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Play Spring Social Sports in Arlington with DC Fray

The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer. If you want to live your best life this spring, don’t miss your chance to sign up for social sports in Arlington with DC Fray.

DC Fray is on a mission to make fun possible and registration for spring social sports leagues in Arlington is open now through March 27. There are over 15 Arlington leagues to choose from, including kickball, dodgeball, basketball, skeeball, cornhole, yoga and more. Each league also partners with cool local Arlington bars for after-game happy hours!

You can sign up as an individual, small group or full team, so register with your friends, or come make new ones.

Need convincing to join a DC Fray league? Here are 5 (of the many) reasons: social sports are a must for anyone who lives in the D.C. area.

  1. It’s camaraderie over competition. Winning is fun, but DC Fray is all about making new friends and building relationships.
  2. Get more than just a sports league. Yeah, there are 18 leagues that bring you on-the-field action every week, but you’ll also get post-game happy hours, player parties and other perks for playing.
  3. You can stay active without hitting the gym. You can pay a lot of money each month to workout alone, or you can pay a lot less money to stay in shape by playing your favorite activity with friends.
  4. You’ll spend less time living for the weekend. Why wait until Friday to have fun? Weeknight leagues help break up your same old routine by giving you a fun night with friends to look forward during the work week.
  5. Teammates can turn into friends or lovers. Just ask the hundreds of people who still hang out with people from a dodgeball squad they played on 10 years ago or met their partner playing kickball on the National Mall.

DC Fray spring registration is open through Tuesday, March 27. Visit dcfray.com/leagues to find a league in your Arlington neighborhood. Join us and let’s play!


Arlington Agenda: March 5-11

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, March 6

Arlington Job Fair*
Doubletree by Hilton Crystal City (300 Army Navy Drive)
Time: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Interview with hiring managers at local businesses, Fortune 500 corporations, and businesses in between. On the spot hiring is possible, candidates are encouraged to register ahead of time.

Wednesday, March 7

Emergency Preparedness
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Learn how to prepare for natural and man-made disasters including how to stay safe, how to stay connected, and what to carry in your emergency backpack. Registration required.

 Thursday, March 8

STARMAN – The Badass Bowie Cover Band
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 9-10:30 p.m.

A Bowie cover band is embarking on their first multi-city tour and making a stop at the Clarendon Grill. Prepare yourself for Bowie-inspired costumes and a curated song list.

Friday, March 9

St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.

Saturday, March 10

Four Courts Four Miler
Arlington Courthouse (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9-11 a.m.

An up and down hill race, with a post race gathering at the finish line, Ireland’s Four Courts, complete with live music and Irish dancers.

NOVA Teen Book Festival
Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

A free, day-long book festival bringing together authors and readers in celebration of young adult literature. Author panels, question and answer sessions, and book signings throughout the event.

30th Annual Four Mile Run Stream Cleanup
Four Mile Run (301 S. Harrison Street)
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Join volunteers and get outdoors to restore one of Arlington’s natural spaces. Bags provided, adults must accompany volunteers under 18 years old. Several start up locations available.

Women’s History Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 9-11 a.m.

Only 17.34% of English-language biographical Wikipedia articles are on women, according to the library. Create or edit articles about Arlington women. Registration required, lunch served.

Sunday, March 11

Grimm Glamour & Faerie Fashion
Central Library Auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Watch make up demonstrations and costuming tips from a make up artist and stylist. Registration required.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event


Spotted: Jon Stewart in Clarendon

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart spoke at an event in Clarendon Monday afternoon.

The actor and comedian, who advocates for veterans issues and emceed a USO event in Crystal City two years ago, was in the neighborhood for the launch of the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing.

TAPS — the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which supports families of fallen service members — is based at 3033 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.

Stewart offered “beautiful words” about  TAPS, its mission and its new program, said one attendee.

Outside of the event, celebrity photographer Mark Wilkins snapped a photo of Stewart tying his shoe while walking around Clarendon.

Earlier in the day Stewart spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill, blasting a proposed policy change that would make it harder for 9/11 first responders to get medical treatment under the World Trade Center Health Program.


Sources: Amazon Toured Crystal City and Rosslyn Last Week

Amazon officials visited Crystal City and Rosslyn last week as part of the company’s HQ2 search, multiple sources tell ARLnow.com.

Commercial real estate industry sources say the Crystal City tour happened Wednesday. The Arlington neighborhood, with its vacant office space and robust transportation options, has been mentioned as a frontrunner among D.C. area locales.

Amazon officials also toured Rosslyn, the other Arlington location in the running, we’re told.

The Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell reported today that the Amazon officials toured sites in D.C., Montgomery County and Northern Virginia, having breakfast with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) Wednesday morning and dinner with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bower (D) Wednesday night.

The Post report corroborated the tips received last week by ARLnow.com. Arlington County officials, who are under tight non-disclosure agreements, declined to comment on the visit. Another local leader, speaking off the record, suggested that reports of the visit were erroneous.


Clarendon’s Barre3 Studio Postpones Opening

Clarendon’s new Barre3 studio was set to start its first classes today (March 5), but has postponed its opening day.

The hold up is due to “the unexpected surprises that come with construction, permits and inspections,” according to an email sent on Friday to those who had signed up for the first week of classes.

The email didn’t specify a revised opening date for the barre studio to open at Market Common, and emails to the location were not returned over the weekend. A later email from the chain to customers noted that at least one additional free class would be held before opening their doors “this month.”

Many of the first week’s classes were free for locals to try out the studio, but anyone who had signed up was removed from the class list and had an extra free class added to their accounts for any of the local locations.

The chain also has a nearby location in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, but this would be the first Arlington addition.


Suspect Arrested in Rosslyn Sexual Assault Case

A 25-year-old D.C. man has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in Rosslyn last May.

The suspect is Richard Allen Lowe, who police say knocked on doors at an apartment building on the 1500 block of Key Boulevard pretending to be a maintenance worker. When a female victim opened her door, the suspect attacked her, sexually assaulting her before fleeing, according to police.

Lowe, charged with abduction with intent to defile and malicious wounding, is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

More from the press release:

Arlington County Police detectives conducted an intensive investigation including the review of crime scene evidence, witness interviews and laboratory results. The review resulted in additional information that led detectives to identify Richard Allen Lowe as a possible suspect. Forensic evidence and thorough investigative efforts linked the suspect to the incident. The suspect was arrested in Washington D.C. on February 22, 2018 with assistance by the Metropolitan Police Department and subsequently extradited to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident or concerning Richard Allen Lowe is asked to contact Detective P. Pena at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

After the attack last May, the Arlington County Police Department released a video of the suspect entering another residential building on the 1900 block of Wilson Boulevard. In that instance, the building’s concierge saw the man sneak in and denied him further access.


The Chew: Grain Vs. Grain-Free Pet Food

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark + Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington

What your pet eats is vital to its health, so making the best choice regarding their food is important.

Since nearly every pet owner has an opinion on grain-free food and whether you should feed it to your pet, how can you know for sure what you should do for your furry friend? Bark + Boarding is here to help you sort through the information.

Is Grain-Free Best?

The primary argument supporters of grain-free food make is that the ancestors of modern-day animals were carnivores, and so it is more natural for our pets to eat meat.

Until the 1940s, dog and cat food was primarily moist and packaged in cans. As World War II began, the pet food industry switched to dry food, since it included less meat and could be packaged in bags rather than metal cans, which were also affected by rationing. While these dry pellets contained the necessary nutrition, they included more grain than found in previous products.

Grain-free foods also tend to have higher quality ingredients, such as real chicken, beef, salmon, eggs and other whole protein sources, which are generally better for your pet than the byproducts that are found in lower quality brands.

Because it is typically made of these healthier ingredients, grain-free food keeps animals fuller for a longer amount of time. Even though it is more expensive up front, the food should last longer and end up costing less in the long run.

A common belief is that switching to grain-free food can help alleviate food allergies. Although there is no solid scientific evidence to support this, it’s worth consulting your veterinarian about switching if you suspect your dog may have allergies caused by food.

What About Food Containing Grain?

While it’s true that the ancestors of dogs were carnivores, studies have shown that since dogs began living with humans, they have evolved genes for digesting grain and starches that wolves don’t have. This means that food with grain isn’t destroying your dog’s digestive system.

The grain-free movement in animal food didn’t develop until gluten-free and Paleo diets became popular among humans. Pet food marketers suspected that if humans considered certain elements as unhealthy in their own diets, they would believe they were unhealthy in their pets’ diets as well and began creating food to capitalize on this belief.

Low quality brands often rely too much on meat byproducts and starches such as potatoes to act as fillers in their foods. While this may not be detrimental to your pet’s health, it does mean you’re giving them food that in large part has no nutritional value and is simply meant to fill them up quickly.

However, if you buy high quality brands that are comprised of whole protein ingredients, these will likely be as healthy for your dog as the grain-free options.

Ultimately, it depends on each individual pet if grain-free is best for them. Consulting your vet is an important part of deciding whether to switch to grain-free food. Remember that it is important to introduce any new food slowly, replacing about 10 percent of their current food with the new brand each day.

Whether grain-free or not, you should look for food that has protein sources listed as the first ingredient and doesn’t rely heavily on additives and unnecessary fillers like low-quality meat byproducts and starches.

Bark + Boarding sells a variety of high quality grain-free and grain food and treats from which to choose. Being smart and attentive to your pet’s diet is the best way to ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy and thrive.

Click here to check out our short (approx 60 second) video about this article!


Arlington-Based Restaurant Software Company Poised for National Rollout

Startup Monday header

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.

Bo Davis, CEO and co-founder of MarginEdge, has been in the restaurant business since 2005, when he opened a sushi conveyor belt restaurant called Wasabi in the Tysons Corner mall.

But Davis is also familiar with the technology sector, as he started a software company called Prometheus that was later sold in 2002. In his experience running a restaurant, Davis had to deal with tons of paperwork involving lots of purchasing information. He also struggled with getting all the purchasing information into his account system while keeping all inventory and recipes up to date.

“It’s just a bit of a nightmare, honestly. That inspired it,” Davis said.

Then MarginEdge, a software application designed to help restaurants with their back office accounting processes, was launched by Davis and a group of co-founders in 2015.

The web-based platform comes with a phone app that allows restaurant employees to take a pictures of invoices and receipts. From there a team in India does the data processing from the invoices and within 24 hours all item-level detail is in MarginEdge’s system.

The software also ties into a restaurant’s point of sales, allowing MarginEdge to pull from the restaurant’s sales data by gathering the cost of things bought and sold. Then MarginEdge can compile reports on food costs, spending and other points of interest, Davis said.

Basically, MarginEdge simplifies accounting procedures and makes things more transparent for restaurants, he added.

For the first couple years of MarginEdge, Davis said the Arlington-based startup only had 20 restaurants for customers that were friends of the co-founders. It’s only within the past year that the company began taking on more customers and now has 200 clients, growing 400 percent in the process.

Most of the clients are local restaurants including District Taco, Buffalo Wing Factory and Glory Days Grill.

“We’re pretty conservative people so we spent two years making sure it was robust, it was strong enough,” Davis said. “And so it was more of a question taking our time to make sure we got it right, and then once we felt like it was really working then we were ready to take it out.”

On MarginEdge’s website, Greg Casten owner of Ivy City Smokehouse, Tony & Joe’s and Nick’s River Place, said the software has “so dramatically improved the way we process invoices and monitor critical costs that we credit it for producing the most profits we’ve ever achieved period after period.”

Restaurants have told Davis that they’ve saved 10-20 hours a week in data entry since using the product.

“I’m most proud of the fact that restaurateurs are enjoying what they get out of it and it’s making their lives easier,” Davis said.

Some clients have also decided to invest into MarginEdge. The company announced last month that it had raised $3 million to take its service national.

“It’s exciting to think that customers that we didn’t know liked it so much they invested in the company,” Davis said.

Photos via MarginEdge


Couple Marries In Clarendon Gelato Shop

It was a pretty sweet wedding, if you ask Cristian Velasco.

An Arlington couple exchanged vows last week at Velasco’s Boccato Gelato shop in Clarendon.

“We had our first date there,” explained Catherine Bingham, née Morse, who married Terry Bingham last night at the impromptu ceremony.

“We’ve known each other since we were toddlers,” she added. “His grandparents were like my grandparents.”

The couple married Thursday night (March 1) after the quiet hours were over at the gelato shop’s coworking space. The only guests were the couple’s combined six young children — two girls and four boys — and Catherine’s boss at an Arlington-based consulting agency.

The children weren’t aware that their parents would be getting married that evening, but the couple says that the children have always rooted for the relationship.

Catherine called Velasco Thursday morning to ask if the couple could get married at the store that evening. The store owner wasn’t sure what to expect, but was excited as the couple exchanged vows by a fireplace and their children read some of the vows.

The children also had baskets with candy that they passed out to the applauding customers.

“It’s all surreal, she pretty much comes in dressed up in her veil, all radiant and so happy,” said Velasco. “People just see this and are like, what is happening?”

Catherine spent her childhood living in Alexandria, Va., across the street from her husband’s grandmother. They played together in the neighborhood and went swimming together, and later reconnected at Bingham’s grandmother’s 95th birthday about two years ago.

The couple had a civil ceremony on January 26 in the kitchen of their friend, Bob McDonald, the Washington Capitals’ anthem soloist who is in the U.S. Army Band with Terry. No one other than the McDonalds knew that the couple had the civil ceremony, and the Binghams wanted to surprise their combined six children.

“We didn’t really have a plan until the last minute because we kept wanting to make it special and surprise the kids,” said Catherine. “But everything else that we came up with just didn’t feel right.”

The couple planned to go to At Melissa’s Bed & Breakfast in Rehoboth Beach, Del., this past weekend, despite the wind storm sweeping across the region. At some point, Catherine added, the couple will probably go somewhere that involves an airplane without the children, but a beach trip with cake and sparkling cider sounded like a great way to cap off an already exciting week.

Photos courtesy Catherine Bingham and via Boccato Gelato/Twitter


Dominion Crews Still Working to Fully Restore Power in Arlington

Some 330 Dominion customers in Arlington were still without power Monday morning, following Friday’s intense, prolonged wind storm.

Dominion crews worked throughout the weekend to restore electricity in Northern Virginia. The few hundred without power in Arlington was down from more than 14,000 as of Friday evening.

The power outages in Arlington are mostly smaller, with a few homes or a single home affected in a given area. Sometimes the outage is the result of the service line being ripped from the house by a falling tree.

Dominion is estimating full restoration to be complete by 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to its website.

The company says the “#windmageddon” storm is among the top 5 most damaging storms in Dominion history, with about 700,000 customers losing power. Dominion had nearly 4,000 personnel working to restore power over the weekend, including hundreds called in from out of state.

More via social media:

Map via Dominion


Morning Notes

Partisans Stake Out Sides on Country Club Tax Bill — There are two very different political perspectives on the state bill that would greatly lower the tax bills of Arlington’s two country clubs. On one hand, a writer on the conservative blog Bearing Drift says Arlington’s tax treatment of Army-Navy Country Club (which is covered by the bill along with Washington Golf & Country Club) is “manifestly unfair, and… impacts an especially distinguished and patriotic group of older folks.” On the other hand, progressive blog Blue Virginia says the bill, which passed the Virginia General Assembly last week, should be vetoed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) because it would “lavish big $$$ on super-rich people, weaken local autonomy vs state AND set a horrible precedent.” [Bearing Drift, Blue Virginia]

County Launches Online Payments for Building Permits — After years of grumbles from local businesses, starting today Arlington County is accepting online payments for building permits. Payments can only be made online when one is submitting permits via the ePlan Review portal. [Arlington County]

Arlington Tourism Tax Bill Passes — “More than a dozen Republican members of the House of Delegates voted against, but Arlington’s effort to retain its ability to levy a surtax on hotel stays to pay for tourism promotion is headed to the governor’s desk.” [InsideNova]

Arlingtonian Making World Record Attempt — Crystal City resident and elite runner Tyler Andrews will attempt to break the 3o-year-old record for fastest 50K run next month. [STRIVE Trips]

First Down Marks Ninth Anniversary — First Down Sports Bar & Grill in Ballston is celebrating 9 years in business today. [ARLnow Events]

Nearby: Lebanese Taverna Closing in Bethesda — Arlington-based local restaurant chain Lebanese Taverna is closing its Bethesda location, citing an inability to reach agreement on a new lease with the landlord of Bethesda Row. [Bethesda Beat]

Photo courtesy Paola Lyle


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