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Morning Notes

Fall colors and the Jamestown Park tennis court (staff photo)

Arlington Has a New County Attorney — “Arlington County Board Selects MinhChau Corr as New County Attorney After conducting a nationwide search, the Arlington County Board has selected MinhChau Corr as the new County Attorney for Arlington County Government. As chief legal counsel to the Board, Ms. Corr will report directly to the County Board and lead an office of 14 attorneys and 3 paraprofessional staff.” [Arlington County]

New DCA Checkpoints Now Open — “New checkpoints opened Tuesday morning at Reagan National Airport, offering a speedier security process and what airport officials say is an upgraded experience befitting an airport that serves as a gateway to the nation’s capital. The checkpoints are one element of a $1 billion plan that marks the airport’s most significant upgrades since the opening of two new terminals in 1997.” [Washington Post]

Tomb Event Highlighted on Today Show — “Marking the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the American public is getting the chance to step forward and pay their respects for the very first time. TODAY’s Craig Melvin traveled to Arlington National Cemetery for NBC’s network-wide series ‘Those Who Serve.'” [Today Show]

Marine Corps Birthday Today — “On November 10, 2021, Marines across the globe will recognize and acknowledge 246 years of service to their country, the sacrifices made to defend democracy, and the Marine Corps’ enduring legacy as America’s premier fighting force. The Marine Corps’ annual tradition celebrates the establishment of the organization on November 10, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress.” [USMC]

A Monumental Maintenance TaskUpdated at 3 p.m. — A maintenance crew with safety harnesses was seen climbing the Air Force Memorial today and Tuesday. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]

YHS Players Help VHC Nurses — “The Yorktown High School football team presented the nurses at Virginia Hospital Center with bouquets of discount cards to say thank you for their work during the pandemic and beyond. The cards include discounts to local businesses within the local community who sponsor the football program.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Wednesday — Another great day is on tap. Today will start partly sunny, then gradually become sunnier, with a high near 68. Sunrise at 6:45 a.m. and sunset at 4:58 p.m. Tomorrow — Veterans Day — will be partly sunny, with a high near 67.

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Morning Notes

The sun shines through a tree showing fall colors in the Ballston area (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

DCA Changes Next Week — From NBC 4’s Adam Tuss: “Major change coming to @Reagan_Airport next Tuesday – these new security checkpoints open, changing the feel of the airport. The main hall (Ben’s Chili Bowl, Legal Seafood) now goes BEHIND security.” [Twitter, Twitter, NBC 4]

Chilly Weather Poses Lunch Challenge — “Having tried where possible to provide school-lunch service outdoors since August, Arlington school leaders are now faced with the task of trying to figure out a plan to accommodate students inside while meeting their own social-distancing guidelines. And it looks like it’s being left up to the individual schools to thrash out their own approach.” [Sun Gazette]

Memorial Service for Pentagon Police Officer — “The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) will hold a memorial service for fallen Pentagon police officer Cpl. George Gonzalez, on Thursday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. EDT in the Pentagon Center Courtyard. Cpl. Gonzalez, a Pentagon police officer and Army Reservist, was killed in the line of duty Aug. 3, 2021, during an attack at the Pentagon Metro Platform. His body was laid to rest Aug. 16 in his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y.” [Dept. of Defense]

It’s ThursdayAreas of frost before 9 a.m. today. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 53. Sunrise at 7:38 a.m. and sunset at 6:04 p.m. Tomorrow it will be sunny, with a high near 54.

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An airplane overhead, as seen from Gravelly Point (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

With the opening of a new concourse at Reagan National Airport, aircraft noise above Arlington remains at a high volume and the region is still studying ways to mitigate the roar.

Resident complaints about noises overhead have been constant for years, due to the flight patterns into National Airport and Pentagon-bound helicopters. Most of complaints are from those who live near the Potomac River, which is the general flight path of most jets arriving and departing the airport.

Last week, at the official celebration for the opening of DCA’s new concourse, Congressman Don Beyer bid “good riddance” to the infamous Gate 35X, assuring residents the new gate won’t exacerbate noise.

“While the new facilities will improve the passenger experience, this will not lead to increased flights or aircraft noise, a frequent concern in the region,” he later said in a tweet. “And I will continue the work to mitigate aircraft noise in our area!”

This year, several separate studies and reports have floated potential solutions to quieting the skies. One study, commissioned by Arlington County and Montgomery County, is ongoing, as the scope shifts from inbound to outbound aircraft.

The joint study advised in April to reroute incoming aircraft so they increasingly fly over the Potomac River instead of “residential and noise-sensitive areas.”

The recommendations were made to the Reagan National Community Noise Working Group (CWG), which operates under the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

CWG in turn passed them onto the Federal Aviation Administration, though it remains unclear if and when the FAA will act on the suggestions.

The conclusions and process have upset some residents of North Arlington neighborhoods located near the river. During public comments at the Sept. 18 County Board meeting, Chain Bridge Forest resident Alice Doyle said the altered flight paths would cause her and neighbors to bear the brunt of noise.

“To be clear, this means that neighborhoods like Chain Bridge Forest and Arlingwood that sit near the Chain Bridge not only see zero relief from airplane noise, we will now see and hear even more flights overhead,” she said. “The flight disturbance over our homes is almost constant with occasional periods of relief. Under this plan, those much needed moments of noise relief will disappear. ”

She also criticized the county for being “half tuned into the process” and not having enough representatives at the CWG meeting.

County Board member Libby Garvey responded that she understood Doyle’s concerns, but said the report recommends shifting the flight patterns to lessen the burden on Arlington’s more populated areas.

She reiterated in federal issues such as this one, the best county officials can do is to make recommendations.

Now, the joint study has a new focus: departing flights, Arlington County spokeswoman Bryna Helfer tells ARLnow.

“Technical work on new draft procedures for north-flow departures is currently the focus of the study and a community meeting to present those draft procedures will be scheduled before the end of 2021,” she wrote in an email.

In 2018, Arlington and Montgomery counties agreed to split the $250,000 cost of the study, which was officially launched in 2020. For the departing flights study, Arlington paid an additional $50,000, and Montgomery an additional $100,000, Helfer said.

CWG will meet again next Thursday, Oct. 28.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Defense also completed studies this year. The GAO report from September recommends the FAA use easier-to-understand noise metrics.

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Morning Notes

Blue Line Reopens — “On Friday, October 15, normal service will resume on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. Intermittent delays are possible as the investigation into Tuesday’s derailment continues.” [WMATA, Twitter]

New County Website Launching Soon — “Arlington County Government is launching a new website, the first major refreshment of the County’s online presence in more than seven years. The site will launch Monday, Oct. 18. Users will continue to access the site by visiting www.arlingtonva.us.” [Arlington County]

Spotted: Bizarre Banner Bedecked Bus — From Nicole Merlene: “Outside the Courthouse today… What in the world? Civil service sure ain’t for wimps with crazies like this.” [Twitter]

Reuters Photo Shows Local Apartments — “A man sits on his balcony amid a sea of balconies at an apartment building in Arlington, Virginia. Photo by Kevin Lamarque.” [Twitter]

New Utility Vault Near Clarendon — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Behold the 40-ton concrete utility vault installed under Washington Boulevard yesterday between N Kirkwood and Wilson. That stretch’s big safety upgrades and lane-shift makeover continues into next year.” [Twitter]

National Airport Getting Busier — “New data suggest the airport, which has had one of the most sluggish returns to normal(ish) performance in the COVID era, may be seeing better times for the rest of the year. New data from the trade group Airlines for America suggest that the airport will see just 11 percent fewer flights during the fourth quarter than during the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. That projected performance also is less than the 14-percent drop reported nationally, based on current flight schedules.” [Sun Gazette]

Water Main Break Closes SchoolUpdated at 9 a.m. — Arlington Science Focus School is closed today due to a 6-inch water main break on the 1400 block of N. Lincoln Street that’s affecting about 200 water customers. [Twitter, Arlington Public Schools]

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Morning Notes

Metro Service Still Affected by Derailment — “On Thursday, October 14, there will be no rail service between Rosslyn and Pentagon stations due to the ongoing investigation into Tuesday’s derailment. In addition, Orange and Silver line trains will single track between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom. Customers should expect delays in both directions. Free local shuttle buses will operate between Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery, and Pentagon stations, with free express shuttles between Rosslyn and Pentagon stations.” [WMATA]

Portion of Train Removed from Tunnel — From NBC 4’s Adam Tuss: “Almost 24 hours after the Blue Line derailment — a section of the derailed train is on the move. Only 3 railcars here. We were told the 4th railcar was the one that derailed. There were 8 railcars total.” [Twitter]

Camera Truck to Drive Around Arlington — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Starting [today]: A County contractor’s camera truck will be driving around Arlington for two weeks (weather permitting), gathering imagery and and GPS data exclusively for evaluation of roadway conditions. They come in peace for all mankind.” [Twitter]

Amazon to Fund Transit-Accessible Housing — “Amazon will fund a new grant program to help local governments and nonprofit developers pursue affordable projects near transit stations, directing $500,000 of its recently announced $2 billion Housing Equity Fund to this effort… said Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey… ‘Providing this source of funding, that’s not going to need to be paid back, is really going to be the key in unlocking innovative projects to help meet our goals.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Anniversary Event at Tomb of the Unknowns — “When Arlington National Cemetery marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknowns next month, members of the public will be allowed to place flowers there for the first time, the cemetery said Tuesday… ‘This is a rare opportunity for the public to walk next to the Tomb … a privilege otherwise given only to the sentinels of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, ‘The Old Guard,” who stand watch over the site 24 hours a day, the cemetery said.” [Washington Post]

New DCA Security Checkpoints Unveiled — “The public got its first look Wednesday at the buildings that will be home to new security checkpoints set to open next month at Reagan National Airport — an upgrade that officials hope will speed screening times and ease congestion in time for the holiday travel season. The checkpoints are set to open Nov. 9 and will be housed in separate 50,000-square-foot buildings across from Terminals B and C.” [Washington Post]

Nearby: SROs Reinstated in Alexandria, For Now — “After significant outcry from a school system concerned about weapons in schools, the Alexandria City Council took a dramatic 4-3 vote around 1 a.m. this morning (Wednesday) to temporarily return school resource officers (SROs) to two middle schools and Alexandria City High School until the end of this school year.” [ALXnow]

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Morning Notes

County Removing Illegal Campaign Signs — “Rules for placing campaign signage on the medians of roads owned by the Arlington County government are pretty straightforward – there is a limit of two signs per median strip per candidate (or party ticket). Anything more than that is a violation. This campaign season, it appears the campaigns of gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin either don’t know the rules, or are disregarding them.” [Sun Gazette]

New Restaurants Open at DCA — From Reagan National Airport: “Big news! Mezeh and Wolfgang Bar + Bites are now open in the new concourse!” [Twitter]

It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month — “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), in partnership with Arlington’s Project PEACE and Doorways for Women and Families, our community advocate, is sharing information about resources available in our community and raising public awareness.” [ACPD]

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Morning Notes

Man Found Unconscious in Jail Cell — “A 58-year-old adult male has been transported to an area hospital for medical treatment after being found unconscious in his cell in the Arlington County Detention Facility. At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2021, the individual was found unconscious in his cell in the medical unit. Deputies and medical staff began immediate resuscitation efforts until the arrival of Arlington [County Fire Department] units. He was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for additional treatment and is in stable condition.” [Arlington County]

Expect More Pedestrians Near Schools — “On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Arlington Public Schools is taking part in Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day, an annual international celebration that encourages students to walk, bike or roll to school while teaching the health, environmental and community-building benefits of active transportation and safe routes to school.” [Arlington County]

New DCA Checkpoints Opening Soon — “Reagan National Airport’s new security checkpoints are set to open in about a month, in time for holiday travel. This will dramatically reshape the airport, putting most of what is now open space (Ben’s Chili Bowl) in the B/C terminals BEHIND security.” [NBC Washington, Twitter]

Honors for Fmr. W-L Volleyball Player — “Kate Sheire ’24 led the Bears offense, scoring 21 kills and blocking three shots to help bolster their defense… Sheire, who leads the Bears roster with 136.5 points over 11 games, added to her already-stellar rookie campaign with the performance against Yale. The Ivy League announced Monday that Sheire — whose 21 kills led all scorers in the first week of conference play – was selected as both the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and Ivy League Player of the Week Monday.” [Brown Daily Herald]

Historical Society Talk Planned — “In another sign of a rebound in the COVID era, the Arlington Historical Society is resuming in-person meetings. First up: An Oct. 14 gathering focused on the Syphax family. The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Reinsch Library on the main campus of Marymount University… Historian and genealogist Steve Hammond will discuss the Syphax family, starting with those who were enslaved on the Arlington House plantation, continuing with the post-Civil War era and running through the modern day.” [Sun Gazette]

Football Trophy Returns to Yorktown — “After years of being elsewhere, a championship football trophy has returned to where it originated – in possession of the Yorktown High School football team. Back in 1976, when David Gebhardt was Yorktown’s first-year head football coach, the Patriots won the Great Falls District title. When Gebhardt moved to Jamestown, N.C., years later, that trophy unintentionally was taken along.” [Sun Gazette]

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Arlington Has High Kid Vax Rate — “Virginia schools have about 420,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15, and about 63 percent of them have received at least one shot, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said during a news conference Monday. But vaccinations are not evenly spread: Alexandria has the highest vaccination rate for children in the state, at 98.5 percent, followed by 92 percent in Arlington.” [Washington Post]

Film Crew at DCA Today — “No parking except film crew” signs near Long Bridge Park are in place for some sort of a documentary that’s being filmed at National Airport, Arlington’s film office coordinator tells ARLnow. [Twitter]

Man Throws Drink at Honking Driver — “At approximately 8:41 p.m. on September 25, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. A lookout was broadcast and officers located the suspect in the 3500 block of Columbia Pike. The investigation determined that the victim was driving in the area when the male suspect, who was on foot, blocked his passage. The victim honked his horn to alert the suspect and as he was driving past, the suspect threw a beverage through the window, striking the victim in the head. The victim declined medical treatment and sustained minor injuries.” [ACPD]

County Reluctant to Loosen Lifeguard Rules — “It was a problem felt across Northern Virginia all summer – a lack of available lifeguards to keep watch over community pools. But should local governments provide exemptions for some pools to help alleviate a similar crisis next year? [Arlington] seems very hesitant.” [Sun Gazette]

Marymount Grad Wins Design Competition — “Tran Truong is a talent to be reckoned with in the design world. For the second consecutive year, the 26-year-old Marymount University student (now alumna) in May took top honors in a national competition hosted by the visual merchandising company WindowsWear. This year’s challenge: Design a store concept for the 40th anniversary of fashion label Michael Kors with an eye toward sustainability and social change.” [Arlington Magazine]

Photo courtesy Anthony Russo

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Morning Notes

Amazon Makes $1 Million Donation — “Amazon today announced it will continue its commitment to the Right Now Needs Fund in Northern Virginia for the upcoming academic year with an additional $1 million investment to support students attending Arlington Public Schools, Alexandria City Public Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools. The Fund, in partnership with Communities In Schools NOVA, helps remove barriers to learning and works to meet the basic needs of thousands of schoolchildren from underserved communities.” [BusinessWire]

New Portion of DCA Has WeWork Vibes — “There’s a cool WeWork feel to @Reagan_Airport’s new section of Terminal C. Prefer these or old school airport seating? Smart marketing on bottom of departure screens, too.” [Twitter]

Some Home Prices Are Dropping — “Prices are dropping for a higher percentage of home listings in the latest sign the Covid-19-fueled housing market may have peaked. About 4.7% of listings for the four weeks ending Aug. 1 had price drops, according to real estate firm Redfin, compared to 3.7% during the same period last year. It is also near the prepandemic level of 4.9% during the same period in 2019 in the latest sign the housing market may be cooling off after a period of rapid price appreciation.” [Washington Business Journal]

Emergency Alert Test Today — From FEMA: “We’ll be conducting a national test in coordination with @FCC of the Emergency Alert System at 2:20 PM ET on Aug 11. The test will go to televisions & radios, while specially configured cell phones will receive an emergency alert test code message.” [Twitter, MoCo Show]

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Morning Notes

Fallen Pentagon Officer Remembered — “George Gonzalez was a proud New Yorker, ever loyal to his home turf of Brooklyn and the New York Yankees. He was also a proud Army veteran, having served a ferocious tour at the height of the Iraq War, always mindful of his comrades who didn’t come home. And he was a proud police officer, like his older brother, having served as an airport security agent, a federal jail guard and finally a Pentagon police officer.” [Washington Post]

DCA Passenger Traffic Still Down — “The airport’s passenger count in July was down 35.2 percent from the same month in 2019… The biggest challenge facing Reagan National will be an ongoing dearth of business travel. While some airline executives are expecting to see some rebound this fall, the U.S. Travel Association predicts that business-travel spending will not be back to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.” [Sun Gazette]

VHC’s New Lobby Piano Debuts — “We were honored to host Arlington resident, Andrea as our first volunteer to play the Steinway B Grand Piano featured in our newly refurbished lobby. The piano was recently gifted to Virginia Hospital Center by Sid and Reva Dewberry, longtime Arlington residents and VHC  donors.” [Twitter]

Local Workers Want Telework to Continue — “Nearly half (48 percent) of area workers have teleworked in the past month, according to the Washington Post-Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University poll, and more than half want to continue to telework at least some of the time. With a larger population working remotely, fewer people and less money would come to dense commercial areas that rely on a steady stream of people.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Road Closures for Biden Event — “The public can anticipate large crowds and increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area related to the event. The following road closures will begin at 1:00pm: Park Drive from N. George Mason Drive to 3rd Street N., 3rd Street N. from N. Park Drive to N. Columbus Street. During the event, the following closure will also be in effect: George Mason Drive from N. Carlin Springs Road to N. Henderson Road.” [Arlington County]

Mahjong Bar Coming to Pentagon City — “Lo and Bun’d Up founder Scott Chung are taking the idea of post-dinner games one step further for their next business venture: Sparrow Room, a mahjong parlor and speakeasy-style dim sum bar tucked away behind Bun’d Up at Pentagon Row. During the day, patrons order Taiwanese-style gua bao stuffed with fried chicken or bulgogi beef at the fast-casual restaurant. Come evening, they can head to the dimly-lit, 42-seat bar for mahjong games, cocktails, and dim sum-style fare.” [Washingtonian]

In-Person Speakers Outnumber Virtual — “Two months after the Arlington County Board resumed in-person meetings, it appears members of the public are more comfortable showing up to voice their opinions. Of the 18 people signed up for the County Board’s July 17 ‘citizen comment’ portion kicking off the meeting, 13 were in-person speakers, the remainder checking in via Internet.” [Sun Gazette]

Fire Union Asks for Recognition — From the Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association, following the County Board authorizing collective bargaining with employee groups: “Start the collective bargaining process. We have petitioned the county to recognize us as the union representing all firefighters and paramedics in Arlington.” [Press Release, Twitter]

Flights Still Down at DCA — “The number of scheduled outbound passenger flights departing Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in the third quarter of 2021 is expected to be down 35 percent from the same period in 2019 – among the biggest sustained downturns in the nation, but still a sign of incremental progress.” [Sun Gazette]

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