Yorktown Baseball Sets Record – Yorktown High School’s baseball team has finished the regular reason undefeated in the National District. With 14 victories, the Patriots set a National District record for wins in a single season. [Sun Gazette]
Crystal City BRT Named — The Bus Rapid Transit system that will serve Crystal City and Potomac Yard next year will be named “Metro Way” and will feature a blue bus design. The buses will travel from Pentagon City to Alexandria, and will run every 6 minutes during the rush hour. [Greater Greater Washington]
USS Arlington Fundraising $100K Short of Goal — So far, more than $390,000 has been donated or is expected to be pledged for a 9/11 “tribute room” on the USS Arlington. That leaves the ship’s commissioning committee more than $100,000 short of its $500,000 goal, however. Fundraising is continuing and committee member Frank O’Leary says he is “hoping to crack $400,000 this month.”
The new USS Arlington (LPD 24) was commissioned in Norfolk on Saturday, before a crowd of more than 5,000 people.
The ship was named in honor of the 184 victims of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Military brass and members of the ship’s crew were joined at the ceremony by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Rep. Jim Moran, state legislators, all five Arlington County Board members, Arlington law enforcement officers and firefighters who responded on 9/11, and family members of 9/11 victims.
Joyce Rumsfeld, the ship’s sponsor and the wife of the former defense secretary, gave the final word for the ship’s crew of sailors and Marines to board the Arlington.
“Man our ship, bring her to life,” Rumsfeld said as more than 100 men and women ran up the ship’s brow and manned the rails to render a salute.
The USS Arlington was built by Huntington-Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss. Her keel was laid on May 26, 2008 and she was delivered to the Navy on Dec. 7, 2012.
The Arlington is one of three 9/11 commemorative ships, including the USS New York and USS Somerset. The ships are San Antonio class amphibious dock ships, capable of transporting nearly 1,200 sailors and Marines, plus helicopters and landing craft, to hotspots around the world.
The ship’s expected service life is 40 years.
“LPD 24 bears a name of great significance to our Navy and Marine Corps team,” the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, said in a statement. “LPD 24 will forever represent the courage, devotion and teamwork that characterized our military and first responders on that modern day of infamy.”
There were two ships named USS Arlington before LPD 24: a World War II-era cargo ship and a Vietnam War-era communications ship. A crew member from the Vietnam-era ship was on hand to help forge “a strong bond” between the crews of the current and the previous USS Arlington.
NBC 4 and the Sun Gazette have additional coverage of the commissioning. The USS Arlington Commissioning Committee is still trying to raise some $80,000 to pay for a 9/11 Tribute Room on the ship, NBC 4 reported.
Photos courtesy U.S. Navy
USS Arlington To Be Commissioned – The USS Arlington will be commissioned in Norfolk on Saturday. Fundraising for a 9/11 tribute room on the ship is continuing, as supporters have only raised $362,000 of the hope-for $500,000. [Washington Post, Patch]
Police Seek Wallet Thief — Arlington County Police are looking for a man who stole a victim’s wallet while at a bar/restaurant in Ballston. The man then used the victim’s credit cards at a store on the 200 block of S. Glebe Road. [Arlington County]
Fundraiser for Prisoner Assistance Org — A fundraiser was held Thursday for Offender Aid and Restoration, a group that “works in Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church with support programs for those in jail and prison, and assistance when they return to life outside a cell.” [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
The Arlington, which will carry an expeditionary force of Marines and vehicles to hot spots around the world, arrived in port to the sound of sirens. Arlington and Pentagon first responders were on hand for the event, and sounded their sirens in tribute to the 184 people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
Three new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships — the USS Arlington, USS New York and USS Somerset — were named in honor of the victims of 9/11.
“The newest addition to the fleet, Arlington and its crew are a tangible tribute to honor the victims, heroes, and survivors,” the Navy said in a press release. “Her strength and fortitude are not only reflected in the ship’s crest and motto, but in the fact that her crew of 400 Sailors and Marines have worked diligently to ensure she is ready to execute the mission of the Navy, representing America, and Arlington County, around the world.”
The Arlington is “designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessel ever put to sea,” the Navy said.
“The ship combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, and will be capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm’s way,” the Navy said.
Numerous Arlington first responders and elected officials are expected to attend the ship’s commissioning on April 6.
Photos courtesy U.S. Navy and Frank O’Leary. Video courtesy U.S. Navy.
The Arlington County Board has approved $50,000 to support the creation of a Sept. 11 “Tribute Room” in the USS Arlington.
The ship, which will carry U.S. Marines, helicopters and expeditionary vehicles to hot spots around the world, is set to be commissioned on Saturday, April 6, in a ceremony that will be attended by numerous Arlington County officials and first responders. The ship was named the USS Arlington in commemoration of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.
The USS Arlington Commissioning Committee has been trying to raise $500,000 for the commissioning and for a Sept. 11 Tribute Room on the ship. Though the fundraising has recently hit a slow patch, with only 2/3 of the goal met, the Arlington County Board gave the effort a boost Tuesday night with a $50,000 allocation for the Tribute Room.
“This is a big week for the USS Arlington and for our community,” County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said in a statement. “It is fitting that the Board has approved funding for the ship’s Tribute Room just days before the USS Arlington sails into Norfolk, where it will be welcomed by some of the same first responders who performed so heroically on 9/11.”
The Tribute Room will “recognize and honor those who lost their lives at the Pentagon on 9/11 and to honor the heroic efforts of the first responders and emergency services who came to the rescue,” according to a press release. Navy regulations prohibit federal funds from being used for such a purpose.
Man Sentenced for Harassing Arlington Woman — A 47-year-old I.T. worker from New England has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for stalking and harassing an Arlington mom and her 16-year-old daughter. Bruce Stimon was accused of emailing the woman’s friends and saying she had an STD; posting her name, photo and work phone number on prostitution sites, secretly recording a video of them having sex, posting it on porn sites, and sending it to her daughter’s Twitter friends; and repeatedly slashing her tires. [WJLA]
Arlington Hotel Tax Passes House — A bill that would restore Arlington’s authority to levy a 0.25 percent hotel tax surcharge has narrowly passed the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill earlier passed the state Senate, but the House bill contains a three year sunset provision that wasn’t in the Senate version, meaning the House and the Senate will need to hash out a combined bill in order for it to reach the governor’s desk. [Richmond Sunlight]
Navy Sets USS Arlington Commissioning Date — The new USS Arlington will be commissioned in Norfolk on April 6, the Navy has announced. [Sun Gazette]
Tejada Says No to Anti-Streetcar Groups — Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada has declined requests from groups critical of the Columbia Pike streetcar seeking to make presentations at an upcoming streetcar community forum. Tejada said the purpose of the forum, on March 27, is to “update the community” on the streetcar project, not to debate the Board’s decision to build the streetcar. [Sun Gazette]
The Right Note is a weekly opinion column by published on Thursdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
It was an honor for me to attend a fundraising event for the USS Arlington last week. The new Navy vessel, capable of carrying over 800 marines into battle, or humanitarian supplies to an area of the world in need, will be commissioned this Spring. It was built in honor of the tragic events of September 11th, and follows the USS New York and USS Somerset out to sea.
Former Republican Senator John Warner was escorted into the room by Democratic Congressman Jim Moran. Warner, who will celebrate his 86th birthday later this month, recalled the events of 9-11 and received a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Everyone rallied around the project as way to honor those who died at the Pentagon, the Arlington first responders who rushed into the devastation, and the sailors who will call the USS Arlington home for decades to come.
I had good conversations with Paul Ferguson, Theo Stamos and Noah Simon — elected Democrats whom I did not vote for, and in Ferguson’s case, ran against. I was seated next to Delegate Patrick Hope who greeted me with a “nice to see you again Mark.”
In short, no partisanship was on display — just a community joined together for the common good. The evening represented what was right about Arlington.
Only one County Board member was in attendance — Chairman Tejada. While we did not have a chance to talk, if we would have, I would have probably asked him a simple question:
Why did you push through a previously unannounced raise for three top county staff in the final minute of the Board meeting earlier in the week?
Each raise will cost taxpayers around $10,000. While the total amount is certainly not going to break the bank, it is another unfortunate example of just how tone deaf our Board can be.
The U.S. economy is at best stagnant, at worst headed to a double dip recession. The region is preparing for the federal government to make cuts under the sequester agreed to by President Obama and Congress in August of 2011. The Board is preparing to raise taxes to cover up to $50 million they hope to spend in the budget over anticipated revenues.
Yet, the Board saw fit to give sizable raises to the County Manager, County Attorney and Clerk — two of whom already make over $200,000 per year.
And this is a perfect example of all that is wrong in Arlington.
Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
Independent’s Day is a weekly opinion column by published on Wednesdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
In our area, Arlington, Virginia is known for many things; both serious and perhaps a little frivolous (thanks Remy).
To the world, Arlington is home to the Pentagon: the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. As one of three crash sites on 9/11/2001, the Pentagon and our county share a unique history with New York City and Somerset, Pennsylvania. The USS New York (LPD-21) was commissioned on 11/2/2009 and the USS Somerset (LPD-25) was christened on 7/28/2012. This spring, Arlington will join those cities in commemorating the September 11th attacks when the USS Arlington (LPD-24) is commissioned.
The USS Arlington (LPD-24) is a San Antonio-class, amphibious transport dock built to host 800 Marines. These ships are meant to head a transformation and modernization of Navy ships to aid in Marine deployment. This particular vessel will be the third in the United States Navy to bear Arlington’s name but the first to travel throughout the world with steel taken from the crash site at the Pentagon.
Aboard the ship will be a tribute room to honor the lives lost due to the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 77. This ship’s sponsor is Mrs. Joyce Rumsfeld, wife of former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. At the 2011 christening, Mrs. Rumsfeld was quoted this way by a Mississippi blog:
“To me, this ship represents to full story of that day, the unimaginable followed by the courage, determination, focus and love of country that was demonstrated every day after 9/11,” Rumsfeld said. “It represents the first responders, the men and women working at the Pentagon, the families, the hard hats, the construction workers, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, volunteers, chaplains, residents of Arlington.”
Every person’s experience with 9/11 is personal. Like many I was at work when the attacks began. Some people were quiet, some people immediately started crying and some people started crying as the morning wore on. A couple of executives took charge and I remember one in particular admitting that he didn’t know whether it was safer to stay at work or head to the Metro. We each had a personal reaction to what happened that day and annually we are reminded of that experience; whether we want to be or not. This Navy ship provides one other way for us to share a uniquely local experience with the world.
Bill Would Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving in School Zones — Sen. Janet Howell (D) has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use a cell phone while driving in a school zone or school crossing zone. Violations will be considered a traffic infraction and will be punishable by a fine of up to $250. [Richmond Sunlight]
Brink Supports Two-Term Va. Governor — Del. Bob Brink (D) of Arlington is one of several General Assembly lawmakers to introduce or patron a constitutional amendment that would allow the governor of Virginia to serve a second term. If passed, the amendment will take effect for the governor elected in 2017. [Richmond Sunlight]
USS Arlington Crew Members Get Decal Vote — Crew members of the USS Arlington, set to be commissioned soon, will get a vote on the new Arlington County parking decal. This year, the contest challenged entrants to design a decal incorporating the USS Arlington. Voting is open through Jan. 21. [Sun Gazette]
Civic Federation Supports LEAP — The Arlington County Civic Federation has approved a resolution to promote the non-profit Local Energy Alliance Program, or LEAP, which offers free home energy efficiency assessments to homeowners, along with cash rebates for energy efficiency measures. [Arlington Mercury]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Officials Prepare for USS Arlington Commissioning — Arlington County Board Chairman Mary Hynes, county treasurer Frank O’Leary and other local leaders traveled to Norfolk on Wednesday to meet with Navy officials to plan for the commissioning of the USS Arlington, a new amphibious transport ship named after the county. The commissioning ceremony is currently planned for April 2013. [Sun Gazette]
José Andrés Food Truck Coming to Arlington — Famed local chef José Andrés (of Jaleo fame) is bringing his new food truck venture in Arlington. The “Pepe” food truck is expanding its service area from the District to Montgomery County and Arlington. The truck serves a rotating selection of flautas — a type of Spanish sandwich. [Huff Post DC]
Arlington Scores Above Average, Below Fairfax on SATs — Arlington Public Schools students in the class of 2012 scored an average of 1641 (out of 2400) on the SATs. That score is above the national average of 1498 and above the state average of 1517, but slightly below the Fairfax County average of 1654. [Patch]
Pentagon Exhibit Seeking Veteran Artists — An organization called the Veteran Artist Program is seeking art submissions from military veterans for a new veteran art exhibit at the Pentagon. Organizers told ARLnow.com that they’ve received numerous submissions from around the county, but not many from the Northern Virginia area. The entry deadline is Oct. 30. [Veteran Artist Program]
Clarendon Salon to Hold Grand Opening — Casal’s de Spa and Salon has been open at 3033 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon since June, but the business will be holding its official “grand opening” ceremony this weekend. The non-tipping salon will be offering food, libations, and music from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann