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County’s Vacuum Leaf Collection Starts Next Week

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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Woman Falls Off Don Tito Rooftop, Suffers Minor Injuries

A woman fell off the roof of Don Tito in Clarendon Thursday night (Aug. 16), suffering minor injuries.

Arlington County Police were called to the restaurant, located at 3165 Wilson Blvd, around 11:30 p.m. last night, according to spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Fire department spokesman Ben O’Bryant says the woman “fell from one level on the roof to another level on the roof,” a distance of about 20 feet in total.

O’Bryant added she “only had minor injuries and was in good condition when care was transferred to hospital staff.”

File photo

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Copperwood Tavern Planning ‘Shucktoberfest’ This Fall in Shirlington

Beer lovers will have not just one, but two Oktoberfest-themed events to enjoy in the Shirlington area this fall.

New District Brewing announced this week that it’s expanding its “Arlington ValleyFest” event to help pick up where Capitol City Brewing, long the hosts of an Oktoberfest celebration, left off after the brewpub closed this spring.

But restaurateur Reese Gardner tells ARLnow that he’ll also be hosting an Oktoberfest gathering along Campbell Avenue, in and around his Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue), ensuring that the Village at Shirlington will still have a fall beer festival even with Cap City gone.

Gardner is dubbing the event “Shucktoberfest,” as it will be co-sponsored by the Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, and it’s now set for Oct. 20. He says he secured an agreement from the shopping center’s landlord to host the event shortly after Cap City closed up shop in April, and recently finalized securing the necessary permits from the county.

Gardner said 19 Virginia breweries have committed to attend, many of which served up their suds at Cap City’s Oktoberfest events. Gardner says the event will feature “oyster tents” and other food options, as well as a “kids’ zone” and game area that will include cornhole.

Tickets will be available for the event on its website. Gardner is also looking for volunteers to help staff the festival.

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New District Brewing Plans ‘ValleyFest’ to ‘Pick Up the Mantle’ of Capitol City’s Oktoberfest

Capitol City Brewing might’ve closed up shop in Shirlington, but some of the area’s remaining brewmasters are trying to keep the spirit of the brewery’s popular “Oktoberfest” celebration alive.

Cap City started hosting an annual Oktoberfest event back in 1999 at its former location in the Village at Shirlington. The brewpub’s sudden closure back in March marked the end of that event, but the New District Brewing Company is hoping to fill the void with a similar event just across Four Mile Run.

The brewery is planning to host “Arlington ValleyFest” around its home on 2709 S. Oakland Street on Sept. 30, the same weekend Cap City traditionally convened Oktoberfest.

New District founder Mike Katrivanos told ARLnow that he envisions that ValleyFest can “pick up the mantle” of what Cap City started.

“With every end coming, there’s a new beginning,” Katrivanos said.

Katrivanos says New District hosted ValleyFest for the first time last year, but on a substantially smaller scale. They put on the festival the first weekend of November, but he says the chilly weather made that a “not very desirable date” moving forward.

But when he saw that Capitol City would be closing up shop, he decided to call around and check with other business owners to see if anyone else would be hosting Oktoberfest instead. He discovered that no one was especially interested in doing so, and he set about seeing if he could move up ValleyFest a bit.

Katrivanos quickly secured the county’s approval for the change, and even earned permission to double the festival in size. The event will now run nearly the length of S. Oakland Street, after it intersects with S. Four Mile Run Drive, running past the Shirlington Dog Park.

“We really hope to kind of replicate Oktoberfest, though hopefully not in the drunken mob type of sense,” Katrivanos said. “We’re not trying to get that crowd coming to consume too much, but we definitely are trying to create an enjoyable vibe centered around a large event.”

While Katrivanos says the event will have plenty of beer on hand, he also wants to be focused on local art, especially given the debate around the best ways to promote the arts in the Four Mile Run Valley as part of the county’s review of its plans for the area.

Katrivanos expects to have a variety of local artists on hand, as well as the Arlington Art Truck. He’s even planning a “pop-up” art installation he hopes will be a “Burning Man-style exhibit built in one day.”

He added the event will also include some of the same vendors who staffed Cap City’s Oktoberfest will be in attendance, with food trucks and even a “Ben and Jerry’s Dessert Truck” serving up treats.

The festival will run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. The event will be free, but New District is offering deals for beer tickets on the event’s website.

Photo via Facebook

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Second Leaf Collection Pass Begins Today

The second phase of Arlington County’s leaf collection program begins today.

Some neighborhoods can expect to see trucks pass through as early as today (December 4), with the work scheduled to be completed across the county on December 21. Trucks will operate Monday through Saturday.

To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are reminded to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.

County staff said residents should only report their street has been missed if leaves haven’t been collected after it’s been labeled completed, by calling 703-228-6570.

And with piles of leaves on the ground this fall, one anonymous tipster warned others to think before driving through those piles.

The tipster wrote:

With all the leaf piles in the streets this time of year I want to get the word out that children play in those leaves. I was waiting for my son at [Williamsburg Middle School] and was parked behind a pile of leaves. While I was waiting a WMS student popped up out of the leaf pile. He had been laying in the pile for at least 30 seconds for me to not see any activity. He got up and walked away. Moments later a parent drove into that leaf pile and parked to wait for her child. Someone’s son was less than 10 seconds from being run over. This is the second time I have seen a child pop up out of the leaves on the street.

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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Reminder: Leaf Collection Starts This Week

Get the rakes at the ready: Arlington County’s leaf collection program begins today.

Leaf collection starts today (November 13) for some neighborhoods, with the first pass through scheduled to run through December 5.

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.

Residents are reminded to only report their street has been missed if leaves haven’t been collected after it’s been labeled completed, by calling 703-228-6570.

And for those looking beyond the holiday season, Arlington’s Christmas tree collection program is set for the first two weeks in January, from January 2-12.

“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day and to remove all decorations, nails, stands and plastic bags,” a blurb on the program reads. “The trees are later ground into wood mulch for garden use.”

Anyone who does not have a curbside recycling service can bring their Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau during the collection season.

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Frost Advisory for Arlington Tonight

Arlington and other parts of the D.C. area are under a Frost Advisory tonight.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-30s early Wednesday morning, potentially damaging sensitive plants.

From the National Weather Service:

… FROST ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY… * TEMPERATURES… DROPPING INTO THE MID 30S BY DAWN, ESPECIALLY AWAY FROM LARGER BODIES OF WATER AND URBAN AREAS. * IMPACTS… A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIDESPREAD FROST IS EXPECTED. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIDESPREAD FROST IS EXPECTED. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.

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Morning Poll: Return of Fall Weather

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?

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Morning Notes

‘Hate Group’ Holding Conference in ArlingtonACT 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

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Morning Notes

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

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes Arrive at Local Starbucks Stores

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.

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Morning Notes

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

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Frost Advisory for Arlington Tonight

Arlington and other parts of the D.C. area are under a Frost Advisory tonight.

Temperatures are expected to tip into the 30s early Tuesday morning, potentially damaging sensitive plants.

From the National Weather Service:

FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM EST TUESDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM EST TUESDAY. * TEMPERATURES… IN THE UPPER 30S. * IMPACTS… POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO SENSITIVE PLANTS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIDESPREAD FROST IS EXPECTED. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.

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AAA’s Time Change Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians

HOV lanes of I-395 blocked near Pentagon during car fireClocks will “fall back” an hour early Sunday morning, as Daylight Saving Time ends.

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.

“If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time.” As it turns out, soul balladeer Tyrone Davis wasn’t the only one wishing to go back in time to rectify things done and left undone. Timing is everything in love and life, and we will have the opportunity to turn back the clock at least one hour at 2:00 A.M., Sunday, November 6, 2016. In addition to setting clocks back one hour, motorists should be prepared for sun glare during their morning commute and for reduced visibility on the road during their evening commute, AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education warn. The time change can cause disturbed sleep patterns, and when combined with the earlier dusk and darkness during the evening commute, become a formula for drowsy driving and fatigue-related crashes — conditions many drivers may be unaware of during the time change.

As everyone knows, there are safety concerns when Daylight Saving Time begins in the spring. In fact, car crashes increase by up to six percent on the Mondays following the time change in the spring, data from the National Safety Council suggest. However, when clocks “fall back” in autumn, drowsy driving becomes a significant threat to motorists, caution AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education. That is because their evening commute will now take place in darkness. Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

“The fall colors are glorious, yet ‘winter time’ begins anew this weekend. There is no doubt about it, many will enjoy an extra hour of sleep, yet few commuters and motorists realize the added dangers that can come as the result of a time change – especially when they are behind the wheel,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Although we gain an hour of sleep, it is unsafe to drive when we are sleep deprived. This one hour shift in time during the fall not only creates darker driving conditions, it can also disturb sleep patterns, perhaps even resulting in drowsy driving episodes.”

Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32 percent) say they have driven when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days, according to the latest Traffic Safety Culture Report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In fact, more than 1 in 5 (22 percent) admitted doing this more than once during that time. Previous research by the AAA Foundation estimates that drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes annually, including 109,000 crashes that result in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes.

Plus, there are other dangers stemming from the biannual time shift. Following the fall time change, motorists must adjust their driving habits, and for safety’s sake, also watch for children and others who will be less visible outdoors. That’s especially true during the first week of the time change. Consider this, sunrise and sunset will be about one hour earlier on Sunday, November 6 than the day before. Also factor in the fact it will be lighter in the morning as motorists drive into the sun, causing temporary blindness and making it
harder to see the road ahead, potential hazards and other highway users, including motorists, pedestrians,
school children and cyclists. Drivers can expect reduced visibility because the evening commute time will be darker. Teen drivers who aren’t as experienced with nighttime driving and motorists with vision issues may need to be especially careful, warns the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education.

“The morning sun may also cause reflections off car windows, hoods or other metallic portions of automobiles and it can be a serious hazard to drivers and pedestrians,” said Joseph Beddick, Safety Services Manager for the D.C. Metro Area, and Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education. “Sun glare tends to be worst in the morning and in the late afternoon. The glare may cause temporary blindness. To reduce glare, invest in and wear high-quality sunglasses and adjust your car’s sun visors as needed. Late afternoon driving also presents a similar glare problem, so heed the same recommendations. Drivers can also use the night setting on the rearview mirror to avoid glare from headlights approaching them from behind.”

Before the time change in the wee hours of Sunday morning, drivers may need to check to make sure all vehicle lights are working properly. When starting your commute, remember to turn on your headlights and then turn them off when you reach your destination. Motorists should be prepared to face changed conditions during the morning commute. In addition, children, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists likely will continue to be outside but will be a lot less visible during the evening commute. Accordingly, motorists should slow down and be extra alert, particularly in residential neighborhoods and school zones.

It only takes a minute to become involved in a life-altering crash. Take heed. “It raises the question has Daylight Saving Time outlived its usefulness? After all, it was designed “with the purpose of making better use of daylight and conserving energy.” Yes, “Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.”

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