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by ARLnow.com May 30, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

High School Proposals on the Table in June — A pair of proposals for adding high school seats are on the table at Arlington School Board meetings next month. The board is expected to approve a $3.6 million construction contract for adding 300 seats to Wakefield High School, while Superintendent Patrick Murphy will recommend the board approve a “hybrid” option for adding another 1,300 seats, with 600 seats at the Education Center site near Washington-Lee and 700 at the Arlington Career Center. Despite the added capacity, Murphy expects that it will eventually be necessary to build a new 2,200 seat comprehensive high school to keep up with rising enrollment. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Marriott’s Longest-Standing Employee Is in Crystal City — Cecil Exum, a 79-year-old omelette maker at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, is Marriott’s longest-standing employee. He’s been with the company for 61 years, since the Marriott family ran a “Hot Shoppes” root beer stand and opened its first hotel, the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel in Arlington. [Washington Post]

POTUS at ANC on Memorial Day — “President Donald Trump honored those who lost their lives serving the nation as he participated in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Monday and told emotional stories of just a few who perished.” [Daily Mail]

Cars Towed During Clarendon Memorial Day Ceremony — Some veterans attending the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the war memorial in Clarendon reportedly had their cars towed from a bank parking lot nearby. Del. Patrick Hope (D) tweeted photos of the cars being towed and called it “disgusting.” He directed the tweet at Del. Tim Hugo (R), the sponsor of the bill (now law) that blocked Arlington County from enforcing a “second signature” requirement for certain trespass tows. [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Peter Golkin

by Chris Teale May 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

Arlington County schools and government offices will close Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day.

County offices, courts, libraries, human services, the sheriff’s office and commuter stores will all be closed for the holiday. All community centers will be closed, while all parks grounds will be open.

Also on Monday:

  • The county’s four spraygrounds will be open all weekend.
  • Three high school pools will be open to the public until 6 p.m.
  • Metered parking will not be enforced.
  • Trash and recycling collections are on a normal schedule.
  • ART’s 41, 45, 51, 55 and 87 routes will operate on Sunday schedules, while all other ART routes will not operate. Standing order rides are not provided on STAR, and the call center is closed. Any rides on Monday and Tuesday must be booked in advance.
  • Metrorail and Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule. The rail system is open from 7 a.m. to midnight.

Police will close roads for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally this weekend. Riders are scheduled to arrive later today at the event’s headquarters at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

On Sunday, Arlington and Virginia State Police will close Washington Blvd from 7 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. from I-395 to the Memorial Bridge. Meanwhile, Arlington National Cemetery will only be accessible from southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway or northbound Route 110.

Police say they expect higher attendance than usual at the rally and other events for Rolling Thunder’s 30th anniversary.

Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin

by ARLnow.com May 24, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Thousands of soldiers will participate in a time-honored tradition at Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow: the placement of flags at each headstone and columbarium for Memorial Day.

There are more than 400,000 interred at the cemetery, but soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment — The Old Guard — will place a flag in front of each in about four hours, rain or shine.

The monumental task is known as “Flag-In,” and is conducted every year prior to Memorial Day to honor the nation’s fallen military heroes. This year, it’s happening tomorrow (Thursday) starting at 1 p.m.

The event also includes a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“While the public is welcome to observe the Flags-In tradition, the public cannot participate in the flag placement,” the cemetery noted in a news release.

by ARLnow.com May 17, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Thousands of motorcycle riders are set to descend again on Arlington and D.C. for the annual Memorial Day weekend Rolling Thunder rally.

The bikers are scheduled to arrive next Friday, May 26, with many gathering around the event’s headquarters at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in the afternoon before a “Blessing of the Bikes” at the National Cathedral and a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

On Saturday the bikers will depart Crystal City around 10 a.m. and head to a free barbecue at a Harley-Davidson dealer in Fort Washington, Maryland. A wreath laying is also planned at the Navy Memorial in D.C. later that morning.

On Sunday, the group will gather en masse in the Pentagon parking lots before riding across the Memorial Bridge into D.C. for Rolling Thunder’s main event, which will include speakers and musical performances around the Reflecting Pool. Among those expected to perform is country artist Billy Ray Cyrus.

This is the 30th year of Rolling Thunder, which was founded to bring attention to plight of military service members missing or imprisoned during the Vietnam War.

From the group’s website: “[We] are united in the cause to bring full accountability for the Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action (POW/MIA) of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords: ‘We Will Not Forget.'”

A number of road closures are expected on Sunday to accommodate the bikers. Though the event has largely gone off without a hitch over the past few years, some Arlington residents have complained about the frequent rumble of motorcycles that one can hear around highways and some main roads throughout the weekend.

by ARLnow.com May 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

Arlington County Police will again be stepping up enforcement of seat belt laws, starting next week.

ACPD’s enforcement campaign, part of the national Click It or Ticket program, will run through the Memorial Day holiday, from Monday, May 22 to Sunday, June 4.

More from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is once again reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement from May 22 to June 4, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older according to the NHTSA. That’s why motorists are encouraged to buckle up every time on every ride.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

by ARLnow.com June 2, 2016 at 10:35 am 0

One week ago today, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) placed an American flag on every grave in Arlington National Cemetery, as part of the annual Memorial Day weekend tradition of “Flags In.”

Those flags have since been removed, but what they stand for — remembering the sacrifices of our military service members — never fades away.

ARLnow.com captured this year’s Flags In in a brief video, above.

Video by Omar DeBrew

by ARLnow.com May 31, 2016 at 8:45 am 0

Sunday at Arlington National Cemetery (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Memorial Day in Arlington — It was an active Memorial Day in Arlington. Among the activities: a ceremony was held at the Air Force Memorial; volunteers handed out 30,000 roses to families of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery; President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns; and Arlington’s annual Memorial Day ceremony was held in Clarendon. [WJLA, WJLA, New York Daily News, Twitter]

Quarterdeck Owner Opening Restaurant in D.C. –Patrick Morrogh, who owns the Quarterdeck near Rosslyn, is reportedly opening another crab-centric eatery, “District Anchor,” in the former Rumors space at 1900 M Street NW in D.C. [Borderstan]

Arlington Woman Arrested for Handbag Scheme — Federal authorities have charged Arlington resident Praepitcha Smatsorabudh in a major fraud scheme. The feds say Smatsorabudh would buy luxury handbags online, then return high-quality knockoff handbags to the store while selling the real bag online, netting millions of dollars in the process. Per a news report: “The scheme was so prolific that at one point she was a major department store’s top online customer in the entire world.” [ABC News]

Metro Train’s Brakes Catch Fire — Blue Line service was shut down for more than an hour Saturday while Arlington County firefighters battled a brake fire on a Metro train at Arlington Cemetery station. [WJLA]

Home Prices Dip in Arlington — Real estate firm Long and Foster reports a six percent year-over-year drop in Arlington County median home sale prices for April. The number of units sold, however, rose 5 percent. [WTOP]

Deer on the Loose in Virginia Square — A deer was spotted running around the recently-renamed GMU Antonin Scalia Law School in Virginia Square on Monday. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com May 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Flags In at Arlington National Cemetery, just prior to Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is finally here. We hope you enjoy a well-deserved relaxing weekend.

The reason for the holiday, however, is to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Arlington, of course, is home to the Pentagon, the Air Force Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery, making Memorial Day a particularly poignant occasion here.

Among those traveling to Arlington to mark the holiday are the motorcycle riders of Rolling Thunder, who are expected to rumble into town en masse today, and a group of Vietnam War vets who are getting a police escort on I-66 tomorrow morning.

There may be traffic disruptions and some extra noise, but on a weekend like this our out of town guests should be welcomed with open arms.

With that, feel free to discuss Memorial Day or any other issue of local interest in the comments.

ARLnow.com will return with some content and breaking news coverage on Monday, and full local news coverage on Tuesday. Please note that Wednesday might be a bit lighter of a news day than usual for us, as we will be moving our office throughout the day.

by Adrian Cruz May 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Rolling Thunder (Flickr pool photo by Michelle Dupray)Arlington County offices and schools will be closed Monday for the observation of Memorial Day.

All county offices, courts, libraries, and other facilities will be closed for the holiday. Metered parking will not be enforced.

ART buses will operate on a Sunday schedule as will Metrorail and Metrobus. Metrorail will charge off-peak fares all day and parking will be free at all Metro facilities.

Trash and recycling collection, however, will operate on a regular schedule.

Traffic on I-66 eastbound on Saturday is expected to be severely impacted from 10-11:30 a.m. to allow honor groups of Vietnam veterans to travel to Arlington National Cemetery.

On Sunday the Arlington County Police Department will close off Washington Boulevard between I-395 and the Memorial Bridge from 7 a.m.-4 p.m for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally. During this time, Arlington National Cemetery will only be accessible from southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway or northbound Route 110.

by Jackie Friedman May 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

Following an annual Memorial Day weekend tradition, over 230,000 flags were placed at every headstone in Arlington National Cemetery today.

The flags were also placed by 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at the bottom of about 7,000 niche rows in the cemetery’s Columbarium Courts and the Niche Wall.

More than 1,000 soldiers placed flags around the cemetery throughout a four hour timespan. There are over 400,000 total graves in the cemetery. Old Guard soldiers also placed approximately 14,000 flags at the Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in the District.

The tradition known as “Flags In” has been conducted by the Old guard since 1948. The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment is the oldest infantry regiment in the U.S. Army and is the official escort to the president.

All flags are removed after Memorial Day.

by Adrian Cruz May 26, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Traffic on I-66

If you’re planning on leaving home this Memorial Day weekend, you’re not alone.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, nearly 966,000 D.C. area residents will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday.

This is the highest travel estimate in the last 11 years and it represents a nearly two percent increase over the 951,000 residents who traveled at this time last year, according to AAA.

The heaviest congestion on area roads is predicted to occur Thursday afternoon between 5-6 p.m.

“The great American road trip is back due to cheaper gas prices. We’re seeing this play out for Memorial Day, with a projected 869,600 people in the Washington metro planning to drive to their Memorial Day destinations,” said AAA’s John Townsend, in a press release.

Gas prices this year are noticeably lower compared to previous years with the national average at $2.29 a gallon, 45 cents cheaper than a year ago. Prices in the D.C. area are also down, averaging $2.28 a gallon, 41 cents cheaper.

Along with the roads, air travel is also expected to increase with a predicted number of 69,100 people expected to fly, a 1.7 percent increase from last year’s numbers.

by ARLnow.com May 25, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Canadian Forces Snowbirds fly over D.C., with the Air Force Memorial in the foreground

Memorial Day Traffic to Peak Thursday — Heading out of town for Memorial Day? Try to avoid driving Thursday afternoon or evening, which is expected to have the worst traffic of the holiday period. A better time to leave is between 8 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Friday. [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments]

Ideas for Making Arlington More Bike Friendly — Chris Slatt, chair of the Arlington Transportation Commission, has 10 “big ideas” for making Arlington even more bicycle friendly. [Greater Greater Washington]

Elaborate Model of Ballston Quarter — At the International Council of Shopping Centers’ convention in Las Vegas there is an elaborate model of the future, renovated Ballston Quarter mall. [Twitter]

French Program at Wakefield Honored — Wakefield High School’s French program is one of 10 such programs in the country this year to receive the Exemplary Program Honors award from the American Association of Teachers of French. Enrollment in Wakefield’s French program has reportedly doubled since 2011. [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com May 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

Old Arlington County police car paint job (file photo)If for some reason you drive around without a seatbelt on, it could cost you your life. Next week, there’s a greater likelihood that it will at least cost you $25.

From Monday, May 23 to Monday, June 6 — it’s timed to coincide with the Memorial Day holiday — Arlington County will again be participating in the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign.

ACPD will be “stepping up enforcement” of the state seatbelt law during that time.

From a press release:

Once again, the Arlington County Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement from May 23 to June 6, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 59 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2014, there was one fatality every 16 minutes, one person injured every 13 seconds, one property damage crash every 7 seconds, and 1 law enforcement-reported crash every 5 seconds.

by Adrian Cruz May 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Police motorcycle officers / motorcade on I-395 on 5/13/16 (file photo)

Motorcades for groups of Vietnam War veterans will result in rolling highway closures and potential traffic tie-ups Memorial Day weekend.

The Arlington County Police Department announced Monday that there will be temporary closures on I-66 eastbound on Saturday, May 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The closures are in place to allow Vietnam War veterans to travel to Arlington National Cemetery.

Other roads to be affected by the motorcades include Route 110 southbound and Washington Blvd near Columbia Pike, according to police.

Also, traffic in and around Crystal City is expected to experience delays between 12:30 p.m and 1:30 p.m due to police escorts for another veterans group through the area.

Memorial Day weekend will also bring traffic disruptions on Friday and Sunday due to the 29th annual Rolling Thunder ride, which is separate from the Saturday veterans event. Starting Sunday morning a Rolling Thunder rally will be held at the Pentagon parking lot. That will be followed by a noon departure across the Memorial Bridge and into D.C., before another gathering near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

by ARLnow.com May 6, 2016 at 10:55 am 0

Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally at the Pentagon (Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin)The return of thousands of motorcyclists to the area for the annual Rolling Thunder ride is just three weeks away.

The 29th annual Rolling Thunder will rumble into town on Friday, May 27. As in previous years, residents who live along I-395, Route 1 and other local highways can expect to hear what one might term the “sound of freedom” throughout much of the weekend.

Rolling Thunder will again have its base of operations at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Crystal City. If you’re heading to Chili’s for dinner, you’ll potentially be competing for street parking and tables with hundreds of bikers.

The main Rolling Thunder event will happen on Sunday morning, when the bikers will gather in the Pentagon parking lot from 7 a.m. to noon, before departing en masse across the Memorial Bridge to the area around the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.

Rolling Thunder “pays homage to the nation’s veterans, particularly those still Prisoner of War/Missing in Action from all wars.” While the organization primarily exists to support veteran’s and POW/MIA causes, regardless of politics, it has recently posted some overtly political messages to its website.

“We pray for a new administration in 2016 that will follow the Constitution of the United States and worry about America, our people and our troops first,” said the organization’s National Executive Director and National President, in a letter to members. “Why can’t we let these foreign countries fight their own wars? This administration keeps getting us deeper and deeper in the war against Islam.”

Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin

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