The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Arlington and the surrounding D.C. region.
Forecasters say thunderstorms with the potential for damaging wind and hail will spread across the area this afternoon and evening.
From the NWS:
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 377
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
220 PM EDT TUE JUN 30 2015
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, NORTHERN NORTH CAROLINA, WESTERN AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA, EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA, COASTAL WATERS
* EFFECTIVE THIS TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 220 PM UNTIL 900 PM EDT.
* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE… SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE ISOLATED LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 1.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE
SUMMARY…THUNDERSTORMS WILL FORM SOON OVER EASTERN WV AND WESTERN VA…SPREADING EASTWARD ACROSS THE WATCH AREA. LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL ARE POSSIBLE IN THE STRONGEST CELLS.
THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 60 STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM HAGERSTOWN MARYLAND TO 80 MILES SOUTH SOUTHWEST OF DUBLIN VIRGINIA.
REMEMBER…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.
The Kona Grill, a sushi restaurant that combines American and Hawaiian flavors, opened its doors in Rosslyn on Monday.
The new restaurant, located at 1776 Wilson Blvd, is one of the company’s more than 30 restaurants in 19 states. But the Arlington location gave Kona Grill the ideal demographics it was looking for, said Joesph Ortega, the general manager for the Arlington location.
“It’s a growing area, young and upcoming,” he said. “If you visit our restaurant, it’s a very hip or retro feeling.”
The restaurant has an inside and outside bar, a large dining room set to seat about 250 guests and a patio. It also offers two happy hours — one from 2-7 p.m. and a reverse happy hour during the last two hours of business, where food prices are reduced.
Although the restaurant opened its doors yesterday, Ortega said it had already attracted a crowd. As of 12:30 p.m. today, there were about 20 people eating lunch.
The restaurant brings a different style of dining to Arlington, he said. The restaurant is two in one, with a full lunch and dinner menu in addition to the sushi bar.
“A lot of the other restaurants [in Arlington] are just sushi bars or one type of sushi bar,” Ortega said.
Ortega’s favorites on the menu are the pork tenderloin, which is almond crusted and served with mashed potatoes, and the picasso roll, a spicy yellowtail with avocado, a jalapeño cilantro relish and sriracha. But he also recommends that people try a little bit of everything.
“I don’t think anyone’s seen or tasted what we offer,” he said.
The restaurant plans to get involved with the Arlington community by participating in local events.
“Our goal is to be everyone’s favorite place to eat and relax with friends,” Ortega said.
The funding was approved after an amendment to stop it failed one to four.
The professional development will help teachers be able to better incorporate digital tools, such as laptops or iPads, in lesson plans. It is part of the Arlington Public Schools’ digital learning initiative, which has the goal of equipping children in second to eighth grades with an iPad and high school students with Macbook Airs.
Vice Chair Emma Violand-Sánchez submitted the amendment to defund the professional development for digital learning. She argued that while technology is important there were other areas recommended by advisory committees that needed the money more, she said during the School Board meeting on June 16.
“We have forgotten the whole child,” she said. “We have forgotten any of the support systems or professional development we need for that. We have forgotten professional development that could be needed for English language learners. We have forgotten the needs for the middle schools and other areas I feel are needed.”
But other board members said that the professional development was key to the success of the already-approved digital learning initiative.
“I fundamentally believe that technology is going to be a key component of any future change for our children, our ability to include all students in a general education setting and to provide the differentiating instruction,” member Nancy Van Doren said.
Van Doren agreed with Violand-Sánchez that professional development was needed in other areas but said it was not a question of one or the other. Instead, the School Board should look to providing the financial needs for multiple areas of professional development, she said.
The digital learning initiative also provides for the whole child, member Abby Raphael argued. In order for the digital learning to be successful, teachers need the training, she said.
“I think it is so meaningful. And it affects special education students, it affects [English language learners], it helps accelerate students, and it really, I think, does personalize learning and individualize learning,” Raphael said.
The digital learning also provides low-income children with the opportunity to interact with technology that they would not have otherwise, Chair James Lander said. Low income families often only buy what they need, and laptops and iPads do not always make the list, he said.
“I believe in technology, and I believe this is a way for a school that is majority minority to have an opportunity to get their hands on technology and start to close the digital divide,” he said.
But the program is not without its problems. Members brought up monetary concerns about the costs of the actual devices and the software that each would need as APS increases the number of devices it maintains from 5,000 to 25,000.
Barbara Kanninen also brought up concerns about the lack of planning involved in the rollout of the devices and questioned whether they actually helped to accelerate learning. She attempted to halt the program in the past until budget and educational concerns were addressed.
“I still feel, as I did then, that we need a full evaluation of this program,” she said. “So far we had a work session earlier this year, we’ve heard a lot of anecdotes about successes in our schools system, but we don’t have solid evidence that it’s truly achieving our goals.”
Despite that, Kanninen voted against Violand-Sánchez’s amendment, saying that the training is necessary.
Van Doren said there is also a need to look a security and privacy concerns brought up by parents.
“We must address the parent concerns related to security, privacy and the continuous feedback and improvement related to the devices,” she said. “That is tantamount in allowing parents to be partners in this process.”
Parents need to feel that their children are safe while using these devices, and they need to feel as if they are partners with the school system, she said.
Lander agreed that those areas are important and should be part of the next steps going forward. However, despite the budget, educational and concerns, utilizing technology in school is too important of a priority to stop, he said.
“We can’t hold back the tide of technology,” Lander said. “This is how we do business.”
(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) The Arlington School Board will consider a proposal to add gender identity and expression to its nondiscrimination policy for teachers and other employees, ARLnow.com has learned.
The proposal is on the School Board’s consent agenda for its meeting tomorrow morning. The policy would prevent Arlington Public Schools from discriminating against transgender individuals in its hiring process.
“The School Board seeks to employ highly qualified, well trained and committed teachers, administrators and support personnel to fill vacancies, without regard to race, national origin, creed, color, religion, gender, age, economic status, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, and/or disability,” the proposed policy states.
The policy adds “genetic information” and “gender identity or expression,” while removing “political affiliation or affiliation with an employee organization” from APS’ nondiscrimination hiring goals. Another sentence dealing with politics remains at the end of the policy: “The private, religious and political life of an employee is not a concern of the School Board unless it prevents the employee from performing properly his or her assigned responsibilities during the workday.”
Political affiliation and employee organization affiliation are not currently included in two other policies: APS’ human relations and equal employment opportunity policies. The proposed revisions, meanwhile, add genetic information and gender identity or expression to those policies. The goal is to “align the protected class categories with other School Board polices,” according to a memo from APS Superintendent Patrick Murphy.
Fairfax County made headlines when its school board proposed and then voted to add gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy last month. Some parents said they were concerned that the policy could lead to mixed-sex bathrooms.
The discussion, entitled “Rebooting Our Policy Agenda To Reclaim The American Dream,” will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, at the National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association, at 4301 Wilson Blvd.
Sanders will be joined by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), a fellow member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“This event is a free-of-charge policy discussion by leading progressive voices, not an endorsement of any candidate for public office,” an event page notes.
The event is at capacity and registration has closed.
Photo via Facebook
The Corner Bakery at 2200 Crystal Drive in Crystal City has closed.
It’s unclear when exactly the eatery shut down, but as of Monday its signs had been taken down and part of its interior had been removed.
The only other Corner Bakery in Arlington, at 2111 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse, remains open.
This Saturday, Arlington residents can make their way to Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive) to celebrate Independence Day and score fantastic views of the fireworks show just across the Potomac River.
The food, games and live music being offered at the park from 5-10 p.m. should keep attendees busy as they wait for the fireworks at the National Mall. The schedule of free activities includes moon bounces, face painting, hula hoop contests, drop-in kickball and cornhole.
Three local bands will play at the park leading up to the fireworks display. The lineup kicks off with DJ Freedom at 5:15 p.m., self-styled “Caribbean musical powerhouse” The Image Band is scheduled to go on at 6:20 and cover band ForTheWin will take the stage at 8.
Several local food vendors will be at the park offering good ol’ American fare, including Carolina Q, Bada Bing Cheesesteaks and Spiedies, DC Slices and a Chick-Fil-A truck.
According to the National Park Service, the fireworks at the National Mall will start at 9:09 p.m. and last around 17 minutes.
Other recommended firework viewing sites in the area include:
- Whipple Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (Stewart Rd, Fort Myer)
- Air Force Memorial (1 Air Force Memorial Dr)
- Gateway Park (1300 Lee Hwy)
- Gravelly Point Park (off the George Washington Parkway just before Memorial Bridge)
- Iwo Jima Memorial (.2 miles from the Rosslyn metro, near the intersection of Route 50 and N. Meade Street)
- Sidewalks on Key Bridge (.5 miles from the Rosslyn metro; walk along N. Lynn Street towards Georgetown)
- Pentagon Reservation (all visiting the Pentagon Reservation to park or view fireworks are subject to Pentagon guidelines).
The Arlington County Police Department will also be closing roads (below) to accommodate the large crowds expected to turn out for the fireworks.
From 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle.
From 1 to 11 p.m.: Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street, and N. Meade Street from N. 14th Street to Marshall Drive.
From 3 to 11 p.m.: N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood from Rhodes Street bridge), exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit), exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit) and Long Bridge Drive from Boundary Channel Drive to S. 10th Street.
From 8:30 to 11 p.m.: Eastbound Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive (detour at N. Barton Street or Washington Blvd.), Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive, Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce Street and S. Joyce Street between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike.
ACPD has warned that street parking around the Iwo Jima Memorial, Long Bridge Park and the Air Force Memorial will be restricted, and all are strongly encouraged to take advantage of public transportation.
Finally, visitors are reminded that alcoholic beverages, grills, and fireworks are prohibited on county and federal parkland during Independence Day events, and coolers and backpacks will be searched upon entry to both Iwo Jima Memorial and Long Bridge Park.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Reston that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.
by John Berry
Employees are entitled to all of their previously earned wages, even if they are terminated. However, for various reasons employers sometimes attempt to avoid paying the last paycheck to a former employee. The nonpayment of wages can cause significant hardship for an employee and can be a costly mistake for an employer. Fortunately, there are several laws and regulations that govern issues related to the nonpayment of wages.
An employer generally should pay an employee’s paycheck by the next pay period. Some state laws vary on this issue, but failure to make prompt payment can violate a number of wage and overtime laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Virginia Code § 40.1-29 provides that final payments to a terminated employee should be made on or before the employee would have normally been paid had the employee not been terminated. The Virginia Code imposes civil and criminal penalties for nonpayment of wages by an employer. The Virginia Code further prohibits employers from deducting portions of a final payment without the former employee’s consent with the exception of standard taxes and withholdings.
States vary on the issue of whether an employee is entitled to receive accrued vacation or sick leave upon an employee’s departure. Virginia has taken the approach that fringe benefits such as vacation/annual/holiday leave, sick leave or severance pay are not required to be paid out by a former employer under the law. In addition, employers may establish any policy or no policy regarding fringe benefits at the termination of an employee.
If an employee in Virginia is confronted with nonpayment of final wage issues, the employee can contact the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry may assist an employee in obtaining payment of final wages after the employee files a complaint, but it does not handle claims for wages over the amount of $15,000. If the payment of lost wages also involves unpaid overtime, the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division may be contacted and an investigation may be initiated for FLSA overtime violations by the former employer. Additionally, the failure to pay both wages and overtime can be pursued in court.
We represent employees in federal employment matters nationwide, and private and public sector employees in employment matters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. If you need assistance with an employment law issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.
Last month the newly-minted University of Virginia graduate and long-time ultimate frisbee player was presented with the Callahan Award, issued annually to the most valuable collegiate men’s and women’s players in the sport.
In recognition of her award and her engagement with the local ultimate community, the Arlington County Board issued a proclamation praising Johnston at a meeting earlier this month.
To receive a Callahan Award, a player is evaluated on their offensive and defensive abilities as well as their sportsmanship. Likewise, Chair Mary Hynes explained that the Board’s June 16 proclamation was meant to highlight both Johnston’s formidable athleticism and her extraordinary leadership skills.
“We are here today to recognize the extraordinary achievements of Alika Johnston both on and off the ultimate frisbee field,” Hynes said.
According to the website Ultiworld, which also named her its 2015 Women’s Player of the Year, Johnston has been a core member of the UVA’s ultimate team (the Hydras) since her freshman year in 2011, and was instrumental in the team’s development into an “elite contender.”
“Johnston’s play has spoken for itself all season long… a lot of breath and ink used in the act of praising her prolific and relentless performance,” the website said. “On both sides of the disc, she’s been a top producer and drastically influenced the fate of her team. Opponents have most been forced to submit to her, going with the ‘stopping six other people is more likely than stopping her’ strategy.”
Johnston has been playing ultimate since her days at H-B Woodlawn and credits the school with some of her success.
“I am so grateful to H-B Woodlawn’s program for introducing me to the sport and making all of this possible,” she said. “I’ve been moved by the outpouring of excitement and support from Arlington’s ultimate community.”
Johnston has also dedicated herself to introducing a new generation of athletes to the sport. She serves as USA Ultimate’s Virginia Girls State Youth Coordinator, and works to grow the sport through clinics, events and mentoring young players.
Arlington’s youth ultimate programs have grown rapidly in the past several years, as the sport becomes increasingly popular across the country. Opportunities to play can be found through the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington.
Photo courtesy Lawrence Cheng
The wall is an 8 by 12 foot chalkboard with the words ‘I wish I had the courage to…’ stamped across the top. Below are spaces for passersby fill in what they wish they had the courage to face up to, using the chalk that will be made available.
Alexandria native Nancy Belmont first erected the Courage Wall in May, in the Del Ray community, to “create a conversation about fear and allow those passing by to reflect on what is holding them back from achieving their dreams.” It quickly went viral and was featured on Good Morning America and the Today Show.
While in Ballston, the wall will be located in Welburn Square, across from the Ballston Metro station. The current plan is for the wall to stay in the square until July 31.
Piedmont Office Realty Trust and the Ballston Business Improvement District worked together to bring the wall to Arlington. The BID says it hopes the wall will provide “an opportunity for reflection as the community begins celebrating the Fourth of July.”
The wall will be erased when it is full of entries, but prior to that a photo of the filled-in wall will be taken and posted to Facebook and Instagram.
Photo via nancybelmont.me
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, plus other local technology happenings. 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.
Arlington County might have a tech-driven answer for commuters looking to save money and help the environment.
Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) and D.C.-based tech firm Conveyal have developed CarFreeAtoZ, a new website that help commuters plan their trip to areas around Northern Virginia and the D.C. area by looking at the different transit options available including Metro, buses, driving, Capital Bikeshare and personal cycling.
CarFreeAtoZ plans trips in a manner similar to Google Maps or Mapquest, but it combines different transit options, such as walking, using the Metro and biking. The website is mobile friendly, so users can pull it up on their phones while on the go.
“It’s got more modes than any brand of app,” Mackie said.
Users plug in their current location’s address, the address of where they want to go and the time they’re planning to leave, and then the website calculates the different travel methods. At the moment, the users need to have the exact address as the website cannot find places such as the U.S. Capitol or a specific Metro station.
Commuters can sort the different travel methods by total time, total cost, calories and walking distance. They can also see the cumulative estimated benefits of making the trip via a non-car method on a yearly basis.
For instance, CarFreeAtoZ recommends biking from Fairlington to Rosslyn, estimating that it would save $3,242 plus result in 21 lbs of potential weight loss and a gain of 138 hours of “productive time.” The bike trip takes 36 minutes during the morning rush hour, compared to 18 minutes via car or 43 minutes via transit.
“It actually ranks what would be best for you,” Mackie said.
The incident happened at about 1:24 a.m., on Route 50 at the intersection with Montague Street.
Police say the man was trying to cross Route 50 when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle. He was thrown into the westbound lanes, where he was again struck by a second vehicle.
The first responding police officers arrived on scene and determined that the man was dead. Route 50 was shut down for several hours while police investigated the incident.
Charges are not expected to be filed against the drivers. The man has yet to be identified, but police say he was a white male and believed to be in his 30s.
Historic Affairs Board: Preserve Stratford — Arlington’s Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board has voted unanimously to recommend designating Stratford Junior High School, the current home of the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, a local historic district. The School Board will now decide whether or not to go along with the historic designation, which could delay plans to build a new middle school on the site by 2019. [InsideNova]
Three Arrests at Bar Crawl — There were only three arrests made at the All-American Bar Crawl in Clarendon on Saturday. Arlington County police were out in force, keeping the peace among the thousands of revelers who participated in the rain-drenched event, which the department again live-tweeted. Among the arrests were one for being drunk in public and another for failure to pay, according to a police spokesman. [Twitter]
Man With Knife Arrested at McDonald’s — A man was arrested at the McDonald’s on the 3000 block of Columbia Pike on Saturday afternoon. Police responded to the restaurant for a report of a fight in progress and encountered a man who was brandishing a knife. The suspect was arrested but was acting disorderly and spitting on officers while in custody, according to a police spokesman. It was later determined that the man was wanted for a probation violation in Loudoun County.
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Forecasters say that a prolonged period of heavy rain is likely to cause flash flooding in some low-lying areas and along small streams.
The warning is in effect until 5:30 p.m., while a Flash Flood Watch will remain in effect through early Sunday morning.
From the National Weather Service:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
* FLASH FLOOD WARNING…
* UNTIL 530 PM EDT
* AT 232 PM EDT… MORE HEAVY RAIN IS MOVING OVER AN AREA THAT WILL TOLERATE LITTLE MORE BEFORE ROADS WILL BEGIN TO BECOME INUNDATED AND SMALL STREAMS WILL BEGIN TO RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS. FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY.
* SOME LOCATIONS THAT MAY EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON… ROCKVILLE… GAITHERSBURG… COLLEGE PARK… HERNDON… GREENBELT… FAIRFAX… VIENNA… FALLS CHURCH… BLADENSBURG… SPRINGFIELD… SOUTH RIDING… PIMMIT HILLS… MANTUA… DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT… GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY… NATIONALS PARK… CORAL HILLS… WOODBRIDGE AND BETHESDA.
TURN AROUND… DONT DROWN BY DRIVING INTO FLOODED ROADS OR ROADS THAT HAVE BEEN CLOSED.
BE VERY CAREFUL DRIVING AS SOME ROADS WILL BE CLOSED… AND LARGE PONDS OF WATER… EVEN ON LARGE INTERSTATES WILL INCREASE YOUR RISK OF LOOSING CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE. DRIVE SLOWLY.
WATCH YOUR KIDS TO ENSURE THEY DONT PLAY NEAR FLOOD WATERS.
IF YOU ARE IN A LOW AREA… OR NEAR A DRAINAGE DITCH OR SMALL STREAM… EXPECT RAPID RISES. STAY SAFE AND HEAD TO HIGHER GROUND IF NEEDED.
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) Well, that was a historic week. The history theme will continue this weekend with a patriotic bar crawl tomorrow night in preparation for the 4th of July.
If you’d rather focus on recent history, like say the legalization of gay marriage throughout the entire country, then you’ll have an opportunity for that too; the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance is hosting a Pride Month Social this Sunday evening from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant (555 23rd Street S.).
Finally some housekeeping. Remember, the “Freedom Four” race is going down on Sunday, so sections of N. Courthouse Road, N. Rhodes Street and Wilson Boulevard will be closed that morning. Parking will be limited in the area, but things should start opening up after 10:30 a.m.
Feel free to discuss this weekend’s goings on or any other topic of local interest in the comments.