finances, amphitheater supporters feared that it could be years before the amphitheater would be restored and reopened.
Shortly after the study was released, though, a group called the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation was formed and began arguing that only a few relatively inexpensive fixes were necessary to reopen the local landmark. As we found out at this afternoon’s County Board meeting, they were right and they were able to work with county staff to turn their convictions into action.
For less than $100,000 — the amount allotted by the County Board this year for a floodplain study — contractors will soon commence a number of repairs to make the 43-year-old amphitheater safer and more accessible. They will replace the wooden stage, replace area and stage lighting, purchase portable hearing devices, and install handicap-accessible parking spaces, portable restrooms and designated seating.
“With the community’s help, we have developed a plan to make the amphitheater a safe, seasonal venue for outdoor entertainment,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement today. “These basic repairs and modest improvements will make the amphitheater accessible to persons with disabilities and keep it in compliance with federal, state, and local guidelines for work in a 100-year floodplain and Resource Protection Area (RPA).”
Donnellan first announced the repairs at a Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation-sponsored meeting last night.
“To say they were thrilled was an understatement,” Donnellan told the board today. “This is not a perfect solution, but it is do-able.”
The repairs are expected to take until the end of July. After that, there’s ample money in the budget to fund outdoor programming at the amphitheater.
Through the end of 2011, crews will be working to rehabilitate the main runway at Reagan National Airport. The work will force the closure of the runway at night, and will result in more planes flying closer to Arlington.
Reagan National’s Runway 1/19 will be closed for milling and resurfacing each night, weather-permitting, from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. The project — the first such work on the 6,869-foot runway since 1990 — is expected to wrap up before the end of the year.
There are no scheduled departures at DCA after 10:00 p.m., but there are about a dozen regularly-scheduled nighttime arrivals that will need to land on another runway after 11:00 each night, according to airport officials. The runway that’s most likely to be used is Runway 15/33, which points northwest/southeast. Depending on prevailing winds and weather, arriving flights will either be directed to approach from the northwest — thus flying over Rosslyn and the Pentagon — or from the southeast, over Southeast D.C. and the Potomac.
Residents have expressed concern over increased late night air traffic.
“They’re still landing right now at 12:05… [and] flying directly over Rosslyn,” said an anonymous tipster, in an email sent last night. “This will be a major headache for the rest of the year.”
Airport officials, however, suggest the impact will be minimal.
“Folks won’t be seeing these 12 arrivals coming in, necessarily, every night,” said Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Robert Yingling. He added that arriving flights are
generally relatively quiet.
“The engines are generally running at a pretty low rate when an aircraft is landing,” which limits the amount of noise generated, he said.
Although weather could occasionally cause Runway 1/19 to stay open — thus putting nighttime flights back on their normal path — it could also cause delays and force departures and additional arrivals to be pushed back after 11:00 p.m. Yingling said that only planes that meet certain noise restriction requirements are permitted to take off after 10:00 p.m.
We reached out to Arlington County’s resident aircraft noise guru — County Board member Mary Hynes — regarding the runway issue but have not yet heard back.
We don’t usually report on minor accidents that have no traffic impact, but it’s not every day you see an accident involving an electric car.
A Global Electric Motorcars GEM e4 and an SUV were involved in an apparent rear-end collision at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Quinn Street this afternoon.
The electric vehicle suffered some cracked plastic body components as a result of the accident. There were no significant injuries reported. Police arrived on the scene to help the drivers exchange information.
The GEM e4 is a $10,000, 1,300 lb. electric vehicle with a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and a range of up to 30 miles.
The fair is being held on the grounds of the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N. Fillmore Street) from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will feature carnival games, pony rides, moon bounces, a bake sale, a plant sale, food and drink concession stands, and live bluegrass music.
Following the fair, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m, the third annual Lyon Park Big Wheel Grand Prix will be held. Helmet-clad competitors — kids and adults — will careen down N. Garfield Street on plastic “big wheel” tricycles for racing glory — and to raise money for the community center’s upcoming renovation.
“Danger and adversity is no match for our fierce community,” says the official Lyon Park Big Wheel Grand Prix web site.
The fair is one of more than a dozen Arlington Neighborhood Day events planned for Saturday.
Flyer image via the Lyon Park Citizens Association
(Update at 12:20 p.m.) An SUV ran off the road and crashed through an iron fence near the intersection of S. Manchester Street and Route 50 just after 10:30 this morning.
Firefighters had to rescue the driver of the SUV, who was trapped in the vehicle after the wreck. The driver was brought to a local hospital with unspecified injuries.
So far there’s no official word on what caused the accident. Tire tracks suggest the SUV and a tractor trailer somehow ran off of eastbound Route 50 and onto a parallel side street. The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured and the truck appeared largely undamaged. The scene has since been cleared.
In addition to cuts to several bus lines in Maryland and the District, WMATA is proposing scaling back weekend rail service.
Train “headways” would increase from 12 minutes to 18 minutes until 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays. On Sundays, headways will increase from 15 minutes to 20 minutes before 9:30 p.m. After 9:30 p.m. on both days, you’ll have to wait 25 minutes between trains.
The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow with an “open house,” followed by a “town hall meeting” at 6:00 p.m. and a public hearing at 6:45 p.m. The meeting is one of six being held around the region this week.
Update at 9:40 a.m. — A firefighter is receiving medical attention for what was reported as an injury from a fall. The fire has been extinguished.
Firefighters are battling a fire on the second floor of a home on the 5200 block of 26th Street N., in the Lee-Harrison neighborhood.
Initial reports suggest the home’s occupants made it out safely. Firefighters on the scene are reporting that they have the blaze under control.
(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) Two years ago, Kenneth Earl Tolliver’s face was showing up on local newscasts after he was accused of robbing a 99-year-old woman in her Silver Spring, Md. home. At the time he was also wanted for two other burglary cases involving older residents, as well as other crimes. Now, according to police, he’s a “person of interest” in a series of office thefts.
Tolliver is being sought for questioning by Arlington police after several office burglaries in Rosslyn and Crystal City. Cops say that someone matching Tolliver’s description poses as a maintenance worker or mold inspector, then enters unsecured or “under-secured” offices and takes cash from wallets, purses and petty cash boxes.
According to a letter sent to property managers:
In all cases the suspect has been described as a black male, approximately 5’10”, 160 lbs, 45-55 years of age, with a sunken or long face and has ALWAYS worn a construction or medical style dust mask partially covering his face. The suspect’s MO is that he usually brings with him a notepad or other prop and tells workers that he is inspecting the ceiling tiles for mold or other HVAC issues.
Preliminary investigation into this series has revealed that there are at least 10 additional incidents in the region including Prince William, Fairfax, Alexandria, Falls Church, Vienna and Leesburg. Please be alert and contact the police immediately should you encounter this individual.
Police are encouraging workers in secure offices to not hold doors open for strangers and to check with building management should they encounter an unexpected repair person.
At the moment, Tolliver is not wanted for any crime in Arlington. He is, however, wanted for grand larceny out of Prince William County, according to police.
Police Search for Suspects Near Shirlington — While you were (probably) sleeping, Arlington police were trying to track down two suspects who fled on foot near Shirlington. Just before 1:30 a.m., an officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen out of Prince George’s County, Md. traveling on I-395. Due to department regulations, they did not pursue the car after it refused to stop. A short time later, the car was found crashed into the Four Mile Run creek bed at Shirlington Road. Police K-9 units and the U.S. Park Police helicopter were brought in to search for the suspects. As of 2:30 a.m., they were still on the loose.
Four Mile Run Trail Detour — The Four Mile Run trail will be detoured near 3rd and Harrison Streets in Glencarlyn Park due to storm/sewer system relining in the area. [Bike Arlington]
Woman Celebrates 30 Years at Retirement Community — Helen Crossley first moved into Arlington’s Culpepper Garden retirement community in 1981. Now at age 102, she’s being honored for her 30 year tenure at the facility. [Sun Gazette]
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