Suicide Thwarted at Metro Station — An alert Metro train operator helped to thwart a suicide attempt at the Reagan National Airport Metro station Thursday morning. Around 7:55 a.m., a man climbed down and laid on the southbound tracks. The operator of an approaching train saw the man and stopped the train in time. Transit police apprehended the man and took him to a local hospital. [Washington Examiner]
Park(ing) Day in Rosslyn – Today (Friday) is Park(ing) Day, a day where people worldwide transform parking spots into temporary public spaces. Artisphere in Rosslyn will again be participating. A giant shopping cart, created by artist J.P. Flick, will be placed near the corner of Wilson Blvd and Lynn Street. Passersby are encouraged to donate gently used professional attire by placing it in the cart. The clothes will go to a job placement program run by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. [Artisphere]
Retired Educator Receives Community Award — Meg Tuccillo — who for 26 years served Arlington Public Schools as a teacher, a principal, and an assistant superintendent — has been named the 2012 recipient of the William T. Newman Jr. Spirit of Community Award. “The Board was impressed by Meg Tuccillo’s highly regarded dynamic and good-natured commitment to Arlington, both in her professional role as Assistant Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools and in her broad involvement in several nonprofit organizations serving children, families, the homeless and strengthening education and the arts,” said Julian Fore, president of the Arlington Community Foundation, which administers the award. [Sun Gazette]
Va. Flags Half Staff for State Supreme Court Justice — Virginia state flags have flown half staff this week in honor of former state Supreme Court Justice Henry H. Whiting, who died on Sept. 17. Whiting was a justice when the court first upheld the use of DNA evidence in Virginia. The DNA case in question originated in Arlington — the trial of Timothy Wilson Spencer for the 1987 rape and murder of 44-year-old Susan Tucker in her Arlington condominium.
Boat Capsizes Under 14th Street Bridge — A boat capsized under the 14th Street Bridge just before Saturday afternoon’s storms. D.C. police rescued 19 people from the water. No injuries were reported. [Associated Press]
Work on Memorial Bridge Begins — The National Park Service is beginning a project to repair the concrete deck, curbs and sidewalks of the Memorial Bridge today. Drivers can expect lane closures on the bridge between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekdays, and throughout the weekend. [WJLA]
Yorktown Routs Wakefield — The Yorktown High School Patriots defeated the Wakefield Warriors 59-6 on Friday night. Arlington’s other high school, Washington-Lee, defeated Fairfax by a score of 13-7. [Sun Gazette, MaxPreps]
Upgrades Planned for Reagan National — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is planning to spend $45 million to upgrade the aging Terminal A at Reagan National Airport. Planned upgrades include wider security checkpoints, more baggage handling areas, updated ticket counters and better bathrooms. The MWAA is also studying the possibility of adding more parking spaces at the airport. [Washington Examiner]
Kaine to Visit Rosslyn Office – Former Virginia governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D) will be making a campaign stop at an office building in Rosslyn today. Kaine will participate in a roundtable discussion on the clean energy economy at 3:15 p.m. The event is not open to the public.
School Bus Gets Lost on First Day of School — An Arlington County school bus carrying Glebe Elementary students arrived at school nearly an hour late on Tuesday after the driver made a wrong turn. The driver was new and had to meet up with another driver at Barrett Elementary in order to find his way back to Glebe. The kids on the bus were “a little scared,” according to a parent. [Washington Examiner]
Air-Traffic Controllers Rattled by Close Call — A close call involving three jets at Reagan National Airport on July 31 rattled air traffic controllers and produced a “chaotic scene” in the airport’s tower, according to a new National Transportation Safety Board report. The planes, however, were at different headings and altitudes and would not have crashed, officials say. [Associated Press]
‘Girls Night Out’ in Shirlington Tonight — Shirlington Village is hosting a “Girls Night Out” from 5:00 to 10:00 tonight. In addition to food and drink specials at restaurants, and savings at other merchants, tonight’s event includes an “ArtJamz” freestyle paint party at the Hilton Garden Inn. A $25 ticket gets you a 20″x24″ canvas and unlimited painting supplies. [Village at Shirlington]
Close Call at Reagan National — Three commuter jets nearly collided at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday afternoon due to a communications failure among air traffic control personnel. The planes were about 12 seconds away from a collision when a tower controller corrected her mistake. [Washington Post]
Ebbin Endorses Krupicka — State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) has endorsed Alexandria Councilman Rob Krupicka (D) in the Sept. 4 special election to fill Del. David Englin’s former 45th District House of Delegates Seat. “[Krupicka] has been a steadfast ally in the fight for true equality, world-class education system, a cleaner environment, smart transportation solutions, and innovative policies that keep our economy strong,” Ebbin said.
Kaine to Visit Arlington Business Today — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia governor Tim Kaine will be visiting Clarendon-based business GridPoint this afternoon. Kaine, who will be joined by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), will highlight his “Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation” plan.
Extreme Weather on the Rise in Va.? — Extreme downpours and snowstorms are happening 33 percent more frequently in Virginia compared to 65 years ago, according to a new report by Environment Virginia. The group says the finding supports the idea that global warming is changing weather patterns. “We need to heed scientists’ warnings that this dangerous trend is linked to global warming, and do everything we can to cut carbon pollution today,” said Environment Virginia Field Organizer Laura Kate Anderson. [Environment Virginia]
Plane at DCA Sinks into Tarmac — It was so hot Friday that a US Airways flight got stuck in some heat-softened pavement while taxi-ing to the runway. [Washington Post]
Vote Set on Pike Streetcar Plan — On July 21 the Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote on whether to proceed with plans to build a streetcar or add enhanced bus service along Columbia Pike. The Board is expected to formally sanction the streetcar plan, then apply for federal funding. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Living Wage Increased — Arlington County has raised its minimum salary for contracted employees to $13.13 an hour, up from $12.75. The increase puts Arlington in line with Fairfax and Alexandria, both of which pay a $13.13 living wage. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Resident Wins on Jeopardy — Arlington resident Stephanie Fontaine racked up two back-to-back wins on the televised game show “Jeopardy!” last week. She’ll try to make it 3-for-3 on the show tonight. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
New Bikeshare Stations Coming to Pike, Trails — A new “Transit Development Plan” for Capital Bikeshare calls for new stations to be installed along Columbia Pike, in Shirlington, at the Pentagon, at Arlington National Cemetery and along the W&OD and Four Mile Run trails. Installation of most of the planned stations is expected to take place in 2013. [The Wash Cycle]
Southwest Comes to DCA — Southwest Airlines will begin operating its first scheduled service from Reagan National Airport on Sunday (July 8). The airline will be flying between DCA and Austin, Texas. [Sun Gazette]
Media Inquiries Prompt Storm Clean-up Work — In at least two instances, calls from media outlets apparently prompted Dominion and Arlington County to send crews to areas of Arlington where trees and wires had been down for days and residents were growing restless. [Washington Post, WJLA]
Resident Uses Girl Scout Skills to Brave Outages — Arlington resident Mary Bielefield says living in a home without power is sort of like camping. The former Girl Scout has been relying on matches, bags of ice, flashlights and a battery-powered radio. [WUSA 9]
Update at 4:30 p.m. — The package has been found to be non-hazardous and the bomb squad is leaving the scene.
The Arlington County Fire Department bomb squad is investigating a suspicious package at Reagan National Airport.
Bomb squad personnel were called in to take a look at a package that was going through screening at the airport’s cargo area, according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs. TSA agents identified the package as suspicious and felt that it “needed further investigation,” Gibbs said.
There has been no disruption to passenger air travel as a result of the investigation, according to Gibbs. She was unable to say what kind of cargo is typically shipped through the airport.
Update at 6:30 p.m. — The ground stop at Reagan National has been lifted, but major delays are being reported. From the FAA:
Due to WEATHER / THUNDERSTORMS, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, DC (DCA). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 3 hours and 27 minutes. To see if you may be affected, select your departure airport and check “Delays by Destination”.
Earlier: Due to severe weather in the area, Reagan National Airport is under a “ground stop” — meaning no flights are arriving or departing.
Dulles International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport are also under a ground stop.
Travelers heading to any local airport should expect significant delays as storms continue to move through the region.
New Long-Haul Service at DCA — JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines are adding new long haul service from Reagan National Airport to four cities, respectively: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Austin, Texas; San Francisco; and Porland, Ore. [CBS News]
Meeting Tonight About Ballston Park — Planners from the county parks department will be meeting with residents tonight to discuss options for the small triangular piece of land next to the Ballston public parking garage at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Randolph Street. At one point a mini golf course was proposed for the tiny park. [Arlington Mercury]
Bond Sale Expected Next Month — Arlington County is expected to issue up to $110 million in new bonds next month. The bonds will help pay for school projects, parks and recreation projects, and Metro improvements. [Sun Gazette]
Recap: Entrepreneurship Event at Artisphere — An tech-oriented entrepreneurship event at Artisphere over the weekend is being called a success after attracting more than 400 attendees for panel discussions and networking. [Bisnow]
Young Dems Date Auction Tonight — The annual Arlington Young Democrats date auction kicks off at 7:00 tonight at Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street). Disclosure: AYD is a current ARLnow.com advertiser.
The widebody jetliner (wingspan: 197 feet) will spend the next few days parked at the airport, before departing on Friday morning, according to Boeing. Government and airline officials and members of the media are among those expected to be invited to tour the aircraft during its time at DCA. No public tours are planned.
According to Boeing, the jetliner — first put into commercial service in October 2011 — is outfitted with ”special cabin features including a welcoming entryway, dramatically larger dimmable windows, bigger bins and dynamic LED lighting.” The 787 is noted for its use of lightweight composite materials, which helps make it 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airliners. It’s also designed to be quieter and more comfortable for passengers than older models.
Today’s landing (see: video) was unusual for Reagan National, since widebody aircraft typically do not operate out of the airport. The plane will depart DCA for Dallas, Texas on Friday.
Last fall the Arlington County Board approved plans for Boeing to build a new regional headquarters near Crystal City.
Photos (top, bottom right) courtesy Boeing. Photo (bottom left) courtesy Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Eyes will be on the skies tomorrow, when the space shuttle Discovery flies to its new home at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport. There are actually some spots in Arlington that are being touted as great places to watch the flight.
NASA listed of some of the top places to see the shuttle in the DC metro area. Long Bridge Park and Gravelly Point in Arlington both received mentions. The Memorial Bridge, which covers ground in both Arlington and DC, is also on the list.
The shuttle is expected to pass near a number of landmarks in the area, including Reagan National Airport. Although not on the official list, some places like the Air Force Memorial and Mount Vernon Trail might also make decent viewing locations.
The shuttle will depart from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida around 7:30 a.m., and is expected to fly over Arlington between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., before landing at Dulles. The exact route and timing of the flight will be weather dependent.
Discovery will be mounted on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, which is a modified Boeing 747, during its journey. On Thursday, the shuttle is scheduled to be moved from Dulles to the Udvar-Hazy Center for permanent public display.
Discovery was retired after completing its 39th mission in March 2011. NASA’s final space shuttle mission ended with Atlantis on July 21, 2011.
The Air and Space Museum will be updating its website regularly to list the shuttle’s locations. Those who don’t have internet access can receive updates via a phone hotline. Information about receiving updates can be found on the museum’s website.
Moran Challenger Gets on Ballot — Rep. Jim Moran (D) will have a Democratic primary challenger, after all. Arlington businessman Bruce Shuttleworth has been certified to appear on the June 12 congressional primary ballot, after initially being rejected by election officials for supposedly not having the required 1,000 petition signatures. Shuttleworth’s campaign sued in federal court; yesterday the Virginia Democratic party certified his candidacy. [Washington Post]
O’Connell’s Undefeated Softball Team — The Bishop O’Connell Knights softball team is undefeated, with a perfect 10-0 record. One of its pitchers, Tori Finucane, has an astounding 0.00 earned run average for the season, with 114 strikeouts in 56 innings. [Sun Gazette]
United Jet Blows Tires at DCA — A United Airlines flight from Houston blew two rear tires while landing at Reagan National Airport on Monday morning. None of the 127 people on board were injured. [Washington Post]
I-395 HOV Lanes Close Overnight — The HOV lanes of I-395 — from the 14th Street Bridge to the Springfield Mixing Bowl — are closing from 9:30 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. this week. VDOT says the closures will allow it to install new overhead signs and to complete some bridge painting work. [Associated Press]
New Library ‘Digital Projects Lab’ Taking Reservations — Arlington Central Library’s new Digital Projects Lab is opening on Monday, April 16. The lab — which will offer library patrons the use of digital media creation tools like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro — is now accepting reservations. [Arlington Public Library]
As part of its plan to concentrate service at a handful of regional hubs, US Airways will be adding new nonstop fights from Reagan National Airport to 11 cites, including Omaha and Memphis, starting on Sunday.
Yesterday afternoon, however, the airline announced even more nonstop service. Starting this summer, US Airways will be adding daily, nonstop service from DCA to the following six cities:
- San Diego
- Augusta, Ga.
- Fayetteville, Ark.
No carrier at Reagan National currently offers direct flights to San Diego, Augusta or Fayetteville. The new service will provide easier access to those traveling to San Diego’s military bases, to next year’s Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club, or to the headquarters of Walmart, which is close to Fayetteville’s Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.
Service to San Diego will begin June 8. Service to the other five cities will start July 11.
“US Airways will have a total of 22 new routes from Washington D.C.’s Reagan National beginning this spring and summer,” a US Airways executive said in a press release. “Our growing presence at Reagan National Airport highlights our commitment to connect small, medium and large communities to the nation’s capital. We are excited to provide customers — especially those in communities that currently do not have service — with direct access to Washington’s downtown airport.”
New Long-Haul Flights Coming to DCA — Three new long-haul flights to western cities are being added at Reagan National Airport. A new United flight to San Francisco will start in May, and flights to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles will start in June. While travelers may be happy about the new nonstop options, some Arlington residents are concerned about the potential for added noise from the larger planes necessary for the long-haul flights. [Sun Gazette, Washington Business Journal]
Metro Track Work This Week — Metro is working on the Blue Line this week, and those who travel between the District and Arlington around midday may experience some delays as a result. Metro is single-tracking between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day through Friday. Crews are performing “rail, fastener, tie and insulator renewal.” Riders should add an extra 10 minutes to their travel time, according to Metro. Orange Line passengers may also experience brief delays as a result of the Blue Line work. [WMATA]
Pricey Rehab Options for Reeves Farm — The historic Reeves Farm, located near Bluemont Park, is in need of rehabilitation. According to a new report, it will cost between $1.1 and $1.3 million to convert the Reeves farmhouse to a learning center or demonstration kitchen. [Arlington Mercury]
Retailers Helping Arlington’s Car-Free Diet — The Arlington County Commuter Services Bureau has partnered with 327 local retailers to help promote its Car-Free Diet campaign. You can find a map and a list of specific options for getting to each retailer without a car on the Car-Free Diet web site. [TBD]
The airport served a record-breaking 18.8 million passengers in 2011, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. That’s a nearly 4 percent increase over 2010, which compares favorably to the national passenger growth average of 1.5 percent.
The growth may continue in 2012, thanks to new and expanded service that’s coming to DCA starting on March 25.
US Airways is in the process of adding non-stop service to 11 new cities via Reagan National. And JetBlue is increasing service to its existing destination, while providing new daily service to Tampa.
“Even during these challenging times for the aviation industry, we are very pleased that in 2011 we were able to not only continue to provide excellent air service for the region but also to attract new airlines and service,” MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter said in a statement.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA