Public affairs personnel from the military base are advising Arlington residents who live in the area that they might hear cannon fire around noon tomorrow (July 4) as a result of the annual ceremony.
Please be advised that there will be a 50-gun salute to the nation at the stroke of 12 noon, Wednesday, July 4 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Whipple Field by Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Presidential Salute Battery.
According to Army regulation, “in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence, a salute to the Union (50 guns) will be fired at 1200 hours on Independence Day at all Army installations provided with the necessary equipment for firing salutes.” In 1810, the “National Salute” was defined by the War Department as equal to the number of states in the Union. Today the Presidential Salute Battery fires 50 rounds at noon on Independence Day to celebrate the nation’s history. This 4th of July, the Presidential Salute Battery will fire the 75mm blank ceremonial shell with 1.5 pounds of powder. The salute takes about four minutes total, so arrive early to view this celebration of America.
The platoon is equipped with 10 M5, 75mm antitank cannons mounted on M6 howitzer carriages. Each gun weighs 5,775 pounds
Portions of several roads on the base — including Marshall Drive, Grant Avenue, and Washington Avenue — will be blocked off during the salute.
Update at 4:30 p.m. — The package has been found to be non-hazardous and the bomb squad is leaving the scene.
The Arlington County Fire Department bomb squad is investigating a suspicious package at Reagan National Airport.
Bomb squad personnel were called in to take a look at a package that was going through screening at the airport’s cargo area, according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs. TSA agents identified the package as suspicious and felt that it “needed further investigation,” Gibbs said.
There has been no disruption to passenger air travel as a result of the investigation, according to Gibbs. She was unable to say what kind of cargo is typically shipped through the airport.
Located at 2727 Wilson Blvd, in the old Shoefly space, Grateful Red will carry (the store is still building its inventory) 500-600 bottles of wine, primarily from lesser-known independent producers, including local Virginia wineries. The store also offers beer, gourmet snacks and cheeses, and gifts.
While Screwtop will continue to operate its small retail wine shop, owner Wendy Buckley says she opened Grateful Red in order to offer more variety to customers. Many of the wines at the store can’t be found elsewhere in the immediate area, she said.
“When someone comes here, they won’t see a lot of wines they see in grocery stores,” she said.
Buckley said she’s happy to have hired some of the former staffers from Best Cellars, the Clarendon wine store that closed last year. She said the closing of Best Cellars in Clarendon wasn’t due to a lack of business. Instead, Buckley suggested, the store was doing well, but closed due to financial problems with the parent company.
Store General Manager Amanda Weaver-Page, who formerly managed the Best Cellars location in Dupont Circle, will be offering wine classes at the store, including “wine 101″ and classes that focus on specific wine-growing regions.
Buckley noted that the store is pet friendly, takes pride in its sense of humor. Gifts on sale include funny t-shirts, bedazzled flasks, and an ice cube tray that makes ice in the shape of the Titanic. Although the staff is knowledgeable about wine, Buckley says they “don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Future plans for the store include adding the capability to fill beer growlers, and launching a wine basket delivery service for the D.C. metro area.
Capt. Gregg Karl says the first step to fireworks safety is to make sure you’re using fireworks that are legal in Arlington County. Any fireworks purchased from an authorized fireworks stand in the county should comply with county regulations, Karl said. Those regulations specify that the fireworks emit a flame or spark less than 12 feet in the air.
Any fireworks that are “projectiles, explode, emit flames or sparks to a distance greater than twelve (12) feet are prohibited by Arlington County,” according to the county’s fireworks safety web page. The fire department also has a 42 page long list of fireworks approved for use in Arlington.
To prevent your fireworks from lighting anything on fire, Karl recommends placing them away from structures and watering down any nearby grass or brush.
“If you’re going to do any [legal fireworks], make sure you’re away from buildings and combustibles,” he said. “If you’re on grass, make sure you wet the ground around it. Please use extreme caution due to the dry conditions.”
Karl noted that fireworks should not be lit on county streets or sidewalks.
Other personal fireworks safety tips from the county include:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never shoot a firework at or near another person.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
- Observe local laws.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
Arlington fire marshals will be patrolling the county and responding to resident complaints about fireworks tomorrow, Karl said. Any illegal fireworks will be confiscated and a warning will be issued. Repeat offenders may be issued a summons to appear in court.
Police will also be on the lookout for illegal fireworks, but will be more focused on traffic control efforts connected to the fireworks display on the National Mall. The fireworks are scheduled to run between 9:10 and 9:30 p.m. Viewing areas in and around Arlington include the Iwo Jima memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Gravelly Point, Rosslyn Gateway Park and Long Bridge Park.
“Our Special Operations Section is going to be out there directing and monitoring all traffic,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Arlington County says it is making good progress in its continued storm recovery efforts. The county released some updated facts and figures today regarding the storm cleanup.
- 10 county intersections are still without functioning traffic signals, down from 96 immediately after the storm.
- 18 county streets are currently blocked by fallen trees and debris, down from a peak of 45 after the storm.
- County crews have collected more than 395 tons of storm-related debris.
- Tree limbs and other plant debris is being turned into mulch.
- Nine county crews are out collecting brush today.
- Power and air conditioning has been restored the Culpepper Garden senior living center. Dominion had been asked to prioritize power restoration to the facility.
- 911 is now accessible by cell phone, but landline callers are being asked to call the non-emergency number at 703-558-2222.
- While those who can’t reach emergency dispatchers via phone are being asked to report the emergency at the nearest fire station, only one such incident has been reported. One person went to a fire station to report a grease fire at the Harris Teeter grocery store on Glebe Road.
- Regular trash and recycling pickup was completed yesterday, except where streets were blocked due to downed power lines.
- “Hundreds” of trees are down in parks, along with other plant debris. Park-goers are asked to “please use caution in County parks, outdoor facilities and trails.”
- Long Branch Nature Center is expected to “remain closed for several more days.”
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
The Aurora Highlands, Cherrydale and Glencarlyn branch libraries are now scheduled to be open on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m., while the Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover libraries are now scheduled to be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.
From July 1, 2010 to last week, all six libraries had been closed on those respective days due to budget cuts. This year’s budget included an extra $442,996 in funding to restore pre-recession branch library operating hours.
Due to power outages, the Cherrydale library is actually closed today. Other branches, including Aurora Highlands, Glencarlyn, Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover, opened early today in order to function as cooling centers.
The libraries and other Arlington County government offices and facilities will be closed tomorrow for the July 4 holiday.
Update at 3:40 p.m. — The Columbia Pike branch library now has power and has reopened. Arlington Central Library will be open tomorrow (July 4) from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Update at 11:15 a.m. – The all-clear has been given and the hazmat team is packing up their gear.
Some roads are being shut down in the area of 2800 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington due to a hazmat investigation.
According to scanner traffic, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at 2800 S. Randolph received an envelope with a white powdery substance in it. The Arlington County Fire Department’s hazmat team is checking to see whether the substance is hazardous.
A similar investigation into a suspicious substance was conducted at the same office last Tuesday.
Dominion says its on track to restore power to 80-85 percent of customers affected by Friday’s storms by the end of the day today. The company says 90-95 percent of affected customers should be back on line by Thursday night, with “virtually all remaining customers” restored by Saturday night.
Dominion crews and mutual aid crews will be working through the Fourth of July holiday, the company said.
As of 10:00 a.m., there were 15,654 Dominion customers still without power in Arlington, according to the company’s outage map. The planned power line work sites today are:
- 14th St S
- 16th St South
- 4th St N & Washington Blvd
- 6th St & N Lincoln St
- Arlington Ridge Rd @ S 23rd St
- Barton St & 2nd St
- Carlyn Springs Rd & S 1st Pl
- Columbia Pike & S Scott St
- Lorcom Ln & Nellie Custis
- N 23 Rd St & N Fillmore St
- N 26th St & N Glebe Rd
- N 29th St & Westmoreland St
- N 30th St
- N 36th St & N Kensington St
- N Columbus St
- N Kenilworth St
- N Kennebec St
- N Nelson La & N 27th St
- N Pershing Dr @ N Oxford St
- N 9th St & N Fairfax Dr
- N Somerset St & Little Falls St
- N. 13th St. & Buchanan St.
- N. 26th St & N. Harrison S
- N. Harrison St & N. 26th St
- N. Woodrow St & 21st St
- S 17th St.
- S Courthouse Rd
- S Frederick St
- S Highland St
- S Pollard St
- S Taylor St
- S Veitch St
- S. 16th St & S. Nelson St
- Washington Blvd
- Wilson Blvd & N Liberty St
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Power Outage Update — As of 8:30 a.m., there were 14,860 Dominion customers still without power in Arlington. That’s down from 27,586 outages as of 9:30 yesterday morning.
911 Now Accessible By Cell Phone — Arlington County says its 911 system is now properly receiving calls from cell phones. Problems were reported with the system yesterday afternoon.
Cancel Special Events on the Fourth? — Citing power outages and a dodgy 911 system, Arlington Office of Emergency Management Director Jack Brown says he’s not sure it’s the best idea for Arlington to host events for the Fourth of July tomorrow. He told the Washington Post yesterday: “I’m questioning having a special event during an emergency.” [Washington Post]
School Board Renews Murphy’s Contract — Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy had his contract renewed at Monday morning’s School Board meeting. The contract calls for Dr. Murphy to stay with the school system until the end of the 2015-2016 school year. He’ll be paid an annual salary of $209,976. [Washington Post]
Community Pools Busy — The indoor pools at Yorktown, Wakefield and Washington-Lee high schools were all busy this weekend, in the wake of Friday’s storms. [Sun Gazette]