by ARLnow.com — November 27, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Crowds of shoppers at Pentagon City mall (file photo)In popular imagination, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

In actuality, the Saturday before Christmas is usually the biggest shopping day of the year. And with Cyber Monday and e-commerce encouraging online shopping, and Small Business Saturday encouraging shoppers to support local businesses, Black Friday may be losing its luster.

We wanted to check with those who are actually heading out to the malls and shopping centers today: how big are the crowds?

Alternatively, if you had to head into work today instead of shopping — like us — there’s an option for you.

by ARLnow.com — November 23, 2015 at 10:05 am 0

A decorative Thanksgiving turkeyAn estimated 1.15 million D.C. area residents will travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday. Will you be among them?

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, holiday travel will be virtually unchanged this year, down 0.2 percent compared to 2014.

That’s despite lower gas prices and better weather — it’s supposed to be mostly sunny and cool this week, compared to the snowstorm that was predicted around this time last year.

About 90.5 percent of all D.C. area travelers will travel by car, compared to 7.3 percent traveling via air and 2.2 percent via other modes of transportation.

Will you be among those traveling outside of D.C. this year?

by ARLnow.com — November 18, 2015 at 10:25 am 0

Civil war in Syria (photo via Wikipedia)

The reaction to the news that Arlington County is ready and willing to help resettle Syrian refugees was largely positive on social media.

Despite a mixed bag of comments, our post on Facebook garnered more than 600 likes, making this one of our most-liked stories of all time.

What do you think of the idea of bringing Syrian refugees to Arlington?

Update at 2:15 p.m. — Arlington County released the following statement about Syrian refugees today:

Our collective conscience has been shaken by both the refugee crisis resulting from the ongoing conflict in Syria and the terrorist attacks across the world that threaten the security of the United States and our allies. The ongoing debate regarding our country’s response to these issues at the federal, state and local level is an opportunity to demonstrate the true character of our nation. While local governments have no role in the refugee admissions process or relocation decisions, we feel compelled to lend our voice to this important discussion.

The County is no newcomer to refugee resettlement activity. Over the past four decades we have welcomed those fleeing the Vietnam war, civil wars in Central America, the Ethiopian/Eritrean conflicts and the Bosnian war. We have confidence that the federal process of application, screening, placement and resettlement coupled with partnership with our regional resettlement agency, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, can once again lead to the successful integration of refugees into our community.

We firmly believe that responding to today’s urgent humanitarian crisis by serving as a new home for those seeking refuge is in keeping with both our nation’s tradition and with the Arlington County Board Resolution Supporting Arlington’s Newcomers, passed on September 18, 2007.

We support the need for strong security and screening reinforced by recent events, yet we are confident that America can continue to serve as a land of hope and opportunity that welcomes those seeking a better life for themselves and their loved ones while also ensuring our own security. In fact, the ideals and values upon which our nation was founded require it.

Photo via Wikipedia

by ARLnow.com — November 11, 2015 at 10:45 am 0

A photo went viral this week, showing a sign at a Nordstrom store.

“We won’t be decking our halls until Friday, November 27,” the sign said. “Why? Well, we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.”

Never mind that the photo was from 2009, it brings up a discussion-worthy point: has Christmas creep gone too far? Should other retailers hold off until after Thanksgiving to start putting up Christmas decorations?

Over at the Nordstrom store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City yesterday, there were no signs of Christmas decorations — and no signs of explanatory signs — inside. Outside of the department store was another story: the future home of the mall’s Santa Claus already had decorated trees along with red carpets and rope lines, waiting for Saint Nick to arrive along with adoring throngs of youngsters and parents.

So which would you prefer? A holly, jolly November, or some holiday restraint?

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,389 0

Crowd of commuters outside waiting outside the Rosslyn Metro station on Monday (Flickr pool photo by Alves Family)There has been no shortage of headlines lately about problems with the Metrorail system.

Chronic delays, minor incidents fouling up entire rush hour commutes and long waits on the weekends have become the norm with Washington’s once-gleaming subway system. It’s the result, many say, of deferred maintenance and a lack of investment in the system’s upkeep.

Metro says it’s trying to catch up, but even the maintenance is causing problems. This weekend alone, “reconstruction of the Metrorail system” will result in “service adjustments” on every line other than the Green Line. The Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow and Red lines will all see 24 minute headways between trains.

Metro acknowledged last week that service breakdowns may be responsible for steadily decreasing ridership.

Are you, personally, taking Metro less often this year as a result of less reliable service?

by ARLnow.com — October 13, 2015 at 10:30 am 1,096 0

Christopher Columbus (photo via Wikipedia)Arlington Public Schools students enjoyed a long weekend thanks to Monday’s Columbus Day holiday.

Columbus Day may be a federal holiday, but it seems that with every passing year it becomes less relevant. Arlington County offices, for instance, remain open on Columbus Day. Purely anecdotal evidence — the volume of rush hour traffic on I-395 — seems to suggest that Columbus Day is the least observed federal holiday, at least in terms of workers taking the day off.

The root cause of this is Columbus and his legacy: the soldiers he led to the New World enslaved, raped, slaughtered and otherwise destroyed native populations. In recent years, the reality of Columbus’ harsh treatment of natives has increasingly outweighed his accomplishments in the collective consciousness.

Still, Columbus Day could optimistically be said to be more about the discovery of America than the man himself. And it’s the lone federal holiday in an otherwise busy month of October.

Do you think Arlington Public Schools students should continue to get the day off?

Photo via Wikipedia

by ARLnow.com — October 2, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Flooding and rain on 10/15/14It’s expected to be a rainy and windy weekend.

While Hurricane Joaquin is looking like less of a threat to the East Coast, a nor-easter is bringing heavy rain to the region today and showers throughout the weekend.

Is the forecast changing your plans? Let us know how you’re coping with the lousy weather.

by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

Fire Station 8 (Courtesy of Arlington County Fire Department)The saga over the proposed relocation of Fire Station No. 8 continues.

Following resident outcry from those who didn’t want the Lee Highway fire station to move from their neighborhood, and from those who didn’t want it to move to theirs, last week the Arlington County Board approved the creation of a task force to study the issue and come up with a recommendation.

Now, the county is also conducting a survey of residents via its “Open Arlington” website. The survey, which closes on Oct. 6, is intended to “gather input on the proposed project criteria and the possible direction this task force may take.”

Those who argue in favor of relocating the fire station further north — including fire department officials — say it would improve fire response times to the northern reaches of Arlington, while allowing for a larger and more advanced fire station to be built within budget. Keeping the station where it is would require pricy renovations and potential land acquisition that would be more expensive than simply building the station new on exiting county land.

Those who argue against the station say that it’s a community fixture with an important history, and they like it where it is. Further, some residents around the proposed relocation site near Marymount University say the fire station would disrupt their quiet neighborhood.

We’re conducting our own survey this morning: do you think it’s a good idea to relocate Fire Station No. 8?

by ARLnow.com — September 14, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,939 0

KeyboardWhen we talk to ARLnow readers, they invariably bring up the comments section of the site.

Most people say they enjoy reading the comments, even though they might not agree with what’s being said. A vocal minority, however, say they dislike the comments — they don’t like the general tone and disagree with many viewpoints.

The one constant: everybody seems to have an opinion and no one can be dissuaded from reading the comments, even if they profess to not liking them.

ARLnow believes in giving readers a relatively open forum to discuss the news of the day. The comments are often a force for good: providing valuable tips, first person insights into breaking news and some useful corrections.

However, there are some unresolved issues with the comments: consistent negativity that’s not reflective of the views of the general populace, petty back-and-forth fighting that discourages substantive discussion and occasional comment spam.

One possible solution to these problems could be to require that commenters be registered in order to post comments. That would effectively shut out some trolls and spammers, while allowing us to more effectively manage and moderate comments.

(We are not considering shutting off the comments altogether. We believe that a reader dialogue about the news is a good thing, as long as discussions don’t get out of hand.)

What do you think?

by ARLnow.com — September 2, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Plane taking off at Reagan National AirportAAA Mid-Atlantic came out with its annual Labor Day travel forecast earlier this week, predicting that 850,700 D.C. area residents will head out of town for the holiday.

That’s a paltry 0.4 percent increase from last year, with 743,200 residents expected to drive to their vacation destinations, 62,500 expected to fly and the rest expected to take trains and other modes of transportation.

AAA says there would have been more locals traveling this year, had Labor Day not fallen on Sept. 7, the latest possible day it can occur. Historically, that dampens holiday travel.

“While increasing travel volume is great news for the industry and economy, our survey shows a decidedly ‘un-laboring’ take on the Labor Day holiday,” said AAA’s John Townsend II, in a press release. “Many would rather spend the holiday at cookouts, relaxing or simply at home to avoid heavy holiday traffic congestion or additional spending, especially if they have already taken a vacation this summer.”

Are you planning on skipping town for one last summer trip — or staying put and firing up the grill?

by ARLnow.com — August 27, 2015 at 10:35 am 2,190 0

JPod renderingThe Columbia Heights Civic Association will meet next month to discuss the possibility of a pod transit system on Columbia Pike.

Such a system could help ease congestion on the Pike, which is currently choked with tightly spaced and frequently stopping buses, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Columbia Pike streetcar was supposed to be a solution to that problem, but many Arlington residents objected to the system’s cost and the fact that it ran in mixed traffic. Ultimately, the project was canceled.

While a cost-effective, monorail-like transit system that runs above traffic seems ideal in theory, there are questions about the system’s real-world feasibility, cost and the trustworthiness of the company that’s proposing it.

(The system, as conceived, would be built with private funds and would be privately owned.)

Overall, what do you think of the pod transit idea that the civic association will be proposing?

by ARLnow.com — August 10, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

ARLnow mobile websiteTwo weeks ago ARLnow.com launched a new website experience for users of smartphones and tablets.

This responsive website design allows mobile users to easily read our articles without having to zoom in and out. It also reduces mobile load times for readers.

While we kept key features on mobile, like our swipe-able photo galleries and Disqus comments section, mobile users may find it a bit more difficult to navigate to some of our pages — like our event calendar or real estate listings — which are now accessible via a mobile menu (button, top right).

Also, in the interest of faster load times and quicker navigation, the homepage now only displays excerpts from articles instead of the articles themselves with photos and full text. Some tablet users have told us they prefer seeing the full homepage.

What do you think? If you’ve checked us out on mobile in the past two weeks, please let us know what you think of the experience below. Also, please use the comments to offer any specific suggestions or requests you might have regarding mobile functionality.

by ARLnow.com — August 6, 2015 at 8:30 am 2,972 0

Heavy traffic on I-395 at Glebe Road on 8/6/15Update at 9:35 a.m. — ART buses are delayed too, Arlington County says, due to Metro-related traffic delays.

If you were commuting from Arlington to D.C. today, or vice versa, chances seem pretty good that your commute was awful.

Major delays were reported on Metro’s Orange, Blue and Silver lines, after service was suspended through much of downtown D.C. due to a derailed non-passenger train.

As if the Metro chaos wasn’t bad enough, a couple of crashes and perhaps an influx of would-be Metrorail riders has turned the length of I-395 into a virtual parking lot, with slow-moving traffic from the District to Springfield.

Also, Route 50 is reported to be backed up to Pershing Drive.

So, if you commute to or from D.C., just how bad was it this morning?

by ARLnow.com — July 13, 2015 at 10:55 am 5,370 0

Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington (photo via Google Maps)

Arlington County plans to ask its state legislative delegation to sponsor a bill that would rename Jefferson Davis Highway, the Washington Post reports.

While the likelihood of such a bill passing is slim, County Board Chair Mary Hynes said the county has received “a flurry of letters from residents” asking that the Confederate leader’s name be removed from the highway, also known as Route 1.

(County Board Vice Chair Walter Tejada did not respond to an inquiry from ARLnow.com last month, asking whether a name change resolution for Jefferson Davis Highway was a possibility.)

In 2012, the county renamed the stretch of road formerly known as Old Jefferson Davis Highway “Long Bridge Drive.” This time around, talk of renaming the highway comes amid a national conversation about the Confederate flag and whether it’s more a symbol of southern heritage — or slavery and racism. Last week, South Carolina’s legislature voted to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol.

Do you think Jefferson Davis Highway should be renamed?

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — May 6, 2015 at 9:25 am 3,677 0

Quincy Street propertyArlington County announced yesterday that it has agreed to buy a six-acre light industrial property on N. Quincy Street, across from Washington-Lee High School.

In announcing the $30 million deal, County Board Chair Mary Hynes said it was “a rare opportunity for the county to acquire a significant piece of property in North Arlington… at a time when our community is struggling to find public land to accommodate our many facilities’ needs.”

There are a number of priorities for public property in Arlington that have been discussed lately. Of those, which two do you think are the most important priorities for the N. Quincy Street property?


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