Concealed Carry Permits Spike in Arlington — The number of applications for concealed-carry permits in Arlington has quadrupled in the past 8 years, and continued to spike. Last year the Circuit Court received 1,042 applications from whose who want to carry concealed weapons. This year the office is expecting nearly 1,600. [Sun Gazette]
Whipple Pens Pro-Streetcar Op-Ed — In an op-ed, former state Senator Mary Margaret Whipple compares the heated debate over the planned Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar systems to the debate over the construction of Metrorail through Arlington in the 1970s. “A small but vocal faction of our community claimed that the proposed Orange, Blue and Yellow lines were too expensive and risky and argued that we should just use buses instead,” Whipple writes. “After much deliberation, Arlington invested in rail.” [Washington Post]
New Gym for George Mason? — George Mason University’s Arlington campus currently lacks a fitness center for students. A plan to build a new gym, put in place after a student petition in 2011, has not moved forward because it was determined that the project would go over budget. The university is currently exploring options for either constructing a new fitness center or partnering with a nearby office building to use its gym. [Connect2Mason]
DCA Fight Attendants Protest Knife Decision — Flight attendants have been handing out flyers to passengers at Reagan National Airport, encouraging them to sign an online petition against a recent TSA decision that will allow small knives to be carried on to planes. [WAMU]
(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) Arlington commuters woke up to something of a surprise this morning: accumulated snowfall.
Arlington County says local roads are “slushy,” and its snow removal crews are in the “Phase 2” of snow removal — working to treat heavily-travelled roads.
“Commuters will encounter slushy conditions on area roads,” the county said in an Arlington Alert. “Use caution when approaching intersections and on/off ramps.”
Arlington Public Schools are not impacted by the snowfall; students are currently on spring break. But snow-covered roads perhaps played a factor led in a number of accidents in and around Arlington this morning.
Accidents have been reported on the northbound GW Parkway near Spout Run and Route 123. The second accident involved an overturned car and northbound traffic is reportedly blocked.
Meanwhile, a rollover accident happened earlier at Reagan National Airport.
A vehicle flipped over on the departures roadway, beyond Terminals B and C on the “return to the airport” ramp.
“[The] driver of the vehicle was transported to a local hospital,” said airport spokesman Robert Yingling. “No other occupants [and] no other vehicles [were] involved.”
The vehicle has since been removed and the road reopened.
Despite sunny skies and relatively mild temperatures this afternoon, forecasters have issued another reminder that the D.C. area will be blanketed with snow tomorrow.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning, upgrading the previous Winter Storm Watch. Forecasters say we’re likely to get 4-8 inches of snow tomorrow (Wednesday).
… WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 3 AM EST THURSDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 3 AM EST THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 4 TO 8 INCHES WITH THE HIGHER AMOUNTS WEST OF INTERSTATE 95.
* TIMING… RAIN MIXING WITH AND CHANGING TO WET SNOW FROM SOUTHWEST TO NORTHEAST TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY MORNING. SNOW MAY BE MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES WEDNESDAY. SNOW TAPERS OFF WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE MID 30S.
* WINDS… NORTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT.
* IMPACTS… SNOW COVERED ROADS WILL MAKE TRAVEL DIFFICULT. HEAVY WET SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS COULD LEAD TO POWER OUTAGES WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT.
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL… KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD… AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says travelers should expect delays and cancellations over the next 36 hours or so.
Reagan National and Dulles International Airports are operating normally. An approaching winter storm is affecting flights to and from Chicago today. We anticipate winter weather will affect flight operations here on Wednesday, March 6. Check with directly with your airline to monitor the status of your flight and determine if flight rebooking is necessary.
Our airport snow removal personnel and equipment are prepared for the storm. We will update this page with further information when the winter weather arrives.
WMATA reports the closure is for NTSB-recommended track circuit module replacement, rail joint elimination, tie renewal and other various track improvements.
Both Blue and Yellow Line trains will operate in two segments. Blue Line trains will run between Crystal City and Largo Town Center, and between Braddock Road and Franconia-Springfield every 16 minutes from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and every 20 minutes from 9:00 p.m. until system closing. Yellow Line trains will run between Crystal City and Mount Vernon Square, and between Braddock Road and Huntington every 16 minutes from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and every 20 minutes from 9:00 p.m. until system closing.
There will be two routes of free shuttle buses replacing train service between Crystal City and Braddock Road. Express buses will operate between Crystal City and Braddock Road only. Local buses running between Crystal City and Braddock Road will serve Reagan National Airport. Customers using the shuttles should allow about 15 minutes of extra travel time.
The track work and closures will begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and will continue through closing on Sunday, March 3. More information about track work throughout the system this weekend can be found on WMATA’s website.
DCA’s passenger traffic increased 4.1 percent to 19.7 million passengers. The growth came during a year when industry-wide airport passenger growth was less than 1 percent. It also comes a year after Reagan National hit a then-record 18.8 million passengers in 2011.
A new construction project this year will help ease some of the crowding at Reagan National, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
“The airport continues to be a popular choice because of its proximity to downtown Washington,” MWAA said in a press release. “A construction project in 2013 will address some of the increased demand at Reagan National, expanding security screening areas in Terminal A to provide improved access for passengers using the terminal’s nine gates.”
While international travel grew by 2 percent at Dulles, MWAA says domestic travel was hurt by competition from DCA.
“Dulles saw domestic service declines mainly resulting from the transfer of some airline routes to Reagan National and reduced capacity on other routes,” the authority said.
Arrivals at DCA are currently delayed an average of two and a half hours due to a low cloud ceiling, according to the FAA. The agency’s website says a “traffic management program (ground stop) is in effect for [air] traffic arriving” at the airport.
One tipster who was scheduled to return to DCA from Orlando today on Jet Blue says he and his fellow passengers were just asked to get off the plane and wait for the flight to be rescheduled.
Update at 1:25 p.m. — Via Twitter, readers are reporting delays and cancellations for departing flights as well.
In honor of Black History Month, Baltimore-based artist/historian Morgan Monceaux will work on a new original painting for his Negro Baseball League series. Art students from Howard University will be on hand to watch and talk with the artist.
“While working on his new art series, Monceaux will explain his creative process in choosing subjects, developing materials, art media and finalizing the portrait for display,” according to a press release. “He also will answer questions from the audience.”
The art event is taking place on Wednesday (Feb. 6), at DCA’s baggage claim area, near door #4. Travelers will be able to witness the art creation as they retrieve their luggage.
The event is being sponsored by the Airports Authority Arts Program, which underwrites art and performances at Reagan National and Dulles International airpots.
Paintings from Monceaux’s “Hail to the Chiefs” series is currently on display at Reagan National. The series, which is on display through Feb. 28, features portraits of U.S. presidents and their wives.
Photo via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Javon Martin Trial Underway — The trial for Javon Martin, one of the men accused of killing Arlington resident Carl Diener in 2009, began on Monday. Attorneys for the Commonwealth spent much of Tuesday (January 29) presenting evidence against Martin. The other man accused of the crime, Martin’s cousin Roger Clark III, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last year and is awaiting sentencing. [Washington Post]
Man Arrested for Attempted Rental Car Theft — Police arrested a man who caused a scene at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday morning. He was spotted running around the grounds of DCA and along the George Washington Parkway after allegedly trying to steal a rental car. Airport Police found 28-year-old Robert Cooper of Washington, DC in Crystal City a short time later and arrested him. Cooper has been charged with Attempted Grand Larceny.
Green Valley Pharmacy Receives Historic Designation — The Green Valley Pharmacy in the Nauck neighborhood has been approved by the County Board for designation as the 33rd Arlington Historic District. It is the first historically African American commercial building to be honored as an Arlington Historic District. The designation was granted not for the site’s architectural significance, but for the historical and cultural significance, as well as recognition for Dr. Leonard Muse’s lifetime of contributions to his community. [Arlington County]
New Recruits Sought for Civic Leadership Program — Arlington County is looking new recruits for its Neighborhood College program, which is a free, eight-session course to encourage civic engagement and help residents build leadership skills. Participants will learn how to become neighborhood advocates and how to bring about change for issues affecting the community. The sessions will be held each Thursday evening from April 4 to May 23. Applications for the 2013 Civic Leadership Development Program are due March 4, 2013. [Arlington County]
Flight Makes Emergency Landing at DCA — A US Airways Express flight had to make an emergency landing at Reagan National Airport this morning (Wednesday) due to a cracked windshield. The plane was minutes into its flight from DCA to Raleigh/Durham International Airport when it had to turn around. Nobody was injured. [WJLA]
Plastic Bag Tax Defeated — Sen. Adam Ebbin’s proposal to tax single-use plastic bags in grocery and convenience stores has been defeated in the state Senate. Had the bill passed, it would have imposed a five cent tax on every plastic bag distributed by retail establishments. [Sun Gazette]
Potomac CrossFit to Re-open in Courthouse — After closing last year to make way for a new development in Clarendon, Potomac Crossfit has found a new home. The new 9,000 square foot location will be located at 1320 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 100. It is expected to open in May. [Potomac CrossFit]
Reagan National Airport has “canceled operations until further notice due to Hurricane Sandy,” according to a media alert from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
The MWAA says the last flight out of DCA departed for Atlanta, Ga. at 9:00 this morning.
All airlines serving Reagan National and Dulles International Airports have canceled operations until further notice due to Hurricane Sandy. However, the airports will remain open throughout this significant weather event.
The Airports Authority strongly encourages passengers not to travel to the airports. Many food and retail concessions are closed and staffing is limited. Passengers should contact their airline directly to confirm or rebook travel.
The last flight departed Reagan National for Atlanta, Ga. today around 9:00 a.m. The last flight at Dulles International departed at 1:15 p.m. for Tokyo, Japan.
In addition to closely monitoring the changing weather conditions, the Airports Authority is coordinating with airlines, airport tenants and other stakeholders to resume normal operations as quickly as possible after the storm passes.
The Airports Authority will continue updating the official Twitter feed @dcairports with airport-related storm information.
Gun Confiscated at DCA — TSA agents confiscated a 9mm handgun from a 59-year-old Fairfax man who tried to bring it with him on his trip to Dallas. The TSA said the man, who was charged with a misdemeanor weapons offense, was “just a forgetful passenger” and not a terrorist. [Washington Post]
WAMU Offers Voter Guide — WAMU has built an interactive voter guide for D.C. area elections. Among the races where voters can compare and contrast positions are the Virginia Eighth District congressional race, the Arlington County Board race, and the non-competitive Arlington School Board race.
W-L Students Collect “Cleats for Bare Feets” — Three brothers, all students at Washington-Lee High School, have been collecting hundreds of pairs of old athletic cleats for shipment and donation to disadvantaged individuals in countries like India, Mozambique, Haiti, Macedonia and Nigeria. [Arlington Mercury]
The Washington Post reports that Reagan National Airport, which has recently been adding new flights, is becoming more crowded and less convenient.
In July, there were 75,465 more passengers passing through the airport than the same month one year prior — an increase that has led to longer security lines, according to the Post.
But from a passenger perspective, is the airport really “strained” by the increase, as the article suggests?
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]