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Arlington Nominated as a Top Meeting Location in South

Arlington County is up for an award honoring it as a top meeting and convention location in the southern United States.

Event planners from across the country nominated Arlington and the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service for a 2017 Reader’s Choice Award from ConventionSouth magazine.

The county and its tourism authority are one of 47 nominations in Virginia and D.C., alongside hotels, convention centers, other jurisdictions and tourism authorities. Also nominated from Arlington, but separately from the county as a whole, is The Westin Crystal City hotel (1800 Jefferson Davis Highway).

The publication focuses on places to host events in the south’s 16 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia & D.C. and West Virginia). The annual Reader’s Choice Award recognizes destinations, tourism authorities, hotels and meeting spaces.

An online vote will determine award winners by state, and is open through Sunday, October 15. Winners will be announced in ConventionSouth’s December issue.

More from an Arlington County press release:

With 44 hotels, more than 11,000 sleeping rooms, and nearly 320,000 square feet of meeting space, Arlington offers meeting and group guests monumental views of the nation’s capital, rich history and thriving neighborhoods like Ballston, Crystal City, Rosslyn, and others. Just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and conveniently central in the capital region, Arlington has hotel rates averaging 20 percent lower than those at downtown D.C. properties. Its unique combination of national history and local flavor also means unexpected fun for meetings and groups.

Courtesy photo


Arlington Agenda: October 9-15

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.


Community Cup Golf Classic *
Washington Golf & Country Club (307 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

An annual day of friendly golf competition to raise money for the Arlington Community Foundation. Proceeds from the event help support the foundation’s grants and scholarship programs as well as community initiatives.

Tenth at Ten Oktoberfest
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

Stop by the Living Room to enjoy free beer tastings, signature cocktails and catered hors d’oeuvres to celebrate Oktoberfest at one of Clarendon’s newest apartment buildings. The event is open to the public, but reservations are required.


County Board and School Board Candidate Forums *
Marymount University Phelan Hall (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Arlington Committee of 100 presents candidate forums between those vying for seats on the Arlington County Board and Arlington School Board. Audience members will be invited to submit questions for candidates.

Local History Talk: Life in Union Forts
Aurora Hills Branch Library (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Learn more about the local history of Arlington County with historian Mark Benbow of the Arlington Historical Society. Benbow will discuss life at the Civil War forts that used to be located in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood.


Washington’s Capital Brewmaster
Marymount University Reinsch Auditorium (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

A program on Christian Heurich, Washington D.C.’s most successful and oldest brewer. Dr. Mark Benbow draws on family papers and photos to chronicle Heurich’s life and the evolving beer industry before and after Prohibition.


Capital Weather Gang Speaker
Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street)
Time: 12-1:40 p.m.

Jason Samenow of The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang will talk about weather, including if storms in the local area have gotten worse, how they predict weather and more as part of the church’s monthly Faith Food and Fellowship.


Night in the Garden of Spain *
Gunston Arts Center (2700 S. Lang Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The National Chamber Ensemble’s opening night spotlights the musical culture of Spain. The program includes the music of Granados, Turina, Casals, de Falla and Albeniz. NCE will also premiere a new creation with Bowen McCauley Dance.

Arlington County’s Fall E-CARE
Yorktown High School (5201 28th Street N.)
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

An event where residents can safely dispose of hazardous household materials, recycle bikes, small metal items, shoes, clothing and more. Residents can also swap an old CFL lightbulb for a new LED bulb (one per household, while supplies last).

Oktoberfest Fundraiser for Disaster Response
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (3022 Woodlawn Ave.)
Time: 1-6 p.m.

Enjoy music, German food and entertainment, polka lessons, a chicken dance flash mob and a Schnitzelbank sing along among other activities at Holy Trinity’s Oktoberfest celebrations. Tickets cost $20 per adult or $45 per family.


Kinhaven 5K *
Bluemont Park (325 N. Manchester Street)
Time: 9-10:15 a.m.

A flat out and back course with a 5K, Kids 1K and free Toddler Dash on offer for runners, walkers and strollers. The eighth annual race also will include music, a dance party, refreshments, free face painting and a free moon bounce.

Pints4Paws Beer Festival
Courthouse Plaza (2250 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 1-5 p.m.

A beer festival with unlimited craft beer tastings, food trucks and vendors offering animal-related goods and services, all to support the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. The event also includes a costume contest for dogs, with prizes.

Latino American Festival
Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 2-6 p.m.

Celebrate Arlington’s rich diversity during Hispanic Heritage Month with this festival, which includes live music and dance, dozens of artisan and community vendors, authentic Latino food, free activities for kids and live arts programming.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event


Legal Insider: Wrongful Termination in Virginia

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 Kimberly H. Berry

It can be very difficult for an employee to be called into a supervisor’s office or to the human resources office unexpectedly and be informed that his/her employment has been terminated. Following the notice of termination, usually the employee is escorted out of the building and is faced with a sense of shock and loss.

It is important to know that termination proceedings in Virginia are at will, which generally leaves significant discretion to employers in decisions to hire and fire employees.

However, if the employer has violated a state or federal law in terminating the employee (e.g., discrimination, whistleblowing, retaliation), the termination can be considered wrongful and potential avenues to challenge the termination may be available.

One step that a Virginia employee can do following an involuntary termination is to make an appointment with a Virginia employment attorney to review the issues related to the termination action in order to determine whether it can be considered a wrongful termination.

An attorney can also help evaluate what steps may be taken to minimize the career damage that has just occurred and whether the action taken may be appealable.

Employees often have more options following a termination action than is apparent to them on the day of termination. The employer may have broken federal or Virginia laws with respect to the termination action.

If so, then it may be possible to negotiate a resolution, such as through a separation or severance agreement, on behalf of the employee with the employer. This generally happens when the employee retains an attorney to contact the employer about the inappropriate nature of the employee’s termination in violation of applicable employment laws.

Following an employee’s termination, many Virginia employees ask our firm whether they should also apply for unemployment compensation. The answer as to whether an employee should apply for unemployment compensation depends on the factual circumstances of the termination.

Even if an employer terminates an employee in Virginia for alleged misconduct, the employee may still be able to seek and obtain unemployment compensation.

In addition, in Virginia the employer has the burden of proof if they want to argue that the employee was terminated for misconduct. The employer essentially has to prove that the employee violated a significant company rule (and it usually must be a clear rule).

In addition, it is often the case that an employee, through wrongful discharge negotiations, may obtain a resolution where the employer agrees not to contest unemployment.

Finally, an employee should keep in mind that if the employee is terminated for poor performance, as opposed to misconduct, unemployment compensation is generally granted. However, any separation or severance compensation received by the employee will typically delay receipt of unemployment compensation.

So, while a lot depends on unique factual circumstances in each case, and each case should be discussed with an attorney, it may very well be worth it to consider filing for unemployment compensation in Virginia even if the employer has alleged misconduct or egregious performance issues in the termination.

While our firm principally represents employees in wrongful termination proceedings (as opposed to representing employees in the actual unemployment compensation hearings), we often advise them on issues involving their unemployment compensation matters and factor these issues into separation or severance negotiations as they can relate to their wrongful termination cases and factor these issues into separation and severance agreement negotiations.

When facing wrongful termination issues in Virginia it can be helpful and important to obtain the advice from and representation of an attorney.

Our law firm advises and represents individuals in wrongful termination matters, including separation and severance agreement matters, in Virginia and other jurisdictions. We can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.


Troy’s Italian Kitchen Replaces Zpizza in Lyon Park

A new Italian restaurant is open in Lyon Park, replacing a pizza chain.

Troy’s Italian Kitchen replaced Zpizza at 2710 Washington Blvd in April. The eatery is located between a Discount Tobacco & Phone Cards store and the El Charrito Caminante Mexican and Salvadorian restaurant in a small strip mall.

Troy’s opens each day at 10 a.m. and has garnered mostly positive reviews online so far. An employee at the restaurant said Monday that demand has been good for its customizable pizzas, pastas, paninis and salads.

“People need to eat at different times,” he said of the earlier-than-usual opening hours.

Troy’s stays open until midnight Sundays through Thursdays, and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Inside, there is seating for around a dozen people.

Already, a small collection of art by younger customers is starting to grow on the wall, as well as a review written on a plate.

“Great pizza, great atmosphere, love the thin crust,” it reads. “Can’t wait to try out other pizzas.”


ACFD Treats Dozens of Army Ten Miler Runners for Heat-Related Illness

The Arlington County Fire Department had to roll out its mass-casualty ambulance bus to treat and transport dozens of runners suffering from heat-related illness during the Army Ten Miler on Sunday.

Race organizers shortened the course mid-way through the race, citing safety concerns amid unusually warm and humid conditions for an October day, WJLA reported. Sunday was “Washington’s sultriest October day ever recorded,” according to the Capital Weather Gang.

ACFD evaluated or treated a total of 145 patients and transported 34 to local hospitals, mostly due to heat-related incidents, Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow.com.

The fire department had staged two medic units on scene, with utility vehicles to transport stricken runners from the course, but called in an additional six ambulances around 9:30 a.m., O’Bryant said. The ambulance bus was called in shortly thereafter.

O’Bryant described the response as a “strike force” response, one level below a mass-casualty incident. All of the sirens were enough to attract the attention of Crystal City residents, one of whom took to Twitter to ask about it.

During the incident five ambulances from Fairfax, Alexandria and Reagan National Airport filled in as mutual aid at Arlington fire stations, said O’Bryant.

Last year, during much cooler weather, ACFD only transported five Army Ten Miler runners to Virginia Hospital Center, he said.

Photo via John Sonderman/Flickr. Hat tip to Jim H.


Arlingtonian Looks to Shake Up ‘Old-School’ Corporate Wellness Offerings

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.

After more than 15 years spent improving help people’s health, local resident Eifer Lyddane noticed a gap in corporate wellness programs.

“What’s interesting is a lot of these companies have wellness programs, but most of these wellness programs are, for lack of a better word, old school,” she said. “They are traditional programs that are biometric screening, hydration challenges, fitness challenges.”

And, Lyddane said, those programs don’t tend to get employees too excited to work on their health and wellbeing.

“The problem with all that is it doesn’t really engage their employees at a high level,” she said. “In fact, most of the companies I’ve talked to get about a 10 percent employee engagement, which I think is extremely low.”

So to freshen things up, Lyddane founded In Good Company Wellness a year and a half ago. The startup goes into businesses like IT companies and law firms, customizes a wellness program for employees and then implements it.

Lyddane said programs can include guidance on nutrition, farm-to-table catering, meditation, talks and workshops on wellness, or yoga and other fitness-based activities. Programs are typically scheduled to happen on a regular basis — usually each month or each week — but In Good Company offers one-off programs too.

The company also just launched a podcast on mindfulness, where “mindfulness guru” Hugh Byrne interviews entrepreneurs who are having an impact on the local community.

One such program is a rooftop yoga class at the Watergate Hotel in D.C. in partnership with meditation studio Recharj. Lyddane said programs like that, which are consistent and offer people a chance to decompress and take some time for themselves are of great help.

“Our real goal is to go into these companies and really add that wellness piece that engages employees and helps them figure out what to do with stress and anxiety, and offer it at lunchtime, before work, after work,” Lyddane said. “It also helps with interactions with their colleagues and clients as well.”

And having worked with around 30 businesses already, including national and global companies that take advantage of online content like webinars, Lyddane said employers have noticed a difference already in their employees.

“After six months, it’s interesting to see the change in the culture of the organization just from that wellness element,” she said. “Their interactions with each other, they’re not as stressed. It’s almost like the culture is more laid back, and is not as harried and hectic.”

Employees, meanwhile, are embracing the programs being offered, especially as it allows them to escape their stressful work lives.

“You think about it, people come to work, they’ve already been in traffic for an hour or an hour and a half and they’re stressed when they get there and they’re thinking about the future and getting things done,” Lyddane said. “It’s just a way of taking time for themselves in the workplace, and it shows that their employer really cares about them and their wellbeing. It’s been very well received.”

Photos via In Good Company Wellness.


Manassas Business Owners Wary of Becoming Like Clarendon

Some small business owners in Manassas are concerned that Manassas is becoming too much like Clarendon.

Potomac Local reports that the Arlington neighborhood came up during a business roundtable discussion on Friday. While some expressed apprehension at the idea, others were supportive of Manassas becoming more upscale.

The topics ranged from development to affordable housing.

Some in the group said they don’t want to see more apartments and condos built in the city. Others advocated for condos that sell for $350,000 and above.

“I see Manassas looking more and more like Clarendon in Arlington,” said one man.

Clarendon has changed considerably over the past decade or two, with an influx of new apartments, condos, restaurants and younger residents. Along with the new development and new residents, however, the neighborhood has also seen rising rents and the loss of many long-time local businesses.

Photo courtesy Potomac Local


Morning Poll: Are You Working Today?

Today, Columbus Day, is a federal holiday, which means that a large portion of the local workforce has the day off.

Not everyone gets the day off work, of course. There are essential workers — cops, nurses, bus drivers, etc. — who work no matter what the holiday. Then there are organizations like ours, which swap Columbus Day with the day after Thanksgiving, thus trading today for a four-day Thanksgiving weekend, which many employees prefer. There also might be some who do not treat Columbus Day as a holiday out of principle.

But just how large a portion is off today? Who is enjoying a three day weekend, compared to those who are working?

Despite the fact that those bored at work are probably more likely to respond than those on vacation, let’s try to find an approximate measure for how many Arlingtonians have Columbus Day off.


Morning Notes

Nate Remnants Pushing Out — It has been a rainy and windy morning thanks to the remnants of what was once Hurricane Nate. The heaviest of the rain is over but it is expected to remain windy and humid during the day today, with a gale warning in effect until 6 p.m. for those on the water. [Twitter, Weather Channel]

Voter Registration Up This Cycle — Arlington County has processed twice the number of voter registration transactions between Labor Day and Oct. 6 this year as it did during the same period four years ago, according to elections chief Linda Lindberg. That suggests greater interest in this year’s statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, though County Board and School Board races are also on the ballot. [InsideNova]

Arlington Schools Get Grant — Arlington is among the Virginia localities getting a grant for new school security equipment. Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Langston High School Continuation Program are together receiving $44,480 through the state program, put in place in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting in Connecticut. A total of $6 million is being divvied out to dozens of school systems, paying for “video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades.” [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman


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