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cones-with-a-copLocals will have the chance to enjoy some ice cream with an Arlington County Police officer during a special event in Clarendon next week.

ACPD officers will set up shop outside of Goody’s (3125 Wilson Blvd) next Wednesday from noon-1 p.m. for a community outreach event called “Cones With a Cop,” according to an event flyer.

During the free event, attendees will be able to “get to know the officers and neighbors in your District while enjoying a refreshing treat,” the flyer says.

Image courtesy ACPD

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Pop-up plaza in Courthouse A “pop-up plaza” has opened in Courthouse.

Put up in only two days near the Courthouse Plaza surface parking lot, workers cleaned up the area, painted the concrete, and added plants and furniture, transforming it into a public square similar to larger efforts done in places like New York’s Times Square.

Its purpose is to show the public what the entire parking lot might look like if it were to be transformed into a town square under the “Envision Courthouse Square” plan.

The plan calls for putting the parking underground, thus making way for a large, open green space and some new development.

 

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School suppliesThis weekend, Virginia will hold its annual sales tax holiday for shoppers purchasing qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, emergency preparedness items and certain energy-efficient items.

The tax holiday — which runs from early Friday morning to 11:59 p.m. Sunday — is aimed at helping families doing back to school shopping along with encouraging Virginians to prepare for the hurricane season.

Online purchases of qualifying items are also tax-exempt as long as orders are placed and paid for during the tax holiday and the items are available for immediate shipment.

“This sales tax holiday will make items that help families prepare for the school year or for a potential emergency more affordable,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, in a statement. “It is my hope that shoppers will use this time to get their children the items they need to succeed in school, as well as stock up on the essentials that may come in handy during a hurricane or other emergency where electricity or clean water may be unavailable for an extended period of time.”

Tax exempt items include:

  • Most school and office supplies, such as pens, loose-leaf paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, and construction paper, priced at $20 or less.
  • Clothing and footwear, priced at $100 or less per item or pair.
  • Batteries, flashlights, bottled water, tarps, duct tape, fire extinguishers, cell-phone chargers, smoke detectors, buckets, rope, and first aid kits, priced at $60 or less.
  • Gas-powered chainsaws, priced at $350 or less, and chainsaw accessories, priced at $60 or less.
  • Portable generators, priced at $1,000 or less.
  • Energy Star-labeled dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulbs, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, priced at $2,500 or less.
  • WaterSense-labeled sink faucets, faucet accessories, aerators, shower heads, toilets, urinals, and landscape irrigation controllers, priced at $2,500 or less.
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A French-inspired home and gifts store in Cherrydale is set to close soon.

La Maison, which opened at 3510 Lee Highway in 2013, will close once owner Jeeun Friel sells the business.

The store sells “everything from candles, totes, jewelry, local art, handmade furniture, pins, just a lot of unique one-of-a-kind things,” Friel said. “That’s what’s kept us interesting for the last three years.”

Friel added that her reason for closing the store is to spend more time with her kids, specifically her youngest son.

“I opened the shop originally because, at the time, my firstborn was three years old and entering preschool so I had a lot of time on my hands and it was kind of a hobby,” she said. “It’s bittersweet because I really created this little place from scratch but I’m happy being home with my baby.”

Friel said the shop could close as early September, as long as someone buys it by then.

“I was hoping by September, but it could be longer,” Friel said. “We don’t have a definite date right now. I still have to run the shop and we’re still running on a daily basis until we figure out what’s going to happen.”

The store will hold sales throughout the rest of the summer to sell off the remaining merchandise, Friel said. At the moment, everything in the store is half off.

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Fairlington Park exercise equipment

Arlington has been named among the nation’s healthiest places to live.

The county was called the “third healthiest city in America” by Niche.com, the rankings site that previously called Arlington the No. 2 “Best City for Millennials,” “Best City to Live in America” and the No. 7 Suburb to Live in America.

The categories surveyed to determine the healthiest city included physical activity rate, obesity rate, access to doctors, access to recreation and fitness facilities and percentage of smokers.

Arlington received an ‘A’ grade in access to doctors, mental health providers and recreation and fitness facilities. With over 150 listed parks in the county and 13 recreation centers along with privately owned gyms, Arlington has many options for residents to stay healthy.

The county’s obesity rate of 17.5 percent is more than 17 percentage points lower than the national average of 34.9 percent and its physical inactivity rate of 13.9 percent is lower than the state rate of 23.5 percent of Virginians reported as physically inactive.

Arlington’s percentage of smokers is 10.1 percent of the population, lower than the national rate of 16.8 percent.

Topping the “healthiest cities” list were Boulder, Colo., and San Francisco. Arlington beat out a long list of such other health paragons as Provo, Utah; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Berkeley, Calif. Neighboring Alexandria ranked No. 18 on that list.

This isn’t the first time someone has recognized Arlington for its vitality. The county was also named the sixth healthiest “city” in the U.S. by Livability.com last year.

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rowvigorIndoor rowing gym RowVigor has opened its first location, a “pop-up” studio in Clarendon.

The studio, located inside the Saffron Dance studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd, will offer free trials and promotional packages through the end of the summer.

One of the company’s three founders, Kevin Allen, was a contestant on the second season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice reality show. He suggested that indoor rowing could be the next big trend in the fitness industry.

“Rowing as fitness has been in the dark for too long and our vision is to bring it to the light starting first with those communities that have known the benefits for years,” said Allen. “Cities like Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland have strong on-water rowing communities and are starving for an organized indoor experience that can connect them with rowing fitness enthusiast around the world. We are excited to be the entity to fill this need.”

The studio will have eight Concept 2 rowing machines and it offers a variety of different classes during the early mornings and late afternoons.

The company’s press release is below.

Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland will have an opportunity to experience the area’s first indoor-rowing fitness studio at the ROWViGOR™ “Pop Up” located in Arlington, Virginia. Starting today and through the end of summer they will be offering free trials and promotional packages.

ROWViGOR™ is building a presence in the DC / Virginia metro area to support the growing need for a fitness experience that builds community through technology and rowing. Top fitness experiences like CrossFit™ already use indoor rowing as an essential part of their mix but ROWViGOR™ believes it deserves it’s own environment. The “Pop Up” will open August 1, just three blocks from the Clarendon metro station inside Saffron Studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd. Open to all skill levels, individuals can choose to row for fitness as an individual or as a team.

Technology and data collection will help drive goal setting and camaraderie. With a small group training philosophy, the studio will have eight Concept 2 Rowers. Coaches are hand selected and trained through an exclusive program developed by rowing and fitness professionals specifically for ROWViGOR™. The experience will include dynamic music, innovative interval training and most important, great fun. The low-impact high efficient cardiovascular workouts strengthen and tone upper and lower body while packing an intense fat burn.

“Rowing as fitness has been in the dark for too long and our vision is to bring it to the light starting first with those communities that have known the benefits for years.  Cities like Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland have strong on-water rowing communities and are starving for an organized indoor experience that can connect them with rowing fitness enthusiast around the world.  We are excited to be the entity to fill this need.” – Kevin Allen ROWViGOR™ Managing Partner

About ROWViGOR™

Founded in 2016 by Kevin Allen (Donald Trump’s Season 2 The Apprentice), Fola Awosika and Moses McCall, The partners realized the fitness benefits of rowing and how data based technology would lead and enhance our fitness choices. With strong support from notable rowing expert Libby Peters, (Founder of Philadelphia CityRowing, University Penn Assistant Rowing Coach and 2nd Coach to the US 2016 Olympic Rowing Team) they plan to break the boundaries of rowing and open it up to new generations and new communities.  #RespectYourVigor

Photo courtesy of RowVigor

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The renovation of the Ballston Common Mall have forced the closure of a sidewalk near the building, disrupting the flow of pedestrian traffic there.

The aging mall is undergoing a major rehab project and is slated to reopen as the “urban village” known as Ballston Quarter in 2018.

As part of the construction, a fence now blocks off the sidewalk around the former entrance on Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, forcing pedestrians to either walk on the street or cross to the other side — the latter being the safer, recommended course of action, but many pedestrians seem to be choosing the former.

When an ARLnow.com reporter visited the construction site yesterday, numerous pedestrians were spotted walking along Wilson Boulevard in front of the mall,  within a few feet of moving vehicles.

Along with the sidewalk closure, Arlington Transit has had to move one of its bus stops 100-150 feet south of its usual location.

So far, the sidewalk closure has ruffled a few feathers. A tweet from a concerned resident says the ongoing work puts pedestrians in danger and calls for the construction of a temporary walkway.

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe and County Board Chair Libby Garvey (photo courtesy Arlington County)

Arlington is succeeding in its efforts to attract and keep businesses and jobs in the county.

That’s the latest news from Arlington Economic Development, which reported yesterday its efforts helped lead to the creation or retention of 53 businesses and  4,200 jobs in the fiscal year of 2016.

The new and retained businesses represent nearly 2 million square feet of office space and mark an increase from the last fiscal year’s total of 35 new or retained businesses, according to Arlington County.

The new numbers are “an encouraging sign that our ‘all-hands-on-deck’ effort is working to fill office vacancies with vibrant businesses that are coming to or staying in the County,” said County manager Mark Schwartz in a press release. “There’s more work to do but we’re clearly making progress.”

Some of the larger companies that have chosen to set up shop in Arlington include Grant Thornton, Amazon Innovation Center and George Washington Medical Facility Associates, the county reported. Other companies helping to add or keep jobs in Arlington include technology startups such as Shift, Phone2Action, Snagajob and Bytecubed.

Read the full press release from the county after the jump:

Read More

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The Ballston office of Distil NetworksAn tech company with offices in Arlington has raised more than $21 million in its latest round of financing.

Distil Networks, a startup that wages war on online bots, announced the sum of its Series C fundraising period earlier today. The company said it has raised $65 million to date.

The firm will use the money to “bolster global marketing and sales efforts, strengthen core offerings, and double the current workforce over the next 12-18 months,” according to a press release.

Currently headquartered in San Francisco, Distil Networks builds tools to thwart malicious online bots that “are used by competitors, hackers and fraudsters and are the key culprits behind web scraping, account takeovers, competitive data mining, online fraud, and downtime,” the release said.

The company’s clients include Thomson Reuters, Yelp, Staples, easyJet and Stubhub.

More from the Distil Networks press release:

Distil Networks, Inc., the global leader in bot detection and mitigation, today announced that it has closed $21 million in Series C financing. The funding included participation from Silicon Valley Bank and existing venture investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Foundry Group, and TechStars. The new round brings Distil’s total funding to $65 million to date. The company plans to use the investment to bolster global marketing and sales efforts, strengthen core offerings, and double the current workforce over the next 12-18 months. 

Bad bots are used by competitors, hackers and fraudsters and are the key culprits behind web scraping, account takeovers, competitive data mining, online fraud, and downtime. Distil’s 2016 Bad Bot Landscape Report confirms that bots are gaining sophistication, finding that 88 percent of all bad bot traffic has one or more characteristics of an Advanced Persistent Bot (APB).

“As bots learn to better mimic human behavior and become harder to detect, solutions must innovate rapidly to thwart attacks,” said Rami Essaid, CEO and co-founder of Distil Networks. “Our investors understand the enormous challenge that web properties face when it comes to defending proprietary information while maintaining a positive user experience, and they have chosen to support Distil in our pursuit to create a safer web. With this round of funding, we are looking forward to building upon our momentum and continuing to lead the market with our advanced protection against bot activity.”

Since closing Series B financing in June of 2015, Distil has hit several key milestones, including:

Launching Distil API Security to reduce risk and downtime across critical API attack vectors.

Acquiring ScrapeSentry and their expert team of analysts to provide real-time, proactive website traffic analysis, customized reporting, and engineering assistance to enterprise customers.

Securing 100+ enterprise customers, including B&H Photo, Wayfair, and Glassdoor.

Expanding global reach with office opening in London and growing total employee headcount to 140, with built out teams in managed services, support, and data science.

“Since I joined the board of Distil, I’ve been continually impressed by the company’s ability to develop new products, streamline deployment, and exceed sales objectives,” said David Cowan, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Naturally, I was eager to double down.”

Advanced Persistent Bots (APBs) have several advanced capabilities such as mimicking human behavior, loading JavaScript and external resources, cookie support, browser automation, and spoofing IP addresses and user agents. Their persistency aspect comes from their process for evading detection. For example, an APB might use 1000 IP addresses to make one request each, instead of one IP address to make 1000 requests, rendering impotent IP-centric defenses. According to Gartner, “fraudsters are also spreading their attacks over thousands of IP addresses — many of which are purposefully chosen to originate in locations that appear legitimate (for example, in the same geographic area that a target victim lives in). They are also slowing down their scripted attacks to move at the pace of an average human.”

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Firefighters with dog (Photo Courtesy ACFD)

Throughout the month of August, the Arlington County Fire Department will be holding a donation drive for pet supplies.

Dubbed Operation FirePaws, the inaugural pet supply drive will be raising donations on behalf of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Items on the shelter’s need list include canned pet food, collars, toys, and office supplies. AWLA has requested no Milk Bones, boxed hard treats or handmade items.

The items can be dropped off at the following fire stations:

Donation bins will be in the lobby of each fire station and items can be dropped off from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Donations collected before August 27 will be presented to the AWLA at its Wags n Whiskers event in Shirlington however donations will be collected until August 31.

Photo Courtesy of ACFD

 

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National Night Out 2016 logoArlington County Police Department officers are set to meet with locals during fun community gatherings at six locations across the county tomorrow night.

The planned events are held as part of National Night Out, a “community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie,” according to a flyer distributed by the police department.

National Night Out celebrations are a chance for police and members of the community to come together, usually over free food and activities.

National Night Out events will be held at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. and S. Shirlington Road) from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Farlington Villages Pool 2 (3045 S. Buchanan Street) from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condo Associations: (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Whitefield Commons: (106 N. Thomas Street) from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Image via ACPD National Night Out Flyer

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