Arlington tested its outdoor warning system this morning (Thursday).
The county conducts an audible test of the warning system once or twice per year, according to Arlington Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Jack Brown. Residents in some of Arlington’s more urban areas would have heard a beep or series of beeps during the test, he said.
Arlington’s outdoor warning system was first installed in 2007, using $400,000 in funding from the Department of Homeland Security. The system includes six warning speakers: two in Rosslyn, one in Clarendon, one in Courthouse, and two in Pentagon City. The speakers are controlled by a line-of-sight radio signal.
According to Brown, he last time the speakers were used in an actual emergency was on July 4, 2007, when a severe storm was approaching the area while thousands were heading to sites like the Iwo Jima memorial for the Fourth of July fireworks display.
In addition to beeps or a siren, the speakers can broadcast a pre-recorded voice message. It’s the same type of system that’s used on military bases like Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Brown said. While Fort Myer’s speakers play Taps at night and perform other non-emergency functions, however, the county’s system is only meant to be activated for true emergencies, like severe weather events, terrorist attacks, or other incidents.
Brown acknowledged that the system is only in earshot of those who are in some of the county’s more densely-populated areas, but said that it’s only one piece in a multi-platform emergency alert system that includes the county’s 1700 AM radio station, Arlington Alert emails, social media channels, a Reverse 911 system, and local media outreach.
Arlington County has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the historic Reeves Farmhouse.
The county is seeking an entity that wants to lease or license use of the farmhouse. In exchange, the entity would help restore the farmhouse, which might need more than $1 million worth of work.
The farmhouse (at 400 N. Manchester Street) and its 2.5 acres of land was purchased by the county from the Reeves family in 2001 for $1.8 million. The house itself, which overlooks Bluemont Park, dates back to 1899, according to a historical and architectural survey. The farm was “the last dairy farm to operate in Arlington and the centerpiece of the Reevesland Historic District in Bluemont Park,” according to the County.
Arlington says it’s looking for “adaptive reuse proposals” — in other words, ways to repurpose the farmhouse for use by an individual or organization. The cost of the rehabilitation of the farmhouse and any sort of “programming” in the farmhouse — ideas discussed by residents include a demonstration kitchen or a learning center — would be borne by the entity that submits a successful RFP. The county will retain ownership of the property.
“The local historic designation of the farmhouse by Arlington County has ensured that it will be preserved, but finding an appropriate adaptive reuse is the next step to keeping the structure usable for future generations,” the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation said in an email.
Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24.
Crystal City has chosen a theme for next year’s outdoor film series, but it’s counting on locals to vote for which movies they want to see.
The neighborhood’s 2013 outdoor movie theme is “Blockbusters,” a reference to both hit movies and to the long-term plan to break up Crystal City’s “mega blocks” with new roads.
“With new buildings rising, new art popping up, fun daily events and activities going on, and the next evolution of an even more pedestrian-friendly street grid underway, the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) has selected a commensurate theme for its 2013 outdoor movie series that reflects these exciting changes,” the BID said in a press release.
Among the films that movie-goers can vote to see next year are classic and more recent hits like The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Jurassic Park, Brokeback Mountain, The Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, and The Artist. The winning films will be announced at the year’s final Crystal City outdoor movie night, on Monday, Aug. 27, outside 1851 S. Bell Street.
Crystal City BID says this year’s romantic comedy-themed movie series has drawn “thousands” of visitors from throughout the D.C. metro area.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Four months after the sudden departure of Artisphere Director of Programming Rosanna Ruscetti, the county-run cultural center in Rosslyn has a new programming director.
Josh Stoltzfus, 39, has been named Artisphere’s new Director of Programming. He faces the daunting task of attracting programming that will bring more people to Artisphere, which has been suffering from a lack of consistent attendance and continued financial losses that have necessitated increased taxpayer support.
Stoltzfus’ music-centric resume includes roles as the tour manager for The Holmes Brothers, production coordinator at Wolf Trap and, most recently, programming manager for the Columbia Festival of the Arts. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Berklee College of Music and a graduate degree in Arts Management from American University, according to his LinkedIn page.
On Twitter, Artisphere said it was “thrilled” to announce the hiring of Stoltzfus, whose “passion for the arts is perfect for us.” The cultural center also issued the following press release.
Artisphere has named Josh Stoltzfus as its new Director of Programming. Stoltzfus brings more than 16 years of performing arts experience working in creative, programmatic and administrative positions. Stoltzfus has extensive programming experience collaborating with performing artists and their representatives, as well as expert knowledge of American music, specializing in jazz, blues and popular music, with advanced knowledge of other major artistic disciplines including dance, theatre, comedy and the visual arts.
“We are thrilled to welcome Josh to the Artisphere team,” says José Ortiz, Executive Director of Artisphere. “His diverse experience and passion for the arts is the perfect blend for Artisphere.”
Stoltzfus joins Artisphere from the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Columbia, MD, where he spent the last five years planning strategic partnerships and working with the team on selection of artists, program content and budgeting for an annual sixteen day multidisciplinary arts festival. He previously worked with the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and spent a graduate fellowship with the Cyrus & Myrtle Katzen Arts Center and Harold & Sylvia Greenberg Theatre at American University. Stoltzfus also brings experience as an artist representative, tour manager and more than two decades’ experience as a musical performer.
“I am incredibly pleased to be a part of the Artisphere team,” said Stoltzfus. “Arlington is quickly becoming known as a hub of cultural activity. I am eager to engage Artisphere audiences with innovative and thought-provoking art in all disciplines.”
Photo courtesy Artisphere
A burglar broke into a store in the Courthouse area this past weekend and made off with a pair of laptops. But it’s the other item that he or she took that seems to suggest a level of trickiness beyond the capabilities of your run-of-the-mill criminal.
BURGLARY (COMMERCIAL), 08/12/12, 2400 block of Wilson Boulevard. Between 2 and 9:30 am on August 12, an unknown subject(s) kicked in the front door of a business and stole two laptops and the store surveillance equipment. There is no suspect(s) description.
Elsewhere, someone broke into a medical office and swiped several items, including blank prescription pads. The office is located on the same block as Virginia Hospital Center.
BURGLARY, 08/09/12, 1600 block of N. George Mason Drive. Between 7:15 pm on August 8 and 7:51 am on August 9, an unknown subject(s) entered a locked office and stole various items to include cash, laptops, blank prescription pads and sample prescription packs. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this week’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump.
Library May Set Summer Reading Record — Arlington Public Library is tantalizingly close to setting a new record for participation in its summer reading program. Last year a record 7,371 students participated in the program. This year the library is “just a handful away” from reaching that number. [Sun Gazette]
Road Closures for Buckingham Festival — The Arlington County Police Department will be assisting with traffic control for the Buckingham Festival this weekend. From about 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19, N. Pershing Drive will be closed between N. Glebe Road and N. Thomas Street. [Arlington County Police]
Arlington Mag Taking ‘Best Of’ Votes — Arlington Magazine has started taking votes for its inaugural ‘Best of Arlington’ poll. Among the dozens of individual categories are Best Restaurant, Best Realtor, Best Dog Park and Best Cosmetic Surgeon. [Arlington Magazine]
Photo courtesy Peter Roof