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by Adrian Cruz — July 26, 2016 at 11:05 am 0

Two nonprofit organizations teamed up over the weekend in Arlington to provide voter registration to former felons after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe restored the voting rights of about 200,000 Virginia ex-offenders.

The League of Women Voters in Arlington and National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice held a voter registration event on Saturday at the Macedonia Baptist Church.

In order to secure voting rights again, the former felon must have completed his or her sentence along and finished supervised probation or parole.

“In my old life, I was just here. I didn’t feel as if I was part of the country, a citizen,” said Virginian Terry Garrett, who previously served time for shoplifting. “Whoever people voted in, I didn’t get to have a say. Today I know that I am an important part of society, and every vote counts. Now, I am a citizen and part of this country. Everyone should keep that right. No matter what.”

But the day before the event, the Virginia Supreme Court voted to overturn the governor’s executive actions, stating that McAuliffe does not have the authority to issue a blanket rights restoration. As a result of the decision, the court ordered that anybody who registered to vote as a result of the governor’s executive orders to be removed from the registry.

The governor is currently in the process of individually restoring the voting rights of formerly incarcerated individuals.

Despite the uncertainty after the decision, the event still went on as planned with 14 people coming to restore their voting rights. League member Karen Kimball said the court’s decision may have contributed to the low turnout, noting the possibility of individuals being confused or deterred from registering as a result.

“The League considers this event a success because it highlighted an important segment of our community whose right to apply for restoration of voting rights is too frequently unknown by former felons or ignored by them,” Kimball said. “The League believes that having and exercising the right to vote is part of their rehabilitation process and enables them to be full participating citizens in our community.”

Photos Courtesy Karen Kimball

by Adrian Cruz — July 26, 2016 at 9:55 am 0

Minh Vietnamese Restaurant, located at 2500 Wilson Blvd, has closed citing lease issues and other business concerns.

There is a sign posted by the owners that reads “Dear Customers, We are very sorry to inform you that due to business concerns including our lease on this space, Minh has ceased operation effective immediately. We appreciate your patronage over the years we have been here, and we are sad to be leaving.”

The restaurant has been at that location for over 10 years and it was one of the few remaining Vietnamese restaurants in the Clarendon area, a hotbed of Vietnamese businesses before the construction of the Orange Line. It was said to be “one of the original Vietnamese restaurants that put Clarendon on the map.”

There is no word yet on whether those behind the restaurant plan on reopening in another location.

by ARLnow.com — July 26, 2016 at 9:10 am 0

Denis Kudla (Photo by Mike Stobe for USTA, via USOC)On the list of Team USA athletes heading to Rio for this summer’s Olympic Games, there’s only one whose hometown is listed as Arlington, Va.

Denis Kudla, Arlington’s own rising tennis star, will be competing in his first Olympics this year, alongside other major American tennis figures like Madison Keys, the Williams sisters and the Bryan brothers.

Kudla was born in Kiev, Ukraine, moved to the United States with his family on his first birthday, and began playing tennis at the age of 7. The highlight of his career thus far has been reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon last summer, the last American man standing at the Grand Slam tournament.

Kudla has ranked as high as 53 on the ATP world men’s tennis rankings.

The opening ceremonies for the Rio games is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 5.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 26, 2016 at 6:00 am 0

Fairfax has it all. History, culture, education, and now, the new community of Eleven Oaks just blocks to historic Fairfax City. A beautiful village-style community offering 4 different models of single family homes and large 3 and 4 story townhomes.

Currently available for a quick move-in is a beautiful single-family home, the Beaumont priced at just $929,900.

The Beaumont model is impressive, with more than 3,300 square feet of space, plus a deck, beautiful stone patio, and 2-car garage. There are 3 levels of finished living space, which includes a gourmet kitchen, a large owner’s suite, and finished lower level recreation room. The high ceilings and an open floor plan make this house an inviting place to call home.

While there are many aspects of the Beaumont that stand out, the sheer elegance and abundance of luxury features are without compromise. From granite and quartz countertops to tray ceilings, there are subtle finishing touches at every turn. The luxurious owner’s bathroom, along with oversized walk-in closets in the owner’s suite, is one of the main attractions in a home packed with star power. In addition, this home is built in an environmentally conscious manner and is Energy Star rated.

Eleven Oaks is situated on George Mason Boulevard in historic Fairfax, adjacent to George Mason University. The urban feel of this village community is an ideal location that is within walking distance of parks, shops and restaurants, as

well as cultural, sports, fitness, and continuing education opportunities at

George Mason University. Did we mention that this home is in the highly sought-after Woodson High School district in Fairfax County?

Equally ideal for commuters, Eleven Oaks is minutes from Route 50 and I-66, convenient to the Vienna Metro, and on the CUE Bus route.

What makes the Beaumont at Eleven Oaks appealing to buyers is the simple fact that new, luxury homes below $1m in Fairfax City or County are rare. Certainly ones that have the combination of desirable, close-in location, luxurious finishes and open floor plans for today’s lifestyle. You get all of these features at Eleven Oaks.

Built by local, award-winning homebuilder, Madison Homes, the Beaumont model and others like it, are available to visit every weekend. Visit us at liveatelevenoaks.com for directions and more information, or come see the Beaumont model at 4411 George Mason Boulevard, Fairfax, VA.

The preceding post was written and sponsored by Eleven Oaks.

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2016 at 5:55 pm 0

Storm Clouds in Clarendon on July 18, 2016Update at 6:05 p.m. — The Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been cancelled, but Arlington remains under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch through 10 p.m.

Earlier: Arlington County is currently under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

The National Weather Service says a severe storm with very strong winds and hail may impact Arlington in the midst of the evening rush hour.

From NWS.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FROM 5:44PM EDT MON UNTIL 6:30PM EDT MON

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… NORTHWESTERN CHARLES COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND… PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EAST CENTRAL PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE NORTHEASTERN CITY OF MANASSAS PARK IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 630 PM EDT

* AT 543 PM EDT… A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT… MOVING EAST AT 30 MPH.

HAZARD… 70 MPH WIND GUSTS AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE… RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT… DAMAGING WINDS WILL CAUSE SOME TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES TO FALL. THIS COULD INJURE THOSE OUTDOORS… AS WELL AS DAMAGE HOMES AND VEHICLES. ROADWAYS MAY BECOME BLOCKED BY DOWNED TREES. LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. UNSECURED LIGHT OBJECTS MAY BECOME PROJECTILES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON… ALEXANDRIA… CENTREVILLE… WALDORF… BETHESDA… RESTON… BOWIE… ANNANDALE… CLINTON… SPRINGFIELD… COLLEGE PARK… FORT WASHINGTON… HERNDON… GREENBELT… FAIRFAX… LANGLEY PARK… BELTSVILLE… FORT HUNT… VIENNA AND GROVETON. GET INDOORS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM WIND AND LIGHTNING. TREES AROUND YOU MAY BE DOWNED FROM DAMAGING WINDS… SO IF YOU ARE NEAR LARGE TREES… MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR. DON’T DRIVE UNDERNEATH TREES OR IN WOODED AREAS UNTIL THE THREAT HAS PASSED.

by Andrew Ramonas — July 25, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Shady Grove Fertility location at 901 N. Stuart Street in Ballston (Photo via Shady Grove Fertility)

A new fertility center has arrived in Ballston.

Shady Grove Fertility has a location now open at 901 N. Stuart Street in the Ballston Metro Center Office Towers, the center announced last week. Dr. Anitha S. Nair, a reproductive endocrinologist who leads the Arlington office, will treat men and women fighting infertility.

With its Ballston clinic, Shady Grove Fertility currently has 19 full-service outposts in Virginia, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“In response to the growing demand for Shady Grove Fertility services in Northern Virginia, we’ve located our newest office in Arlington, VA, within steps of the Metro to provide additional convenience for our patients,” Shady Grove Fertility’s medical director Eric A. Widra said in a statement. “With Dr. Nair being a longtime resident of the city, we’re excited to provide the Arlington community with the experience and success we’ve achieved throughout the region.”

Photo via Shady Grove Fertility

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Berry & Berry column banner

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

By John Berry

As noted in our earlier article, financial issues are the most common issues that can result in the loss of, or inability to obtain, a security clearance. In security clearance cases, financial issues are generally referred to as Guideline F cases. In Guideline F cases, the government’s concern is generally how a person has handled his or her finances and/or his or her vulnerability to financial manipulation given a pattern of overspending or debt.

The following are some quick tips to help minimize the risk of losing a security clearance involving financial considerations:

  1. Pay your bills.  Most security clearance clients seek our assistance when they have multiple debts that are past due, delinquent, in collections, or have been charged off. In Guideline F cases, the existence of multiple, unpaid debts is the most typical reason for the loss or denial of a security clearance.
  2. Pay/File your taxes. Individuals in tax trouble or who fail to pay and/or file their taxes risk losing their clearance. These tax issues tend to be viewed as more significant for security clearance purposes than regular debts. If outstanding taxes or tax liens are too much for the individual to pay off all at once, it is important to try to work out a plan with the IRS or state tax agency and show good faith towards resolving these debts in order to keep or obtain a security clearance.
  3. Clear up/monitor your credit report. Often times, an individual has encountered difficulties in the security clearance process because incorrect information is listed on his or her credit reports. In our experience, errors can be common, but can also lead to security clearance issues. It is important for an individual applying for or holding a security clearance to keep a close eye on his or her credit report for errors and potential problems.
  4. Do not run up significant debts or live beyond your means.  Having too many debts can put an individual at risk of losing a security clearance. To the government, this can indicate that the individual is living beyond his or her means.
  5. Work with creditors to attempt to resolve the debt.  It is always better for an individual to get ahead of his or her credit problems than to wait until he or she receives notice of a possible denial of a security clearance. An individual who recognizes a debt problem and works towards resolving it early and before a clearance issue is raised tends to be given more credit towards the granting of the clearance as opposed to an individual who starts the process after he or she receives notice of the potential loss of the clearance.
  6. Consider credit counseling/classes. If an individual falls behind in his or her debts, it is still important to show how that individual is working to get back on a healthy financial track in order to alleviate concerns about the individual’s ability to hold a security clearance.  Taking meaningful credit classes or engaging in credit counseling can help mitigate security concerns by showing affirmative steps taken by an individual to get better control over his or her finances.

We represent individuals in security clearance and other employment matters. If you need assistance with a security clearance issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at http://www.berrylegal.com/practices/Security_Clearance/ to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by Adrian Cruz — July 25, 2016 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.

Grant Leonard’s path to his own firm began after his boss fired him from a marketing associate job at a defense contractor.

Poor performance wasn’t his problem. Rather, ATA president Scott Berg thought Leonard had the talent to run his own business.

In 2015, his former boss and current mentor helped Leonard start The Grant Leonard Group, an Arlington-based startup that provides social media and marketing support to businesses in the D.C. area.

After joining his mentor at several business meetings with entrepreneurs and investors, Leonard realized startups were in need of an affordable way to maintain their social media presence.

grantleonard“We saw these two pretty familiar and consistent concerns about social media,” Leonard said. “There were a lot of startups that wanted to do social media, but they didn’t have the time or resources to do it themselves. You think of a startup founder, he’s busy building his business. He’s working 80-100 hours a week and the last thing on his mind usually is what he’s posting on Facebook.”

The other issue he found was that the price it would take for a startup to have a full-time social media presence would be difficult to include in the budget.

“These folks that wanted to do it, but couldn’t do it themselves, didn’t have the budget or the need to hire a full-time employee or an established marketing agency, where it can run a company in overhead anywhere from $3-5,000 a month and up from there,” he said. “So we said, ‘OK, there’s a need for a social media startup for startups.'”

The Grant Leonard Group charges a standard fee of $995 per month, providing customizable social media based on the needs of the each of its clients. The firm primarily focuses on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But it also can help companies with other social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, along with blogs and newsletters.

Leonard directly works with the businesses to develop a social media strategy, planning a month-by-month implementation strategy to ensure the effectiveness of their social media.

“At this point, an investment in the Grant Leonard Group is an investment in Grant Leonard where I’m doing 100 percent of the strategic execution, and then I execute it on a day-to-day basis,” Leonard said. “We always say, ‘If you want to go off to the Caribbean and just cut off completely from the world, rest assured that you know your social media platforms are taken care of and secure with us.'”

The Grant Leonard Group currently works with 17 businesses including MakeOffices, which provides co-working space in Clarendon to the firm.

“We’re not reinventing the social media wheel,” Leonard said. “The wheel’s there, it works. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel but what we need to reinvent and innovate is how people access that wheel, how people leverage that wheel. We’re offering a level of service that’s few and far between from what we’ve seen.”

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

American Tap Room in ClarendonMight changes be in the works at American Tap Room in Clarendon?

Multiple sources tell ARLnow.com that the bar and restaurant at 3101 Wilson Blvd is either set to close or, at least, give up part of its space for a new Verizon Wireless store. No timeline was given for when either might happen.

A local manager at American Tap Room told us that it’s not planning to close. The restaurant’s Reston-based parent company, Thompson Hospitality, did not return a call last week seeking comment.

In late 2014 we reported, citing commercial real estate sources, that American Tap Room was seeking a buyer to take over its large, pricy lease for space just across from the Clarendon Metro station. It has remained open since that report.

by Jackie Friedman — July 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm 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…

by Jackie Friedman — July 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm 0

The weekend is here and so are the scorching temperatures. Temperatures could reach the high 90s throughout the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. So make sure to take extra precautions and stay…

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