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Flying Colors: Plan In Place, Gorgeous Chaos — Part II

Flying Colors column banner

Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

For Part I of this article, click here.

I would suggest you have a plan in place. Maybe start out with a cutout at the corner of your lawn.

That is what I did when I lived on 6th and Monroe. The small front lawn faced south; which was in full sun. It was also on a slope which made it tough to cut grass.

The full summer sun did its job. Plants thrived. Insects flocked to the flowers. Soon a pond was installed with a pump and running water and the birds came soon after. Within three years, the grass was gone. In its place was a beautiful garden with plants exploding all over.

Because my street had no sidewalk, I made a gravel path so commuters walking to the newly opened Metro, could come in to my garden and explore and enjoy. It was a magical little place for many years. When I sold my house, I found that years later a dead, grass zone was installed; where once life lived.

Change is tough. But knowledge and science and a willingness to not conform and be like everyone else can be freeing of one’s mind and heart. Not to mention one’s body when they do not have to mow the lawn every ten days.

My front yard in Silver Spring is Gorgeous Chaos. Even I do not know what is coming up. I do know that milkweed has taken over a large portion of the garden and someone (hopefully caterpillars) are eating the leaves.

Maybe not this year, but the next, the larvae will pupae and monarchs will roam my garden. Bees are definitely pollinating the tops of the milkweed. Goldfinches have visited my purple coneflowers. Ruby throated hummingbirds are darting in and out of the milkweed stands to drink at the red petals of the bee balm.

All in the chaos of my wild and gorgeous garden. It may not look like anyone else’s garden, but it is alive. It is safe. It is non-toxic.

When I was a little boy, growing up in the Roseland area of Chicago, every fourth block in the neighborhood had a 2 lot, corner wide, wild prairie. The insect and bird life, in this two-lot size prairie, was incredible. It was wild and untamed and brightly colored and bursting with life.

Lots, in our urban world, are too expensive to leave to nature to embrace. Yet each house could embrace nature and turn blocks into prairies. Prairies that vibrate with the life of living things. Those living things will call out to more living things in the form of birds, box turtles, bats and bugs, bugs and bugs.

I gladly open my windows and sensitive ears to the morning calls of cardinals and mourning doves and evening songs of cicada and crickets then to have my ears abused by the sound of angry engines grinding the dead grass to smithereens.

Walk around your neighborhood. Look for the color of gardens. Look at the life those gardens hold. Visualize what your garden could be on your lot. Embrace the thought of six months of freedom from sweating with lawnmower in hand. Freedom from poison flags saying beware — stay off. Freedom from noise and dirty air.

Freedom to sit in a field; your field; of flowers and insects and birds and color and life. There is “Glorious Chaos” waiting to be built in your yard. One dig is all you need to start.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

While the last couple weeks of summer are typically slow, the Arlington real estate market showed signs of picking up. The average days on market dropped back down to 34 and some 69 sellers put their homes on the market this week, with buyers quickly snatching up 18 of those.

A total of 51 homes were ratified, leaving Arlington’s real estate inventory still on the lower side with only 495 listings as we approach Labor Day.

Mortgage rates dropped ever so slightly this week to 4.64% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Boring Title: Great Tips to Be a More Effective Real Estate Agent

Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers.

We just had our 2 year anniversary at Allied Title & Escrow and are very fortunate to have over 100 customers who we service. One thing we always hear from agents is where do I start and how do I get more business.

A month ago, we hosted a panel of top agents in the area and and yesterday I attended a Keri Shull event where she brought together 6 of the top producers in the DMV to discuss what has worked for them.

Did you miss those events? No problem, sit right there and we will summarize it all for you!

Be Different — Dan Lesniak pointed out that if you are doing exactly what everyone else is doing, it’s going to be hard to come into an industry with tens of thousands of agents and stand out.

How do you do this? Look to see what other industries are doing which you could take to real estate.

For example look at a completely different industry. What does a nightclub owner do to grow their business? What do politicians do to successfully campaign? To figure out unique marketing tactics, it will require a lot of thought along with trial and error.

Maximize Each Opportunity — Kara Donofrio, Managing Broker at Long and Foster pointed out how many opportunities aren’t maximized.

She asked if you’ve ever walked into an open house and the listing agent was sitting down reading the paper? Were they not engaged and not trying to educate you on the property?

If you are going to do an open house, maximize the opportunity. Look at it as an actual event. Go around and knock on doors and meet the neighbors. One agent held a BBQ for the neighborhood. Advertise the open house online. Hand out flyers.

You might end up meeting a neighbor who wants to sell their home down the road. Ask questions for the potential buyers that are walking in because maybe they don’t like that home but they want you to find them another.

Working an open house might suck to do, but if you are going to do it you might as well maximize the opportunity.

Ask Your Sphere For Business — Ryan Zook from Dwellus pointed out that he called all of his friends and his network and asked them if they could refer business to him in the next month.

He told them he had joined an accountability group and although he hates asking his friends for help he promised his group that he would call all of his friends. He was amazed that it led to over well over 10 deals.

Some of his friends reached out a couple weeks later and told him they had reached out to their network to find out if their friends needed an agent. Many didn’t have an agent they worked with and he was connected to people who may not have bought right then, but eventually did.

Go One Step Farther — Sherif Abdalla from Compass goes one step farther with his current clients than most which results in more referrals. For example, he gets to know his customers and searches for articles online that will benefit them.

He is always looking for articles or tactics that will benefit his clients. Also, he gets to know his clients so well he knows what’s going on in their lives (eg., new baby, big life event).

These are great opportunities to follow up and help support new endeavors.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected] Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!

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Arlington Pet of the Week: Bandit

Becky's Pet Care

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Bandit, a social pup from South Carolina who celebrated his second birthday last month.

Here’s what Bandit’s owners, Melissa and Sam, had to say on his behalf:

Hi, my name is Bandit and I steal hearts! I’m an mutt from South Carolina who came to Virginia because I heard it’s for lovers. I love every person and dog I meet. I’m enthusiastic and wag my tail a lot. If you see me, I like to be pet, and everyone who pets me notices how remarkably soft my fur is. It is quite nice if I do say so myself!

On the weekend I like to go to local dog parks and on hikes. I hope to meet all of the puppers of Arlington one day. Perhaps I’ll see you and we can play. But, please don’t splash any water on me — I am decidedly not a water dog and think water dogs are crazy!

When I want something, I will sit quietly and look up at you making my signature I’m a good boy who needs a treat face. I am a rescue adopted from Operation Paws for Homes… This year I got an early birthday present — a sister from the same rescue organization, who is just as energetic and social as me. I’m living a great life and it’s great to have a friend always by my side.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

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Small Biz Focus: The Summer of Small Business Startups

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios

As we enter the dog days of summer, business is flourishing in Arlington.

This summer BizLaunch, Arlington’s small business assistance network has seen a 30% rise in the number of entrepreneurs starting businesses. People across the county are launching businesses at a fast clip in a wide variety of industries such as childcare, fitness, eCommerce, financial management, retail as well as consulting.

Ages of new business owners range from young to older adults — and BizLaunch is also experiencing an uptick in the number of women entrepreneurs.

What is the root cause of why so many people are interested in launching their business this summer?

Most new business owners state they were interested in leaving their current jobs and starting their own businesses because they felt they had more to offer than what they were doing for a larger corporation.

They also want to improve industry standards based on their own experiences. Many startups expressed a desire to be engaged in social entrepreneurship — because they are interested in giving back to the community they live in for a variety of causes.

In response to the large number of new businesses, this fall, BizLaunch will host a variety of specialized programs to address the increased needs of new entrepreneurs in our community.

BizLaunch will be bringing back its hugely popular quarterly series of Brunch and Business events with our sponsors Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, Spaces at the Artisphere and partner the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

Please save the date — we will kick off the first Brunch and Business on October 3 at Spaces at the Artisphere and will be addressing the current Trade War and its effect on local businesses.

Bookmark our BizLaunch events Webpage today to stay abreast with all of the upcoming small business activities including training, educational workshops and networking opportunities.

We hope to see you there this fall!

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Just Reduced Properties in Arlington

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he may not be the listing agent of these homes.

Everyone… please calm down. It’s National Relaxation Day.

It’s a pretty stellar day locally to get bargains at some of your favorite spas, movie theaters and golf courses (well, golf is relaxing if you’re good at it). Enjoy your well-deserved unwinding.

As for real estate, buying and/or selling a home absolutely does not need to be a stress-fest. It can be very easy to get caught up in the deadlines, lingo and whirlwind of it all… if you don’t have a top-notch team advocating on your behalf.

Believe it or not, a real estate transaction can be made relaxing. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the area, let’s talk through your needs, wants and everything in between to ensure the most pleasant experience possible. And, on top of it all, let’s GET MORE out of one of your most important purchases!

As of August 13, there are 199 detached homes, 49 townhouses and 241 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 47 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

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Ask Eli: Sorry For Writing a Millennial Home Buying Column

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: I’ve read a lot of articles that millennials are not buying homes and with Arlington being such a popular destination for millennials, do you see that causing a drop in real estate prices in the future?

Answer: I’m sorry. I can’t stand the constant millennial click-bait analysis either. I really didn’t want to write a column about millennials (born early 80’s through the 90’s), but here we are. Having been asked the same version of this question four times this month during meetings with homeowners, I figured it was worth addressing.

While accusing millennials of killing home buying isn’t as bad as accusing millennials of killing Mayonnaise, it’s just as misguided. Millennials are and will continue to seek home ownership like generations before them. Here’s why the “Millennials Don’t Buy” theory is wrong:

Most Millennials Are Not Old Enough

It makes sense to study the entire generation for things like media consumption, something that people do at all ages, but not home-buying. Currently, the youngest millennials are just heading to college and the oldest are in their mid-to-late 30’s.

Historically, the average first-time homebuyer has been in their early 30’s, so we’ve only seen about one-third of the generation reach average home-buying age. Let’s wait for more of the generation to reach their early 30s before we make broad assumptions about their home ownership preferences.

I’m confident that 5 years from now, home ownership trends amongst millennials in the DC Metro will be as strong or stronger than previous generations. The 20-somes I meet with are eager to stop renting and start building equity.

The Great Recession

For those that point to millennials waiting longer to buy their first or second home, historical perspective is important. The oldest third of millennials (those in their 30’s) were in the early stages of their careers during the Great Recession so the generation got off to a slow start saving up for a down payment and building an income to support a mortgage.

Tighter Lending Practices

The Great Recession also led to tighter lending practices (rightly so) requiring higher savings, higher incomes and more restrictions than before. Couple that with the difficulty building a savings and income, as noted above, and even those highly motivated to buy were forced to rent a bit longer.

Not Rushing to Major Milestones

Home buying is often aligned with other major life milestones like marriage and having children. As reported by ARLnow last week, the NY Times just released a study showing that Northern Va has three of the top ten counties with the highest average age for first-time mothers.

I believe this is tied to us having the most educated population in the US, thus people are spending their 20’s focused on education and careers, not thinking about marriage, children and buying a home until later in life. This does not mean millennials don’t believe in home ownership, as many news articles have led you to believe, they’re just not rushing to get there.

Whether you are a millennial navigating your first home purchase, a Boomer or Silent Generation homeowner looking to “right-size,” or anywhere in between, the Eli Residential Group is here to help.

Call (703-539-2529) or email me any time to talk or schedule a meeting.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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Legal Insider: Self-Reporting Duty for Security Clearance Holders

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.

We represent and defend security clearance holders and applicants in security clearance investigations and appeals. One of the lessor understood aspects of holding a security clearance is the continuing duty of a government contractor or federal employee to self-report new security issues which arise.

The federal government is slowly moving towards a system of continuous evaluation for security clearance holders, but there is still a duty for a clearance holder to self-report significant security concerns that arise between investigations.

This is often a misunderstood issue. Many government contractors and federal employees understandably do not want to essentially report themselves for new issues that arise and either don’t think about reporting new issues that arise or report them in the context of later filling out a new SF-86 or e-QIP application during the next background investigation.

It is very important to understand when issues should be reported and to do so promptly in many cases.

Types of Reportable Security Concerns

There are many potential types of security concerns that should be reported to the government contractor’s / federal employee’s security office. Each federal agency that issues security clearances offers their own guidance, which can vary, but remain mostly the same.

Some issues are harder to evaluate than others when it comes to deciding whether or not to self-report them, which is why counsel is often needed. Some examples of security concerns that may need to be reported as soon as possible include:

  1. An arrest (DUI, assault, any type of criminal issue, etc)
  2. Marriage to a citizen of another country
  3. Excessive unpaid debts (or bankruptcy)
  4. Certain civil lawsuits
  5. Use of illegal drugs
  6. Contact by a foreign country
  7. A wide variety of other security concerns (too many to list)

Results of Reporting a Security Concern

The first step in self-reporting a security issue is for the individual to notify their security officer. Documentation may be needed from the security office and/or an interview may then be needed.

As a result of self-reporting, a contractor or federal employee may need to deal with ramifications of a clearance review or investigation. That is not always the case and many incidents are noted simply for the security file and nothing else occurs. However, not reporting a security issue, when it is required, can create a greater likelihood that the individual will lose their security clearance because they will have to deal with both the underlying issue and also the fact that they have not reported the incident previously.

In many cases, self-reporting can be viewed as a mitigating factor in the clearance adjudication process.

Conclusion

When facing security clearance or employment issues it can be important to have the assistance and advice of counsel. If you need assistance with a clearance or employment issue, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation.

Please also visit and like us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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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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Rethink Energy: AIRE at the Fair

This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

The County Fair is only a few days away. Get excited!

Stop by and see us at the Rethink Energy booth. We’ll be there to answer your energy questions about saving energy at home, solar power, weatherization and more.

When you stop into the Thomas Jefferson gymnasium, take note; LED lights shine brightly from above. These LED lights save about $40,000 annually and have a payback of less than 4 years.

The use of LED lights isn’t the only way that the Fair is working to be more sustainable. Kudos to the Fair for all the small actions that continue to make a big difference. Here is what you can expect at the Fair to leave a lighter footprint on the environment:

  • Providing a water fill up station to encourage guests to use reusable water bottles.
  • Banning all single-use plastic straws and replacing them with compostable options or strawless cups.
  • Banning Styrofoam© food service items such as cups and clamshell containers distributed at the fair.
  • Banning small condiment packets for mustard, ketchup and soy sauce, as well as small plastic Solo© cups for sauces. Vendors must use bulk distribution in paper cups for these items.
  • Recycling all recyclable materials in a single-stream recycling system, including paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and plastic materials.
  • Expanding composting throughout the fair. This removes food waste, paper products and other biodegradable items out of the event waste stream, reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from waste generated at the fair.
  • Collecting food vendor grease that is taken to a plant for rendering. 40% of the processed grease is use to create biofuel.
  • Collecting and distributing manure generated by livestock at the fair for use in neighborhood gardens.
  • Working with Arlington’s Car-Free Diet to promote transportation options to the fair, including biking and walking routes, nearby bike-share locations, bus and Metro options.
  • Providing valet parking for bicycles free of charge for guests who bike to the event.
  • Providing shuttle service for fair attendees from nearby parking facilities and Metro stops.
  • Using reusable signage throughout the fair to minimize printed signage waste.

We look forward to seeing you at the Fair. Please stop by with your energy questions!

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WWBG: Maine Beer Company


Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

David Kleban’s 2006 dream to open a brewery eventually came true when he and his brother, Daniel, started Maine Beer Company (MBC) in 2009. Starting super small — nano small — they perfected a single beer: Peeper Pale Ale. Eventually they outgrew their original location.

In nearly ten years, they have grown into their own space with a production of around 13,000 bbls a year. That’s in a local market where they are one of 99 breweries, which actually makes Maine ranked 3rd in the nation for breweries per capita.

Every bottle of MBC beer sports the motto: “Do what’s right.” It’s more than just a nice thought, too. They decided early on to make more than beer. By joining an organization called 1% for the Planet, they committed to making a difference. One percent of MBC’s sales goes to 1% for the Planet, where it is distributed to local environmental charities.

I had my first bottle of Lunch — MBC’s famous whale of an IPA named after a whale — in 2013. At the time, there were fewer than 5,000 breweries in the U.S. The New England IPA as a hazy, fruity juice bomb with a velvety mouthfeel was not a national craze. Lunch was a sought after beer.

Instagram and other platforms allowed beer drinkers in parts of America where MBC didn’t distribute to learn about it. And want it. MBC is still here, and even if they aren’t part of whatever fad is happening they show that quality and conviction can lead to success.

I have three classic Maine Beer Company releases to share today. Three beers that have remained vital to MBC and to beer drinkers alike.

Peeper Pale Ale (5.5% ABV)

Starting as Spring Peeper Ale in 2009, MBC worked on their recipe for a pale ale until they had it just right. More than being part of a line of flagship beers, this is the beer that started it all.

Pouring a dark straw color with a generous and creamy head, Peeper gave off an enticing aroma of rice cereal, peach and green apple, and celery. The sip is clean and crisp with a fruity — white grapefruit and unripe plum — middle that coincides with the hint of bitterness that lingers after the sip is over.

I’m happy to see that, among the hazy, sometimes sweet IPAs that are prevalent, the good old pale ale seems to still have a place. It hearkens back to a time when the pale ale was a staple beer for most breweries.

At 5.5%, you can enjoy this as the summer months get into the super humid time. Named for the frogs that come out in the warmer months, providing a chorus for the nighttime, Peeper is perfect for this time of year.

Woods & Waters IPA (6.2% ABV)

Brewed in honor of the establishment of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine, Woods & Waters is made using barley and wheat grown in Maine.

The aroma is tangerine and fresh pine sap. The sip is light and citrusy with an earthy finish that is punctuated by a prominent pine resin flavor.

Neither clear nor hazy, this crisp beer refreshes and pleases at the same time. Woods & Waters is effervescent and flavorful without any sweetness.

It’s perfect for sitting on the deck and watching the fireflies.

Lunch IPA (7.0% ABV)

If you don’t turn the bottle to read the rest of the label or visit MBC’s web site, you might be like me and wonder why this storied IPA is named after the midday meal.

Well, if you did turn the bottle or visit the web site, you’d learn that it is actually named for a whale that is know for having a chunk of its fin missing. Now, Dinner, their DIPA IS actually named for the evening meal because it’s more serious than lunch. Right?

Inhale as the head dissipates, and you’ll get an aroma of cantaloupe, mandarin orange and evergreen. Mmmm.

After smelling sweet fruit, the sip is unsweetened and crisp with a bitter finish. As with Woods & Waters, this IPA goes down easily albeit with a slightly herbal hop bite.

With all three of these Maine Beer Company beers, a common refrain is the lack of sweetness — whether perfectly sessionable at 5.5% or on the strong for an IPA side of 7.0% — and the clear and precise flavor notes. Like craft breweries two- and three-times as old, quality and consistency win the day.

This Week’s Beer Tasting

Dominion Wine & Beer is having Foreign Objects Beer for their beer tasting on Friday, August 10 from 5-7 p.m. with two new IPAs! Dominion will have both growlers and cans available of both.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

The summer slowdown has finally hit Arlington’s real estate market. Only 50 sellers braved to put their homes on the market this week, but 54 buyers ratified contracts. The most significant change this week is that the average days on market, which had been hovering around 35, shot up to 45. It’s taking a little longer for homes to sell.

But here’s the good news for buyers: This is a great time to ratify a contract because you actually have an opportunity to negotiate. Right now it’s a little bit more of a buyer’s market. It won’t last long. Right after Labor Day the buyers will be back in force battling over the limited inventory. So if you can find the right house now, get a good deal and lock it up.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Healthy Paws: Are Grain Free Diets Good for Pets?

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic and winner of a 2017 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

We have been asked a lot recently about our take on grain free diets and a possible link to dogs developing a serious heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).

There’s still a lot of unknowns out there — but here is what we do know:

About two years ago cardiologists a the veterinary school at UC Davis started seeing an uptick in the number of golden retrievers with DCM and started noting that most of these dogs were on a grain free diet. They also noticed that many of these dogs had low taurine levels (an important amino acid, whose deficiency has been linked to DCM in cats and dogs).

The possible relationship between diet and DCM was also noted in 2017 by the Morris Animal Foundation, which is currently undergoing a huge study involving 2,000+ golden retrievers for their Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

Then, last month the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine put out a notice that they were also going to start investigating the possible link between grain free diets and DCM in dogs that are not typical in their presentation or genetic susceptibility. This led to a bit of a firestorm of publicity and was picked up by news outlets like NBC and the New York Times… and then lots of questions by concerned pet parents.

The best article out there currently is written by the veterinary nutritionist at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Lisa Freeman. She excellently goes into what we know, what we don’t know and things we can be doing. You can find her article here.

Additionally, local veterinary cardiology group Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates, has put up a statement on their website with guidance for pet owners.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pets food, about DCM or your pets general health. It’s what we’re here for!

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Arlington Pet of the Week: Lincoln

Becky's Pet Care

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Lincoln, a Clarendon resident who is not a picky eater.

Here’s what Lincoln’s owner, Colleen, had to say about him.

Hi everyone! Meet Lincoln — he is a 10 lb shih tzu/bichon mix, and he’s almost two years old. He lives with his parents, Frank and Colleen, in Clarendon, VA. He is always smiling, and with his crooked teeth and underbite, he has everyone right where I want them… giving him all of the treats!

He likes to think of himself as a food connoisseur. He is obviously very focused on protein: shredded chicken, steak, hard boiled eggs, and cheese. He also enjoys watermelon, peanut butter, cucumber slices, and baby carrots. Although, if given the opportunity, he would definitely eat some tissues or pieces of mail, so I guess he’s not too picky.

His hobbies include eating, sleeping on his dad’s pillow, following his mom’s every move, visiting his friends at Orangetheory Fitness Clarendon, going for walks outside, and playing with all of his toys. In his spare time, he likes to go around his apartment and steal as many socks as he can. Clean or dirty, large or small, he loves them all! If you ever want to know how he’s feeling just look at his wagging tail — it’s his biggest tell — it’s almost always up high, and it wags faster as he gets excited. Attention is his favorite and he is a great cuddler. He also LOVES meeting new people, so come say hi if you see him walking around the neighborhood, or follow along with his daily adventures on Instagram @WhatsLincolnThinkin!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

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Arts Focus: Vintage Arlington Signs Point the Way to New Interactive Art Installation

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The aroma of popcorn wafting from Sears…

Mom buying you your first pair of heels at Kann’s…

Hanging-out at the Hot Shoppes restaurant…

The Arlington Art Truck’s newest interactive art installation explores how, beyond fostering commerce, businesses become part of our daily lives.

ARLINGTON ABSTRACTED debuts on Saturday, September 8 at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Gateway Park (free admission), followed by numerous activations around Arlington through October. Learn about the County’s social and retail history via this quick, fun project by artist Marc Pekala.

Eight typographically interesting signs were simplified, mounted onto small magnetic sheets and broken into multiple 2″x 2″ squares. Then, visitors let loose and rearrange them into original abstract!

Hash tag your creation when sharing via social media along with #ArtTruckArlington #ArlingtonAbstracted, and have your design considered to become the new ground mural in the pop-up park at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. next spring!

The backstories of some of Arlington’s businesses may surprise you:

  • Weenie Beenie — 2680 Shirlington Road, Nauck, 1960-Present

Arlington’s iconic hot dog stand was originally part of a small chain formed in 1960 by world renowned pool hustler William “Weenie Beenie” Staton, using a $27,000 gambling win as seed money.

He performed trick shots in several movies, including the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money. The only remaining location, Arlington’s Weenie Beenie is the title of a song by the Foo Fighters, fronted by Northern Virginia native Dave Grohl.

  • Moore’s Barber Shop — 4807 Lee Highway, Hall’s Hill/High View Park, 1960-Present

Established by Mr. James Moore, Sr. in 1960, adjacent to Arlington’s historically African-American Hall’s Hill/High View Park neighborhood. With limited access to public venues during segregation, Moore’s Barber Shop, fire station and churches were gathering places for Hall’s Hill/High View Park residents.

Continuing to offer not only grooming but important community space, Moore’s is now operated by James Moore, Jr., but the elder Mr. Moore still drops by (look for his 1955 Chevrolet outside).

Mr. Moore, Jr. remembers going to the fire station to watch movies as a child. Today, he is a firefighter working for that same fire station.

Arlington Art Truck activities also integrate a ride-along service to provide information on other County resources. In this case, the Inspection Services Division (ISD) will provide information about residential building permits and newly implemented tools to ease the process.

Visit our website to find out more about the project and the businesses that inspired the artwork!

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