Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.
Gun Violence Discussion
Washington-Lee High School Auditorium (1301 N Stafford Street)
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Rep. Jim Moran hosts a community conversation on gun violence in America, featuring a panel of experts on the 2nd Amendment, public safety, and mental health policies.
An Evening of Virginia’s Finest Wines
Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center (900 Glebe Road)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The tasting/fundraiser for the Virginia Tech Alumni Association will consist of 7 or 8 wines from Virginia vineyards accompanied with regional cheeses and international chocolates.
Author Event: The 1847 Retrocession
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Author and historian Ron Beavers discusses the 1847 retrocession of Arlington from the District to Virginia.
Live Comedy: Janeane Garofalo
Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.
Comedian, actress and liberal activist Janeane Garofalo performs. Tickets are $25 and available online.
Yoga Reaches Out Benefit Event
Top of the Town (1400 N. 14th Street)
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
A morning of yoga at Top of the Town, overlooking the beautiful D.C. skyline, to benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation & Children’s Hospital.
Shocked and Amazed Carnival Sideshow
Artisphere Black Box Theatre (1101 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9:00 p.m.
James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed presents its first ever live event. The evening features Coney Island’s most daring darlings, the acclaimed New York Variety All-Stars, as well as several D.C. area acts.
St. Patrick’s Day Music and Food
Whitlow’s on Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Whitlow’s is offering a special Irish menu from 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The band Shannon Tide performs from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The day’s festivities included the Four Courts Four Miler race in Courthouse Saturday morning and the Shamrock Crawl bar crawl in Clarendon that afternoon and evening.
There were a total of 6 arrests for Drunk in Public on Saturday, including 5 incidents in the Clarendon area, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. There were also 7 arrests for Driving Under the Influence on Saturday, he said. By contrast, a planned DUI checkpoint on Friday yielded no DUI arrests, according to Sternbeck.
There were also two significant fights reported on Saturday.
One incident happened just past 9:00 p.m., near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Garfield Street in Clarendon. The incident started, police say, when the victim accidentally spilled a beer on a woman in a restaurant. An altercation ensued and staff at the restaurant had to separate the parties. At that point, altercation spilled outside the restaurant.
During the fight, police say, the victim’s head struck either a low wall or a curb, producing a significant head wound. The victim was found conscious but bleeding heavily, and was transported to George Washington University Hospital. Two Alexandria men were subsequently arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding by Mob.
From the ACPD daily crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY MOB, 03/09/13, 1400 block of N. Garfield Street. At 9:05 pm on March 9, an altercation inside a restaurant bar, continued into the street. A victim sustained a significant laceration to his forehead and was transported to GW hospital. DC Danh, 28, of Alexandria, VA and Donny Danh, 27, of Alexandria, VA, were arrested and charged with malicious wounding by mob. They were held without bond.
Early Saturday morning, in another alcohol-related incident, two people were arrested for assaulting a cab driver and an apartment concierge.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 03/09/13, 900 block of N. Randolph Street. At 4:13 am on March 9, two subjects exited a cab without paying and once confronted by the driver, physically assaulted him by punching and kicking him repeatedly. A residence concierge witnessed the attack and attempted to aid the victim, but was punched as well. Ramnik Aulakh, 30, of Arlington, VA, and Elizabeth Arias, 29, of Bowie, MD, were arrested and charged with malicious wounding, defrauding a taxi and drunk in public. They were held without bond.
The first of 24 planned “Super Stop” bus stops on Columbia Pike opened this morning.
The stop, on Columbia Pike at the intersection with Walter Reed Drive, offers riders a brighter, more open and attractive take on the traditional sheltered bus stop. The stop features lighting, an electronic display that shows when the next buses are coming, and a number of unbranded newspaper boxes (not yet filled).
At any given time some 15 passengers can use the stop, which serves Metro 16 and ART 45 buses.
Completion of the stop was long delayed, hampered by “a number of unexpected issues regarding construction and new materials,” according to a project rep. The project was first approved in 2011.
Crews are expected to begin work this spring on a “Barton West” Super Stop near Penrose Square, followed by work on new stops at Columbus and Dinwiddie Streets later this summer.
Arlington County will participate in a statewide tornado drill tomorrow (Tuesday) as part of Tornado Preparedness Day.
The County is reminding residents that a tornado can strike in Arlington, and that it’s important to prepare for such an event ahead of time.
From an Arlington County media release:
March 12, 2013 is Tornado Preparedness Day in Arlington County. Unlike hurricane season, there is no such thing as a “tornado season,” and no part of the Commonwealth is immune from tornadoes. They can hit at any time of the year and at any time of the day.
Every family, business and organization should do two things to get ready:
- Get a NOAA Weather Radio with SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) alerts.
- Participate in the statewide tornado drill Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m.
Arlington schools, businesses and residents have an opportunity to practice their tornado safety plans. At the same time, the National Weather Service (NWS) will be testing their public warning systems.
“The best and fastest way for anyone to get a tornado warning is by NOAA Weather Radio,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “With a weather radio, you get weather data directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. When we issue a tornado warning, the weather radio sounds an alarm or flashes lights and then gives information on where the storm is, which way it’s moving, and telling people in its path to take cover. This radio could be a lifesaver.”
NOAA Weather Radios with SAME alerts are available at electronics and sporting goods stores, discount and department stores, and online. They come in battery-powered models, and many also have AM/FM bands. A special needs NOAA Weather Radio is available as well. The special-needs NOAA Weather Radio can warn deaf and hard-of-hearing persons of hazardous conditions, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information.
The general rule for tornado safety is “go low and stay low”, which means go to the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and crouch in a low position with your head covered.
A tornado watch means current weather conditions may result in a tornado. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted. If a tornado warning has been issued for your area, you should take cover immediately.
The majority of tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm. Think of where you would normally be during that time…at school, work, home, or in the car. You may only have a few seconds to react. Decide NOW where you would go if a tornado warning were issued.
Tornadoes can occur with little or no advance warning. It is important to have a weather radio nearby so you can listen for tornado and other severe weather watches and warnings.
If the National Weather service issues a tornado warning for Arlington, your weather radio will sound an alert, indicating that you need to move to a safe area immediately.
Sign up for Arlington Alert to receive free emergency messages within seconds to pagers, cell phones and e-mail. This is a great way to receive emergency information and critical safety messages when you need them most. To sign up at no cost, go to www.arlingtonalert.com. Alerts are available in Spanish, also.
Pre-set your battery operated radio to 1700AM Arlington for up to date emergency information including weather emergencies. You may also access 1700AM Arlington by calling 1-415-655-0811. (Long distance charges apply.)
For more information about tornado preparedness, visit the Arlington Office of Emergency Management website.
For help in conducting a tornado drill and to register for the statewide drill, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov. Although registration is not required, people participating in the statewide drill are encouraged to sign up to show their support. The annual drill is a joint effort of Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and NWS.
A pothole on N. Courthouse Road has been forcing some drivers to slow to a crawl and has been producing a big bumpy surprise for others.
The pothole is located in the northbound lanes of N. Courthouse Road, between Route 50 and 13th Street N, just a couple of blocks from County government headquarters.
The left side of the pothole is a big dip. The right side contains a portion of raised pavement. Drivers who hit the dip with their left tire and the bump with their right tire risk bottoming out and scraping the undercarriage of their car.
Most drivers we observed were able to see the pothole and slow down before hitting it. We first Tweeted about the pothole last Tuesday. As of this morning, it’s still there.
Under the current ordinance, known as Chapter 30, food trucks are only allowed to remain parked for up to one hour. After that, they must move — but the current ordinance is vague and doesn’t specifically say how far they must move. Also, the ordinance contains contradictory language that can be interpreted as suggesting there is no time limit.
Food truck owners argue that the 60 minute limit hurts their business, as it can force them to shut down and move in the midst of the breakfast or lunch rush, even when customers are lined up. Since the trucks frequent busy Rosslyn, Ballston and Crystal City, that often means spending valuable sales time searching for a new parking space.
Food truck owners, fed up with getting ticketed for loitering when they refused to move, recently started mounting legal challenges against the ordinance, attacking the vague language. Last month they succeeded in getting prosecutors to drop loitering charges against one truck that was ticketed after police said it didn’t move “far enough.”
At the time, county officials acknowledged that the ordinance caused challenges for food vendors.
“We realize that the 60-minute time limit is challenging for vendors and for customers, and we are working to change it,” Arlington County spokeswoman Mary Curtius told ARLnow.com.
True to that promise, county staff is now proposing that the food truck parking limit be raised to “the lesser of two (2) hours or the lawful time limit prescribed for the respective parking meter zone.” After that, the a food truck must only move to another marked parking space or 25 feet in the absence of marked spaces.
The County Board is set to vote to advertise a hearing on the proposed ordinance change on Saturday. After the hearing, to be held on April 20, the Board would then vote on whether to actually change the ordinance.
The one hour street vending limit was set in 2008, after the County Board voted to raise the limit from 5 minutes. From the county staff report:
Since those changes in 2008, there has been continued growth in vendors — mobile food trucks, carts and tables have increased in populated areas of Arlington. Social media has assisted with marketing for vendors, and customers have flocked to them. Today, Arlington has approximately 100 licensed mobile food vendors. The increased popularity of the mobile food vendors has raised questions about the regulations, including the amount of time permitted for vending, appropriate locations for vending, and the overall enforcement of Chapter 30.
Chapter 30’s current language has made it difficult for vendors, does not accommodate customers appropriately, and creates an enforcement challenge. Enforcement is time consuming and the ordinance does not provide clear-cut specificity. Additionally, a thorough reading of the ordinance highlighted an issue in which the construct of the language in Section 30-9 allows for a departure from the original intent of a time limitation for vending to a permissive allowance of vending anywhere, with no time limitation, so long as the vending occurs between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
“This interim amendment addresses several inconsistencies and is just one element of the comprehensive updates that will benefit all of Arlington’s businesses and customers,” said Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell. “As we move forward in the process, we’ll be having conversations with all stakeholders for input.”
An association of local food truck owners say they’re happy with the county’s proposal.
“The Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington is extremely pleased that Arlington is continuing its efforts to make the County a place where small businesses like ours can grow,” said Doug Povich, owner of the Red Hook Lobster Pound truck. “Of all the jurisdictions in the area, Arlington seems to understand best how manage the various interests of all stakeholders in a way that benefits everyone. We look forward to continuing our work with the County as it is moves into the next stage of its regulatory process.”
Vote Expected on Homeless Shelter — The Arlington County Board is expected to vote this weekend on a use permit for the planned year-round homeless shelter at 2020 14th Street N. in Courthouse. A group of neighbors has vehemently opposed the shelter, which is located two blocks from the existing emergency winter shelter. [Sun Gazette]
Opposition to Environmental Cuts — One local environmental advocate is sounding the alarm about proposed cuts in the County Manager’s proposed budget. The budget would cut a Natural Resources Specialist at the Long Branch Nature Center, would eliminate an “urban forestry” position,” and would shrink the budget for tree plantings, tree supplies and invasive species control. [Arlington Mercury]
Proposed 2013-14 School Calendar — The 2013-14 school year for Arlington Public Schools would begin on Tuesday, Sept. 3 under a proposed calendar that administrators presented to the School Board. [Arlington Public Schools]
Volunteers Pack 60,000+ Meals — A group of volunteers packed more than 60,000 meals for the hungry on Saturday. The meals — a lentil casserole consisting of “lentils, dehydrated vegetables, rice, vitamins and Himalayan sea salt” — were packed in baggies that will be distributed through the Arlington Food Assistance Center and the Capital Area Food Bank. [Sun Gazette]
There are significant delays on the Blue and Yellow lines due to a track problem near Reagan National Airport.
The delays are impacting both inbound and outbound trains on both lines. From WMATA:
Metrorail customers on the Blue and Yellow lines will experience delays of approximately
2030-35 minutes this morning as trains share a single track between Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Shortly before 5 a.m., an accidental leak of hydraulic fluid on the outbound track created a slippery condition for trains. Personnel are on the scene working to clear the fluid to allow two-track train operations to resume. The clean up effort is expected to last through rush hour.