Reminder: Metro Station Closures — The Clarendon, Virginia Square and East Falls Church Metro stations are closed starting today. The closures will impact several ART bus routes, as well. [Arlington County]
Kaine Lauds Passage of Coronavirus Relief Bill — In a statement late Wednesday night, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed by the Senate “will backstop the American economy by protecting workers and their families.” [Press Release]
County: Hold Off on Spring Cleaning — “Although it is tempting to use the increased time in our homes to start ‘spring cleaning,’ please delay these activities or hold on to these items during this challenging time. Refuse collection crews are dealing with an increased volume of waste and disposal requests, while incorporating new protocols to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19.” [Arlington County]
First Coronavirus Case at Pentagon — “A Marine assigned to the service’s headquarters office at the Pentagon has tested positive for COVID-19… becoming the first service member assigned to the Defense Department’s home base to contract coronavirus. The Marine tested positive March 24, Capt. Joseph Butterfield told Military Times, after a period of isolation spurred by symptoms in his wife.” [Military Times]
HQ2 Construction Still on Track — “Construction of the first of Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 towers remains on schedule, but the planning process for the green space around them may slow as the spread of the novel coronavirus forces public meeting cancellations. Clark Construction, lead contractor on Amazon’s first 2.1 million-square-foot office building, said that work at Metropolitan Park in Pentagon City is advancing with added coronavirus safety measures.” [Washington Business Journal]
Governor Orders Elective Surgeries Delayed — “Governor Ralph Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA today directed all hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries or procedures to help conserve supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). The public health emergency order does not apply to any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient.” [Gov. Ralph Northam]
Ballston’s Punch Bowl Social in Trouble — “Cracker Barrel announced Wednesday that eatertainment brand Punch Bowl Social has closed all of its 19 locations and laid off most of its restaurant and corporate staff and that it would not prevent foreclosure on the brand.” [FSR Magazine, Marketwatch]
About This Post — Due to lots of coronavirus-related news, we have a number of non-disease-related local links that we haven’t been able to get to over the past two weeks. We’re running a one-time Weekend Morning Notes post to clear our queue. This will replace the usual weekend discussion post.
Arlington Cherry Blossom Walk — “Cherry blossom season in the D.C. area is a wonderful time of year, and taking in the blossoms is a beloved tradition. WalkArlington has created a walk featuring a few of our favorite locations in Arlington where you can appreciate the blooms and enjoy all that springtime in Arlington has to offer.” [WalkArlington]
Median Signs Promote Census — “What is good for the goose apparently is not good for the gander – if, that is, the gander is the Arlington County government. Those driving the roadways of Arlington in recent weeks no doubt have seen a flurry of median signage calling attention to, and promoting participation in, the federal census.” [InsideNova]
Local Cat Makes Headlines –“An adorable cat with a jaw deformity can’t help but always stick her tongue out – and her owner has insisted she wouldn’t have her pet any other way. Pretty Kitty, five, from Arlington, Virginia, can only open her mouth a ‘small amount’, and has her tongue always sticking out thanks to the way her jaw formed.” [Daily Mail]
Instant Runoff Voting for Arlington? — “Voters in future Arlington County Board elections could find themselves using the ‘instant-runoff’ method rather than the current ‘winner-takes-it-all’ manner. Both houses of the General Assembly have approved and sent to Gov. Northam a measure allowing Arlington to conduct its County Board races using instant-runoff voting, also known as ‘ranked-choice’ voting.” [InsideNova]
Arlington-Based Textile Brand Profiled — “From a plant-filled studio in Arlington, Diana Johnson translates ideas in her head to paper by lettering, illustrating and painting. Using her background in graphic design, Johnson is able to transform her artwork digitally into handcrafted products like pillows, clutches, greeting cards and, most often, prints to add a little color to any space.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Green Valley Looks Forward — “Low-level sales of marijuana and other substances in the Green Valley community in the 1960s grew into a full-fledged, open-air ‘drug supermarket’ by the early 1980s, with the intersection of 24th Road South and Shirlington Road ground zero for the illegal operations. On March 7, leaders of the community looked back at those days, and committed themselves to ensuring a better future for their community.” [InsideNova]
Chamber Acquires ‘Awesome Women’ –“Awesome Women (AWE), the professional networking group founded in Arlington in 2014 that now has six chapters throughout the DC area, announced today that it will become a program of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce later this year. The Arlington Chamber will offer women-only networking events beginning in the fall, and will call the new program the Arlington Chamber Chapter of AWE.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Victim of Pentagon Stabbing Identified — “The man who was fatally stabbed Monday morning on the platform of the Pentagon Metro station has been identified as a 25-year-old from Northwest Washington, a spokesman for the transit agency said. Sean Ronaldo Golden, who lived near the District’s Brightwood Park neighborhood, died shortly after arriving at George Washington University Hospital, a report provided by Metro says.” [Washington Post]
And now here it is, your moment of zen…
(Updated at 8:45 p.m.) An arrest has been made after a deadly stabbing at the Pentagon Metro station Monday morning.
The incident happened shortly before 9 a.m. According to initial reports, a person was stabbed in the neck on one of the platforms. Police are now looking for the suspect.
The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Metro Transit Police said later Monday morning. The station was closed for a police investigation, with trains bypassing the station, but reopened around 2:30 p.m.
Trains are bypassing Pentagon Station in both directions due to the ongoing police investigation. Preliminary suspect information has been established and an investigation is ongoing. (2/2)
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) March 16, 2020
This is the second reported homicide in Arlington so far this year.
A passerby described to ARLnow a gruesome scene.
“I walked when the police were running into the Metro,” said the witness. “I almost stepped in the blood and looked over to see the man lying motionless on the ground… [there was] blood everywhere on the ground.”
That was repeated by others on social media:
@fox5dc A man was bleeding on the ground at the Pentagon metro. He was just removed on a stretcher by medical personnel.
— Roxann (@roxyus) March 16, 2020
Monday night, Metro Transit Police reported that they had made an arrest in the case: a 27-year-old man who will now face second degree murder charges.
Today, as we getting word our officer testing positive for COVID-19, fellow officers were responding to the Pentagon where a man was fatally stabbed on the platform. Tonight, we have an arrest: Vincent Wilson, 27, arrested by MTPD in DC, warrant for 2nd deg murder in VA. #wmata
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) March 17, 2020
AWLA Announces COVID-19 Policies — “Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with CDC recommendations, AWLA is cancelling all public events, classes, tours, and clinics for the rest of March. We feel that this in the best interest of our staff, volunteers, animals, and the public.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]
Rep. Beyer Couldn’t Get Coronavirus Test — “People ask ‘did @RepDonBeyer get tested for COVID-19?’ No he did not. We tried to get a test for him… But there aren’t enough tests, he didn’t meet the risk threshold.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Crosshairs Garage Races Cancelled — “Hey everyone, we’ve made the decision to cancel the remaining weeks of the @crystalcityva Garage Races. I will be issuing refunds for everyone who pre-registered. We will let you know if any plans to reschedule in the coming months materialize.” [Twitter]
Restaurants and Bars Stay Open — Local restaurants like Bakeshop in Clarendon are staying open, and many have been posting about stepped-up sanitation measures. Among the local venues taking extra sanitation steps is Four Courts in Courthouse, which is still planning to host St. Patrick’s Day festivities. [Twitter, Twitter]
Police St. Patrick’s Day Event Cancelled — “To ensure the health and safety of our community… the Don’t Press Your Luck Anti-Drunk Driving Event has been canceled.” [Arlington County]
(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) A 19-year-old man from Arkansas has been charged with trying to blow up a car in the Pentagon parking lot Monday morning.
The charges, announced Tuesday afternoon, follow an extensive search yesterday involving numerous law enforcement agencies, including Arlington County Police, that resulted in the man being arrested in Arlington National Cemetery.
Federal prosecutors say the suspect, Matthew Richardson, tried to blow up a Land Rover, parked in the Pentagon North Parking lot, by sticking a piece of fabric in the gas tank and lighting it on fire. The vehicle did not explode and the suspect took off running after being confronted by a Pentagon police officer.
More from a Justice Department press release:
An Arkansas man will make his initial appearance in federal court at 2 p.m. today on charges relating to his alleged attempt at blowing up a vehicle at the Pentagon yesterday.
According to court documents, Matthew Dmitri Richardson, 19, of Fayetteville, was discovered in the Pentagon North Parking lot yesterday morning by a Pentagon Police Officer on patrol. The officer allegedly observed Richardson standing next to a vehicle striking a cigarette lighter to a piece of fabric that was inserted into the vehicle’s gas tank.
After the officer approached Richardson, the defendant allegedly told the officer he was going to “blow this vehicle up” and “himself”. When the officer attempted to detain Richardson, Richardson pulled away and ran across the parking lot towards Virginia State Route 110 and onto Virginia State Route 27. A subsequent review of surveillance camera footage showed that Richardson jumped over a fence into Arlington National Cemetery. Richardson was later found by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police Emergency Response Team near Arlington House.
According to court documents, after a search of Richardson, officers allegedly discovered a cigarette lighter, gloves, and court documents related to Richardson’s arrest on or about February 22 for two counts of felony assault on a law enforcement officer in Arlington County.
According to court documents, the owner of the vehicle is an active duty servicemember and does not know Richardson.
Richardson was arrested yesterday and is charged with maliciously attempting to damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle used in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Woodrow G. Kusse, Chief of Pentagon Police, made the announcement. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Embroski and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum are prosecuting the case.
Arlington County Police assisted federal police agencies in the search for the man on Monday.
Arlington officers were dispatched to the area around Arlington National Cemetery around 11 a.m. to look for a man who, according to initial reports, might have intended to light himself on fire. They were joined by Pentagon police, Fort Myer police and U.S. Park Police in searching for the man.
According to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage, Arlington police assisted with maintaining a perimeter around the search area and brought a K-9 officer to help with the search.
The U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter also hovered overhead during the manhunt, looking for the individual throughout the sprawling cemetery grounds and amid throngs of visitors. He was finally apprehended around 12:15 p.m. by Pentagon police near Arlington House, the one-time home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Richardson was arrested this past weekend in Arlington and charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer, according to prosecutors. Savage said he was arrested by a different police agency, not Arlington County Police. Richardson was previously arrested on theft charges in Arkansas in November.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Tow Truck Chase Ends in Arlington — “A suspect involved in a domestic dispute in Prince George’s County lead officers on a chase through D.C. and into Arlington, Virginia, Tuesday night… police believed the suspect was armed and had kidnapped a young child, but the child was safe in Maryland.” [NBC 4, Twitter]
Rave Review for New Rosslyn Restaurant — “Sfoglina exceeds the preview offered by the sfogline in the window. The fare is comforting to the core and will leave you wanting more of Trabocchi’s cooking. You’re in luck, he’s considering opening more restaurants in Northern Virginia.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]
ACFD Helps Retrieve Wayward Pentagon Flag — “When the flags came loose earlier this month at the #Pentagon, Truck 105 from Crystal City was called in for a rescue. Good work everyone!” [Twitter]
If you live in Arlington, the Pentagon — specifically, its police force — wants you to leave drones off your Christmas list this year, at least if you’re planning on flying it locally.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency yesterday tweeted a reminder that Arlington and the area around the Pentagon is strictly a “No Drone Zone.”
Not only is operating a drone near the Pentagon illegal, your drone could be forcibly brought down if it gets too close.
“Drones flying within the Pentagon Reservation may be subject to counter-UAS measures,” the post notes. That and criminal charges would make for a pretty unhappy holiday, the agency suggests.
Thinking of gifting a drone this holiday season? Please know that Arlington County, to include the Pentagon, is a #NoDroneZone. Visit https://t.co/rkgaoxdKPl for more information. @FAANews @ArlingtonVaPD pic.twitter.com/yJpdlapn93
— Pentagon Force Protection Agency (Official) (@PFPAOfficial) December 19, 2019
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) An entrance to the Pentagon Metro station is expected to close soon, temporarily and during off-peak hours, to allow for water infrastructure work following flooding at the station.
A pipe burst on Nov. 27, filling part of the station with several inches of standing water. Metro says a new water supply pipe will need to be constructed, as repairs are not feasible for the original pipe, which runs under the Pentagon itself and dates back to the station’s original construction.
An exact date for the start of the temporary closure was not given. Shortly after a contract to construct the new water line is awarded, the north entrance to the Metro station is expected to close “outside of weekday rush hours,” Metro said.
More from a press release:
Metro customers entering or exiting Pentagon Station during off-peak travel times will need to use the “South Entrance” escalators or the elevators due entrance configuration changes associated with the construction of a new water supply line to serve the station’s facilities, including employee restrooms and maintenance sinks.
Dating to the station’s original construction, the original water supply pipe failed on November 27, sending water streaming into the station through air ducts and elevator shafts. The rush of water dislodged some ductwork, and caused a partial ceiling collapse in a service room. The station was closed for several hours to remove several inches water that had accumulated on the mezzanine level.
Because the original water line runs beneath the Pentagon — an inaccessible location — Metro engineers have recommended abandoning the original pipe and constructing a new water line on a new route around the building.
The Pentagon has been an active and supportive partner to expedite the construction process and necessary security clearances for workers. Metro has already engaged its contractor community and expects to award a contract as early as next week. Once a construction contract is awarded and a formal schedule is developed, Metro will update customers on the expected duration of the project.
Due to construction activity and security considerations associated with the portable restrooms, Metro is advising customers who use Pentagon Station to expect entrance configuration changes during off-peak travel times. The changes will continue until a new water line is constructed and water service is restored to the station, a process that likely will take several weeks.
Specifically, outside of weekday rush hours, the station’s “North Entrance” will be closed and all customers will need to use the South Entrance, which will remain open at all times.
During rush hours–Monday through Friday, 5:00-9:30 a.m. and 3:00-7:00 p.m.–the North and South entrances will both be open and available for customers. Elevator service to the station will be available at all times.
Rail service on the Blue and Yellow lines is not affected by this project.
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The Pentagon Metro station is closed due to a reported water main break.
Photos posted to social media show riders walking through several inches of murky water to exit the station.
The flooding was first reported by Metro around 7:30 a.m. Blue and Yellow line trains are bypassing the station and buses were brought in to run between the Pentagon and Pentagon City stations.
“The flooding at Pentagon Station is the result of an apparent water main break,” Metro later said via Twitter. “Response personnel on scene addressing the issue.”
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services inspected the water main break and determined that the line belongs to WMATA.
Update 9:08am: Pentagon Metro station is closed while crews investigate the source of an apparent water main break. pic.twitter.com/089kQWDOyi
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) November 27, 2019
Update 9:40am: Crews have determined that the break is in a private @wmata water line. The water flow is now reportedly stopped in the station. Arlington staff will be available to assist with any County feed lines.
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) November 27, 2019
The station is expected to reopen by the evening rush hour, according to Metro.
Pentagon Station update: Clean up from this morning's water main break is well underway. Most water pumped out of the station. Expect reopening by PM rush hour. Free shuttle buses remain in continuous operation between Pentagon & Pentagon City. #wmata pic.twitter.com/LwH6oSm9p9
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) November 27, 2019
The Unsuck DC Metro Twitter account highlighted a number of photos posted on social media, showing flooding in the station:
— Goldie not Hawn (@hdmora2) November 27, 2019
— Veni sharma (@venisharma) November 27, 2019
Water Taxi Coming to Arlington? — The Potomac Riverboat Company, which operates a water taxi between the Wharf, Georgetown, Alexandria and National Harbor, is reportedly considering new commuter-oriented routes, includings a stop at the Pentagon. [ALXnow]
Dems Want to Boost State Affordable Housing Funds — “Virginia Democrats are salivating at what they might be able to achieve now that they’ve finally won unified control of state government, particularly when it comes to affordable housing… new money from the state could be ‘rocket fuel’ for efforts in Arlington if developers can pair that cash with existing funding.” [Washington Business Journal]
Pentagon City Mall to Host New Holiday Display — “Residents and visitors are invited to Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s inaugural Festival of the Trees! From November 23 through December 24, a variety of Christmas trees decorated by local nonprofits, including Arlington Food Assistance Center, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Doorways for Women and Families,” etc. [Fashion Centre at Pentagon City]
Zone 4 Leaf Collection Starts Today — Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection effort is continuing, with crews starting to roam “Zone 4” neighborhoods including East Falls Church, Arlington Forest and Arlington Ridge today. [Arlington County]
Congregation Returns After Redevelopment — “On Sunday, November 17, Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC) celebrated their homecoming. APC returned to their former site opening a new worship, office and multi-use space on the ground-floor of Gilliam Place, a 173-unit affordable housing community developed by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) along Columbia Pike.” [Press Release]
A woman was robbed by two people on Columbia Pike near the Pentagon on Monday evening.
The robbery happened just before 5:30 p.m. on Veterans Day, at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Joyce Street. Police say a patrol officer was flagged down by the victim, who reported being robbed by a pair of suspects, one of whom was armed with a gun.
“The victim was walking in the area when she was approached her from behind by two suspects,” according to an ACPD crime report. “The female suspect demanded her belongings and cell phone, while the male suspect brandished a firearm. The suspects fled the area with the victim’s belongings prior to police arrival and the victim ran to seek assistance. The victim was not injured.”
“Suspect One is described as a white female, with a skinny build, brown hair, wearing a pink shirt, a dark colored vest and dark pants,” the crime report continues. “Suspect Two is described as a heavy set white male, wearing a black vest, white shirt, white hat and jeans. The investigation is ongoing.”