Colonial Invasion Comes to Ft. Myer — The annual spirit night for George Washington University basketball is coming to Ft. Myer’s Conmy Hall tonight. The event, which is usually held on the GW campus, will start at 8:00 p.m. It’s being held at Ft. Myer as a tribute to the military, and to celebrate GW’s basketball history — the team played at Conmy Hall from 1956 to 1975. GW students will be bused to the event from the school’s Foggy Bottom campus. [Colonial Hoops]
Late Night Shuttle Service Eyes Arlington — The DC Hopper, a nightlife shuttle service for bar-goers, is thinking about coming to Arlington. The service just launched in Bethesda, taking passengers from Bethesda to Georgetown to Dupont Circle and back in 30-passenger minibuses outfitted with TVs and free Red Bull energy drinks. Rides cost between $24 and $10. The owners say they would eventually like to expand the service to include Arlington, U Street NW, and H Street NE. [BethesdaNow]
Convert Quincy Park to Central Park? — Greater Greater Washington contributor Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, has an idea for Arlington’s Quincy Park. He said the park, located adjacent to Arlington Central Library, should be converted to “a great central park” with trees, a pond, a bridge, landscaping, curving baths and “not a single chain-link fence.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Alex
Civic Federation Endorses All Bonds — The Arlington County Civic Federation has voted to endorse all four bonds on the Nov. 6 ballot. The Civic Federation voted by a narrow 26-22 margin to support the $50.5 million parks and recreation bond, which includes more than $40 million for a new aquatics center at Long Brige Park. [Sun Gazette]
Boxing Match Coming to Ft. Myer — A boxing match will be held at the Smith Gymnasium on Joint Base Myer/Henderson Hall on Saturday. The match will feature a number of local boxers, including heavyweight Duane Mobley and lightweight Terron “The Kid” Grant. Tickets are $30 and doors open at 6:00 p.m. [Boxing Along the Beltway, JBMHH]
Library Sets New Summer Reading Record — Arlington Public Library’s summer reading program set another participation record this year. According to the library, 7,415 kids registered for the program and some 30,000 books throughout the course of the summer.
Confederate ‘Gray Ghost’ Lived in Arlington — In a bit of local Civil War lore, columnist Charlie Clark and Arlington historian Kathryn Holt Springston recount how the legendary Confederate raider John S. Mosby lived in Arlington later in life. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) A couple of training exercises will be taking place in Arlington today and tomorrow.
An Arlington County Police Department training exercise has been ongoing since 6:00 a.m. in the 3900 block of N. 26th Street. Explosive Ordnance Disposal units will join the SWAT team for the joint training exercise. It will continue until about 3:00 p.m. today and isn’t expected to cause much disruption to residents.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), neighbors around Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) might hear some noise during a “force protection” exercise from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. There will be real and simulated training responses for personnel there, including lockdowns and gate closures. There may also be sirens, blank cannon fire and simulated emergency announcements on the outdoor speaker system.
A number of first responder units, including police and firefighters, will be on base for the training. Residents should not be alarmed at seeing this large emergency presence, or any of the personnel who may be wearing makeup to simulate wounds.
Krupicka Wins Dem Caucus — Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka has won the Democratic caucus for the 45th District House of Delegrates seat, which represents some parts of South Arlington. Krupicka defeated opponent Karen Gautney by a caucus vote of 1,540 to 891. He will now face Republican Tim McGhee in the Nov. 6 general election. [Patch]
County Gets New Coach Bus for Seniors — The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has invested in a new 41-seat coach-style bus. The bus will be used for the department’s travel programs for adults 55 and over. [Sun Gazette]
History of the Twilight Tattoo — There are just 4 Twilight Tattoo performances left this summer at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. An article about the history of the military tradition notes that its origins date back more than 300 years. The next Twilight Tattoo will take place Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. [U.S. Army]
Photo via @Rosy1280
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.
From the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall public affairs office:
Due to impending inclement weather tonight’s Twilight Tattoo will no longer take place on Summerall Field. It is now scheduled to be inside Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Unfortunately Conmy Hall only seats approximately 1,000 patrons and admission will be granted on a first-requested, first-seated basis. The U.S. Army Military District of Washington Public Affairs Office will contact groups that have requested admission to inform them of their status. We apologize for the inconvenience.
For more information call 202-685-2888.
The hour-long military pageants feature soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (the Old Guard) and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” While the pageant takes place, neighbors near Ft. Myer may hear singing, music and blank cannon fire.
All performances are free and open to the public. Tonight’s performance is held at Summerall Field on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Pre-ceremony pageantry begins at 6:45 p.m., and the ceremony begins at 7:00 p.m.
The full list of dates and exact locations on the base can be found online.
A variety of volunteer opportunities exist throughout the county, but a few might be considered plain fun instead of work. One of them involves being an actor and another involves gardening. Check out the details below. More information about these opportunities and others can be found on the Volunteer Arlington website.
- Arlington’s Medical Reserve Corps seeks volunteers to be actors in an emergency response drill on Saturday, April 28. The drill will test the current point of dispensing plans for oral antibiotics given to the public in case of an aerosolized anthrax attack. No experience is necessary. Volunteers will receive an hour of training, then participate in the drill as actors for one hour. Contact Grelia Soliz at (703) 228-0711.
- Clarendon Presbyterian Church is looking for volunteers to be gardeners for its Plot Against Hunger program. Two plant beds are being built along the Jackson St side of the building to grow vegetables, which will be donated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Help is needed for a variety of responsibilities that include set up, gardening and delivery of the food to AFAC. Volunteers will complete a short training session. Contact Gillian Burgess at (646) 284-8894.
- The USO of Metropolitan Washington seeks helpers at Ft. Myer. Volunteers will assist military service members, military dependents, military reservists, National Guard and military retirees who use the USO Lounge at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Volunteers will provide courteous service to guests while answering questions, managing DVD and video game check out, keeping the lounge neat, brewing coffee and replenishing snacks. Occasionally, volunteers will help with USO events in the Lounge. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid U.S. identification. Access to a computer is preferred. Volunteers are required to attend an orientation. Contact Emily Urban at (703) 696-0958.
The military base announced a policy change today that will open up most recreation facilities there to non-Department of Defense federal employees. Among the facilities that federal workers can now take advantage of are the Fort Myer Bowling Center and the Fort Myer Officers’ Club. The club has a swimming pool, tennis and racquetball courts and fine dining facilities.
Federal workers don’t have to be an Officers’ Club member to use the facilities, but they will have to pay a non-member fee. Official government ID is required to access the facilities. The policy change announced today also allows federal employees to join the Officers’ Club, if they wish.
The fitness centers and child development center at Fort Myer will continue to be for DoD personnel only.
The Officers’ Club and the bowling center can be accessed through the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Hatfield Gate.
Ever wonder what the building being constructed across Route 50 from the Courthouse neighborhood is?
Dominion says they’re making good progress on the project, which includes the substation — located on the grounds of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall — and a new 3.7 mile, 230,000 volt underground electrical transmission line. The company just wrapped up transmission line work along 10th Street between Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon and Route 50. It’s now working on the final phase of the project: running the remainder of the transmission line from the new substation to Marshall Drive and Route 110, near the Pentagon.
Work on the project is expected to be complete by the end of the year, according to Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson. The new transmission line and substation will help support future growth in Arlington while improving the reliability of Dominion’s electrical service, according the company.
Death Penalty Sought for Torrez — Former Marine Jorge Torrez, who’s already serving a life sentence for raping and abducting an Arlington woman, is now facing a separate murder trial. Prosecutors say they’re seeking the death penalty for Torrez, who’s accused of murdering Navy petty officer Amanda Jean Snell in her barracks on Fort Myer in 2009. [WTOP]
Involuntary Bankruptcy for Market Tavern? — Creditors are trying to force newly-renovated Clarendon restaurant Market Tavern (formerly Harry’s Tap Room) into bankruptcy, claiming the eatery owes them at least $77,000 in unpaid debts. Owner Michael Sternberg says the proceedings won’t have an impact on the restaurant’s operations. [Washington Business Journal]
Elevation Burger Expanding — Arlington-based organic burger chain Elevation Burger is expanding. The restaurant now has 29 locations worldwide, but is planning to have 50 locations by the end of the year. The concept is proving especially popular in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the company is testing out two new burger toppings — hardwood smoked bacon and sauteed mushrooms — at its Arlington location (2447 North Harrison Street). [Nation's Restaurant News]
Historic Designation for Tiny Cemetery — A tiny, historic cemetery plot at 5000 Lee Highway, in the Hall’s Hill community, is getting some attention as Arlington County moves to designate it as a local historic district. The oldest grave in the 7,100 square foot cemetery is that of Margaret Hyson, who died in 1891 and was a former slave on the Hall’s Hill plantation. [Washington Post]
Rush Hour Accident on the Pike – A two-car accident on Columbia Pike, between S. Scott Street and S. Rolfe Street, caused some minor delays during last night’s rush hour. One woman, whose car was rear-ended, was brought to the hospital for reported back pain.
Old Guard Horses Used For Soldier Therapy — Fort Myer’s Caisson Platoon, the horses that bring the caskets of fallen heroes to their final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery, are also being used to rehabilitate soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. [Examiner.com]
Arlington Defends Streetcar Project — In response to a Washington Post editorial that suggested the Columbia Pike/Crystal City streetcar project should be delayed, Arlington County has sent reporters a link to an explanation of why it’s planning to build the more than $140 million streetcar line. The county has also pushed back on the Post’s suggestion that streetcar funds could be redirected to add capacity to public schools — insisting that the funds come from a tax that can only be used for transportation projects. [Arlington County]
Centenarian Recalls Old Arlington — Martha Ann Miller, who turns 100 on Aug. 6, recounts the changes that have taken place in Arlington over the 74 years she has lived her. [Sun Gazette]
Late Night For Harry Potter Fans — Hundreds of die-hard Harry Potter fans attended midnight and 3:00 a.m. screenings of the last film in the series — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 — at the Regal Ballston Common cinema last night.
Artisphere Reduces Burden on Tenants — The County Board voted this week to simplify the 15-page legal document that potential tenants of the Artisphere must use if they want to put on a show or hold an event. [Washington Examiner]
Fort Myer Organist Retires — Robert Schaaf has retired after 45 years as the organist at Fort Myer’s Chapel. Schaaf, a Penrose resident, has performed at memorial services for fallen military personnel, Challenger and Columbia astronauts, Supreme Court justices, first ladies and 9/11 victims, among others. [Sun Gazette]
Barbara Favola “Green” Mailer Not Recycled — A mailer sent by Barbara Favola’s state Senate campaign, touting her role in “protecting our environment,” was apparently not printed on recycled paper, according to a political blogger who has endorsed Favola’s opponent. [Blue Virginia]
Photo courtesy Jason Gooljar
Residents who live near Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall should expect to hear some loud noises coming from the base over the next 24 hours or so.
The base will be using its public address system — dubbed “The Big Voice” — as part of a training exercise. The PA system will broadcast periodic “announcements” between now and about 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.
Anyone driving onto the base tomorrow morning is also advised to expect some traffic issues.
Federal prosecutors say Torrez is responsible for the 2009 death of Amanda Snell, a 20-year-old Navy intelligence specialist who was found dead in her Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall barracks two years ago.
Torrez is currently serving five consecutive life sentences for the abduction of two Arlington women and the abduction and brutal rape of another in February 2010. Arlington prosecutor Theo Stamos called Torrez a “predator” during his sentencing. Now he’s being charged with first degree murder in Snell’s death.
“Today, we are charging Jorge Torrez with murdering a young Navy Petty Officer in her barracks,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. “This indictment is the result of extreme dedication by NCIS and the Arlington County Police Department to follow every lead possible to bring the person responsible for Amanda’s murder to justice.”
Snell’s mother told the Washington Examiner that she is hoping the case will provide some closure.
“I’m waiting until this is all over and I actually find out why,” Cynthia Snell told the paper.
Torrez has also been linked via DNA to a 2005 double homicide outside Chicago, but has yet to be charged in the case.