Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection service will begin one week from today.
The vacuum trucks will be out from Monday, Nov. 12 until Friday, Dec. 21. The trucks will operate Monday through Saturday, except for Thanksgiving, on a set neighborhood schedule. To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.
Biodegradable leaf bag collection started last Monday (Oct. 29) and will run on weekdays (except Christmas and New Year’s Day) through Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Collection takes place on the next business day after your regular trash collection day. Free leaf bags can be picked up at a number of locations around the county, as listed on Arlington’s residential leaf collection web site.
More information on leaf collection can be found in the county-produced video, above.
As Arlington residents “fall back,” fire departments across the country are reminding folks that it’s also a good time to replace smoke alarm batteries. The Arlington County Fire Department offers free smoke alarms for those who need them; call 703-228-4646 for more information.
While we’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, the time change also means that it will be dark an hour earlier.
All things considered, how do you feel about the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend?
Flickr pool photo by Mnemosyne2009
November is Here — Today is the first day of November. Thanksgiving is three weeks away and Christmas is just under eight weeks away.
Daycare Workers At Fort Myer Accused of Abuse – Three childcare workers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall have been charged with assault after Army investigators, using surveillance cameras, observed them hitting, pushing and pinching young children, according to court documents. [WJLA]
Dems Set Fundraising Record — The Arlington County Democratic Committee has set a new fundraising record. ACDC raised more than $38,000 through its “Dollars for Democrats” campaign, compared to last year’s record haul of $21,258. [Sun Gazette]
Absentee Voting May Set Record — Arlington election officials are predicting a record number of absentee ballots cast in advance of the Nov. 6 general election. [Arlington Connection]
BikeArlington is reminding local cyclists to “light up your bike” as the fall days continue to get darker earlier.
Clocks will “fall back” an hour in less than three weeks, when Daylight Saving Time ends. For safety, and to comply with a state law that requires the use of front white lights on bikes when it’s dark, BikeArlington issued the following reminder.
As the days get shorter, and the nights get longer, we all still have to go about our business. And daylight savings time ends on Sunday, November 4. That means we’ll be walking, biking and driving in the dark more often, so it’s very important to be a PAL [link added] when you’re getting around Arlington after sunset. Being visible is a crucial part of being Predictable, Alert, and Lawful.
For one, you can’t be predictable if no one can see you, so if you plan to bike in the dark, you should wear reflective clothing and use bike lights. Lights also help illuminate your path so you can stay alert while you’re riding, and lastly Virginia law requires all bikers to use front white lights and rear red reflectors when dark (these can be attached to your helmet, bag, or bike) and rear red lights are required on roads 35 mph and up. It’s a good idea to be as visible as possible so we recommend always having rear red lights.
Visit www.BikeArlington.com/PAL for more information on being a visible PAL.
The Gulf Branch Nature Center at 3608 Military Road will be hosting its annual Fall Heritage Festival on Saturday.
The festival will feature live music and family-friendly autumn activities. Admission is $5 per person, though children under three may attend for free.
The nature center issued the following promotional blurb about the event.
On Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., visit Gulf Branch Nature Center for old-timey fun for the whole family. This is a beloved community event that has been attracting hundreds of Arlingtonians for over a dozen years. “We’re starting to see the second generation now – young families coming whose parents remember making cider here when they were little.” said Jennifer Soles, staff naturalist. Last year, two more activity stations were added: pumpkin-painting and scarecrow making, so bring old clothes! Families can also participate in activities such as butter-churning, candle-dipping, cornhusk doll-making and LOTS more. “Everyone always wants a chance to explore the log cabin when they visit” reports naturalist Marty Pross. The Blacksmithing Guild of the Potomac has ongoing demonstrations in the forge. “Kids love to see the sparks – but the dads are the ones who often have to be dragged away” smith Curt Welch remembers. Festival goers enjoy music by Andrew Acosta & the New Old-Time String Band too! Summing up, 4-year old Mason Schnell says of the whole festival “It’s my favorite!”
For details, please call (703) 228-3403. Gulf Branch Nature Center is located at 3608 Military Rd, Arlington, VA 22207. $5 per person (children under three enter for free). Parking lot is closed for the event. On-street parking available on Military Road and 36th Road North.
The autumnal equinox is here. Today, Saturday, Sept. 22, marks the official start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.
Though the weather might be cooling down, the housing market in Arlington is still relatively hot, as evidenced by the six open houses we’ve highlighted below.
4507 33rd Street North
Single Family Detached — 6 Bed / 9 Bath
Agent: Diane Lewis
Open: Sunday, Sept. 23 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
6610 19th Road North
Single Family Detached — 5 Bed / 5 Bath
Agent: Mark Middendorf
Open: Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
2815 12th Street South
Single Family Detached — 4 Bed / 4 Bath
Agent: Ellen Ing
Open: Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
830 Monroe Street South
Single Family Detached — 5 Bed / 4 Bath
Agent: Michael Webb
Open: Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
1276 Wayne Street North
Condominium — 1 Bed / 1 Bath
Agent: Eduardo Manus
Open: Sunday, Sept. 23 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
1 Edison Street South
Single Family Detached — 3 Bed / 1 Bath
Agent: Mark Middendorf
Open: Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
This past weekend I got to try out a slew of this year’s Pumpkin beers and fall seasonals with my wife’s and my friend Chassie Smith, who keeps a blog called Chassie’s Food And TV (guess what it’s about). A self-proclaimed beer novice, Chassie is a fan of just about all things pumpkin and wanted to get a couple different perspectives on the myriad of Pumpkin Ales on the market. To this end, she brought a few beers over, I brought a few from work, and we tasted them all to see what we liked, what we didn’t, and talk a bit about why one beer worked while another didn’t. For those curious, here are full notes and opinions about the beers we tried:
Blue Moon Caramel Apple Spiced Ale: This new seasonal from MillerCoors’ infamous “faux Craft” label uses apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel malts to create a brownish Ale that targets both Pumpkin Ale drinkers and cider fans. Despite my feelings about Blue Moon as an idea and a brand, this wasn’t nearly the awful mess I was expecting: in some ways it’s a pleasant enough fall beer, with the spices popping up on the front palate and apples coming through on the finish. The Spiced Ale may show too much focus-group style compromise, though; not beery enough for beer geeks, and not cidery enough for the cider fans.
Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale: Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top line is a response to MillerCoors’ efforts to make consumers think they’re drinking a craft beer with Blue Moon. Shock Top’s Pumpkin Wheat is new for 2012, with pumpkin and spices added to the base Belgian-influenced Wheat Ale. Out of the whole lineup, this was the lightest on the palate and weakest in pumpkin/spice character. As a Belgian Wheat Ale, Shock Top is slightly watery and astringent to begin with; this Pumpkin Wheat variant is simply *blah*.
Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale: Remember us talking about Pumpkin Ales and other fall seasonals were arriving so early this year? It’s Harvest Moon’s fault. I started seeing this stuff on retailers’ shelves in July this year, as MillerCoors (smartly, from a business sense) played the odds knowing that folks tend to buy the first seasonal beer they see and then stick to that beer throughout that season. As a beer, Harvest Moon is…ok. It’s a perfectly serviceable Pumpkin Ale, if a little watery feeling. On its own Harvest Moon may have been a pleasant surprise; next to the true Craft Beers that came after it, it was exposed for its muted notes and thinner mouthfeel.
Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale: One of the first Pumpkin Ales I fell in love with, Dogfish Head’s seasonal offering went through several variations before seeming to settle in about 3-4 years ago. It had been some time since my last Punkin’, so I was curious to see how it was doing. The Dogfish stands out for its malty character, focused spice, and ‘big’ feel on the palate. Punkin’ Ale isn’t my favorite for the season, but it’s a good beer and deserves its popularity.
The 13th annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest is returning to Shirlington on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The event, which takes over the entire Shirlington Village stretch of Campbell Avenue, will be held from noon to 7:00 p.m., rain or shine. Beer taps, however, will be switched off at 6:00 p.m.
The $25 cost of admission will get you 10 tickets for 4 oz samples of beer, along with a tasting glass. Additional tickets will be sold for $1 each with a 5 ticket minimum.
The event will offer beer from more than 50 breweries, along with an authentic German band and Oktoberfest food.
The official first day of astronomical fall isn’t until Saturday, Sept. 22 but, in all practicality, many of the trappings of summer end with Labor Day.
Gone are summer vacations, outdoor swimming pools, and summer festivals like outdoor movies and the Arlington County Fair. Starting, however, are more mild temperatures, football, and fall events like Oktoberfest, wine festivals and Clarendon Day.
Which do you prefer? Are you sad about the end of summer, or happy about the beginning of fall?
Fall Sports Registration Begins Tomorrow — Registration for fall sports and classes in Arlington begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8:00 a.m. The fall 2012 “Enjoy Arlington!” catalog is available online. [Department of Parks and Recreation]
Arlington Devises Runoff Plan — Arlington has devised a plan for reducing stormwater runoff to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Stormwater is one of the largest sources of pollutants in the bay. Among other methods, Arlington is planning to reduce runoff by creating more stormwater-retaining greenscapes in public right of ways. [Washington Post]
APS Gets New Instruction Chief — Donna Snyder, formerly the interim principal at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School, has been named the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for Arlington Public Schools. [Arlington Mercury]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
A woman died Saturday after falling from the parking garage at Ballston Common Mall.
The woman fell from an unknown level of the parking structure and landed on the sidewalk on the N. Randolph Street side of the garage. The woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The incident remains under investigation.
The incident happened around 5:25 p.m. on Saturday, as St. Patrick’s Day revelers were heading to local bars. Several passersby witnessed the fall, we’re told.
This is the second time in the past two years that someone has fallen to their death from the county-owned public parking garage.
Tomorrow (Oct. 22), from noon to 2:00 p.m., the Whole Food Market in Clarendon (2700 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting AppleFest — a “harvest tasting event” devoted entirely to apples.
“From juicy and aromatic apples to those that are fine textured, families and apple-enthusiasts can welcome the new fall season while sampling a variety of tasty apples and enjoying its culinary and crafty delight,” Whole Foods said in a press release. Planned activities include cooking demonstrations, crafts, tastings and an apple scavenger hunt.
Next Saturday (Oct. 29), the Market Common shopping center in Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) — across from Whole Foods — will be hosting its annual FALLoween event.
The free, family-friendly event will feature a petting zoo, a kids circus, face painting, sidewalk chalking, a comedy show, a DJ and other live entertainment. Plus, there will be trick-or-treating for the kids at a number of stores and each attendee will have the opportunity to take home a free pumpkin.
FALLoween is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Costumed people and pets are also invited to join a FALLoween parade, which kicks off at 11:30 a.m.
Also on Saturday, Oct. 29, Doorways for Women and Families will be organizing a Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk for the Homeless.
From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., dog owners are encouraged to dress up their pooches and bring them to the James Hunter dog park for a mini-walk to support Doorways. The park is located at the corner of N. Herndon and 13th Streets in Clarendon.
“All human participants will help Doorways to reach our walker goal for the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon, while our animal participants will get the chance to compete for prizes from local pet store merchants, including Wylie Wagg and Kissable Canine,” Doorways said on its website.
Registration for the walk is $30 for adults and $20 for youth 25 and under. Pets are free.
Arlington County is preparing for its annual autumn leaf collection, a surprisingly Herculean effort that requires nearly 100 workers, 30 leaf-collecting vehicles and pieces of equipment, and months of planning.
Leaf collection will get underway on Oct. 31. By the time leaf collection season is over, the county estimates it will have collected 45,000 cubic yards of leaves — enough to cover the basketball court at Verizon Center with an 18-story leaf pile. Leaves collected by the county will be ground into mulch and made available to residents. (Dry leaf mulch can protect plants in the winter.)
The county will start collecting leaf bags on Monday, Oct. 31 and won’t stop until Jan. 13. The curbside collection will take place on the next business day after an area’s normal trash collection day. The county will only accept leaves in biodegradable bags, however.
Biodegradable bags are currently being distributed, free of charge, at the Lubber Run Center (300 N. Park Drive), Madison Center (3829 N. Stafford Street), Lee Center (5722 Lee Highway), Thomas Jefferson Center (3501 2nd Street S.), Aurora Hills Center (735 18th Street S.), Long Branch Nature Center (625 S. Carlin Springs Road), the Solid Waste Bureau (4300 29th Street S.) and the Courthouse Plaza Info Desk (2100 Clarendon Blvd).
On Nov. 14, Arlington will begin its vacuum leaf collection. Vacuum trucks will collect leaves left on the side of county streets based on a yet-to-be-announced schedule. Crews will make two passes through each county neighborhood in November and December.
First Day of Fall, Flash Flood Watch — Today is officially the first day of fall, but it’s not going to feel like it. A storm system bringing tropical moisture to the area will provide warm temperatures and heavy rains that may produce flash flooding. [Capital Weather Gang]
Reminder: DUI Checkpoint Tonight — As part of a national DUI crackdown, Arlington County Police will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county tonight.
What If Arlington Was Part of D.C.? — The Washington City Paper wonders aloud: What would the District look like had Arlington and Alexandria not been retroceded back to Virginia? The move, which would place part of North Arlington in Northwest D.C. and the rest in Southwest D.C., would add 252,000 registered voters, 56 public and charter schools, and 44 Starbucks locations to the District. [Washington City Paper]
Fisette to Be Honored for HIV Outreach — County Board member Jay Fisette will be honored by the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry as its 2011 Honoree at the organization’s Red Ribbon Gala next month. “NOVAM is proud to honor a well-known community leader who is a strong community advocate for HIV prevention and care for nearly 25 years,” the group said. [Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry]
ACFD Captain Retiring — Arlington County Fire Department Captain Ed Hannon is retiring after 28 years. As he was recounting his years of experience during a TV interview, Hannon’s colleagues decided to pull a prank: they sneaked up from behind and smeared his face with whipped cream as cameras rolled. [MyFoxDC]
September Sunset — As warm temperatures gave way to fall-like temperatures yesterday, mother nature compensated by providing the D.C. area with an exceptionally beautiful sunset.
Gunfire on the GW Parkway — An SUV was struck by a bullet while driving on the GW Parkway near the Chain Bridge early Thursday morning. [NBC Washington]
Chain Bridge Closure — The Chain Bridge will be closed to all traffic and pedestrians this weekend, from 8:00 p.m. on Friday to 5:00 a.m. on Monday. The closure is one of a series of weekend closures planned through the end of the year. [DDOT]
Pike Outdoor Movie on Saturday — It was supposed to have taken place on Aug. 27, but thanks to Hurricane Irene the outdoor screening of The Blind Side at Penrose Square (Columbia Pike and S. Barton Street) is now being held on Saturday night. The free family-friendly flick will get underway around 8:00 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring friends, a blanket or lawn chair, and (unofficially) a jacket — since the temperature could get down to the low-to-mid 50s on Saturday night. [Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization]
Vintage Crystal Wine and Jazz Fest on Sunday — Crystal City will be holding its annual Vintage Crystal wine and jazz festival from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Latin-themed event will feature tastings of 30 wines and food from more than 20 local restaurants. Latin jazz group Trio Caliente and Latin dancers will perform. Tickets are $10 for food only or $20 for wine and food. [Crystal City BID]
Disclosure: Crystal City BID and CPRO are both ARLnow.com advertisers.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA