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Maywood-Based Geocodio Aims to Provide Simplified, Useful Geocoding Services

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.

Before virtually every business’s opening and closing times became available via search engine, Michele and Mathias Hansen developed an app to help people find grocery store and coffee shop hours near them.

In order for nearly 5,000 stores to be displayed in that app, which launched in 2013, they needed to convert addresses to latitude and longitude coordinates.

“Whenever you see a map online… the addresses are always converted to latitude and longitude first,” Michele Hansen said. “A computer doesn’t really understand an address, but it understands coordinates.”

The services available to perform that conversion had several shortcomings, and the married couple knew there had to be a better way. So, they came up with it.

Geocodio, which launched in Jan. 2014, makes that address to coordinate conversion and goes beyond it, offering services like data appends that enable users to get congressional district and timezone information with their lookups.

“What we focus on is trying to make things as easy as possible,” Michele Hansen said. “No one sits around and collects latitude and longitude coordinates for the fun of it.”

With other services, if you needed to convert more than 2,500 addresses a day, you had to upgrade from free use to a $20,000 per year enterprise license, Michele Hansen recalls.

Looking up 5,000 addresses, the number the Hansens had needed for their app, costs $2 on Geocodio without add-ons.

And with other services, “you weren’t allowed to store that crucial information in your database so that you could show the map later,” Michele Hansen said. “Conversely, with our services, you can just get it once… and then you can store the database and never need it from us again.”

Geocodio’s clients “run the gamut,” and include academics studying elections, insurance companies looking to understand the risk of insuring a property and “the website that our daughter’s swim team uses to coordinate scheduling,” Michele Hansen said.

“We have 18,000 companies using the service, or thereabouts,” she added.

Geocodio works as a “foundational building block where we [are] sitting behind a curtain and providing the data that other apps need to shine, essentially,” Mathias Hansen said. “It’s crazy how many different use cases there are.”

In one innovative application of their service, the Hansens created a map based on addresses individuals stranded during Hurricane Harvey posted to Twitter.

After they stayed up until 2 a.m. building the map, “I sent out an email to anyone on our customer list who had either a Red Cross email or had something to do with Texas,” Michele Hansen said.

Though “we can’t say for sure whether we helped anyone get rescued,” she said, “we did have a couple of organizations reach out to us asking to use it.”

Michele Hansen has worked on the company full-time since last fall, while Mathias works on it part-time. Geocodio has been funded via bootstrapping so far.

“We’re not opposed to [investment], it’s just that we have never needed it,” Michele Hansen said.

Going forward, Michele and Mathias Hansen plan to continue to listen to their customers and work to improve their service.

“From the beginning, we set out to solve those frustrations that we have, and so it’s very important to us to be affordable and easy to work with,” Michele Hansen said, “And not just stand over our customer’s shoulders and nitpick them about how they’re using our service and the data they’re getting back from it.”

Photos courtesy Michele Hansen

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Rosslyn-Based Vemo Education Aims to Improve Tuition Financing

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.

As student debt continues to mount, Vemo Education is working to build a different way for students to finance some of their tuition bill.

“We consider ourselves a progressive, mission-driven company that’s really trying to expand opportunity and mobility and financial security for students and learners in this country,” Vice President of Policy and Social Impact Andrew Platt said. “We think income-based financing programs [are] going to help do that.”

Income-based student financing programs, also known as income-sharing agreements or “pay as you succeed tuition,” require students to pay back a certain percentage of their income after graduation for a set number of years in exchange for some amount of tuition financing.

“What we do is help universities, colleges and training [programs] build income-based financing programs to eliminate financial barriers for education access, retention and completion,” Platt said.

Vemo Education, which was founded in 2015 and moved to Rosslyn just last month, has worked with over 30 schools to date to build such programs.

Accepting income-based financing as part of an aid package can be preferable to taking out more loans because it reduces the student’s risk, Platt said.

“What’s at the core of this is that it shifts the risk away form students and more towards the school,” he said.

Options to garner financing for these programs for schools include using endowments and working with investors or gathering alumni donations.

When Vemo Education works to develop income-based financing options, they look to build in three “very student friendly” features, Platt said: a minimum income threshold, a maximum number of payments and a payment cap.

“Those are inherently progressive features of an income share agreement that are good for a student in a way that other financing options aren’t,” Platt said.

Vemo Education is a venture-backed company that has raised around $9.4 million, Platt said. Holding at 39 employees as of mid-August, Platt said they’re looking to grow.

Vemo Education has worked with institutions such as Indiana’s Purdue University and New York’s Clarkson University to establish income-based financing programs, and Platt expects their clientele to increase in the near future.

“We think over the next couple of years, we’ll help more and more schools, particularly large schools, understand and implement and launch large income-based financing programs for efforts of increasing educational opportunity and mobility,” Platt said. “I think over the next year you’ll see some pretty big announcements in terms of who’s doing [it].”

Photos via Twitter

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Crystal City-Based PayKii Reduces Barriers for International Payments

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 Aug. 23 at 8:40 a.m.) For people living in countries where many banks have yet to set up shop, even the simple task of paying the bills can require waiting in long lines.

Compounding this problem, family members living abroad, in places such as the United States, can face difficulties sending payments home. And when payments do get sent, there is often “no ability to see where it’s being spent… or peace of mind to make sure the basic services are being paid,” Nelson Irizarry said.

Enter PayKii. Founded in 2015 by Irizarry, Fabian Saide and Daniel Barragan, PayKii processes cross-border bill payments to allow “individuals living outside their home countries to directly pay expenses” for family back home, said Irizarry, who serves as the company’s chief operating officer.

To make this possible, PayKii builds relationships with money transfer operators like Xoom along with local “bill payment aggregators,” which can include technology companies and banks, Irizarry said.

“On one end, our clients are primarily the money transfer operators, and then on the other end we have… a local partner, and they’re the ones that are connected with all the utility companies,” Irizarry said.

PayKii’s transfers are “primarily what we call from rich countries to poor countries,” Irizarry said. “U.S. outbound is one market that we’re very active in.”

Since its founding, PayKii’s staff has grown from three to twelve members, divided between headquarters in Arlington and Monterrey, Mexico.

Just last month, PayKii closed a “Seed Series” investment round worth $1.5 million, Irizarry said. Through that round, they brought on Alta Ventures and Assembly Capital Partners as investors, he said.

In all, PayKii processes over 100,000 transactions per month in 13 markets. By the end of the year, the company hopes to establish a presence in “upward of 24 markets,” Irizarry said.

“Our primary focus is building a platform and building relationships,” he said.

Photos via Facebook

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Arlington Companies Listed Among Fastest Growing in U.S.

A new ranking of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the United States by Inc. magazine includes 34 Arlington-based businesses.

The Arlington companies operate in fields like IT management, government services and engineering, and grew by percents ranging from 59 to 2,573.

Indev, a government services company with a focus on the transportation sector, grew 2,418 percent to be the second-highest ranked Arlington company on the list of 5,000, coming in at 178th overall.

“I’d say our success is really based upon being really focused as a small business,” said Brett Albro, a partner at the company. “We knew the transportation market was going to be our market… [and] we were really true to our strategy.”

See all of the Arlington companies to make the list below:

167. Stealth-ISS Group

178. Indev

183. ByteCubed

239. Capitol Bridge

376. Strategic Alliance Business Group

435. Sehlke Consulting

677. GreenZone Solutions

768. AM

772. Green Powered Technology

793. The Fila Group

865. Changeis

948. MJ Seats

1061. GRIMM

1253. Mobile Posse

1289. Enterprise Knowledge

1307. SecureStrux

1383. IDS International Government Services

1556. Metis Solutions

1704. 540.co

1708. Higher Logic

1812. NEOSTEK

1891. ThreatConnect

2024. Fonteva

2032. OpenWater Software

2090. infoLock Technologies

2302. Global Defense

3273. DRT Strategies

3381. Toffler Associates

3613. Qmulos

3706. Fors Marsh Group

3795. Segue Technologies

4232. RSDCGROUP

4782. Humanproof

4975. Storyblocks

Photo via Facebook

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ACPD Plans Sobriety Checkpoint as Part of Anti-Drunk Driving Push

County police will participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign beginning today (Aug. 17).

ACPD joins a national effort, which runs through Sept. 3, that aims to reduce drunk driving through increased public safety messages and augmented enforcement.

As part of that work, officers will conduct a “sobriety checkpoint” in the county on Aug. 23, stopping all vehicles who pass through it. Drivers will be asked to show their licenses and will be taken off the roadway for observation and potential intoxication testing if they seem to be under the influence.

ACPD has also worked to discourage drunk driving through its SoberRide vehicle, developed in partnership with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program and ride-hailing service Lyft.

Photo via Arlington County

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‘Something from Nothing’: Stories of Punk in Arlington

When the photography department at Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn needed some extra funding, then-teacher Lloyd Wolf held a couple of yard sales.

But those “sucked in terms of making money,” Wolf, a noted local photographer, recalls. So, in the early 1980s, they threw some dances.

Though the most successful dance, as Wolf recalls it, featured a southern rock band called the Dixie Road Ducks, there was also interest in the raw, energetic performances coming out of the burgeoning punk scene.

“There were punk kids who went to that school,” said Ian MacKaye, who was a punk kid himself at the time.

Minor Threat, a band whose members included MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, the co-founders of famed independent punk label Dischord Records, played the school cafeteria on May 9, 1981 and Oct. 30, 1982 in six- and four-band lineups.

“I was exposed to something way beyond Elvis Costello and kind of new wave poppy stuff,” said Amy Pickering, a student at H-B Woodlawn around that time who went to some of the punk shows. She would go on to form Dischord band Fire Party (active from 1986-1990), and to work at Dischord Records for more than 20 years.

The H-B Woodlawn shows represent one of many stories of punk linked to Arlington, too many to capture in one article. It was a time when “if you wanted something to come out, you totally had to do it yourself,” Pickering said. For many, Arlington became somewhere to live, practice, collaborate and create as punk expanded in the D.C. area.

MacKaye moved to Arlington from his parents’ northwest D.C. home in Oct. 1981. He and four others had three conditions in their joint search for a living space.

It had to be a detached house, “because we wanted to play music in the basement,” affordable, because they were making something like $175 a month each, and safe, so that their predominantly high school-aged friends could make it to the house from a bus or train stop without incident, MacKaye said.

The first place they toured — a four-bedroom detached house in Lyon Park that rented for $525 each month — seemed to fulfill all of those criteria.

“Arlington afforded sort of a… neutral territory, you know, [we] didn’t get much grief from anybody,” MacKaye said.

Dischord House, as it came to be known, also acted as the headquarters for Dischord Records. MacKaye now owns the home, though he moved back to D.C. after living in Arlington for 21 years — an amount of time he hadn’t anticipated spending in the suburbs as a fifth-generation Washingtonian.

Dischord House may well have been the “first of our generation… punk house,” MacKaye said, but there was already “all this early punk rock stuff” in Arlington when they moved in, and there was more to come.

“I’d say by the late ’80s and early ’90s… other group houses started to pop up, friends of ours would come out,” MacKaye said. It was “a brief period of time where there [were] all these pockets. We didn’t all spend tons of time with each other, but it was nice to know that you might pop by.”

Punk activist collective Positive Force D.C., founded in 1985, established a home base in Arlington after holding its first meetings near Dupont Circle. They first moved to a house on N. Fairfax Drive, but development on that block pushed them closer to Virginia Square in November 1988.

For the nearly 12 years Positive Force spent in that second house, rain would drip in around the windows, so they grew plants in the windowsills.

“It was kind of our bargain to do our thing — [you let us] run a radical political organization out of our house, we won’t ask you to fix stuff,” Positive Force co-founder Mark Andersen said.

Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson ran their record label, Simple Machines, out of Positive Force House’s second floor kitchen in 1990. They soon moved into the first of multiple houses the label would occupy in Arlington before shutting down in 1998.

Living near other outposts, like Dischord and Teen-Beat Records, fostered information sharing, Thomson said.

“We were trading information, asking questions, trying to sort out things to the best of our abilities quite often,” Thomson said.

Exchanges among people within and beyond Arlington helped produce the Simple Machines Mechanic’s Guide. That project was conceived as “a sort of second edition” to a Dischord/Positive Force benefit record insert that covered, among other topics, how to put out a seven-inch record, Thomson said.

The Mechanic’s Guide, in various editions, would be mailed out thousands of times.

“It became like a little ‘Consumer Reports,’ in some ways,” Toomey said. “We know a bunch of independent labels that still exist used the guide for their first releases.”

The guide reflects the do-it-yourself attitude that pervaded the punk scene and, more broadly, independent music in the D.C. area and outside of it.

“Punk was about starting something from nothing,” said Cynthia Connolly, a photographer, artist and curator who worked “on and off” for Dischord. “Literally we would go to the Ballston Common Mall and go into the dumpsters and get the cardboard,” to cut up and use to mail out records.

Connolly documented the D.C. punk scene as it looked between 1979 and 1985 in a book she co-compiled and published in 1988, entitled “Banned in D.C.” The book is now in its seventh edition.

“It’s almost like a storybook story, and it’s kind of romantic in a way because the bands [then] really influenced some of the bands today,” Connolly said.

The DIY attitude in many cases seemed to extend to the punk bands’ desired sound, which was “raw,” said Don Zientara, who founded Inner Ear Studio (today at 2701 S. Oakland Street) in the late ’70s and has recorded numerous punk bands. “That just sort of fit in with the fact that I had [at the time] very little equipment, and some of it was kind of questionable, cheap… take your own word for it.”

Wakefield High School alum Mark Robinson started going to shows, which primarily took place in D.C., when he was 15 or 16. “Seeing other kids playing in punk rock shows” made the idea of being in a band seem possible, he said.

“Before that, you would see like the band Kiss or something and that just seemed like an unattainable thing,” he said.

Robinson would form indie rock band Unrest and Teen-Beat Records in the mid-1980s, while still in high school.

Teen-Beat operated out of a house in Arlington for much of the 90s, by which time the layout that characterizes much of the area today had yet to fully form. When Clarendon bar and indie rock venue Galaxy Hut first opened in 1990, for instance, “there was a vacant Sears across the street. There was nothing there, rent was super cheap,” said Lary Hoffman, who co-owns Galaxy Hut today.

As Andersen recalls it, “there was another Arlington that existed, and that was a much more humble Arlington.”

The second Positive Force House has been demolished, as have many of the other group houses, to make way for new developments. One known as Kansas House was vacated for that purpose in 2009.

Many members of the scene have dispersed to different locations and adopted new roles — Pickering lives in New York and Robinson is in Massachusetts, for instance, and Connolly works as Special Projects Curator for the county. Still, the DIY principles behind much of the activity Arlington played host to remain relevant.

When Toomey and Thomson compiled the Mechanic’s Guide, they certainly didn’t present the applications of their resourceful attitude as limited to their scene, or to music.

“There is nothing that you can’t do with a little time, creativity, enthusiasm and hard work,” the introduction to the guide’s 2000 edition reads. It concludes several pages later with a simple send-off: “Good luck!”

Thanks to Andrew Goodwin, Arlington-based podcaster / WednesdaysWithAndrew; photos courtesy © Lloyd Wolf / www.lloydwolf.com

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Improvements Underway on S. Walter Reed Drive, With More Changes to Come

S. Walter Reed Drive is slated for several changes that, among other alterations, are designed to make the roadway more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Construction kicked off last month (July) between 11th Street S. and 13th Street S. That work is scheduled to be completed later this year and primarily targets S. Walter Reed Drive’s intersection with 12th Street S., improving crosswalks and building curb extensions and new ADA-compliant curb ramps.

Also included in the project is the reconstruction of three raised medians to run along that portion of the roadway and alterations to an existing bike boulevard, which will be moved from 12th Street S. to 11th Street S. between S. Highland and S. Cleveland Streets.

Drivers should expect one travel lane to be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays to accommodate construction. Pedestrians will see sidewalk detours and temporary crosswalks, and on-street parking will be restricted.

long-awaited set of changes to a different portion of S. Walter Reed Drive — from S. Arlington Mill Drive to S. Four Mile Run Drive — is set to get underway in mid-September.

That plan has been in the works for years, and the county awarded a $1.8 million contract for it in May. Construction aims to add ADA-compliant bus stops, new crosswalks and curb ramps, more street lighting and improved signals for drivers and pedestrians.

The project also intends to make travel between the Four Mile Run Trail and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail safer and to realign westbound S. Arlington Mill Drive in an effort to make the crossing more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. The county has been piloting the realignment at the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and S. Arlington Mill Drive with a temporary installation since June 2017.

Additional changes to the designated portion of the roadway will include a slight widening of travel lanes and resurfacing.

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Arlington Agenda: August 13-19

(Updated 5:05 p.m.) 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, August 13

National Filet Mignon Day at Copperwood
4021 Campbell Ave.
Time: 4-10 p.m.

Copperwood Tavern will celebrate National Filet Mignon Day with 10 ounce filets featuring grass-fed beef from Virginia’s own Spring Hill Farm on the menu. Available while supplies last.

Comedy Night at Galaxy Hut
2711 Wilson Blvd.
Time: 8:30-11:30 p.m.

This event features stand-up comedy and live music for a $5 entry fee. Host Reid Clark will guide the night. This is the third comedy night Galaxy Hut has offered this summer.

Friday, August 17

Columbia Pike Movie Nights: Coco
Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization will play Coco at its Friday movie night after a previously scheduled showing was canceled due to rain. In case of inclement weather, check Facebook or Twitter for any cancellation announcement.

Saturday, August 18

Tequila Tailgate
Quinn’s On the Corner (1776 Wilson Blvd.)
Time: 4-10 p.m.

Quinn’s will celebrate the approaching football season with a “Tequila Tailgate” party on their patio. Offerings will include drink specials, grilled hot dogs and burgers and a raffle.

 

Columbia Pike Movie Nights: Young Frankenstein
Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike)
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization’s summer movie series continues with Young Frankenstein in Penrose Square. In case of inclement weather, check Facebook or Twitter for any cancellation announcement.

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Crystal City-Based FarmRaiser Looks to Build Better Fundraisers

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.

When schools, booster clubs, scout troops or any number of other organizations need support, they often turn to their communities with a product for sale.

But when Mark Abbott’s kids had to fundraise with products  “that were expensive and not healthy,” it “just did not seem like a 21st century solution to the problem of under-resourced schools,” Abbott said.

So, Abbott founded FarmRaiser, an online platform “with a goal of creating healthy fundraisers that also helped local farmers and food artisans,” that launched in May 2015, Abbott said.

FarmRaiser, which moved to Crystal City in 2017, connects organizations looking to fundraise with local suppliers of goods like fresh produce, dark chocolate and granola.

Typically, the cause and suppliers share sales revenue in about a 50/50 split, with a small amount going to FarmRaiser, Abbott said.

FarmRaiser also works with “food aggregators” like The Common Market to “get product to all of our schools” from the local sellers, Abbott said.

The model FarmRaiser uses looks to benefit all parties involved — in school fundraisers, for instance, students can learn about the benefits of eating healthy, local food, Abbott said. For community members purchasing FarmRaiser goods, “you know that a good portion of your check went to the cause,” he said. And suppliers on the FarmRaiser platform can support good causes in a way that benefits them “as well as the cause,” Abbott said.

“At the very end of the campaign… the supplier gets a check for the amount of goods that were ordered and they get email contacts for all of the folks who have bought that product,” Abbott said.

In 2017, over $600,000 worth of merchandise was sold through the FarmRaiser platform, Abbott said. This year, they expect that number to increase between three- and four-fold.

“A good portion of that growth [is] coming from other types of companies that are doing fundraising now,” Abbott said, like garden seed companies or cut flower stores.

Those companies adopt FarmRaiser’s system, which “is pretty much automated from A to Z,” Abbott said.

FarmRaiser is a “venture-backed company,” Abbott said. They’ve done two full rounds of funding, through which they raised “just over a million dollars,” supporting two versions of the platform, Abbott said. They’re also closing a seed series round that includes funding from angel investors and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.

“The goal is to grow big enough that we can do maybe an institutional round of funding before we’re self-sufficient,” Abbott said.

In measuring the success of the company, “of course, common metrics for us are the amount of merchandise that’s sold on the platform, but we also think about… the amount of kind of sugar and preservatives that we divert from family households,” Abbott said. Whenever someone sells a healthier product, “we consider that a win.”

Photos via Facebook

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‘Extreme’ Bike Ride Planned Through North Arlington Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning (Aug. 11), Arlington residents can participate in an “Extreme Champion Trees Bike Ride,” put on by the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation.

This ride will be more challenging than other Champion Trees Bike Rides, taking participants through “some of the hilliest, most calorie-burning, bike-safe roads of North Arlington,” per an event description.

Riders should bring their own bike, water, snacks and repair kit and plan to meet in Fort C.F. Smith Park‘s parking lot for a 9 a.m. start. The ride will go until noon.

Those interested can register for this free event online or by calling 703-228-4747. The bike ride is open to adults or teenagers 16 and up if they come with a registered adult.

Photo via Arlington County

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Sheriff’s Office to Hand Out Awards for Inaugural Inmate Creative Writing Contest

The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office will recognize winners of an Inmate Creative Writing Contest this Monday (Aug. 13), after judges reviewed 98 entries in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Arlington County Detention Facility (1435 N. Courthouse Road), and inmates who place first through third in each category will have the opportunity to read their writing aloud.

Arlington Magazine Editor Jenny Sullivan and Arlington Poet Laureate Katherine E. Young were among the judges to review the entries, which consisted of 82 poems, six works of fiction and 10 pieces of non-fiction.

A nonprofit program within the Del Ray Community Partnership sponsored the contest, per a county media alert. Inmates submitted their work over the course of the month of July.

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Stageplate Bistro Closes Temporarily in Ballston, With Plans to Re-Open This Fall

Stageplate Bistro (900 N. Glebe Road) will be closed for the next few weeks, but has plans for a “grand reopening” Saturday, September 1.

“After almost a year of passionately pursuing our dream, we are taking a breath,” a posting to the door reads, in part. The notice is signed by proprietors Mary Marchetti and Nelly Gonzalez, the married duo who serve as the restaurant’s general manager and executive chef, respectively.

That “breath” means instead of pulling 100-hour-plus work weeks, Marchetti and Gonzalez will work from 9 a.m-5 p.m. on some updates, Marchetti said. That will include training, shaping their social media presence and updating the restaurant’s website.

Stageplate Bistro held its grand opening in October after a soft opening last August. Their menu primarily features American cuisine.

“Reflecting on the past year after opening our first restaurant has been really exciting, and one of the biggest takeaways we have is how wonderful this community has been,” Marchetti said.  “We’re so thankful to be in Ballston and we’re so thankful for the community support and our amazing guests.”

Final details about the re-opening will be available on Stageplate Bistro’s website.

“We’re going to finally get everybody together on [Sept. 1] and get our big scissors out and cut our ribbon,” Marchetti said.

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Volunteer Group TreeStewards Looks for Trainees

TreeStewards, an organization that works to advocate and care for trees, is looking for new volunteers to train in Arlington.

Volunteer efforts include activities, such as planting and pruning, along with education and advocacy initiatives, like holding neighborhood “Tree Walks” and informational booths at farmers’ markets and festivals.

Training will kick off on Oct. 2 and is split into four modules. Each module includes between two and four mandatory classes and one field session.

The first module covers topics such as fall tree identification and correct tree planting methods. The fourth and final module begins April 16, and will cover topics like pests, diseases and care of mature trees.

Those interested should apply online by Aug. 22.

Photo via Facebook

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Tutti Spa & Nails Coming to Pentagon City Mall This September

Tutti Spa & Nails will open up shop in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City Sept. 4, according to the mall’s website.

The company’s services include manicures, pedicures, facials and a variety of spa packages.

The 1,400-square-foot site, located on the third level, looks to be the company’s first in Virginia, and joins locations as far south as Georgia and as far north as Massachusetts.

Other new additions to the shopping center include Comfort One Shoes, which recently opened a 1,200 square foot location on the mall’s second floor, according to a press release from the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Roots Canada will also join the shopping center’s roster at the end of this week (Aug. 10).

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Core Allegro Prepares to Open on Fairfax Drive

Core Allegro, a studio that will offer group pilates and ballet classes along with private and semi-private sessions, is about a week away from finishing construction.

Waiting to receive final permits, they hope to open by the end of the month at 4001 Fairfax Drive, business manager Steve Roberts said.

Located between the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations, the studio will be led by Olga Roberts and Elena Ovchinnikova.

Ovchinnikova’s experience includes studies at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Russian State Medical University, according to her bio on Core Allegro’s website. Roberts graduated from London’s Rambert School of Ballet, and began training in pilates at age 11.

“They’re two amazing kind of world class teachers that have come together to really lead this studio,” said Steve Roberts, who is married to Olga Roberts. “It’s not related to any franchise… this is purely from their own professional history and training.”

The roughly 3,000-square-foot facility is being converted from office space to feature reclaimed wood, vinyl flooring and LED lighting. It has been in development for the past year, Steve Roberts said.

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