Arlington Police HQ Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat — The Arlington County Police headquarters in Courthouse was evacuated for several hours Saturday night after police received an “automated phone call” that made a bomb threat. Bomb-sniffing dogs got a “preliminary hit” but a sweep of the building came up empty. [WJLA]
Arlington’s MLK Tribute — Arlington County held its 47th annual tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday. County Board members were among those in attendance, honoring Dr. King. [WTOP]
Tax Bills Could Be Going Up — Unless the Arlington County Board lowers the property tax rate, the tax bill for the average homeowner will be going up to a record $6,011. The average assessed value of residential properties in Arlington increased 2.8 percent year-over-year. [InsideNova]
Tour of Ballston Tech Office — Ballston-based cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect has grown to more than 100 employees and is continuing to expand. The company’s “hip headquarters… comes complete with some beautiful design work and creative Star Wars-centric accents.” [DC Inno]
All public schools, libraries, courts, human services offices and the Department of Parks and Recreation will be closed this Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of the federal holiday.
Some state offices including the courts and DMV are also closed today for Lee-Jackson Day, a state holiday. Metered and permit parking restrictions will not be enforced today or Monday for the holidays.
Trash and recycling services will operate on a normal schedule, including on Monday. The county jail will have visiting hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.
Arlington’s 47th Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held this Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School auditorium.
State Lawmaker: Add Lanes to I-66 — State Sen. Chap Petersen (D), who represents part of Fairfax County, doesn’t much care for Arlington’s efforts to dissuade VDOT from adding an extra lane to I-66. “When I was a little boy, we put a man on the moon. We can figure out how to put six lanes through Arlington County,” Petersen said in an interview. [WTOP]
Del. Levine Proposes Minimum Wage Increase — For his first piece of state legislation, freshman Del. Mark Levine (D) has proposed a bill that would allow localities in Virginia to raise the minimum wage up to $10. The maximum amount would then rise every year with the consumer price index. The likelihood of the bill passing is slim. [InsideNova]
Highway Project Giving Away Grant Money — Transurban, the private company behind the newly-revived I-395 HOT lanes project, is trying to endear itself to the communities along the I-395 corridor. For one, the company recently joined the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. It’s also giving away grants of $1,000 to $5,000 “to respond to the needs of local organizations and direct impact neighborhoods located within the I-395 corridor.” Applications for the Community Grant Program are currently being accepted. [395 Express Lanes]
AFCYRs to Host MLK Event — The Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans will “celebrate and honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recommit ourselves to living out Dr. King’s dream” at the group’s meeting on Monday. Speaking at the event will be Elroy Sailor, CEO of the J.C. Watts Companies and current senior advisor to Rand Paul’s presidential campaign. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Event will return to Arlington this weekend in preparation for the federal holiday next Monday.
The 47th annual tribute is scheduled for this Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Auditorium at 1325 S. Dinwiddie Street.
Hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, this year’s tribute is called Freedom: America’s Goal, Our Destiny. It will be a celebration with a variety of live music, spoken word and dance performances.
The performances were produced and directed by inspirational arts programmer Nolan Williams, Jr. The featured work will be performed by BET Sunday Best Allstars finalist Clifton Ross, the NEWorks Freedom Dancers and students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Jacquie Gales Webb from WHUR Sunday Afternoon will emcee.
The tribute also includes a food drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Guests who’d like to contribute can bring nonperishable food items to the event. Community groups can also register in advance to organize a collection of their own that will end on Sunday night. The group that collects the most donations will be recognized for their contribution during the performances.
The tribute is free, open to the public and does not require any registration in advance.
Photo via Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation
State Loan for Potomac Yard Metro — Virginia is providing a $50 million low-interest loan to Alexandria for construction of the future Potomac Yard Metro station. Previously, the Commonwealth offered Arlington up to $65 million for the now-cancelled Columbia Pike streetcar project. [Washington Post]
Hope Wants to Link Child Support, Gun Permits — Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) has proposed legislation that would revoke concealed handgun permits for Virginia residents who fall more than 90 days or $5,000 behind on child support payments. [InsideNova]
Eden Center Damage Estimate — Damage to the Eden Center, caused by an explosion on Jan. 14, is estimated to be more than $1 million. The Falls Church fire marshal determined the explosion to be accidental, caused by “improper use of propane and oxygen.”
Arlington Offers Cash Bikeshare Memberships — To serve those without bank accounts, Arlington County is now offering county residents cash-only Capital Bikeshare memberships. Normally, memberships require a credit card, so that Bikeshare can charge $1,000 if the bike goes missing. [Arlington County, Streetsblog]
No News Coverage Today — In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, ARLnow.com will only be covering breaking news today. Our regular news coverage will resume tomorrow. See our list of county government closures for the holiday.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Ebbin Bill to Return Checks As Tax Refund Option — State Sen. Adam Ebbin has proposed a bill that would force the state to start using paper checks again for tax refunds. In 2012 Virginia budget eliminated paper check refunds, allowing residents to get their refund either via electronic transfer or pre-paid debit card. Ebbin unsuccessfully proposed a similar bill last year. [InsideNova]
Favola Hate Crime Bill Fails — A bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of hate crimes in Virginia has failed. The bill was proposed by state Senator and former Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola. [Associated Press]
MLK Books for Kids at Library — The Arlington Public Library blog has some recommendations for books that can introduce the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. to children. [Library Blog]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
On Friday, Jan. 16, the district, circuit and family courts, sheriff’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles in Arlington will also be closed for Virginia’s Lee Jackson Day, and all will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Arlington’s county offices will be open on Friday, as will schools and community centers, but all will be closed the following Monday in observance of the holiday. Arlington’s libraries and human services offices will also close.
Parking meters will not be enforced and ART lines 41, 42, 51, 77 and 87 will be operating on a Saturday schedule. STAR transit will provide dialysis runs only, and the rest of county-run public transportation will not be running.
Trash and recycling collection will be on normal schedule on Monday
Ben’s Chili Bowl in Rosslyn is offering a week-long promotion conjunction with next Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
The restaurant, at 1725 Wilson Blvd, is offering 10 percent off all orders through Monday, Jan. 19. To get the discount, you have to say “MLK” at the register.
News of the promotion comes from an Arlington County press release touting the county’s annual MLK tribute. The event is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 18, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street).
“Now in its 46th year, the family-friendly program will include live music from the Saint Augustine Gospel Choir, dance from The Dance Institute of Washington and a keynote address from Arlington’s own William T. Newman, Jr. with CBS Radio’s Justine Love serving as emcee,” according to the press release.
There will be a volunteer expo featuring local non-profits before the event. An exhibit entitled “Arlington During the Civil Rights Era” will be on display at Washington-Lee throughout the evening.
In addition to partnering with Ben’s Chili Bowl for the tribute, Arlington is also partnering with the Arlington Food Assistance Center. From the press release:
This year, the program organizers have teamed up with local non-profit Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) to collect non-perishable items for Arlington residents in need. Area community groups and individuals are encouraged to bring food drive collections to the event to “fill the AFAC van” that will be on site at Washington-Lee High School from 6:15-7 p.m.
Requested donations include:
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Beans
- Canned Soup
- Cooking Oil (plastic bottles)
- Corn Flour (Masa) or All-Purpose Flour
- Low-Sugar Cereal
To register your group as part of the donation drive, fill out the sign-up form. The group that collects the most donations will be recognized during the MLK Tribute and on the Department of Parks and Recreation Facebook page and website.
Disclosure: Arlington County is advertising the MLK tribute event on ARLnow.com.
‘Trolley Pub’ Bill Fails in Richmond — A bill that would have allowed patrons of Arlington’s Trolley Pub to drink alcohol while on board has been passed over indefinitely in the House of Delegates. Del. Patrick Hope (D-47), who introduced the bill, said there were “too many significant issues” around the bill. [Patch]
Middle School PTA Peeved at Bus Inequality — The Thomas Jefferson Middle School PTA is upset that North Arlington schools appear to be getting preferential treatment when it comes to bus service for students inside the standard 1.5 mile perimeter for secondary schools. The PTA president says S. Glebe Road is dangerous for middle school students to cross and the school system should provide bus service for students who have to cross it. [Sun Gazette]
Settlement to Fund Surveillance Cameras — Arlington will use $55,000 from a federal settlement to fund the purchase of portable digital video surveillance cameras. The cameras will be used “to enhance security at large scale events.” The funds from from the $1.5 billion federal settlement with Abbott Laboratories Inc. in 2012 over unlawful promotion of a prescription drug. [Arlington County]
Freedom Rider Shares Memories — “Freedom Rider” and Arlington resident Joan Trumpauer Mulholland spoke earlier this month about her experience in trying to promote civil rights and racial integration in the deep South in the early 1960s. Mulholland was also the keynote speaker at Arlington’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration on Sunday. [Falls Church News-Press]
Man Survives Key Bridge Plunge in 1929 — A quirky bit of local history: In September 1929 a drunk 26-year-old man fell off the side of the Key Bridge, landing on his side in the water 120 feet below. Miraculously, he was rescued by a police officer and a boat club employee and “appeared none the worse for his experience.” But alas, it wasn’t a completely happy ending: five weeks later the stock market crashed, leading to the Great Depression. [Ghosts of DC]
Photo courtesy @carmstrong07
Arlington administrative and human services offices, libraries, and schools will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20. Parking meters will not be enforced. Courts and the Sheriff’s Office will be closed on Friday and Monday.
The Arlington Mill Community Center will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., but all other community centers will be closed.
Arlington will hold its annual tribute to Dr. King from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium (1301 N. Stafford Street).
“The program, now in its 45th year, will feature live music from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir, dance from Lesole’s Dance Project and spoken word from Arlington’s own Joan Trumpauer Mulholland,” according to the county website.
Disclosure: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute is being advertised on ARLnow.com.
Real Estate ‘Bull Market’ in December — Arlington’s residential real estate market soared in December, reaching a deal volume of $134.4 million, up almost 40 percent over a year prior. The average sales price rose 12.8 percent. [Sun Gazette]
Yorktown Nominated for a GRAMMY — Yorktown High Schools is one of 123 schools nationwide selected as a semifinalist for the 2014 GRAMMY Signature Schools Award. “Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year,” the school system said in a press release. [Arlington Public Schools]
MLK Weekend Metro Track Work — Track work will reduce Metro service on the Orange and Blue lines to one train every 20 minutes this weekend. The track work will not be performed on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Metro will instead operate on a normal Saturday schedule systemwide. [WMATA]
Flickr pool by Lawrence Cheng Photography
A number of road and government closures will be in place on Monday for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and for the Presidential Inauguration.
The following government offices will be closed on Monday, January 21:
- Parks, community centers and nature centers (except Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center, which is open from 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.)
- Human Services
Parking meters will not be enforced on Monday. Trash and recycling pickup will run on a normal schedule, but the call center will be closed.
ART will run a Saturday schedule on Routes 41, 51, 77 & 87. ART will also run a special Inauguration schedule on the ART 42. All other routes will not operate. Metrorail will be open on Monday from 4:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Rush hour service runs from 4:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and peak fares will be in effect.
The following roads and bridges will be closed or restricted on Monday for the Inauguration:
- I-395 HOV northbound lanes will close at 9:00 a.m. HOV lanes on I-395 will re-open southbound at the end of the Inaugural address. I-395 main lanes and I-66 will be open to all traffic.
- All traffic on the 14th Street Bridge will be diverted by MPD onto the Southeast/Southwest freeway beginning at 5:30 a.m.
- Traffic coming across the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge will be diverted into northbound Potomac River Expressway to Pennsylvania Avenue or Whitehurst Freeway/K Street.
- Memorial Bridge is restricted to pedestrians and authorized vehicles only.
In addition to the numerous road closures in the District, U.S. Park Police will also close the following Virginia roads starting at 5:00 a.m. on Monday:
- Route 27/Washington Blvd at Route 50 Bypass (at 5:30 a.m. when ACPD closes Route 27, closure moves to Northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway ramp to Memorial Bridge)
- Southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway at the ramp to Memorial Bridge
- Southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway at the ramp to Southbound Route 27/Washington Blvd
- Southbound Boundary Channel Drive at the ramp to Route 27/Washington Blvd
- Northbound Route 110 ramp to Memorial Drive. All vehicles will be forced to take a left to Arlington National Cemetery. All vehicles exiting Arlington National Cemetery must take Route 110 South.
Low Water Pressure Issues Continue — Residents in parts of Lyon Park, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Nauck, Arlington Ridge and Crystal City may experience low water pressure this morning due to various water issues. According to Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services, yesterday’s break in a 30-inch water main at Arlington Blvd and S. Irving Street is isolated and awaiting parts for additional repair work. Several water leaks also have been reported this morning at S. Stafford Street and 16th Road S., 26th Street S. and 26th Place S., and 31st Street S. and S. Woodrow Street.
Protein Bar Opens in Two Weeks — According to its Twitter feed, the new Protein Bar restaurant is set to open at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston on Wednesday, January 30. The restaurant will start serving its healthy food at 11:00 a.m.
MLK Tribute Speaker Changed — The keynote speaker for Arlington’s 44th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been changed. Lehigh University Professor and Hip Hop Scholars, LLC founder Dr. James Braxton Peterson will now speak at the event, which takes place this Sunday, January 20, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street). The former speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, can no longer attend due to a scheduling conflict, according to the county.
(Updated at 10:05 a.m. on 1/17/13) Arlington County will host its 44th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 20.
The event is being held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street). It will feature live music and dance, spoken word, a volunteer fair, and an “Arlington During the Civil Rights Era” photo gallery.
The keynote speaker will be Lehigh University Professor and Hip Hop Scholars, LLC founder James Braxton Peterson. Among the acts scheduled to perform are Grammy-nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist Christylez Bacon and international dance collective Urban Artistry.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday, is Monday, Jan. 21.
Earlier this month Arlington County held its 43rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tribute event.
The commemoration featured a variety of performances, including a keynote address from Howard University’s Dr. Wilmer Leon, gospel music from Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir, and a dance tribute by Urban Artistry. The county-run Arlington Virginia Network filmed the event and recently posted a brief recap on YouTube.