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Rescue of dog caught in fence along I-395 (via Animal Welfare League of Arlington)

A dog is lucky to be alive after getting caught in a fence along I-395.

Animal control officers from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington rescued the petrified pup from along the busy highway earlier today. A video and account of the rescue was posted on social media.

From AWLA:

Chief Toussaint and Officer [Elpers] made a life-saving rescue today, after this terrified dog somehow got himself stuck between two fences right next to interstate 395.

Chief Toussaint had to cut the fence with bolt-cutters to get to him, and after trying treats and a few other methods, put dog food on her slip lead, waiting for him to start eating, and then slowly slipped the leash over his head. In total it took about an hour and half to get the dog safely into a crate, all the while traffic was roaring by right next to them.

The dog is now safe and sound here at AWLA while we look for his family. We are so grateful to Chief Toussaint and Officer Elpers for getting this dog to safety!

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A man walked up to an American flag outside of a home in the Arlington Heights neighborhood early Friday morning and lit it on fire.

Arlington County police and fire investigators are now trying to find the suspect, a younger man who was wearing a hooded windbreaker and a backpack at the time. The motive for the crime is unclear.

The incident happened around 3 a.m., in the residential neighborhood several blocks away from Thomas Jefferson Middle School. It’s being investigated as arson.

“The unknown suspect approached an American flag on the victim’s porch and set it on fire,” said an ACPD crime report. “A witness observed the flag on fire and extinguished it. The suspect is described as a White male, 18 – 30 years old, 5’4″ – 5’11” tall and wearing a dark hooded windbreaker, jeans, white sneakers and carrying a backpack. A joint investigation with the Fire Marshal’s Office is ongoing.”

The resident of the home, who did not wish to be named, recounted what happened to ARLnow.

“We awoke to a neighbor banging on our front door and a burning flag, which had spread to the bush in our front yard,” he wrote. “Our neighbor put out the fire with a hose. We then saw the video of the person lighting the flag on fire.”

The video was shared with neighbors on an email listserv.

“No idea,” the resident said, when asked why someone would do this, adding that nothing like this has ever happened before in the area.

Hat tip to Smiley456

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Morning Notes

Blue and Orange Line Changes Today — “There will be no rail service between Rosslyn and Pentagon stations due to the ongoing investigation into Tuesday’s derailment between Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations. Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery, and Pentagon stations. Blue Line service will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Mt. Vernon Square stations only… Orange Line service will operate between Vienna and New Carrollton stations and Silver Line service will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Largo Town Center stations, with single tracking between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom.” [WMATA]

Suspicious Object in Pentagon Parking Lot — From the Pentagon Force Protection Agency yesterday afternoon: “At approximately 6:30 a.m., a Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) Police unit on routine patrol in South parking when they observed a suspicious object. The area was immediately cordoned off, and vehicle and pedestrian traffic was blocked from the area. PFPA Hazardous Device Unit responded and the object was rendered safely at about 6:50 a.m. The all clear was given at 7:35 a.m… There is no threat to the Pentagon and surrounding area. The incident is under further investigation.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlingtonian Swims Around Manhattan — “What’s that popular phrase often given as the reason climbers attempt to scale Mount Everest: ‘Because it is there.’ That’s pretty much the same explanation Andie Nelson gave, in addition to being a new challenge, for successfully completing the 28.5-mile 20 Bridges Manhattan Swim around the famous New York City island-borough on Aug. 24. It was the first time the Arlington resident attempted the swim.” [Sun Gazette]

Pair Face Drug, Robbery Charges — “800 block of S. Frederick Street. At approximately 5:43 p.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just occurred. Based upon information provided by dispatch and witnesses in the area, a lookout was broadcast and two of the three suspects were located and taken into custody without incident. The investigation determined that the three known suspects allegedly forced entry into the victim’s apartment and physically assaulted her before stealing two cell phones and fleeing the scene on foot. During a search of the two suspects incident to arrest, items consistent with drug paraphernalia were recovered.” [ACPD]

Clarendon Road Closure Today — From the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services: “Wednesday 9am – 1pm: Temporary closure of EB Washington Blvd between N Kirkwood and Wilson Blvd for roadway infrastructure. Expect detour at Kirkwood to 10th St North, then to Wilson. WB Washington Blvd open but expect delays.” [Twitter]

Volunteer to Remove Trail Bumps — From Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail: “Tired of those bumps on the trail? Volunteer to help us fix them. Volunteer to fix the bumps near Memorial Bridge on 10/16.” [Twitter, Eventbrite]

Video Tour of Local Fire Station — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “Since COVID prevented us from opening up our fire stations to tours during fire prevention week, we hope our community enjoys this video tour of Fire Station 5 given by the members assigned there on C Shift.” [Twitter, YouTube]

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Arlington police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters paid tribute yesterday to Staff Sergeant Darin Taylor Hoover, a Marine from Utah who was among those killed in the Kabul airport bombing last month.

Local first responders saluted “as a symbolic gesture of gratitude” while Hoover’s procession was escorted around the Marine Corps War Memorial, en route from Dover Air Force Base to the Murphy Funeral Home near Ballston. The fallen Marine is being laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery.

Hoover’s family called the Utah native a hero who loved the Marine Corps and was beloved by his fellow Marines. He “was doing for others what they couldn’t do for themselves, and he made the ultimate sacrifice doing that,” his father told a local TV station.

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Morning Notes

Board OKs More Small Biz Money — “The Arlington County Board voted 5-0 today to approve the Small Business GRANT 2.0 program, which will provide direct financial assistance to small businesses as they continue to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The GRANT 2.0 program will provide immediate funds to businesses and nonprofits to aid in their short-term recovery.” [Arlington County]

Amazon Ramps Up HQ2 Hiring — “That job posting is one of roughly 2,700 openings newly unveiled by Amazon for its HQ2 campus, 99% of which are full-time corporate roles. The slew of new openings was added to the company’s jobs site earlier this week, ahead of Wednesday’s annual Amazon Career Day, held virtually… This is one of the bigger hiring pushes by the tech giant, which disclosed this month that its latest HQ2 employee tally tops 3,000, nearly double its last count in December.” [Washington Business Journal]

Amazon Charts Path to Net Zero Carbon — “Amazon.com Inc.’s design for the second phase of its HQ2 development must be carbon-neutral to comply with both Arlington County’s policy, as well as the tech giant’s own climate pledge to reach that status by 2040… The company’s consultant, Seattle-based Paladino and Co. Inc., found that carbon neutrality is “likely feasible” based on the current PenPlace [HQ2] design.” [Washington Business Journal]

Another Video of Columbia Pike Flooding — “We needed some scuba gear out on Columbia Pike” during Thursday’s flash flooding near S. Greenbrier Street. [Twitter]

Lots of Locals Want to Work at the Polls — “Arlington has too many people wanting to serve as poll officials in the upcoming election. Way, way too many. About 440 are needed and more than 1,100 expressed interest in serving, said Eric Olsen, Arlington’s deputy registrar. He called it, without hyperbole, ‘an extraordinary amount of interest.'” [Sun Gazette]

Remembering the Alexandria Canal — “The canal was completed in 1843. It roughly followed today’s Metro blue line and South Eads Street in Crystal City. Canal shipping, though interrupted by the Civil War, continued until 1886, by which time, railroads had rendered it obsolete. In modern times, remnants of the Aqueduct Bridge are visible from both the Virginia and Georgetown sides of the Potomac.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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We’re now in week two of food scrap collection in Arlington.

If you receive Arlington County’s residential trash collection service, then you can now place compostable items in your green organics cart instead of the trash. Earlier this summer the county distributed a countertop caddy and compostable bags to residential collection customers as a way to collect food scraps in the home.

(Apartment and condo residents who receive private collection service can drop off food scraps at designated locations.)

Examples of items that can be composted include:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Meats, including bones, and old meat grease (sopped up with a paper towel)
  • Dairy products and eggshells
  • Breads
  • Coffee grounds, paper coffee liners and tea leaves (but not tea bags)

Food and beverage containers that are marked as compostable, some of which actually contain a plastic lining, should be kept out and placed in the trash instead, officials previously said.

For those who still have questions about how to best go about collecting and disposing of food scraps, a dedicated county web page has answers and a new county-produced video, below, also offers tips. Among them: place a paper towel at the bottom of the bag to soak up liquids, and be sure to wash the caddy with soap and water regularly.

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(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) If the early morning lightning storm didn’t wake you up, congratulations: you’re either an exceptionally deep sleeper or have some very high quality windows.

A supercell thunderstorm spawned ahead of the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought exceptionally frequent lightning and thunder to the area between 3-4 a.m. The light show and the loud booms awakened numerous local residents, not to mention their dogs and kids.

One Ballston resident and weather enthusiast even captured a bolt of lightning striking a building above Ballston Quarter mall.

The bolt — one among many during the storm, which also packed torrential rainfall and prompted both a Flood Warning and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning — set off fire alarms in the area.

https://twitter.com/elaurenb/status/1432980032205508613?s=21

A map of the lightning strikes last night, below, shows the degree to which Arlington was peppered by mother nature’s fury.

Lightning strikes early Wednesday morning (via lightningmaps.org)

Luckily, there were no reports of major flooding in Arlington as a result of the storm, unlike parts of Fairfax County and Montgomery County, where water rescues took place. There were some reports of storm damage, including a large tree branch that went through a home’s roof near the intersection of Military Road and Route 29 in Cherrydale, at least one tree down along the GW Parkway, and multiple trees down on Roosevelt Island.

We’re not done with the wild weather yet, however. Ida’s tropical remains may spawn more strong storms and cause additional flooding later today.

Tornadoes are even a possibility, forecasters say. A Tornado Watch was issued just before noon today.

A Flash Flood Watch for Arlington and the region remains in effect through Thursday morning.

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First SUV tire deflations by environmental activists, now newspaper thefts by omnivorous mammals.

The northern Arlington neighborhood of Rock Spring was the scene of the vulpine larceny over the weekend. As seen in video surveillance footage, a furtive fox dashes down the driveway, with a stolen Sunday edition of the Washington Post firmly secured in his or her snout.

The homeowner, Lynn Pollock, tells ARLnow that the pilfered paper was later found nearby.

“The fox took our paper to a neighbor’s yard behind our house on the other side of a stream and left it in their yard,” she said, noting that such wildlife thievery is new to her but apparently not uncommon in the area.

“We had a [fox] family with kits who grew up under our front porch for five years until we renovated last year. We never saw this activity then,” she said. “However, from responses to my [Nextdoor] post it is clear that newspapers, shoes, baseball mitts as well as dog toys are taken by foxes in the area quite often.”

On the social networking site, neighbors weighed in on the incident.

“The only piece of fox news I have enjoyed is this post,” quipped one local resident.

“Swiper, no swiping!” wrote another, referencing the sneaky antagonist on Dora the Explorer.

Jokes aside, another resident tried to provide a possible explanation for the behavior.

“In all seriousness, that newspaper has only one purpose for that fox and its kit(s),” the resident wrote, before word that the paper was found and recovered. “She will take it to the den and shred it, and it will make amazing, warm bedding material with great absorption, much like dried leaves. She’s done it before, and she knows what works. She was probably taught to do it by her mother. There’s a reason for the expression, ‘sly as a fox!'”

Video courtesy Lynn Pollock

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A car caught fire in the middle of a Columbia Pike intersection last night.

The carbeque happened around 8:30 p.m. Monday at the intersection of the Pike and S. Jefferson Street, near Arlington’s western border. Video shared with ARLnow (below) shows the car being driven while flames shoot from the engine compartment, before it finally comes to a stop and the flames and smoke intensify.

The car was fully engulfed, sending a column of dark smoke into the sky, by the time firefighters arrived on scene. Local residents gathered to watch the firefighting effort.

The video-taker said firefighters arrived remarkably quickly.

“They showed up almost immediately and quickly took care of the situation,” he said. “They seriously showed up within 5 minutes… the Arlington [County] Fire Department is seriously awesome.”

Both eastbound lanes of Columbia Pike were blocked for nearly an hour due to the blaze and the subsequent cleanup.

Photo courtesy Jason Sheldrake. Video courtesy anonymous.

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(Updated at 9:30 p.m.) A man filmed children wearing masks at a local playground while accusing their parents of “child abuse.”

The encounter happened on Tuesday at the Rocky Run Park playground near Courthouse. It was caught on video by one of the parents.

“Look at these kids — child abuse, child abuse, suffocation, suffocation,” the man says while filming the playground with his smartphone, after claiming that he runs “a very popular YouTube channel.”

“You understand that most people are vaccinated right now?” the man says to the woman filming him. “Why are these kids in masks outside? You understand how harmful that is to their mental welfare?”

“Leave me alone, you’re stressing my baby,” the woman responds.

The idea that having kids wear masks during the pandemic is a form of abuse was popularized by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“Your response when you see children wearing masks when they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid at Walmart,” the host told viewers in April.

So far, only children ages 12 and up are eligible for vaccinations. While children can be infected and get sick from COVID-19, deaths have been relatively uncommon — 300 reported Covid-related fatalities among those under the age of 18 during the course of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The husband of one of the moms at the park who was harassed says police were called but the man had already left when they arrived.

“The person who took the video is our friend,” he tells ARLnow. “All our children have been playing together since the pandemic and all wear masks, even though we the adults are fully vaccinated. This guy approached my wife and her friends when the kids got back to sip water.”

“He start yelling at them, that they were doing ‘child abuse’ for ‘forcing’ our kids to wear masks, and saying all that conspiracy theory speech,” the husband continued. “He start filming our kids, and yelling… and as you can see in the video all children start running away from him. My wife call me and also called the police. Police arrived but he was already gone.”

“He was riding one of those electric skateboards and took off,” the husband added. “Cops were not too concerned said filming kids is not illegal, but advice not to confront him. Another friend said same guy harassed her with his two children by Courthouse Plaza, and someone in Nextdoor said she was approached by the same guy near Whole Foods Clarendon.”

The incident outside the Clarendon Whole Foods took place last week, according to a post on Twitter. The man reportedly called a woman a “child abuser” in front of her mask-wearing child.

Reached for comment about the park incident, the Arlington County Police Department said the man’s actions did not amount to a crime.

“At approximately 5:17 p.m. on May 25, police were dispatched to the 1100 block of N. Barton Street for the report of disorderly conduct,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, the reporting party advised that a male subject had been yelling and filming children playing inside a park. The subject had left the scene prior to the arrival of police and a search of the area concluded with negative results. The investigation determined no crime had occurred.”

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Amazon has released a new, nearly six-minute video that touts its HQ2 investment in Arlington.

The video discusses progress on Amazon’s permanent second headquarters complex in Pentagon City, the inspiration behind the proposed Helix tower, and the company’s various investments in the community.

More from an Amazon blog post:

We are making good progress in building HQ2, our headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. We remain committed to creating 25,000 new jobs and investing more than $2.5 billion here over the next decade.

Today, there are more than 1,600 Amazon employees working from Arlington on teams including AWS, Devices, and Finance, with hundreds of open roles available.

Construction is on schedule at Metropolitan Park, the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2 development, and continues under extraordinary health and safety measures. We recently returned to grade, meaning the buildings have reached street level — an exciting construction milestone for this project. And, we look forward to continuing the community review process alongside Arlington County for our proposed plans at PenPlace, the second phase of Amazon’s development. Together, Metropolitan Park and PenPlace will deliver a welcoming urban experience, anchored by large public open spaces, significant new retail, and a connection to nature not only for Amazon employees but also the entire Arlington community.

We are actively getting to know our new neighbors and stitching ourselves into the community. From our recent sponsorship of the legendary Cherry Blossom Festival to our $381 million commitment to help keep Crystal House affordable through our Housing Equity Fund, we are building a better neighborhood together.

Despite the rosy picture, Amazon has faced some local criticism for its use of millions in government incentives, an alleged lack of certain types of community engagement and transparency, and for its potential role in driving up rents.

The full video, which debuted yesterday at a global “all-hands” meeting for employees, is below.

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