Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Hurricane Prompts Influx of Shelter Dogs from N.C. — “Dogs, cats and kittens were all transported from shelters ahead of the now Category 2 Hurricane Florence. They arrived… in Arlington Wednesday. Six dogs and two cats arrived from Hertford County, NC. Two dogs were adopted on-site. A total of 38 dogs and seven cats arrived from Florence County, SC. In total, 53 animals are now safe and sound in the D.C. area.” [WUSA 9]

PAC Raising Money for Female Candidates — Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol is among those expected to attend a “kick-off fundraiser” tonight for Brass Ovaries PAC, which raises money for first-time, female candidates for public office. [Tysons Reporter]

How to Pronounce ARLnow — FYI: the name of this site is pronounced “A-R-L now,” not “Ahrrrl now.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Hurricane Florence Update — The Tomb Sentinels at Arlington National Cemetery will remain on guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as they have for 81 years, regardless of what happens with Hurricane Florence. However, according to forecasters, “there is no need to cancel outdoor plans, events, or travel in the Washington region this weekend” due to the hurricane. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

DEA Lease Renewal Is Official — “The Drug Enforcement Administration will remain in its Pentagon City headquarters for at least 15 more years. The General Services Administration announced Wednesday it signed a 511,487 SF lease renewal for the DEA at 600-700 Army Navy Drive, two buildings owned by the California State Teachers Retirement System.” [Bisnow]

Neighbors Still Peeved Over Salt Dome Plan — “This is an emergency caused by rust. I know Neil Young says rust never sleeps but it doesn’t move that fast,” said Michael Hogan, president of the Old Dominion Citizens Association, regarding the “emergency” plan for a temporary salt storage facility next to the deteriorating salt dome near Marymount University. “This is just a terrible land-use decision.” [Washington Post]

Living in Arlington On a $80,000 Salary — Not much of interest happens in this millennial money diary, set in Arlington, but there is this discussion of tea vs. coffee: “I drink my third green tea. I’m trying to drink less coffee, so today I’m trying tea instead, but this is not cutting it. To all those people who say green tea gives them as much energy as coffee — I’m calling shenanigans.” [Refinery 29]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Memorial Bridge Closure Delayed — “Work on Arlington Memorial Bridge was scheduled to close all lanes this weekend, but with the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence, the National Park Service announced that the closure has been pushed back. Now, instead of Friday, the temporary closure of both sidewalks and all six lanes on the crumbling bridge is planned for 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 through 5 a.m. on Sept. 24.” [WTOP]

Economist Food Truck Comes to Rosslyn — Today The Economist is scheduled to bring its food truck to Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The truck offers “a taste of the future,” including free meatless burgers. Also offered: a 12-issue subscription to the magazine for $12. [Rosslyn]

Bezos and Amazon Board in Town — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the Board of Directors of his $1 trillion company are in town for meetings and a much-anticipated speech at the Economic Club of Washington Thursday night. Some speculate the board is helping to evaluate the D.C. area as a possible location for Amazon’s second headquarters, while the company has denied rumors that Bezos will be making an HQ2-related announcement during his speech. [Washington Post]

AFAC Asks For More Cash — “The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) has announced a special appeal to its donors, volunteers and the public to raise $50,000 to offset the funds lost when the Arlington government reduced its support… In fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the county government provided $50,000 in addition to the base grant of $477,925 to address a spike in families needing food assistance. The additional funding was not included in the fiscal 2019 budget.” [InsideNova]

Iota Book in the Works — The co-owner of the late, lamented Iota Club is trying to raise money online to compile a book showcasing memorabilia from the former Clarendon music venue. More than $1,000 of a $90,000 goal has been raised so far. [GoFundMe]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Over the past 24 hours, as Hurricane Florence has gotten closer to a predicted landfall on the Carolina coast, the risk of major impacts here in the D.C. area have decreased.

Currently, it appears that rain is the main danger. The 2-4 inches currently predicted could be enough to cause flooding locally, as the region is already waterlogged from well above average rainfall, but is a far cry from the 6-20 inches of rain predicted for large parts of southern and central Virginia.

Though it looks like we’ll be spared the brunt of the storm, Arlington’s emergency management department is urging residents to be prepared for the worst nonetheless.

The agency released the following set of hurricane preparedness tips yesterday.

As the Hurricane Florence gets closer, there is an increasing risk of direct impacts to our region. The major concerns with this storm are rainfall amounts and wind speeds. Excessive rain may cause flooding and as the ground becomes more saturated, it will be easier for winds to knock over trees and take down power lines. Be prepared for power outages. Do not report power outages to 9-1-1, unless there is a life-threatening emergency. To report trees or wires down or flooded roadways, you can contact the non-emergency number at 703-558-2222. Remember: do not travel through flooded roadways. Turn around, don’t drown.

The Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management is encouraging all residents to prepare now for Hurricane Florence. Do not wait until the day before. Here are some tips to get you and your family ready:

  • Be Informed: Stay aware of things going on by having multiple ways to get information and keep an eye on the forecast.
    • Log into your Arlington Alert account to update your information and sign up for weather and traffic alerts.
    • Follow Ready Arlington on Facebook and Twitter
  • Plan Ahead: Make an emergency plan, and discuss it with each family member.
    • Plan for possible evacuation.
      • Fill your gas tank in your car.
      • Have cash on hand. During power outages, ATMs and credit card machine will not work.
      • Use text and social media when able to get in touch with family members and plan for what to do if there is no phone service or internet.
      • Have names and phone numbers of family members, utilities, doctors/pharmacists, etc written down.
    • Prepare your home:
      • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris.
      • Trim trees and shrubbery.
      • Secure or bring inside any outdoor furniture or loose items.
      • If you have a generator remember to only run it outdoors.
      • Place a thermometer in your fridge and freezer in case of power outages. Any food that has reached 40 degrees or higher should be thrown out. If doors are kept closed, food in the fridge will be kept cold for about 4 hours, and the freezer for about 48 hours.
      • Turn off or disconnect appliances. If the power goes out, a momentary power surge can cause damage.
      • Move items in your basement off the floor in case of flooding.
      • Review your insurance policy.
  • Build a Kit: Get supplies together that you may need for your family for at least 3 days. Make sure to include the needs of pets.
    • Have food that is nonperishable that does not require power to make.
    • Ensure you have flashlights and check batteries. Do not use candles as they can be a fire hazard.
    • Keep cell phones charged. Consider an external charger.
    • Refill medication/first aid kits.
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In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, a dozen Arlington County Police officers volunteered to head down to Puerto Rico and assist law enforcement on the island.

The officers first arrived in November and were greeted by grateful residents. They came back with unforgettable stories to tell of their service to the community.

Among those featured in the video above is Det. Rosa Ortiz, who grew up on Puerto Rico before moving to the United States in 1984.

More on ACPD’s efforts during the Puerto Rico recovery effort, via a police press release:

In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria, one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes on record, roared through Puerto Rico. It completely destroyed the island’s power grid and caused catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities.

Some 1,560 miles away, the Arlington County Police Department answered the calls for help.

Twelve Arlington County Police officers volunteered to deploy to Puerto Rico, roughly a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean. ACPD’s officers deployed in three staggered teams between November 10 – December 18, 2017, and served the Puerto Rico community for 16 days each.

The officers directed traffic at critical intersections impacted by power outages, relieving this burden from the local officers, who could then focus on other law enforcement responsibilities. They made themselves a part of the community, offering support and comfort in desperate times. They selflessly served a community in need, and represented ACPD’s values of Duty, Honor and Commitment. But mostly, they wanted to help.

“I am proud that our officers are willing to dedicate their time to provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with an added sense of security in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Police Chief M. Jay Farr. “Our officers take an oath to serve and protect and their willingness to deploy shows their commitment and dedication, not just to the Arlington County community, but to citizens everywhere.”

The request for assistance came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the national emergency management mutual aid system. Each of ACPD’s three teams provided traffic direction at the intersection of Route 66 and Route 3 in the town of Rio Grande, roughly 24 miles outside the capital city of San Jaun. Throughout their deployment, they served the Puerto Rico community, and were joined by other Virginia Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) teams from Prince William and Hampton, as well as teams from, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Florida, Houston and Montana.

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Morning Notes

Puerto Rico Pets Coming to Arlington for Adoption — Dogs and cats from Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, were flown from the island to the D.C. area over the weekend by Arlington-based Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. The pets arrived via van convoy to a hero’s welcome in Shirlington and are now up for adoption. [Washington Post]

Arlington Among ‘Best Places to Live’ — City ranker Livability.com is out with its 2018 “Top 100 Best Places To Live” list and Arlington has placed No. 35, one spot below Pittsburgh and one above Asheville, N.C. Arlington previously ranked No. 3 on the list. [Livability]

Lower Property Value Rise Will Cause Budget Challenges — “The year-over-year increase in real-estate assessments throughout Arlington came in lower than government officials had expected, which may cause problems for County Board members trying to avoid either tax increases or budget cuts.” [InsideNova]

More on Key Bridge Marriott Sale — The new owners of the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn may benefit from the previous owner’s application to the FAA to construct buildings up to 470 feet tall on the property, which overlooks Georgetown and the Potomac River. The FAA application is “an indication it was setting the stage for the site’s redevelopment.” [Washington Business Journal]

Betsy Franz Leaves Leadership Center — Leadership Center for Excellence (formerly Leadership Arlington) founding President and CEO Betsy Frantz is leaving the organization in April to become President of the Virginia Hospital Center Health System Foundation. Liz Nohra, the COO of LCE, will take over as Acting President and CEO. [Leadership Center for Excellence]

Eviction Notice for TechShop in Crystal City — “A Jan. 18 eviction notice from the Arlington County sheriff’s department now hangs in the storefront of the maker space chain’s Crystal City location. The notice comes more than a month after San Jose, California-based TechShop announced it would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and then, a few weeks later, disclosed in early December it was reaching a deal to be acquired.” [Washington Business Journal]

County to Connect Building Owners and Investors for Sustainability — “All systems are ‘go’ for Arlington’s new ‘C-PACE’ program, a first-in-Virginia public-private partnership to provide affordable, long-term financing to improve energy or water efficiency of commercial buildings.” [Arlington County]

Reminder: Use Salt in Moderation — Prior to this morning’s rain, Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted a reminder to residents to avoid excess application of salt during freezing weather. “Use only as much as needed and no more to melt ice because this will wash into our watershed,” DES said. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Arlington Ready for Possible Snow — The chances of “meaningful accumulation” have since gone down, but Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services crews started applying brine to county roads Monday night in anticipation a “potential snow/ice this Wednesday evening/Thursday.” [Twitter, Washington Post]

VDOT Pleased With I-66 HOT Lane Data — NBC 4’s Adam Tuss tweets: “Doesn’t look like @VaDOTNOVA plans to change anything about the I-66 toll lanes. They say their data shows commutes were faster and more reliable.” [Twitter]

Dems Want Satellite-Voting Centers — “The Arlington County Democratic Committee could again be at loggerheads with the county’s elections office over whether to provide satellite locations for absentee voting in non-presidential-election years.” [InsideNova]

ARLnow T-Shirt Now Available — Need a gift for the ARLnow.com fan in your life? Show your Arlington pride with this long-sleeved t-shirt from the county’s No. 1 local news source. [Amazon]

ACPD Officers Helping in Puerto Rico — The Arlington County Police Department is among the departments nationwide sending officers to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to provide emergency assistance. The third ACPD team to rotate in is working on the island through Dec. 18. Officers who’ve gone say many challenges remain but there are hopeful signs as well. [Arlington Connection]

Westover Townhouse Battle Continues — Arlington County is weighing both a historic district and a “Housing Conservation District” for Westover, to protect aging but affordable garden apartments from being redeveloped into $800,000 townhomes. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

ACPD Helping Out in Puerto Rico — Arlington County Police officers are on the ground in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, directing traffic at critical intersections in areas without power. The officers were sent there as part of a national disaster mutual aid agreement. Local residents, meanwhile, have been expressing their appreciation for ACPD’s presence. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Blind Triplets Utilizing New Tech — The blind triplets who recently made history by all becoming Eagle Scouts are also among the early users of new Aira glasses. The technology, launched in April, uses camera-equipped glasses to allow a remote agent to narrate what they see in real time, thus providing additional autonomy for the wearer. [Washington Post]

School Board Members Ditch Ties — At Tuesday’s Arlington School Board meeting, the two male members of the Board “committed sartorial faux pas,” in the words of the Sun Gazette, by not wearing ties. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

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Twelve officers from the Arlington County Police Department will be deployed to Puerto Rico to help the island recover from Hurricane Maria.

The officers will deploy in three staggered teams from tomorrow (Friday, November 10) until December 18. The teams will spend 16 days each in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico requested assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance.

“I am proud that our officers are willing to dedicate their time to provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with an added sense of security in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” Police Chief Jay Farr said in a statement. “Our officers take an oath to serve and protect and their willingness to deploy shows their commitment and dedication, not just to the Arlington County community, but to citizens everywhere.”

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Dogs displaced from Houston by Hurricane Harvey arrived yesterday (Monday) at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington to find new homes.

National animal rescue nonprofit Best Friends Society brought 15 adoptable dogs to AWLA (2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive) on its “Bobs From Skechers Roving Rescue Bus,” sponsored by the shoe brand. More dogs are also being taken to Atlanta and New York for adoption.

“Best Friends Animal Society has been on the ground taking care of pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey since August and opened the Pet Reunion Pavilion at the NRG Arena to reunite them with their owners,” a press release on the project reads. “Two months later, while some pets have been reunited or fostered/adopted to new homes, many are still in our care.”

Courtesy photos

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Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) says Congress must do more to help areas hit by natural disasters.

Beyer issued a statement yesterday (Thursday) after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, which provides increased funding to disaster recovery programs.

Beyer’s statement also came after President Donald Trump threatened to pull federal relief workers out of Puerto Rico as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.

In the statement, Beyer said:

I voted for this aid package to send support to Americans hit by natural disasters, but this bill represents the bare minimum that Congress can do to help, particularly with respect to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Following Donald Trump’s threat to abandon Puerto Rico in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, Congress should guarantee its full support to Americans suffering in the wake of natural disasters. Federal emergency management must not leave Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands until it has restored electricity and access to clean, potable water for everyone.

The aid package has $18.7 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. That includes $4.9 billion to help fund recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, as well as $676.6 million for fighting wildfires and $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the National Flood Insurance Program to pay claims from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

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