Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July; Police Notes

Today’s Buckingham HeraldTrib:
I didn’t bother to send out the email (or to post) yesterday, but I assume you don’t mind. Here’s this week’s iteration of the HeraldTrib. Hope you like.

About 50 of us were out on George Mason Dr., on the bridge over Arlington Blvd, to watch the fireworks downtown last night. The family and I watched PBS’s “A Capitol Fourth,” and when the fireworks began, my wife shuffled us out the door and down the street, the kids in their pjs.

It’s not the optimal place to watch the celebration, but it beats the last time we went to the mall. This was before kids, maybe eight or nine years ago, and my wife and I headed to the mall to watch the show with friends. More typical of DC, the weather hit the upper 80s or lower 90s, and we brought too little water. Our friend’s fiancé ended up with mild heat stroke as the air pressed down on us. On the plus side, we saw a bunch of people walk our way with ice cream novelties, and tracked the place down ourselves. When we arrived, Park Police were at the man’s cart, and the discussion and activity went something like this:

Police: So, you’re selling these items on the mall.

Salesman: No sir.

Police: Oh, so you’re giving it away, then.

Into his cart went a dozen or more hands to grab the “free” ice cream.

Salesman: Nonononono!

The hands came out, clutching frozen booty. None went back in because now it would be stealing, since the man, apparently, was selling the confections. What was odd was how everyone there seemed to understand this.

Police: If you’re not giving it away, then you must be selling it, and I’ll have to take you in.

Salesman: No, you’ve got it wrong.

More hands into the frozen depths. I got a peek inside about then.

The poor bastard didn’t stand a chance. He also had nothing worth stealing by the time we got there—all the M&M cookie sandwiches were gone, bummer. His cart was down to just a few cardboard cases of dreamsicles, or something else equally nasty.

We found another man, who snuck away with his cart to a space between a couple large vans in a nearby parking lot. We bought ice cream from him.

I think by the time the police officer and the salesman finished their discussion all the “free” novelties had been given away, and since he had nothing to sell, the police had no reason to haul him in!

Despite the 10 minutes of fun that was, it couldn’t shake 90 degrees and the oppressive atmosphere of the west lawn with about 100,000 bodies smashed upon one another.

The bridge over U.S. Route 50 last night offered a glimpse of all the fireworks, but we got a really good view of only the tallest. The Grand Finale was fun to see.
Let me know where you watched them from. Did you brave the rain, or does your office have a great view? Lemmeno.

Other note: I’ve fixed the “permalink” setting on my site, so now, when you click the links below, you should get the story I’m talking about. At the least, you’ll only have to click and then scroll down a little bit—when I learn HTML tags, I’ll add them and all should be right with the world. But, you’ll notice that you can click or scroll to the stories below. Yea me!

Headlines today (scroll down to read the stories):

Police Notes for Buckingham
I'll have another couple stories tomorrow and early next week. Updates have been going terribly. Sorry. It'll get more interesting.

Headlines from earlier in the week:

Three stories on one link (click then scroll down)

  • Letter: Rocknoceros (kids music)
  • Letter: Glebe/Pershing Renovation
  • This Weekend at Lubber Run Amphitheatre (see you at the blues…)

  • Clarification: Planning, but no Plans as yet for Mini-Golf


    Police Notes for Buckingham
    Reported July 2:Stolen Temporary Auto License Tags, 300 block of N. George Mason Dr. Tag number: VA C585551.

    June 29: Felony Hit and Run, 300 block of N. Thomas St. At approximately 9:30 p.m., a tan Toyota Corolla traveling northbound in the 300 block of N. Thomas St. struck a 32-year-old man, flipping him over the hood of the car. The Corolla immediately fled the scene. The victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries to the face, shoulder, and extremities. No one has been arrested in this case, said John Lisle of the Arlington County Police.

    June 21: Burglary, 200 block of N. Thomas St. Between June 19 and June 21, someone entered an apartment, possibly through the window, and took various personal belongings. Arlington Police have been investigating a series of apartment burglaries through Ballston, Clarendon and Rosslyn. “We do not believe that [the burglary in Buckingham] is related to the other apartment burglaries. Those were all in highrises...and the detectives say those aren’t related,” said John Lisle of the Arlington County Police Department.


    I saw & heard the Mall fireworks from the closest possible point (just behind a fence along 15th Street, along a straight line between the Washington Monument and the statue in the Lincoln Memorial). What a blast! Especially with the wind blowing the fireworks in your direction.

    The time leading up to the fireworks was not so great. At about 5:00 p.m., the feds closed the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival and everything else on the Mall and implemented "Operation Safe Haven" when they believed that a storm might be approaching. I and many others therefore decided to go inside the Freer Gallery, which is close to the Festival and has some nice exhibits.

    Before we could enter the Freer, however, we all had wait on a long line before we could go through the museum's security checkpoint. This seemed odd, because everyone had already gone through a checkpoint before they had entered the Mall and because a storm was supposedly approaching.

    After about 30 minutes, the lights in the Freer went out. This was probably not a power outage, as the storm was not severe in the area. Somebody probably forgot to tell somebody else that they are supposed to leave the lights on after the Freer's usual closing time when "Operation Safe Haven" goes into effect.

    The Freer's guards directed hundreds of people to go to the adjacent Ripley, which had some lights but no open exhibits (because it was after the museum's closing time). The resultant boredom was alleviated only by some people who staged an impromptu amateur performance in one of the Ripley's auditoriums.

    When the rain ended, everyone had to leave the museum. However, there were no activities outside until about 8:15 p.m. because the Folk Life festival had closed and the Navy Band had taken down its equipment on the Washington Monument grounds.

    At least the fireworks were good.

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