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by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 5:30 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 sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday

Rooftop Core Class and Peloton Bike Demo
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

A free 30-minute core workout class on the Ten at Clarendon’s rooftop lounge, followed by the chance to try out a state-of-the-art Peloton bike, which allow you to take cycling classes at home. Building representatives will also be on hand with leasing deals.

Cosplay: Meet the 501st Legion
Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Meet the 501st Legion as part of Arlington libraries’ “Cosplay Month.” The legion spreads the magic of Star Wars worldwide with its authentic costumes and fan-based charity events. Attendance is on a first-come, first served basis.

Wednesday

Starting a Business 1.0
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 5:30-8 p.m.

A workshop on everything required to start a new business, from licensing requirements to marketing to financing options, and including how to get a business license, acquire a certificate of occupancy and complete state registration.

How Will Immigration Changes Affect Arlington? *
Marymount University Phelan Hall (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Arlington Committee of 100 will explore changes to immigration policy in a two-part series in September and November. A meet and greet begins at 7 p.m., ahead of the optional dinner at 7:25 p.m. The discussion begins at 8 p.m.

Thursday

Another Side of School Desegregation
Marymount University Reinsch Library (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

A panel of Arlingtonians will discuss their perspectives on Arlington’s efforts to desegregate since the 1950s. Panel participants will include students, parents, and school administrators from the county’s African-American community.

Friday

Rosslyn Cinema & Pub in the Park
Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway)
Time: 6-11 p.m.

Beer, wine and seasonal sangria will be served along with food trucks on site every Friday evening. All movies will begin at dusk and be subtitled. The Popped Republic! food truck will sell popcorn, while nearby restaurants will offer dinner deals.

Saturday

BBQ, Boots and Bingo Fall Fundraiser *
Columbus Club of Arlington (5115 Little Falls Road)
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

A family-friendly picnic fundraiser with moon bounces, music, lawn games, selfie-station, spin art, face painting, bingo and more. Tickets cost $10 for children, $20 for adults and $50 for a family pass. All proceeds go to Arlington Thrive.

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day *
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

Celebrate the first annual Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Guinness and oyster festival at Ireland’s Four Courts. Raw oysters, oysters stew, fried oysters & Po boy will be served, with Irish music, bagpipers and dancers providing all-day entertainment.

Sunday

Bluemont 5K and 10K
Bluemont Park (329 N. Manchester Street)
Time: 8:45-11 a.m.

A 5k and 10k race benefitting the EOD Warrior Foundation, starting from Bluemont Park. The event will take place on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, with runners and walkers encouraged. A virtual run option is also available.

Pups & Pilsners
The Green (12th Street S. and Crystal Drive)
Time: 2-6 p.m.

Crystal City’s dog-friendly beer festival featuring a beer garden with craft brew and offerings from local breweries. On-site food trucks and nearby restaurants will provide food. Admission is free, but tasting tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

Arlington County remember the nearly 3,000 people killed 16 years ago today (Monday) in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Fire Chief James Bonzano, Police Chief Jay Farr and Sheriff Beth Arthur laid a wreath at the flagpole in Courthouse Plaza to remember the dead, including the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon. A moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. — marking when the plane flew into the Pentagon — was followed by a playing of “Taps” and a lowering of the flag to half-staff.

Flanked by his Arlington County Board colleagues as well as Virginia General Assembly representatives, Rep. Don Beyer (D) and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), County Board chair Jay Fisette recalled in his remarks how Arlingtonians came together that day, and in the days and weeks after. Fisette was also chair of the Board in 2001.

“The initial shock was followed by compassion, by patriotism, by resolve,” he said.

This year’s commemoration came just months after Corporal Harvey Snook’s name was added to the county’s Peace Officers Memorial for police officers killed in the line of duty. Snook died in January 2016 from cancer he contracted from responding to the Pentagon. He spent a week there, collecting evidence and the remains of some of the people killed.

To further commemorate the anniversary, Arlington County’s poet laureate Katherine Young released a new poem this weekend, entitled “Hazmat.”

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A new bubble tea cafe is now open in Clarendon.

Kung Fu Tea at 3018 Wilson Blvd opened over the weekend in the former Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream location. Its soft opening is expected to last all week, with the store open from 12-9 p.m.

The store offers black and green tea, which customers can combine with milk and with fruit flavors. There are also several flavored yogurt options made from the Japanese probiotic Yakult, slush and snow cream offerings, seasonal flavors like “Pumpkin Oolong Milk Tea,” and various coffee and espresso options.

Tapioca bubbles are one of several toppings that can be added for 50 cents each.

Inside of the new Clarendon store, which is located next to the recently-opened Hanabi Ramen restaurant, there is space for around 12 people to sit. Kung Fu Tea has dozens locations across the United States and has been expanding in the D.C. area.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 11, 2017 at 2:30 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 V. Berry

We thought it might be helpful to provide information on leave laws and rules that cover Virginia employees. Leave issues always come up either during the course of an employee’s employment or immediately following the end of employment.

Leave laws and regulations also vary by the type of employer. For instance, federal, state, county and private sector employers have different laws and rules governing leave. Virginia has not codified many areas of employee leave as of yet, but that may be changing as other states enact improvements.

Virginia is one of those states where most forms of employee leave are not mandatory, but I suspect that may change in the future as Northern Virginia grows larger with more employers.

Some jurisdictions, like the District of Columbia have moved towards expanded paid leave. Fortunately for most Virginia employees, many forms of leave, while not mandatory are typically provided by employers in order for them to remain competitive in retaining employees. I will go through each form of leave in Virginia below:

Vacation Leave/Annual Leave

In Virginia, private sector employers are not required by law to provide employees with vacation/annual leave, either in a paid or unpaid status. This is different for federal, state and county employees in Virginia.

For instance, federal employees accrue a certain amount of annual or vacation leave each pay period and can then use this leave for vacation or taking days off.  When a federal employee leaves the federal government, they are paid out for the remaining balance of annual leave.

While payout of accrued vacation or annual leave has not been mandated for private sector employers, if it is pursuant to a consistent company practice or policy, the employer in Virginia may be required to pay such leave out to departing employees.

Sick Leave

In Virginia, there is also no state requirement that employers provide employees with sick leave benefits. Virginia is different in this respect when compared to many other states.

However, if an employer chooses to provide sick leave to employees, it must follow the established policy. There are some other notes on sick leave.

First, federal, state and county employees are generally given sick leave in increments. Furthermore, under federal law, private sector employees of larger Virginia companies (more than 50 employees) are entitled to sick leave when given under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Under the FMLA, private sector employees in Virginia may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, bonding with a new child, or qualifying exigencies. This type of leave renews every 12 months as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements set out above.

Employees may also take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a family member who was injured on active military duty.

Administrative Leave

While there is no entitlement to administrative leave for employees in Virginia, it can and is often granted. Typically, this type of leave is granted for reasons related to misconduct or equal employment opportunity investigations or other miscellaneous issues that arise. Federal, state and county employees have their own unique policies for administrative leave, which vary.

Holiday Leave

Additionally, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. Additionally, a Virginia employer does not have to pay an employee premium or enhanced pay for working on a holiday.

Again, different standards apply for federal, county and state employees, depending on position (.e.g. law enforcement), who may receive holiday pay for their work and/or premium pays.

Voter Leave

In Virginia, an employer is not required to give leave for an employee to vote. However, Virginia does require an employer to accommodate an employee who has been appointed as an election official. Some federal and other public employees have policies of permitting some administrative leave for voting where necessary.

Jury Duty Leave

In Virginia, an employer is not required to provide leave for jury duty, but cannot discharge or retaliate against the employee if they have given reasonable notice to their employer.

Additionally, an employer may not charge a private sector employee vacation or annual leave for jury duty service. An employer that violates these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor (VA Code. §18.2-465.1).

If you need assistance with an employment issue, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also like and visit us on Facebook.

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

A teacher at Wakefield High School is a finalist for the Virginia Teacher of the Year award after a surprise announcement this morning (Monday).

Michelle Cottrell-Williams, a social studies teacher at Wakefield, learned of the recognition from Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who presented her with a certificate and flowers during a sociology class. McAuliffe was joined by Superintendent Patrick Murphy, Arlington County School Board members and Wakefield principal Chris Willmore.

Cottrell-Williams is one of eight teachers in the running for Virginia Teacher of the Year. She represents educational Region 4, which comprises various cities and counties in Northern Virginia.

She is the first regional finalist from Arlington since Colette Fraley, another Wakefield social studies teacher, in 2010. Cottrell-Williams is already Arlington Teacher of the Year, having been nominated by Lisa Labella, Wakefield’s senior project coordinator.

“I’m speechless,” Cottrell-Williams said after the announcement. “Dr. Willmore walked in, said he had to interrupt for a minute, OK. People just kept coming and coming and coming, and I have no words. This is incredible. I feel like I’ve just been me, and to be recognized, that other people recognize that what I’m doing matters, is pretty amazing.”

Cottrell-Williams has taught at Wakefield for 10 years, and is the lead classroom teacher of World History II, U.S. and Virginia Government, AP European History, Sociology and senior project classes.

She has been recognized for her dynamic lesson plans that use various strategies and methods to help students learn as well as her commitment to professional development for her fellow teachers.

“In my other classes I’ve been asked to come up with projects and ways to rethink education,” senior Alex Pearson said. “I feel like Ms. Cottrell does that. She’s a teacher that makes class fun, and I feel like we’re going to learn a lot of things.”

“I think it says a lot about Ms. Cottrell,” senior Ana Sofia Uro-DeLeon said. “We haven’t even started our classes yet, and she’s already getting an award and everything. It shows that she really does care about the students and the individual, not just the statistics and our grades.”

McAuliffe said with budgetary pressures weighing on public school districts across Virginia, recognizing teachers when they are so dedicated is important.

“She’s so dedicated to her students, but also dedicated to her peers and to her colleagues, her fellow teachers and making sure that professional development opportunities are there so they can further their craft of teaching,” McAuliffe said. “That’s really so important, to make sure that teachers have the support they need in everything to do.”

Cottrell-Williams will join her fellow finalists in Richmond on Monday, September 18, where they will go through a series of interviews before the awards banquet that evening. Cottrell-Williams said that whether she wins or not will not change the fact that her most important interactions are with her students each day.

“It’s about the students, it’s not about whatever accolades I get,” she said. “It would be nice to have a broader platform to share with other teachers how I have found success with my students, how I interact with them, how I’ve really grown to like what I do because of the relationships I get to build with these students. But at the end of the day, I’m still here in the classroom with them whether or not I have an award.”

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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 pair of Arlington County-based startups recently received injections of new cash as they continue to grow.

Crystal City software company ChurnZero and Rosslyn-based cybersecurity firm DivvyCloud both received several million dollars apiece from investors.

ChurnZero uses software to help subscription businesses understand how customers use their product, and fight against churn, when a customer decides to not use that product any longer. The company offers analytics, personalized and automated customer interfaces, and timely alerts about customers including those who are regular “power users” and those who are disengaged.

ChurnZero received $2.5 million from four investors: Grotech Ventures, Middeland Capital, Center for Innovative Technology and Charlottesville Angel Network.

“With business models moving to subscriptions, companies need to work every day to make sure their customers are engaged, happy, successful and, consequently, renewed,” You Mon Tsang, co-founder and CEO of ChurnZero, said in a statement. “We started ChurnZero because we saw way too many businesses that manage their customers without deep data or insight on the health and management level of their customers. That is simply not acceptable anymore.”

In an email, Tsang said the extra money will help ChurnZero continue to grow, having started with two founders in 2015 and already expanded to a staff of 15.

“We will invest in all parts of the business, including Product, Development, QA, Sales and Marketing,” Tsang said.  “We have big goals for the company. The investment will help ChurnZero grow into one of the major global players in the burgeoning customer success sector. We also aspire to be the next great D.C. [Software as a Service] company.”

DivvyCloud looks to make cloud servers safer by finding security problems and fixing them. It simplifies and automates cloud security for customers, who use programmed “Bots” to fix common cloud problems in real time.

It received $6 million in new funding, led by venture capital firm RTP Ventures.

“Cloud computing is a dynamic and fast-changing space and this new funding enables us to expand our reach in serving the needs of enterprises large and small struggling to manage their cloud infrastructures,” said Brian Johnson, CEO of DivvyCloud, in a statement. “With RTP Ventures’ deep experience in the SaaS space, their expertise will be invaluable as we take DivvyCloud to the next level.”

With the new investment, DivvyCloud will expand its sales and marketing operations and accelerate development of its software and services. Already, it serves the likes of General Electric, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae, among others.

“For two years, DivvyCloud’s automation platform has been a foundational component of our enterprise cloud adoption strategy,” said Dave Duvall, Senior Vice President of Infrastructure at Discovery Communications, in a statement. “DivvyCloud helps to ensure our fast-growing cloud footprint remains secure and cost optimized while helping to integrate cloud into our existing IT operations. The speed at which DivvyCloud innovates and introduces new capabilities helps us stay ahead of problems.”

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Those behind a Michelin-recognized Ethiopian restaurant that is now expanding into Arlington say they are hoping to open this winter.

Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant & Mart signed a lease earlier this year for a 2,500-square-foot space at 2000 14th Street N. in Courthouse. The Washington Business Journal first reported on the move.

At the time, owner Alemayehu Abebe said he was hopeful of opening this summer, but that timeline has been pushed back. Abebe told ARLnow in a brief interview last Wednesday that construction will start sometime around today (Monday). He did not say what has caused the delays.

The restaurant has applied for a license with Virginia ABC, and is hoping to have more than 100 seats inside as well as more outside on a patio. Chercher offers traditional Ethiopian food and drink on its menu. The restaurant at 1334 9th Street NW was included in Michelin’s D.C. dining guide and earned a “bib gourmand” for high-quality food at a low price.

The eatery previously filed for county permits to convert what was intended as an office space to a restaurant use. As of Tuesday, the space had been completely gutted, ready for work to begin.

The space on the ground floor of a large office building is close to the county courthouse complex and police headquarters, and across the street from the Tellus apartment building. Signs in the window indicate another ground-floor unit in the same building as the planned restaurant is available for rent by a retail tenant.

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Tourists spent more than $3 billion in Arlington County last year, supported more than 25,000 jobs and produced over $200 million in local and state tax revenues, all record highs.

According to figures released by the U.S. Travel Association, tourism in the county generated $3.12 billion in 2016, up 2 percent from the previous year. Arlington continued to lead all Virginia counties in visitor spending, as it has since 2009.

“Tourism continues to be an incredibly vibrant sector in Arlington’s economy,” Arlington County Board chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “Through jobs, spending at Arlington businesses and tax revenues that support local schools and services, tourism will always be a key to our economic growth.”

The 2016 tourism data is based on spending by visitors from inside the United States, from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

“These excellent results are a testament to the strength of our hospitality community and its longstanding collaboration with the County in marketing Arlington to potential visitors,” Arlington Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Kate Bates said in a statement. “We are proud of the exceptional work of our hotels, whose dedication to top quality service continues to attract more visitors to our area.”

Victor Hoskins, director of Arlington Economic Development, said support from the County Board and Chamber for increased investment in tourism promotion has been crucial.

“It has dramatically expanded our ability to showcase Arlington and its businesses to meeting planners, consumers, tour operators and journalists – domestically and around the globe,” Hoskins said in a statement.

Flickr pool photo by Starbuck77

by ARLnow.com September 11, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Sixteenth 9/11 Anniversary — A flag was unfurled at the Pentagon this morning as the nation marked the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford were among those expected to attend a ceremony at the Pentagon, honoring the 184 people killed in the attack there. Arlington County also hosted its own remembrance ceremony and is posting recollections from Sept. 11, 2001 on social media. [ABC News, Twitter, Twitter]

Another Police-Impersonation Phone Scam — Local residents are again getting calls from a scammer claiming to be a law enforcement officer, demanding a fine be paid over the phone. As a reminder, police never call on the phone to collect fines. [Twitter]

Arlington 9/11 5K Recap — The 2017 Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K was held in Pentagon City on Saturday evening amid perfect September weather. Among those on hand to address the crowd were Police Chief Jay Farr, County Board Chair Jay Fisette and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. Spotted among the runners: former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who was wearing a Navy t-shirt and was all smiles after the race as the occasional group of fellow runners asked to take a photo with him. [Facebook, Chronotrack]

Park Service May Revamp MVT Boardwalk — As part of a larger improvement project for Theodore Roosevelt Island and the TR Bridge, the National Park Service is considering rehabilitating the nearby, aging boardwalk bridge along the Mount Vernon Trail, which carries bike and pedestrian traffic. [The Wash Cycle]

County Holds Transportation ‘Pop Up’ Event — “Arlington Transportation Partners, the County’s business-to-business transportation outreach organization, held its very first ‘Our Shared Street’ Pop Up festival recently at Arlington Mill Community Center. The late August gathering brought together residents of Columbia Pike with local businesses to highlight Arlingtonians’ many transportation options.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Crash — Earlier this morning, northbound traffic on the George Washington Memorial Parkway was temporarily blocked near the TR Bridge following a multi-vehicle crash. [Washington Post]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 11, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

WBU Associate PictureYour local Wild Birds Unlimited (2437 N. Harrison Street) is dedicated to the hobby of backyard bird feeding. We provide quality bird food and supplies to all of your backyard birds.

The position of Sales Associate can be either a part-time or full-time position that reports to the franchise owner or manager. The primary responsibility of a Sales Associate is to provide a high-energy customer experience.

Selling / Customer Experience:

  • Understands that the high-energy customer experience is the #1 priority.
  • Uses successful selling skills to satisfy the customer and complete the sale.
  • Wears the logo name badge and logo apparel while working on the sales floor.

Merchandising:

  • Understands and communicates the store’s merchandise and target products to the customer.
  • Completes the changing of displays, signing and the restocking of merchandise as directed by management.

Personnel Management:

  • Demonstrates a positive, enthusiastic and professional demeanor.
  • Attends store meetings as required.
  • Completes any other duties as assigned.

Administrative Control:

  • Adheres to all store policies and procedures regarding the ringing of all transactions, any administrative duties and scheduling.
  • Completes accurate and legible paperwork.

Store Maintenance:

  • Maintains good housekeeping standards to help present a clean and well-presented store.
  • Helps keep store and backroom clean & organized.

Please call (703) 241-3988 or come in to pick up an application!

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