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Budget rises for new Potomac Yard Metro station

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WASHINGTON — Plans to build a new Metro station at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Virginia, took a crucial step forward Tuesday.

Alexandria City Council unanimously approved raising the budget from $268 million to $320 million. The change was made in part to reflect the rising cost of materials and labor.

“We’re coming to the point of a real milestone,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. “Partnering with WMATA and working hand in glove with them is going to be key.”

Bidders on the project were asked to make changes in hopes of cutting costs, and revised proposals were received in February.

As part of the design review process, the city expects to hold public hearings around the end of this year.

Early construction will likely begin around the same time, with the station set to open in late 2021 or early 2022.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

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birdbone
10 days ago
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Alexandria, VA
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Check, Please! returns to WETA with new episodes

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A Korean-Cajun restaurant in Northern Virginia is expected to get some screen time.

WETA’s local restaurant review series Check, Please! is back with new episodes this month, one of them featuring a popular Northern Virginia spot. The show, which stars a rotating panel of citizen reviewers sharing their favorite spots in the region, will return to WETA TV 26 on Monday evenings at 9 p.m. beginning April 16.

Check, Please! originally premiered on Oct. 18, 2017, and since then six episodes have aired. Queen Amannisa in Arlington, A Taste of Burma in Sterling, Plaka Grill in Falls Church, Crust Pizzeria Napoletana in Vienna and Hula Girl Bar & Grill in Arlington were among the NoVA restaurants featured in those episodes.

The series aims to spotlight a wide range of neighborhood favorites and diverse cuisines in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In each 30-minute episode, three citizen reviewers choose a restaurant for the other two reviewers to try. They anonymously visit each restaurant and then discuss their experiences with the show’s host, Rose Previte, who owns Compass Rose and Maydan in the District.

The second round of episodes includes a spot with “a unique cultural mash-up of cuisines in Sterling,” according to the episode description. “The Northern Virginia restaurant featured in our show this spring is a truly unique find, featuring Korean and Cajun cuisines together,” says Executive Producer Glenn Baker. “We’re so fortunate to have recommendations from our savvy guest reviewers, who are able to unearth hidden gems and share them with the WETA TV 26 audience.”

Could this Korean-Cajun selection be Mokomandy? We’ll have to tune in to find out.

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birdbone
17 days ago
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Alexandria, VA
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Paddleboaters at DC Cherry Blossom Festival find dead body in Tidal Basin

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A dead man's body was found by people paddleboating in the Tidal Basin of nation's capital Saturday afternoon.

Tourists and locals walking around the basin watched as D.C. police, fire, and National Park Service officers responded to reports of a corpse floating in the large body of water in downtown Washington.

The Washington Examiner was on the scene and witnessed a small boat go out to the middle of the basin where a number of paddleboats were huddled.

A body was seen being taken into the small boat. As the boat made its way back to shore, the body that had been pulled from the water was covered in a yellow blanket.

The National Park Service told the Washington Examiner the D.C. Metro Police Department is overseeing the investigation into the incident.

D.C. police did not return multiple requests for comment and one outlet reported police would not comment on the cause of death or identity of the man.

The paddleboat services were shut down within an hour of the recovery.

The incident comes in the midst of the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin and the final days before the trees reach peak bloom.

A similar incident took place in April 2013, when a corpse was found in the water of the Tidal Basin.

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birdbone
19 days ago
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Alexandria, VA
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No more official portraits of high level politicians

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To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best listening experience on desktop can be found using Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

  • They will be no more paintings of high-level politicians. President Trump has signed a bill banning federal funds from being used for portraits of cabinet members, the president, and the vice president. The Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting, or EGO Act, comes after a 2013 report showing agencies spent more than $100,000 on official portraits since 2010. (Congress.gov)
  • The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has created a new Chief Integrity Officer to manage oversight, improvement, and overall integrity strategy, in all 15 federal feeding programs administered by FNS. FNS has also initiated an independent, third-party review of its integrity efforts across all nutrition programs to help identify process improvements and areas where best practices could help. (Food and Nutrition Service)
  • Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has named two people to head up what he calls departmental priorities. Daniel Best will becomes senior adviser for drug pricing reform. He will attempt to tackle rising prescription drug prices. HHS described him as an expert in Medicare Part D and in the pharmaceutical landscape. Dr. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, adds the job of senior advisor for mental health and opioid policy. He’s a former defense science office director at DARPA. (Department of Health and Human Services)
  • The government’s top CIO has lauded the federal workforce for its diversity.  Federal CIO Suzette Kent said 40% of all CFO Act agency chief information officers are women,  well above the industry average of about 16%.  Kent said she wants to make sure the agencies continue to lead when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the technology sector. Speaking at the CIO Council’s Women in Federal IT and Cyber event Thursday, Kent said she plans to continue to drive diversity through the way the government approaches design of modern services. She said she will ensure different perspectives are included from the beginning.
  • Leadership on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has called on  the Government Accountability Office to look at possible time and attendance abuses at all agencies. GAO last looked at the issue back in 2003. Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said GAO should look into how modern technology can impact time and attendance best practices. GAO has been tracking time and attendance abuses at the Patent and Trademark Office for two years. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) also signed the letter. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • Eight former regional directors of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) have warned the agency’s current plan to close two regional offices would be a blow to the agency’s efficiency and mission. The former directors wrote  to the leadership on the House and Senate oversight committees, saying FLRA has already lost a lot of staff and office space in recent years. FLRA says closing the Boston and Dallas regional offices would impact 16 employees. Authority members must vote before closing any regional office. (Federal News Radio)
  • The president’s decision to appoint Robert Wilkie as the acting head of Veterans Affairs reportedly leaves a major leadership gap in the Defense Department’s personnel shop. The Pentagon said it has not yet decided who will fill the role of undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness – even on an acting basis. Defense officials initially said the role would be filled by Tony Kurta, who had been the office’s acting principal deputy, but later retracted that. Kurta’s nomination to take the number two personnel job has been stalled in the Senate since last November, and he’s since been reassigned as a “special assistant” within the office. With Wilkie’s departure, all five of the Senate-confirmed positions within Personnel and Readiness are now vacant.
  • If you get an email from a recruiter from CSRA, you may want to double check it. The government contractorhas warned potential job-seekers that scammers are posing as company executives, to solicit applications for jobs at CSRA. They’re looking to get their hands on personal information from victims. CSRA says it would never ask for banking information during the interview process. (WTOP)
  • A historic launch for NASA is coming this summer. The agency will send Parker Solar Probe on a trip closer to the sun than any spacecraft in history to study the sun’s corona, an area of superhot plasma surrounding it. It’ll also investigate the sun’s solar winds, which impact the Earth’s magnetic fields. Crews at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are boxing up the probe. This Sunday, they’ll send it to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it’ll launch July 31. (Federal News Radio)
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birdbone
23 days ago
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Alexandria, VA
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Nothing's like eating a burger soaked in cheese with rubber gloves from a golden shovel.. on a date : WeWantPlates

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A Few House Rules

i. Above all, please be civil. This means no personal insults or attacks. You will get one warning only.

ii. If posting an image from an external site you must link to that site, and give credit to said site, in your thread title. This includes Twitter, in which case you should also include the original poster's Twitter handle.

iii. Submissions must be dishes which were served at a place of business. They needn't have been served to you, but if they were please include the name and location of the establishment.

iv. Things that you found interesting but that may not necessarily fit the We Want Plates mantra of "this should really be on a plate" are allowed. These posts are moderated on a post-by-post basis. Mod decisions are final.

v. The purpose of this sub is to showcase cringe-worthy examples of plating. Please bear this in mind when submitting content. There is no need to submit burgers on boards or sushi on sushi boats.

vi. If you post the Avolatte, you will be banned.

_

This sub is inspired by the original We Want Plates movement. You can follow them here:

www.twitter.com/wewantplates

www.facebook.com/wewantplates

www.instagram.com/wewantplatesofficial

www.wewantplates.com

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birdbone
33 days ago
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Alexandria, VA
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Arlington Not Planning to Join Class Action Lawsuit Against Synthetic Turf Installer

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Arlington County is not currently planning to join the class action lawsuit against FieldTurf USA Inc., the company that installed turf at several county fields.

Several school districts and local governments across the country have accused the company of installing defective turf.

“At this time we have not experienced our turf failing, we have not had that experience,” said Robert Capper, Arlington Parks & Recreation’s capital assets manager.

One of the turf fields at Long Bridge Park is scheduled to be replaced beginning in late March, a process that will take three months and cost just over $400,000. FieldTurf USA was outbid by GTR Turf, Inc. for the replacement contract.

The fields, which are under warranty until early 2019, will be replaced early so that all three Long Bridge Park fields will not be replaced simultaneously.

Fields come with an eight year warranty, and are generally replaced eight or nine years after installation, according to Lisa Grandle, Arlington County Parks & Recreation’s park development division chief.

The warranty for one of the Long Bridge Park’s synthetic turf fields covers defective material or installation workmanship problems, but doesn’t cover what Grandle called normal wear and tear or heavy usage.

“Like tires on your car, the more hours you’re on them, the more the fields wear down,” said Grandle.

The county has not completed a cost comparison between synthetic turf and natural grass because synthetic field allows more options for playing and lasts longer than natural grass, she said.

Natural grass can sustain about 900 hours of playtime before it is considered degraded. Synthetic turf can last for approximately 2,100 hours of playtime prior to degradation, according to county officials.

File photos

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birdbone
41 days ago
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