Arlington County will be under a Winter Weather Advisory Thursday as a mix of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain fall, causing a potentially slippery morning commute.
The National Weather Service says residents should “be very careful if you venture outside tomorrow.”
WHOA! A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for areas in pink and a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for areas in Purple. #SNOW SLeet and Freezing rain will cause significant delays. We are LIVE! @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/mNSVPmVXYv
— Doug Kammerer (@dougkammerer) November 14, 2018
More from NWS:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY… * WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. TOTAL SLEET AND SNOW ACCUMULATION OF UP TO ONE INCH, AND ICE GLAZE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO A TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…PORTIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 4 AM TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD AND SIDEWALK CONDITIONS IN SOME AREAS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUTSIDE TOMORROW. WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS IN PARTICULAR AS YOUR STEP OR PATH MAY BE COATED WITH ICE. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&
AAA Mid-Atlantic is also cautioning motorists to take it easy on local roads and consider delaying non-essential trips.
Brace yourselves. We are likely in for a slippery commute tomorrow morning. People in the Washington, D.C. metro area will be waking up to a wintry mix Thursday morning, the National Weather Service and area meteorologists are forecasting. The forecast calls for a mix of “sleet, snow, and rain, and freezing rain.” Motorists and commuters should be especially careful on their morning commute and throughout the day, AAA Mid-Atlantic is urging, as the precipitation is expected to continue, either changing to rain or snow in the region.
Winter doesn’t officially arrive until the “Winter Solstice,” which falls on Friday, December 21, 2018. Although the Washington metro averages a blizzard “once every four to six years,” the District has an annual snowfall average of 15.5 inches, and we had snow in the forecast on the first day of Spring this year. Yet when it comes to rainfall, the city experiences an average of 115 days per year with precipitation. A “wintry mix” of precipitation can cause a big mess and pose special problems for area commuters.
“Thursday morning’s predicted wintry mix of precipitation will make for slippery conditions on roadways in our region,” said John B. Townsend II, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Roads that are slick or ice-covered can create a worst-case scenario for commuters. The first rule of safe driving during wet weather is to slow down to improve tire traction. Plus, given the darker morning and evening commutes, be especially cautious and look out for pedestrians.”
Hazardous storms and inclement weather are a factor in more than half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Given the weather forecast, AAA Mid-Atlantic is encouraging drivers to be prepared and offers the below tips:
Avoid braking and turning at the same time. Brake first, then turn, then accelerate. Accelerate and decelerate more slowly than you would on dry roads.
- Leave plenty of space between your car and the car ahead of you. Increase following distances to at least 6 seconds.
- Drive with your low-beam headlights on, even during daylight.
- Be predictable. Use turn signals, make sure lanes are clear before changing and leave plenty of time to stop.
- Avoid using cruise control, which can reduce traction.
- If you start to skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
- Avoid puddles when it’s safe to do so.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Stay alert and minimize distractions. Don’t text, talk on the phone or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- In snow and ice, try not to stop when heading up a steep hill. After you’ve stopped, applying extra gas to get started again may only spin your wheels. Get some momentum going on a flat road as you approach the hill to help you reach the top, then reduce your speed and drive down the hill slowly.
- If your visibility is so limited you can’t see in front of you, carefully pull off to the side of the road and stop completely.
We have some good news: Nearly nine years in, ARLnow is on solid footing.
Thanks to our loyal readers and valued advertisers (who you should support!) ARLnow is one of the few solidly profitable online-only local news outlets of its kind. Not publisher-driving-a-Tesla profitable, but we’re not in danger of going away anytime soon.
This is why we’ve never asked for donations.
But as you might have guessed, this is changing. Because while we often hear from people who say they love the site and don’t want it to change, we also hear from readers who want more.
Have you ever thought, said, commented or tweeted that ARLnow should investigate a certain community issue that’s important to you? Or that we should have had someone attend a certain meeting? Or written more in depth on a certain topic?
If so, you’re certainly not alone. We hear it all the time. But the fact of the matter is that the ARLnow you see today is the result of daily heroic efforts, stretching the journalistic resources we have at our disposal — given our current business model — to the max and then some.
During this crucial time for Arlington as a community, with Amazon on the way and plenty of challenges ahead, it is more important than ever for local journalism to thrive here. With the support of our community, we could uncover more truths, hold more people and institutions accountable, and tell additional local stories.
So while we’ve resisted it since our founding in 2010, it’s now time to ask: will you support us and help elevate the level of local journalism in Arlington?
Head to our new Patreon page and see how you can pitch in, what perks you can get, and what your monthly contribution could help fund.
The ARLnow Team
(Scott, Jordan, Alex, Catherine, Dwayne and Vernon)
Mediterranean-themed restaurant Caspi is replacing the Moroccan eatery and hookah bar, Mazagan Restaurant, next to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.
Located at 2901 Columbia Pike location, Mazagan Restaurant was purchased last week and will be replaced with a restaurant featuring a menu of Mediterranean and European cuisine, one of the owners told ARLnow. He added that the restaurant is aiming for a soft opening this coming weekend, followed by a grand opening in late November.
A peek inside the windows reveals a torn apart inside with construction tools and signs of major renovation. A Virginia liquor license application from Huseynov and Sam LLC is posted in the window facing Columbia Pike.
The South Arlington Lions Club will be hosting its annual Christmas Tree Sale and Christmas Tree 5K on Columbia Pike this holiday season!
Benefits from the Christmas Tree 5K and Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale will provide resources for sight preservation, disaster relief, Arlington Youth activities, the Arlington Free Clinic and the Arlington Food Assistance Center. The Club will be providing Christmas trees to low-income families as well to provide joy during holiday celebrations.
The Lions Club will hold its 55th annual Christmas Tree Sale starting Friday, November 23rd through Monday, December 24th this holiday season. The Christmas Tree Sale returns to Columbia Pike for its 27th year on the Pike.
The Christmas Tree Sale will take place at the corner of Columbia Pike and South Four Mile Run Drive between 12pm-8pm (Monday-Friday) and 9am-7pm (Sat-Sun).
The William A. Wildhack Christmas Tree 5K will take place on the W&OD Trail from Columbia Pike to Bluemont Park and back on Saturday, December 1st at 11:00am. Participants can register for the 5K at www.safetyandhealthfoundation.org/christmastree.
Please join the South Arlington Lions Club in celebrating the holiday season by joining us for our events this year!
Opponents of the decision to change the name of Washington-Lee High School have long claimed the School Board improperly cast aside its established engagement process on the matter — but the school system has now provided its most robust rebuttal of those charges to date.
A trio of students at Washington-Lee are hoping to block the school’s renaming with a lawsuit targeting the School Board and other top Arlington Public Schools officials, arguing primarily that the Board rushed a vote on the issue and failed to follow its proscribed process for accepting public comments on the name change.
The Board and its lawyers have already asked a judge to toss out the suit, claiming that the question of whether Board members followed their proposed engagement schedule is irrelevant in the legal proceedings. But, in a legal memorandum filed in late October, the APS lawyers argue extensively that the Board “properly followed its procedures in voting to rename W-L,” should the students’ legal challenge survive a judge’s scrutiny.
In short, name-change opponents have accused the Board of misleading the community by promising a two-step process, and not delivering; they argue the Board pledged to first revise its policy for naming all county schools, then consider whether to change Washington-Lee’s name specifically. Instead, the Board changed the naming policy, then voted to rename W-L all on the same night back in June.
The students backing the lawsuit, who have asked the court to withhold their names despite some giving on-camera interviews about the case, even claim a recording of their meeting with Board Vice Chair Tannia Talento bolsters those arguments. In that conversation, Talento did admit that “there was never any intentional engagement to the community about specifically changing [the name of] Washington-Lee.”
However, in the Oct. 26 motion, the School Board’s attorneys argue that name-change challengers have misunderstood what Board members promised to do.
The motion points specifically to the Board’s vote in October 2017 to adopt a four-stage process for drafting a new school naming policy. That process involved a staff committee identifying the names of schools that “may need to be considered for renaming” based on a revised policy governing school monikers, which ended up including W-L. Then, the Board agreed to “in tandem” adopt the new naming policy and “begin a renaming process for any schools that may need to be renamed.”
That means the lawyers believe Board followed its planned process during its June meeting, despite the claims to the contrary.
The Board’s attorneys do note that Superintendent Patrick Murphy did proposed a “modified procedure and timeline” for the process in January, which did allow for a separate round of community engagement and Board vote on a potential W-L renaming.
However, the lawyers write that “at no point did the School Board vote to adopt this alternate procedure and/or its accompanying timeline,” making it merely a proposal and not set policy. The attorneys even go on to describe Murphy’s January plan as a “non-binding, contingency plan” that “never supplanted the naming process or its accompanying timeline that had been previously adopted by the School Board in fall 2017.”
“Plaintiffs’ specific allegations that the School Board gave no advance public notice that the revised naming policy would be considered for a vote — and that the amendment was not circulated to the public in advance of its June 7, 2018 meeting — are both factually contradicted by the plaintiffs’ own amendment complaint and exhibits, and are legally irrelevant in any event,” the lawyers wrote.
Certainly, there are a variety of other legal arguments that the Board’s lawyers make to justify their earlier request that the case be dismissed. They believe the students don’t have standing to sue — as all of them are currently seniors, and won’t be attending the school by the time it’s set to be renamed in fall 2019 — and that the lawsuit improperly targets Board members and school leaders in their personal capacities, rather than the Board as a whole.
The attorneys also point out that a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge dismissed a similar legal challenge to the renaming of J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church earlier this year. That school is now known as Justice High School.
The students and their attorney now have until Dec. 7 to file a motion rebutting the Board’s claims. A judge is set to hold a hearing on whether the case can go forward on Dec. 19.
Meanwhile, the Board has pressed ahead with the renaming process, in the hopes of voting on a new name for Washington-Lee next month.
Northern Virginia and DMV-Area Families: An innovative and global preschool-Grade 12 school is coming to DC next year – The Whittle School & Studios! Aimed at educating and nurturing curious, compassionate global citizens, The Whittle School is the brainchild of entrepreneur Chris Whittle, American media and education leader, former chairman of Esquire Magazine and founder of Whittle Communications and Avenues: The World School as well as Edison Learning.
The School’s philosophy and curriculum are based upon best practices from countries around the world, with an emphasis on personalized education, experiential learning, and immersive language and cultural knowledge acquisition. From the start, The Whittle School will open a second campus in Shenzhen, China, and over the next 10 years will open campuses in leading cities around the globe. As one school with many campuses, Whittle is a modern, innovative concept that will develop smart, engaged, well-rounded and globally-minded students sought after by top universities and colleges.
Amongst the different Whittle educational offerings, there will be a strong boarding component for Upper School with both full boarding and 5-day boarding options. This allows families to make the best choices for them and their students, balancing school and family life. The campus, a collaborative learning hub, will open in September 2019 at the former Intelsat building in Washington, DC, offering students access to the City as a valued educational tool. For 5-day boarding students, transportation will be offered to and from the School on a weekly basis.
To learn more about The Whittle School, please visit our website at https://www.whittleschool.org.
You may also contact Matthew Pohl, Director of Enrollment Strategy, [email protected], 646-851-5260.
No. VIRGINIA OPEN HOUSE: Sunday November 18, 4pm, Ritz Carlton, Tysons
Come meet members of our leadership team and learn about our vision for a modern, global preschool-Grade 12 school with campuses around the world, launching in Fall 2019 in Washington, D.C. and Shenzhen, China.
This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Oliver, a 10-year-old bulldog with a face that breaks hearts.
Here’s what his owner, Justin, had to say about him:
This is Oliver but his friends call him Gus. He’s a 10 yr old American Bulldog, weighing in at 110lbs now, but he came to us as a puppy from Arizona. This breed’s agility, intelligence, and loyalty made them very helpful for handling cattle. Their strong jaws and muscular build was perfect for hunting wild pigs in American south where they had no natural predators. But by the end of World War II, the American Bulldog was almost extinct until a few breeders scoured the south for specimens to revive the breed. Today, the American Bulldog is in no danger of extinction and is mostly a family-friendly companion.
Oliver is a perfect gentleman who watches the neighborhood closely and when we have a visitor he lets us know with a few barks. But, that usually wears him out and he heads back to his bed for a siesta. At the dinner table he is very well behaved and never begs, but he does watch intently and after a while his sad face makes it impossible to not give him at least one little table treat. During the dog days of summer he especially loves watermelon, and he can eat it right out of your hand so gently you would think he was a puppy.Everyone in the neighborhood knows and loves him and he enjoys playing with kids and other dogs.
Ollie enjoys resting just about anywhere. He is a gentle giant who loves to snuggle close and his soothing snores help humans fall asleep like listening to the sounds of the ocean. But, it could also means he needs a CPAP machine for dogs. At the end of the day he likes his family time where he can rest with his rawhide and relieve the stress of living in northern VA. He’s a great buddy!
Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!
Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.
Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.
This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By Sindy Yeh
In honoring our veterans this past week, we would like to share a wonderful program the Commonwealth of Virginia sponsors in support of those leaving the military seeking employment.
Did you know the Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation?
Virginia is comprised of the most veteran-owned small businesses in the country. Not so surprising considering Virginia is home to the Pentagon in Arlington and the world’s largest naval base in Norfolk. There are hundreds of thousands of active-duty service members serving within the Commonwealth’s borders and many have chosen to call Virginia home upon leaving the military.
With more than 750,000 veterans located in Virginia, the Commonwealth has had the fastest growing veteran labor force over the past 5 years and is projected to continue to have the fastest growing veteran population over the next five years.
With such a highly skilled and adaptable workforce living here, Virginia recognizes the opportunity to promote veteran talent to the civilian workforce and to help businesses become more successful by focusing on hiring the right people for the job.
One such initiative, the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program, provides education, training and connectivity resources to assist companies to implement nationally recognized best practices in recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans. Virginia companies who have completed all V3 training requirements and have submitted a veteran hiring plan will be recognized as an official “V3-Certified Company.”
Furthermore, V3 qualified companies with fewer than 300 employees may qualify for up to $10,000 in grants, with $1,000 being awarded per eligible veteran that is hired and retained for at least one year.
Several Arlington companies are officially V3-Certified, namely Lunarline, CACI, Cydecor, G4S Secure Solutions, First Division Consulting, Shoulder 2 Shoulder, By Light Professional IT Services and National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association.
We encourage Arlington companies to consider becoming V3 certified to seize the opportunity to find the workforce they need within the veteran community.
If it sounds like World War II in Arlington tonight, there’s a good explanation for why.
The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will be firing off massive World War II-era anti-tank guns on Fort Myer
between 6-8 p.m., according to the base’s public affairs office. Up to 84 rounds will be fired in order to “obtain audio recordings of the cannon fire.”
Arlington residents can expect to hear the barrage, though the exact neighborhoods where such artillery fire is most audible varies depending on weather conditions.
More from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall:
Esteemed Arlington County Neighbors,
Please be advised that there will be blank cannon fire on the Fort Myer side of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m.tonight, Nov. 14. The cannon fire will be shot from four 5,775-pound WWII-era anti-tank guns used during ceremonial events on base and in the region. Members from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Presidential Salute Battery will be firing up to 84 rounds at random intervals during this two-hour window. The reason for tonight’s cannon fire is so that the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” can obtain audio recordings of the cannon fire for use at upcoming performances when it isn’t feasible to have the actual guns present.
For additional information, please call the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public Affairs Office at 703-696-2976.
Update at 2:35 p.m. — The cannon fire is now scheduled between 5 and 6:15 p.m.
We just received word that the hours for the blank cannon fire scheduled for this evening at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall were moved back – now to take place from 5 to 6:15 p.m. While we hope that this last minute change does not cause any confusion, the good news is that the cannon fire will not occur so late in the evening. There will still be 84 rounds of cannon fire that will take place between 5 and 6:15 p.m.
Photo via Facebook
Amazon’s new headquarters will fundamentally transform Arlington in the years to come, but county officials are hoping to reassure residents that the area won’t change in the blink of an eye.
Instead, Arlington leaders are painting the arrival of the tech giant — and the 25,000 workers set to someday occupy its new office space — as a development that will shape the county’s economic landscape over time, rather than overnight. And, they hope, that will give the county time to prepare accordingly.
“This is not going to feel like a tsunami of new people on our streets or kids in our schools,” County Board Chair Katie Cristol said during a question-and-answer session live-streamed on Facebook last night (Tuesday).
Critics of the county’s courtship of Amazon have long feared the impact that thousands of highly paid workers arriving in the region could have on everything from home prices to school overcrowding. But Arlington leaders have often countered that the region is experiencing dramatic growth at the moment, and seems set to see even more in the future, meaning that Amazon’s arrival might not seem especially out of place.
Now that Jeff Bezos and company have made the big decision, targeting Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard for half of its proposed second headquarters, officials remain confident in those predictions. Cristol, for instance, noted Tuesday that the tech company could draw as much as 15 to 20 percent of its new workforce from current county residents.
“They located here because they want access to the tech talent we have here,” Cristol said.
As for the rest of the new Amazon staffers, Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins pointed out that they won’t be arriving on the county’s doorstep next week, or even next month. Under the terms of the company’s proposed deal with the state, Amazon would only hire about 400 workers for the new Arlington campus next year.
That number will ramp up sharply over time, however, leaping to 1,180 new staffers in 2020 and then 1,964 workers the year after. But Hoskins noted that the pace of change would’ve been even more dramatic had Amazon stuck with its original plan to house all 50,000 workers in one city, rather than splitting “HQ2” between Arlington and New York City.
“After February, when the deal is set to be approved [by the Board], you’ll see the first employees arriving,” said County Manager Mark Schwartz. “Beyond that, I don’t think people will see a lot different in first year… It’ll become more noticeable a few years out.”
For parents nervous about how many kids those new workers will bring with them, Cristol is also optimistic that the school system will be able to handle the influx of students. She expects that the county will only see two to three additional students in each school per year, and that’s only when Amazon fully ramps up hiring in the coming years.
Depending on how the county is calculating that figure, such an increase would work out to anywhere from 70 to 105 new students enrolled in Arlington Public Schools each year, at a time when the school system is already struggling with severe financial pressures to match rising enrollment.
“That’s not nothing,” Cristol said. “But compared to the 500 students per year that APS is already adding, it’s really manageable.”
But Schwartz noted that, under the county’s revenue-sharing agreement with APS, roughly half of the tax revenue that Amazon generates will flow into the school system’s coffers. He estimates a $315 million increase in tax revenue over the life of the county’s deal with Amazon, which beats county projections by about $160 million between now and 2030.
Of course, Schwartz says the county will still feel some pain in the short term. Though Amazon represents a tax windfall for Arlington, he warned that it will take time for the county to feel the benefits — and that means that painful measures like layoffs, service reductions and tax increases remain on the table for the county’s new budget.
“We’ve been through several difficult budget years and we have a couple more to bridge to where we’re going to be,” Schwartz said.
Cristol acknowledged that there are some “difficult short-term conversations” on the way in the county, particularly as Arlington tries to prepare for Amazon’s impact without the tax revenues it needs to fund necessary projects and services.
But she also pledged to be open to having those difficult discussions. Some Amazon skeptics have already called on the Board to hold multiple town halls focused on Amazon alone, and Cristol said officials plan to do so, and more.
“Let us know if you want us to come meet with your civic group,” Cristol said. “We plan to have many conversations in the community about this.”
Crystal City Business Owners Ready for Facelift — “[Crystal City’s] reputation is sufficiently anemic that Amazon announced it is rebranding the area where it will build its hub ‘National Landing,’ a change that aroused next to no protests from most local proprietors. ‘Whatever Jeff Bezos wants is fine with me,’ said Billy Bayne, owner of the Crystal City Restaurant Gentlemen’s Club, referring to Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post. ‘I’m just happy he’s here.'” [Washington Post, Greater Greater Washington]
Calls for More Housing — The arrival of Amazon has prompted some urbanists to start calling for upzoning and the creation of more housing density, including in wealthier neighborhoods. [Twitter, Twitter]
More on New VT Campus in Alexandria — “When fully realized, the $1 billion Innovation Campus, which includes state support, will spark discoveries and help fill immense demand for high-tech talent in the greater Washington, D.C., area and beyond. The Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech have committed to provide $250 million each to seed the project.” [Virginia Tech]
Get Ready for Snow — Arlington is expected to get its first snowfall of the season Thursday, with up to an inch of snow and sleet falling Thursday morning before changing to rain. Forecasters, meanwhile, are calling for a snowier than usual winter, with up to two feet of snow falling inside the Beltway over the course of the season. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
‘Doug the Scammer’ is Now in Arlington — A notorious scammer has apparently crossed the river from D.C. and is now trying to scam people in Arlington. His latest targets: restaurants in Courthouse. [PoPville]
Suicide on Roosevelt Island — The brother of a D.C. man arrested on weapons charges and accused of saying that “the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh shooting ‘deserved it'” shot himself on Roosevelt Island on Saturday, Oct. 27, hours after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue. [Washington Post]
What Amazon Employees Are Reading — Amazon employees are very interested in reading ARLnow articles about Amazon, but the most-read story on the site among Amazon workers over the past week is about the opening of Bethesda Bagels in Rosslyn. [Twitter]