Press Club

Morning Notes

SoberRide vehicle in Clarendon on Cinco de Mayo (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

New Interim Economic Development Chief — “Today, I am pleased to appoint Shannon Flanagan-Watson as the Interim Director of Arlington Economic Development (AED), effective May 31. Shannon brings 28 years of combined experience working in and with local governments on a range of professional local government management and policy issues.” [Arlington County]

Shot Fired in Long Branch Creek — “1400 block of 28th Street S. At approximately 1:09 a.m. on May 5th, police were dispatched to multiple reports of shots heard in the area. Police canvassed the area and recovered evidence confirming a shot had been fired. The preliminary investigation indicates a verbal altercation between two subjects may have preceded the discharge of a firearm. No injuries were reported, and no property damage was located.” [APCD]

Netherlands Carillon Dedication — “Today, the National Park Service and Netherlands Embassy celebrated the 77th anniversary of Liberation Day and the end of a four-year restoration of the Netherlands Carillon. This celebration included remarks from Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands André Haspels and National Park Service Director Charles F. ‘Chuck’ Sams III.” [Press Release, NBC 4]

More Funding for Metro Entrance? — “Additional financial support for Arlington County’s proposed west entrance to the Ballston-MU Metro station looks to be on the horizon. A recommendation from staff at the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission puts the request for an additional $4.5 million near the top of the list for regional projects that would be part of fiscal 2023-24 funding through the ‘I-66 Commuter Choice’ program.” [Sun Gazette]

Trying Out the Upton Hill Ropes Course — “Waiting in line to jump from the 50-foot apex of Climb UPton, Northern Virginia’s new ropes course, and trying desperately not to look down, I overhear three 10-year-old girls in front of me. ‘Are you scared?’ one asks… The $1.3 million ropes course opened last summer in Upton Hill Regional Park and is run by NOVA Parks. I recently attempted it on a sunny spring Saturday.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Reminder: Malibu Barbie Truck’s Visit — “On Saturday, May 7, the ‘Barbie Truck Totally Throwback Malibu Tour’ is planning on setting up shop at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) in the courtyard near DSW shoe store. The truck will be selling ‘retro-inspired’ Barbie merchandise — like Barbie logo embroidered denim jackets and Malibu Barbie necklaces — from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.” [ARLnow]

It’s Friday — Rain throughout the day. High of 65 and low of 58. Sunrise at 6:06 am and sunset at 8:07 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Raindrops on azaleas in Westover (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Another Vehicle Larceny Series — “28th Street S. at 26th Street S./28th Street S. at S. Lang Street. At approximately 9:05 a.m. on April 25, police were dispatched to multiple reports of destruction of property. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the unknown suspect(s) broke the windows to five vehicles and rummaged through them. One victim reported having electronics stolen from their vehicle. There is no suspect(s) description.” [ACPD]

Update on Route 1 ‘Urban Boulevard’ Plan — “The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will hold a virtual public information meeting Thursday, April 28 on a feasibility study identifying enhanced multimodal connectivity and accommodations along Route 1 (Richmond Highway) from 12th Street South to 23rd Street South to meet the changing transportation needs of the Crystal City and Pentagon City communities.” [VDOT]

More Wins for Yorktown Lax — “The defending state champion Yorktown High School boys lacrosse team improved to 7-2 with blowout victories over Herndon, 15-2, and Dominion, 17-5, for seven straight victories.” [Sun Gazette]

Regional Grant for Ballston Metro Entrance? — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “A new west entrance to the Ballston-MU Metrorail station is in the running. Let these fine folks know why their greenbacks would be well spent.” [Twitter, N. Va. Transportation Authority]

‘Empty the Shelters’ Event Next Week — “The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is participating in the Bissell Pet Foundation’s spring “Empty the Shelters” animal adoption event next week from May 2-8. More than 275 shelters in 45 states and Canada are participating in the week-long event. The Bissell Pet Foundation sponsors reduced adoption fees for $25 or less.” [Patch]

Warner Weighs in on Musk Buying Twitter — From Sen. Mark Warner: “Elon Musk must work in good faith to preserve Twitter’s necessary reforms to prevent the spread of misinformation.” [Twitter]

It’s Wednesday — Mostly sunny, with a few more clouds in the afternoon. High of 58 and low of 44. Sunrise at 6:16 am and sunset at 7:58 pm. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Arlington County and JBG Smith are changing up plans for a second entrance to the Crystal City Metro station due to projected cost overruns.

An east entrance to the station — a long-standing goal of county transportation planners — is being built through a public-private partnership with the developer, which the County Board authorized in the summer of 2020.

JBG Smith had initially proposed an underground entrance at the corner of 18th Street S. and Crystal Drive. As those plans came into focus last summer, however, they were estimated to cost Arlington County $123-$126 million, which far exceeded the county’s budget of $95 million.

So JBG Smith went back to the drawing board during the winter and came back with the idea to build the entrance at street level and save the county at least $13 million.

This Saturday, the Arlington County Board is slated to approve changes to its agreement with JBG Smith, giving the developer until September to further design an at-grade entrance. Under this scenario, fare gates and a manager’s kiosk would be at street level with primary access from 18th Street S. and secondary access from Crystal Drive.

“This alternative offers cost savings over the current design by significantly reducing the amount of excavation required, reducing the number of elevators from five to three, and removing the need to penetrate the station vault wall,” according to a county report. It also reduces the construction time by three months.

An at-grade entrance still meets county goals and has the support of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, per the report.

“Both the Underground Entrance Design Concept and the At-Grade Alternative equally achieve the goals of adding capacity to meet future growth, creating a multimodal transportation hub, and improving access and accessibility to the Crystal City Metrorail Station from Crystal Drive,” the county said.

The change to the agreement will cost around $232,000 and bring the total cost of the design phase — funded by a $5 million Northern Virginia Transportation Authority grant — to $3.9 million.

County staff say there will be an update on the project for the public this spring. JBG Smith plans to submit a proposal based on the updated designs in October with the goal of County Board approval in November.

If members approve of the designs and cost estimates, construction could start in the winter of 2023 and end in the spring of 2025 — similar to the existing timeline. The project would be extended if the County Board asks the company, or county staff, to find someone else to do it for less money.

Ultimately, Arlington County is on the hook to oversee the project, as it agreed to get the second entrance online by 2025 as part of the incentive package to bring Amazon to Pentagon City, provided the state partially funded it.

The site of the future east entrance is also slated to see new retail, but JBG Smith has put redevelopment plans on hold due to the pandemic, the county says. The east entrance designs leave room to build the retail spaces later on.

As part of the stalled retail project, JBG Smith agreed to hand over land for a public open space called “Metro Market Square,” according to a memo from the developer. The company is working with the county to build this space concurrently with the entrance project.

A map of the east Crystal City Metro station entrance and proposed Metro Market Square open space (staff image)
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Arlington County is applying for a $4.5 million grant to further offset a proposed west entrance to the Ballston Metro station.

On Saturday, the County Board is set to approve this request for funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), which would come from I-66 toll revenues.

This is the latest application from the county, which is trying to offset the $140 million project with regional and state dollars even as some of these sources have dried up due to the pandemic.

The entrance would be located at N. Fairfax Drive and N. Vermont Street, almost a quarter of a mile west of the existing entrance. The county previously said this second entrance would greatly expand access to the station, increase Metro’s capacity and make it more efficient.

Map showing potential location of new Ballston Metro entrance (via Google Maps)

If all the funding comes through, designs could be completed next year and construction could start in 2024 and end in 2027, Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Claudia Pors tells ARLnow.

“The team is looking to finish the 35% design update this year and procure design-build services in 2023, pending funding from NVTA,” Pors said. “Construction is projected to start in 2024 and we anticipate a construction period of 3 years.”

The $4.5 million represents a revised request to the NVTC. Arlington had previously applied for $10 million from the same program in January 2020 but — despite being “the top scoring project” — the project was cut from the funding round due to a drop in toll revenue caused by COVID-19.

“Following a request from NVTC staff, the County withdrew its application for the Ballston-MU West Entrance in August 2020,” the report said. “I-66 Commuter Choice Program revenues have still not fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic, and so for Round Five the County has lowered its funding request from $10 million to $4,500,000.”

And while available funding is scarce, the cost to build the second entrance is increasing. A 2019 estimate put the project at $130 million; a 2021 estimate puts the project at $140 million.

“The use of the known information on items such as station entrance layout and elevator location from the design updates instead of previous assumptions in the 2019 cost estimate, along with the impact of inflation, are the two drivers of the cost increase,” the report said.

More than half of the project’s costs could come from a pending application with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) for $80 million. The county says this sum would cover the rising costs as well as the loss of funding from NVTC and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, which also lost revenue for new projects during the pandemic.

Pors said the NVTA will make a funding decision later this spring or in the early summer months.

Meanwhile, Arlington County intends to increase how much it’s budgeting for the project, from $25 million to $30 million.

Arlington’s Transportation Commission — while supportive of the project — is sounding the alarm on the $5 million increase at the local level.

“The Commission is concerned specifically about: 1) The appropriateness of making a change this large in how capital funding is being allocated completely outside of the CIP process and seemingly hidden within grant applications,” chairman Chris Slatt said in a letter to the County Board. “2) The high overall cost of the project and whether it still represents a good ‘bang for our buck’ in increasing access to transit for Arlington residents.”

He said $30 million could be used locally to bring every bus stop in Arlington into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, increase Capital Bikeshare’s 10-year capital budget or cover the costs to design and build more local projects intended to lower traffic congestion and improve public transit.

Map via Google Maps

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Changes are coming to the plaza outside the Crystal City Metro station.

Developer JBG Smith and the National Landing Business Improvement District are funding a number of enhancements to the plaza and the streetscape, including a new mural, expanded seating options, additional landscaping, festive lighting, and new trees.

It’s part of a plan to make the area collectively known as National Landing more inviting as more people return to their offices and the pandemic (hopefully) winds down.

“The improvements are intended to welcome residents, workers, and visitors ‘back to transit’ as offices and businesses throughout National Landing safely reopen their doors,” the BID said in a press release, which referred to the office district around the Metro station as “downtown National Landing.”

The BID says that it has selected a winning design for the mural that will adorn a concrete wall next to the plaza, after soliciting design ideas earlier this year.

More from the press release:

To kick off the enhancement project, the National Landing BID has welcomed an iconic new mural by DC-based artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer called “Harmony” that adorns the metro plaza’s expansive west wall. The artwork, which measures approximately 115 feet in length and 20 feet in height, will act as a vibrant new front door to the Crystal City Metro entrance. Featuring the artist’s signature usage of the harmonious color spectrum, the design was selected unanimously through a competitive process that was sponsored by the BID.

JBG SMITH, with the National Landing BID as its funding partner, is carrying out a concurrent public space improvement project intended to refresh the plaza outside the Crystal City Metro to create a more inviting arrival experience. The planned updates will include a more open layout, expanded seating options, additional landscaping, festive lighting, new trees and a biophilic design. JBG SMITH is also improving other open spaces and amenities along 18th Street. Completion is anticipated for winter 2022.

“At JBG SMITH, placemaking is core to our DNA, and this project serves as a golden opportunity to convert mobility infrastructure into truly compelling public spaces that contribute significantly to the quality of life for the whole community,” said Jay Corbalis, Vice President of Public Affairs for JBG SMITH.

The revamped public space is just one of a number of things rapidly changing the face of Crystal City and Pentagon City. Other projects in the works include a number of redevelopments, the ongoing construction and design of the two phases of Amazon’s HQ2, and a second entrance to the Crystal City Metro station.

“The additional entrance, which is anticipated to open by the end of 2023, is intended to alleviate platform congestion and deliver riders directly to Crystal City’s retail main street, Crystal Drive,” the BID’s press release also notes. “Combined with the myriad private development projects that are helping reshape the neighborhood streetscape, National Landing has an incredible opportunity to enhance walkability and deliver human-scale mobility.”

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Arlington County is applying for an $80 million grant to help pay for a proposed west entrance to the Ballston Metro station.

On Saturday, the County Board authorized the application to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA), which helped cover the cost to develop designs for the second Metro entrance in 2016.

The entrance would be located at N. Fairfax Drive and N. Vermont Street, almost a quarter of a mile west of the existing entrance. A county report says the second entrance would greatly expand multimodal access to the station and provide greater capacity to, and efficiency for, Metro.

As part of the proposal, the county would build two street-level elevators and stairs connecting to an underground passageway, the report said. A new mezzanine with stairs and elevators would connect riders to the train platform.

Map showing potential location of new Ballston Metro entrance – via Google Maps

“This is an economic development application in addition to a transportation step,” Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said in the Saturday meeting. “This is a very important step as we continue to plan smart and build well for our community and future.”

The county unsuccessfully asked NVTA for $33.5 million for the project in 2019.

New cost estimates are firmer, and higher, than the 2019 proposal, according the report. The project is expected to cost $140 million, an increase of $10 million from 2019.

Rising costs can be attributed to inflation and having more detailed plans, the report said.

“The County’s funding plan for Ballston West Entrance has shifted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated impacts to local, regional, and state funding,” the county said.

In addition, the county is no longer relying on two additional funding sources that were both hit by the pandemic: Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s (NVTC) I-66 Commuter Choice Program or the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

NVTC grant funds are generated by toll revenues from I-66 inside the Beltway, which is down due to COVID-19, while the state rail department is focusing its resources on helping with transit maintenance and replacement projects.

“Therefore, a proportion of planned project funding for the Ballston West Entrance now unrealized from DRPT and NVTC is now being covered by the County’s application to the NVTA,” the county said.

The rising costs dismayed members of the Transportation Commission, according to a letter from Commission Chair Chris Slatt.

“While supportive of this project, multiple commissioners expressed great concern about the ballooning cost of these Metrorail second entrance projects and the large opportunity cost it presents,” Slatt said. “It is hard not to think about the other transportation projects that could be built for $140 million that would potentially move more people. That would build a lot of sidewalks, protected bike lanes or dedicated bus lanes.”

Arlington County plans to put the project into its next 10-year Capital Improvement Plan, which would begin in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

If approved, the grant and other regional transportation projects will be included in NVTA’s 2022-27 Six Year Program Update. The authority is slated to take action on that update, which will also have a schedule for each project, next July.

Map via Google Maps

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It looks like the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is not going to consider a Metro line through Columbia Pike any time soon.

For the last year and a half, there were some signs that such an expansion — which was part of initial Metro planning in the 1960s but was never built — was an actual possibility.

In December 2019, Metro mulled the idea for a Silver Line extension down Columbia Pike and up Route 7, connecting with the West Falls Church Station, as one of a handful of ways to address congestion in the Rosslyn Metro tunnel, system reliability and future ridership growth. News of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which coincided with WMATA’s deliberations, further crystallized those hopes.

A new study posted this week, however, indicates this extension — which nearly 70% of ARLnow readers supported in an April poll — has been ruled out. That follows a cost-benefit analysis by planners, which favored four other routes — each starting with a second Metro station in Rosslyn and adding an underground Metro station in Georgetown — as well as two options that don’t involve new construction.

WMATA is looking for the next way to expand Metro on a scale similar to the Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport, as it seeks to alleviate traffic and congestion in the Rosslyn tunnel and along the the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. In early 2019, it launched the Blue/Orange/Silver Capacity & Reliability Study (BOS Study) to identify a line that would do so.

Metro planners outlined the four finalists, absent the Pike, in an update to the BOS Study that Metro posted this week. The four options use a second Rosslyn station to alleviate congestion at the existing station, and establish a long-discussed underground station in Georgetown, which has never had a Metro connection.

The possible projects, which would cost billions of dollars to build, include a Blue Line loop to National Harbor — which planners think would add the most new riders and revenue to the Metro system — as well as a Blue Line extension to Greenbelt, a Silver Line express tunnel option through Arlington, and a Silver Line to New Carrollton.

The express option “would create a separate tunnel and tracks for the Silver Line, starting at West Falls Church Station,” according to WMATA. A diagram suggests it would skip all Arlington stations except the second Rosslyn station and perhaps a second Ballston station.

“From WFC to a new second Rosslyn station, the new tunnel could support express service, local service or a mix of express and local service,” WMATA said. “From the second Rosslyn station, the Silver Line would travel through Georgetown…. to Greenbelt.”

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Morning Notes

Kitten Rescued from Van — ” Caroline Elpers, a deputy animal control officer with Arlington County, responded to a call from a woman on Aug. 15. The woman said she was walking her dog and she’d heard the mewing of a cat coming from the inside of a van parked on the street. ‘Initially, the call stated that the cat was in the van,’ Elpers said, who arrived on the scene around 10 a.m. ‘Once I got there, it was apparent that the cat was underneath the van, running under and into the engine.'” [Patch]

Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Tax Collection — “Over the past year, staff of the Arlington treasurer’s office has been tasked with collecting $997 million in taxes due on real estate and personal property (both vehicles and business property). To date, more than $995 million of it is in hand. Treasurer Carla de la Pava on Aug. 16 confirmed to the Sun Gazette that the county’s tax-delinquency rate for the past year stood at 0.18 percent, a near-record.” [Sun Gazette]

New Faregates Coming to Local Metro Stations — “Work is also underway to replace the faregates at 13 additional stations, with new faregates being phased in as they are completed and ready for service. Eastern Market and Forest Glen are expected to be completed within the next week. That will be followed by the completion of Friendship Heights, Crystal City, Capitol South, the north entrance of Union Station, Arlington Cemetery, National Airport, and Addison Road in the coming weeks.” [WMATA]

New Pro-People Coalition Launches — “The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) partnered with local stakeholders today to launch the ‘People Before Cars’ Coalition to unite area organizations around shared priorities to create a safer and more accessible transportation network in National Landing.” [Press Release]

N. Va. Gov’ts Welcome Afghan Refugees — “The Northern Virginia Regional Commission… issued a statement regarding regional refugee resettlement on Tuesday. ‘Citizens of Northern Virginia are following with great concern and compassion the evacuation of Afghan refugees by the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and civilian agencies,’ the statement read. ‘We welcome our new neighbors and wish them much success as they transition to a new life here in the region and across the United States.'” [Prince William Times, Twitter]

N. Va. School System Goes Virtual Only — “Rappahannock County Public Schools on Monday announced that the schools will switch to virtual learning for the remainder of the week while officials work to create a new system to mitigate spread of COVID-19 as the virus has created a flurry of cases within the schools since the academic year began… Officials said a high number of flu cases reported in the schools was also taken into account when deciding the closure.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Morning Notes

Vax Mandade for County, APS Employees — “Arlington County Government and Arlington Public Schools (APS) will implement a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees. This joint action, effective August 30, is a necessary step to help keep the community safe and is consistent with COVID-19 public health guidance. This policy will also apply to interns, volunteers, substitutes, and contractors… All unvaccinated employees will be required to be tested at least weekly for COVID-19 to limit the potential spread in the workforce and in the community. Testing will be provided at no cost to the employee.” [Arlington County]

Mask Mandate for Va. Schools — “Virginia will require all students, teachers and staff in K-12 schools to wear masks indoors this fall, even if they are vaccinated, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Thursday. The mandate, set forth in a public health emergency order, is sure to stir controversy and anger amid an already fractious debate over education in the state.” [Washington Post, Gov. Ralph Northam]

Escalator Replacement at Pentagon City Metro — “On Monday, August 16, Metro will begin work to replace the four entrance escalators at Pentagon City station with brand new, more durable escalators.  Construction is expected to take approximately nine months to complete both entrances and will require each entrance to be closed during construction, starting with the east side of South Hayes Street and followed by the two escalators on the west side.” [WMATA]

Arlington Real Estate Remains Hot — “A combination of challenging affordability and low inventory may be conspiring to dampen home-buyer enthusiasm across much of the Washington region, but you wouldn’t know it in Arlington, where some regions remain red-hot locales… While the region as a whole is down, Arlington has an overall rating of 205 – well into the “High” category and leading all other regional jurisdictions.” [Sun Gazette]

Summer Friday for ARLnow — We’re taking part of the day off, so expect a lighter publishing schedule today.

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Commuters in Ballston now have access to new bus bays on Fairfax Drive, outside the entrance to the Ballston Metro station.

The refreshed bus bays feature “new bus shelters, sidewalks, and planters,” said Eric Balliet, a spokesman for Dept. of Environmental Services. He added that work along Fairfax Drive should be “substantially complete in August.”

These upgrades are part of a four-phase project to update the transit facilities and public areas surrounding the Metro station. Improvements to multimodal facilities along Fairfax Drive comprise the project’s first phase.

The county expects the project will be 100% complete next summer, he said. The goal of the project is to increase transit usage and safety, improve the facilities as well as access to them and circulation around them, and enhance their design and provide sustainable infrastructure.

With phase one nearing substantial completion, the county is embarking on the second phase. Access to bus bays and pedestrian paths along the east side of N. Stuart Street will be impacted during this phase, which is expected to last until spring 2022, the project webpage said.

“Access to businesses along east side of N. Stuart Street will be maintained throughout this phase,” the webpage noted.

Since Sunday, some ART and Metrobus service along N. Stuart Street and N. Stafford Street has been relocated to the new bus stops on Fairfax Drive and temporary ones on the west side of N. Stuart Street. On Monday, attendants could be seen helping commuters get to the right bus stop.

WMATA say it is still working to provide printed schedules for riders.

Phases three and four will focus on upgrades to two plazas, one on N. Stuart Street and one on Fairfax Drive, and each phase is expected to last three months. Once all four phases are complete, commuters will see a number of additional upgrades, such as additional bike parking, expanded public space along Fairfax Drive, a dedicated “kiss-and-ride” curb space and a dedicated shuttle bus curb space and bus shelter.

In addition, “landscaping and benches for the planter areas, bus stop flag poles and real-time bus information displays will be added toward the end of the project,” Balliet said.

The County Board approved the project in December 2019, and construction — expected to last 18 months — was slated to begin in the summer of 2020.

“The project experienced delays due to the need to relocate telecom and electric utilities lines,” Balliet said. “We now expect the entire project to be completed in summer 2022.”

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Morning Notes

Health Directors Urge Mask Wearing —  “Today, all five Northern Virginia Health Directors issued a joint letter of interim recommendations for mask wearing in Northern Virginia. The letter was issued by Health Directors from the City of Alexandria, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties to Northern Virginia Mayors, Chairs and Chief Administrative Officers with the recommendation that individuals wear masks while indoors in government and other public settings, regardless of vaccination status.” [City of Alexandria, PDF]

Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Fallen Officer — From NBC 4’s Jackie Bensen: “Secretary of Defense orders Pentagon flags flown at half-mast to honor Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer killed in the line of duty this morning.” [Twitter]

Metro Changes for Pentagon Investigation — From WMATA: “Pentagon update for tomorrow (Aug 4): Pentagon Station expected to remain closed all day. Yellow & Blue line trains will bypass the station. All Metrobus service to/from Pentagon Transit Center will operate from Pentagon City (S Hayes near 12th St).” [Twitter, Twitter]

Delayed Request for Assistance at Pentagon — From local public safety watchdog Dave Statter: “Heard shots at approx 10:37 am. This video was at 10:38 am. I’d love to know why Pentagon Protection Force Agency waited until 10:50 to request @ArlingtonVaPD & @ArlingtonVaFD for an active shooter?” [Twitter, Twitter]

Training Exercise Today at Fort Myer — “Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will hold a routine training event for its first responders Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Myer side of the base. Wright Gate, located at N. Meade Street and Marshall Drive in Arlington, will be closed from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m… Arlington County first responders will also participate in the training, so expect to see an increase in emergency response vehicles near the base.  Neighboring communities may hear the base’s external ‘giant voice’ loudspeaker during the training.” [Press Release]

Former Red Top Cab Exec Dies — From the Washington Regional Alcohol Program: “Today, WRAP mourns the passing of former, longtime WRAP Director George Pakidis. The former VP of Red Top Cab in Arlington, George was a beloved member of WRAP’s Board for 14 years 12 of which he ably served as the nonprofit’s #SoberRide Committee Chair.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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