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by ARLnow.com — May 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Flags in at Arlington National Cemetery (Flickr pool photo by Sunday Money)As Memorial Day approaches, the contract groundkeepers who help to maintain the hallowed ground at Arlington National Cemetery are preparing for a possible strike.

The workers have faced eight months of delay in seeking a new contract with “modest” pay increases and a paid sick leave option, according to their union, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA). The workers are employed by Davey Tree Expert Co. and Greenleaf Services Inc., which have contracts with the cemetery, LiUNA says.

The union issued the following press release this afternoon.

The men and women who care for the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery may strike the cemetery’s grounds-keeping contractor, following nearly eight months of delay in reaching a new contract agreement.

The 45 workers, members of Local 572 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, are seeking three annual pay increases and the introduction of paid sick leave. The workers are jointly employed by Davey Tree Expert Co. and Greenleaf Services Inc.

“Members of our military have risked their lives to defend the rights and freedoms of our Constitution, including the freedom to join together in a union for common interests,” said Larry Doggette, Business Manager of Local 572 and a veteran of the U.S. Marines. “It is disgraceful that these fundamental rights and freedoms would be denied at our nation’s military cemetery during a holiday in honor of those have lost their lives in defense of freedom.”

In May 2015, the workers voted in favor of joining together in the union to negotiate for better wages and working conditions. The workers are seeking a boost from their approximately $13 per hour pay rate. They are also seeking sick leave; currently workers have no paid sick leave.

The union and the companies reached an agreement this year on most non-economic issues, and workers presented their pay and sick leave proposal in October 2015. The employers had promised a response, but repeatedly delayed and cancelled the last negotiating session scheduled for this month.

Under a recent executive order by President Obama, up to seven days of sick leave will be required by federal contractors in 2017. However, rather than enshrining the sick leave in a contract, the employers proposed that sick leave be consistent with the order.

“It may be that they are running out the clock, hoping for new president who might rescind the executive order,” Doggette said. “But workers voted for a union, they want a contract and their rights to one should be respected.” Doggette added, “We believe we could easily reach an agreement if the employers would negotiate.” Doggette said that any strike would likely begin before the Memorial Day holiday, and absent an agreement, continue through it.

LIUNA’s Mid-Atlantic Region includes more than 40,000 workers predominantly in the construction industry in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Reardon

by ARLnow.com — May 23, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

MorningNotes2

Van Doren, Talento Win Dem Endorsement — Tannia Talento and incumbent Nancy Van Doren convincingly won the Democratic endorsement caucus for School Board last week. Talento and Van Doren were the most-endorsed candidates in the race. They will now move on to the November general election. [InsideNova]

Gate Problem at Clarendon Dog Park — A stuck gate reportedly trapped people and dogs in the Clarendon dog park Friday evening. Firefighters responded to the scene to help open the gate. [Twitter]

Female WW2 Pilots Gain Burial Rights at ANC — Bipartisan legislation signed by President Obama has granted Women Airforce Service Pilots, who served during World War II, formal burial rights at Arlington National Cemetery. Those rights were revoked due to a Dept. of Defense legal finding and policy change last year. [Voice of America]

by Adrian Cruz — May 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Police motorcycle officers / motorcade on I-395 on 5/13/16 (file photo)

Motorcades for groups of Vietnam War veterans will result in rolling highway closures and potential traffic tie-ups Memorial Day weekend.

The Arlington County Police Department announced Monday that there will be temporary closures on I-66 eastbound on Saturday, May 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The closures are in place to allow Vietnam War veterans to travel to Arlington National Cemetery.

Other roads to be affected by the motorcades include Route 110 southbound and Washington Blvd near Columbia Pike, according to police.

Also, traffic in and around Crystal City is expected to experience delays between 12:30 p.m and 1:30 p.m due to police escorts for another veterans group through the area.

Memorial Day weekend will also bring traffic disruptions on Friday and Sunday due to the 29th annual Rolling Thunder ride, which is separate from the Saturday veterans event. Starting Sunday morning a Rolling Thunder rally will be held at the Pentagon parking lot. That will be followed by a noon departure across the Memorial Bridge and into D.C., before another gathering near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Potomac River calm (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Residents Supportive of Cemetery Expansion Plan — The military held a meeting yesterday to reveal preliminary plans to expand Arlington National Cemetery and realign Columbia Pike. Local residents were generally supportive of the plan and the need to expand the cemetery. [Washington Post]

Arlington Woman Turns 100 — The Sunrise senior living community in Arlington has celebrated the 100th birthday of a resident, Kathleen Hanawalt. Hanawalt celebrated the event with her daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Hanawalt’s husband died in 1969. [InsideNova]

Endorsements for Gutshall, Talento — Arlington County Board challenger Erik Gutshall has picked up a trio of endorsements from state lawmakers. State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Rip Sullivan have endorsed Gutshall in his primary challenge against County Board Chair Libby Garvey. Meanwhile, School Board candidate Tannia Talento has received the endorsement of School Board member Reid Goldstein. [Blue Virginia, InsideNova]

Sexual Assault Awareness Event at the Pentagon — All branches of the military were represented at a recent event to raise awareness of and combat sexual assault in the military. “Walk-a-Lap for a Survivor” was held in the Pentagon courtyard on April 20. Also participating in the event were members of Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families. [Pentagram]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — April 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm 0

Arlington National Cemetery will brief Arlington residents next week on its plan to expand around the Air Force Memorial and realign the eastern end of Columbia Pike.

The “scoping meeting” is being held at the Sheraton hotel at 900 S. Orme Street from 5-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27.

The cemetery, which recently embarked on another expansion project, says it needs “additional space that is contiguous with the existing cemetery in order to maintain future operations beyond 2037.” It is planning a land swap with Arlington County and VDOT that will create burial space on either side of the Air Force Memorial, including on the former Navy Annex site.

“The cemetery has been working with the owners and operators of the adjacent road network, Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation, to pursue a roadway realignment and land exchange agreement that will also support the short- and long-term multimodal transportation system for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Arlington County,” the cemetery said in a press release.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on an environmental assessment ahead of the project.

“The Environmental Assessment will evaluate the proposal to increase the cemetery’s contiguous acreage, realign roadways, and maximize burial space by utilizing an area adjacent to the existing cemetery (formerly known as the Navy Annex site) located south of the existing cemetery,” said the press release.

The Corps of Engineers has set up a web page to provide information about the project. The event next week will allow residents “to learn more about and provide comments on the proposed project.”

A new 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center is also planned in conjunction with the project.

by ARLnow.com — March 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Arlington Cemetery station was temporarily closed — and Blue Line service suspended — due to a reported fire on the track this afternoon.

Two separate fires were put out with a fire extinguisher, according to scanner traffic. Metro is advising riders to expect delays.

From Metro:

by ARLnow.com — February 22, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Murals at Courthouse Plaza (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Home Values Jump 14 Percent — Arlington County saw a big bump in the sale price of homes, at least according to one data set from January. Long & Foster says the median price of a home sold in Arlington last month was $590,000, up 14 percent from one year prior. [WTOP]

Wakefield Boys Win Conference — The Wakefield High School boys varsity basketball team captured the Conference 13 championship on Saturday, after defeating Marshall 50-47. [Twitter, Twitter]

Caps Hold Fundraiser for Young Cancer Victim — The Washington Capitals held a fundraiser at Don Tito in Clarendon on Friday for the family of a three-year-old girl who just died of an inoperable brain tumor. The family has more than $100,000 in medical bills to pay and hopes to also raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. [NBC Washington]

Problems Persist at Arlington National Cemetery — More than 5 years after major problems were revealed at Arlington National Cemetery, there’s word of new problems. The cemetery’s burial backlog has increased, it’s taking longer to get headstones approved and previously unenforced rules are now being enforced, frustrating some families, reports a local TV station. [WJLA]

Arlington Students Serving as White House Interns — Three college students who hail from Arlington are on the list of spring 2016 White House interns. The interns are: Jeremy Brown, who attends the University of Michigan; Ryan Cowdin, who attends George Washington University; and Caitlin O’Grady, who attends Pepperdine.

County Board Approves Rosslyn Changes — At a relatively uneventful meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a series of land use, transportation and zoning changes as part of the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. The changes will allow a new school and new development. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

A fox in the snow in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by WolfpackWX)

Dominion Admits Culpability for Potomac Oil Spill — Last week’s mysterious oil spill that ran from the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, down the Potomac past Reagan National Airport, came from a Dominion Power substation in Crystal City. The company is taking responsibility for the mineral oil spill, which killed 21 birds, mostly Canada geese, and prompted a large Coast Guard and Arlington County cleanup response. [Washington Post]

Loverde Issues Statement on Scalia’s Death — Diocese of Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde issued a statement on the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia over the weekend. Loverde said “we are all deeply saddened” by Scalia’s unexpected death, lauding him as “a man so deeply rooted in his faith, so brilliant in the law and in jurisprudence, so clear and precise in his judicial statements, so wholly committed to his family, so engaging with colleagues and friends, often with great humor.” [Catholic Diocese of Arlington]

D.C. Denies St. Paddy’s Bar Crawls — The annual Shamrock Crawl bar crawl will be coming to Clarendon next month. Arlington police helped keep a lid on crime and rowdiness associated with the bar crawl last year. In the District, however, concerns about bad behavior prompted officials to deny permit applications for the D.C. version of the Shamrock Crawl and another St. Patrick’s Day-themed crawl. [Borderstan]

Garvey on Kojo Show — On Friday, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey was a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi Politics Hour, which is broadcast on WAMU (88.5 FM). Garvey spoke to Nnamdi and NBC 4’s Tom Sherwood about the proposed widening of a portion of eastbound I-66, as well as related topics like Metro and transit. [YouTube]

W-L Shot Put Record Smashed — Washington-Lee High School junior Benedict Draghi has convincingly set a new school record for shot put. At a recent track meet, Draghi recorded a throw of 61 feet and 4.75 inches. The performance was good for first place at the meet and it blew away the school’s 50-year-old previous indoor shot put record by nearly 10 feet. [InsideNova]

Old Guard Offers Horses for Adoption — The Army’s Old Guard, based at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, is offering two caisson horses for adoption. The horses, Quincy and Kennedy, have served in military funerals and ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery for almost a decade. [WJLA]

Volunteers Remove Wreaths from Cemetery — Despite bone-chilling cold temperatures, on Saturday volunteers picked up tens of thousands of holiday wreaths that were placed on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery in December. The cleanup was postponed from January due to the blizzard. [WUSA 9]

Flickr pool photo by WolfpackWX

by Tim Regan — January 25, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Quincy park snowball fight

County Board Takes a Rare Snow Day — The Arlington County Board cancelled its Jan. 23 meeting due to the snow. Government officials can’t remember the last time a monthly meeting was called off on account of the weather. [InsideNova]

Snowfall Covers Graves at Arlington National Cemetery — Accumulating snow covered headstones at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. Army sentinels continued to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier despite whiteout conditions. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Florida Teens Stuck in ‘Snowzilla’ — The monster blizzard stranded a group of Florida teenagers in Arlington all weekend. For many of them, it was their first real experience with snow. [WJLA]

Falls Church to Emulate Arlington’s Student Decal Competition —  The treasurer of Falls Church will copy Arlington’s student vehicle decal competition. Falls Church students stand to win $750, with lesser prizes for second, third and fourth place. [InsideNova]

Digging Out — From walking to work to dealing with limited Metro service, here’s how the D.C. area has coped with the remnants of the snow. [Washington Post]

Quincy Park snowball fight photo courtesy of John Kua

by ARLnow.com — December 18, 2015 at 9:25 am 0

This morning, dozens of bicyclists helped to escort the motorcade of a former Navy SEAL who was struck and killed by a car while riding his bike in Bethesda this summer.

Tim Holden was a Gulf War vet and retired from the Navy SEALs in 2001. He was killed on Aug. 28, as he was heading to visit his daughter in D.C., when a 22-year-old driver struck him from behind on a hilly stretch of Massachusetts Avenue.

Holden’s family invited fellow local cyclists to escort his motorcade from the Lincoln Memorial to Arlington National Cemetery, where he was buried this morning. Dozens showed up for the chilly ride around 7:30 this morning.

Holden was 64. He is survived by his wife and five daughters.

The 22-year-old Maryland man who struck him will not face criminal charges.

by ARLnow.com — December 11, 2015 at 4:05 pm 0

Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery (Flickr pool photo by Jeff Reardon)If you’re planning to volunteer to place wreaths on the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, expect big crowds.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and help place some 230,000 wreaths as part of the annual Wreaths Across America event.

Gates open to the public at 8 a.m. Saturday and an opening ceremony is planned at 9. The wreath laying is expected to begin at 10 a.m., followed by a closing ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at noon.

Metro says it will be operating on a normal weekend schedule Saturday morning, but all Blue Line trains — which service the Arlington Cemetery station — will be eight cars long in order to accommodate as many riders as possible.

“Arlington Cemetery Station is one of the smallest on the Metrorail system and can be expected to become crowded before and after the event,” Metro said on its website. “During peak crowding times, Arlington Cemetery escalators may be configured as ‘exit only’ before the event and ‘entry only’ after the event. Customers traveling in the reverse direction will be directed to station elevators.”

Metro riders should consider getting off at the Rosslyn station, from which Arlington National Cemetery is “a short walk to the south,” the transit agency suggested. Free shuttle buses will also be provided from the Pentagon Metro station to the cemetery.

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Reardon

by ARLnow.com — December 3, 2015 at 9:20 am 0

"Health is everything" sign in front of Dunkin' Donuts sign at Reagan National Airport (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

APS Sweeps Top 16 of Best Elementary School List — The top sixteen schools on a new list of the best public elementary schools in Virginia are all Arlington public schools. Moreover, 19 of the top 20 are Arlington schools. [Niche]

Deal on Historic Designation for Stratford Nears — The Arlington County Board, School Board and NAACP appear close to striking a deal for the historic preservation of the Stratford building, the current home of H-B Woodlawn and a future middle school. Stratford was one of the was the first public school in Virginia to integrate, in 1959. Meanwhile, the Arlington Civic Federation is debating whether the middle school should retain the “Stratford” name, which pays tribute to the plantation where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was born. [InsideNova]

Group Reaches Cemetery Wreath Goal — The group that places wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery around the holidays has met its fundraising goal thanks to last-minute donations. Just a few days ago Wreaths Across America was 30,000 wreaths short of its goal of placing wreaths on each of the cemetery’s 230,000 headstones. [WTOP]

Garvey Back in Black at ACDC — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey has formally been welcomed back into the good graces of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, more than a year after she endorsed Republican-turned-Independent John Vihstadt in his successful bid for County Board. Garvey is up for reelection next year and there are rumors that she will face a Democratic primary challenge. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2015 at 9:05 am 0

Metro riders heading to work (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Wreath Shortfall Projected for Cemetery — Wreaths Across America projects it will be 30,000 short of its goal of 230,000 wreaths to place on graves at Arlington National Cemetery this year. The organization is hoping more donors step up before its fundraising deadline tomorrow. [Fox News]

Sehkraft Brewing Now OpenSehkraft Brewing in Clarendon opened to large beer garden crowds late last week. The brewpub has fire pits outside and is hosting live music nightly. [Facebook]

Arlington Ranks No. 2 for Roommates — Among major U.S. localities, Arlington ranks No. 2 for having the highest percentage of adults living with roommates. According to the website, 23 percent of 18-39 year olds in Arlington live with a roommate. That compares to 21 percent for the No. 4 city, Washington, D.C. [Priceonomics via Greater Greater Washington]

Barbershop Chorus to Sing at Metro Stations — The Arlingtones, a barbershop chorus, will be performing barbershop music at three local Orange Line Metro stations this month. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — November 10, 2015 at 9:00 am 0

Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

Marine Corps Birthday — Its the Marine Corps’ 240th birthday today. On Thursday, the Corps’ birthday will be celebrated by hundreds of Marines participating in a group run from the Pentagon to the Marine Corps War Memorial, prompting rolling closures on Route 110 between 10 and 11 a.m. [AL.com]

Owner Not Worried About Vacant Rosslyn Office Tower — Monday Properties, the owner of the 1812 N. Moore Street office tower in Rosslyn (and an ARLnow.com advertiser), says they’re not worried that the two-year-old building is still vacant. Monday CEO Anthony Westreich says the company and lender Goldman Sachs are “confident” about the future of Rosslyn and patient as they search for a large anchor tenant. [Bisnow]

School Board Argues H-B Woodlawn Cost — Some Arlington School Board members are worried that a $100 million proposal for a new building in Rosslyn for the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program would be a budget buster. Superintendent Patrick Murphy has proposed options for bringing down the cost to $85 million, but other School Board members are arguing that such a proposal sacrifices long term good for short term savings. [InsideNova]

Human Rights Award Winners — Arlington County has announced the winners of its  2015 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award. The winners are: immigrant advocate Leni Gonzalez, Catholic charity Hogar Immigrant Services, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church and the Nauck Civic Association. [Arlington County]

Maureen O’Hara Buried at ANC — Actress Maureen O’Hara was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. O’Hara, who died last month at the age of 95, was laid to rest alongside her husband, an Air Force brigadier general. [WTOP]

Winter Weather Forecast — NBC 4 chief meteorologist Doug Kammerer says Arlington and D.C. should expect 20-25 inches of snow this winter. Kammerer predicts that December will be unseasonably warm, while January and especially February will be colder than average, with a large snow storm expected in February. [NBC Washington]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 9:05 am 2,299 0

Bird on a bridge (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Arlington Inmate Dies — A 48-year-old convict died early Saturday morning in the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse. The man, who had a “history of medical issues,” was found unresponsive in his cell and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. [Arlington County]

More Sequestration Could Hit Virginia Hard — Virginia, and in particular Northern Virginia, is bracing for more sequestration cuts to the Defense Department, which are set to take effect in five weeks. Virginia’s two U.S. Senators are pushing for new budget legislation to replace the sequester. [Washington Post]

Cemetery Superintendent Removed — One year after taking the position, Arlington National Cemetery superintendent Jack E. Lechner has been given the boot. The Army says Lechner’s job performance was unsatisfactory. [Washington Post]

DAK Chicken Opens in Shirlington — DAK Chicken, a Korean-style chicken restaurant, welcomed customers on Friday for its soft opening. In addition to chicken wings the new Shirlington eatery offers other Korean and Asian-fusion dishes like kimchi, bulgogi and ramen. [Northern Virginia Magazine, Facebook]

Arlington Company Makes Fortune List — Courthouse-based Opower has made Fortune Magazine’s inaugural “Change The World” list. Opower is ranked No. 45 on the list of 51 companies “that have made a sizable impact on major global social or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy.” How long Opower remains in Arlington remains a question: the company is currently considering a move to the District. [Fortune]

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