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Arlington Agenda: July 16-22

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, July 17

Adult Game Night
Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Classic games like Life, Pictionary and Taboo will be available for a night full of friendly competition at the Westover Branch Library. No registration necessary.

Wednesday, July 18

History Talk: Julia Rhinehart: WWI Navy Yeomanette
Aurora Hills Library Branch (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Come learn about the life of Julia Rhinehart, a Glencarlyn resident who was one of the first women to enlist in U.S. Navy as a yeomanette during World War I. The event is free.

Thursday, July 19

Gentle Fitness in the Garden
Glencarlyn Branch Library (300 S. Kensington Street)
Time: 10-10:45 a.m.

Registered nurse and certified fitness trainer Kathleen Bardo will lead the fourth and final installment in this exercise series for older adults. Register here.

Friday, July 20

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

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization’s summer movie series continues this week with Toy Story. In case of inclement weather, check Facebook or Twitter for any cancellation announcement.

Saturday, July 21

Crystal City Twilighter 5K*
2121 Crystal Drive
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Race through the streets of Crystal City while avoiding daytime heat. Registration is open through race day, though there is a discount available through Wednesday.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Crystal City-Based Eminent IT Aims to Revamp Aging Technology

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.

Government agencies rely on technology for daily operations and to plan for the future, just like any business these days. But the applications they use can be so outdated that they’re no longer effective, and leave agencies vulnerable to cyber threats.

“Every organization has the equivalent of their own app store, but they don’t update those apps,” Isaac Barnes said. “Imagine having a phone where all your apps are still from 2007 or 2008.”

Barnes is the chief technology officer and vice president of Eminent IT, a software and services firm with clients in the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and elsewhere in the executive branch.

“The primary focus is on IT modernization and transformation,” Barnes said. “And that’s a very big way of saying we help organizations fix their aging technology.”

Keeping old systems in place is like “if you have a lock on the door at your house and it’s been proven that lock has been picked many different times and… you’re still leaving that lock,” Barnes said.

Because they can offer clients “initial building blocks,” Eminent IT is able to modernize systems in much less time than without their platform, Barnes said.

“If you’re building a blog, you can use WordPress,” Barnes said “We built… a WordPress-like framework.”

The company also works with technology partners in fields like blockchain to “help bring emerging technologies to these agencies,” Barnes said. And a product entitled Revamp acts as “a foundation for us to build applications quicker for our customers,” Barnes said.

Eminent IT was founded in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they started working to scale up their operations, Barnes said. The company is entirely owned by Barnes and José Risi, both Marine Corps veterans.

“José and I the same day decided to start businesses and the plan was [whenever] we get the first contract, we’re just going to merge those companies into one company,” Barnes said. That merger happened around 2011.

With a team of about 24 people, mostly millennials, the company is focused on continuing to grow.

“Most of the federal workforce is focused on improving their technology and they’re looking to our generation to help them do that, and that’s what we’ve honed in on,” Barnes said.

Coming off a recent contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — “one of the strategic organizations for us, because they’re at the heart of a lot of new technology that’s coming out,” Barnes said — they’re looking to become a large business.

“From a size perspective… we want to be a large business, that’s the focus,” Barnes said. “From an impact perspective, I want us to be known as the modernization experts.”

Photos via Facebook

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Ballston Construction Projects Continue to Progress

Construction is ongoing for several major projects in Ballston, though at least two should be up and running by the end of the year.

Ballston Quarter, a transformation of Ballston Common Mall, plans to open its shopping and entertainment center in the fall, according to a news release from the county. The completion of a pedestrian bridge that will connect Ballston Quarter to 4201 Wilson Blvd and the Metro station has been pushed back to 2019, however.

Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone said Ballston Quarter will likely be fully leased within a year. So far, several eateries, retailers and entertainment-oriented tenants have signed on to the development. Retailers including Macy’s and Regal Cinemas have remained open during construction.

“That property has just been critical to how Ballston has developed over the last couple of generations,” Leone said. “Ballston Quarter really catalyzed these other developments to occur.”

Ballston Exchange, located in the former headquarters of the National Science Foundation at 4121 and 4201 Wilson Blvd, plans to include collaborative workspaces and first-floor retail.

That project is slated to be completed near the end of 2018, according to the Ballston BID. Restaurants already committed to Ballston Exchange include Shake Shack, We The Pizza and CAVA. A New York-based coworking space became the development’s first new office tenant last month.

A number of the current projects in Ballston include residential space — Ballston Quarter, for instance, will include a 393-unit residential tower, according to Ballston BID.

And 4040 Wilson Boulevard, the final piece in Liberty Center, will feature office, retail and residential space. The Shooshan Company, that site’s developer, plans to wrap up construction by January 2020.

Also set for delivery in early 2020 is The Waycroft (750 N. Glebe Road), to include residential units and an on-site Target and Silver Diner.

As Ballston continues to develop, “what we really want to achieve is a greater sense of neighborhood and a greater sense of community,” Leone said.

A full list of developments in Ballston can be found here.

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Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball Team Clinches State Title

Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball’s eight-and-under travel team journeyed to Haymarket to compete for a state title last week, and they came home victorious.

The 8U team, Storm, clinched the championship in their age group with an undefeated run through the tournament, including a 13-12 victory over a Fluvanna County team in the final game.

The team will represent the state of Virginia in the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament, set to kick off in Ocala, Florida this coming Wednesday (July 18).

Three other Arlington Babe Ruth travel teams also participated in state tournaments last week in the 9U, 10U and 11U age groups.

Photo courtesy George Thompson

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‘Art Attack’ Planned for Lubber Run Community Center Ahead of Its Demolition

Arlington’s first purpose-built community center will receive an art-heavy send-off from 5-9 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive), built in 1956, will be demolished to pave the way for an updated facility.

But before all that, community members will have the chance to say goodbye with art activities like paint bombs, life-size silhouette painting and a group mural, paired with a live DJ and food trucks, at an event dubbed “Art Attack.”

The center closed to the public on July 6, but will reopen for this evening’s festivities. The county projects that construction on the new center begin later this year and be wrapped up by 2020.

Photo via Arlington County

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Middle Eastern Restaurant Looks Set to Replace Earl’s in Ballston

A restaurant called Medina appears to be preparing to open in the former Ballston location of Earl’s Sandwiches at 4215 N. Fairfax Drive.

A posting on the door of the site reads, in part, “coming soon,” and signs indicate that menu options will include shawarma and falafel.

Medina does not seem to have an online presence, though as of this morning a permit application for a new 32-seat indoor restaurant at the N. Fairfax Drive address was listed as active with the county.

Earl’s closed its Ballston location on June 15, though its original Clarendon location remains open.

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Glencarlyn Park Upgrades Could Move Ahead Later This Year

Construction work on some improvements to Glencarlyn Park will likely kick off later this year.

The County Board will consider a roughly $685,000 contract for renovation work at the park during its meeting Saturday (July 14). Crown Construction Services, Inc. is set to manage the renovations.

The work will include replacing one of the park’s picnic shelters, which is “beyond reasonable repair,” according to a county staff report, and updating the park’s open picnic and parking areas. The county expects the renovations to wrap up early next year.

The Board will also consider awarding a construction contract to install synthetic turf at Gunston Park’s Diamond Field at the meeting Saturday.

Photos via Arlington County

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Arlington Agenda: July 9-15

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, July 9

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. A comedy night is also scheduled at Galaxy Hut for the second Monday in August.

Tuesday, July 10

Delicious Food and The Arts at Palette 22*
4053 Campbell Avenue
Time: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

15 percent of proceeds from patrons who bring the attached flyer to Palette 22 will go to Embracing Arts Arlington as it fundraises to increase artist visiblity through an ARLnow press release subscription package.

Teddy Bear Picnic Day
2800 Clarendon Blvd.
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Celebrate National Teddy Bear Picnic Day in The Loop at Market Common Clarendon. Event features free ice cream, story time, singing and dancing.

Wednesday, July 11

Complimentary Wine Tasting
Osteria da Nino Cucina Italiana & Bar (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

July’s complimentary wine tasting will offer five options. Wines, like the 2016 Chateau Mouinat Bordeaux Rouge AOC, will also be available for purchase at discount prices.

Thursday, July 12

Breakfast Connection: Small Business Focus
Holiday Inn Rosslyn (1900 N. Fort Myer Drive)
Time: 7:30-9 a.m.

Special Guest Tara Palacios, the director of BizLaunch, will discuss small business resources in Arlington. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and promote their businesses.

From the Skies of Ft. Myer to the Skies of Europe
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Former president of the World War One Historical Association Steve Suddaby will discuss how the Great War accelerated the development of the airplane among the European powers.

Friday, July 13

Ballston Park Food Truck Festival
3919 5th Street N.
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Five food trucks with at least a four-star rating will gather in the parking lot behind 3919 5th Street N., rain or shine. Most trucks will accept cash and credit.

Saturday, July 14

New District National Ice Cream Day Celebration
New District Brewing Company (2709 S. Oakland Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

New District is partnering with Ben & Jerry’s to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. $20 tickets are worth one New District Flight plus four mini-cups of Ben & Jerry’s.

Sunday, July 15

Outdoor Concert: Rocknoceros
Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

This family-friendly outdoor concert will feature bouncy houses and arts and crafts, with music starting at 6 p.m. Food will be available from Fava Pot and Pacific Twist food trucks.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Crystal City-Based Startup Streamlines Smart Building Management

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 12:30 p.m.) Within one building at any given time, a soap dispenser might be running low, a toilet could be nearing overflow or power might be wasted.

Smart technologies enable building managers to monitor all of this and more — but that information isn’t always easy to manage.

Service Robotics & Technologies is a local startup looking to make it easier to use those devices and the data they collect.

“What we’re developing is a lightweight, map-based smart building management software,” CEO and founder Greg Scott said.

That software can bring together and analyze data from devices like soap dispensers, air quality sensors and floor cleaning robots to provide “actionable information to a building manager on a fully customizable dashboard,” Scott said.

With Scott’s background in robotics — his PhD work focused on space robotics — SRT first looked into deploying robots to perform services like vacuuming and delivery. They found, however, that “the biggest unmet need was actually not in the robotics sector,” but instead in the “industry of building management,” Scott said.

Without SRT, a building manager who wants to use five different sensors might need to acquire and learn five separate software packages in order to track the data collected by each device.

By working with SRT, which has developed partnerships with “a number of hardware companies that have specialty products,” clients can have devices installed and receive training to manage them through one piece of software, Scott said.

“We’re able to come in and consult with clients who… haven’t yet jumped onto the smart building bandwagon and can provide a variety of options for them,” Scott said. “And even those companies… who already [have] some smart building technologies” can make use of SRT’s services, he added.

Scott began working on SRT full-time about two years ago, when he left his job at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Though still in beta mode, SRT is “actively moving toward… formal commercialization,” Scott said.

Grants from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Innovative Technology have made up the bulk of the support for SRT’s development thus far, Scott said, though there has been some outside investment and the company is “always looking for good investment partners.”

None of the startup’s current beta clients are located in Arlington, but Scott said he “can see a lot of benefits of how our product can work in the Arlington area,” particularly in places like Rosslyn and Crystal City with larger buildings.

“Being able to provide that actionable information is able to streamline staff time, which is going to be really helpful for the operational type staff in the large building tier,” Scott said.

Photos courtesy Greg Scott

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CAVA to Open With Free Meals in Rosslyn Tomorrow

Fast-casual Mediterranean eatery CAVA will open its doors in Rosslyn tomorrow morning (July 6), and the first 150 guests will receive a free meal.

The 1201 Wilson Blvd location joins two others in Arlington — one in Ballston and one at Reagan National Airport — along with a Cava Mezze sit-down restaurant in Clarendon.

By the end of the year, the D.C.-based chain plans to have over 65 restaurants open across the country.

The Rosslyn storefront will seat 26 people inside and offer outdoor patio seating. The restaurant is scheduled to open at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow and will accept donations to D.C. nonprofit City Blossom as part of the opening.

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Bistro 1521 Closed in Ballston

Bistro 1521, at 900 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, is closed due to “lease defaults” less than a year after opening.

That’s according to a notice dated today (July 3) posted to the eatery’s door by the Virginia Tech Real Estate Foundation.

The Filipino restaurant received a positive review from the Washington Post shortly after opening last August, and its menu featured items like palabok, or Filipino noodles, and sisig, a dish that features pig head and liver.

Reached by phone, Virginia Tech Foundation Director of Real Estate Carrie Woodring declined to comment. The notice states that the premises were locked “to secure the Landlord’s possession.”

“Because of lease defaults, the Tenant has no right to possession of these premises or any furniture, fixtures or equipment… but remains liable for outstanding amounts payable,” the notice says, in part.

There was no answer to Bistro 1521’s telephone line.

Hat tip to Ian K.

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As Summer Heats Up, Here Are the Best Ways to Defend Against Tick Bites

As the summer moves into full swing, Arlington residents should plan to take extra precautions to prevent and respond to tick bites.

Ticks are more active in warm weather, according to the Virginia Department of Health, and bites can cause illnesses like Lyme disease.

A new tip sheet from the county recommends four steps you can take to limit your exposure to tick bites:

  • Use an appropriate insect repellent
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and hats, especially in grassy, brushy or wooded outdoor areas
  • Shower within two hours of being outdoors
  • Tumble dry clothes on high heat for 10 minutes after coming inside

Between 2000 and 2016, reported cases of Lyme disease in Arlington County fluctuated from a maximum of 34 to a minimum of two. Although there were just five Lyme disease cases reported in Arlington in 2016, down from 24 in 2015, the number of all disease cases from tick bites nationally doubled between 2004 and 2016.

Virginia is also among 14 states mostly clustered along the East Coast in which 95 percent of confirmed cases of Lyme disease occurred in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bites linked to Lyme disease can often be identified from three days to several weeks after the bite via flu-like symptoms and a red, circular rash at the bite site. For help identifying a tick, contact the Arlington County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension at 703-228-6400.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Police Roll Out Pink BMW to Fight Drunk Driving in Arlington

The Arlington County Police Department revealed a new tool today (Monday) to discourage drunk driving as the region gears up to celebrate the Fourth of July: a bright pink BMW.

The “SoberRide Vehicle,” developed in partnership with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program and ride-hailing service Lyft, is a redesigned 2004 BMW 330ci, seized following a drug conviction. Wrapped partially in eye-catching pink, courtesy of Lyft, the vehicle will be on display at community events and areas with nightlife to remind Arlington residents not to drive under the influence.

The vehicle complements the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s SoberRide campaign, which will offer up to 1,500 free Lyft rides on Independence Day.

Riders will be able to request a free ride home worth up to $15 from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. by using a Lyft promo code that will be posted to the SoberRide website 5 p.m. Wednesday.

WRAP’s SoberRide program has previously provided free rides home to area residents on holidays like St. Patrick’s DayCinco de Mayo and Halloween. Last year, 513 people in the Washington metropolitan area used the Independence Day SoberRide promotion, according to WRAP president Kurt Erickson.

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Arlington Agenda: July 2-8

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.

Wednesday, July 4

Barcroft 4th of July Parade*
800 S. Buchanan Street
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

The parade route will start and end at Barcroft Community House. Attendees are encouraged to dress festively, and there will be a picnic and family show beginning at 10:45 a.m.

Ball-Sellers House Special July 4 Opening
Ball-Sellers House (5620 3rd Street S.)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Learn about the life of John Ball and his family with a free guided tour of this colonial-era home, built three decades before the Declaration of Independence was written.

Thursday, July 5

Piano Fight Club
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 9 p.m. (in past appearances)

Philadelphia musicians Eric Henkels and Pat Smith will return to Clarendon Grill to duel, presenting another edition of Piano Fight Club.

Friday, July 6

Creative Coffee: Sketch Sea Creatures: Shark
2117 Clarendon Plaza Arcade
Time: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Join the Crystal City Library for its weekly casual creatives’ meet-up. All skill levels are welcome. RSVP for an event reminder; attendance is first-come, first-served.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Arlington-Based Whystle Sounds Product Safety Alarms Through Mobile App

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.

News about high-profile product recalls seems nearly impossible to avoid — IKEA dressers in 2017, for example, or E. coli contaminated romaine lettuce earlier this year.

But in these cases and others, safety information can take too long to reach consumers, or perhaps never reach them at all. A new app aims to change that.

Whystle, which launched in late May, provides personalized safety information in a user-friendly format.

“I really have the busy parent in mind,” said Lauren Bell, Whystle’s CEO and a busy parent to four children herself. The “My Alerts” portion of the app, which collects information according to user preferences, is organized to mimic an “actionable to-do list,” Bell added.

Bell previously worked as an attorney at the Department of Justice, where she prosecuted companies whose actions threatened public safety. In that role, Bell saw that even as government agencies tried to publicize safety information, “people were still getting hurt.”

“It’s like this information wasn’t reaching them,” she said.

And while working at a law firm, Bell noted that “even the companies want people to know about this information.”

“That’s when it really crystallized for me,” she said.

Bell left her job in September to work on Whystle full time, and runs the company out of her Arlington home and the 1776 incubator space. She collaborated with Nick Jones, CEO of Richmond-based app development company NS804, on the technical side of the project, and works with a nurse practitioner to break down medical literature and Food and Drug Administration medical alerts.

“I really put a lot of time [into] thinking through each recall that I cover, [and] there’s always a ‘what to do’ at the end so people can feel some control,” Bell said.

For now, Whystle is available for free, and Bell said they plan to see how much they can grow before working out monetization.

“It’s not that expensive to run, so for now we’re hoping to just be as useful as we can to users [and] grow our user base,” Bell said, adding that, if necessary, “we can find a home somewhere within an existing parenting app or another service.”

Early updates to the app will enable users to share alerts on social media. Eventually, Bell envisions a platform to which users can import their purchases, enabling them to receive recall notifications automatically.

Bell said she decided she wanted to work in public health in college, after her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, and she sees Whystle as a natural extension of that dream.

“My mom used to always cut out articles in the newspaper and send them to us,” Bell said. “That’s outdated, but that’s sort of what [this] is — that there’s someone looking out for you.”

Photos via Facebook

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