Arlington Independent Media is in the planning stages of what may eventually become a low power FM community radio station. AIM, best known for its local cable television channel (Comcast channel 69, Verizon channel 38), has already designated funds for the construction of an audio booth in its Clarendon studios to accommodate residents who want to learn more about audio production. The booth is expected to be built by this fall, and will serve as the production hub for a potential radio station.
The station will likely start out as an internet-only streaming station, but may eventually be broadcast on a low power FM frequency if AIM can obtain the necessary FCC permission. That permission is by no means guaranteed, AIM programming coordinator Lauree McArdle said, because extra FM bandwidth is scare in the D.C. area.
Even if special FCC permission is granted, the signal probably won’t reach all of Arlington County, since low power FM signals are limited to 100 watts, which can only reach a radius of about 3.5 miles and is subject to interference from larger radio stations. Given a choice, McArdle says the signal would likely be targeted at the county’s lower income areas.
McArdle says she’s heard from 20 to 30 people in who are interested in helping out with a radio station. With the help of volunteer DJs and hosts, the station would probably broadcast an assortment of live and taped programming 24 hours per day.
“I don’t think we’ll lack for programming, because I have number of people who are interested in talk radio and that sort of thing,” McArdle said. “I think it will be a mix of talk programs as well as, hopefully, some music.”
AIM will be hosting a meeting next week for anyone interested in being a part of a “vibrant and active community radio presence in the county.” The meeting will be held from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at the AIM studio at 2701-C Wilson Blvd.
If all goes well, McArdle says the radio station could start broadcasting online shortly after the audio booth is completed this fall.
(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) The National Park Service is seeking public input on a series of changes proposed for Gravelly Point and the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, which are located along the George Washington Parkway near Crystal City.
The proposed changes, which have been in the works since 2008, are intended primarily to improve access to Roaches Run and reduce trail use conflicts along the Mount Vernon Trail at Gravelly Point. Other changes will “enhance the visitor experience… and enhance the safety of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists.”
The proposal includes:
- The addition of a boardwalk/pedestrian trail from the Crystal City pedestrian underpass to Roaches Run
- A removable, floating boat launch at Roaches Run
- Either widening the congested trail area at Gravelly Point or building two separate trails — a “through route” and a “pedestrian route”
- A permanent “waterless restroom” located in the southwest corner of Gravelly Point
- Converting the dusty, over-used field at Gravelly Point into two rotating fields or one permanent field with either reduced use or more intensive turf management
- “Interpretive sites” at Gravelly Point that will include “signage detailing cultural and natural histories of the area”
- Improved landscaping at Gravelly Point that will remove invasive species and “frame parkway views across the Potomac to Washington, D.C. based on historic planting plan”
- Additional safety features along the Mount Vernon Trail where it parallels the GW Parkway near Reagan National Airport. Safety features may include reflective lines, protective barriers, or protective plantings.
The National Park Service will be holding a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 to gather input on the options for the Gravelly Point field and the Mount Vernon Trail safety improvements. The meeting will be held at the Indigo Landing Restaurant on Daingerfield Island, located off of the GW Parkway near Alexandria.
Interested parties can also submit comments via the project website. Comments will be gathered through June 22. There will be another opportunity to comment on the options later this year, after an environmental assessment is released for the project.
Once the environmental assessment is released and final project decisions are made, park planner Thomas Sheffer says it could “take a number of years” until the entire project is complete. The timeline is still very much up in the air, and depends on the project’s ability to receive federal funding. Some work, however, may be completed sooner.
“Smaller actions would be considered for more immediate completion by Parkway work crews,” Sheffer told ARLnow.com.
A woman had to run to safety at Ballston Common Mall after a bicyclist grabbed her buttocks and started riding in circles around her on N. Stuart Street.
As detailed in this week’s Arlington County crime report, the incident happened early Saturday morning outside the Ballston Metro station.
SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/26/12, 900 block of N. Stuart Street. Between 1:10 and 2:10 am on May 26, an unknown male subject on a bicycle grabbed the female victims buttocks as he rode past. The suspect circled the female several times on the bicycle before she walked to a well lit area at the Ballston Common Mall. Police were contacted and a suspect was not located. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20’s, approximately 6’1” tall with a thin build. He was wearing gray t-shirt, dark colored plaid shorts and baseball hat at the time of the incident. The victim does not wish to prosecute.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Work on the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines will result in longer travel times for riders. The work is being done as part of what WMATA terms “the massive effort to rebuild Metrorail.”
Due to testing associated with the Silver Line construction project, the Orange Line will be split into two sections between Arlington and Fairfax County. One section will operate between Vienna and West Falls Church, the other between East Falls Church and New Carrollton. A shuttle bus will be provided between the East and West Falls Church stations. Riders taking the shuttle should add 20 minutes to their travel time, Metro says.
Work on the Blue Line will result in single-tracking between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road, and between Van Dorn Street and Braddock Road. Trains will depart every 20 minutes on either end of the Blue Line. Metro advises riders to expect an extra 15 minutes of travel time.
Bridge work between Braddock Road and Huntington on the Yellow Line will result in trains running every 24 minutes between the Huntington and Mount Vernon Square stations. To continue a trip from Virginia to points north of Mount Vernon Square — like U Street — riders will need to get on the Green Line, which will be running every 16 minutes this weekend.
This weekend’s work will begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and continue through system closing on Sunday. See the WMATA website for additional information about work on the Red and Green lines this weekend.
The state liquor store, at 2940 Columbia Pike, will first open its doors at 10:00 a.m., according to Virginia ABC spokeswoman Jennifer Farinholt. Normal hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“The store measures 3,895 square feet and will carry approximately 1,400 items,” Farinholt told ARLnow.com.
(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) A man has been arrested after a robbery at a PNC Bank branch in Ballston.
The PNC Bank at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Glebe Road was reportedly robbed around 9:45 a.m. According to police, a black male in his early to mid 20s — who was wearing a purple and red wig, a yellow shirt and sunglasses — entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding money and claiming to have a gun.
With the money in a zebra-striped Harris Teeter shopping bag, the suspect fled into an alley and was seen changing his clothes by a witness, who immediately called police. A dye pack embedded in the stolen cash exploded and the suspect — seeing a witness following him — then started running to the nearby Ballston Metro station, leaving the money behind, according to police.
The suspect was arrested without incident by an Arlington patrol officer at 9:51 a.m., just outside the Metro station, only five minutes after the witness first called police, according to department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect had only $6 on him at the time of his arrest.
Sternbeck hailed the arrest as an example of police “working with the citizens of Arlington County” to quickly solve a crime. He noted that police don’t necessarily encourage witnesses to follow criminals, but said that the witness in this case “maintained a safe distance” between himself and the perpetrator and alerted police immediately.
Update at 3:00 p.m. — Police have identified the suspect as 26-year-old Nathaniel Rush of College Park, Maryland
Located in the former Kayak Station space, Pentagon MMA (1041 S. Edgewood Street) will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. As part of its grand opening celebration, it will be offering free introductory classes from 11:00 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, including Intro to Muay Thai, Women’s Kickboxing, and Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. An open house will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Pentagon MMA says they will be offering big discounts on memberships during their first weekend. The studio says they “welcome people of all ages, shapes, and sizes” who want to learn self-defense, get in shape, or compete in MMA.
The studio is owned by Vivek Nakarmi, a champion Muay Thai kickboxer who’s also listed on Facebook as a Washington-Lee High School grad.
Photo via Facebook