If you were expecting to get our daily ARLnow.com Afternoon Update email newsletter, rest assured that it is still coming, but a bit later than usual.
We’ve temporarily adjusted the timing of the mass mailing in order to protect against a spike in web traffic. With more than 3,000 email subscribers, many of whom click on articles simultaneously after receiving the newsletter, we’ve had difficulty keeping our server stable during the otherwise high-traffic time between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.
That’s all going to change once we upgrade to a bigger, badder server, but the transition is expected to happen no sooner than this coming weekend. In the meantime, please excuse the later emails and the technical explanation. As always, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments section.
Questionnaires are being sent to about 10,000 randomly-selected registered voters, per state law, to determine whether they qualify for jury duty in 2012. Recipients are required to complete and return the questionnaires within 10 days of receipt — either via mail or online.
“Jury Commissioners appointed by the Court review the questionnaires to determine eligibility for service according to criteria established by the General Assembly,” the county said in a press release. If selected, a recipient will be asked to serve as a juror on a civil or a criminal trial next year.
“We are fortunate in Arlington and the City of Falls Church to have residents who are so willing to fulfill their commitment as a juror,” said Clerk of the Ciruit Court Paul Ferguson. “Our system of justice could not operate without this valuable public service. The Arlington Circuit Court greatly appreciates the service of everyone who reported last year, and we look forward to greeting new jurors in 2012.”
The average length of a trial in Arlington’s Circuit Court is 1 to 2 days, with the trial days stretching as long as 5:00 p.m. or later. Jurors receive $30 per day in compensation.
Certain individuals are exempt from jury duty, including non-U.S. citizens, convicted felons, residents who’s lived in the county less than 6 months, people with medical conditions, those over the age of 70, primary caregivers to a child or disabled relative, police officers, firefighters, jail employees, practicing attorneys, certain full-time teachers, those who have a hard time hearing or understanding, and people with pending cases before the court.
Jury service may be deferred/postponed if a potential juror has a previously-scheduled trip, is unemployed and seeking a job, is a full-time student or if the jury service would impose a severe financial hardship. Just don’t call with excuses after receiving the questionnaire, officials say.
“The questionnaire is not a summons to appear so please do not call the Clerk’s Office asking for an excuse from jury duty,” the county press release said. “Excuses or postponements to serve at another time during the year can be considered if you are actually summoned to serve as a juror.”
If you don’t return the questionnaire within 10 days, you’ll be summoned to court to complete it.
The large, rotted tree limb, felled by the wind and rain of Hurricane Irene, hit the back of the amphitheater building and damaged the concrete brick parapet wall and capping. Some wiring also appeared to be damaged.
The damage is not enough to close the amphitheater for next weekend’s round of performances — the last of the summer — according to county spokeswoman Mary Curtius. She said that the power lines to the building are intact, but will be checked by an electrician. (Update at 2:05 p.m. — We’re now hearing that the power connection to the building may, in fact, have been damaged.)
The building will be repaired by a contractor, Curtius said. The county’s urban forester, meanwhile, will check the tree to make sure it doesn’t pose any additional danger.
Award-winning local rockers The Grandsons will perform at the amphitheater Friday night. On Saturday night the amphitheater will host a teen talent and movie night. Inception will be shown, rounding out the summer’s entertainment schedule.
Hat tip to twelvemilecircle.com
At its peak, immediately after Hurricane Irene left the area yesterday morning, more than 14,000 Dominion customers were in the dark in Arlington.
“Arlington, Alexandria and Springfield experienced some significant damage,” said Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson. “Due to that, we know that it will be Tuesday night before all of those customers are restored.”
Perennial Taste of Arlington favorite Sangam Restaurant is moving from Ballston to Columbia Pike.
According to an employee, the restaurant will close its current location — on the ground floor of the Comfort Inn hotel on Glebe Road in Ballston — after Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, Sept. 1, Sangam will hold its grand opening at 3205 Columbia Pike, in the space formerly occupied by the Kabobs Inn restaurant.
“Sangam Restaurant is crossing one more milestone,” owner Edward Dean said in an email. “The grand opening is on September 1st 2011… we would like you to be here and enjoy our quality food and good service.”
Sangam’s Pike location will feature dine-in service, free delivery, carry-out, catering and a kid’s menu. No changes are planned for the restaurant’s George Mason University kiosk, according to the email.
The Columbia Pike location is open for business all this week, the employee said.
Sure, those things are still possible when the weather gets colder, but sitting outside and drinking a Corona while wearing a sweater is just not quite the same as the summertime experience.
Luckily, you can get your outdoor beer sipping and tortilla chip dipping in before it’s too late thanks to our partners at WTD, who are offering 50 percent off at Clarendon’s Mexicali Blues restaurant (2933 Wilson Blvd).
For the next two weeks, you can get $20 worth of food and non-alcoholic drink at the sidewalk cafe-equipped restaurant for $10.
Courts, libraries, schools and the Department of Human Services will be closed. All community centers will be closed, except for the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center, which will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
ART buses will operate on a holiday schedule. Parking meters will not be enforced. Trash and recycling pickup will take place as scheduled.
Switch on the TV last week, and it sounded like a disaster movie in the making. As it approached, evacuations were ordered on the coast and local residents stocked up on supplies. Then, as Hurricane Irene finally made its way up the eastern seaboard, local TV stations and the cable news channels went with wall-to-wall coverage.
Flickr pool photo courtesy @DrWeinz
Federal Government is Open — Federal government offices are open, 24 hours after the last remnants of Hurricane Irene left the area. Employees “have the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.” [OPM]
Video of Hurricane Damage — Arlington County created a video tour of some of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. [YouTube]
Old Guard Soldiers Photograph Graves — Soldiers from the Army’s Old Guard — who perform ceremonial duties at Arlington National Cemetery — have been tasked with photographing hundreds of thousands of final resting places in an effort to account for every grave in the cemetery. They take the photos at night, after the day’s last funerals have been performed. [Associated Press]