Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Rep. Beyer: Stay Home This Weekend — “In the nation’s capital we finally managed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The people in our region sacrificed to make these gains, and we should do all we can to hold on to this progress. Staying home on July Fourth and avoiding large gatherings is the best way to do this. Those who go out should absolutely wear a mask, and social distance without fail.” [Press Release]

Local Unemployment Rate Improves — “The local employment picture in May crawled back slightly from the abyss of April, according to new state data, with most parts of Northern Virginia seeing modest improvements in unemployment rates. In Arlington, May’s jobless rate of 6.1 percent was a comeback from 7 percent in April, although it remains far above norms of the past decade.” [InsideNova]

Wardian Running Through Delaware — “With most major races wiped off the calendar, professional ultramarathon runner Michael Wardian was asked to run 96 miles — the length of Delaware — over the course of a month as part of a virtual charity event. ‘I was like, ‘It’s 96 miles, I’ll just do it in one day,” Wardian said.” Wardian said in an Instagram post that his route will actually take him 135 miles over the course of about 24 hours. [Delaware Online, Instagram]

Ballston Company Makes Big Donation — “Today The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) stepped up to provide immediate relief to hundreds of families who are struggling to put food on their tables as a result of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. A $25,000 contribution… will allow [Arlington nonprofits APAH and AHC] to provide $100 grocery gift cards to a combined total of 250 low-income households in their apartment buildings. This grant is the first tranche of a $75,000 total commitment from AES to the Arlington Community Foundation.” [Press Release]

Good News on ARLnow’s InstagramArlington Community Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a month-long series of “good news” stories posted to ARLnow’s Instagram account. The innovative partnership will further ARLnow’s journalistic mission and give our Instagram followers something to feel good about near the end of each day. [Twitter]

Reminder: Road Closures Tomorrow — “Road closures are planned from 4-11 p.m. Saturday around the Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Long Bridge Park. Street parking will also be restricted in the area.” [ARLnow]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Holiday Closures Start Tomorrow — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries & facilities will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020, for observation of Independence Day… Metered parking [will not be] enforced July 3-4.” [Arlington County]

Affordable Housing Provider Celebrates Scholarships — “Celebrating graduation may have looked a little different this year, but we could not be any prouder of the students from our College and Career Readiness (CCR) program who graduated from high school in 2020. All 31 of the amazing young people who participated in the program this year are off to college in the fall. In total, they were accepted into 135 schools and received an estimated $1.24 million in scholarships and aid.” [AHC Inc.]

Animal Welfare League Not Reopening Yet — “For the health and safety our staff, volunteers, and the public, we have decided to remain closed for the public, but we expect to introduce in-person adoption by appointment on a very limited basis in the coming days. We also hope to begin selling spay and neuter vouchers online very soon.” [Facebook]

New Pedestrian Law Now in Effect — “Drivers must now fully stop, not just yield, for pedestrians in all crosswalks in Virginia or they could be slapped with a $500 fine. The law that went into effect Wednesday, July 1 requires drivers to stop for pedestrians in any marked or unmarked crosswalk… Last year there were 166 crashes in Arlington involving pedestrians. Four people were killed.” [NBC 4]

Another I-395 Daredevil Caught on Camera — It keeps happening: this time, a commercial vehicle was caught on video backing up and crossing all lanes of northbound I-395 to reach the HOV bridge into D.C. [Twitter]

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A three-day Fourth of July weekend is fast approaching.

This would usually be one of the busiest travel times of the year. Instead, airports have barely a quarter of the travellers as last year, and traffic maps are mostly a sea of green. The pandemic has affected nearly all aspects of normal life, including the willingness of people to leave one’s house and visit other places or people.

The anemic level of air travel is expected to continue, though driving may take up some of the slack: this summer is being dubbed the summer of the road trip.

How has coronavirus affected the Independence Day travel plans of Arlingtonians? Let’s find out.

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(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) The pandemic is putting a damper on Fourth of July festivities, but Arlington County is still preparing for potential crowds at popular fireworks viewing spots.

Road closures are planned from 4-11 p.m. Saturday around the Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Long Bridge Park. Street parking will also be restricted in the area.

Other viewing spots that may draw fireworks crowds in Arlington include Key Bridge, Gravelly Point and Rosslyn’s Gateway Park. None of the above will be hosting formal events this year, the county says, and residents are encouraged to stay home instead.

“Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no formal events or programming are planned in Arlington County,” said a press release Monday afternoon. “Those wishing to view fireworks or flyovers are encouraged to do so at home on TV, or in adherence to current recommended social distancing protocols. Large, outdoor gatherings are still a high risk, especially when people are close together, without any guarantees of physical distancing.”

At Long Bridge Park, near Crystal City, the crowd will be capped and no on-site parking will be available.

“The park will be open for viewing, but we aren’t encouraging people to come. It’s Safer at Home!” Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish tells ARLnow. “We will be capping park attendance to 1,000 based on the Governor’s Guidelines. We will closed entrance when we hit 1,000 or by 7:30 p.m., whichever comes first.

“Social distancing is required; face coverings recommended,” Kalish added. “No fireworks or alcohol allowed in the park. No food or spiked objects (like chairs or umbrellas) allowed on the fields. And only water is allowed on the field as well.”

The pandemic has also cancelled one of Arlington’s most popular private fireworks displays.

“Due to the recent events with COVID-19, unfortunately we will not be hosting fireworks this year for the 4th of July,” Washington Golf and Country Club said on its website. “We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!”

There is at least one community event happening on Independence Day, however: the Lyon Village Fourth of July parade will go on, starting promptly at 11 a.m. at the corner of Key Blvd and N. Jackson Street. Parade watchers are encouraged to social distance from one another.

“The Lyon Village 4th of July Parade will again take place this year,” the neighborhood’s civic association said. “It will feature a longer parade route with Arlington police and fire vehicles and a special group of antique cars.”

“The parade is honoring long time Lyon Village resident, Col. Ed Brant,” the press release notes. “For many years Col. Brant and his family drove his Model T and Model A fords in the parade. Col. Brant is now 99 years old and he will turn 100 in October.”

The full county press release about Fourth of July road closures and restrictions is below.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Gets Best View of Fireworks — On a hazy night, Arlington — particularly Rosslyn — had the best view of the expanded D.C. fireworks. Smoke obscured the viewing for many parts of the District. [Twitter, Twitter, Raw Story]

JBG Trying to Lure Big Tech to Arlington — “JBG Smith Properties CEO Matt Kelly recently met with “a handful” of big West Coast tech firms in a bid to entice them to come to National Landing now that Amazon.com Inc. has chosen the area for its second headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]

Police Chase Ends in Arlington — A high-speed police chase along I-66 ended in Arlington, near the N. Glebe Road exit. Virginia State Police say a woman fled from police at speeds of up to 120 mph while her three children were in the car. [WJLA, Twitter]

A Modest Proposal for Arlington — In a letter to the editor published by the Arlington Sun Gazette, a man apparently upset by the renaming of Washington-Lee High School to Washington-Liberty suggests also renaming Arlington “Amazon’s bitch.” [InsideNova]

Ebbin Cast as NRA’s ‘Boogeyman’ — “[State Sen. Adam] Ebbin, when told of [state Sen. Bryce] Reeves’s remarks at the town hall, said he never made any of the comments attributed to him. ‘Apparently I’m a radical homosexual who’s misquoted,’ Ebbin said sarcastically.” [Washington Post]

Checking Car Seats in Arlington — Writing about the new Virginia law requiring rear-facing car seats for children under two and below a certain weight, the Arlington County Fire Department noted on social media: “ACFD no longer does child seat safety inspections. Arlington County Police Department offers regular inspections to ensure the child seat is safely installed and secured in your vehicle.” [Twitter]

Warner Highlights Sept. 11th Memorial Trail — “U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are working together to further honor the heroes of September 11th, 2001. In a bipartisan resolution, Senators Toomey and Warner highlight the significance of the September 11th National Memorial Trail,” which runs through Arlington. [Press Release]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Incubator Leaving Crystal City — “Startup incubator 1776 plans to open its new D.C. location this year and will ultimately shut down its Crystal City location. 1776 spokesman Lucas McCanna said the company will relocate to ‘the general McPherson Square area,’ but declined to give a specific address.” [Washington Business Journal]

AAA: Worst Times for Independence Day Travel — “Holiday travelers hailing from the area will face absolute gridlock along key freeway segments starting [today], July 3. Topping the list of the worst corridors for those departing Wednesday, July 3, is Interstate 270 northbound.” [Press Release]

Arlington County Holiday Closures — All Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and facilities will be closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday, though trash and recycling will still be collected. Also, “metered parking is not enforced but street parking near the US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), Long Bridge Park, and the Air Force Memorial will be restricted. Motorists should look for temporary ‘No Parking’ signs.” [Arlington County]

Memorial Bridge Closed to Pedestrians — In addition to other July 4 road closures around Arlington, Memorial Bridge will be closed to both vehicles and pedestrians throughout the day Thursday. [Twitter, National Park Service]

ART Bus Holiday Schedule — “ART will operate holiday service on Thursday, July 4, 2019, in observance of Independence Day. ART 41, 42, 45, 51, 55 and 87 will operate on Sunday schedules. All other ART routes will not operate and the ART customer call center will be closed.” [Arlington Transit]

Superintendent Search May Be Drawn Out — “Arlington’s new School Board chair, who will be focused in coming months on the selection of a new superintendent, asked for patience in the community as the process plays out. ‘Finding the right leader and the best fit for our community will take time,’ Tannia Talento said July 1 as she rotated in as chair of the School Board for the coming year.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak

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Those flying in and out of Reagan National Airport on Thursday may have their travel disrupted by the July 4 festivities in D.C.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced this morning that non-emergency flight operations at DCA will be suspended from 6:15-7:45 p.m. due to military flyovers and from 9-9:45 p.m. due to fireworks.

President Trump has pushed for an Independence Day celebration “like no other” this year, and his “Salute to America” will feature demonstrations of American military might, an extended fireworks display and a presidential address.

The fireworks and flyovers — of the Navy’s Blue Angels, Air Force One and other military aircraft — will necessitate keeping commercial airliners out of the National Airport flight path for more than two hours over two no-fly periods Thursday night.

“Please check with your airline for flight information,” the FAA said.

That’s not the only disruption at the airport for the Fourth. Due to construction at DCA, those hoping to watch the fireworks from nearby Gravelly Point will not be able to get there from the airport this year.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Rosslyn’s observation deck will be kicking off its Fourth of July festivities early with a hot dog eating contest and patriotic drinks.

The View of DC (1201 Wilson Blvd) is throwing an Independence Day party tomorrow (Wednesday) from 5-9 p.m. There will be red, white and blue cocktails and other specialty fare on hand for attendees.

In addition, Alexandria’s Village Brauhaus will be on hand to host a hot dog eating competition, inspired by the annual Fourth of July event in Coney Island, New York.

“We are excited to partner with Legend Hospitality to be able to put on the inaugural D.C. area Hot Dog Eating Contest,” said Village Bauhaus owner Bill Gross. “As a German restaurant with some of the finest wursts in the area we thought it would be great to use our fresh, handmade frankfurters for this event.”

Village Bauhaus will also be selling its onion- and beer-braised brats on pretzel rolls as well as giant pretzels imported from Bavaria.

If eating encased meat is not your thing, a number of other activities are planned, including music by Loose Ties, a U.S. knowledge quiz with District Trivia, life-sized games with prizes and other surprises.

“People should expect a fun filled day with great food and live music at an incredible venue,” Gross said.

Tickets for the Independence Day party are $10 and available online.

The View of DC visitors get to the 31st floor venue via Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), across from the Rosslyn Metro station. The observation deck is also hosting a fireworks viewing on July 4, but a ticket lottery for that event has already been held.

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Law enforcement agencies are planning several road closures for Fourth of July.

Several main roads will be closed on July 4, including Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Arlington County Police Department is encouraging people to use to use public transit as large crowds are expected during the celebrations.

ACPD announced it will be working with the Virginia State Police, U.S. Park Police, and the Virginia Dept. of Transportation to close several roads, including:

1:00 PM to 11:00 PM

  • Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
  • N. Meade St. from N. 14th St. to Marshall Dr.

2:00 PM to 11:00 PM

  • Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood will be from the Rhodes Street bridge)
  • Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Long Bridge Dr. from Boundary Channel Dr. to S. 10th

8:00 PM to 11:00 PM

  • Eastbound Route 50 at Washington Blvd. All traffic diverted from Rt. 50 on ramps to East and West Washington Blvd.
  • Eastbound N. 10th ramp to eastbound Rt. 50 will be closed, all traffic diverted to westbound Rt. 50
  • Courthouse Rd. ramp to eastbound Rt. 50 will be closed, all traffic diverted to westbound Rt. 50 or N. 10th St.
  • Pershing Dr. at Rt. 50 will only be allowed westbound
  • Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
  • Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce St.
  • Joyce Street between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike
  • The exit from westbound Washington Blvd. to eastbound Columbia Pike/S. Orme St.

“These closures are designed to facilitate the safe passage of large crowds for the Independence Day events and fireworks,” Arlington police wrote in the press release.

ACPD is encouraging people to use public transportation or ride hailing services due to the large crowds, and noted that the Rosslyn and Pentagon City Metro stations are close to most of the prime firework viewing spots.

The department noted that police will cite drivers who stop or stand in traffic to view fireworks, and that those who park on Route 110 will be towed.

Additionally, ACPD is reminding people that county and federally-owned parks ban people from bringing their own alcohol, grills, and fireworks to the party, and that drones are banned by the Federal Aviation Administration in Arlington and other areas around D.C.

If the road closures, crowds and traffic were not enough, police are also warning people to prepare for the heat and humidity forecasted for the holiday.

Image 1 via Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation, image 2 via ACPD

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

The July 4th holiday is a great time to relax, reflect and rethink energy.

Arlingtonians have more options than ever to declare their independence from high energy use this summer, and to save money all year.

Mark your calendar now for the upcoming Solar Co-op + EV Charger info session on July 24. To date, more than 150 Arlington families have installed solar with the Arlington Solar Co-op.

Here are a few of our previous posts that will save you money:

Enjoy the holiday, stay safe, thanks for all you do to save energy in Arlington, and mark your calendar to join us for the upcoming Solar info session on July 24!

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(Updated at 1 p.m.) There are a number of ways to celebrate America’s independence in Arlington this year.

This year’s federal firework show on the National Mall was moved because of President Trump’s “Salute to America” rally at the Lincoln Memorial from 6:30-7:30 p.m., which will likely include a speech, military flyovers, and protestors.

The national fireworks display will blast off from West Potomac Park instead. It is scheduled to run from 9:07-9:27 p.m. and will be visible from most places across the Potomac that Arlington residents are used to.

If the president’s planned Fourth of July rally in the District isn’t for you, here are some places in Arlington to watch the show:

  • Long Bridge Park, which is open for viewers but no longer hosting a large, county-sponsored extravaganza due to cost-cutting measures. The county is cautioning people to make time to go through security checkpoints on Thursday, July 4, and to be prepared for crowding due to ongoing construction closing the north end of the park’s esplanade. Attendees to the Long Bridge Park festivities are not allowed to bring food, spiked chairs, or fireworks of their own on the field, per the county’s website.
  • The View of DC observation deck at CEB Tower (1201 Wilson Blvd) in Rosslyn is hosting a fireworks viewing event 31 floors up. Those who want to attend can enter their name in a lottery for tickets.
  • Gateway Park in Rosslyn is hosting its usual, popular viewing.
  • Gravelly Point is another popular viewing spot, though parking may be limited.
  • U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn has a sweeping vantage of the monuments, the river and the fireworks..
  • Key Bridge also offers picturesque views for those who don’t mind standing during the show.
  • The Air Force Memorial which will host a free concert by the The United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants at 8 p.m. before the fireworks.
  • The Washington Golf & Country Club also confirmed to ARLnow that it is again hosting its own fireworks this year, but won’t have any seating on the golf course due to the ongoing renovations.

Several neighborhoods are also hosting parades for those who prefer to eschew the crowds at fireworks, including:

The Arlington County Fire Department is asking residents who plan to light their own fireworks or have their cookouts to follow these safety tips for fire and injury prevention.

SoberRide will continue its holiday tradition of offering free Lyft rides to prevent drunk driving. The organization said 746 people in the Greater Washington area used the service during Fourth of July last year.

Users can check the SoberRide website on Thursday, July 4 at 6 p.m. for the promotion code that will give free rides between 7 p.m Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday.

Photo via John Sonderman/Flickr pool

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