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Local Woof: Dog Sports

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — March 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm 0

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Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.

Spring is just around the corner. Really. And spring is a great time to get involved in a sport with your dog.

Dog sports continue to grow in popularity for several reasons. First, it’s a great way to advance your dog’s training. No matter what activity you choose, your dog’s training will improve.

Second, dog sports are a great way to burn off both physical and mental energy. They are especially great for young adolescent dogs with lots of extra energy.

Third, doing an activity with your dog is a great way to improve or expand your relationship. Like any team sport, dog sports require you and your dog to work together and can generate a greater understanding between the teammates. Finally, dog sports are fun. It’s fun to see your dog learn a new complex skill, even if you never plan on competing.

The best way to get started is to join a beginner class. Most beginner sport classes require your dog to have had some basic training already, so you might need to start there first. Keep in mind that sport classes are different from basic obedience classes.

Sport classes don’t end, just like training or practicing a sport doesn’t end.  You might take a single class several times before you master the content and move up. Serious competitors are always practicing and training.

One of the best things about sport classes is that it gives you lots of fun tricks to work on with your dog between classes. Even if you never advance or compete, working on tasks steadily and consistently with your dog builds the relationship and strengthens your bond.

The most popular dog sports are: Dog agility, where you navigate your dog through an obstacle course; Rally Obedience, in which you navigate your dog through a series of obedience exercises; Nose work, where you teach your dog to sniff out specific odors, detection dog style; Flyball, a fast and furious combination of steeplechase and fetch; plus freestyle, Frisbee and other options.

So if you are looking for a fun way to continue working with your dog, find a fun sport class and get started.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — March 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

The former Blanca’s Restaurant at 2900 Columbia Pike may be getting a makeover in an attempt to attract a new restaurant tenant.

The aging, two-story structure sits on the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive, dwarfed by the adjacent Halstead apartment building. It has been vacant for years, despite the high-profile location across from the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse.

In recent years, the building has been toured a couple of times by potential tenants, including the owners of a popular north Arlington coffee shop and gathering spot, but the poor condition of the interior and other expensive challenges have been viewed as obstacles to opening in the space.

Now, we’re told, the siblings who own the building are planning to renovate in order to jump start the process of finding a tenant. Since December, Ramon and William Darcey have been applying for various building, electrical and other permits. So far, most of those permit applications have been rejected.

The permits detail ambitious plans to renovate the interior, expand the second floor, install an exterior staircase, set up a rooftop seating area near the rear of the building and remove landscaping in order to install ground-level outdoor seating. In September, the county’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board was briefed on the plans and offered design suggestions for keeping potentially historic elements of the Spanish Revival-style building in tact.

The building and property was assessed at $765,200 for 2015. Several “for lease” signs have already been placed outside the building and inside its windows.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm 0

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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.

Notify Anywhere Founder Ajay Maheshwari, right, and Sahaj ShardaThere are billions of people on the planet with no access to Internet. Ajay Maheshwari wants to connect to all of them.

Maheshwari is the founder and CEO of Notify Anywhere, a mobile platform that allows users to notify a list of contacts or subscribers in a wide range of ways, from social media to email to text or phone messages. It can be used for restaurants to tell customers about specials, coaches to tell players about practice cancellations or family members to reach out in case of emergency.

“There is a need of a platform to provide people with a unified notification medium,” Maheshwari said from Rosslyn, in his borrowed space from Notify Anywhere’s mentor company, Miracle Systems.

Maheshwari’s example of a coach notifying a team is personal — his wife was taking his daughter to soccer practice in Ashburn one rainy morning. They hadn’t heard from the coach so they assumed practice was still happening. The Maheshwaris arrived to an empty practice field and, when they got the coach on the phone, were told that he had no way of contacting all the parents.

“I decided we needed to come up with an automated critical process, triggered at an event so users don’t feel like it’s a burden to notify people,” Maheshwari said. “People want a simple thing. They want to reach their audience, irrespective of the network.”

A screenshot of the Notify Anywhere appSeven months ago, Maheshwari formed the company with his cofounder, who goes by Shikha, applied for a patent and got to work. He brought on a developer, like many startups, but his is unique. Sahaj Sharda and Maheshwari met at a “hack-a-thon” in D.C. after Sharda’s team impressed with a quick-built app to “make children accessible to the education industry.” Maheshwari saw it, was impressed, and brought him on board.

Sharda is 16, and his team was a group of his classmates from Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County.

“I was excited about the idea,” Sharda said. “It was similar to what we had built. When you’re developing anything, you’re looking at your target audience. Ours don’t have Internet access, but they’re still in the community at large. It’s a big problem in terms of accessibility.”

That’s why one of Notify Anywhere’s key selling points is its partnership with global telecommunications providers. In more than 200 countries, the app can access the phone infrastructure, allowing users to send voice and text messages over a network instead of requiring both end-users to download the app.

The infrastructure access and ability to send “robo-calls” sets the app apart, Maheshwari says. It’s is cloud-based, syncs with the phone’s contacts

“We don’t have any direct competition,” he said. “I don’t see any other companies doing it.”

Notify Anywhere is currently in a beta test, and Maheshwari said the response is “overwhelming.” He expects to hit the open market by April.

To this point, Notify Anywhere has been bootstrapped by the former federal government employee, and funded with friends and family money. As the launch date approaches, the company is seeking angel investors and venture capitalists to inject funding for engineering, marketing and sales.

The app will be Android-only to start, but an iPhone app isn’t far behind. It will be free for most users, and, in less than two months, live and “fully-formed.”

by Ethan Rothstein — March 2, 2015 at 11:00 am 764 0

The future location of Park Lane Tavern on N. Irving Street in Clarendon The future location of Park Lane Tavern on N. Irving Street in Clarendon

A tavern serving European dishes, European beers with imported European furniture and European lighting fixtures plans to open in Clarendon this summer.

Park Lane Tavern has leased space at 1200 N. Irving Street, in the new Beacon at Clarendon apartment building. Owner Greg Knox said the third location of his restaurant — following openings in Hampton and Fredericksburg farther south — will be 5,000 square feet and unlike anything else in the neighborhood.

“I think it’s going to be pretty unique in that area,” Knox said. “There are a lot of quality places up there, but we’re going to stand out a little bit.”

All of the décor is imported from Europe and the menu items read like a tour through a culinary travel magazine — there’s fish and chips, Jagerschnitzel, salmon beurré blanc, bangers and mash, florentine stuffed mushrooms and pizza. Park Lane will serve a variety of European craft beer and have a “very extensive, high-end scotch and bourbon section.”

“We don’t call it a gastropub, but that’s what most people would identify it as,” Knox said.

Knox said Park Lane Tavern plans to open by August or September.

by ARLnow.com — March 2, 2015 at 10:00 am 754 0

Ice on tree branches (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Parade Now Scheduled for March 10 — The Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade has a new make-up date. After being postponed due to snow  last month, the parade was originally rescheduled for St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. However, “the Arlington County Special Events Committee determined that ACPD resources would be over-stretched were the parade to be held on that date,” according to a press release. “A poll of the Parade Participants led to the decision to reschedule for March 10.” [Clarendon Alliance]

Urban Chicken Issue May Be Clucked — Those who want to raise chickens in their backyards in Arlington are losing their last ally on the County Board. It was Chris Zimmerman, who left the Board early last year, and Walter Tejada, who’s retiring at the end of this year, who were the primary supporters of urban hen raising in Arlington. As for those seeking the two available County Board seats this year, per County Board member John Vihstadt: “Any attempt to introduce poultry into the 2015 campaign would quickly lay an egg.” [InsideNova]

Christian Dorsey Officially Announces Candidacy — Christian Dorsey has officially announced his candidacy for County Board. In doing so, he also announced endorsements from Del. Patrick Hope, Schools Board member Abby Raphael and Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy. “We must become an engine of innovation to provide maximum value for the resources our taxpayers provide,” Dorsey said in his announcement. “Many of our taxpayers are facing stagnating wages… We must attract investment so that our growth is sustainable and includes opportunities for all.” [Christian Dorsey]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — March 2, 2015 at 8:55 am 892 0

(Updated at 9:10 a.m.) Arlington Public Schools announced just before 5:00 a.m. Monday that classes are canceled today.

While students have a day off, school office will open at noon.

From APS:

All APS Schools will be closed and offices will open at Noon. Essential personnel should report to work at their scheduled time. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics.

The federal government meanwhile, is operating under a two-hour delay. From the Office of Personnel Management:

Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN under 2 hours DELAYED ARRIVAL and employees have the OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 2 hours later than they would be expected to arrive.

Earlier this morning, an Arlington Alert warned of hazardous travel conditions.

Icy conditions and patchy dense fog expected this morning. Ice will persist on untreated surfaces as air temps remain around freezing. Patchy dense fog will combine with residual ice and may result in slick spots. Visibilities may drop to a quarter mile or less at times. Please use extra caution if traveling. Sidewalks may be quite icy and require particular caution.

Some residents said that while roads were okay this morning, sidewalks were particularly slippery.

Parents may not being loving the school closure, but some Arlington little leaguers will apparently be living it up today.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 2, 2015 at 5:00 am 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Wednesday

p1204356640-5Wednesday Night Spins*
Crystal City Parking Garage (2345 Crystal Drive, G4 Level)
Time: 6:00-9:00 p.m.

The first of a weekly indoor bike race this March. A “fast and fun” course for cyclists of all abilities, participants can also win prizes. Spectators welcome. Sign up here.

BaconBeerPortCityFW2Bacon and Beer Dinner
Fire Works Pizza (2350 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

For $75, diners/drinkers will enjoy a five-course, bacon-themed meal, with beers from Alexandria’s Port City Brewing to pair with each item. Call 703-527-8700 for reservations.

Thursday

150213_PikeFuture_1pbadgeColumbia Pike Future Forum*
The Salsa Room (2619 Columbia Pike)
Time: 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Discuss the future of the Pike with Del. Alfonso Lopez, County Board member John Vihstadt and other community and business leaders. Free to attend.

Friday

COE-APPLE-ICONLogo2-12Live Theater: Children of Eden
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Chalice Theatre presents a musical written by the composer of “Wicked” and “Godspell.” Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and youth.

Saturday

1K-Wine-Beer-Walk_V31K Wine and Beer Walk*
Crystal City Shops (1750 Crystal Drive)
Time: 2:00-6:00 p.m.

For $20, “racers” will mosey along the course with 25 “hydration” stations, choosing between beer and wine, ending with a “giant dance party.”

10891498_838325856231235_3069997240574000828_nNight Hike and Campfire
Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 N. Marcey Road)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Go on a moonlight walk through the park, learning about the stars and the natural environment. Cost is $10, and includes headlamps and a campfire. Hiking boots required. Call 703-528-5406 to register.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) listing

by ARLnow.com — February 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm 3,656 0

Update at 11:15 a.m. — The previous Winter Weather Advisory has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.

Forecasters warn that sleet and freezing rain will continue through the day. Slippery conditions are already being reported around Arlington. If you absolutely must drive or walk outside today, do so carefully.

… WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST MONDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR FREEZING RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST MONDAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* LOCATIONS… WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA… CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* HAZARD TYPES… SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS… A COATING TO AN INCH OF SNOW AND SLEET. 1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET NEAR THE MASON-DIXON LINE. ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE QUARTER INCH.
* TIMING… SNOW AND SLEET WILL CHANGE TO FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN 11 AM AND 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON. THE HEAVIEST ICE ACCRETION FROM FROM FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. PRECIPITATION WILL END THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW AND ICE COVERED THROUGH TONIGHT. TRAVELLING WILL BE DANGEROUS.
* WINDS… SOUTH AROUND 5 TO 10 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… RISING THROUGH THE 20S THIS AFTERNOON. TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE LOWER 30S THIS EVENING… AND REMAIN NEARLY STEADY OVERNIGHT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Arlington and the surrounding D.C. area.

Forecasters say snow, sleet and freezing rain could make travel hazardous from Sunday morning to early Monday morning.

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SUNDAY TO 3 AM EST MONDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SUNDAY TO 3 AM EST MONDAY.

* LOCATIONS… WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* HAZARD TYPES… SNOW… SLEET… AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS… A COATING TO 1 INCH OF SNOW AND SLEET ACROSS WASHINGTON DC AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND. 1 TO 3 INCHES IN THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON DC. ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 7 AM AND 10 AM SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL CHANGE TO SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN NOON AND 3 PM SUNDAY AFTERNOON. PRECIPITATION WILL END AS FREEZING RAIN SUNDAY NIGHT.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BE SNOW AND ICE COVERED SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT. TRAVELLING WILL BE DANGEROUS DURING THIS TIME. VISIBILITY WILL BE REDUCED BELOW ONE-MILE AT TIMES IN SNOW SUNDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON.
* WINDS… SOUTH AROUND 5 TO 10 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… RISING THROUGH THE 20S MORNING. TEMPERATURES WILL RISE INTO THE LOWER AND MIDDLE 30S SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO SUNDAY NIGHT.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW… SLEET… OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

by Ethan Rothstein — February 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm 2,376 0

Red light cameras in RosslynThe Arlington County Police Department will soon be installing seven new red light cameras, scattered across various parts of the county.

ACPD announced the new cameras in a press release late Friday afternoon, saying they will be installed “in the near future” and, when installed, they would be operational 24 hours a day.

Plans have been in the works for the cameras since March 2012. The cameras were reported delayed in June 2013, “still delayed” in October 2013 and “still in the works” in August 2014. The police department’s press release said “construction is expected to start” at Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.

The cameras will be placed at the following intersections, according to ACPD:

  • Eastbound on Columbia Pike at S. Glebe Road
  • Westbound on Columbia Pike at S. Glebe Road
  • Eastbound on Columbia Pike at S. George Mason Drive
  • Northbound on N. Glebe Road at Washington Boulevard
  • Westbound on Lee Highway at N. George Mason Drive
  • Northbound on 23rd Street S. at US Route 1
  • Southbound on 23rd Street S. at US Route 1

The intersections were chosen, police said, based on accident rate, pedestrian safety, the rate of red light violations and the “ability of police to apprehend violators safely within a reasonable distance from the violation.”

Motorists photographed running a red light get a written warning for 30 days after the cameras are installed. After the month-long grace period, violators will receive a $50 citation, but not be assessed points on their driving records. There are already four red light cameras in Arlington — two on Lee Highway in Rosslyn, one at N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive in Ballston and one at Lee Highway and Washington Blvd in East Falls Church.

Those four cameras have issued almost 35,000 citations since they were installed in 2010. Per Virginia State Code, police are only allowed to place cameras at 10 intersections in the county at one time.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — February 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm 855 0

March is finally coming on Sunday. After that, just three more weeks until spring. According to real estate agents, spring in the housing market is already here. See our real estate…

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