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Photos: July 4 in Arlington

by ARLnow.com | July 5, 2013 at 10:30 am | 306 views | No Comments

Around Arlington on Thursday, parades were held, hotdogs and burgers were grilled, and thousands flocked to the Iwo Jima memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Long Bridge Park and elsewhere to watch the fireworks.

The photos above, from our Flickr pool, captured some of the Independence Day joy experienced by friends and family, young and old.

Photos by DDimick, BrianMKA, J Sonder, Wolfkann, Mrs. Gemstone, Ameschen and ARLnow.com

AWLA: Keep Your Pets Safe On July 4

by Ethan Rothstein | July 3, 2013 at 10:00 am | 439 views | No Comments

The Fourth of July — traditionally filled with fireworks exploding and open flames for barbecues — can be dangerous for pets, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington warns. All sorts of hazards can cause dogs and other critters harm or cause them to run away.

“Dogs have acute hearing — far more sensitive than human hearing — so firework explosions, excited voices, visual stimulation and smells can panic dogs causing them to be fearful, which can activate their fight or flight response,” Alice Burton, Chief Animal Control Officer for the AWLA, said in a press release. “For their own safety this holiday, indoor-outdoor cats should be kept indoors and when outside, dogs should be kept on a leash.”

The AWLA offers some tips to make sure the household pets have a safe holiday.

  • Leave them at home inside. Fireworks, crowds and fanfare can be stressful for pets, causing them to panic or run off. Leave them in a safe area with a television or radio playing to mask frightening sounds.
  • Alcoholic drinks poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure.
  • Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent that is not specifically indicated for animals. Ingestion can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Deet, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
  • Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets. Chlorates, a chemical substance found in some matches, if ingested, can cause difficulty breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation, respiratory and gastric problems.
  • Citronella and insect coils harm pets. Insect repellants are irritating toxins to pets. Inhalation can cause severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia, which can harm a pet’s nervous system.
  • Resist feeding table food. A change in diet can give a pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Keep pets away from glow jewelry. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing the pieces of plastic.
  • Never use fireworks around pets. While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Flickr pool photo by ameschen

Road Closures for Fourth of July

by Ethan Rothstein | July 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm | 1,152 views | No Comments

fireworks-timkelleyThe Arlington County Police Department will close a number of roads for the Fourth of July holiday on Thursday to accommodate the crowds moving throughout the county.

Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle will be closed all day, from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Below are the other closures to expect.

From 3:00 to 11:00 p.m.:

  • N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood will be from the Rhodes Street bridge)
  • Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
  • EB N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
  • Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Long Bridge Drive from Boundary Channel Drive to 10th Street S.

From 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

  • EB Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive (detour at N. Barton Street or Washington Blvd)
  • Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce Street
  • S. Joyce Street from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike

“Independence Day event attendees are strongly encouraged to use public transportation,” police said in a press release.

“The Rosslyn Metro stop on the Orange Line is approximately five blocks north of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial is within walking distance of the Pentagon City Metro station,” the release continued. “Arlington County will also be running shuttle buses to Long Bridge Park from the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stations.”

County Regulations, Safety Tips for Fireworks

by Katie Pyzyk | July 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm | No Comments

Fireworks trailer on Columbia Pike(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) Independence Day is on Thursday and that means fireworks stands are busy with people stocking up on items to light up the night. But before buying certain types of  fireworks that could lead to an encounter with the law, check out the guidelines from the Arlington County Fire Department.

Although ACFD notes that the safest way for residents to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display by a trained professional, it recognizes that many people will purchase their own. To avoid facing prosecution for illegal fireworks, use the following guidelines listed in the county code:

  • Fireworks must have a hard-coated or slow burning fuse that measures at least one-and-a-half inches long, with a burning rate of at least four seconds.
  • Fireworks that are projectiles or emit flames or sparks in excess of 12 feet are prohibited.
  • Residents must be at least 18 years old to purchase fireworks.
  • Arlington County uses the same guidelines as Fairfax County, which has posted an extensive list online of approved fireworks.

Fireworks booth at the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road (file photo)Customers should only purchase items from a licensed vendor displaying a current permit. Those with a permit issued by Arlington County can only sell fireworks permissible by the county.

ACFD also refers residents to the following general safety tips for handling fireworks, compiled by FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • 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.

Morning Notes

by Ethan Rothstein | July 2, 2013 at 8:30 am | 705 views | No Comments

Cherrydale Hardware (Flickr pool photo by christinerich)

WRAP Offering Free Cab Rides July 4 — The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is again sponsoring free taxi rides on Independence Day for those carousing in the D.C. region. From 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., those interested in taking SoberRide can call 1-800-200-8294 and have a free ride home worth up to $30. If the fare would cost more than $30, then the rider would be financially responsible for the difference. Riders must be 21 years or older to participate. [WRAP]

Labels for Ornamental Tree Garden – Members of TreeStewards have set out labeling trees in the Ornamental Tree Garden along the W&OD Trail north of Wilson Boulevard. Many of the trees’ identifying signs had been damaged, lost or, in some cases, switched so they are no longer identifying the correct trees. About 30 trees have been relabeled so far along Four Mile Run. [TreeStewards]

Local Newsletter Pioneer Profiled – Longtime Arlington resident Tom Whipple started sending out summaries to  stories on Virginia politics to anyone who wanted them in the late 1990s. A decade later, the “Whipple Report“ became the most widely read email newsletter among the Commonwealth’s legislators, lobbyists and media. Whipple, who’s married to former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, passed on his newsletter to the Virginia Public Access Project in 2011. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by christinerich.

Arlington County Offices Closed July 4

by ARLnow.com | July 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm | No Comments

July 4, 2012 photos (by Ddimick)Most county-run offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.

All courts, offices, human services facilities, libraries and schools will be closed. Parking meters will not be enforced.

Pools will be open on a holiday schedule. Arlington Transit will also operate on a holiday schedule. Metro will be operating on a holiday schedule, but will be boosting rail service due to the July 4 crowds.

Trash and recycling collection will proceed as normal, as will certain special collections.

All county offices will reopen on Friday, though General District Court will remain closed through the weekend, and the Circuit Court will close at 1:00 p.m.

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

Morning Poll: Favorite Arlington Fireworks Spot

by ARLnow.com | July 1, 2013 at 10:00 am | 605 views | No Comments

Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)There are plenty of places in Arlington to watch D.C.’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

From rooftops to parks to bridges, many spots attract loyal fireworks watchers who come back to watch the festivities across the Potomac year after year.

What’s your favorite place to watch the fireworks display?

 

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

Verve Pipe to Headline July 4th Celebration

by Katie Pyzyk | June 27, 2013 at 10:45 am | 1,444 views | No Comments

The Verve Pipe (photo courtesy Arlington County)The Second Annual Arlington County July 4th Celebration at Long Bridge Park is just one week away, and we now know the headlining act will be a multi-platinum selling rock band.

Revelers can listen to The Verve Pipe while waiting to watch the fireworks display on the National Mall, which is expected to begin at 9:10 p.m. The band is known for its 90s hit “The Freshmen.”

The event runs from 3:00-10:00 p.m. next Thursday. Live entertainment kicks off at 3:30 p.m. with WAMMIE award winning band “The Grandsons,” followed by the Army Voices ensemble from the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and then D.C. area party band “Jeff from Accounting.”

"Fourth of July Fireworks from the Netherlands Carillon" by Clint FarrellFamily friendly activities include a hula hoop contest, potato sack races, kickball games, line dancing, moon bounces and face painting. Local food trucks will also roll in to feed the masses.

More details about the bands and all of the activities offered at the celebration can be found online.

Two other popular places to watch the fireworks from Arlington include the Marine Corps Memorial and the Air Force Memorial. Police will be working traffic control in those areas in addition to helping near Long Bridge Park. ACPD has not yet announced a list of road closures.

Anyone heading out to celebrate is reminded that grills, fireworks and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on county and federal park lands.

Disclosure: Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation is an ARLnow.com advertiser

Flickr pool photo by Clint Farrell

Photos: July 4 in Arlington

by ARLnow.com | July 5, 2012 at 10:00 am | 2,067 views | 7 Comments

From neighborhood parades to backyard grilling to fireworks viewings, yesterday’s July 4 celebrations in Arlington largely went off without a hitch, despite continued power outages and the threat of evening storms.

The following are some of the scenes captured by photographers in our Flickr pool.

Photos courtesy Ddimick, Christaki, Ameschen, Maryva2, BrianMKA, Vawhelans

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | July 5, 2012 at 9:00 am | 1,810 views | 12 Comments

Neighborhood Thanks Power Crews – A few special guests stopped by the Waycroft-Woodlawn Fourth of July picnic yesterday (see photo, above). The neighborhood invited two hard-working power crews from Ontario, Canada to have a quick lunch with them. “The community clapped and cheered to say thanks,” writes resident Jim Pebley. “Was a nice moment after a long hot couple days.”

Storm Damage at Arlington National Cemetery — Arlington National Cemetery is reporting some significant damage in the wake of last Friday’s storms. The cemetery lost three of its oldest trees, which are all between 225 and 240 years old. In all, 8 large trees were lost and 17 were damaged to the point where they need to be removed. Falling trees also damaged some headstones. The cemetery says the damage is similar to that suffered during Hurricane Irene. The cemetery “continues to assess the extent of the damage and has started on the restoration.” [Arlington National Cemetery]

Hospital Visits Up Last Weekend — The number of patient visits to Virginia Hospital Center were about 30 percent higher than normal last weekend, largely due to heat-related symptoms, especially among the elderly, following Friday’s storms. No heat-related deaths have been reported in Arlington since the storms. [Arlington Mercury]

Tree Destroyed House While Family Was Inside — An Arlington couple and their two young girls were, amazingly, unharmed after a large oak tree came crashing through their house during Friday’s storm. The family was at home at the time. The parents were watching a movie in the basement; they came upstairs to find the girls still sleeping in their beds. [WUSA 9]

Blackwell Re-Elected as RNC Rep — Arlington resident Morton Blackwell — founder of the Courthouse-based Leadership Institute, a conservative political training organization — has been re-elected as Virginia representative to the Republican National Committee. [Sun Gazette]

Photo courtesy Jim Pebley

July 4 Fireworks Viewing Areas and Road Closures

by ARLnow.com | July 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm | 2,966 views | 9 Comments

The region’s big Independence Day fireworks display on the National Mall is expected to kick off around 9:10 p.m. tonight

The display will last about 17 minutes, according to the National Park Service. For those who want to watch the fireworks from this side of the Potomac River, there are a number of places to watch the fireworks in and around Arlington tonight.

Among them:

Numerous road closures will be put in place to keep fireworks watchers safe. The planned closures include Memorial Bridge, Memorial Circle, and portions of Columbia Pike, eastbound Route 50, Washington Boulevard, and Long Bridge Drive. A full list is available on the Arlington County Police Department website.

Additionally, police are reminding fireworks-goers that grills, fireworks and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on county and federal park lands. Coolers and backpacks will be subject to search.

If you’re planning on going out to watch the fireworks, you might want to pack an umbrella. Storms are possible between 5:00 and 10:00 tonight, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA.

Send us your fireworks and Fourth of July celebration photos via our Flickr page. We’ll be publishing a number of Flickr photos tomorrow. Want to know how to take great fireworks photos? See the guide posted by We Love DC.

Dislosure: Arlington County is advertising its Fourth of July event at Long Bridge Park with ARLnow.com.

Expect to Hear Booms from 50-Gun Salute on July 4

by ARLnow.com | July 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | 2,000 views | 8 Comments

The Army will be ringing in the nation’s Independence Day with a 50-gun salute from Fort Myer.

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.

ACFD Reminding Residents About Fireworks Safety

by ARLnow.com | July 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm | 2,035 views | 20 Comments

The Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents to be careful when using fireworks at their homes on the Fourth of July.

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.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | July 3, 2012 at 8:50 am | 3,073 views | 91 Comments

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]

Morning Poll: Taking Time Off for Independence Day?

by ARLnow.com | July 2, 2012 at 11:45 am | 1,548 views | 6 Comments

This year’s Independence Day holiday falls on a Wednesday, which for many creates a bit of confusion about whether to and/or how to take time off of work.

Do you take off Tuesday or Thursday, giving yourself something of a mid-week weekend? Do you take two days off either before or after the Fourth of July, thus giving yourself a very long weekend? Do you throw caution to the wind and just take the entire week off? Or do you not take any time off work at all, and leave the easy long weekend for next year, when the Fourth falls on a Thursday?

How many days this week — including the Fourth — will you be taking off of work?

Flickr pool photo by Mennyj

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