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by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 24, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

$1,500 credit for your home at closing and if you don’t love your new home we will buy it back or sell it for free for 12 months exclusive to event attendees only*

Orange Line Living logoThe Orange Line Living team is hosting a Home Buying Seminar event on January 30 from 6-8 pm at our Rosslyn office located at 1600 Wilson Blvd, Suite 10 in Arlington. The seminar will last approximately one hour and then we will have time after for questions and one-on-one appointments.

We will have specialists on hand (including lenders and buyer agents) to give you an overview of the buying process. Not only will you get a complete home buying overview, but you will learn our valuable home buying strategies that will save you 3% or more when you purchase.

The Orange Line Living and Keri Shull Team together helped over 200 families purchase homes in 2015. Together, they are the #1 real estate team in Arlington, the #1 real estate team in Virginia by volume and top 5 in the D.C. metro area as well. Their aim is to help even more families find their dream home in 2016 and you have the opportunity to be one of those people.

Details

When: Monday, January 30th from 6-8 p.m.
Where: Optime Realty, 1600 Wilson Blvd, Suite 101, Arlington, VA 22209
Cost: Free
Parking: Validated Parking or Street Parking
Food: Appetizers and Drinks
Contact: [email protected] or call 571-969-7653

Space is limited so you don’t miss out. To register, go to www.vipbuyerseminar.com or email [email protected].

*terms and conditions apply

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 8:35 pm 0

The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office served an eviction at 201 Chain Bridge Road, the palatial former home of former multimillionaire Rodney Hunt, on Monday.

Also known as the the RPH Mansion, the 20,000 square foot estate has, over the past couple of years, hosted wild “mansion parties,” one of which led to a drive-by shooting in nearby McLean this past summer. It is also a frequent destination for police, with numerous robbery, burglary and disturbance calls during that time span.

The Washington Post reported in September that Hunt was fighting eviction after the property, which overlooks the Potomac River and was once valued at $24 million, was sold to at a foreclosure auction for $7.3 million. In December, Hunt lost his legal battle to keep the home. On Jan. 11, a Writ of Possession was issued, according to court records, marking the last legal step before Monday’s eviction.

Two unmarked moving vans and several people could be seen inside the gates of the property Monday afternoon. A number of Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked outside. At one point, a black Lincoln Town Car was towed out of an underground garage.

Hunt’s case, meanwhile, continues to be a source of fascination and intrigue. He went from having an estimated net worth of $265 million in 2007 to foreclosure in 2012, bankruptcy in 2015 and then spending part of last year in jail for a parole violation. Two fines from his August court appearance — for $236 and $91 — are marked past due in court records.

Last year ARLnow.com received an anonymous letter, sent via the mail, raising questions about Hunt’s path to bankruptcy. The letter suggested there was a conspiracy against Hunt; the accusations were similar in tone to Hunt’s own assertions in court papers, as reported by the Post.

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm 0

Bomb squad called to incident at Yorktown High School (file photo)Arlington’s bomb squad is on scene at the Americana Hotel in Crystal City for a suspicious package investigation.

Police requested the bomb squad respond to the hotel, at 1400 Jefferson Davis Highway, just before 5:45 p.m. to investigate several suspicious packages. Additional fire department units were requested to the scene around 6 p.m.

Police were initially called to the hotel for a suspicious person.

“There was a report [that a] male subject was acting suspiciously,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “He had left the scene prior to police arrival.”

The man “left some packages behind in a hotel room,” Savage said. “In an abundance of caution, the ACFD Bomb Squad is going to investigate the packages.”

Update at 7:20 p.m. — The scene has been cleared, police said via Twitter.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

Rep. Don Beyer in his Capitol Hill office (file photo)Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is blasting President Donald Trump’s executive order freezing federal government hiring.

Beyer said federal hiring freezes make government less effective, hurt state and local economies, and actually end up increasing costs to taxpayers.

Trump said his order excludes the military.

Beyer issued the following statement this afternoon.

The Trump administration’s decision to further scapegoat the federal workforce by freezing hiring is ineffective and damaging. Like previous actions of Congressional Republicans, complaints of ineffective government are being met with a strategy which makes government even less effective. This cycle is intentional, and state and local economies across the country will suffer for it. Weakening the ability of the federal government to carry out its crucial mission is not how you put ‘America first.’

85% of the nation’s civil service positions are based outside of the National Capital Region. The number of federal workers is at its lowest level since the 1960s, and over 30 percent will be eligible to retire in the next year. A report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) on previous federal hiring freezes stated such freezes are not an effective strategy for shrinking the size of the workforce, and only serve to disrupt agency operations and in the long-term increase the cost of government operations.

by Tim Regan — January 23, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

Startup Monday header

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.

A local tech company wants to make it easier for people to connect with their elected representatives.

That company, Phone2Action, turns people into “citizen advocates” by helping them engage with lawmakers over the phone, in emails and on social media, according to co-founders Jeb Ory and Ximena Hartsock.

Jeb and Ximena, photo by Tony Powell“We created Phone2Action to solve a very large but very simple problem,” Ory said. “Connecting people to policymakers so they can be part of the civic process.”

Say you run an organization or business that wants to rally supporters behind a specific cause. Using
Phone2Action’s subscription “digital grassroots platform,” you can urge people to get in touch with their state or local officials without having to step away from their computer or put down their smartphone.

“If you are … a service provider, you can let a lawmaker know about the valuable service you can provide or you can let a lawmaker know about why your supporters believe that policies could be a certain way,” Hartsock added. “Our clients use the tools to engage their supporters and let lawmakers know about how they feel about certain things.”

The company started in 2012 with just 15 employees, but quickly outgrew its location in the District. Now at 40 staffers, Phone2Action operates out of an office building in Rosslyn.

“We have about 20 open positions now,” said Hartsock. “We will be 90 [employees] pretty soon. We’re already outgrowing our space.”

When the company finally does outgrow its space, it will move to a larger office, likely elsewhere in Arlington, Hartsock added.

In the future, Ory said the Phone2Action will continue to invest in working with new platforms. For instance, the company is looking to integrate its platform with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated service.

“Today, it’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, but where is it going to be tomorrow?” he said. “We’re committed to being at the forefront.”

Phone2Action also has plans to expand its service to other places across the globe, like Chile and countries in Western Europe.

“There’s a huge opportunity to help people across the world weigh in and talk about matters that are important to them,” Ory added.

Ory and Hartsock photo by Tony Powell

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The Chew column banner

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Dog Paws n Cat Claws, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, DPnCC offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

“When we rescued Lucy, we bought her a crate. The first time we left her in the crate for a dinner date, we returned home to find she’d rubbed her nose to the point of breaking skin and her gums were bleeding which we assume happened because she was biting the cage. Please don’t put her in one here,” said Susan S., one of our favorite clients, as she dropped off her pup for boarding.

Crates can be excellent training tools for dog owners and essential for puppies, but that doesn’t mean they work for every dog. You may discover that your rescue dog, who came to you with little information about their past, may hate their crate.

If you have a dog that reacts negatively towards a crate, she may have experienced some type of trauma while in a crate or during confinement. With patient training, many dogs learn to accept their crates over time. If you don’t have time for training, creating a larger space, such as a room of her own or a gated area, is less stressful for your dog and easier for you.

If you have a dog that’s done well in crates in the past and suddenly decides to protest, it may have something to do with the size. You want to make sure the crate is large enough for him to comfortably stand up and turn around without obstructions. When buying a crate for a puppy, keep in mind how big he will grow before deciding on a size. Most crates today come with dividers so you can partition part of the cage off and move it as your puppy grows.

Placement of the crate is also critical. They should live in a space free of noisy appliances, away from vents blowing hot or cold air, and far from the entrances of your home. It should be in a room where there’s human activity. You want your dog to feel like he is still part of the family, but doesn’t need to be involved with everything. If you have small children, teach them to steer clear of crates. Poking or banging on crates can be stressful for dogs.

If you choose to work on counter-conditioning your dog’s anxiety, the goal is to get your dog to voluntarily enter her crate. You want her to feel secure in her crate and enjoy her time inside. Placing treats inside the crate with the door open entices your dog to check it out. Keep the door open until she seems a bit more comfortable inside. Once you close the door, make sure your pup can see you and gradually work your way up to moving out of her sight line for longer periods of time.

If your dog barks while in the crate, ignore the behavior. Only reward when they are calm and well behaved using high-quality treats or a favorite toy. Stuffed Kongs are ideal. It keeps them busy and the act of cleaning out the Kong helps them relax. Another option is to cover the crate with a sheet, simulating the feeling of being in a den and calming to your pup.

If your dog continues to hate his crate and causes nothing but trouble when left to roam your home, dog daycare is another option. We have several dogs that come to daycare and boarding with crate anxiety. We have designed our daycare facility to include several small rooms called “zones.” When Lucy and dogs like her stay with us, we utilize these zones to keep them happy, calm and secure during their stay. At Dog Paws, we put extra effort into ensuring a crate hater will never see the inside of a crate.

Sara Schabach
In-Home Pet Care Manager

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of an apartment fire in the North Highlands neighborhood, near Rosslyn.

The fire was reported on the 1600 block of 21st Street N., in the living room of a second floor apartment, just before 1:45 p.m.

The blaze was quickly extinguished. Firefighters located a dog that had been in the apartment and attempted CPR, but the dog was later pronounced dead, we’re told.

No person was inside the apartment at the time and no injuries were reported. Firefighters are currently ventilating smoke from the building and investigating the cause of the fire.

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

Police car (file photo)Two Arlington men in their teens have been charged with a series of car break-ins near Virginia Hospital Center.

The pair were arrested Saturday night after trying to flee from officers, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. They’re accused of breaking into at least three vehicles and stealing items.

From the crime report:

GRAND LARCENY x2 (significant), 2017-01210264, block of N. 16th Road between N. Greenbrier and N. Harrison Street. At approximately 9:52 p.m. on January 21, officers responded to the report of suspicious subjects tampering with autos in the area. Upon arrival, one subject was observed exiting a vehicle and another subject was observed nearby. As officers exited their vehicle, the subjects fled the scene on foot. One subject was caught quickly and the other was stopped by perimeter units in the area. Charles Edward Contreras, 19, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with three counts of trespassing of a motor vehicle, two counts of grand larceny, and petit larceny. He is being held on no bond. Antonio Vincente Shivers, 18, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with three counts of trespassing of a motor vehicle and petit larceny. He is being held on a $2000 secured bond.

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

"Dog the Bounty Hunter" poses outside Don Tito in Clarendon (courtesy photo)

Duane “Dog” Chapman visited Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon over the weekend.

The bounty hunter and reality show star stopped by the restaurant on Saturday and ordered a plate of fajitas for lunch, we’re told. After chowing down, but before riding away in a black SUV, Chapman posed for a couple of photos.

Chapman was in town with his wife, Beth, attending presidential inauguration events. Beth Chapman, who is politically active as president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, donated to the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

ACPD package theft infographicReported package thefts dropped by 17 percent this past holiday season compared to a year ago, according to Arlington County Police.

There were only 19 package thefts reported to police in October, November and December of 2016, according to ACPD. During that same period in 2015, 23 package thefts were reported.

The number of package thefts in December specifically was higher: 12 reports in 2016 versus 8 reports for 2015. However, police say there was no series of package thefts, like there was in 2014 when one suspect was accused of at least 40 thefts.

Arlington police have been encouraging residents to have their packages shipped to secure locations or to take other steps to prevent criminals from stealing their holiday gift shipments.

“Package thefts are crimes of opportunity as criminals target packages left unattended,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The Arlington County Police Department recommends removing the opportunity for crime by: tracking your package so that you know when to expect it at your doorstep, requiring signature for your packages, having someone you trust accept the package, utilizing in store pickup or lockers and/or holding packages at mail facilities for pickup.”

To help spread awareness, the department created the graphic above, used its social media channels to distribute information and had its district teams reach out to residents at meetings.

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 8:00 am 0

Arlington and the D.C. area is under a Wind Advisory this morning and afternoon. The wind and rain today is the result of a nor’easter — the kind of coastal storm…

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