Big Changes Coming to DCA — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has revealed updated designs of the coming changes at Reagan National Airport. Among the changes are a new commuter terminal, replacing the outdoor commuter gate 35X, and a new structure to house security checkpoints, which will be positioned before travelers enter the airport’s main terminal B/C hallway. [WTOP, WTOP]
Ethiopian Restaurant Coming to Courthouse — Chercher Ethiopian restaurant is expanding from the District to a new location at 2000 14th Street N. in Courthouse. It will be the first Virginia outpost for the acclaimed Ethiopian restaurant. Its owner says he chose Courthouse because the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor lacks Ethiopian dining options. [Washington Business Journal]
Tornado Drill Today — Yesterday was the first day of spring and today, at 9:45 a.m., Virginia is holding its annual statewide tornado drill. The drill is “a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies and to test public warning systems.” [Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management]
Va. Pols Speaking at Arlington Dems Dinner — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello and state Attorney General Mark Herring will be the headline speakers at the Arlington Democrats’ annual “Blue Victory Dinner,” formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, on April 8. The other Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, “had a conflict and will not be able to make it.” [InsideNova]
School 5K to Close Streets — Roads will be closed in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood Saturday morning for the second annual Discovery/Nottingham Friendship 5K. [Arlington County, Discovery Elementary School]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
Earthquake Drill Today — Virginia and a handful of other states will be participating in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill today at 10:20 a.m. [ShakeOut.org]
Sobering News on Office Vacancies — County officials are warning that Arlington’s office vacancy rate will remain relatively high for the foreseeable future. Optimistically, economic development officials believe that by “slowly and steadily” winning lease renewals and new tenants, the vacancy rate could decline to just past 15 percent, from the current 20 percent, within a few years. [InsideNova]
Arlington No. 8 on Marathon Training Rankings — Arlington County has ranked No. 8 on a list of the best places to train for a marathon. The county earned high marks for its parks, its walkability and its climate. [Competitor]
Most Popular College Applications — The three top schools in terms of the number of applications from the high school class of 2016 in Arlington were: 1. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2. University of Virginia and 3. Virginia Tech. [Arlington Magazine]
Arlington’s Commuter Efforts Lauded — “Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) is being recognized for weaving mobility into broader efforts to improve local quality of life and economic competitiveness. ACCS was named by the Association for Commuter Transportation as having the best transportation demand management (TDM) program among all large municipalities in the United States.” [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Katie Pyzyk
Virginia is one of the states participating in the Great Southeast Shakeout this morning.
The shakeout is a multi-state earthquake drill, set to take place at 10:16 a.m. Residents are encouraged to “drop,” “cover” and “hold on” during the drill and during an actual earthquake.
Schools, businesses, community groups across the Commonwealth are expected to participate in the drill.
Beginning Oct. 5 at 6:00 a.m. and continuing until noon, the emergency exercise will include all the aspects of the Arlington County Fire Department’s response to a real fire, without lights and sirens.
From an Arlington County press release:
A simulated hospital fire will test the Arlington County Fire Department’s emergency response while providing hands-on training to the Office of Emergency Management and Virginia Hospital Center staff. During the exercise, emergency personnel will respond as in a real emergency, but will not use their lights or sirens.
The exercise will be held inside the hospital and will not affect normal hospital services. Theexercise will include elements to add realism to the simulated emergency of a real fire:
- A simulated fire and deployment of smoke in a secured and confined area of the hospital with the evacuation of patients will occur for training purposes
- Participation by ACFD, OEM and Virginia Hospital Center personnel will test response times, collaboration and patient care during this simulation
- More than 10 responding emergency vehicles will be used
- Volunteer role players will simulate injuries sustained from the incident
The full-scale emergency preparedness exercise, which is the culmination of months of planning and coordination across these different disciplines, is part of Arlington County’sEmergency Preparedness Plan and will help ensure that ACFD, OEM and Virginia Hospital Center are prepared for real-life fire emergencies.
PLEASE NOTE: Some of the exercise elements may be seen or heard on Saturday morning from areas surrounding the hospital – especially in the proximity of the Virginia Hospital Center campus. This is only an exercise.
The base will be participating in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, a regional earthquake drill that’s to take place at 10:18 a.m. In addition to asking those on the base to “drop, cover and hold on,” JBM-HH will be testing its “Big Voice” public address system, which may be heard outside the base.
From a press release:
The ShakeOut is a regional earthquake drill in which participants simultaneously practice the recommended action during an earthquake. This action is known as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”, which means to:
- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
- HOLD-ON to it until the shaking stops
In support of the great shakeout earthquake operation JBM-HH will conduct a test of the giant voice public address system. The test will be conducted on both the Fort McNair and Fort Myer/Henderson Hall portion of JBM-HH at 11 a.m. Residents on and immediately outside the installation can expect to hear the test.
A variety of volunteer opportunities exist throughout the county, but a few might be considered plain fun instead of work. One of them involves being an actor and another involves gardening. Check out the details below. More information about these opportunities and others can be found on the Volunteer Arlington website.
- Arlington’s Medical Reserve Corps seeks volunteers to be actors in an emergency response drill on Saturday, April 28. The drill will test the current point of dispensing plans for oral antibiotics given to the public in case of an aerosolized anthrax attack. No experience is necessary. Volunteers will receive an hour of training, then participate in the drill as actors for one hour. Contact Grelia Soliz at (703) 228-0711.
- Clarendon Presbyterian Church is looking for volunteers to be gardeners for its Plot Against Hunger program. Two plant beds are being built along the Jackson St side of the building to grow vegetables, which will be donated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Help is needed for a variety of responsibilities that include set up, gardening and delivery of the food to AFAC. Volunteers will complete a short training session. Contact Gillian Burgess at (646) 284-8894.
- The USO of Metropolitan Washington seeks helpers at Ft. Myer. Volunteers will assist military service members, military dependents, military reservists, National Guard and military retirees who use the USO Lounge at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Volunteers will provide courteous service to guests while answering questions, managing DVD and video game check out, keeping the lounge neat, brewing coffee and replenishing snacks. Occasionally, volunteers will help with USO events in the Lounge. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid U.S. identification. Access to a computer is preferred. Volunteers are required to attend an orientation. Contact Emily Urban at (703) 696-0958.
The Arlington County Fire Department will assist the County with conducting a safety drill at the facility from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The activity will center around the Methanol Facility at the southwest end of the WPCP, near S. Glebe Rd. A number of fire department vehicles will be on scene and there will be audible alarms sounding.
The WPCP has spent several years going through a massive upgrade and renovation period. Most of the renovations are expected to be finished this summer.
Arlington will be testing its outdoor warning systems in Rosslyn, Courthouse and Pentagon City this morning.
Between 10:00 a.m. and noon, the county’s Office of Emergency Management will sound a series of three loud beeps in each area, followed by a voice broadcast in English and Spanish.
Today is Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia, with a statewide tornado drill scheduled for 9:45 a.m. A test tornado warning will be broadcast on television and radio stations, as well as on NOAA weather radio. The period between March and May is generally considered peak tornado season.
The Marine Corps’ first Sunset Parade of the year starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Iwo Jima Memorial. The hour-long performance features the music of “The Commandant’s Own” Marine Corps Band and a silent precision drill team.
The parade is free and open to the public. Plus there’s plenty of room on the grounds to lay out a blanket for a picnic before or even during the performance.
The Sunset Parades began in 1956, two years after the unveiling of the memorial. The parades are meant as a “tribute to those whose ‘Uncommon valor was a common virtue.'”
The performances will continue every Tuesday though August 17.
Marine Corps photo.