(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) In the wake of a horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Arlington Public Schools officials are assuring parents that teachers, staff and students are well-prepared for emergencies.
Individual schools have been sending emails to parents throughout the day, says Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Relations Linda Erdos. Schools drill regularly for a range of emergencies, Erdos said, adding that several Arlington schools conducted a pre-planned lockdown drill this morning.
“All of our plans and preparations are developed in coordination with Arlington public safety officials,” she said. “Our schools all throughout the county regularly schedule lockdown drills. We do those all the time, just like tornado drills and fire drills. We do a lot of drills with our students so they know what steps are to be taken in an emergency.”
“We all take it very seriously,” Erdos continued. “We will continue to be vigilant and follow normal procedures.”
In an email to parents, the principal of one Arlington elementary school called the events of this morning a “terrible tragedy.”
“Like many of you, all of us… have been shocked and saddened by the terrible tragedy that took place at an elementary school in Connecticut this morning,” wrote the principal. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Newtown community and all of the families that have been touched by this event.”
“We also want to remind you that we need your emergency contact information updated any time it changes. We need accurate phone numbers and addresses,” the principal wrote, adding: “Please make sure that you come through our front doors and sign in the office so that we know exactly who is in our building at all times.”
Congressman Jim Moran, meanwhile, released a statement about the shooting this afternoon.
As our country struggles to comprehend what occurred today in Newtown, CT, my deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those killed in this mindless tragedy. As a nation, we are again confronted with an act of terrifying mass gun violence. While the coming days should be reserved for grieving, as a legislative body, and as a people, we must consider what can be done to improve our laws to prevent the continuation of this horrific trend.
Bishop Paul S. Loverde, of the Diocese of Arlington, also issued a statement about the shooting Friday afternoon:
Today’s horrific news from Newtown, Connecticut, breaks our hearts. In the face of such evil and violence, there are no words adequate to describe the loss. Let us each, today and throughout the coming days, commit to praying for the souls of the departed victims and the families of all those involved.
The Yellow Line will be closed between the Fort Totten and Pentagon stations this weekend. The closure is the result of work on the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River and switch replacement outside L’Enfant Plaza.
“Customers traveling to/from Downtown DC should use Blue Line trains to complete their trip,” Metro said in a press release. “Transfer between Blue and Yellow line trains at any station between Pentagon and King Street-Old Town.”
Trains on the Orange Line will be single-tracking between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations this weekend, for work on the Silver Line extension project.
“Throughout the weekend, trains will operate every 24 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton,” Metro said. “Customers using Orange Line trains should allow 15 minutes of additional travel time.”
The work is scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. tonight (Friday) and continue through system closing on Sunday.
Christmas has been saved for one Arlington household, after a raccoon tried to block Santa’s impending arrival.
As the video above shows, the Humane Society was recently called to a home to help “evict” the raccoon from the chimney. Said Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman Kaitlin Sanderson:
“As stockings are being hung, trees decorated and children anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus, one home owner in Arlington needed help making sure Santa could deliver presents Christmas morning. The Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Wildlife Services was called to help an Arlington family with ‘Raccoon Claus,’ a little raccoon who decided to turn Santa’s entry-way into his home for the winter.”
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
I don’t always focus on one specific brewery in these columns (though I may start doing so more often in the coming year), but I feel like I should point out one which has been on a roll lately: Southern California’s The Bruery. Only in business since 2008, The Bruery has already established a reputation as one of the more fearless and uncompromising craft breweries in America. Their range of styles is testament to the creativity of the Rue brothers who founded The Bruery, along with their team.
Year-round offering from The Bruery include the excellent Mischief, a hoppy Belgian-style Golden Ale and Saison Rue, an excellent rye malt Farmhouse Ale. If you get the chance, I definitely recommend trying both but today I want to talk about some of the seasonal and special releases you can find in the area now from The Bruery. Supplies are limited on these beers, but they’re worth seeking out if you’re feeling a bit adventurous:
5 Golden Rings: This is the latest in The Bruery’s 12 beers of Christmas series, which are released every holiday season. The 5 Golden Rings is a Belgian-style Golden Ale with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and fresh pineapple. The fruit is a little rich now, but is enjoyable and should age very well.
Rugbrød: Released every winter, Rugbrød is a dark rye malt Ale that is smooth while showing off the full spectrum of flavors rye malt can bring to a beer. With three types of rye malt used, Rugbrød presents the case for rye as it is malty without being overly sweet, and spicy without being overbearing. I’m a big fan of rye, so this works out quite well for me.
Rueuze: The Bruery’s take on the classic Belgian Gueuze style, Rueuze is a blend of young Sour Blonde Ales that have been aging in oak barrels at the brewery for differing periods of years. The result is rife with funky wild yeast notes, citrus, and intense acidity.
Smoking Wood: This limited run is made from a base of an Imperial Smoked Rye Malt Porter that is aged in a different type of barrel for each run. The batch that we have now in Virginia is aged in rye whiskey barrels and it is fantastic if you’re a scotch fan. The combination of the smoked malt and the rye barrel gives off a very peaty aroma, and because the beer is a Porter rather than a Stout the mouthfeel is approachable and not too rich or heavy.
Anyone try any Bruery beers? Let us know in the comments. Have a great week. Until next time.
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
While a fireplace can provide warmth and make for a cozy holiday setting, it can also be dangerous if not cared for properly.
At the request of ARLnow.com, the Arlington County Fire Department sent us the following safety tips for fireplace users, as outlined by the U.S. Fire Administration.
Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean
- Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
- Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplacedoors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
- Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
- Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
Safely Burn Fuels
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
- Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
- When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.
Protect the Outside of Your Home
- Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
- Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
- Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
Protect the Inside of Your Home
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.
- Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.
- Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
European-based Italian restaurant chain La Tagliatella will be opening its third U.S. location in Clarendon at some point early next year.
The company is opening two restaurants in Atlanta this month, and plans to open the Arlington location — in the former Restaurant 3 space at 2950 Clarendon Blvd — in “early 2013.” Interior and exterior work on the restaurant is currently underway.
“We’re thrilled to bring this popular Italian concept to Clarendon. This thriving neighborhood is the perfect location for our mid-Atlantic debut in the United States,” said Mike Muldoon, a La Tagliatella executive, in a press release. “Europeans have been enjoying the unique cuisine, warm hospitality and generosity of La Tagliatella for the past two decades; now Virginians will be able to enjoy them, too.”
The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. La Tagliatella’s phone number is 571-257-4600.
La Tagliatella has some 130 locations in Europe and Asia, in addition to its new U.S. locations. A description of the restaurant’s cuisine, from the press release, after the jump.
Photo via Facebook
Thieves Steal Wheels from Hotel — Two suspects were seen stealing tires and rims from two vehicles parked at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway) early Thursday morning. A security guard tried to intervene but the suspects fled. Arlington, particularly south Arlington, has seen an apparent uptick in wheel thefts recently. [NBC Washington]
Santa Coming to Clarendon Saturday — Santa Claus will be coming to Clarendon on Saturday evening. The Jolly Old Elf will arrive at Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) on a “big red sleigh,” otherwise known as an Arlington County fire truck, at 4:00 p.m. He will be on hand for photos until 7:00 p.m. There will also be strolling carolers and other family-friendly entertainment. It’s the shopping center’s 12th annual “Winter Wonderland” event. [Market Common Clarendon]
Last Westover Farmers Market of 2012 — The new Westover Farmers Market will hold its last market of the year from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The market, located at the corner of Washington Blvd and N. McKinley Road, will go on a holiday hiatus before returning on Jan. 13, 2013. The market’s winter hours run through April. [Westover Farmers Market]
Brink Commends Funding for Blind Students — Del. Bob Brink (D-Arlington) is praising Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) for his proposal to add $4.9 million in funding for blind and visually impaired students to the upcoming Virginia budget. The funds will help localities cover the cost of teachers, teacher’s aides and staff for blind and visually impaired students. [Alexandria News]
Bike Advocates Call For Plowed Trails — Bicyclists are calling on Arlington County to start plowing snow from bike and pedestrian trails. “By failing to plow the trails, [Arlington's Department of Environmental Services] puts more people onto the streets in cars,” said one bicycle advocate during yesterday’s county-organized online snow chat. “Is that really what you want, during a snow event?” [Along the Pike]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
Holiday pops concert, “A Singers’ Blue Christmas” –Dec. 14 & 15 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. — Join the Alexandria Singers, the DC area’s premier pops chorus, for our annual holidays pops concert weekend as we weave pop and jazz arrangements of traditional holiday classics with new tunes that will instantly become your holiday favorites! Note 3 show times! Friday Dec 14th 7:30; Saturday Dec 15th 2pm AND 7:30pm! The concert will take place at Convergence (1801 N. Quaker Lane) in Fairlington. For tickets visit: https://shop.AlexandriaSingers.com