First Day of Fall — Today marks the autumnal equinox and the first day of astronomical fall in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re losing about two-and-a-half minutes of daylight per day, as the sun rises later and sets earlier. [Capital Weather Gang]
Arlington Unveils New Mobile Visitors Center — Arlington County, which generates about $81 million per year in tourism-related tax revenue, has unveiled a new mobile visitor center. The “Stay Arlington” branded cargo van will provide visitor information and services, primarily from parking spots near five Arlington Metro stations, but also at large events like the Marine Corps Marathon. [Arlington County]
New Traffic System on I-66 Underwhelms — Drivers are scratching their heads, wondering what exactly VDOT is accomplishing with its new, $39 million Active Traffic Management system. The system went live last week. It “combines sensors, cameras, computers and signs to help drivers figure out what’s ahead between Route 29 in Gainesville and the D.C. line.” [Washington Post]
ACFCU Launches New Marketing Campaign — The Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, a nonprofit local financial provider and ARLnow.com advertiser, has launched a new website, NotABank.org as part of a new marketing campaign. “We are for people, not for profit,” the website says.
Pike Office Building Purchased — Bethesda-based Cascade Realty Partners has purchased the 30,000 square foot office building at 3401 Columbia Pike for $4.8 million. The office building is 75 percent leased to Bank of America. [Virginia Business]
Arlington, VHC Agree to Land Swap Terms — Arlington County and Virginia Hospital Center have preliminarily agreed to terms on a future land deal that would give the hospital extra room to expand. The deal would swap the county’s Edison Complex, next to the hospital, for hospital-owned property elsewhere and/or cash and other considerations. The County Board will vote on a proposed Letter of Intent on Sept. 24. [Arlington County]
Arlington Teen Mauled by Pit Bull — A 17-year-old was mauled by a pit bull in his home on 8th Street S., police said. The house was reportedly being used as a babysitting service for pit bulls and the boy suffered serious injuries after trying to break up a fight between two of the dogs. [NBC Washington]
Artisphere Still in County Hands — Arlington County and Monday Properties have not yet finalized a lease termination for the former Artisphere space in Rosslyn. While there has been some talk of a tech-related use for the massive, airy space — which costs $1 million per year just for heating, cooling and utilities — it’s as yet unclear what, if anything, will actually replace Artisphere. [DCist]
Arlington Loses Large Potential Tenant — Despite a push from Arlington County and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, The Advisory Board Co. will be staying in D.C. Local and state officials had hoped to woo the publicly traded company to the vacant 1812 N. Moore Street tower in Rosslyn, but in the end a $60 million incentive package offered by D.C. convinced the company to move to a New York Ave NW address near the convention center. [Washington Business Journal]
Tonight: E.T. Showing at the Planetarium — The Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium will kick off their fall fundraising festival this weekend with a movie screening tonight. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial will be showing at the planetarium starting at 7 p.m. tonight. Other events are planned for Saturday and Sunday. [Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium]
Fall Festival at Bluemont Park — On Saturday, Bluemont Park will host its free Fall Festival, featuring activities for all ages, including cornhole, bocce, a moon bounce, relay races and face painting. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Howze Endorsed By Teachers PAC — Democratic County Board candidate Alan Howze has been endorsed by the Arlington Education Association’s political action committee. The teachers group said Howze “has clearly and consistently talked about the need to support our educators and address the overcrowding challenges we face.” [InsideNova]
Young Republicans: Don Beyer Is Old — The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans used today’s “Throwback Thursday” as an opportunity to remind voters that Democratic congressional candidate Don Beyer was first elected to office as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor in 1989. “Roxette’s ‘Listen to Your Heart’ was the number one song, Seinfeld premiered, a gallon of gas was $1.12, Taylor Swift was born, and the Soviet Union was still intact,” said Matthew Hurtt, AFCYR Chairman. “Don Beyer is campaigning on the same failed policies Michael Dukakis espoused in 1988.” [AFCYR]
‘Historic Home’ Is ‘A Labor of Love’ — Aurora Hills resident Patrick Johnson loves his “historic home,” a Sears catalog house built in 1931. Originally home to Arlington’s first paid fire marshal, the house is now “a labor of love and dedication” to maintain. [Preservation Arlington]
Pumpkin Decorating This Weekend — Families will be able to decorate pumpkins together this Saturday, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Arlington Mill Community Center. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by John Williams
Planners Consider Rosslyn Skyline — The Realize Rosslyn plan is primarily intended to make Rosslyn a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly place. However, it will also have an impact on Rosslyn’s skyline. Arlington County planners will be working with the community this fall to come up with recommendations related to the skyline. [Greater Greater Washington]
Fmr. NAACP President Dies — Dr. Talmadge Williams, a former president of the Arlington NAACP, died on Saturday. He was 79. Williams was also a champion for the proposed Arlington Black Heritage Museum, which is still searching for a permanent home. [InsideNova]
County Board Candidates Debate, Again — The two candidates for Arlington County Board again debated the merits of the county’s planned streetcar system. Incumbent John Vihstadt and Democratic challenger Alan Howze debated before an audience of 125 at George Mason University’s Arlington campus Monday night. [Washington Post]
It’s October — Today is Oct. 1, the first day of the last quarter of the year. If you’re looking to take advantage of October’s crisp fall weather, there’s a full slate of activities and events in around Arlington on our event calendar.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
A teen boy has been severely injured in a two-story story fall at the Arlington Mill Community Center.
A witness said the teenager had climbed on the other side of a railing two stories off the ground to do “pull-ups showing off for his girlfriend” when he lost his grip and “fell hard on his back.”
He was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another witness at the scene, who did not see the fall but saw the aftermath, said the teen was conscious but “in shock” after the fall.
Police are investigating the incident. One of the teen’s friends caught the fall on video and accompanied him to the hospital, police told ARLnow.com at the scene.
The incident happened around noon. According to witnesses, the man might have suffered a seizure before falling half-way down the escalator near the Haagen Dazs store. He suffered what appeared to be a broken leg and was quickly tended to by security personnel and paramedics.
Mall maintenance workers could be seen cleaning blood off the escalator after the man was transported to the hospital. Witnesses say the man was part of a large group of pro-life activists that were shopping and eating at the mall.
Arlington County’s leaf bag collection will start on Monday (Nov. 4), with vacuum leaf collection starting a week later.
A new video produced by the county (above) explains how the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services handles the logistics of leaf collection and how officials set the leaf collections schedule based on a scientific analysis of when leaves will begin falling.
Leaves collected in Arlington are taken to the county’s earth products recycling yard, then ground into mulch, stored and eventually distributed back to Arlington residents who want the mulch for their yards and gardens.
A vacuum leaf collection schedule has been posted on the Arlington County website.
The fall happened just after 2:20 p.m. at 3446 Fairfax Drive, near the intersection with N. Lincoln Street. According to scanner traffic, the victim was conscious, but not moving.
Firefighters and medics had unimpeded access to the victim, so a technical rescue was not necessary, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Bill Shelton. The victim was transported via ambulance to the trauma at George Washington University Hospital. So far, there’s no word on his condition.
Arlington County police and Virginia occupational safety officials are investigating the incident.
From 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Gulf Branch Nature Center (3608 N. Military Road), visitors are invited to participate in some old-fashioned games and crafts, including building a scarecrow.
The family-friendly event is “a celebration of our nation’s heritage,” according to the county website, and visitors will gather at the Walker Log Cabin at the nature center for the festivities.
The event is $5 at the door and parking will be along N. Military Road and 36th Road while the parking lot is closed for the event. Those who wish to build scarecrows should bring old clothing for the scarecrows to wear.
Photo by Maryva2
“If it didn’t sell, no one would be making it because I wouldn’t be buying it,” Anderson wrote in an email.
Crystal City Wine Shop General Manager Christina Simms has experienced the same high demand despite the unseasonably early release.
“We have turned over larger orders of beers such as Southern Tier Pumking and Schlafly Pumpkin Ale a couple of times, and have swiftly sold through other seasonal brews such as Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Shipyard Pumpkin Ale, Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, and more,” she wrote in an email. “We just received Heavy Seas Greater Pumpkin (a bourbon-barrel aged pumpkin ale), and that’s not going to last.”
While some craft beer drinkers lament how early the fall beers have arrived, others — including those brewing said beer — say it’s never too early for what is the most popular of the seasonal brews. Anderson explained the origin of “seasonal creep” in his column last week:
As annoying as seasonal creep is, the bottom line truth is that it pays to be first: people tend to buy the first seasonal offering they come across, and then stick with it. Another reason is that the growing demand for Pumpkin Ales is forcing larger brewing commitments, with producers starting earlier to make more in an effort to sate market demand.
In years past, many pumpkin beers would be off the shelves before the leaves changed, especially frustrating drinkers who prefer to wait until the appropriate time to drink the seasonal beers. Simms says consumer habits have driven the season creep.
“I have heard on more than one occasion, even from our staff, that people are buying the pumpkin and seasonal beers because they are limited or sometimes hard to find,” she said. “But, even for the more widely-available brews, the demand is still there and the message has been pretty much the same: ‘It’s August (or September), and I’m not going to drink this now, but I need to have it for October.'”
This year, Anderson said, breweries are making enough so storing in advance won’t be necessary.
“The good news is with the ramped up production, there will be runs that arrive when people are actually looking for them: Schlafly should be back by the end of next week, with one more run at the beginning of October; Southern Tier is sending a last run of Pumking for Oct. 1,” Anderson said. “Ten percent of Schlafly’s total output for this year will be Pumpkin Ale. That’s insane, but it’s what breweries are going to have to do to meet demand AND have enough to put out in late September/early October.”
The low temperature at Reagan National Airport this morning was a chilly 60 degrees. Despite lots of sunshine, we’ll be lucky to reach 80 degrees this afternoon.
It’s a continuation of yesterday’s fall-like weather, which tied for the 4th-coolest Aug. 14 in recorded D.C. history, according to the Capital Weather Gang.
This year, registration for gymnastics classes opens at 7:00 a.m., while all other classes open for registration at 7:30. The change was meant to accomodate working adults, according to Parks and Recreation Business Analyst Deborah Hay.
“We’ve seen the number of logged on users at the start of registration grow by more than 40 percent in the past year alone,” Hay said.
Hay also said that gymnastics capacity has increased 33 percent over the past five years to keep up with the increase in demand. Gymnastics — which makes up more than half of all fall classes — has been separated from other class signup in order to try to alleviate both the strain on the online registration system and the wait time for phone registration.
In previous years, the online registration system has crashed due to the crush of parents trying to register their kids for classes at the same time.
This year, the Enjoy Arlington class program offers more than 650 classes, including robotics, DIY jewelry and dozens of fitness classes. Wednesday morning, those interested in signing up can do it at Parks and Recreation’s website, by calling 703-228-4747 after 8:00 a.m. Aug. 21, or by drop-off at 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive.
Image via Department of Parks and Recreation
Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection service will begin one week from today.
The vacuum trucks will be out from Monday, Nov. 12 until Friday, Dec. 21. The trucks will operate Monday through Saturday, except for Thanksgiving, on a set neighborhood schedule. To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.
Biodegradable leaf bag collection started last Monday (Oct. 29) and will run on weekdays (except Christmas and New Year’s Day) through Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Collection takes place on the next business day after your regular trash collection day. Free leaf bags can be picked up at a number of locations around the county, as listed on Arlington’s residential leaf collection web site.
More information on leaf collection can be found in the county-produced video, above.
As Arlington residents “fall back,” fire departments across the country are reminding folks that it’s also a good time to replace smoke alarm batteries. The Arlington County Fire Department offers free smoke alarms for those who need them; call 703-228-4646 for more information.
While we’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, the time change also means that it will be dark an hour earlier.
All things considered, how do you feel about the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend?
Flickr pool photo by Mnemosyne2009
November is Here — Today is the first day of November. Thanksgiving is three weeks away and Christmas is just under eight weeks away.
Daycare Workers At Fort Myer Accused of Abuse — Three childcare workers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall have been charged with assault after Army investigators, using surveillance cameras, observed them hitting, pushing and pinching young children, according to court documents. [WJLA]
Dems Set Fundraising Record — The Arlington County Democratic Committee has set a new fundraising record. ACDC raised more than $38,000 through its “Dollars for Democrats” campaign, compared to last year’s record haul of $21,258. [Sun Gazette]
Absentee Voting May Set Record — Arlington election officials are predicting a record number of absentee ballots cast in advance of the Nov. 6 general election. [Arlington Connection]