by Heather Mongilio — October 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

Two people take a tree home during the Crytal City's Bid Tropical Storm (Courtesy of Crystal City BID)

(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) There will be a “frenzy” the Crystal City Farmer’s Market next week, as the Crystal City Business Improvement District gives away tropical plants ahead of the cold weather months.

Prospective adoptive plant owners can stop by the Crystal City BID’s tent to pick up a fern, palm tree or other tropical flora at 3 p.m. next Tuesday, Oct. 13 at the Crystal City FreshFarm Farmer’s Market.

The BID gets the plants for its “Floral Frenzy-Tropical Storm” event through a partnership with Vornado/Charles E. Smith, said BID president Angie Fox. Vornado removes the tropical plants in its planters around Crystal City to replace them with evergreen trees for the winter — the BID then gives away the old plants.

“Tropical Storm allows community residents and workers to rescue tropical ferns and other plants that would otherwise be thrown into the compost pile,” the BID said on its website.

The palm trees given away can grow up to 7 or 8 feet tall, can live year-round inside and are not difficult to keep alive, Fox said.

“We bring them out and Vornado brings planters, and people just grab [plants] and walk down the street,” she said.

The event, which is part of the BID’s Crystal Green program, is well attended and plants are usually gone within 30 minutes, Fox said.

Tropical Storm is a great way for Crystal City residents and workers to adopt plants and support sustainable landscaping practices within our community,” Fox said in a statement. “The Floral Frenzy program provides hundreds of plants for re-use annually while celebrating Crystal City’s beautifully landscaped streetscapes and open spaces.”

The farmers market takes place on Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. on Crystal Drive, between 18th and 20th streets. The market’s last day of the year is Nov. 24.

Photo courtesy of the Crystal City BID. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2015 at 12:15 pm 441 0

Dudley’s Sport and Ale, a new sports bar that’s coming to the Village at Shirlington, is tentatively aiming to open in March.

Dudley’s owner Reese Gardner, who also owns Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington, told nearby residents via Facebook that Dudley’s will be “huge,” with Shirlington’s first rooftop bar.

“The space is huge and I’m doing a complete rework of the space and adding a rooftop,” Gardner said. “Trust me I live in walking distance also and I’m just as excited.
March will be the soonest.”

In addition to the rooftop bar, Dudley’s will feature more than 40 flat screen TVs and a private party area. So far there are no plans for live music at the bar, Gardner said.

On its website, Dudley’s says it’s starting the hiring process for all positions.

“We’re looking for smart, hard working and passionate people to join our team,” the site says. “Please send your resume if you are interested in any position from Chef to Server to Bartender to Prep Cook and beyond.”

Dudley’s is located at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, in the former Bungalow Sports Grill space.

by Heather Mongilio — October 6, 2015 at 11:10 am 486 0

Swiss Time at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Courtesy of Eric Kim)(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) Watchstyle, a luxury Swiss watch store, is closing down its store in Ballston Common Mall ahead of major renovations that are coming soon to the aging shopping center.

The store will close this coming Sunday, said owner Eric Kim. He plans to open a new store called Swiss Time in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City five days later on Friday, Oct. 16.

Kim changed the name of the store because the storefront at new location is much more visible to customers walking in the mall, and he wanted to emphasize the Swiss brands of watches he sells, he said.

The new store in the upscale Pentagon City small allows Kim to sell some of his higher-end luxury Swiss watches, he said. Watchstyle was already one of the most expensive stores in Ballston Common Mall without selling his full stock. At Swiss Time, watches will be priced at anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars.

Despite the new location and new name, Kim plans to honor warranties on watches bought in Ballston, and customer service will stay the same, he said.

“I worked very hard to be the only five-star rated watch store in Arlington, and I plan on keeping it that way,” Kim said.

The watch store owner plans to return to Ballston Common Mall once the mall is renovated. He anticipates opening his second Swiss Time around April 2018 in Ballston.

“The Ballston mall management has been very kind to me,” he said.

by Eleanor Greene — October 6, 2015 at 10:00 am 440 0

Halloween decorations (Filckr pool photo by Ddimick)Fairlington Dental will be buying back candy after Halloween this year.

Kids can bring their Halloween candy to the dental office from Nov. 2-5, where they will be paid $1 per pound.

The candy will be sent to Operation Gratitude in California, a program that sends care packages to troops serving overseas. Dawn Patrick, patient concierge at Fairlington Dental, said that the candy is used as filler in boxes that mostly include personal cards, games, hygiene products and snacks.

This is the 10th year Fairlington Dental has bought back candy, and the office has donated to Operation Gratitude since it started the program.

Fairlington Dental will also donate a portion of the candy to the Mattie Miracle Foundation, Patrick said. The foundation collects candy for a free snack cart for children and families at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, as well as for other hospitals and cancer wards, according to the website.

The dental practice used to buy candy for $3 per pound but dropped the price to $1 per pound as the program became more popular. The office also pays for the shipping, which can get pricey with such heavy packages.

“Back then, we were getting about 100 pounds,” Patrick said. “Now our biggest year has been around 600 pounds.”

The office asks that the donations are capped at five pounds for the buy back program.

Donors also have the option to donate their candy as an entry in a contest where groups can win an $100 pizza party for selling back the most candy. Patrick said a group Fairlington mothers has won the contest for the past few years, with a group donation of about 35 pounds of candy.

The key for eating candy and other foods high in sugar is to do so in moderation, Patrick said, adding that a one-time pizza party is much better than eating candy for days or weeks after Halloween.

Instead of sugar, Fairlington Dental tries to encourage eating candy with xylitol, a sweetener that breaks down bacteria instead of feeding it.

A full list of local dental practices that buy back candy can be found on the website halloweencandybuyback.com.

Filckr pool photo by Ddimick

by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,153 0

Evening rush hour traffic on S. Walter Reed Drive

Office Vacancy Down in Arlington — Arlington has had a 1.6 percent positive net absorption of commercial office space so far this year. Crystal City in particular has done well, gaining 313,000 square feet of occupancy. [Bisnow]

History Plan for Arlington Centennial — Arlington County is seeking public comment on the mid-term report produced by the Arlington History Task Force. The task force is trying to come up with a plan for preserving Arlington’s history, in time for the county’s centennial in 2020. [Arlington County]

McLean Up in Arms Over Gun Store — Nova Firearms, the gun store that tried unsuccessfully to open a store in Cherrydale, has moved its McLean store to a larger location but is now incurring the wrath of a group of residents. Parents object to the fact that the new store is behind a local elementary school, in view of at least one classroom. [Washington Post]

Gym Responds to String of Sexual Assaults — Responding to a string of attacks on women in Arlington, including a sexual assault near Rosslyn over the weekend, the Nova MMA CrossFit gym is offering a free self-defense seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 7-9 p.m. [MyFoxDC]

Road Closures for Army Ten-Miler — Route 110, the northbound I-395 HOV lanes, S. Eads Street, Army Navy Drive, Long Bridge Drive and Washington Blvd are among the roads in Arlington that will be closed Sunday morning for the annual Army Ten-Miler race. [Arlington County]

by Heather Mongilio — October 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm 1,504 0

AMC Theater in ShirlingtonThe AMC movie theater in the Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Randolph Street) will be closed through November for renovations.

The movie theater is expected to reopen mid to late November, said AMC Theatres spokesman Ryan Noonan.

Once renovations are complete, the movie theater will have plush reclining seats in all of its auditoriums, new bathrooms and hot food options like chicken fingers and french fries.

AMC may also add a bar that will serve cocktails, wine and beer, Noonan said.

“The entire movie experience will be enhanced,” he said.

The company expects business to pick up in Shirlington as a result of the changes, Noonan said.

“We found that guests love our upgraded movie-going,” he said. “People really enjoy the recliner seating.”

The theater will offer reserved seating. Moviegoers will be able to choose their seats when buying tickets online or at the box office.

“The easiest way to make sure everyone gets a ticket and everyone gets the seat they want is to use reserved seating,” Noonan said.

An AMC theater in Courthouse went through similar renovations in 2012.

by Heather Mongilio — October 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1,338 0

New Starbucks on Columbia Pike

Starbucks customers may be able to order a glass of wine with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes at two Arlington locations in the next few months.

Starbucks has filed liquor license applications for its new Penrose Square (2413 Columbia Pike) and Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2925 S. Glebe Road) locations. If approved, the stores will be able to serve beer and wine, in addition to the coffee and tea drinks the company sells.

Starbucks is offering beer and wine at select stores as part of its new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes small plates.

According to a sample menu, the coffee chain will sell various red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers. Small plates include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn. Menus vary by region.

License applications for the two stores are currently pending, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Wine and beer will come to the Long Branch Creek location in “probably a few months,” said a supervisor at the store but she could not provide any additional information. USA Today reported in August that Starbucks is launching Starbucks Evenings at more than 2,000 of its 12,000+ U.S. stores, with many opening by the end of the year.

A Starbucks spokesman stopped short of confirming that the two South Arlington stores will in fact be serving beer and wine in the near future.

“Just as each customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and experiences for each neighborhood,” said the spokeswoman. “And, as you’ve probably seen, we’re in the very early stages of considering our stores at 2413 Columbia Pike and 2925 S. Glebe Road for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — October 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm 364 0


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 Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Depending upon the security concerns involved, it can be extremely helpful when federal employees or contractors facing security clearance issues have support from a medical professional. In security clearance matters, it is usually very beneficial and important for our federal employee and contractor clients to consult with a medical professional if appropriate and when medical or medical-related security concerns are under review by clearance authorities.

Types of security concerns that could involve medical professionals

Depending upon the facts of the security clearance case, there are a variety of security concerns for which a seasoned medical professional may be helpful to a security clearance applicant or holder. One of the most common types of security clearance cases in which a medical professional may be helpful involves the psychological or mental health condition of the security clearance applicant or holder. Medical professionals may also be of assistance when a security clearance applicant or holder has security concerns involving illegal prescription drug use and/or an alcohol-related traffic matter.

Use of medical professionals in security clearance matters

When an individual’s security clearance is at issue, it can be very helpful to obtain a medical professional’s review of the underlying issues for use in mitigating the security concern. When such situations arise, whether the matter is before the Department of Defense (DoD), Consolidated Adjudication Facility (CAF) (for DOD clearance holders) or any of the other clearance adjudication agencies (Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Reconnaissance Office, Department of State, Department of Energy, etc.), the clearance authority will ask whether there are mitigating factors present regarding the security concerns at issue. Clearance authorities will often take reasoned medical opinions into account when considering whether or not to permit an individual to obtain or retain his or her security clearance. When this occurs, it can be important to have a medical professional’s opinion, especially if a regular physician is not available to meet with the individual to attempt to mitigate the security concerns at issue.

The following examples more clearly demonstrate when a medical professional can be of help to a security clearance applicant or holder:

Example A: The clearance holder has had two arrests for driving while intoxicated over the past four years. In this situation, it is important to have a medical professional evaluate, counsel, and respond to the types of security concerns involved. The medical professional can often outline all of the treatment options available to the clearance holder, and analyze the efforts undertaken by the clearance holder to address any alcohol-related concerns or treatment. A seasoned medical professional can also render a medical opinion as to whether or not such issues are likely to reoccur and the best way the clearance holder can avoid such issues in the future.

Example B: The clearance holder has a significant mental health disorder and a clearance authority needs to determine whether the medical condition would affect the individual’s ability to hold access to classified information. In this situation, it is important and helpful if a medical professional can provide a reasoned medical opinion as to whether the mental health condition will be an impediment to retaining a security clearance. The medical professional can evaluate the individual’s medical history, treatment undertaken for the medical issues, and issue an opinion as to how the medical condition will likely affect the clearance holder in the future.

Additional thoughts and reference on the use of medical professionals

Medical professionals are often asked to complete security clearance forms for clearance applicants and holders. They are also often asked to meet with clearance investigators and discuss the individual’s medical condition. In many security clearance cases, medical professionals also provide detailed medical evaluations and even testify during security clearance administrative hearings. The effective use of a medical professional in appropriate cases can significantly impact whether or not the individual retains, is granted, or loses his or her security clearance. An informative article on the role of the psychiatrist in the security clearance process, The Psychiatrist in the Security Clearance Process, was written by Dr. Brian Crowley and is published at page 11 in the Washington Psychiatrist.

We represent employees in federal employment matters nationwide, as well as 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.

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

by Heather Mongilio — October 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Startup Monday header

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.

Edbacker fundraising campaign page (Courtesy of Gary Hensley)A company dedicated to helping schools fundraise has moved to Crystal City.

Edbacker, founded by former California teacher Gary Hensley, provides a online platform for schools to host their fundraisers. By running the campaigns online, parents are easily able to donate by using their phones or going to the Edbacker website.

“There are some really neat stories that come out of these organic campaigns,” Hensley said.

The goal is to help address the gap in funding for schools.

“This is a real need,” he said. “A real problem we could solve.”

The company is now used by schools in 24 states, Hensley said, including Arlington County, which the company considers its home base.

“Arlington has been incredibly supportive out of the gate,” he said.

Arlington fundraising page (Courtesy of Gary Hensley)

Hensley decided to build a platform to help schools fundraise easier after being frustrated with his own attempts to raise money for his daughter’s school, he said. The first school to use Edbacker was Arlington Science Focus Elementary School, which needed help raising money for a new classroom.

“They just needed 200 people who were interested in that thing related to STEM,” he said.

Edbacker typically has about 160 campaigns running at a time, Hensley said.

To donate to a school’s campaign, people go online to the Edbacker and explore campaigns. The company also helps work with local and national businesses, helping them to donate either to a specific campaign or to a general fund that can be spread out among an area’s schools.

Fundraising campaigns tend to have a cyclical fashion based on the school year. In the beginning of the school year, campaigns usually do membership campaigns and “no frills” campaigns. The “no frills” campaigns ask people to donate money to the school instead of buying the wrapping paper that students sell or buying baked goods at a school bake sale.

Edbacker communication campaigns (Courtesy of Gary Hensley)

In December, schools typically run coat collection campaigns and specific community projects. At the end of the year, people raise money for class gifts.

“[Arlington schools] are all pretty active,” Hensley said.

Swanson Middle School is currently running a “no frills” campaign using Edbacker. The school is asking for $20,000 and has already received donations from 200 people. The school’s campaign has 25 more days to raise around $5,000.

While Edbacker helps other companies with fundraising, the company’s primary focus is schools.

“The thing about education is it’s the heartbeat of the community,” Hensley said.

Edbacker works out of the new 1776 Crystal City, after moving from the D.C. 1776 location, and is one of the companies funded by 1776’s new seed fund.

by Eleanor Greene — October 5, 2015 at 11:35 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…


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