Coincidentally, Arlington County started its annual snow training this week. Workers have been hooking up trucks, doing some trial runs and making sure all equipment is ready for the season.
Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau Chief Operating Engineer Dave Hundelt said, “Conveniently we get a random forecast for flurries or light rain/snow and overnight temps right near freezing for this weekend.”
Hundelt says Arlington doesn’t plan on mobilizing its plow or salting teams this weekend because the pavement temperatures will remain well above freezing. That prevents any precipitation from sticking to the ground or causing major driving issues. However, if the forecast changes and conditions worsen, crews could be expected to mobilize.
Currently, Arlington is not included in the winter storm watches or warnings issued by the National Weather Service for many surrounding counties. Although that could change, right now there is only a chance for a light snow shower or a rain/snow mix around here. Due to the uncertainty of the storm, most weather experts are putting the chances of snow on Saturday around 50-50.
Fall snowstorms are worrisome because trees haven’t yet shed all their leaves, making the branches heavy and susceptible to snapping off as a result of accumulation. This traditionally makes autumn snow more dangerous than winter storms.
The last time the metro area experienced a significant snowstorm in October was back on October 10, 1979.
This week we asked the two candidates for the 32nd District state Senate seat to write a sub-750 word essay on why the district’s residents should vote for them on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The campaign of Sen. Janet Howell (D) says they were unable to respond in time.
Here is the unedited response from Patrick Forrest (R):
Arlington deserves a State Senator that will bring back more of our tax dollars for transportation and education needs. Arlington needs someone who will champion our independent spirit.
I grew up in Arlington. I lived here as an adult and love this community. Arlington has grown and changed, and now it needs new leadership that reflects our diversity and passion for our neighborhoods and community. Throughout my professional career as a senior official in the federal government, I have created a proven record of building coalitions to get the job done! I will be an independent voice to ensure that Arlington gets our fair share of funding for our roads and schools.
After 20 years in the job, my opponent, Senator Janet Howell, as a senior member of the Budget Committee, has had the opportunity to bring more funds to Northern Virginia for schools and roads but has failed to do so. To the detriment of her constituents, the record shows that her priorities have been elsewhere. Unfortunately, as a senior member of the Budget Conference Committee, Senator Howell has not pushed for changes in funding formulas to help Northern Virginia. She helped kill bipartisan legislation in her committee sponsored by Democrat Senator Mark Herring that would have increased state funding for our local schools (SB1243).
Senator Howell also opposed a bipartisan bill (HB1998) to direct VDOT to focus resources on traffic congestion relief in order to increase funding for our roads here in Northern Virginia. These common sense pro-Northern Virginia pieces of legislation would have significantly increased funding for our region. To add insult to injury, Senator Howell failed to submit a budget amendment officially requesting funds for Metrorail to Dulles airport. This massive failure of leadership will cost this community dearly. In each and every one of these cases, 20 year incumbent Senator Howell, put corporate interests and Richmond over those of her constituents in Northern Virginia. 20 years is too long, and it is clear Senator Howell has overstayed her welcome.
Senator Howell’s corporate interests shouldn’t surprise anyone. Almost all of her campaign funds, 86% to be exact, come from corporate lobbyists and big developers outside of her district. Unfortunately, now Senator Howell has chosen to utilize the politics of hate in order to win this election by any means necessary. As stated by The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund: “The Washington Blade reported last week that [Forrest’s] opponents’ political supporters have been visiting Republican voters in the district to warn them that Patrick is openly gay and has a partner. That kind of divisive campaigning has no place in politics, and it’s wrong no matter which party does it.” The article goes on to report that an audio tape of one of their grassroots organizers confirmed this strategy: “What my campaign is saying is here’s your Republican candidate. He’s a homosexual. Why would you want to vote for someone who’s a homosexual and is going to push his agenda in your schools?”
(Updated at 1:58 p.m.) Don’t be surprised if you see moaning, pale people shuffling down the streets of Shirlington tonight. In fact, maybe you just want to join them. The second annual Shirlington Zombie Walk will take over the area.
Happy hour food and drink specials begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Signature Theater, followed by the stalking of the strip at 9:00 p.m.
If you aren’t sure how to properly prepare yourself for the zombie walk, bring your makeup and one of the “zombie experts” will give you a hand.
The event ends where it began, at the Signature Theater. More fun and dancing will happen inside “Club Blue” following the zombie walk.
Tens of thousands of runners hit the streets on Sunday for the 36th Marine Corps Marathon and MCM 10K. Both events start at 8:00 a.m. on Route 110 and take runners through Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.
This year the MCM sold out of all of its 30,000 spots in a record breaking 28 hours. There are an additional 10,000 people signed up for the MCM 10K.
In 2009, the MCM became the fourth largest marathon in the United States, and the eighth largest in the world. It’s currently the largest marathon not to offer prize money to winners.
More than 400 service members overseas will participate in “MCM Forward” during which they run the 26.2 miles in conjunction with Sunday’s race in Virginia and DC. This event began in 2006 in Iraq.
Preparations are going on now along the running course, particularly around the Marine Corps Memorial. One of the marines helping to set up near the memorial this morning said everything is very organized and on schedule, but there is still a fair amount of work to be done before Sunday.
“We’ll be out here today until the job is done,” he said. “Hopefully that means by mid-afternoon.”
Runners are encouraged to use Metro, which will open two hours early at 5:00 a.m. Many heavily traveled routes throughout Arlington will be affected, so drivers should take the following closures into consideration:
- 4:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: Eastbound Washington Boulevard will be closed at I-395 toward Memorial Bridge
- 4:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.: Route 110 will be closed in both directions to all traffic. North Meade Street will be closed from Fairfax Drive to Marshall Drive. There will be no access to Lynn Street or Meade Street from Route 50. North Lynn Street, from Route 50 to North 19th Street, will be closed. Ft. Myer Drive will be closed from 19th Street to Route 50. North Moore Street, from 19th Street to Wilson Boulevard, will be closed. Wilson Boulevard will be closed east of North Nash Street.
- 4:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.: Westbound Washington Boulevard from Memorial Circle to I-395 will be closed.
- 7:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: Eastbound Lee Highway, from Kirkwood Road to North Lynn Street, will be closed. Westbound Lee Highway, from North Scott street to Kirkwood Road will be closed to through traffic (local traffic will have egress by taking Scott Street to Veitch Street. Citizens leaving the area can use Westbound Lee Highway to Spout Run and exit the area via the George Washington Parkway).
- 7:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: The Key Bridge will be closed.
- 7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.: The southbound I-395 HOV lanes from Washington, DC will be closed.
- 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: 12th Street South from Eads Street to Crystal Drive will experience intermittent closures (local traffic is permitted in one lane from Eads Street to Army Navy Drive). Use South 15th Street to access hotels. Crystal Drive will be closed from 12th Street to 23rd Street. Rotary Road will be closed throughout Pentagon South parking. Columbia Pike will be closed at Joyce Street (access Pentagon via Boundary Channel).
- 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: Army Navy Drive will be closed from Fern Street to South 12th Street.
Meanwhile, the deadline to request a mailed absentee ballot is fast approaching. All requests for an absentee ballot have to be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1. In order to be counted, the completed ballots have to be received by 7:00 p.m. on election day.
Below is the schedule for in-person absentee voting at the Arlington County Courthouse (2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320):
- Friday, Oct. 28, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Monday, Oct. 31-Wednesday Nov. 2, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 3, 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 4, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 5, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Just before 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, a man was struck by an outbound train at the Clarendon Metro station, throwing the evening commute into chaos.
As rescuers worked to free the man from underneath the train, power was shut off to the third rail and trains were stopped around the station. With almost nowhere else to go, Orange Line trains started offloading passengers at Rosslyn. Soon, the Rosslyn station started filling up with people — so many people that the escalators were shut down so they wouldn’t become overloaded.
Shortly after that, police were called in to help with crowd control. Via police radio, officers expressed concern that the crowds were so heavy on the platforms that people might start falling onto the tracks. Later, a mass casualty medical response was dispatched to the station as people started getting ill while trying to walk up the long escalators.
Many riders that night expressed complaints about a lack of communication and direction from Metro personnel at the Rosslyn station. After a two-week review, however, Metro has concluded that while some mistakes were made, the shutdown was, in fact, handled well.
How would you grade Metro’s overall response on Oct. 11?
SoberRide Active for Halloween — The regional SoberRide program will be offered Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Halloween partiers can call 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) between 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and 6:00 a.m. on Sunday to get a free, safe ride home — up to a $30 fare — in Arlington, Alexandria, D.C., Fairfax and most other surrounding jurisdictions. Arlington’s Red Top Cab is not only one of the participating cab companies, but one of the main sponsors of the program. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
Candidate Forum on Sunday — The League of Women Voters of Arlington will be sponsoring a candidate forum on Sunday. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., the local candidates for state Senator, state Delegate and County Board will discuss their stances on the issues. The forum is being held at the Arlington Central Library auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street). [League of Women Voters]
Goblins, Ghouls and Politicians in Westover — On Saturday afternoon, the Westover neighborhood will host its own version of a candidates forum. But instead of speeches and debate, the candidates are instead invited to hang out at the Westover beer garden (5863 N. Washington Blvd) and meet and greet votes. The candidate event will take place between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., and will be followed by the annual Westover Halloween Parade. [TLHCA Blog]
Community Yard Sale This Weekend — The West Village of Shirlington condo complex (4167 S. Four Mile Run) is holding a community yard sale on Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]