It’s an uncertain forecast in part due to above-freezing temperatures today, but forecasters say D.C. area residents should expect 1-3 inches of snow between late tonight and Tuesday night.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, warning of the potential for snow accumulation disrupting driving tomorrow, particularly during the morning commute.
We all know what a measly inch of snow did during the nightmare evening commute a couple of weeks ago — though road crews are likely to be more prepared this time around.
The Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, meanwhile, is once again being threatened by winter weather. On the parade’s website, organizers say they “will be making a weather announcement here mid-day on Tuesday, Feb. 9, about the parade,” which is scheduled for Tuesday night.
From the NWS:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS… SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 3 INCHES… WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS PARTICULARLY IN THE NORTHWEST SUBURBS.
* TIMING… A MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW WILL DEVELOP THIS EVENING. PRECIPITATION WILL TURN TO ALL SNOW AROUND OR SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT. PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CONTINUE INTO TUESDAY AND THE ADVISORY MAY NEED TO BE EXTENDED.
* IMPACTS… SNOW COVERED ROADS AND TRAVEL DISRUPTIONS.
* WINDS… NORTH 5 TO 10 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 30S.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
VDOT, meanwhile, says drives should be prepared for the possibility of a messy commute Tuesday. From a press release:
The Virginia Department of Transportation asks drivers to plan now for their commutes Tuesday, as several inches of snow are forecast to impact both the morning and evening rush hours in northern Virginia. Drivers are asked to monitor forecasts for changes or heavier weather bands that may impact their schedule, and to plan accordingly to telework, delay commutes or allow extra time for a slow and cautious trip.
Crews have treated interstates and major roads in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties with brine and liquid magnesium chloride in advance of the snow. Tonight, about 1,450 trucks will pre-deploy along interstates, main roads and neighborhood streets. They will remain on duty to plow and treat roads through the day Tuesday.
VDOT reminds drivers to use extreme caution during winter weather, to reduce speeds, and to be aware of potential slick spots such as bridges, ramps, hills, curves and shaded areas.
Reminders for drivers and residents:
If possible, park in driveways or on the odd-numbered side of the street to allow plows room to pass.
Follow @vadotnova on Twitter.
VDOT’s Northern Virginia District includes Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties (Arlington maintains its own secondary roads).
Fairlington is the last neighborhood in Arlington to be wired for FiOS, according to Rob Billingsley, Arlington County’s Cable Administrator.
Under an agreement with Verizon enacted in June 2006, the company agreed to complete a county-wide implementation of FiOS service within 10 years. The initial service build-out took place mostly in north Arlington, before Verizon’s fiber optic lines were brought to other parts of the county during a second phase of the project.
The final phase, in Fairlington, is expected to wrap up this summer, Billingsley said.
One unanswered question — which is one of the subjects of a scheduled Feb. 10 Fairlington community meeting — is how Verizon will get service from the fiber optic lines that run along the street to the thousands of condo units that make up the World War II-era neighborhood.
It’s a straightforward process for single family homes, for which the home owner also owns the surrounding lot. In historic Fairlington, however, various condominium associations own the land and control changes to the property.
Verizon will need to strike agreements with each condo association to outline how it will get service from the street to each unit. It’s theoretically possible that FiOS could fulfill its contractual obligations to the county by laying the fiber lines without actually providing any residents with service, Billingsley noted.
While FiOS is widely available to homes in the county, many apartment buildings and condo complexes still lack the infrastructure to support FiOS service.
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Satellite company OneWeb is working to make this vision a reality by launching a constellation of nearly 700 low-orbit satellites, and it’s moving to Rosslyn.
Last month, the company announced it is leasing 6,000 square feet of office space at 1400 Key Blvd, meaning OneWeb’s central operation will be moving to Arlington in the near future.
“Washington is one of the key international hubs for the aerospace and satellite industries, and the area’s deep talent pool will be a tremendous asset as we continue to expand our operations, including finding a site for a network operations center and a satellite operations center,” said OneWeb CEO Matt O’Connell about the move.
The space is part of Monday Properties’ Ground Floor, where other startups and “early stage” companies have also landed.
OneWeb is currently based on Jersey, one of Britain’s Channel Islands. The idea for worldwide Internet access first started in 2002 when founder Greg Wyler started a telecommunications company to bring low-cost cell phone and Internet service to people in Rwanda.
Still, Wyler knew he had to build many more satellites and bring them closer to Earth to achieve international communication, faster speeds, affordable costs and, ultimately, universal access. OneWeb is the means by which he hopes to finally do so.
“This is an enormous long-term project and our goal is to provide reliable high-speed internet access to all communities around the world who don’t currently have access,” O’Connell said. “We believe connectivity is a fundamental layer for societal and economic growth.”
Democratic County Board candidate Erik Gutshall would like to see further progress on the planning process for the future of the Lee Highway corridor.
Gutshall, a small business owner who serves on the Arlington Planning Commission, warned in a statement (below) that Lee Highway could experience “crazy-quilt development” if not for “a thoughtful, community-led planning process.” He called on the County Board to prioritize long-range planning for Lee Highway this year.
Gutshall is challenging County Board Chair Libby Garvey in the June 14 Democratic primary.
Erik Gutshall called today for the Arlington County Board to make development of a long-range plan for Lee Highway a priority for the County Manager for the coming year.
Gutshall, who is challenging the incumbent Board Chair in the Democratic Primary, congratulated the Lee Highway Alliance, a collaborative effort of all neighborhood civic associations abutting Lee Highway from Arlington’s North Highlands community along the Potomac River to the Falls Church line, noting, “…the Lee Highway community has shown uncommon leadership in developing a vision for the future of Lee Highway.”
Gutshall called on the County Board to appoint a citizen-led task force quickly to undertake the development of a Lee Highway Plan, provide the task force with significant staff support and outside expert resources, and develop a scope of work that allows the task force to think big about the Lee Highway of the future. “Lee Highway,” Gutshall said, “is the last major unplanned commercial corridor in Arlington. Similar plans for the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor have been a central reason for that area’s great success.”
Gutshall, as a task force member, was engaged in the development of today’s plan for Clarendon. “Without a plan,” he said, “we can expect crazy-quilt development along Lee Highway; changes that aren’t the result of a thoughtful, community-led planning process are much less likely to meet Arlingtonians’ needs and are likely to detract from, rather than add value to, surrounding neighborhoods.”
Gutshall noted that long-range plans are extraordinarily valuable to the community and have underpinned much of Arlington’s standout prosperity. These plans are a concrete expression of the community’s hopes for the future and provide property owners with the policy guidance needed to encourage thoughtful, responsible and responsive development. “Unfortunately,” Gutshall said, “County Board leadership looks at the County’s long-term plans as merely advisory, something that can be easily dismissed. In my view, these plans are a compact between our elected representatives, developers and the community and embody the collective vision for the neighborhoods where we live, work, learn, and play.”
A viral image that has been making its way around the web since January, mostly via email, purports to be a photo of the late Catholic missionary at age 18.
In actuality, it is an old photo of a local resident named Tran Anh Phuong, who died in 2008.
Prolific online rumor killer Snopes could only find a tangential connection between the two women: an obituary of Phuong that included a quote from Mother Teresa, who died in 1997.
“God’s Gift to you is the Gift of Life. What you do with your Life is your Gift to God.” — Mother Teresa.
Our beloved Mother, Tran Anh Phuong, passed away on April 20, 2008 after a long illness. She was the eldest child of Reverend Te Ngoc Tran and Mrs. Tot Thi Nguyen. She resided in Arlington, VA for the past 33 years.
Our Mother attended Southeast Asia Union College in Singapore, majoring in English. From 1968-1972, while raising a young family, she served as a Vietnamese instructor at Ft. Bliss, TX preparing military officers to serve in Viet Nam. After a 19 year career as Executive Assistant for the Commission on Engineering and Technical System at the National Academy of Sciences, she retired in 1992.
A mock Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders “comedy debate” will take place at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) next week.
“Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate Tour 2016” is scheduled Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, Feb. 18-20. Tickets are $20.
The show stars comedians Anthony Atamanuik as Trump and James Adomian as Sanders.
“It’s Republican Billionaire vs. Democratic Socialist fighting over the issues before the 2016 presidential election,” trumpets the Drafthouse website. Arlington is the second to last stop for the “unsanctioned debate” on a multi-city tour.
Authorities Still Investigating Oil Sheen on Potomac — In an effort to find the source of an oily sheen on the Potomac River near the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, the Coast Guard, state authorities and the Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services will be conducting a “dye test.” Non-toxic dye may be seen in the river today. At least 23 birds were were sent to a wildlife rescue organization for cleaning as a result of contact with the oil. [U.S. Coast Guard, Facebook, WJLA]
Two Displaced By Fire Near Clarendon — A structure fire Friday night on the 1200 block of N. Kirkwood Road, near Clarendon, has left two residents displaced. No one was injured in the blaze. The residents are being assisted by the Red Cross. [Twitter, Twitter]
Nauck History Project Seeks Contributions — As part of Black History Month, Arlington County is encouraging residents of the Nauck neighborhood to donate images and stories to the Nauck/Green Valley Heritage Project. The project has an online archive dedicated to preserving the community’s rich history. [Arlington County]
Arlington Makes AARP ‘Healthy’ List — Arlington County is among the top “medium population cities” for those ages 50+ to stay active and healthy, according to new rankings. [AARP]
Clement: Support Governor’s I-66 Plan — Frequent local candidate for elected office Audrey Clement is encouraging Arlingtonians to support the McAuliffe administration’s plan for tolling I-66 inside the Beltway. That plan, which calls for widening I-66 only as a last resort, is preferable to the call from outside the Beltway lawmakers to widen I-66 as soon as possible, Clement says. [Campaign for a Greener Arlington]
Arlington Woman Has Purse With $10K Cash Stolen — Police are looking for a suspect seen stealing a purse with $10,000 cash inside from a Fairfax County Dunkin’ Donuts. The purse was accidentally left behind by an Arlington mother who had saved for years to pay her 18-year-old daughter’s tuition at Penn State. [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!
Whether you are planning to watch the big game tomorrow or not (sorry Redskins fans), there’s one bowl we should all keep our eyes on: the toilet bowl.
The real evidence of Arlingtonians’ Super Bowl celebrating will be in the sewer pipes. The “Super Bowl flush” is the moment that thousands of toilets in Arlington all flush at the same time – halftime.
If all 184 million viewers flushed with a water efficient WaterSense toilet instead of an older model, over 400 million gallons of water could be saved! Instead of spending money on your water bill, you could spend it on your favorite beverage.
Using water = using energy. You may not think about it, but it takes a lot of energy to purify your water and then pump it to your home. After you flush, it also takes a significant amount of energy to get your waste to Arlington’s Water Pollution Control Plant, where even more energy is required to treat the wastewater.
Why does water use matter to you? Arlington’s water and sewer rates have increased significantly over the past 15 years. These costs mostly increased due to upgrades at the Water Pollution Control Plant to ensure that Arlington’s wastewater is cleaned to meet increasingly stringent standards.
Since energy and water are inextricably linked, using WaterSense toilets (faucets and showerheads, too) saves you money on your water bill, about $110 a year per toilet. This Super Bowl, when you flush, think about tackling that toilet, showerhead, or faucet upgrade by installing high-performance WaterSense fixtures. You’ll score some savings, even if your favorite team doesn’t win!
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
The 2016 Crystal Couture fashion show and boutique sale is underway in Crystal City.
This year, the show is taking place at the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive. It features models walking the runway, sporting cutting edge fashions from local designers. There’s also music from DJ Neekola, a bar with beer and wine, and pop-up shops from designers and retailers.
Above are some photos from Thursday night’s event.
Crystal Couture will be taking place Friday from 6-10 p.m., with television’s Paul Wharton hosting, and Saturday from 2-10 p.m., with 94.7 Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly hosting. Local media personality Sarah Fraser hosted on Thursday.
(Fraser will also be hosting ARLnow.com’s conversation with new County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey next week.)
Saturday’s event includes the option for indulging in a VIP experience.
Disclosure: Crystal Couture host Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The number of PreK-12 students enrolled in Arlington Public Schools is expected to surpass 30,000 in 2022 after steadily rising for years, according to APS in its newly released enrollment report.
School officials say 25,238 students were enrolled as of Sept. 30, 2015, the first time since 1969 that APS has reached the 25,000 student milestone. By 2017, the school projects 27,491 students will have enrolled, an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous year. And steady growth continues from there: The school says its student body will grow by at least 2.5 percent until the 2021-2022 school year, when it’s expected to surpass 30,700 students.
According to APS, the total number of enrolled students “has risen at an unprecedented high growth pattern since 2008.” Since fall 2005, the number of students has grown by more than 6,800 students, an increase of about 37 percent.
Growth will likely slow to 1.7 percent by 2023 and continue to wane thereafter, APS adds. By 2026, the school’s student body is projected to grow only by 0.6 percent and reach an enrollment total of 32,807.
Overall, the school expects to add nearly 7,600 students between now and 2026.
Though all other alternative projections put the school over 30,000 students by 2024 at the latest, APS says it’s possible that the number of enrolled students could shrink instead of grow by that time. One projection says the school could lose 1,181 students between 2021 and 2025. But the school cautions that such alternative projections “are not statistical confidence limits, but instead represent judgments made by planning staff as to reasonable upper and lower bounds.”
Among the factors used to project school enrollment was historic birth rates in Arlington County, which are used to project the number of future incoming kindergarten students.
An average of 2,800 live births per year were recorded in Arlington between 2004 to 2008. Between 2009 and 2013, a period APS refers to as “the wave,” about 3,100 births on average were recorded each year. As children born during “the wave” grow up, they’re expected to crowd schools as they advance through elementary, middle and high school.
In response, APS has in the past undertaken several actions to mitigate school crowding, like hiring 387 new teachers last summer and utilizing trailer classrooms.
Among the steps being taken by APS to add more capacity for the growing student body are adding an elementary school at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School site, expanding Abingdon Elementary in Fairlington and building the new Stratford Middle School while moving the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program to Rosslyn.
Graphs via APS Enrollment Report
If you typed that into a search engine, we have a simple answer: pretty much anywhere that serves beer and has a TV. It’s a safe bet that if you walk into any bar in Arlington County at 6:30 p.m. Sunday — the time that the Super Bowl festivities are scheduled to start — the big game will be on.
There are, however, a couple of options in Arlington for those who are looking for a more unique Super Bowl experience.
“Mad Rose graciously hosted a subset of fans during Snowzilla and would love to welcome us back!” the group wrote on its website. “They will feature happy hour food and drink specials and the famous blue Panthers Punch shot!”
Mad Rose will also be hosting Broncos fans, but in a different wing of the bar.
There is no official Denver Broncos gathering in Arlington that we’re aware of — the big Broncos events are both in the District — however, if you’re a fan of either team and want to watch the game on the biggest possible screen, the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) has an event for you.
The Drafthouse’s Super Bowl viewing event is free and begins at 4:30 p.m.
“We will be offering regular table side service offering a full restaurant menu with full bar service,” the Drafthouse said on its website. “And of course our huge digital sports screen!”
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The Johnny Rockets in the Pentagon City mall has apparently gone the way of sock hops and McCarthyism.
The 1950s themed burger-and-shake restaurant has been closed and boarded up for the past several days. While the Pentagon City location’s Facebook account is still publishing generic food photos, it has been removed from the company’s website and customers asking about the closure earlier this week have gotten no response.
There was no answer at the restaurant’s phone line. We’re still awaiting confirmation that the eatery has closed for good.
A Johnny Rockets in Shirlington closed last year.
Update on 2/6/16 — A PR rep for the mall writes in an email to ARLnow.com: “Johnny Rockets has been a valued eatery at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for many years. We expect to make an announcement on plans for the space very soon. Further questions should be directed to Johnny Rockets.”
Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.
This week, Dave and I sat down with Ocelot’s founder and brewer Adrien Widman and Director of Sales Curtis Griffith in their beautiful tap room right in Dulles, Virginia.
Ocelot is one of Virginia’s newest and best breweries. We talked about Ocelot’s concept of making an amazing variety of craft beers and a recent collaboration with Jace Gonnerman, beverage director of Meridian Pint, Smoke & Barrel, and Brookland Pint.
The collaboration beer is a triple IPA called Talking Backwards and is on tap at all three of those locations now and will be on tap at Dominion Wine and Beer for growler fills sometime next week! Talking Backwards is extremely limited and will not last long so don’t miss out. Check out the video for more details.
The so-called backpack mail for parents of elementary and middle school students is being phased out in favor of an electronic system, following a successful pilot program, according to APS spokesman Frank Bellavia.
The system, called Peachjar, is specifically designed for schools. It sends electronic flyers to parents’ email inboxes, thus cutting costs and staff time that would otherwise be spent making paper copies and distributing them.
The new system is being rolled out to all elementary and middle schools “over the next few weeks,” Bellavia said.
Families can request that they keep receiving paper copies and paper flyers will be posted on school bulletin boards. Otherwise, there are a number of options for electronic delivery.
“Parents can access the flyers via weekly email notifications they receive, by checking the school’s website, or accessing flyers on the APS Mobile App,” said Bellavia. “Families like the Peachjar option because electronic copies stay online for at least 30 days, and are linked directly to the organization’s website where they can access more information or directly sign up for programs electronically, which is more convenient than keeping track of paper copies and following up on advertised services.”
The pilot program took place at six elementary schools and one middle school last fall and of the families surveyed about it, 86 percent said they wanted to keep the new system instead of returning to backpack mail, according to APS. Nonprofit organizations and PTAs also participate in backpack mail and APS received an enthusiastic response from them.
“More than 100 nonprofit organizations who participate in our backpack mail program were surveyed, and only one respondent indicated a desire to return to backpack mail,” said Bellavia. “APS, schools and PTAs can use the service for free, and nonprofit organizations pay a nominal fee that is less costly than making copies, to distribute their flyers electronically to families. Our PTAs are excited about the service because they can use it for free to distribute their flyers, saving time and the expense of printing paper copies.”
“This program supports the APS commitment to its core value of sustainability, and many families, community members and staff have urged APS to find a paperless (environmentally friendly) alternative to backpack mail,” Bellavia noted.
High schools do not have backpack mail and thus are not slated to get the new system. After the jump, a video about Peachjar.
Mt. Vernon Trail Unplowed After Snowzilla — The National Park Service did not plow the Mt. Vernon Trail, a major bicycle commuter route, after the January blizzard. The snow-covered trail was, however, used by cross-country skiers. Cyclists would like the park service to consider changing its no-plowing policy. [Greater Greater Washington]
Va. GOP Does Away With Loyalty Oath — The State Board of Elections has approved a request from the Republican Party of Virginia that the state discard the loyalty oath the party originally wanted voters to sign during the March 1 presidential primary [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Agencies Investigate Oily Sheen on Potomac — A number of federal and local agencies investigated an oily sheen spotted on the Potomac River yesterday from Gravelly Point down to Alexandria. The source of the oil has not been determined but efforts to contain it were deployed. [Washington Post, Patch]
No Local News in Washington Post App — Steve Thurston, founder of the defunct Arlington Mercury local news blog, isn’t pleased with the Washington Post’s decision last year to leave local news out of the official Washington Post iPhone and iPad app. Post subscribers who want to read local content via an app now have to download a separate “Washington Post Classic” app. [ipadreporter]
New Novel from ‘Beast of Barcroft’ Author — Arlington author Bill Schweigart has a new novel coming out. “Northwoods” is Schweigart’s sequel to supernatural thriller “The Beast of Barcroft.” Both books feature Arlington-based characters and other local references. The 277-page Ebook is being published by Penguin Random House on Feb. 16. [Penguin Random House]
Crystal City Office Complex Up for Sale — The so-called Polk and Taylor office buildings in Crystal City are up for sale. The Department of Defense is leasing the 912,000 square foot office complex along Crystal Drive and 26th Street S. until 2025, but owner Beacon Capital Partners is seeking to sell before the lease expires. The buildings are assessed at $351.2 million. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards