As a result of the outage, librarians are checking out customers by hand at Arlington Central Library, according to library spokesman Peter Golkin. All internet at the library, including access to the library catalog system, is down. Customers at the library can still access the catalog via their smart phones, however.
Most Arlington Public Schools south of Route 50 are also experiencing the same problems, according to a school employee. Phone and internet service has been down at the schools since 2:00 p.m., around the same time Central Library lost its phone and data service.
In both cases, we’re told a problem with a Comcast fiber optic line is to blame. Comcast is hoping to have the problem fixed by tomorrow, Golkin said.
Update at 8:45 a.m. — All services have been restored to Central Library, Golkin says.
Rosslyn will be playing host to two Social Media Week events tonight.
The week celebrates social media — think: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. — and “its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets.” This is the first year that the D.C. area formally hosted events for Social Media Week, which now counts 21 cities worldwide as participants.
Rosslyn’s Social Media Week events will take place at Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) starting at 8:00 tonight. First up is is e-Geaux (beta), an interactive theater event that finds comedy and some cautionary tales in social media. e-Geaux — pronounced “ego” — has been profiled on NPR, DCist.com and elsewhere. Tickets to the show, at Artisphere’s Dome Theater, cost $15.
After the e-Geaux performance is Tweet Slam. Starting at 9:30 p.m., in the Artisphere “town hall” area, poetry will meet Twitter in a contest to come up with the most creative Tweet. Per the event description:
Calling all slam poets, haiku masters and creative tweeps! What poetic wisdom can you impart in 140 characters or less? Come perform your lyrical Tweets in a slam judged by local social media stars and you can win $140 and bragging rights.
Among the judges will be poet Holly Bass and NBC4′s Angie Goff. Admission is free. Drinks are discounted to $2 with an e-Geaux ticket stub.
Flags in Arlington are flying at half-staff today in honor of Alexandria paramedic Joshua Weissman.
Weissman died last week after falling 20-30 feet from I-395 while responding to a vehicle fire near Shirlington. Yesterday Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell authorized flags in Alexandria and Arlington to fly at half-staff in Weissman’s memory.
Family, friends, fellow firefighters and the public are mourning Weissman’s death at funeral services in Alexandria this afternoon. Some 2,000 people and 200 fire vehicles are expected to take part in the funeral procession and services, which have shut down several busy streets around the city and prompted an early dismissal from Alexandria schools.
Traffic heading toward I-395 on southbound Washington Boulevard is slow due to an accident.
The accident involves at least two cars and two injuries, according to scanner traffic.
Emergency activity is on the right-hand side of Washington Boulevard between Columbia Pike and the ramp to I-395.
A group of local nature lovers is hoping to attract support for a new Virginia license plate with the inscription “Protect Polinators.” The plate is meant to bring attention to the role pollinators — bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc. — play in supporting the vitality of the earth’s ecosystem and food supply.
“So far we’ve had quite a lot of interest from Beekeepers, Master Gardeners, Naturalists (including native plant and pollinator enthusiasts), and the Audubon Society,” said pollinator plate organizer Samantha Gallagher. “Like all of the proposed new Virginia plates, we need 450 applicants, the General Assembly’s vote, and the DMV’s approval.”
According to the Virginia Pollinator Plate web site, supporters have signed up 44 people so far. They need another 406 commitments by November 2012 to move on to getting legislative and DMV support. An electronic application can be found here.
Gallagher says the purpose of the plate is not to raise money, but to raise awareness.
“Our plate costs $10 annually and isn’t a shared revenue plate, but our hope is that it provokes interest and conversation in pollinator conservation,” she said.
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Nearly
3,700 1,500 Dominion customers are without power in the northwest corner of Arlington.
The power outage is currently affecting the Yorktown, Williamsburg and East Falls Church neighborhoods. Homes, businesses, traffic lights and even Yorktown High School have lost power.
Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said a piece of equipment failed, causing about 1,500 customers to lose power. The company hopes to have power restored by 11:45 a.m.
The goings-on within the Virginia General Assembly generally do not make national news, but that changed this week after legislators passed a Republican-sponsored bill requiring women seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound.
Incensed by what he saw as unnecessary government intrusion into the private lives of women, Del. David Englin (D) issued a scathing statement about the bill.
“This bill will require many women in Virginia to undergo vaginal penetration with an ultrasound probe against their consent in order to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion, even for nonsurgical, noninvasive, pharmaceutical abortions,” Englin said. ”This kind of government intrusion shocks the conscience and demonstrates the disturbing lengths Republican legislators will go to prevent women from controlling their own reproductive destiny.”
The statement apparently attracted the attention of cable news bookers. Englin, who represents parts of Arlington and Alexandria, was invited on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last night to reiterate his point for a national audience.
Before the interview, Maddow argued that should the bill be signed as-is by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), it could hurt his chances of becoming a Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.
This week’s Arlington County crime report includes several cases that may serve as important lessons for criminals. For instance, if you’re going to (allegedly) shoplift from The Gap, leave the 16 bags of cocaine at home.
POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE (COCAINE), 02/10/12, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At 3:15 pm on February 10, a subject entered The Gap clothing store and placed items in a bag and left the store without paying. Store security detained the suspect for shoplifting. Upon arrival of officers, a further search of the suspect was conducted and a sandwich bag with 16 smaller bags of cocaine were located. Andreus Womack, 19, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute and petit larceny.
Also, if you’re going to (allegedly) steal a car, do so before getting drunk.
GRAND LARCENY OF AUTO (RECOVERED), 02/14/12, 300 block of S. 23rd Street. At 2:50 am on February 14, officers spotted a stolen vehicle that was being driven erratically and activated the emergency lights. The driver attempted to speed away, but struck a concrete column and fled the scene on foot through a parking garage. Officers apprehended Joseph Bennett, 45, of no fixed address, and he was charged with grand larceny of an auto, driving under the influence, hit and run, refusal and driving on a suspended license.
Finally, if you’re going to (allegedly) try to stab a CVS employee with scissors, make sure you have a better getaway vehicle than Metro.
ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 02/12/12, 2100 block of N. 15th Street. On February 12 at approximately 5:30 pm, a suspect entered a store and tried to stab a store employee with a pair of scissors after being asked to leave. The suspect was located by officers in the Metro station, refused to obey police commands and continuously attempted to assault the arresting officers. A credit card and cell phone not belonging to the suspect were located during a search. Dana Brown, 28, of Landover, MD was charged with with assault and attempted malicious wounding.
As always, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty. The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Early Tennis Class Registration — Registration for early spring tennis classes via the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation began yesterday. The classes run for four weeks starting March 12. Registration for full spring classes for tennis and other sports begins on March 14th. Summer camp registration, meanwhile, opens on Feb. 22.
Wine Event in Crystal City This Weekend — The Virginia Wine and Food Showcase is taking place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy) on Feb. 18 and 19. The event features more than 300 wines from around Virginia… and a speed dating session. [NBC Washington]
This Date in Arlington History — Feb. 16, 1945: “Ignition of spilled nail polish led to an explosion and fire that wrecked a South Fillmore Street beauty shop.” [Sun Gazette]