Arlington, VA

The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, an annual series of cycling races around Clarendon and Crystal City, has been cancelled by the pandemic.

In its place, however, organizers are using a pair of apps — Strava and Zwift — to host virtual rides this coming Saturday.

More from a press release:

Armed Forces Cycling Classic will kick off the weekend with a virtual Challenge Ride on their Strava Club. For those in the Washington D.C. area, three routes have been created to enjoy while riding safe and solo. For anyone outside of the D.C. area, we encourage them to ride, and we ask all participants to post photos to the AFCC Strava Club page or Instagram and tag @af_cyclingclassic to show that we are all riding together.

Saturday, May 30th at 11am, Armed Forces Cycling Classic will host a no-drop ZWIFT ride in partnership with Rapha. Athletes Justin and Cory Williams of Legion of Los Angeles will serve as ride leaders for this exclusive virtual event. AFCC and race announcer Brad Sohner will also host an Instagram Live during the event at instagram.com/af_cyclingclassic.

There will be no fees to participate in any of the Virtual Ride options and we do encourage participants to fundraise for our beneficiary, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). All riders who raise $200 or more will receive a limited edition Team TAPS jersey. Interested riders can set up their fundraising page at http://team.taps.org/cyclingclassic.

For those who want to relive last year’s Armed Forces Cycling Classic, video coverage of the races is available for free online.

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Morning Notes

APS Expands Grab and Go Meal Locations — “Beginning Wed, March 25, APS will expand the number of sites that provide free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to five locations to better reach families. Meals will be set up outside the building for distribution from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday.” The new locations are Barrett, Campbell and Randolph elementary schools. [Arlington Public Schools]

Massage Therapist Charged with Assault — “At approximately 6:31 p.m. on March 9, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 3:00 p.m. on March 7, the victim was receiving a massage when she was allegedly inappropriately touched by the suspect. Following an investigation by the Special Victims’ Unit, a warrant for Assault and Battery.” [Arlington County]

Rosslyn Launches Restaurant Support Program — “The Rosslyn BID is… launching #RosslynRewards, a program to support Rosslyn restaurants that are still operating during these uncertain times. When you order takeout or delivery from participating Rosslyn restaurants and share on social media with the hashtag #RosslynRewards, the BID will give you a $10 reward for every $20 you spend.” [Press Release]

ART Bus Rides Now Free — “Starting Tuesday, March 24, Arlington Transit bus riders will enter and exit all ART buses using the rear doors only. Customers who require the use of a wheelchair ramp can still enter the bus through the front door. ART will also be suspending fare collection on all ART buses since the farebox is located at the front door.” The ART changes mirror those implemented by Metro today. [Arlington Transit]

Signature Cancels Performances — “In response to guidance from the CDC and state and local authorities, Signature Theatre has made the decision to close its doors to the public through the beginning of June.” [Press Release]

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Morning Notes

AWLA Announces COVID-19 Policies — “Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with CDC recommendations, AWLA is cancelling all public events, classes, tours, and clinics for the rest of March. We feel that this in the best interest of our staff, volunteers, animals, and the public.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]

Rep. Beyer Couldn’t Get Coronavirus Test — “People ask ‘did @RepDonBeyer get tested for COVID-19?’ No he did not. We tried to get a test for him… But there aren’t enough tests, he didn’t meet the risk threshold.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Pentagon Makes Coronavirus Changes — Tours at the Pentagon have been cancelled, while a Pentagon clinic is offering coronavirus tests to employees who meet certain criteria. [Twitter, Twitter]

Crosshairs Garage Races Cancelled — “Hey everyone, we’ve made the decision to cancel the remaining weeks of the @crystalcityva Garage Races. I will be issuing refunds for everyone who pre-registered. We will let you know if any plans to reschedule in the coming months materialize.” [Twitter]

Restaurants and Bars Stay Open — Local restaurants like Bakeshop in Clarendon are staying open, and many have been posting about stepped-up sanitation measures. Among the local venues taking extra sanitation steps is Four Courts in Courthouse, which is still planning to host St. Patrick’s Day festivities. [Twitter, Twitter]

SAT Testing Cancelled — SAT tests that had been scheduled on March 14 at Wakefield and Yorktown high schools have been cancelled. [Twitter, Twitter]

Police St. Patrick’s Day Event Cancelled — “To ensure the health and safety of our community… the Don’t Press Your Luck Anti-Drunk Driving Event has been canceled.” [Arlington County]

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One of Arlington’s biggest annual events has been cancelled and its biggest sports league suspended, as a result of coronavirus concerns.

Ballston Quarterfest made the announcement shortly after 3 p.m.

“The health and well-being of our community is the top priority at the Ballston BID,” said a PR rep for the business improvement district. “It is for this most important reason that we have made the difficult decision to cancel Quarterfest this year, which was scheduled for Saturday, May 16.”

“At this time, we plan to move forward with other, smaller events and will continue to follow Arlington County-recommended procedures for events, which may include canceling or postponing some additional or perhaps all public programs and events taking place in the near future,” the rep said.

The Arlington Soccer Association, meanwhile, has announced that it is suspending operations, practices and games until at least the end of the month.

“In light of the actions taken today by US Youth Soccer and the US Soccer Federation to suspend operations, Arlington Soccer is suspending all club-related practices, games and other activities effective immediately through March 30, 2020,” the league said. “At that time, we will reevaluate the situation and provide families with an update on next steps. While we are disappointed to have to make this decision, we believe it is in the best interest of our players, their families and our employees”

The pair of Thursday afternoon announcements will nix a street festival in Ballston attended by tens of thousands of people each year, to the benefit of local restaurants, and at least temporarily pause a league with 9,000 players. The actions are in line with health authorities’ recommendation to avoid large gatherings and social contact, to help head off the rapid spread of the disease.

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The popular annual Four Courts Four Miler race, scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

The St. Patrick’s Day-themed race usually takes runners from Courthouse, through Rosslyn, down Route 110 and back. Instead, organizers announced today that it has been called off and those who signed up will have their registrations deferred until 2021.

Previously planned road closures will now be lifted.

The race website posted the following message:

In alignment with government officials, as well as our desire to create a safe environment for our runners, volunteers, staff, city services, and community, we are cancelling the 2020 St. Pats Run Fest and moving participants to the 2021 event. This includes all events (Saturday’s Four Courts Four Miler and Sunday’s 10K + 5K).

All runners will be automatically deferred into the 2021 St Pats Run Fest (3/13-3/14, 2021).  If you deferred prior to this announcement and paid a deferral fee your deferral fee will be refunded. Shirts and medals for challenge participants will be available for pick up at Pacers Clarendon or Pacers 14th Street through the end of March.

We appreciate the support of the running community and especially the hard work of our municipality and medical partners. This was a very difficult decision for our team but one we felt was necessary for the well-being of our community.

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(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) A queso catastrophe has local macaroni and cheese fans feeling blue today.

The Nova Mac and Cheese Festival, scheduled for this coming Saturday in Ballston, has been cancelled, according to messages on the event’s ticketing and Facebook pages.

The full message:

We are writing to inform you that in response to challenges that would have impacted the overall quality of the event, the team for NoVa Mac and Cheese Festival has made the decision to cancel the event planned for October 5th in Ballston, VA. We sincerely hope to return to the area with the event in the future. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and we are grateful for your interest.

We are issuing full refunds to all ticket holders (Full 100% Refunds will be completed this week). In addition, we are offering free admission to our Richmond, Va Mac and Cheese festival the following weekend (October 12th) for anyone who was a ticket holder to our NoVa event. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Thank you

There’s no word on why exactly the plans melted down, but an Arlington County memo obtained by ARLnow.com suggests that only a half dozen mac and cheese vendors had submitted the required paperwork for the event.

“Although our Special Events team members worked diligently to assist them, as of Friday the organizer only had (6) confirmed food vendors that submitted the required paperwork and were approved by Public Health,” wrote Leslie Pelzer, the manager of the county’s Office of Special Events. “The [organizer] has expressed that they would like to re-apply in the Spring 2020.”

Despite the promises of prompt refunds and free admission to the Richmond festival, in the Facebook comments customers were none-too-pleased about the turn of events.

“Don’t they know better than to mess with our beloved mac n cheese,” wrote one. “These are fighting words.”

“This is basically the Fyre Festival,” said another.

Others pointed to the cancellation of another macaroni and cheese festival in Leesburg earlier this year and suggested a nefarious pattern, although the events were apparently organized by different entities.

Mac and cheese festivals seem to be something of a cottage industry. The organizer of the Ballston event has other upcoming mac fests planned in Richmond, Baltimore, Scranton and Pittsburgh. Yet another festival, organized by a different local events company, is planned for Oct. 26 in D.C.

Courtesy photo

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With dangerous, scorching heat prompting warnings from forecasters and local officials, organizers of outdoor events are reconsidering their plans this weekend.

Among them: the popular, annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race.

The race, which was scheduled for Saturday evening, has been cancelled, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said this afternoon.

“The Arlington County Fire Department & Pacers have deemed the weather conditions unsafe and the event will not be rescheduled,” the BID said via social media. “If you are registered already you will be contacted by Pacers directly and you can still pick up your packets with your shirt at the Pacers store today and tomorrow.”

The Twilighter 5k race tomorrow has been canceled. The Arlington Arlington County Fire Department & Pacers have deemed…

Posted by Crystal City on Friday, July 19, 2019

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Morning Notes

‘Great Chocolate Race’ Cancelled — “The Great Chocolate Race, originally scheduled to take place in Rosslyn on Saturday, December 9, 2017, has been canceled due to circumstances outside the control of Arlington County and its Police Department. Runners who signed up to participate are advised not to respond to the area as planned.” [Arlington County]

Tax Bill Could Boost N. Va. Over D.C. — The GOP tax bill currently making its way through Congress could make Arlington and Northern Virginia a significantly more attractive a place to live for higher-income residents, tax-wise, than D.C. That is due to the proposed elimination of state and local tax deductions. [D.C. Policy Center]

Decal Design Finalists Revealed — Four finalists have been chosen in the Arlington County treasurer’s annual vehicle decal design contest for high school students. The potential designs for the 2018-2019 decal include ball players atop a goalpost, a depiction of Arlington’s skyline with blossoming cherry trees in the foreground, a ferris wheel from the county fair and the Cherrydale War Memorial. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

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Morning Notes

"PIE" sign (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Polling Place Changes in the Works — Thanks to population growth, Arlington may be adding new polling places in Clarendon and Pentagon City areas. A number of other polling place changes have also been proposed following the Nov. 8 election. [InsideNova]

A Tale of Two Bishops — The Diocese of Arlington’s retiring bishop, Paul Loverde, prioritized parishioners on the periphery, posits a profile. His incoming successor, Michael Burbidge, “hopes to heal division in society.” Burbidge is set to be installed today at a mass at Arlington’s St. Thomas More Cathedral. [Angelus News, Crux]

Shirlington Light-Up Night Cancelled — After being postponed last week, the Shirlington holiday light-up event rescheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to rain. [Facebook]

A Burial at Arlington — Arlington National Cemetery conducts nearly 7,000 burials per year. The recent burial of a Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, was especially heart-wrenching. McEnroe, 30, was one of three Green Berets killed in a shooting outside an air base in Jordan, where they were reportedly training moderate Syrian rebels. [Stars and Stripes]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Snow, ice and rain on a road and sidewalk in FairlingtonArlington Public Schools are closed today after an ice storm overnight.

APS announced the cancellation decision around 4:30 a.m, as most roads and sidewalks were still icy from freezing rain. Fairfax County Public Schools and many other local school systems made the same call, although D.C. Public Schools are only on a two hour delay.

From APS:

All APS Schools will be closed and offices will open at Noon. Essential personnel should report to work at their scheduled time. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

As of 7:30 a.m., some streets and sidewalks were still treacherous, even as the freezing rain had changed over to plain rain earlier in the morning. As the temperature quickly warms into the 50s, the slick spots are becoming slushy and then melting completely.

The rain will be heavy at times today and some localized flooding is expected. The National Weather Service has issued.

* THROUGH THIS EVENING

* A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION TODAY. THIS WILL RESULT IN RAIN… WHICH WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE DAY. RAINFALL TOTALS ACROSS THE WATCH AREA ARE EXPECTED TO RANGE BETWEEN 0.50 TO 1.0 INCHES ACROSS SOUTHERN MARYLAND TO THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR TO 1.00 TO 1.50 INCHES WEST OF THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR. THE HEAVIEST RAINS ARE EXPECTED OVER THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS AND NORTH CENTRAL AND WESTERN MARYLAND. THIS HEAVY RAINFALL COUPLED WITH SNOW MELT WILL LEAD TO THE POTENTIAL OF SMALL STREAMS AND TRIBUTARIES IN THE WATCH AREA TO OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS.

* SMALL STREAMS AND TRIBUTARIES MAY OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS. ADDITIONALLY… URBAN AREAS PRONE TO POOR DRAINAGE WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLOODING. THE TIME FOR THE GREATEST THREAT OF FLOODING WILL BE FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING.

The federal government is under a three hour delay today, with an unscheduled telework option for employees, the Office of Personnel Management announced. Arlington County government and courts, however, are opening on time, with unscheduled leave and telework options for employees, with a supervisor’s approval.

The county’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation, meanwhile, announced the following cancellations and delays.

  • Congregate meal programs located at Arlington Mill, Langston and Walter Reed are canceled.
  • All Early Childhood Programs (Preschool and Co-ops) are canceled.
  • DPR elementary or teen afterschool programs are canceled.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, trips and nature center programs are canceled.
  • Sports league activities in APS standalone buildings are canceled.
  • Sports league activities in County facilities will proceed as scheduled based on weather conditions and the status of snow removal.
  • Gunston Community Center will open at 2 p.m. for normal operating hours.
  • Madison Center will open at 5 p.m. for normal operating hours.
  • Carver and Drew Community Centers will open at 6 p.m. for normal operating hours.
  • All other community centers, including joint use facilities located at Arlington Mill, Carver, Langston and Thomas Jefferson will open at noon.
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Ahead of tonight’s potentially disruptive snow, Arlington Public Schools has cancelled all evening activities.

From APS:

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for icy road conditions today from 5pm to 11pm and encourages everyone to adjust their travel plans during this time. As a result of the forecast for rush hour this evening, all APS Late Athletic Buses as well as all APS evening activities are cancelled for today.  Tonight’s Summer Activities Fair is also canceled and will be held next Friday, Feb. 19. The APS Extended Day Program will close at the regular time, but parents are encouraged to pick up their children earlier if possible.

The cancelled activities include athletic events, like tonight’s scheduled Wakefield High School basketball games and senior night.

https://twitter.com/WakeAthletics/status/698221328172711937

Also tonight, Arlington County community centers will be closing at 5 p.m. That and other cancellations from the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation:

  • The Summer Camp Fair scheduled at Thomas Jefferson Community Center tonight at 6 p.m. is canceled.
  • All community centers (joint use and standalone) will close for the evening at 5 p.m.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, trips and nature center programs in all buildings with start times of 4 p.m. or later are canceled.
  • All Sports activities, leagues and instructional programs are canceled for this evening.
  • DPR Elementary and Teen After-school Programs will close at 5 p.m.
  • All other events and activities scheduled after 5 p.m. this evening are canceled.
  • All synthetic fields are closed for this evening.
  • Powhatan Springs Skate park closed after 5 p.m.

The snow is currently not expected to start falling in Arlington until around 8 p.m. From the Capital Weather Gang:

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