Our very warm and humid Sept weather is coming to an end. pic.twitter.com/tn1tjGAMhu
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) September 26, 2017
Those enjoying summer’s muggy extended stay in our area are set for a letdown tomorrow.
Hot and humid afternoons and warm evenings will give way to seasonably cooler weather early Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Mr. Autumn Man can break out the flannel and sip a maple latte or pumpkin beer on a fall crisp day, rather than sweating over shorts-clad passersby questioning the meteorological appropriateness of said beverages.
Is the return of autumnal weather a good thing or bad thing, in your opinion?
‘Hate Group’ Holding Conference in Arlington — ACT for America, which describes itself as the “nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots national security organization” — but which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group — is holding its annual conference at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City next weekend. Marriott is refusing calls to cancel the event, saying: “We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space. Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual.” [Slate]
Private Middle School Opens in Arlington — A ribbon cutting was held earlier this week for the grand opening celebration of The Sycamore School, a new, private middle school in Arlington. “More than 80 percent of our inaugural students are coming from public school, which tells me that our community is aching for smaller class options and more individualized learning,” said the school’s founder. [InsideNova]
Another Arcing Insulator Outside of Rosslyn — A track issue caused problems yet again between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom Metro stations this morning. The initial call for a possible arcing insulator went out around 5 a.m. Normal service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines was restored around 7 a.m. [WJLA]
First Day of Fall — Grab your maple lattes, today is the autumnal equinox and the first day of astrological autumn. The equinox will happen just after 4 p.m. Eastern time. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Arlington No. 6 on Highest-Income List — Arlington County is the No. 6 highest-income county in the country, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. Three other local counties — Loudoun County, Howard County and Fairfax County — were Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively. D.C., meanwhile, was one of the only urban centers in the country to see a decline in its median household income. [Washington Post]
Local Oktoberfest List — A Reddit user has created a master list of local Oktoberfest celebrations and German restaurants. Among the events on the list is the annual Capitol City Brewing Oktoberfest in Shirlington, scheduled this year for Saturday, Sept. 30. [Google Docs, Reddit]
Arlington Ladies Auxiliary Van For Sale — For $3,500, you can be the proud owner of a 1967 Dodge van that once was used as the Arlington Professional Firefighters Association Ladies Auxiliary coffee wagon. [Craigslist]
Arlington Combating Opioid Epidemic — Arlington County is reminding residents that opioid addiction remains a significant problem in the county and around the U.S. “Opioid use and cases of overdosing continue to rise,” the county said, on a webpage that lists resources for those trying to overcome addiction. [Arlington County]
Mobility Lab Director Touts Success — “We calculated that on a typical workday, our services in Arlington County helped shed about 40,000 trips from vehicles into biking, walking, et cetera,” says the Managing Director of Arlington County’s Mobility Lab, in an interview. “That’s equivalent to seven lanes of urban highway.” [Arlington Magazine]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
On a cool, gray day when the calendar flipped to September, there was another sign of the start of fall in Arlington: the arrival of the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte at at least some local Starbucks stores.
The sugary, caffeinated beverage is as much a harbinger of fall as crunching twigs and acorns, plaid flannel shirts and brown boots. This year its potential Sept. 1 availability was cryptically teased by Starbucks on its social media accounts, though an official release date has yet to be announced.
This morning at the Clarendon Starbucks store (2690 Clarendon Blvd), there were plenty of Starbucks customers who knew to ask for the “PSL” by name, despite a lack of signs or updated menus announcing its availability. And for those who asked for it, they received it.
After successfully ordering a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte (and paying $5.57 with tax for the privilege), an ARLnow.com reporter asked the barista how many PSLs had been served so far that morning.
“A lot,” she said.
It’s September — As if to emphasize that today is the start of September and the first day of meteorological autumn, mother nature has dialed up a crisp start to the morning and a cool day overall in the D.C. area. [Twitter, NOAA]
Arlington Seeing Airbnb Tax Revenue — The recently-implemented enforcement of the transient occupancy tax on Airbnb-style rentals in Arlington County is producing revenue: nearly $18,000 through July. County tax enforcers think taxes on Airbnb and other short-term rentals may eventually bring in $250,000-$1.5 million per year. [InsideNova]
HS Football Kicks Off — The high school football season has kicked off for Arlington’s high schools. Wakefield defeated Washington-Lee 37-27 last night at the Generals’ home turf. The game was attended by a number of Arlington Public Schools officials, including Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy. Also Thursday night, Yorktown defeated D.C.’s Wilson High School 20-14. Arlington-based private high school Bishop O’Connell lost its season opener. [Twitter, Twitter, InsideNova, InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The annual autumnal time change is associated primarily with earlier sunsets, but fatigue due to disrupted sleep patterns is another side effect.
Between darkness suddenly occurring during the duration of the evening rush hour, and bleary-eyed drivers, the time change can actually be a safety hazard on the roads.
AAA Mid-Atlantic this week issued a lengthy press release that included the following tips to stay safe over the next couple of days.
Time shift safety tips for pedestrians:
- See and be seen – drivers need to see you to avoid you.
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing and/or accessories at night.
- Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear.
- Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
- Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.
- While walking, pocket the cell phone and avoid listening to your music player at a volume that prohibits you from hearing approaching danger.
Time change tips for drivers:
- Pay attention and eliminate all distractions including cell phones and car clocks that are off an hour!
- Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
- Watch for children and families in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections, and when backing out of driveways.
- Turn on your headlights. Make yourself more visible during early morning and evening hours.
- Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
- Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
- Teen drivers should exercise extra caution.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out ones. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
- Slow down during rain and fog.
The rest of the press release, after the jump.
Arlington County’s vacuum trucks will start collecting leaves from the side of the road next week.
The county’s annual vacuum leaf collection begins on Monday, Nov. 7 and runs through Friday, Dec. 16. The trucks will make two passes through each Arlington neighborhood during the leaf collection period; signs will be posted in neighborhoods a few days before each pass.
Avoid placing piles of leaves too close to parked cars or storm sewers, officials advise.
Previously there was also a defined period for leaf bag collection. That’s now moot since the county began collecting yard waste year-round. Leaves still must be placed in paper bags, which are currently available for pickup, free of charge, at eight county locations.
Each year Arlington collects about 50,000 cubic yards of leaves.
Next up on the special collection schedule: the annual Christmas tree collection, which will take place from Jan. 2-13, 2017.
In case there was any doubt, after nearly two months of Oktoberfest beers on shelves and Pumpkin Spice Lattes in Starbucks, autumn is now in full effect.
Arlington’s first Frost Advisory of the season has been issued. The National Weather Service warns that near-freezing temperatures could damage plants overnight tonight.
Well north and west of Arlington, meanwhile, freeze warnings are in effect.
FROST ADVISORY FROM 3AM EDT WED UNTIL 9AM EDT WED
… FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY.
* TEMPERATURES… 32 TO 36 DEGREES OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON AND DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE.
* IMPACTS… POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO SENSITIVE PLANTS.
A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIDESPREAD FROST IS EXPECTED. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.
Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk
With high temps in the 80s and 90s, one does not exactly get the twigs and acorns crunching pleasurably beneath one’s boots feeling that traditionally prompts a craving for fall-related items — you know, the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte or a malty Oktoberfest beer.
Starbucks has been offering the “PSL” since the end of August (McDonald’s now has a version, too) and Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers started hitting local store shelves even earlier than that.
We know that such seasonal beverages are popular choices when the air gets crisp and the days shorter. But are they popular now before the official start of fall? (The autumnal equinox is Thursday.)
Given the proliferation of Starbucks and the crowds at our fall beer tasting event over the weekend, it seems like the answer might be yes. But let’s see whether actual consumption so far this season actually bears that out.
It’s September, which means that those who drive to work in the morning can expect to spend more time in traffic this month.
You might have heard the term “Terrible Traffic Tuesday,” which refers to the supposedly awful traffic on the Tuesday after Labor Day, when kids are back in school and workers are back from vacation.
But researchers at the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board say that Terrible Traffic Tuesday is, on average, not that terrible. The days after and the following week, however, are usually quite a bit more congested than at any time in August.
TPB dubs it the “September Shock.”
“Expect to see more traffic and increased travel times,” the organization said. “For everyday travelers, the extra delay can add up to hours of extra time spent in the car each week. Regionally, added up across all travelers, it amounts to a drain on productivity and economic competitiveness.”
“The annual jump is so consistent from year to year that the TPB analysts say it’s one of the most predictable and pronounced traffic events the region sees. Their analysis also revealed that September is consistently one of the region’s top two or three worst traffic months.”
TPB’s full report is available online.
One interesting and perhaps counterintuitive observation: the increase in traffic is “mainly a morning phenomenon” — there’s only a relatively small increase in traffic during the afternoon rush hour.
Maps provided by TPB show that in Arlington, the most severe increases in traffic congestion — upwards of 50 percent increases travel times — typically happen later in the morning rush hour, around 8-10 a.m., on major routes near the Potomac River crossings into D.C.
It’s September — Bid an especially hot and sweaty August adieu, September is here. Get ready for kids going back to school, fall beer tastings, outdoor festivals, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cooler weather. As a reminder, however: it’s still summer until Sept. 22.
Author Talk at Kenmore — Best-selling author Ann Patchett will be discussing her new book Commonwealth, which is set in part in Arlington, at an event on Thursday, Sept. 15. The event, at the Kenmore Middle School auditorium, is open to the public, with RSVP; it’s sponsored by One More Page Books and Arlington Public Library. [Eventbrite]
CEB CEO Stepping Down — Tom Monahan, the CEO of the publicly traded, Rosslyn-based firm CEB, is stepping down. The search is now on for a new chief executive for the 4,500-employee company, which will be moving to a gleaming new office tower after construction wraps up, likely in 2018. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
It’s August 10 and already the shelves of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other Arlington stores are being stocked with fall beers.
Pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest beers — the kind of brews that make you think of crisp, cool weather and fallen leaves crunching under your feet. Yet, we’re still a month and a half away from the first day of autumn, the leaves are still green and another sweltering heat wave is about to get underway.
How do you feel about this practice of starting fall early in the beer aisle? Do you appreciate being able to stock up on your pumpkin beers early, or do you wish retailers would save the Oktoberfests until closer to October?
Regardless of your answer, if you’re a fan of fall beer, be sure to mark your calendars for the seasonally-appropriate date of Sunday, Sept. 18, for a free ARLnow-sponsored “Mega Fall Beer Tasting Event” at Arrowine, featuring a whole bunch of great breweries, some rare brews for sale and grub from local food trucks.
Space is limited, and email subscribers will get first dibs; keep an eye out for an invite.
Hat tip to Peter G.
It’s the first frost of the season, and it could damage certain outdoor plants if precautions aren’t taken.
From the National Weather Service:
… FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT SUNDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT SUNDAY.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE MID 30S.
* IMPACTS… AREAS OF FROST… PARTICULARLY AWAY FROM THE URBAN CENTERS AND WATERS… COULD CAUSE DAMAGE TO SENSITIVE PLANTS TONIGHT.
A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT A LIGHT FROST IS EXPECTED. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE DAMAGED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.
Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk
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