Westover’s Pete’s Barber Shop is no longer home to its namesake now that Peter Xereas has retired.
Xereas, a Greek immigrant, had owned the barber shop at 5847 Washington Blvd since 1968 when he officially retired Feb. 28. Pete’s was named the best barber shop in Arlington for 2013 by the readers of Arlington Magazine.
Chris Hewitt, who had worked under Xereas for about five years, has taken over the lease and operation along with his wife, Elaine Prettyman, who also works at the shop.
“He decided to hang up the clippers,” Hewitt told ARLnow.com while attending to a customer’s hair. “He’s still in good health, and he said he wants to enjoy it.”
Hewitt was hired after a barber had left Pete’s for a different job. Hewitt said on his first day, Xereas let him know the shop would eventually be his.
“That first day, I was in the chair right next to him,” Hewitt said. “He said ‘I’m not gonna be working much longer, so when I retire, you can have the barber shop.’ I said ‘sounds good,’ put my time in and tried to learn the place.”
Hewitt said Xereas is planning on returning to his native Greece for the summer to visit his ill sister. Xereas had been planning to retire since his wife died last year, and the paperwork for transferring the lease and the business over to Hewitt was complete at the end of February.
When the customer in Hewitt’s chair, Ed, heard ARLnow.com ask about how customers had been reacting to Xereas’ retirement, Ed turned around and said, “Oh my goodness.”
“That’s how they have been reacting,” Hewitt said with a laugh. “Pete loves his customers. He said he’s going to miss everyone so much, so retiring was hard.”
As news of Xereas’ retirement spread to Pete’s customer base, several regulars sent emails to ARLnow.com lamenting the loss of their favorite barber.
“The men in the house are going to look much worse for this turn of events,” one reader wrote.
“He is an Arlington icon and will be missed,” said another.
Toward the end of the haircut, Hewitt turned his customer’s chair around and trimmed his eyebrows and his mustache.
“That’s something Pete used to do,” Ed said.
The drill will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Participants are asked to “go low and stay low” by going to the lowest level of the building they are in, staying away from windows and doors, and crouching down and covering their heads, according to OEM.
Those with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios will get a test alert at 9:45, notifying them that the drill has begun.
The full press release from OEM, after the jump.
Photo courtesy NOAA via Wikipedia
Editor’s note: Money Money is a new weekly column on personal finance, edited by Arlington Community Federal Credit Union investment advisor Momodou Bojang.
According to the 2011 Retirement Re-Set study by SunAmerica Financial Group, nearly half of Americans 55 and older say they expect to provide support for their adult children while simultaneously saving for their own retirement. While helping your children may seem like the right thing to do, you should avoid letting yourself become the Bank of Mom and Dad.
As more baby boomers reach retirement, they are finding their savings diminished due to unrecognized overspending. For some retirees, they found much of their savings went to helping their adult children in financial difficulty. According to CNN, parents in the U.S. extend about $45 billion in loans to their children each year, for everything from student loans to credit-card debt to buying a home or starting a business. A study by Ameriprise found that 90 percent of boomer-age parents have provided financial assistance to their adult children – including 40 percent who had to use their own savings and 17 percent who had to take a loan to do so.
Even parents who have taken a hard line against bailing their adult kids out of financial trouble have softened their stance in the face of the economy and its fallout. If you decide to provide financial help to your child or grandchild, follow these guidelines to avoid tapping into your own savings.
Loan or a gift? Parents often start out resolved to make their child repay the money but fail to follow through. Keep in mind that you can gift up to $13,000 a year (for 2012) without filing a gift-tax return. Remember though, if you call it a gift, don’t harbor expectations your child will repay it. In general you should aim for a one-time gift. “If you can spare the cash, give your adult children a lump sum for them to budget rather than just paying their expenses or paying off their debt, and make it clear that’s all you are willing to give,” advises Kiplinger’s Kimberly Lankford. This will generally incite them to stretch the funding and cut out nonessential expenses.
Only offer essential assistance. If handing over a chunk of cash is not appealing, offer to help pay for only a few critical bills, such as health insurance or car insurance so coverage is never lost. If you decide you will or can help your children only in an emergency situation, make sure you stick by this. Explain to them in detail what you consider an emergency and avoid granting any assistance unless it constitutes what you both agreed upon originally.
Arlington County has stepped up it pothole repair effort this year due to the harsh winter.
County crews were out filling potholes in response to resident requests this weekend, after spending the week plowing snow and cleaning equipment, according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher. One of the stretches of road where crews worked “extensively” was the 2200 block of N. Harrison Street, where numerous potholes were reported.
The county has up to five times as many employees working potholes repairs this winter, Mincher said.
“We have five teams, about 35 employees, in our streets maintenance section concentrating on either potholes or snow,” she told ARLnow.com. “In lighter winters, we would typically have one team assigned to potholes.”
“We anticipate continuing to concentrate on potholes [this] week, and assessing over the next few weeks our needs for later in the spring,” she added.
In addition to responding to problem reports from residents — there have been more than a dozen pothole reports in the past 24 hours — crews are also “fixing other potholes we find along our travels,” Mincher said.
Video via Arlington TV
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Gaurav Malik sat in Northside Social last week with a clicker that some colleges use for in-class participation. He said he showed it to a college student and her reaction was one of the reasons he built his tech startup, nClass.
“She said ‘this is horrifying,’” he said with a smile. “Students now expect to use one device for everything. Why wouldn’t you use the mobile phone instead of the clicker?”
Malik got the idea to incorporate phones into the classroom in the summer of 2012 when he was in an executive MBA program. Working for a cloud computing starting and coming from an IT background, Malik saw boundless potential for incorporating technology that wasn’t being tapped into.
It took Malik, his co-founder who’s no longer with the company, and a small team of interns and contractors both local and in India a year before nClass launched a pilot program in fall 2013 in several local universities, like Georgetown, George Washington and George Mason. The bootstrapped company built apps for iPhone, Android and for use on laptops.
“From an institution’s standpoint, they want to use the right technology and improve the student’s experience,” Malik said. “The professors want to keep students engaged, and the students want to be able to use their devices and not pay for additional hardware.”
There are several ways Malik designed nClass to be used in the classroom. Initially, Malik was just thinking about an attendance app for smartphones, but the idea grew and grew. Plus, he said, attendance “is a polarizing topic” among college professors, many of whom never call roll.
nClass allows teachers to give quizzes with students answering on their phones or computers, it allows teachers to take a “pulse check” in the middle of the lecture, to see who is grasping the material, paying attention, and who has checked out. It also allows students to submit questions electronically, which can help some who are too shy to participate still engage with the material.
“The class could be discussing something controversial where the professor really wants honest input,” Malik said. “By using the phone, and allowing questions to be submitted anonymously, the professor can solicit more opinions.”
Malik said he’s not hoping to replace “face-to-face teaching” with his app, simply trying to improve and quantify the classroom experience. He admits that nClass would be most useful in large lectures where professors don’t have time to build relationships with individual students. It’s also useful to help professors grade participation in classes where it would normally be impossible.
“It broadens participation, but it also gives you an alternate way to collect class participation data,” he said. “A lot of discussion takes place in class, but there’s no record of it unless you’re an excellent notetaker. Because of this technology, we can now capture that data for later use.” (more…)
The parade has been rescheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 17. It will still run along Wilson Blvd from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street in Clarendon.
“Approximately 90% of the original Mardi Gras entries are able to participate on the rescheduled date,” according to the Clarendon Alliance, the parade’s organizer. “The Mardi Gras Parade registration period is being extended, to allow additional entrants to participate in the parade. New registrations will be accepted by the CA through 5pm on Wednesday March 12.”
In 2010, when snow forced the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade, it was transformed into a St. Patrick’s Day parade, complete with Irish dancers, a leprechaun and green beads. For now, the 2014 version is still being called a “Mardi Gras parade.”
A 19-year-old Leeway-Overlee resident took advantage of Arlington’s especially snowy winter to build a massive snow fort in his front yard.
Michael Grieg, who lives on the 6000 block of 22nd Road N., built the fort “by himself using snow shovels, a wheelbarrow, two ladders and recycling bin for a snow block mold,” according to his mother, Cristina. The fort is 12 feet high with an 11-foot-by-11-foot base, she said.
“It was built to be a work of art, he doesn’t often have the opportunity,” Cristina Grieg wrote in an email to ARLnow.com “It took him about 40 hours starting with the first major snow storm.”
The above pictures were sent on Saturday, but the snow fort may not be around for much longer. Temperatures could jump into the 70s by tomorrow afternoon. Mild temperatures this weekend reduced the fort’s height by a foot, Grieg reported Monday morning.
“Still standing, about 11 feet now, but showing wear and tear,” she said.
Photos courtesy Cristina Grieg
Wakefield Falls in Semifinals — The Wakefield High School boys basketball team lost in the 5A state tournament semifinals Saturday. Wakefield lost to Henrico 63-55, ending their season. [Sun Gazette]
Contract Loss Could Cost 165 Jobs in Arlington — Some 165 Lockheed Martin employees in Arlington are set to lose their jobs after the company lost a contract with the U.S. Army for information technology work. The contract was instead awarded to General Dynamics. [Washington Business Journal]
Construction Contract Awarded for New School – The Arlington School Board voted last week to award a $32.3 million contract for the construction of a new elementary school on the Williamsburg Middle School campus. The school “is anticipated to be the first Net Zero Energy School on the East Coast,” thanks to a large solar array on the roof. With design, contingencies and “soft costs” factored in, the total cost of the school is projected at $43.8 million, down from the original $46.5 million cost estimate. [Arlington Public Schools]
W-L Falls to Yorktown in Shootout — Yorktown high school hockey club defeated Washington-Lee 3-2 in a four-round shootout Saturday night at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. It was the last game of the season for both teams.
Big Lines for Car Washes — With spring-like temperatures on Saturday came spring-like lines at local car washes. Motorists lined up to get the salt residue and winter grime washed off their cars. The line for Mr. Wash on N. Glebe Road extended all the way to Route 50 at one point. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.
‘The Bachelor’ Viewing Party
Bracket Room (1200 N. Garfield Street)
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Watch Juan Pablo hand out the final rose at the bar owned by former “The Bachelorette” contestant Chris Bukowski. The party is free but reservations are recommended.
Lecture: Turf Management for Urban Gardeners
Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech professor of crop and soil environmental sciences Dr. Mike Goatley gives a free lecture on how to manage lawns and turfs for the upcoming spring season.
Rosslyn Photo Exhibit Unveiling
Central Place (1201 Wilson Blvd)
Time: noon-12:30 p.m.
County Board Chair Jay Fisette will be among those on hand for the unveiling of Frank Hallam Day’s photo exhibit on the history of Central Place before JBG’s new skyscraper is built.
Live Music: Back to Zero
Whitlow’s on Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Party/funk/hip hop band Back to Zero graces the stage at Whitlow’s. They follow Celtic band the Dirty Pints, who play from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. There is no cover charge.
More than 15 bars will be participating in the pre-St. Patrick’s Day crawl. For $20, revelers will get drink specials, $2 slices from Bronx Pizza and free beads.
Drink for the Cure
World of Beer (901 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7:00 p.m.-midnight
A $10 cover gets you $4 craft beer and $5 cocktails Saturday night at World of Beer to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in support of Bishop O’Connell grad Danny Bessette.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
Arrow, the cat found that was found in Ballston shot with more than 30 BBs, including at least 20 that remain lodged in his head, was adopted today at the Animal Welfare…
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). “It’s not that easy to find people who know what you need done. But that’s what…
The District Taco cart, which was launched four years ago and has now spawned four brick-and-mortar restaurants, is retiring today in Rosslyn. District Taco owner Osiris Hoil said the team…
Clocks spring forward an hour this weekend, so use the extra daylight on Sunday to check out some open houses in your area. See our real estate section for a full listing…
A Nintendo gaming system was stolen from a home in the Douglas Park neighborhood on Saturday. According to this week’s Arlington County crime report, the suspect seemingly made a clean…
Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, when clocks should “spring forward” one hour. The change will result in an extra hour of daylight in the evening,…