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by Chris Teale December 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A nationally-known Pilates studio has opened its first D.C.-area location in Pentagon Row.

Club Pilates had its soft opening this weekend at 1101 S. Joyce Street, and will host a grand opening celebration on January 6. The gym is next to the Saigon Saigon restaurant. It had planned to open earlier, but organizers blamed delays on the county permitting process.

The soft opening included three full days of free 30-minute introductory classes and specials. Soft opening pricing specials are available through January 5 and include 20 percent off the first three months, 5 percent off an annual membership and the waiving of the enrollment fee.

Classes are available in the mornings and evenings at the studio, which modernizes traditional Pilates with the help of state-of-the-art equipment. Eight different class formats are available, with four levels of difficulty.

“Club Pilates is like nothing the DC area has ever seen — merging a variety of exercises that complement the core traditional Pilates practice,” studio owner Michael Grams said in a statement. “And in our efforts to modernize the workout even further, we’re bringing a group class feel with slightly larger classes (12 reformers vs. the traditional 2 to 8) so students will feel the motivation of community while providing personalized attention in this all-in-one workout.”

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Someone fired gunshots at a group of four juveniles walking down the street in the Nauck neighborhood last night.

Police did not report a possible motive for the Sunday night shooting, only saying in a crime report that a vehicle with three males inside approached, shots were filed “in the direction of the juveniles” and the suspects drove off. The kids were unhurt.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 217-12030213, 24th Street S. at Shirlington Road. At approximately 8:16 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, it was determined that four juveniles were walking in the area when they were approached by a vehicle with three black males inside. One of the occupants of the vehicle brandished a firearm and fired shots in the direction of the juveniles. The vehicle fled the scene prior to police arrival. It is described as a large black van or SUV. There is no suspect(s) description. The juveniles were uninjured. Officers canvased the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

by Chris Teale December 4, 2017 at 3:00 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.

Monday

Conversations With Tyler: Ross Douthat *
GMU Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

New York Times editorial columnist and leading conservative thinker Ross Douthat joins Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging dialogue as part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler series at George Mason University’s Founders Hall.

Carols and Ale *
O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Celebrate the holidays with good company, communal singing, and giving back. Attendees are invited to bring donations for Doorways for Women and Families: Paper towels, dish soap, disinfectant wipes, Target gift cards and/or monetary gifts.

Tuesday

Holiday Cheer on Tap
Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston (4610 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

Celebrate the holiday season with colleagues, friends and neighbors in Ballston alongside the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Ballston BID. Enjoy drinks and appetizers while networking with fellow local business leaders.

Fill the Cruiser
Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street)
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

Officers from the Arlington County Police Department will collect new, unwrapped toys as part of Operation Santa to donate to needy children. Donations can also be made at police headquarters (1425 N. Courthouse Road) until December 15.

Thursday

Home Alone
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:45 p.m.

As part of the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse’s Christmas Movie Festival, view a screening of holiday classic Home Alone, starring Macaulay Culkin as a child that gets left at home by his parents. Another screening is on Monday, December 11.

Friday

Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting
Sheraton Pentagon City (900 S. Orme Street)
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 93rd annual meeting will be a celebration of 2017 and the exciting future. The meeting details the Chamber’s key initiatives and plans for the coming year, with a keynote address from County Board chair Jay Fisette.

Miracle on 23rd Street
Linden Resources (750 23rd Street S.)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

The annual Arlington holiday tradition features The Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony, Santa arriving on an fire truck, a visit with Santa, face painting for children and holiday musical entertainment. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly.

Saturday

Wakefield High School Holiday Shop
Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wakefield High School students, clubs, activities and teams will be selling fair trade and hand-made items to raise money for activities at the school. Current vendors include 10,000 Villages, Wakefield Boosters, Colette’s Popcorn and more.

Grump! Arts and Crafts Show
Crystal City Underground (1750 Crystal Drive)
Time: Noon to 5 p.m.

A chance to shop locally and have your photo taken with the Grumpy Yeti. More than 50 vendors will appear, chosen by jury every October. Items available include clothes, jewelry, greeting cards, cosmetics, art and accessories.

Sunday

Bubbles & Beyond *
Twisted Vines (2803 Columbia Pike)
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

A casual tasting event featuring a variety of sparkling wines and various bite-sized pairings of food. Stations will be setup throughout the restaurant with wine professionals taking you through the wine’s story and how best to pair for the season.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of an attempted armed robbery that happened this afternoon along Lee Highway.

The incident was reported around 1:15 p.m., on the 4500 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man pulled a knife on two women who were getting into a car in front of the Chipotle.

“The victims were able to safely leave the location and the suspect fled the area on foot,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “No injuries were reported.”

“Police have established a perimeter and a K9 track will be attempted,” Savage continued. “The suspect is described as a black male with a full beard wearing a dark hoodie. Expect police activity in the area.”

As of 2:05 p.m., police had a possible suspect in custody, according to scanner traffic. The suspect was later positively identified by witnesses and charges are pending, said Savage.

Before the arrest, schools in the area were notified of the attempted robbery as police searched for the suspect.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm 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 Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

Can an employer in Virginia require an applicant or employee to submit to a polygraph examination in order to make a hiring or retention decision?

Although employers in the private sector are permitted to use polygraph examinations on their applicants or employees, employers must adhere to strict rules. These include providing “the right to a written notice before testing, the right to refuse or discontinue a test, and the right not to have test results disclosed to unauthorized persons.” In addition, there are federal and state restrictions on polygraph usage.

Employee Polygraph Protection Act

On the federal level, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (29 U.S.C.§ 2001- 2009) provides for strict limits on the use of polygraphs in the workplace for applicants and employees. The EPPA bars most types of employers in Virginia (and other states) from requiring or even suggesting that a current employee or job applicant submit to a polygraph examination. The EPPA also prohibits employers from utilizing the results of any polygraph examination.

However, the EPPA does not apply to Virginia employees who work for federal, state and local governments. Polygraph examinations can often be part of the legal processing of a federal security clearance. The EPPA also does not apply to private sector employees engaged in security-related employment (e.g., security guard, armored car services). The EPPA permits polygraph testing, subject to restriction, of certain types of employees who are reasonably suspected of involvement in workplace theft or embezzlement that resulted in an economic loss to the employer. The Department of Labor has provided a good summary of the law under the EPPA act.

If an employer is found liable by a court under the EPPA for not following the law regarding polygraph use, the employer can be held liable for penalties up to $10,000; lost wages and benefits; and attorney’s fees. There is also equitable relief where an employee can seek reinstatement or lost promotions as a result of the employer’s violation of the EPPA. Thus, employers need to be extremely careful when considering the use of polygraph examinations under the EPPA.

Virginia State Polygraph Protections

Virginia provides additional protections for employees who submit to polygraph examinations. One major restriction bars questions about an applicant’s prior sexual activities. The 1977 Virginia law, in Va. Code Ann.§ 40.1-51.4:3, prohibits the use of certain questions during polygraph tests for employment, as follows:

“No employer shall, as a condition of employment, require a prospective employee to answer questions in a polygraph test concerning the prospective employee’s sexual activities unless such sexual activity of the prospective employee has resulted in a conviction of a violation of the criminal laws of this Commonwealth.

Any written record of the results of a polygraph examination given to a prospective employee by an employer shall be destroyed or maintained on a confidential basis by the employer giving the examination and shall be open to inspection only upon agreement of the employee tested. Violation of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

(more…)

by Chris Teale December 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

The second phase of Arlington County’s leaf collection program begins today.

Some neighborhoods can expect to see trucks pass through as early as today (December 4), with the work scheduled to be completed across the county on December 21. Trucks will operate Monday through Saturday.

To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are reminded to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.

County staff said residents should only report their street has been missed if leaves haven’t been collected after it’s been labeled completed, by calling 703-228-6570.

And with piles of leaves on the ground this fall, one anonymous tipster warned others to think before driving through those piles.

The tipster wrote:

With all the leaf piles in the streets this time of year I want to get the word out that children play in those leaves. I was waiting for my son at [Williamsburg Middle School] and was parked behind a pile of leaves. While I was waiting a WMS student popped up out of the leaf pile. He had been laying in the pile for at least 30 seconds for me to not see any activity. He got up and walked away. Moments later a parent drove into that leaf pile and parked to wait for her child. Someone’s son was less than 10 seconds from being run over. This is the second time I have seen a child pop up out of the leaves on the street.

Flickr pool photo by Eric

by Chris Teale December 4, 2017 at 11:45 am 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.

Just in time for the holiday party season, a catering startup has launched an online marketplace for business customers to order its food.

HUNGRY, which launched last year, opened its online ordering system earlier this month.

Customers can now log on to its website, fill in details on the number of people they expect to cater for, a delivery date and time and their zip code. HUNGRY then works to provide personalized choices, including different cuisine types and showing the chef who would prepare them.

The website also shows the average price per person for the locally-prepared dishes, and gives a sample menu.

“We partner with incredible local chefs that prepare amazing variety across all types of cuisines and affordable prices, making HUNGRY’s model the future of office-centered catering,” Shy Pahlevani, HUNGRY president, said in a statement. “The new marketplace makes online ordering a simple three-step process as our proprietary Smart Catering Engine recommends the ideal menu for your team based on your ordering preferences. This technology enables the consumer to feel more connected to their unique meal experience as they learn more about the chef that made their meal.”

Food options include seasonally-inspired salads and custom burger stations to modern takes on classic sandwiches and ethnic dishes. The marketplace also remembers past orders and interests, and factors those into its options for returning customers.

HUNGRY works with more than 50 chefs, who are provided kitchen space and marketed to interested customers, with the company taking care of delivery and logistics.

Earlier this year, it added four new D.C. area chefs to its stable, including Patrice Olivon, a former White House chef and Adam Greenberg of the Coconut Club and a “Chopped” champion on the Food Network.

“HUNGRY’s new marketplace provides access to more than 50 top-notch local chefs, giving our clients even more variety and authentic options to choose from,” Eman Pahlevani, HUNGRY founder, said in a statement. “Our growing chef network includes James Beard Award nominated chefs, former Iron Chef and Chopped champions, and even a former White House chef. The marketplace will be a catalyst for connecting these renowned chefs in our area and businesses together in a way like never before.”

Images via HUNGRY

by Chris Teale December 4, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

The rollout of the I-66 Express Lanes began this morning (Monday) with tolls already on the high side for solo drivers, and high prices could be the norm depending on traffic.

Tolls as high as $25-30 were reported this morning for non-HOV drivers heading from the Capital Beltway to Washington, D.C. on eastbound I-66.

And when an ARLnow reporter logged onto the 66 Express Lanes app just before 8:30 a.m., solo drivers could still expect to be hit in their wallets, even just traveling eastbound on I-66 within Arlington.

At that time, a trip from Sycamore Street in East Falls Church to Rosslyn would cost a solo rider $11.50, while a separate journey from the Glebe Road exit to the Pentagon would cost $7. A trip from the Beltway to Washington on I-66 cost $21 at the time.

A fact sheet on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s website said tolling “will be dynamic and will fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic on the Express Lanes.”

“As with other Express Lanes facilities, dynamic pricing will manage demand for the lanes to provide users a reliable trip,” VDOT continued. “When traffic volumes increase, tolls will rise, and when traffic volumes decrease, toll rates will fall.”

Eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway is free for carpoolers with at least two people in the car and an E-ZPass Flex device set to HOV. Solo drivers can take I-66 towards D.C. in the morning, as long as they’re willing to pay a toll that will vary with demand.

The High Occupancy Toll restrictions and charges will apply only to the peak demand direction during rush hour — 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the morning and 3-7 p.m. in the evening.

Traffic appeared to be flowing relatively freely on I-66 this morning from the overpass by Washington-Lee High School, where Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) broke ground on the HOT Lanes last year.

Virginia State Police had warned drivers to plan ahead and recognize the change in traffic patterns at the Express Lanes, and to not stop or back up.

And VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller said there were “[no] significant crashes or traffic problems to report with this morning’s rush hour.” Based on social media accounts, eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway experienced delays on the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge heading into D.C. — a fairly typical occurrence for the morning rush.

“State police thanks all the motorists who put the extra effort into planning ahead and being prepared for the I-66 changes,” Geller said.

Image No. 1: screenshot via 66 Express Lanes app

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Arlington, we need your help! Yesterday (12/2) between 3-6pm the 1966 Celeste Green Vespa was stolen from the Westover…

Posted by The Italian Store on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Long-time local business The Italian Store has lost a piece of its history to a thief.

The restaurant’s 1966 Celeste Green Vespa scooter, which “has welcomed customers to the store for the past 20 years,” was stolen Saturday evening around 5 p.m. from its Westover location, the business said on Facebook.

The Italian Store also released a screenshot from a surveillance video (below) showing the alleged Vespa bandit absconding with the vehicle down N. Longfellow Street.

The restaurant said it has contacted the Arlington County Police Department but it is seeking the public’s help in getting the Vespa back. Dozens of people have commented with words of sympathy and encouragement on the Facebook post.

by Rachel Sadon December 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

A look back at the legacy of the MCI Center, the latest in holiday bar shenanigans, and other news of the day over in the District.

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2017 at 12:15 am 0

After more than a year of work, the switchover from HOV to HOT lanes on I-66 is upon us, and Virginia State Police are asking commuters to be prepared for changes to their routines.

Starting with Monday’s morning commute, the inbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway will be free for carpoolers with at least two people in the car — and, now, an E-ZPass Flex device set to HOV. All other drivers will be able to take I-66 towards D.C. in the morning, as long as they’re willing to pay a toll that will vary with demand (as announced by electronic signs).

The High Occupancy Toll restrictions and charges will apply only to the peak demand direction during rush hour — 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the morning and 3-7 p.m. in the evening. During the evening commute, lone drivers heading outbound (westbound) on I-66 will be charged, even if they’re heading to Dulles airport.

Another change: drivers of hybrid vehicles who were previously able to use I-66 during HOV-only times will now have to pay.

In a press release, below, Virginia State Police said Sunday night that drivers should get ready for changes to the morning commute and a stepped-up police presence along I-66.

With the opening of the new 66 Express Lanes, Virginia State Police are encouraging all drivers to plan in advance if needing to travel I-66, especially during the Monday morning commute on Dec. 4, 2017. State police will have additional troopers on I-66 to help ease the flow of traffic, especially as motorists become accustomed to the new Express Lane changes.

“If you will be traveling I-66 on Monday morning and/or afternoon, then please plan ahead and before your trip research your options with the new Express Lanes,” said 1st Sgt. Steve Mittendorff, Virginia State Police Area 45 Office Commander. “Your morning and afternoon drives on I-66 inside the Beltway are going to look much different from what you are used to, so take advantage of the maps and detailed information provided at http://www.66expresslanes.org. Familiarize yourself with where the traffic lanes change to decide if you want or can use the Express Lanes on I-66 inside the Beltway during the designated hours.”

Plan Ahead. Recognizing and being prepared in advance of the change in traffic patterns at the Express Lanes entrance will help keep traffic moving safely and smoothly along I-66 during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Don’t stop or back up. Drivers should never stop or back up in an attempt to avoid the Express Lanes. If you accidentally find yourself in the Express Lanes, then just keep going in the Express Lanes and get off at the first exit. Go to http://www.66expresslanes.org and follow the directions on how to pay the toll online. Backing up or stopping puts you at risk of causing a crash and being seriously injured or killed.

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