Around Town

ARLnow and its sister sites celebrated another year of hard work, journalistic achievements and client service at our holiday party Monday night.

One change: the venue. Rather than eating and drinking at a local restaurant, as usual, we had beer, wine, soda and pizza in the common area of our coworking space in Ballston. It’s one example of the belt tightening underway over the past couple of months, amid a downturn in the economy and among media companies in particular.


Around Town

Update at 10:25 p.m. on 4/24/11 — Most features of the new site are working, but it may take up to a week to get to the point where we can turn the forums on. Please excuse any snafus with the registration and login process, as well as any site slowness. Thank you for your patience.

Update at 4:15 a.m. on 4/23/11 — The forums are not operational yet. We expect them to be in place by Monday morning.


Opinion

It’s not so much that the Comcast customer service agents themselves are that bad, it’s just that the customer service system in which they operate seems to be designed with the sole purpose of minimizing cost at the expense of producing meaningful solutions to customers’ problems and complaints.

Comcast has a partial monopoly in Arlington. Sure, Verizon FiOS and satellite TV are available to single family homes and certain apartment buildings and condos. But for many apartment and condo-dwellers, Comcast is the only game in town. The only option for those folks in the event of an unresolved grievance is to either grin and bear it, cancel service and forgo cable and/or internet altogether, or complain to the county’s cable administration office and hope for the best.


Around Town

A quick programming note: ARLnow.com will be up until the wee hours tonight bringing you live, on-location election coverage. We’ll be reporting from Democratic and Republican victory parties, bringing you the latest results, photos and quotes from local leaders.

With that said, I wanted to offer a quick apology for anybody who tried to access the site between noon and 4:00 this afternoon. An ARLnow.com story was linked to by the ever-popular Drudge Report this morning. The flood of web traffic from that one link caused the site to crash — multiple times.


Around Town

The company’s drivers will watch over restricted parking spaces and wait for some unfortunate schmo to park there and walk off the owner’s property, at which point they snatch the car and drive off. They do this at the Four Mile Run branch of the Virginia DMV, at the Westmont Shopping Center on Columbia Pike, and elsewhere around Arlington. Needless to say, it has not won them many friends.

They have earned themselves a steady stream of hate on Yelp. They have been the subject of a not-safe-for-work screed by a prominent local blogger. And they’re often involved in disputes that have to be settled by police.


Feature

First of all, I want to thank all of you for sticking with us last week when we were experiencing some major server problems. The site struggled with capacity problems all week and went down multiple times.

Over the weekend we upgraded to a new server with a new host. Accessing the site should now be faster and more reliable. That’s the good news.


News

According to his blog, McCaffrey has been waiting six months to cover something that’s “likely to happen tonight.” But he’s not saying what it is, so as to not alert “what passes for the competition.”

Since we have some of the smartest readers in town — witness the corrections that go into the comments section the minute we get something wrong — I figured it would be a piece of cake to figure out what story Scotty has been salivating over.


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