Bridges maintained by Arlington County are “generally in good shape.”
That’s according to Ramzi Awwad, the county’s Engineering Bureau Chief, in a county-produced “Street Beat” video segment (above).
Talking about bridge inspections that are currently underway in Arlington, Awwad said that routine inspections and maintenance help to keep overall infrastructure costs down.
“Our bridges are generally in good shape,” said Awwad. “Because that’s the case, we can focus on performing minor repairs before they become major problems. As bridge condition deteriorates further and further, the cost to make the repairs increases exponentially, so we want to make sure we get ahead of everything while we still can.”
Arlington Public Schools and the Arlington County Police Department are reminding students, parents and drivers to watch out for one another on the roads as a new school year starts.
Yesterday APS released a new Public Service Announcement video, above, featuring Superintendent Patrick Murphy, Police Chief Jay Farr and School Resource Officer Supervisor Lt. Susan Noack.
Among other things, the video reminds parents to practice safe walking with their kids and reminds drivers that it’s never okay to pass a school bus with its stop arm out.
The first day of school for the vast majority of APS students is a week from today — Tuesday, Sept. 6. Barcroft Elementary Students, however, are already back at school; their first day was Aug. 1.
The triviality of cable news is the latest target of Arlington’s foremost libertarian satirical rapper, Remy Munasifi.
Remy, together with his colleagues at Reason TV, has released a new music video entitled “This is CNN.” The auteur of the timeless “Arlington Rap” skewers CNN in the video, making the point that in the era of clickbait and social media navel-gazing, news of actual international consequence is taking a backseat to petty controversies and zero-calorie election tidbits.
While CNN is singled out in the video, above, fellow cable nets MSNBC and Fox News are also implicated by unspoken association.
“Cover the news, shake up the ranks,” Remy implores. “Rome is engulfed and we’re sitting here fiddling.”
More on Randolph Principal Controversy — Some Randolph Elementary parents are still upset that the school’s well-liked principal has been removed with little explanation and demoted to assistant principal at Abingdon Elementary. [Washington Post]
Aerial View of Arlington — Arlington County has created a video of aerial footage of Arlington, shot during a recent ride on the U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter. [Facebook]
‘Dog Days of Summer’ Donations — Rosslyn eatery Bistro 360 is donating 25 percent of sales from a special “Dog Days of Summer” menu to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. [Facebook]
Late Civic Activist Celebrated — The Nauck community will hold a special celebration of the life of the late civic activist John Robinson this coming Saturday. Robinson, who died in 2010, fought against racism, against injustice and for education, and was the publisher of the Green Valley News for more than 40 years. [InsideNova]
Suspicious Package at Ballston Metro — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — Metro Transit Police investigated a suspicious package at an elevator entrance to the Ballston Metro station this morning. The entrance was blocked off with police tape for a period of time.
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
A panel of futurists and technologists made their predictions for Arlington’s future in a video released this week on the heels of the county receiving recognition as the top “digital county” of its size in the nation.
Due to the District’s building height restrictions, the panelists predicted increased urbanization is coming.
“I think that Arlington is uniquely positioned to be an urban center around a city that has height restrictions around its buildings,” said Shawn DuBrevac, chief economist for the Computer Technology Association. “We globally have this push towards urbanization. It will happen in an interesting way in the D.C. metro area because you can’t build skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. They’ll start to show up in Arlington and in other places.”
The panelists also noted that as the county becomes more digitized, more data will become available to analyze. That includes data gleaned from communication platforms, including social media and messaging apps.
“I don’t think the public square is physical. We’re on the cusp of virtual reality,” said Cheryl Foil, principal of Kiddar Capital’s tech ventures. “People right now are using Snapchat and other messengers. What’s great about that is when it’s not in person, it’s already digital, it’s already data. You can measure and analyze it.”
The futurists and technologists said community leaders can take the data they get to make decisions to improve residents’ lives. For example, Capital Bikeshare stations and retail outlets could have better locations based on street traffic data.
But brick-and-mortar retailers will face increasing competition from online retailers, the panelists predicted. Today, about 7 percent of purchases are made online. By 2050, DuBrevac sees that number increased to 40-60 percent, something he attributes computers making purchases without any human input.
“The retail environment that we visit today will not be the retail environment we need 40-50 years from now,” he said. “The infrastructure that we have will need to shift as we move towards these types of environments. The digitization of retail is going to change everything I do today in my home, in my building, how I walk, where I go to, the shops that I visit, all that could change.”
A video of the predictions and other discussions can be found above. The first part of the discussion can be viewed here.
Yorktown Neighborhood Profiled — Schools and a sense of community are two of the biggest attraction to the north Arlington neighborhood of Yorktown. Safety is another plus: there were no burglaries or robberies reported in the neighborhood in the past 12 years. [Washington Post]
County Still Seeking Private Money for Aquatics Center — Arlington County is still looking for private partners and sponsorships before moving forward on construction of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. It’s unclear if additional private money would be used to expand the center or reduce the estimated $40-44 million in taxpayer funding. Even without additional money, park bonds already approved by voters are expected to fully fund construction. [InsideNova]
Rosslyn Metro Express Guy Featured — The Express newspaper distributor who works at the Rosslyn Metro station was featured in a “happy news” video on the Facebook page of Seattle television station KING. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Remember that weird costumed Pokemon thing taking place near the Clarendon Metro station Tuesday afternoon?
Well, they were filming a YouTube video and one of the creators, Cabot Phillips, tweeted the finished product to us last night. This morning he explained some of the story behind the video.
@ARLnowDOTcom People getting off the Clarendon metro started joining in and it was a glorious bonding experience.
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) July 14, 2016
The video, above, is entitled “Pokemon Go in Real Life Prank.”
You might have seen the work of the Phillips siblings before. Earlier this year they scored a national viral hit with a video in which they convince their sister, who just had wisdom teeth surgery, that they were in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
Firefighters and a couple of extinguisher-wielding workers made quick work of a smoky garage fire along Columbia Pike this morning.
Arlington County firefighters were dispatched to a report of a fire on the 1800 block of Columbia Pike, near Washington Blvd, around 9:45 a.m.
Upon arriving units found a small fire in a screened-in patio area attached to a home’s detached garage. The fire had scorched the roofline of the patio and part of the garage, but had been kept in check by an off-duty Prince George’s County firefighter and a Dominion Power worker who were working on the block and spotted the smoke, according to a fire department spokesman.
The workers used a fire extinguisher to battle the flames. A resident was inside the home at the time and may have been alerted to the fire by a passerby. No injuries were reported.
Deputy Fire Marshal Paul Frank described the damage as minimal, mostly confined to the roof of the structure. He said a preliminary investigation indicates that the fire may have been caused by Christmas lights that were being used as “permanent mood lighting” for the porch. The lights likely ignited some plastic blinds, he said.
Using Christmas lights as permanent lighting is “inadvisable,” said Frank.
Set to the tune of Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” Remy skewers the chipping away of American civil liberties in the wake of terrorist attacks.
Video via Reason.tv
Arlington County hopes to teach locals about its “Car-Free Diet” initiative with a catchy new rap video.
The new song, titled “Options for Days,” highlights the different options Arlingtonians have to travel around the county without a car, including taking the Metro, walking, biking and riding the bus. Throughout the video, performers clad in tee shirts and sunglasses dance, rap and sing to promote the transit initiative.
This isn’t the first quirky video the County has released to help highlight the initiative. Officials released a “Car-Free Diet Show” sketch comedy series almost five years ago and have posted videos regularly on YouTube since 2009.
Video via Youtube / Car Free Diet
Arlington County is out with a new video Public Service Announcement, reminding residents that they can now text 911 if they can’t call.
The video shows a humble office worker saving the day when he spots a bad guy trying to break into cars in his parking garage.
For the record, the “bad guy” in the video, Arlington County Public Information Officer Peter Golkin, is in fact regarded as one of the nicest guys in county government. Also, as an avid bike commuter, it’s quite doubtful that he would ever feel the need to steal a car.
More information about Arlington’s text-to-911 initiative can be found on the county website.
Last night, dozens gathered in Courthouse Plaza to wear orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
The rally was organized by Moms Demand Action. Among those attending were family members of gun violence victims and a number of elected officials.
Arlington School Board member Barbara Kanninen issued the following statement about the event.
On January 21st, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade. One week later, just after taking final exams, Hadiya was shot and killed in a Chicago park.
First Lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral and three weeks later, President Obama talked about Hadiya in his State of The Union address. He talked about how she loved Fig Newtons and that she was a majorette.
Later that year, on Hadiya’s birthday, June 2nd, Hadiya’s friends began the Wear Orange Campaign. They chose orange because it was Hadiya’s favorite color. It’s also what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.
On average, 48 children and teens are shot and 7 die from their injuries each day in the United States.
What started in a south side Chicago high school to celebrate Hadiaya has turned into a nationwide movement to honor all lives cut short by gun violence. Wear Orange is also a celebration of life – and a call to action to help save lives from gunfire.
Wear Orange is sponsored by the National PTA, National Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, YWCA and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, among many other groups and organizations.
Today, on Gun Violence Awareness Day, we remember Hadiya, the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the students of Virginia Tech, and the many, many students in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, who have been injured or killed by guns. This includes students who attended school right here in Arlington and have died far too young, due to suicide.
Thank you for supporting Wear Orange, for raising awareness, and for remembering all those affected by gun violence, especially the children.
Video by Omar DeBrew
One week ago today, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) placed an American flag on every grave in Arlington National Cemetery, as part of the annual Memorial Day weekend tradition of “Flags In.”
Those flags have since been removed, but what they stand for — remembering the sacrifices of our military service members — never fades away.
ARLnow.com captured this year’s Flags In in a brief video, above.
Video by Omar DeBrew
Did you miss our Hot Topics on the Pike event last month?
Good news: our friends at Arlington Independent Media were there and they just released their video from the event (above).
The first half is a discussion among our opinion columnists — Mark Kelly (The Right Note), Peter Rousselot (Peter’s Take) and Larry Roberts (Progressive Voice) — on countywide issues. (The opinion columns will return next week. This week we are publishing candidate essays from the contenders for the Democratic School Board endorsement.)
The second half was a discussion of Columbia Pike-specific issues with County Board member Katie Cristol, Arlington County Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Chair John Murphy and small business owner Michael “Mike on the Pike” Garcia.