The annual Optimist Club of Arlington Christmas tree sale begins Saturday.
The trees arrived on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo bank lot near the corner of Lee Highway and Glebe Road. Volunteers offloaded the trees from tractor trailers, sending the unmistakable holiday smell of fresh Christmas trees wafting across the immediate area.
The Optimist Club will offer the trees — 1,800 total, including white pines, Canaan furs and Fraser furs — for sale starting at noon on Saturday. From there on out, until Dec. 22, the lot will be open on weekend mornings starting at 10:00 a.m., on weekdays starting at 2:00 p.m., and on Fridays starting at noon. The lot will remain open until 9:00 p.m.
The tree prices range from $40 to $240. This year, for the first time, the club will take credit cards.
Last year, the tree sale raised $75,000, according to Optimist Club volunteer Greg Clough. The proceeds all benefit the local club, which sponsors “academic and sports activities designed to give Arlington’s youth a better chance to succeed in today’s world.”
Federal government employees have made a substantial contribution to federal debt reduction efforts already, say local lawmakers who are trying to ensure that federal workers don’t take a big hit in any upcoming debt reduction package.
The lawmakers are cautioning President Barack Obama and leaders in the House of Representatives to “carefully consider the implications that any proposed agreement would have on these Americans so that it reflects the substantial budget savings that the Federal workforce has contributed thus far.”
The lawmakers — Democratic Reps. Jim Moran (Va.), Steny Hoyer (Md.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Donna Edwards (Md.) and John Sarbanes (Md.), plus Republican Reps. Frank Wolf (Va.) and Robert Wittman (Va.) — sent a letter to Obama this week highlighting $103 billion in cuts taken by federal employees in the form of pay freezes, delayed raises and increased benefit contributions.
“The letter comes as Congress and the White House work toward a solution to avoid sequestration cuts mandated to go into effect on January 2, 2013,” Moran’s office noted in a press release.
The text of the letter, which was also sent to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, after the jump.
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg
Normally around this time of year, readers and watchers of local news are bombarded with warnings about the dangers of turkey fryers. Those dangers still exist — see below — but the Arlington County Fire Department says there’s another Thanksgiving danger that often goes un-publicized: distracted cooking.
“Burnt food or food on the stove calls are more frequent than turkey fryer incidents,” ACFD spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl told ARLnow.com. “Distracted cooking is hazardous.”
Distracted cooking leads to almost daily fire-related calls to houses and apartment buildings in Arlington. Most food-on-the-stove calls just result in lots of smoke or minor fires that are quickly extinguished, but some can lead to full-scale fires.
The department offered the following cooking safety tips for the holidays and beyond.
Don’t be distracted while cooking. Guests and other distractions can take your attention from cooking which could result in a fire or injury. Don’t leave any cooking unattended.
Wear short sleeves or fitted sleeves. Loose fitting sleeves can contact heat sources and catch fire.
Turn pot and pan handles away from the stoves edge to prevent burns and scalds.
If you are going to fry a turkey follow all recommendations by the manufacturer for the fryer. Do not use the fryer on a deck or close to a residence.
Have a “kid free zone” 3 feet around the stove or areas where cooking is being done. Keeping the children away will help prevent burn and scald injuries.
On the inevitable topic of turkey fryers, Karl cautioned against a new indoor turkey fryer that seems safer than the traditional kind, but which is susceptible to the same fire hazards.
Karl said the popular Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer, seen in the video below, can still cause a fire if overfilled with oil.
“We do not believe they are any more or less hazardous than a regular deep fat fryer,” he said. “The same risks still exist frying a turkey indoors or outdoors. We ask people read the manufacturers recommendations and be certain the turkey is completely thawed before frying.”
“We wish everybody a safe Thanksgiving,” Karl added.
Developer Vornado is in negotiations to bring a new Whole Foods grocery store to Pentagon City.
The store would located on the ground floor of Vornado’s planned Metropolitan Park apartment building at the corner of S. Eads Street and 12th Street. The building, currently in the Site Plan Review stage, will replace a dilapidated warehouse and is part of a larger effort to turn 12th Street into a mixed-use commercial corridor.
Vornado’s Metropolitan Park building will the fourth in the overall Metropolitan Park development. The development will also result in an extension of 12th Street between Eads Street and Fern Street. Vornado’s planned, 2 million square foot PenPlace office and hotel development will be located across the future 12th Street, which is now a pedestrian path.
Met Park 4-5, as the Vornado apartment building is being called in planning documents, is expected be up to 22 stories tall, with two connected towers, and will contain just shy of 699 apartments. A 37,000 square foot grocery store space on the ground floor is being incorporated into the building with the express purpose of attracting Whole Foods, though no lease or letter of intent has been signed yet, we’re told.
An official with the Crystal City Business Improvement District told us the organization is “thrilled” with the prospect of bringing Whole Foods to the area. Currently, Whole Foods’ only location is the perpetually-crowded Clarendon store at 2700 Wilson Boulevard.
Developers hope the building plan will go before the County Board at some point mid-2013. No word yet on how long construction would take.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The restaurant opened in February 2011 but served its final diners last night. Owner Prat Uthes says Burapa struggled to find a steady customer base in a very competitive area, despite running a number of Groupons and other “daily deals.”
“The reason is tough economy and I can not compete with this location,” she told ARLnow.com. “Too many restaurants in the area and rent is too high.”
Still, Uthes said closing was a tough decision.
“I am so sad to leave this area,” she said. “I love all customers.”
Uthes said the Burapa Thai location in Lansdowne will remain open, and she’s planning to open a new location in Haymarket.
Hat tip to @dcrants
Sewage has leaked from a private building into Doctors Run, also known as Doctors Branch, Arlington County said Wednesday morning.
The county is advising people and pets to avoid contact with the stream, a tributary of Four Mile Run, until further notice. From an Arlington Alert:
The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services reports the possible release of sewage from a private building into the storm drains system. They are advising that humans and pets avoid contact with the water in Doctors Branch from Alcova Heights Park located at South 8th st. and George Mason Drive to Four Mile Run at Barcroft Park for several days to allow flushing of the stream.
Thanksgiving Closures — Most county offices and facilities will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Arlington courts, meanwhile, close at noon today. Community centers will be closed, except for Barcroft and Walter Reed, which will both be open on Friday. ART and Metro will run on a holiday schedule. Trash collection will operate as normal. [Arlington County]
Streets to Close for Turkey Trot 5K — The Lyon Park neighborhood will host its 7th annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving (Thursday) morning. The race, which has sold out, will result in several street closures in the area. [ACPD]
Library Technical Difficulties Update — Arlington Public Library is still struggling to recover from a system crash on Friday. “The catalog/accounts system and research databases will remain unavailable through Wednesday morning at the earliest,” the library said on its web site last night. All items due between Nov. 10 and Nov. 26 are now due Dec. 1. [Arlington Public Library]
County Plans for Bikeshare — Arlington has created a 6-year “Transit Development Plan” for Capital Bikeshare, the first such plan for a bikesharing system in the United States. The county will now submit the plan to Virginia with the hopes that Capital Bikeshare will be eligible for state transit funding. [Mobility Lab]
Pike Taekwondo Studio Celebrates Anniversary — U.S. Taekwondo College, the martial arts studio in the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse building at 932 S. Walter Reed Drive, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Grandmaster Myung Hak Kang, an immigrant from Seoul, South Korea, established the business in 1972. “I didn’t know how popular Taekwondo would be in a foreign country,” he said in an email. “I wanted to share a passion of mine and hoped the fitness and discipline aspect would catch on.”
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick