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March 19: A Conversation with Martina Navratilova at Mercatus Center

Martina Navratilova — record-setting tennis player, communist defector, author, and activist — will join Tyler Cowen at George Mason University’s Arlington campus for a wide-ranging dialogue as part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler series. The conversation is free of charge and open to the public.

Click here to register

Born in Prague, Martina Navratilova began playing tennis at 7 years old and won her first singles title in Orlando, Florida, 10 years later.

As her tennis career ramped up outside the borders of Czechoslovakia, officials in her native country began pressuring her to “behave,” warning her that she would not be granted travel visas if she continued fraternizing with tennis players from other countries or becoming too “Americanized.”

Navratilova, a teenager at the time, began to feel a threat to her tennis aspirations and took the most courageous action of her career.  At the age of 18, she defected to the United States, leaving behind her family and native country to pursue her dreams.

Navratilova’s sacrifice paid off. Despite backlash from being one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay, she won the Wimbledon women’s singles title a record nine times.

In all, Navratilova has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles (an all-time record) and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; in total, she has won 59 Grand Slam titles.  She continues to play at all the Grand Slams where she takes part in the legends doubles.

A dedicated activist, Navratilova believes that speaking out about political and social issues is a way to give back to the country that gave her so much. While she has involved herself with many charities and causes, she has been especially outspoken about issues that hit closest to home: communism and gay rights.

Navratilova’s activism and depth of thinking make her a prime candidate for the Conversations with Tyler series, which featured basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 2016.

In the series, George Mason economist Tyler Cowen talks to some of today’s most underrated thinkers about everything and anything. More recent guests include Malcolm Gladwell, Larry Summers, and Atul Gawande.

Click here to register for the conversation with Martina Navratilova

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New Coffee Shop Appears to Be Coming to Clarendon

A new coffee shop is coming to Clarendon, according to a building permit application.

The coffee shop will be located at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Garfield Street and, according to the permit application, will be just over 1,000 square feet. Few other details were immediately available.

The cafe will occupy the long-vacant ground floor space that was formerly home to Spice and a procession of other short-lived food businesses. It will face some stiff competition for the wallets of local coffee drinkers; among other nearby options are Starbucks, Peet’sNorthside Social, Dunkin’ DonutsDetour Coffee Co. and Blumen Cafe.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Arlington Agenda: March 12-18

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 13

Trivia Night: Are you smarter than a Catholic sister?*
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Test your pop culture and general knowledge against a team of Catholic Sisters, with drink specials and free appetizers. Prizes for top trivia teams.

Wednesday, March 14

Shaping Arlington for a Smart & Secure Future*
County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Listen to a panel discussion on how technology will shape Arlington, featuring government and cybersecurity experts. A reception with light refreshments will also be held.

Arlington Committee of 100 Virginia Hospital Center Expansion*
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Committee of 100 is hosting a panel discussion on Virginia Hospital Center’s expansion, the county’s population growth and evolving community healthcare needs. Optional dinner served.

Thursday, March 15

Parenting Lecture: Parenting an Anxious Child
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Dr. Christine Golden will discuss the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety and offer some helpful strategies for managing behaviors. The lecture is free to attend.

Friday, March 16

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 17

Whitlow’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9 a.m. – Close

Live Irish music and an open rooftop welcome you at Whitlow’s On Wilson’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Special Irish menu and March Madness games on the TVs all day.

WJAFC Open Day*
Virginia Highlands Park (1600 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A co-ed, free clinic to learn the Australian football game. Kids from 5-15 will learn starting at 9 a.m., with an adults clinic and co-ed non-contact game at 10:30 a.m.

Guinness and Gold*
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

Tour the Clarendon apartment building with a free Guinness and cash in on leasing deals. Leasing specials are subject to terms and conditions.

Wine Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Tre Monti winery over a four course meal with five wines, including theThea Passito 2012 Romagna Albana DOCG raisin wine. Tickets are $75 per person.

Yorktown High School Presents “Almost, Maine”*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Boulevard)
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.

Students will be performing John Cariani’s “Almost Maine,” about a remote, mythical town and the effect of the northern lights on the lovestruck residents. Tickets are $10.

Sunday, March 18

St. Joseph’s Table Celebration
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Join the church following the noon mass for a procession to celebrate this feast day with a potluck lunch, live music, and a kids woodworking shop.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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‘My Thrive Pilates’ Has Closed

A local fitness business has suddenly shuttered all of its locations.

My Thrive Pilates sent emails to customers Sunday night announcing that it was closing immediately and selling its equipment “to pay remaining payroll obligations.” Several tipsters forwarded the email to ARLnow.com.

Content has been removed from the company’s website and its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages have been taken down. A Google search indicates that it had locations in Courthouse, Shirlington and Falls Church.

The fitness studio was well reviewed, garnering a 4.5 star review on the Yelp page for My Thrive’s Courthouse location and 4 stars for the other locations.

The full email, after the jump.

To the My Thrive Community,

I regretfully write to share that My Thrive Pilates will be permanently closing all locations as of 8 p.m. Sunday, March 11th 2018.

All equipment will be auctioned to pay remaining payroll obligations.

I am heartbroken by and apologize for this happening and wish to share that we did everything in our power to keep the studios up and running.  We thank each and every one of you for your support.

Over the last 7 years we have enjoyed and are grateful for the people who became a part of our community and wish all of you the very best.

Thank you,

Stephanie Westberg
My Thrive Pilates

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Board Set To Approve County Government HQ Renovation

The Arlington County Board is set to approve a $2.6 million contract for the design of interior upgrades to the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center in Courthouse.

County staff has recommended awarding the contract, including a five percent contingency, to Architecture, Inc., a Reston, Va., company. County Board members are expected to consider the approval during its Saturday, March 17 meeting.

The project will be funded by the landlord, JBG Smith, which provided a $23.7 million tenant improvement allowance following lease extension negotiations last year. The County will also occupy the 2100 Clarendon Boulevard building rent-free from Nov. 1, 2018 through Oct. 31, 2019, which the county estimates will save $9.9 million.

There is also an expected broker rebate of $2.5 million.

The 235,000-square-foot building sits at the intersection of a new pedestrian safety improvement project. According to county documents, it has been 12 years since the building’s last renovation.

File photo

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Legal Insider: Benefits of Resolving Employment Disputes Without Litigation

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, Esq.

While it is not always possible to avoid litigation in employment cases, resolving an employment dispute without litigation, if possible, is strongly recommended and should be considered by both employees and employers.

We have represented both employees and employers and the benefits of resolution usually far outweigh the lengthy litigation process. Some benefits to consider include:

1. Avoid Extended Litigation: We have had employment cases in extended litigation that take between three to six years in the court process.

When going into an employment case, an employee and employer should consider whether it makes sense to litigate these types of cases over such a potentially long period of time.

Usually, employees do not want to have such a long period of uncertainty to their career, and an employer does not want to spend $50,000 to $100,000 (or more) litigating an employment case. Employers can also have similar uncertainties about staffing while a case is pending.

2. Limiting Costs: Extended litigation can cost a lot of money for both employees and employers.

Employees usually pay for these fees out of pocket and employers either pay these fees out of pocket or through increased premiums in their use of insurance defense policies.

Some of our most satisfied clients are those who have decided to resolve their disputes early in the process and save themselves money. They may reach a compromise that is not perfect, but sometimes it is far better than the result of the litigation.

3. No Stress from Discovery: Because we have taken a number of depositions over the years of managers, witnesses and employees, we can tell you that going through the discovery process can take a stressful toll on both employers and employees.

The former employee often undergoes a high level of stress in telling his or her story to an opposing attorney who is looking to disprove their account through questioning.

For employers, it is no better because managers also get stressed about telling the truth while being loyal to the company. Managers also tend to be far less productive at work when they’re under this type of stress.

For both sides, discovery also means going back through emails (sometime work, sometimes personal emails) and other documents and producing them to the other side.

4. Possibility of Better Outcomes: Settling claims early, as opposed to later in the process, can often lead to better outcomes.

Sometimes a less than perfect resolution offered early looks great in hindsight after the parties have spent additional thousands of dollars in the litigation process. Employees and employers typically risk little by trying to resolve a dispute early. If the attempt fails, then litigation usually remains an option.

The key to a realistic attempt at settlement is for both parties to leave their feelings out of the process and try to reach a compromise. Another key is that employees and employers should instruct their attorneys, if they want to try to settle early, that they want to try to reach a compromise.

Unless employees and employers take this step, attorneys often go through the process of presuming that litigation is certain and make little attempt to resolve things prior to litigation.

Some cases need to be litigated in court, but the vast majority should really be resolved through settlement when possible. It generally yields better results for both employers and employees.

Our law firm represents and advises employees and employers on employment-related matters in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

If you need legal assistance, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

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Deep Learning Analytics Named Arlington ‘Fast Four’ Company for Third Year in a Row

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.

(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) John Kaufhold had been working at NIH doing deep learning research, but realized he’d be better off working on his own.

So he quit his job in May of 2013 and began Deep Learning Analytics, which is currently based in Rosslyn, just a month later.

Deep learning finds patterns in data. Some examples of deep learning and artificial intelligence are Siri, when the technology learns a user’s voice and transcribes his or her words, and self-driving cars that learn roads and driving patterns over time.

At Deep Learning Analytics, data scientists specifically focus on the content of images, Kaufhold said. In other words, they find things in images and say what they are.

“You can do that in medical, supply chain management, you can do that in biology, you can do that in defense applications. So there are plenty of applications where you can get a lot of economic value from you have an image and then you have to say what’s in it,” Kaufhold said.

Some of the first projects Deep Learning Analytics worked on included analyzing combat casualty care and predicting school dropouts for Arlington Public Schools.

One of the biggest and most surprising projects the startup won was a government program by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on analyzing radar images. DARPA was having a problem looking at radar images and could not get past a longstanding benchmark. Research into the problem had been abandoned for years. But then Kaufhold approached the project manager at DARPA proposing that deep learning could help.

So Deep Learning Analytics sent a proposal and within six weeks they were significantly outperforming the state of the art. As a result, they were awarded $6 million for the project and had beat out major government contractors such as Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin and only two people including Kaufhold worked on the proposal.

“It was really unusual that two people could write a proposal for a $6 million program and win it,” Kaufhold said. “It’s also crazy that not only did we win that we then won the next phase while competing the companies that should have been able to outperform us.”

In July 2017, Deep Learning Analytics was awarded another $6 million for the second phase of the project. Now the startup has gone from 2 employees in 2014 to 12 today.

In November, for the third year in a row, the startup was named the one of the county’s “Fast Four” fastest growing companies by Arlington Economic Development.

“It’s great to be recognized for our growth and it also speaks to Arlington as a place to grow a small business like ours especially in a space that’s really hard to recruit in, it’s really hard to find good data scientists and talent that can do things like deep learning and artificial intelligence,” Kaufhold said.

While Kaufhold said he’s honored by the recognition, he said there isn’t enough credit given to Deep Learning Analytics for its diversity. The startup currently has six men and six women on its team.

“That’s something I wish were recognized more in the Washington, D.C. area. I think we could be a better public beacon of that kind of leadership of women in this region,” he said.

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Another 7-Eleven to Open Along Lee Highway

(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) As rumored, a 7-Eleven store will be replacing the former Lee-Lex Service Center along Lee Highway.

The service center closed in 2016 and is currently being torn down. A recently-posted sign on the fence surrounding the property says that a new 7-Eleven store will be coming soon.

Property records show that the property at 5747 Lee Highway was purchased in January 2017 for $1.65 million by an LLC associated with the home address of the owner of a D.C.-based architecture firm.

According to the chain’s website, there are existing 7-Eleven stores at 2525, 3901, 4505, 5030 and 6730 Lee Highway.

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Italian Lingerie Brand Intimissimi Opening Store in Pentagon City

Where once there were gadgets, there will now be bras.

Italian lingerie brand Intimissimi is opening a new store at the Pentagon City mall, in the former Brookstone space.

Intimissimi, which boasts nearly four times as many stores worldwide as top U.S. lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, announced plans to expand to the U.S. in 2015. Since then it has opened more than a dozen U.S. stores, from New York to Los Angeles and points in between, while positioning itself as “a more refined alternative to Victoria’s Secret.”

Intimissimi is hiring for its new Fashion Centre at Pentagon City location, which is being paired with a store for parent brand Calzedonia, which offers “Italian legwear and beachwear.”

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Morning Notes

Eligibility Changes Proposed for Cemetery — “With Arlington National Cemetery set to run out of space in the coming years, restrictions on who can be buried there need to be considered, officials said Thursday.” [WTOP, Army Times]

Emergency Metro Repairs Next Weekend — Emergency repairs will mean reduced service on Metro’s Silver Line and some changes to Blue Line service next weekend, during St. Patrick’s Day and peak cherry blossom season. [Fox 5]

ACPD Conducts DUI Education Event — To discourage driving under the influence, Arlington County Police and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program conducted an anti-drunk driving event during Saturday’s Shamrock Crawl. Among other activities, attendees were invited to try to shoot basketballs into trash bins while wearing impaired vision goggles. [WTOP, Twitter]

Video Project Keeps Iota’s Memory Alive — A video series called The Iota Chair is “an oral history project on Facebook with musicians who frequented Iota Club & Cafe,” which closed last year. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Local Journalist Pens History Book — “Arlington resident Michael Doyle recounts the life and times of a 19th century morality crusader who campaigned against an infamous ‘free-love’ commune, in a new book entitled ‘The Ministers’ War: John W. Mears, the Oneida Community and the Crusade for Public Morality.'” [Amazon]

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