Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

New Grocery Store for Crystal City — “D.C.-based Dweck Properties is pitching a nearly 16,000-square-foot ‘urban format grocery store’ for the base of its Crystal Plaza apartments, according to plans filed with Arlington County this summer. Dweck is hoping to add roughly 38,000 square feet of retail to a plaza in front of the apartments, located at 2111 Richmond Highway.” [Washington Business Journal]

New Record High at DCA — “Washington is experiencing a beastly hot October day, unlike anything it has previously observed. The city exceeded its hottest October temperature ever previously observed, hitting 98 degrees, surpassing the mark of 96 degrees set on Oct. 5, 1941.” [Washington Post]

WaPo Interviews Dog About Hot Day — “Skippy, a golden retriever from Arlington, said: ‘I haven’t relieved myself outside in months. A dog of my standing cannot relieve himself in these offensively hot conditions.’ Skippy’s owner, Bill, rolled his eyes and confirmed this before heading back downstairs to scrub the carpet.” [Washington Post]

Joint Arlington-Alexandria Meeting — “In a rare joint meeting of top Alexandria and Arlington officials, the two communities laid the foundation for a closer collaboration on affordable housing… Despite the lofty goals for collaboration, little was decided in what amounted to a lengthy icebreaker between the two governing bodies.” [ALXnow]

Opening at Crystal City Art Gallery — “The Gallery Underground’s focus gallery theme this month is Chaos in which the artists strive to capture the feeling of instability and chaos. In addition to the focus gallery, we’re celebrating the opening of the newest Fotowalk Gallery.” [Crystal City]

Septuagenarian Still Playing Hockey in Ballston –“Paul Mason, 76-years-old, knows that age is just a number. WUSA9 caught up with him at the Medstar Capitals Iceplex, playing in a pick-up game with others who were many decades his junior.” [WUSA 9]

Press Conference in Rosslyn Area Driveway — Attorney and oft-discredited conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman is planning to hold a press conference in the driveway of his home near Rosslyn this afternoon to present new, thus-far uncorroborated allegations against Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

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A problem with the air conditioning at Washington Liberty High School is prompting an early dismissal.

With temperatures expected to climb into the mid-90s today, school administrators decided to send students home at 10:40 a.m. rather than have them stay in increasingly warm classrooms.

More via a letter sent to W-L families from the school’s principal:

Washington-Liberty Families and Staff:

The HVAC system at W-L is currently not working properly. Based on forecasted temperatures in the mid to upper 90s, we have made the decision to dismiss students at 10:40 a.m. Transportation will pick up bus riders at that time as well.

All after school athletic events will go on as planned unless those families hear from their coach.

The health and safety of our students and staff is our primary focus. Facilities has crews at the school to repair HVAC system and we will update you on operations for tomorrow. We apologize for the inconvenience and disruption to the schedule.

Please call the office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Gregg Robertson,
Principal

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With dangerous, scorching heat prompting warnings from forecasters and local officials, organizers of outdoor events are reconsidering their plans this weekend.

Among them: the popular, annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race.

The race, which was scheduled for Saturday evening, has been cancelled, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said this afternoon.

“The Arlington County Fire Department & Pacers have deemed the weather conditions unsafe and the event will not be rescheduled,” the BID said via social media. “If you are registered already you will be contacted by Pacers directly and you can still pick up your packets with your shirt at the Pacers store today and tomorrow.”

The Twilighter 5k race tomorrow has been canceled. The Arlington Arlington County Fire Department & Pacers have deemed…

Posted by Crystal City on Friday, July 19, 2019

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(Updated at 1:10 p.m.) Arlington County — and much of the surrounding area — is under an Excessive Heat Warning today and Saturday, and an Excessive Heat Watch on Sunday.

Sweltering temperatures and high humidity will result in dangerous conditions for anyone spending time outside, forecasters say.

More from the National Weather Service:

…EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING… …EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM EDT SATURDAY… …EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM EDT SATURDAY. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT ON SATURDAY. * HEAT INDEX VALUES…UP TO 114 DUE TO TEMPERATURES AROUND 101, AND DEWPOINTS IN THE MID 70S. * IMPACTS…DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HUMIDITY COULD QUICKLY CAUSE HEAT STRESS OR HEAT STROKE IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL OCCUR. THE COMBINATION OF EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE EXPECTED. CHECK IN ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS. AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES IS POSSIBLE. PREPARE FOR EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WHICH WOULD CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE EXPECTED. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE, RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK, THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911. &&

Arlington County has a number of tips for beating the heat, including:

  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids like water, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Stay cool by staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully and wear sunscreen.
  • If you exercise outdoors, go in the morning or evening hours.
  • Eat light, regular meals — avoid hot foods and heavy meals.
  • Never leave anyone — infants, children, or pets — in a parked car.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illness — these include:
    • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
    • Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
    • Rapid, strong pulse
    • Throbbing headache

The county also advises residents to conserve electricity to help prevent brownouts from excessive power usage during the extreme heat.

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Morning Notes

New Lyon Park Neighborhood Plan Approved — “The Arlington County Board today accepted the first update to historic Lyon Park’s Neighborhood Conservation plan since 1973. The update, spearheaded by the Lyon Park Citizens Association, seeks to address increased non-resident traffic and other challenges through 19 recommendations for improvements.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Traffic Enforcement in Crystal City — “Motor Officers conducted high visibility traffic enforcement along Crystal Drive today to curb illegal practices including stopping/parking in the bike and travel lanes. Increase roadway safety [by] being a PAL — Predictable | Alert | Lawful.” [Twitter]

How to Beat the Heat in Arlington — With a scorching weekend of dangerous heat ahead, and an Excessive Heat Watch issued, Arlington County is reminding residents of some ways they can keep cool, stay informed and help at-risk individuals. [Arlington County]

Metro Waterfall, Explained — Metro has an explanation of why a waterfall developed in the ceiling of the Virginia Square Metro station and inside a passing train during the Flash Flood Emergency last week. [DCist]

Grants for African-American Heritage Projects — “Two Arlington-based organizations are among 25 non-profits statewide that will share more than $140,000 in new grant funding from Virginia Humanities” for projects exploring local African-American heritage and history [InsideNova]

Beyer on Trump Impeachment Vote — “I strongly support an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump. I voted to table H. Res. 489 because it would effectively prevent the House from conducting such an inquiry… It would initiate an impeachment trial in the Senate solely to consider whether the President should be removed from office for his recent racist tweets.” [Twitter, Blue Virginia]

Dueling APS Letters to the Editor — On one hand, Arlington Public Schools should stick to funding only the basics, like providing textbooks and pencils, according to one letter to the editor published in the Sun Gazette. On the other hand, APS should have a comprehensive approach to sustainability, including recycling and excess cafeteria waste, according to another letter to the editor writer. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Arlington County and surrounding areas are under a Heat Advisory for much of Wednesday.

Forecasters say the heat index could hit 105 degrees, signalling dangerous conditions for anyone spending time outdoors.

The Heat Advisory will take effect at 11 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 8 p.m. More from the National Weather Service:

…HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 8 PM EDT WEDNESDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A HEAT ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 8 PM EDT WEDNESDAY. * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 105 DEGREES WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE MIDDLE 90S AND DEWPOINTS IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 70S. * IMPACTS…THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY MAY CAUSE HEAT STRESS DURING OUTDOOR EXERTION OR EXTENDED EXPOSURE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE, RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK, THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911. &&

Arlington County will be opening overflow space in its Homeless Services Center in Courthouse through Sunday night due to the dangerous heat. Authorities are also encouraging residents to drink lots of fluids and limit time outdoors, especially for the elderly and pets.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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It’s going to be hot and humid today, and potentially hazardous for certain people, according to an air quality alert issued by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Children and adults with respiratory and heart ailments should limit their time outside today, MWCOG said in issuing a “Code Orange” alert for the region.

More details:

…AIR QUALITY ALERT IS IN EFFECT FOR THURSDAY JUNE 27 2019… THE METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, AND DISTRICT DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT HAS ISSUED A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT THURSDAY FOR THE DC METRO AREA. A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT MEANS THAT AIR POLLUTION CONCENTRATIONS WITHIN THE REGION MAY BECOME UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. SENSITIVE GROUPS INCLUDE CHILDREN, PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM ASTHMA, HEART DISEASE OR OTHER LUNG DISEASES AND THE ELDERLY. THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION CAN BE MINIMIZED BY AVOIDING STRENUOUS ACTIVITY OR EXERCISE OUTDOORS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GROUND-LEVEL OZONE AND FINE PARTICLES… VISIT WWW.CLEANAIRPARTNERS.NET.

More hot and potentially hazardous days are on tap, as a heat wave roasts the region for the foreseeable future.

Photo courtesy Philliefan99

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Crystal City’s biggest property owner is now testing out a new pavement sealant in a bid to bring down temperatures and reduce the “heat island” effect increasingly plaguing urban areas.

JBG Smith just sealed a pair of its parking lots in Crystal City, in front of an office building at 241 18th Street S., with a new product dubbed “CoolSeal,” which is designed to bring down temperatures on the asphalt by as much as 10 degrees during even the sunniest months of summer.

The reflective pavement treatment is gaining popularity in the Southwest as a way to reduce the amount of heat bouncing off of wide swaths of pavement, though JBG officials believe this is the first time any company has tested out this particular asphalt coating on the East Coast. The company plans to study the impact of the treatment on the roughly 18,000 square feet of pavement over the next year or so, and could someday starting using at its bevy of properties across the D.C. region.

“One of the benefits of being a larger property owner with a diverse portfolio is the ability to try new things,” Brian Coulter, JBG Smith’s chief development officer, told ARLnow. “We think a lot about, ‘How do we improve the built environment and the experience of people on the ground?’ And this could really make a difference in that respect.”

Coulter says he’d never heard of CoolSeal until reading about it in a landscaping magazine a few weeks back, and the product instantly struck him as a good fit for his company.

Researchers have increasingly found that D.C. has some of the most intense urban heat islands in the country, with the high concentrations of parking lots and buildings driving up temperatures in more developed neighborhoods when summer rolls around. Coulter says he never saw the heat in Crystal City as especially problematic, but because the company owns so much property in the neighborhood, he felt it was a natural spot to test out CoolSeal on as large a space as possible.

“It’s a big enough area where you’re not just dealing with a couple parking spaces,” Coulter said. “It just felt like a continuation of some of the other experiments and interventions we’ve done there before, particularly around public art.”

JBG ended up using about 550 gallons of the coating, with workers applying it to the parking lots over the course of the first two weekends in October. The company estimates the effort cost about $50,000, in all.

Yet Coulter believes the experiment could end up being well worth the expense if it works as intended. He says the company plans to measure the sealant’s impact on the temperature on the parking lots, and the surrounding area, through the end of next summer to see how it works in practice.

Should it have a notable impact, Coulter expects JBG could use CoolSeal all throughout its properties in both Crystal City and Pentagon City, as part of the developer’s continuing efforts to link the neighborhoods together. The company has all manner of new projects underway in Crystal City, fueling Amazon HQ2 speculation with its dominance in the area, and is also backing the major PenPlace development in Pentagon City.

“We see those two areas as part of the broader neighborhood, and one way to better establish that is with the pedestrian experience,” Coulter said. “If this is done well, it will work well for the people who visit and the people who live there.”

He doesn’t think CoolSeal needs to be limited to just parking lots, either. He envisions everywhere from basketball courts to bike trails to the roofs of tall buildings being ripe for the heat-reducing treatment, and that goes for all of JBG’s properties around the D.C. area.

“We’re really excited about the possibility and potential of this,” Coulter said. “Because, clearly, if this has the type of impact we’re looking for, it really does fit in nicely with everything we’re trying to do.”

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Morning Notes

New Leader of Leadership Center — “Leadership Center for Excellence (LCE) announces the addition of Karen Coltrane as its President & CEO… With 27 years of nonprofit work in her professional career, Coltrane most recently served as the President & CEO of EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, South Carolina.” [Leadership Center for Excellence, The State]

VRE to Review Community Feedback on Station — “Virginia Railway Express officials will spend coming weeks sifting through public comments on plans to upgrade station facilities at Crystal City. July 1 was the deadline for comments on the proposal to relocate and expand VRE facilities in Crystal City, which is the destination of about 18 percent of riders coming in from the west and south.” [InsideNova]

Another Hot Day — Heat index values today are expected to again climb above 100 degrees, though a cold front should cool things off on Friday. There is a slight chance of rain and storms today. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Arlington County, D.C. and other surrounding areas are now under an Excessive Heat Warning.

Heat index values are expected to exceed 110 degrees this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, elevating the risk of heat-related illness — though the temperatures could be moderated in part by pop-up showers.

More on the Excessive Heat Warning from NWS:

…EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING. THE HEAT ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 110 DEGREES DUE TO TEMPERATURES IN THE MID 90S, AND DEWPOINTS IN THE MID TO UPPER 70S. * IMPACTS…THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY MAY CAUSE HEAT STRESS DURING OUTDOOR EXERTION OR EXTENDED EXPOSURE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL OCCUR. THE COMBINATION OF EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE EXPECTED. CHECK IN ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE, RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK, THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911. &&

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“Why is the door open, are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood?”

That must be what some retail employees in Clarendon are be thinking this week. Amid a scorching heat wave, many stores are still keeping their doors propped open.

What is otherwise a solid strategy for getting passersby to come inside becomes absurd when the temperature reaches well above the 90s.

This is nothing new — it’s been happening for years. But even the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services is now making fun of it via social media.

Not everybody hates the open doors, however. A certain employee of this publication, who will go unnamed, acknowledged that the open doors are probably a bit wasteful, but argued that the cool breeze feels nice when walking by.

What do you think?

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