Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Greens Want Tax Hike for New Initiative — “The Arlington Green Party is seeking a five-fold increase in one local tax in order to fund an environmental initiative. The party in late October promoted the idea of the county government giving owners of single-family properties in Arlington $1,000 credits to have energy audits conducted and then take cost-effective steps to improve efficiency…. The party wants to increase the existing utility tax from $3 per household per month to eventually hit $15 per household per month.” [InsideNova]

Looking On the Bright Side — “And the winner is: free paper yard waste bags. Available at five County sites during leaf season.” [@ArlingtonDES/Twitter, Arlington County]

Improvements Proposed in Seven Corners — “The Virginia Department of Transportation has provided another in a series of updates on potential improvements being studied along Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Boulevard in the Falls Church/Seven Corners area.” [InsideNova, VDOT]

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If your yard is covered in leaves and you’re not planning to bag them up, you’ll have to wait another couple of weeks for vacuum leaf collection to begin.

Arlington County is conducting neighborhood-by-neighborhood vacuum leaf collection from Monday, Nov. 9 to Monday, Dec. 21 this year. For some North Arlington neighborhoods, the first pass won’t happen until the week of Thanksgiving.

The schedule, which was released by the county this week, is below.

The county collects bagged leaves, as well as leaves in the green organics cart, year round. But the mass collection via vacuum trucks only happens well into the fall, over the course of two passes in five designated zones.

For those who have pumpkins to dispose, meanwhile, a special collection event for pumpkins — as well as inert materials — will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7.

More on this year’s leaf collection from Arlington County:

The County collects and recycles your leaves through vacuum trucks, biodegradable bags and in your green organics cart. Please be sure to drive safely around County vehicles. Stay aware as there may be crews servicing the immediate vicinity around parked County vehicles, as well.

View our fall leaf cart hanger for more information.

Vacuum Collection Schedule

Check our online vacuum schedule to determine when the leaf vacuum will be in your neighborhood. Please note that these dates are subject to change.

Did you know? We collect about 50,000 cubic yards of leaves every year. Long before the first leaf falls, staff analyzes historic data, tree types and density, weather forecasts, state forestry forecasts, and resident feedback to develop the leaf collection schedule. This helps better allocate collection resources and serves neighborhoods when fallen leaves are heaviest.

Vacuum Collection Process

  • Crews will complete two passes through each neighborhood between November and December, Monday-Saturday.
  • Bright yellow and orange leaf collection signs will be posted in your neighborhood two to three days before crews arrive.
  • Plan accordingly to have leaves raked to the curb before scheduled pick-up. If the vacuum collection schedule doesn’t meet your needs, or if you missed the first vacuum pass, residents have the option to bag their leaves for the weekly bag collection or wait for the second vacuum pass.
  • If you miss your collection date, leaves should be recycled in biodegradable leaf bags. Dates are subject to change due to weather and other events.
  • Vacuum trucks will not collect leaves on Wednesday, November 11th, Veteran’s Day and Thursday, November 26th, Thanksgiving Day.

Leaf Bag Collection

Place leaves in biodegradable bags only. Don’t use plastic bags. Leaf bags are now collected year-round on the same day as your regular trash collection day.

Where to Find Leaf Bags

Biodegradable paper leaf bags are available at most hardware stores. Please use any bags left over from spring yard waste collection. Free bags are also now available at these locations, while supplies last. Note: Some locations are unavailable this year due to COVID-19.

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Morning Notes

It’s October — And just like that, September is over and October has started. October has been deemed Affordable Housing Month in Arlington County.

Cool Month on Tap? — “After a fast shift to autumn in September, we anticipate the coolest October since 2015 along with a healthy dose of rainfall. Our forecast is for Washington’s average October temperature to fall within 2 degrees of normal. Remarkably, the past four Octobers have each been at least 3 degrees above normal.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Local Hotels Still Hurting — “Arlington’s hotel-occupancy rate in July was just 24 percent, with the year-to-date rate of 35 percent less than half the 76.7-percent rate recorded during the same seven-month period in 2019… For the January-to-July period, the average room rate for Arlington lodging establishments was $141.55, down nearly 18 percent from the $172.16 recorded during the same period in 2019.” [InsideNova]

Riders Steal Rideshare Driver’s Ride — “The victim was operating as a rideshare driver when he became engaged in a verbal dispute with the three passengers in his vehicle. As he stopped his vehicle to end the trip, the passengers assaulted the victim, then pulled him from the car and continued to assault him. The suspects then re-entered the vehicle, stole it, and fled prior to police arrival. Officers canvasing the area later located the vehicle nearby.” [ACPD]

Debate Watch Party in Shirlington — “Most voters who showed up to the watch party at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia,  said they had made up their minds before the debate — and left feeling frustrated at what they saw.” [WUSA 9]

Regional Coronavirus Cases Down — “The number of new corona­virus infections this week has fallen to levels last seen in mid-July across the Washington region, although leaders and health officials worry that the return of colder weather could reverse the trend.” [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

Fall Officially Starts Today — “While many of us think of the first day of fall as a full calendar day, the equinox itself is a rather fleeting astronomical event. It happens at a precise moment when the sun’s direct rays are straight over Earth’s equator. This year’s equinox is at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time on Sept. 22.” [Capital Weather Gang]

JBG Acquires Local 5G Radio Spectrum — “JBG Smith Properties has paid $25.3 million for licenses to use small parts of a new class of wireless spectrum to set up a 5G internet network in National Landing, home to Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters and Virginia Tech’s innovation campus.” [Washington Business JournalPress Release]

County Board Challenger Amps Up Rhetoric — “Is Arlington’s political ruling elite a bunch of preening political poseurs unwilling to do the heavy lifting of implementing a truly progressive agenda for the community? That somewhat uncharitable (and decidedly paraphrased here) assessment comes  from Audrey Clement, the perennial independent candidate for office who this year is facing off against County Board Chairman Libby Garvey.” [InsideNova]

County Launches New Data Portal — “Arlington County today unveiled a new Open Data Portal with several benefits and features that make it easier than ever to access and use Arlington data. The new portal, a centerpiece of the County’s Open Government Program, builds upon the first open data solution that launched in 2016.” [Arlington County]

Robbery Suspect Arrested in Pentagon City — “At approximately 3:36 p.m. on September 19, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect allegedly stole merchandise from a business without paying. Upon being confronted by loss prevention at the exit, the suspect allegedly brandished a knife, then fled on foot. The victim was not injured. Arriving officers located the suspect in the Pentagon City Metro, still in possession of stolen merchandise.” [Arlington County]

Postal Service Keeping Rosslyn Office — “The United States Postal Service has tacked on an additional 3 years to its office lease at the International Place building in Arlington, Virginia, but will give up one of its floors in the process.” [CoStar]

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It’s official: the Pumpkin Spice Latte returned to local Starbucks locations today, heralding the imminent arrival of Mr. Autumn Man.

Granted, temperatures today are expected to reach the mid-90s, and the actual calendar start of fall — the Autumnal Equinox — is not for another four weeks. Some people, however, might have their own personal definition of the start of fall.

Maybe the return of the PSL is it for you, in which case fall just started two days before it did last last year.

Or the start of meteorological fall on Sept. 1 may be what you generally consider to be fall.

For many others, it’s the day after Labor Day, the holiday that serves as the “unofficial end of summer” and also marks the closing day for lots of local pools.

Here in Arlington, with a warmer climate than cities to our north, September is usually pretty warm and pleasant, which makes the beginning of October a choice that generally better matches up with the actual weather at the time.

When is your personal start of fall?

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Morning Notes

Arlington Cold Weather Plan Now in Effect — “With temperatures continuing to drop as we head through the fall and into winter, Arlington County has activated its plan to keep people who are experiencing homelessness safe during extreme cold. The Cold Weather Plan will be in place from Nov. 1 through the winter months.” [Arlington County]

Reminder: Pumpkin Composting — “As for what to do with those leftover pumpkins? They can be dropped off for composting at Arlington’s Earth Products Yard in Shirlington (4300 29th Street S.) from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.” [ARLnow]

Independent Candidates Struggle to Gain Traction — “Arron O’Dell’s campaign for the Arlington County Board hasn’t been going so well. His social media posts were getting few likes. Audiences at candidate forums didn’t appear to take him seriously… So he took to the sidewalks. ‘I am now officially the first politician in Virginia to use spray chalk to make a political campaign sign,’ he wrote on Instagram.” [Washington Post]

Looking Toward Next Year’s Election — “With the 2019 election almost in the rear-view mirror, the focus of local politics turns to what will transpire in 2020. On the ballot next November will be the County Board seat occupied by Libby Garvey and the School Board posts held by Nancy Van Doren and Tannia Talento.” [InsideNova]

Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend — “Area residents and drivers must be prepared for potential challenges the annual time change entails each fall, such as changes in sleep patterns that may increase chances of drowsy driving and shorter days, which means driving home in the dark and on caliginous roadways, warns AAA.” [Press Release]

Chamber Outlines 2020 Priorities — “The Chamber’s top priorities for Arlington and Virginia’s economic well-being include maintaining economic development programs as a chief policy priority, expanding resources for housing development, and funding necessary improvements for our transportation infrastructure.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Following a successful debut last year, an oyster-focused Oktoberfest celebration is returning to Shirlington next week.

Shucktoberfest” will be hosted in and around Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue) on Saturday, October 19 from 11 a.m-5 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, attendees can expect over forty craft beers and four oyster vendors. Local breweries expected to attend include Lost Boy Cider and Fair Winds Brewery.

“Last year we underestimated how serious the oyster enthusiasm was going to be, we couldn’t shuck them fast enough,” said a spokeswoman for the event. “So we’ve doubled the number of oysters we’re ordering to 20 to 25 thousand.”

A $35 ticket includes a 5 oz beer tasting mug and 10 tickets. One ticket is redeemable for either one beer sample or two oysters.

In addition to plenty of shellfish, at least twenty merchant and food tents expected as part of the festival.

The event is also dog-friendly and open to families, with a “massive kids zone” planned with face painting and a DJ. Outdoor games include corn hole and Connect Four.

Tickets are available for the event on its website.

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September will arrive this weekend, heralding the unofficial start of fall.

Yes, the actual season starts on September 23, but with pools closing after Labor Day, football being played, Oktoberfest beer being poured and Pumpkin Spice Lattes being brewed — well, it’s basically fall.

(Note: In an affront to summer, Starbucks launched its pumpkin spice beverages today. More like pumpkin spite, right?)

With the weather feeling a bit fall-like to start the week, we thought we’d ask: what part of September are you most looking forward to?

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Get ready to start raking in the leaves: the county’s leaf collection starts next Monday (Nov. 12) for some neighborhoods and continues through mid-December.

The vacuum truck will operate Mondays through Saturdays, except for Thanksgiving, and will complete two sweeps on a set neighborhood schedule. The first pass runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 4. Immediately afterward the second collection pass begins and run until Dec. 20.

Look for yellow signs posted three to seven days ahead of the first pass and then orange signs for the second one. Leaves should be at the curb at the start of the collection window and stay there until they are collected.

Residents can prepare for leaf collection by raking leaves to the curb — and away from storm drains and water meter covers — the weekend before the scheduled collection. The brochure reminds residents to remove stones, branches, litter and other debris from the pile and to reduce fire hazards by not parking cars on leaf piles.

Residents can also recycle leaves by placing them in green organics carts or paper yard bags at the curb by 6 a.m. for pickup on regular trash collection days. The weight cut off is 50 pounds for bags and 200 pounds for carts. The recycled leaves become nutrient-rich mulch that residents can pick up for free either at the Solid Waste Bureau near SHirlington or near Marymount University at 4712 26th Street N.

The county will not collect leaves in plastic bags.

“Yard trimmings collected in Arlington County are composted and used to make top soil for use in county projects. Plastic bags and other inorganic materials contaminate the end product,” a blurb on a county brochure reads.

The county’s free bag distribution started last week (Oct. 29) and runs until Jan. 18 while supplies last at the following locations:

  • Aurora Hills Community Center, 735 18th Street S., 703-228-5715
  • Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd, 703-228-3000
  • Lee Community Center, 5722 Lee Hwy, 703-228-0552
  • Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, 703-228-6535
  • Madison Community Center, 3829 N. Stafford Street, 703-228-5310
  • Solid Waste Bureau, 4300 29th Street S., 703-228-6570
  • Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street S., 703-228-5920

Flickr pool photo via wolfkann

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Morning Notes

Major Crystal City Development Approved — “The Arlington County Board today approved a two-phase plan to redevelop a portion of Crystal Square, in the heart of Crystal City. The project will add 100,000 square feet of street-oriented retail businesses, including a new Alamo Drafthouse movie theater and a grocery store, to Crystal Drive, and upgrade an existing office building to ‘Class A’ office space.” [Arlington County]

Sunflower Restaurant Closed in Falls Church — Vegetarian restaurant Sunflower recently closed its location in Seven Corners. In its place, Bawadi Mediterranean restaurant has opened. Meanwhile, Sunflower has a location in Vienna that remains open. [Twitter]

HUD Grant to House Low-Income Arlingtonians — “The nearly $464,000 HUD Housing Choice Mainstream Voucher Grant is a specialized voucher program that will help non-elderly persons with disabilities who are transitioning out of institutional settings, at risk of institutionalization, homeless, or at risk of being homeless, rent housing in Arlington. The County’s Department of Human Services expects 40 Arlington residents to will be housed through the grant.” [Arlington County]

Another Arlington Money Diary — Another Arlington resident is the subject of a Refinery29 “money diary.” The latest profile subject is “an administrative assistant working in law who makes $57,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on candles for her daughter’s birthday cupcakes.” [Refinery29]

GW Unveils New Clubhouse at Barcroft Park — “[GW] Baseball’s first on-site clubhouse was unveiled at Tucker Field Saturday after more than a year of renovations. The Fassnacht Clubhouse and Training Facility is a 6,200-square-foot space that includes a locker room, coaches’ offices, a players lounge and an indoor turf training space. Each player received a customized locker, and the existing batting cages at the field were also enclosed, according to an athletics department release.” [GW Hatchet]

Fall Foliage Mostly MIA in Va. — “By the final third of October, fiery colors of fall are usually all over the place in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Not this year. While we are still at least a week or two from typical peak fall foliage in the immediate D.C. area, this year’s delay in autumn color is unlike anything in recent memory.” [Washington Post]

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