Route 110 will be closed near the Pentagon tomorrow morning due to an “Armed Forces Farewell Tribute” to retiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
President Obama will be among the dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony, which is expected to get underway at the Pentagon around 9:45 a.m. A military spokesman was unable to release any other details about the event.
Route 110 will be closed tomorrow from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Northbound traffic will be diverted to I-395 and southbound traffic will be diverted to Washington Boulevard, according to Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management.
“Melody Tavern” will serve healthy, modern American fare and will host live music and comedy acts, according to owner Michel Daley. It will target the more mature “professional set,” he said.
Daley, formerly the co-owner of D.C. waterfront hotspot Zanzibar, says the restaurant will be opening in the large, 7,000 square foot space once occupied by the now-shuttered McGinty’s Pub. He anticipates a September or October opening date.
The restaurant will have fewer flat screen TVs than McGinty’s, Daley said, but will still show sports and other programming during times when no live entertainment is booked. There will be a weekly, live jazz brunch on Sundays as well as occasional live jazz and blues performance at night.
Daley said he’s confident Melody Tavern will be a “destination” that will attract customers to the relatively new retail square, which he admitted is somewhat “off the beaten path.” He said two other new restaurants in the square — the Asian fusion eatery Heebeen and pizza-and-pasta joint Paisano’s — will be opening soon and will also help to add vitality to the area.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Daley said. “I couldn’t have found a better spot.”
At first, the restaurant will only be open at night on weekdays. It will eventually open for lunch during the week when tenants start moving into a new office building across the street, Daley said. Like McGinty’s, Melody Tavern is expected to seat more than 150 people inside the restaurant and outside on its 1,000 square foot outdoor patio.
Last year, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy set June 30, 2011 as the date by which planetarium supporters had to raise $402,800 to pay for necessary upgrades to the 40-year-old facility. If the deadline was not met, the school system would close the planetarium and use it as classroom space — as Dr. Murphy originally proposed before supporters successfully lobbied the School Board to find a way to save the planetarium.
A non-profit entity called the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium was formed to raise the money for the upgrades. As of last night, they had collected some $371,000 in donations. ‘Friends’ President Alice Monet says she expects donors big and small to come through over the next day and a half.
“The community really wants to see this planetarium stick around,” she said. “We anticipate donations continuing to flow in… At the end of the day we will have full amount in hand.”
Monet admitted, however, that it’s unlikely the school system would shutter the planetarium at this point, even if the group misses its fundraising goal.
“Honestly, the point has been made already that Arlington supports the planetarium,” she said. “If we don’t make it, we’ll keep working until we do.”
Once the capital campaign is complete, Monet said, the Friends organization will shift from a fundraising role to an advisory role regarding the planetarium’s upgrades and on-going operations.
Construction blocked the sole northbound lane of N. Randolph Street at the Glebe Road intersection around lunchtime today.
A dump truck and a backhoe made travel on both northbound Randolph Street and northbound Glebe Road a bit tricky for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. A lone worker with a florescent vest tried to get southbound traffic on Randolph to stay out of the turn lane so northbound traffic could get around the construction. Meanwhile, a lane was also blocked on northbound Glebe Road.
Crews appeared to be doing some sort of work on the sidewalk.
A car somehow ended up on its roof in a parking lot near Columbia Pike this morning.
The car flipped over in the parking lot of the BB&T Bank at 1100 Walter Reed Drive around 11:30 a.m. It’s not clear how the accident happened, but no other vehicles in the parking lot appeared to have any accident-related damage.
A woman was evaluated by paramedics at the scene. She was not transported to the hospital. The woman appeared to be shaken up but otherwise uninjured.
A week ago Comcast rolled out a new on-screen guide for digital cable customers in Arlington.
The new guide was touted in mailings as faster and easier to use with a few new features that had been requested by customers. Many local customers, however, have taken to our comments section to blast the new guide, which eliminated the sleep timer and picture-in-a-picture functions that were available with the old guide.
Now that you’ve had a week to try it out, how do you feel about the “upgrade?”
Screen capture via Comcast
(Update at 2:35 p.m.) An elderly woman is dead following a car fire in the parking garage below the Ballston Hilton (950 N. Stafford Street).
Homicide detectives were called to investigate the woman’s death, but according to police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal the death is now being investigated as a probable accident.
Police believe the woman, 74-year-old Adele Lapinell of Annandale, suffered some sort of medical emergency that caused her to crash her vehicle on the G-1 level of the garage. The crash caused the fire, Nosal said — likely the result of a gas line that was damaged by the collision. The first and second floors of the hotel were evacuated during the fire as a precaution.
Lapinell’s body was found as firefighters extinguished the blaze. Nosal said she was identified as a “registered parker” in the garage. She was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the collision.
Police shut down Stafford Street between Fairfax Drive and 9th Street N. while emergency responders were on the scene. The road has since reopened. Washington Gas crews are on the scene to help repair the gas line.
Sign Vigilante Arrested — “Arlington anti-sign vigilante” Robert Lauderdale is facing a felony grand larceny charge for allegedly stealing 240 apartment leasing signs from the Crescent Apartments near I-66. Lauderdale says he removes the signs to reduce clutter along his street and unilaterally enforce Arlington’s sign regulations. He was arrested, taken to jail and booked earlier this month after police showed up at his apartment in the wee hours of the morning. [Falls Church News-Press]
Virginia Is ‘Top State for Business’ — Virginia is once again “America’s Top State For Business,” according to CNBC. “Virginia is a perennial favorite with its strategic location, friendly business climate and diverse economy,” the channel said. The Commonwealth also captured the title in 2007 and 2009. [CNBC]
‘Flash Mob’ At Arlington Central Library — It lacked the spontaneity of a true “flash mob,” but the Bowen McCauley Dance company’s performance of “Mamma Mia” at Arlington Central Library over the weekend was, at least, cool to watch. [YouTube]
FBI Investigating Arlington Nat’l Cemetery Problems — The FBI is investigating possible criminal wrongdoing connected to the mishandling of remains and records at Arlington National Cemetery. The agency is looking into possible contracting fraud and falsification of records, among other potential crimes. [Washington Post]