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by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 29, 2015 at 5:00 am 0

MOM’s Organic Market — prominent family-owned and operated grocer, and leading environmental advocate — is set to open its first location in Arlington County this summer at the Verde Pointe development, located at the intersection of Lee Highway and North Veitch Street.

MOM’s Organic Market was founded by Scott Nash in 1987 in his mother’s garage, and since has grown to include 12 locations across the Mid-Atlantic. Known for stocking a higher volume of organic produce than any other grocer, MOM’s takes an active role in environmental preservation and public health initiatives in the region and beyond.

A longtime supporter of renewable energy, MOM’s has been fully wind powered since 2005. In February of 2013, MOM’s started harvesting energy from the sun with their first solar panel installation at their Waldorf, Md. location. The new Arlington MOM’s Market will maintain a free customer recycling center in which compost, commingled recyclable goods, plastic bags, household batteries, CFLs, fluorescent bulbs, shoes, corks, and cell phones are accepted. The organization also hosts recycling drives throughout the year for uncommon or hard-to-recycle goods such as electronic waste, eye glasses, denim, and holiday incandescent string lights.

“This is a great location,” shared MOM’s President and Founder, Scott Nash. “We’re excited to move in to the Arlington market.”

In line with MOM’s environmental advocacy, Verde Pointe has been designed and is being constructed to LEED Gold standards, and will have several major sustainable features such as electric car charging stations and individually remote-controlled thermostats so residents can more closely control and monitor their energy use.

The project — to be delivered in June 2015 — is led by award-winning developer McCaffery Interests in collaboration with architect Antunovich Associates, Clark Construction, and Arlington County, and with strong financial support from Cardinal Bank, Burke and Herbert Bank. It is located on the former site of Bergmann’s Dry Cleaning.

Verde Pointe will contain 162 apartment homes in a luxe residential tower as well as 36 apartment homes divided into townhome flats. The development will have close to 250 parking spaces for its residents and grocery store, will begin leasing in March of 2015 via verdepointe.com. In addition to Verde Pointe, McCaffery Interests is internationally renowned for developing environmentally conscious projects nationwide, most notably the approximately 600 acre Lakeside development on Chicago’s South Side.

For more information on MOM’s offerings, initiatives and corporate structure, please visit http://www.momsorganicmarket.com/. All information on the Verde Pointe development and up-coming plans can be found at http://www.verdepointe.com/. Development and contact information for McCaffery Interests and McCaffery Brokerage can be found at http://www.mccafferyinterests.com/.

The preceding article was sponsored by McCaffery Interests

by Ethan Rothstein — January 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm 486 0

The proposed Thomas Jefferson elementary school site, put on hold by the Arlington County BoardIt’s back to the drawing board for school administrators trying to keep up with soaring elementary enrollment in South Arlington.

A County Board vote Tuesday night threatens to turn elementary schools south of Route 50 into virtual trailer parks — as Arlington Public Schools administrators scramble to come up with ideas, studies and public support for new school construction.

The County Board voted 4-1 to say “not now,” to the School Board’s request to build a new elementary school on county-owned land next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Libby Garvey, a former School Board chair, cast the dissenting vote.

The School Board previously vowed to provide 725 new elementary school seats in South Arlington by September 2018, but last night’s decision has put that goal in doubt. Those voting against the school said APS didn’t make enough of a case to the community that the TJ site was the best option.

“I don’t think the School Board organized the data and presented the data in a way that everyone in South Arlington can say ‘I see what they’re doing… this is the best they’re going to be able to do,’” County Board Chair Mary Hynes, also a former School Board hair, told ARLnow.com today. “The broader community does not understand that.”

Garvey, however, blasted the decision.

“South Arlington needs a new elementary school and they need it now,” she told ARLnow.com.

According to a press release, the School Board can re-submit their request to the county to build next to TJ, but only after it provides a full analysis of sites and potential additions in South Arlington, including “feasible non-construction strategies.” The analysis must include, Mary Hynes said, “tradeoffs with parking, green space and traffic implications.”

The School Board must also have “as close to final estimate” of what funding it needs from the county on top of the $50.25 million approved in the 2014 bond referendum. Initial estimates peg an underground parking deck at $7 million, money not included in the bond question.

The School Board has already approved an alternative plan for South Arlington elementary schools: building additions onto Randolph and Barcroft elementary schools. But School Board member Abby Raphael told ARLnow.com that it’s far from certain that the Board will move forward with those plans.

“In light of what the County Board’s decision is, the School Board is going to have to consider what our next steps are,” Raphael said.

Yorktown High School classroom trailersIf no permanent seats are built by 2018, elementary schools south of Route 50 will be over capacity by 894 students, according to APS projections. If no alternative, temporary solutions are found, that would mean 45 more relocatable classrooms would have to be installed at South Arlington elementary schools, more than double the 38 currently in use.

In APS’ presentation for the County Board last night, schools staff laid out the realities of South Arlington’s enrollment growth. Based on current projections, the area needs either two new elementary schools, one new school and three additions on existing schools, or six additions by 2024. APS projects that 1,384 additional students will need elementary school seats in South Arlington in the next 10 years.

“I thought the schools did a spectacular job in their presentation and clearly addressed the concerns that had been expressed,” by opponents, Garvey said today. “I was extremely disappointed… We’re building a new school in North Arlington and now we’re telling South Arlington ‘oh well, never mind.’”

Raphael said the County Board’s decision was “frustrating” and felt the School Board had done more than enough to inform the community and justify its decision.

“I’m not sure that the County Board and maybe some of the community have a full appreciation of the work we’ve been doing since 2011,” Raphael said. “There’s extensive documentation on all the feasibility studies we’ve done. I don’t know what else the county is expecting us to do for that.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm 753 0

Walter Tejada, speaking at a panel discussion on immigration at Kenmore Middle SchoolArlington County Board member Walter Tejada has announced that he will not seek reelection this year.

Tejada, a Democrat, made the announcement on his Facebook page this afternoon. He thanked his supporters and promised that “a more comprehensive statement will be forthcoming.”

An advocate for diversity, affordable housing and Latino issues, Tejada has served on the Board since 2003. He said that he intends to serve out his current term through the end of the year.

At least four — probably more — Democrats are expected to announce their intention to run for County Board in the coming weeks, with many announcements expected to happen at February’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. County Board Chair Mary Hynes is also up for reelection this year — she has not yet said whether she intends to run.

Tejada’s full announcement is below.

Amigos/Friends, I want to let you know that I have decided not to run for reelection to the Arlington County Board. I want to THANK ALL OF YOU as well, regardless if you live in Arlington or not, as your support has always been and will always be important to me. Please also know that I’ll continue involved in the causes I believe in specially helping our community.Here is the statement I sent to the Chair of the Arlington Democratic Committee:

Kip Malinosky, Chair
Arlington County Democratic Committee

Dear Kip,

It has been and continues to be an enormous privilege to serve in elected office and I’m very proud that during my tenure, Arlington has been recognized time and again as one of the best run governments and one of the best communities in the country. After proudly serving the Arlington community for twelve years on the County Board, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for another term.

Serving on the County Board has allowed me the opportunity to tackle a broad range of issues that have strengthened our community. It has also been a real privilege and honor to seek ways to empower low income, minority and immigrant residents in Arlington, the region, the state, and across the country, and to encourage their participation in our society. I remain committed to all of Arlington, in particular ensuring that the least privileged are heard, protecting our safety net, fighting for affordable housing, and providing a voice for many who frequently go voiceless. I have enjoyed upholding these core values, and will continue to do so in the future.

A more comprehensive statement will be forthcoming, but for now I wanted to let you know of my intentions. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the February ACDC monthly meeting, but look forward to addressing the committee in the future, perhaps at the March meeting.

At the moment I do not anticipate a need for a special election for my seat as I’m planning on fully serving my current term through December 2015.

I am, and always will be, grateful to the Arlington County Democratic Committee and to the Arlington community for their support. While on the County Board I’ve tried to serve as an unapologetic progressive, and will look forward in another capacity to always continuing to support those Democratic values. Please feel free to share this message as appropriate.

Sincerely,

J. Walter Tejada

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

NOVA Legal Beat logo

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Mathew B. Tully of Tully Rinckey PLLC, an Arlington firm that specializes in federal employment and labor law, security clearance proceedings, and military law.

Q. Is it harder for men to prove sex discrimination than women?

A. Generally, men should not face a heavier burden for proving sex discrimination than women. Discrimination complaints or lawsuits filed by a member of a majority class, such as male, are referred to as “reverse discrimination” cases, and they are not uncommon. In fact, one-third of sex discrimination complaints filed in the federal sector in FY 2012 were filed by men, according to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) statistics.

For standard discrimination cases in which a member of a minority class, such as female, black or disabled, courts require plaintiffs to initially show the following:

  1. they are members of a class protected under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act;
  2. they were qualified for the position for which they applied; and
  3. the employer’s rejection of their application gave “rise to an inference of discrimination.”

These factors form the basis of what is known as the McDonnell Douglas framework, so-named after the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in which these factors were outlined, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted in McNaught v. Virginia Community College System (2013).

Over the years, as the 4th Circuit further noted in McNaught, appellate courts have reached differing opinions as to whether this standard framework — or a framework that placed a greater burden on majority class plaintiff — should be applied to reverse discrimination cases.

On one side there were five circuit courts, including the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, that held majority class plaintiffs to a higher standard, requiring them to show “background circumstances that demonstrate that a particular employer has reason or inclination to discriminate invidiously against [majority groups]…or evidence that there is something ‘fishy’ about the facts at hand.”

Meanwhile, three other circuit courts just required majority class plaintiffs to show they satisfied the standard McDonnell Douglas framework.

For years, the 4th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Virginia district courts, declined to pick a side in this standard-versus-enhanced framework debate. But that ended with the court’s decision in McNaught. The 4th Circuit decided to apply the standard framework, noting that the “application of the same test to both ‘ordinary’ discrimination plaintiffs and ‘reverse’ discrimination plaintiffs better reflects overarching principles expressed by the Supreme Court,” namely “that Title VII prohibited reverse discrimination ‘on the same terms’ as discrimination against minority groups.”

The bottom line is discrimination based on race, color, sex, gender, national origin, religion, disability, and age is unlawful. Employees who believe they have been subjected to discrimination based on any of these factors should immediately consult with an experienced employment law attorney.

Mathew B. Tully is the founding partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC. Located in Washington, D.C., Tully Rinckey PLLC’s attorneys practice federal employment law, military law, and security clearance representation. To speak with an attorney, call 703-525-4700 or to learn more visit fedattorney.com. 

 

by Ethan Rothstein — January 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm 311 0

The Arlington County Board discusses the "Public Land for Public Good" initiative's futureThe Arlington County Board has scrapped the affordable housing-oriented “Public Land for Public Good” initiative, voting unanimously last night to wait for the findings of its new Facilities Study Committee.

The county’s new, 24-member Facilities Study Committee will broadly look at all county- and school-owned land and evaluate what facilities are possible on different sites in the county.

The Arlington Planning Commission recommended the County Board set aside the initiative — which was intended to identify county-owned property that can be used for affordable housing or new schools — last month. County Manager Barbara Donnellan agreed with the commission yesterday in her recommendation to the Board.

The action was taken “because the planning commission urged us to do so and told us they thought a better approach to this was to do the study committee, which we have launched,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said at the meeting. “I think that makes sense.”

Along with scrapping the initiative, the County Board voted to move forward with studies for the renovation of the Lubber Run Community Center, renovation of Jennie Dean Park in Shirlington and the future of the Salt Dome facility and Fire Station 8.

“The Lubber Run Center needs to be redone,” Donnellan said. “The opportunity is to look at what we’re currently providing there and how it can be updated.”

While those studies continue, the Board unanimously decided that no standalone affordable housing may be built on current parkland or open space.

“As we launch into the facilities study committee, we do not have the luxury to rule anything out based on the buildout of our 26 square miles of space as far as our facilities are concerned,” Board member Walter Tejada said. “This is going to challenge everyone again and it’s going to make us uncomfortable in our seats at times. But the time has come.”

Donnellan’s response to the criticism the Public Land for Public Good initiative received from the public, the planning commission and the Long Range Planning Committee was to defer to the Facilities Study Committee and simply say “criteria for locating new uses on county lands will be reconsidered,” and public facilities policies will be “revisited and built upon.”

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm 302 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Buddy, a dog who showed up at his owner’s door on Christmas and never left.

Here’s what owner Sarah had to say about her :

Hi, this is Buddy. We believe he is between 3-4 years old and a Beagle/Lab mix.

Last year on Christmas night we were visiting family in Pennsylvania when this little guy wandered up to the house searching for food. It was 11 degrees and his nose was frozen over. He was freezing and seemed like he hadn’t eaten anything except garbage for a few days. We brought him inside for the night and he slept by our sides without making a peep.

The next day we had found his owner and she claimed that he was out in the cold for four days. She also said she no longer wanted him and we could have him if we wanted. So, needless to say we brought Buddy back to Arlington with us.

Buddy enjoys walking/running, sniffing, cuddling, and watching the neighborhood through the front window. He loves playing with other dogs, especially his lady friend Callie and cousin Izzy. He is a huge Dallas Cowboys and Penn State fan and loves to watch the games with his parents.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email office@arlnow.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 11:30 am 592 0

"A Nod to History," the winning 2015-2016 vehicle decalA Yorktown High School junior has won the county’s annual vehicle decal design contest for his nighttime photograph of an office building in Ballston.

Tommy Casey’s decal, entitled “A Nod to History,” was voted the winner by Arlington residents, who chose from four finalists that were announced in December. The decal is named in recognition of the design of the 10-story 800 N. Glebe Road office building, which itself is a nod to to the former Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that the building replaced.

Later this year the decal will be mailed to residents and placed on windshields of more than 160,000 vehicles in Arlington County.

From an Arlington County press release:

The scene is a nighttime photograph of a distinctive 10-story building in Ballston, owned by the JBG Companies. Casey, a senior at Yorktown High School, creatively retouched the picture with dynamic lighting and light streaks to show more vibrancy. In his Decal Competition application, Casey wrote, “I wanted to create a photo that represents the modern city that Arlington has become while recognizing the importance of Arlington’s landmarks. The building at 800 North Glebe Road symbolizes this by incorporating the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership diamond design into its modern front.”

Panel reviewed 114 entries The competition’s 114 entries were narrowed down by a panel of Arlington residents. “Our Citizens’ panel worked diligently to pare down the submissions to just four finalists. This was not an easy task considering how many great entries were received,” said Treasurer Carla de la Pava. The four finalists were put to a County-wide vote conducted over a six-week period during which 2,913 votes were cast online and by mail. Casey’s design came in first.

Thanks to the generosity of John Marshall Bank, each of the finalists received a cash prize. As the winner, Casey received $750 and the others each received $500.

The other finalists were:

  • Marisa DeFranco, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Hats of Our Heroes”
  • Ingrid Jacobsen, 11th Grader at Wakefield High School, with her design “Barcroft Community House”
  • Lauren Graft, 10th Grader at Washington-Lee High School, with her design “A Day at the Farmers Market”

Arlington began requiring local licensing of vehicles in 1949, which took the form of a metal tag attached to the license plate. The first windshield decal was issued in 1967; decals were first produced with a color image in 2000. In 2002, residents were given the opportunity to vote on the decal image, and in 2005 the Treasurer’s Office started the Decal Design Competition for high school students.

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2015 at 11:05 am 0

Update at 12:10 a.m. — All lanes have reopened.

All lanes of the northbound George Washington Parkway are being temporarily diverted due to an earlier accident, according to D.C. police.

The accident happened this morning just prior to Route 123.

“Recovery operations” related to the accident have prompted the temporary closure. Traffic is being diverted onto the Spout Run Parkway, police said.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 28, 2015 at 10:30 am 3,131 0

Alexandra Mendez (photo courtesy ACPD)The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a 39-year-old Fairfax woman for allegedly running over a man in a Columbia Pike parking lot yesterday evening.

Alexandra Mendez was arrested at her home at 6:00 this morning, police have announced. She is charged with aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, two counts of hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license. The 40-year-old victim, a Stafford resident, remains at George Washington University Hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.

The man was lying on the ground when police and witnesses say Mendez drove her SUV over him, dragging him several feet before speeding off westbound on Columbia Pike. Mendez also allegedly rolled over another man’s foot in her Toyota Highlander, in the parking lot behind a car dealership and beauty salon on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.

Mendez is being held at the Arlington County jail without bond. Police also recovered the SUV when making the arrest this morning.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has taken into custody and charged Alexandra Mendez, 39, of Fairfax, VA, following yesterday evening’s accident in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. Mendez was denied bond and is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility. She has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, two counts of hit & run and driving on a suspended license.

On January 27, 2015, at approximately 4:44 p.m., the suspect struck a male victim with her vehicle in a parking lot, knocking him to the ground. Numerous witnesses attempted to prevent her from driving away from the scene as the victim lay on the ground in front of her Toyota Highlander. After ignoring their requests to stop, Mendez proceeded forward over top of the victim and fled the scene. She remained at large until officers took her into custody at her residence at 6:00 a.m. this morning.

Emergency personnel transported the victim, a 40 year-old Stafford, VA man, to GW Hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he remains in critical condition.

The United States Marshal Service, Fairfax City Police Department and Fairfax County Police Department assisted Arlington County officers in taking the female suspect into custody this morning. The vehicle was recovered outside of the suspect’s residence.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm 1,583 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email. Q. I…

by Ethan Rothstein — January 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm 2,381 0

(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) A burglar made off with 200 pounds of meat between Friday night and Saturday morning, just before the Arlington Food Assistance Center was set to give out its weekly…

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