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by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

This sponsored column is by James Montana, Esq., the principal of Steelyard LLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Arlington, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact him for an appointment.

By James Montana, Esq.

In Cool Hand Luke, there’s a delightful scene in which new prisoners are introduced to prison discipline. The punishment for every infraction is the same: you spend a night in the box. There’s a laconic poetry to it.

Our immigration courts are very similar. The punishment for every infraction is an order of removal. An order of removal gives federal authorities the right to arrest, detain, and deport you, typically without further legal process.

If you don’t show up to immigration court, you get an order of removal.

If you get evicted and forget to notify the immigration court about your change of address, you get an order of removal.

If you can’t make your case persuasively in a foreign language without any legal education, you get an order of removal.

If you somehow manage to prepare an application for relief but forget to send a copy to the prosecutor as required by regulation, your application for relief will be rejected, and you’ll get an order of removal.

If you ask to leave the country voluntarily and don’t, for whatever reason — say, because you were hit by a truck — you get an order of removal.

And, sometimes, even if you do everything right, you’ll get an order of removal. Our immigration laws are harsh.

The Immigration Courts work this way for the same reason that the prison starvation in Cool Hand Luke does: poverty. There are roughly 300 Immigration Judges for the entire country. There are roughly 500,000 cases pending in immigration court, which equates to about 1600 cases per judge. If each judge ruled on one case per workday, and no new immigration cases were filed, it would take eight years to clear the docket. And that’s a utopian fantasy.

Increased enforcement means that more cases will be filed, and the backlog will grow. There is no right to counsel in immigration court, so most immigrants have to try to paste together their own applications. That slows things down.

At my first appearance in immigration court, the judge gave me a four-year delay before trial. I thought I must have misheard, so I squeaked, “Excuse me, your honor? You mean there are no trial dates available for four years?” A rumble of chuckling erupted from the other lawyers in the gallery.

The judges aren’t at fault for this, and neither are the prosecutors. Congress has starved the Immigration Courts of resources for years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

There’s no good news here, folks, except this: Having a lawyer more than doubles your chance of winning in immigration court. If you’re in immigration court, you need a lawyer right now. It might take you a half-decade to get out of immigration court, but at least you’ll get out without an order of removal stamped to your forehead. Maybe.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

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

Showing up to an art studio open house on Columbia Pike was the moment of inspiration for a new relationship between business and art. Up until then, Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) had not considered itself a likely venue for original art. Nor did the members of the Columbia Pike Artists Studios (CPAS) imagine that their work would transform a financial institution into a place that displayed their commitment to the community.

But through Arlington Economic Development, connecting ACFCU headquarters with the studios is evidence of the collaborations being made through CPRO and the County. With the current number of commercial art galleries in Arlington being very limited, the time to rethink spaces proved timely. So the art came to the headquarters lobby and to a branch on Glebe Road.

Creative Economy initiatives in the U.S. and around the globe have been built on people already in place and businesses already thriving. At Americans for the Arts, the pARTnership movement paves the way for businesses and creatives to forge new partnerships that go way beyond philanthropy, sponsorships and donor support. With toolkits, success stories and more that put creatives at the forefront of everything from Advancing Corporate Objectives and Strategies, Fostering Critical Thinking and delving into Corporate Social Responsibility, the value of the relationships is changing.

Now in its second season of exhibiting artists work in the lobby gallery, ACFCU has taken its mission to serve Arlington to a new level. Businesses looking for their own inspiration can visit the open house at CPAS on December 2 and 3.

by ARLnow.com November 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Prickles, a hedgehog who got involved in one of the Arlington County Board’s recent policy debates.

Here is what his owner John had to say:

Cats and dogs are great, don’t get me wrong, but few have won recent legislation battles with Arlington County.

In an article this year, your website covered an exception for hedgehogs in the new exotic animal ban. My hedgehog, Prickles, was part of that fight.

After emailing the county on behalf of the Arlington hedgehog community, the county responded and reassured us that Prickles was A-OK in their books and that his voice was heard loud and clear throughout their offices.

So who is Prickles? Well, he is a 1-year-old African hedgehog who was born in the countryside of Winchester, Va. He spends most days curled up in a small fleece sleeping bag (we should all be so lucky).

At night is when the magic happens. Around 10 p.m. or so, he wanders out for water and a quick bit to eat (dry cat food).

Gold’s Gym is closed at this point, so instead he rotates between sessions of running on his wheel and powerwalks with toilet paper tubes on his head. Some of his favorite toys are ping pong balls, cat toys with bells and PVC tubes to run through.

Prickles isn’t much of a talker: just the occasional squeak or hiccup. He also doesn’t fetch, kill mice, roll over, or care about laser pointers; these things are beneath him.

While he certainly can be lazy, and he is most certainly grumpy when he wakes up; my finance and I love him, and hope you guys will consider a pet outside of the box, yet has recent relevance to Arlington, for your Pet of the Week.

PS: He thinks Sonic projects an unrealistic body image for all other hedgehogs. Just kidding, he loves him, but he does hate those pesky water levels.

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.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 22, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Reduced banner

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 is not the listing agent of these homes. 

In advance of tomorrow… Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for here in Arlington County. On the housing front, our area persevered through the recession and our market continues to benefit from comparatively high incomes and low unemployment rates.

We also have one of the best public school systems in the nation and there is culture galore to enjoy at every corner – delicious restaurants, world-class shopping and beautiful parks.

On behalf of my family and team, we wish you and yours a happy Turkey Day. After you’ve enjoyed your feast and long weekend, we’re ready to roll with you on your housing search. We’re thankful for our neighbors and are always here to help you GET MORE out of your transaction.

And now for this week’s numbers:

As of November 20 there are 198 detached homes, 43 townhouses and 250 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 22 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.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 21, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

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: We are buying a vacation home this winter and wondering how the process and rules differ from our experiences buying our primary residence.

Answer: Buying a vacation home is a little like buying a primary home, but there are key differences you should be aware of. Lenders tend to set more stringent lending requirements and you must be clear about your plans for the property. With these considerations, potential buyers can plan for the financial obligations and time commitments common to the purchase of a second home.

What Counts as a Second Home?

Lenders treat primary residences, second homes or vacation homes and investment properties as unique types of property purchases. Typically, lenders are more likely to grant loans with more favorable terms to people purchasing homes as a primary residence, as the occupation of the home usually ensures a higher degree of timely repayment. Properties that will never be occupied by the owner have different lending and tax obligations. As such, to buy a second home or vacation home, lenders often require you to choose properties that are a set distance away from your primary residence. You must also indicate that you’ll occupy the property for a set amount of time each year.

Vacation Home or Investment Property

Given that a vacation home must be a notable distance from your primary residence, you should consider the type of arrangement that works best for you. Homes suffer from lack of attention, so you should be prepared to make regular visits for maintenance and repairs, or hire a local company to do so. Larger or more remote properties may demand more care, while a condominium in a developed area might require less. You may also choose to rent out the property in your absence to help pay for the mortgage. However, this may affect the classification of the property purchase, and have other tax implications.

Capital Gains Taxes

Selling a primary residence often qualifies the seller to exclude up to $500,000 of the capital gains from their tax liability for a married couple ($250,000 for a single person), but vacation homes are viewed differently. Typically, a homeowner must have lived in the home as a primary residence for at least two of the past five years to qualify for the maximum capital gains tax exclusion.

People who never occupied the home as a primary residence do not qualify for the exclusion and may be required to pay capital gains taxes. Buyers who eventually intend to occupy the vacation home as a primary residence should carefully consider when they plan to sell both properties. For example, a person who sells a primary residence and moves into a vacation home may be able to claim the vacation home as a primary residence, if they occupy it for a minimum amount of time. However, they cannot claim the capital gains tax exclusion more than twice in a two-year period. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 20, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

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.

When an employee has been accused of engaging in workplace misconduct, the employer will sometimes conduct an administrative or internal investigation to determine the validity of such claims and also what actions, if any, must be taken against the employee.

Reasons for Employment Investigations

The purpose of an investigation is for the employer to gather relevant evidence regarding the employee’s alleged misconduct and determine whether the misconduct warrants a disciplinary or an adverse action (e.g., termination, demotion or significant suspension) within the requirements established by law, policy or regulation.

While less likely, sometimes an investigation can lead to a potential criminal investigation. Depending on the federal, state, local agency or private employer involved, a supervisor or other designated investigator may be asked to conduct an investigation regarding the facts at issue. Employees may then be asked to provide verbal or written responses to questions regarding the alleged misconduct.

Employee Participation in Interviews

Employees, depending on their particular employer, may have a duty to fully cooperate with the assigned investigator or can decline to participate in the investigation unless they are ordered to do so. For example, federal employees may decline to participate in an administrative investigation if it is voluntary. Private sector employers have different rules. Refusing to cooperate with an investigation or providing false statements or answers during an investigation can sometimes be grounds for disciplinary action.

Additionally, providing false statements, if made to a federal or other law enforcement investigator, can also subject an employee to potential criminal penalties. Internal or administrative investigations can also involve risks for the employer. Inadequate employer investigations may raise questions about the accuracy of the results or whether the employee was treated fairly. In addition, the employer may not like what the investigation uncovers and will have an obligation to resolve or address issues, such as a systemic problem or legal impropriety.

When to Seek Legal Advice

If a matter under investigation is serious, it is generally important to seek legal advice. Prior to an employee providing information to an employer, it is helpful for an employee to discuss with an attorney the issues associated with the information being sought by the employer and the employee’s role in the matter being investigated.

An attorney familiar with administrative or internal investigations can provide legal advice to assist an employee in preparation for responding to questions about his or her actions in the matter being investigated. In addition, an attorney can often accompany the employee during any investigative interviews.

Our law firm represents and advises employees on employment-related matters. If you need legal assistance, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

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.

A startup that looks to help companies protect customers’ personal data just received $3.1 million in new funding at a crucial time for the data protection industry.

Clarendon-based WireWheel was founded in December 2016 by Justin Antonipillai, the former Acting Undersecretary of Economic Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama, alongside University of Maryland Computer Science professor Amol Deshpande and former NASA rocket scientist Chris Getner.

The trio founded the company to help businesses comply with new regulations around data protection that come into effect next year.

Its software, called the “Data Privacy and Protection platform,” helps businesses both in the United States and Europe keep track of customer data that has been collected, where it is stored and who or what has access to it.

“It’s not only the specific information you’ve given the company, because most companies are logging every interaction you have with them, often tied to where you were when that interaction took place, there’s crazy insights that people can get from that kind of data about you,” Antonipillai said. “What I’m really seeing is companies trying to do the right thing, and makes sure they can prove they’re doing the right thing, and that’s where we come in.”

WireWheel received its seed funding, early-stage investments in return for a stake in the business, from venture capital firms PSP Chicago and New Enterprise Associates. Antonipillai said that money will be used primarily to hire new software developers and engineers and to invest in improving the software which will be rolled out for a wider Beta test in January.

And from the investment firms’ point of view, the timing is perfect to invest in companies that help protect customers’ data, especially after high-profile breaches like that at the Equifax credit bureau.

“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that companies and governments build trust and show that they are taking care of their customer’s personal data,” Penny Pritzker, founder and Chairman of PSP Capital, said in a statement. “The WireWheel team brings tremendous expertise in understanding the regulatory maze, advanced technologies and business needs surrounding data privacy.”

In May, the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect for companies that do business in Europe, which includes multi-national corporations based in the United States. Described as “one of the biggest changes to data privacy and data protection regulation in 20 years,” it imposes significant privacy requirements on companies.

Antonipillai said the GDPR and the European Union’s renewed focus on data privacy means WireWheel fills a vital need for companies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

“In Europe, privacy is a fundamental right and it imbues a lot of parts of society,” he said. “If companies aren’t in a position to demonstrate that they’re doing the right thing with that information, and that they know where it is, what it is and who or what has access to it, you can’t do business on the world stage.”

Already, Antonipillai said WireWheel has worked with several multi-national companies in the software’s early stages, and has been developing its platform with their help.

He echoed comments from the likes of Ballston-based cybersecurity firm BluVector, which said previously it is part of an unofficial “cyber corridor” in Arlington, and said that as the software evolves, it will be easy to scale for more companies to use.

“We know that if we solve their problems, we’ll solve them in a way that is going to solve a lot of companies’ problems,” Antonipillai said. “Given the scope of the problem, there are European laws and there are US laws that have to be complied with. Companies are trying really hard to get up to speed on that, so I think we have a pretty good path to scale once we really get the platform out.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

It may seem daunting, looking for an apartment in Arlington that matches everything on the must-have list – convenient location on the Metro, urban lifestyle walking distance to dining and entertainment and natural serenity, too. But Tellus Apartments in Arlington does all that and more. With a unique mix of urban living and natural living, Tellus exceeds expectations with an array of upscale lifestyle amenities.

Just two blocks from the Courthouse Metro station, with access to the orange and silver lines, Tellus is located in a vibrant neighborhood with upscale restaurants, pubs, shopping and entertainment – everything for a convenient lifestyle.

These sophisticated high-rise apartments range from studios to two bedrooms, plus some with dens for extra space. Features include stainless steel appliances, glass tile backsplash, kitchen island with bar seating, balcony and oversized windows for maximum natural light.

When it comes to environmental sustainability, Tellus leads the way as one of Arlington’s first LEED Gold certified residential buildings. Countertops are made of recycled porcelain. 100% of rainwater is recycled. Plus, residents can breathe in a bit more fresh air at this smoke-free community.

Lifestyle amenities include:

  • Rooftop swimming pool offering stunning views of the DC skyline and monuments.
  • Rooftop outdoor lounge with grilling stations, plush seating and outdoor TV.
  • Resident lounge with catering kitchen.
  • Fitness center and yoga studio.
  • Fully equipped business center.
  • Outdoor terrace with fire pit and expansive landscaped lawn for recreation.
  • 24-hour concierge service.

Four-legged best friends are also welcome at Tellus, including large dogs up to 70 lbs.

With a 93 Walk Score, Tellus is a walker’s paradise in a bikeable, Metro accessible location, so residents can easily live without a car, but there is also garage parking available.

Tellus seeks to fulfill the vision of its namesake – the ancient Roman goddess of Earth – who embodied nature and abundance. This forward-thinking environmentally-friendly residence is built with the well-being of its residents and the planet in mind, providing what it takes to live in both comfort and luxury in Arlington, but also in a sustainable atmosphere that reflects the beauty of nature.

View their website at RentTellus.com to learn more about the “Urban Nature” lifestyle at Tellus Apartments and see floor plans, photos, rental rates and availability. Get social with Tellus on Facebook and Twitter or call 866.311.0350 today to schedule a tour.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 17, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

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.

Inky black. Creamy head. Sweet and strong.

It’s the time of year for Imperial stouts to come out of hibernation. Cooler temps and falling leaves are signs that it’s time to set aside the lighter beers of Summer and Fall, and embrace the heavy and dark beers of Winter. Stouts are making a big showing — I’ve seen everything from oatmeal stouts to milkshake-style stouts this season. But the imperial stout stands apart from the rest thanks to its intoxicating blend of sweetness, roastiness and alcohol.

Brother to the porter, stouts started as stronger versions of regular porters — beers brewed with dark, roasted malt giving it a dark brown (almost black) color and mild bitterness. Eventually stouts became their own style altogether with subcategories like milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, flavored stouts and, of course, imperial stouts.

We actually have Russia to thank for our extra strong imperial stouts. In the 18th century, rich Russians loved imported English stouts. The long trip north and east was not ideal for the average stout. So, special stouts were developed for export using more hops and malt giving them a much higher alcohol content so they could stand up to the long journey. They were designated as “imperial” or “Russian imperial.” Today, we label nearly any beer that has a very high alcohol content “imperial.”

I have four classic American imperial stouts to share this week.

Founders Brewing Company, Breakfast Stout (8.3% ABV)

Subtitled “double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout,” Breakfast Stout has the potential to go wrong in a number of different ways. However, Founders delivers on its complicated promise with a beer that seems to contain all the flavors and textures listed. Distinct aromas of chocolate syrup, diner coffee and malted milk hint at the flavorful ale that is more dessert than breakfast.

The sip is smooth — thanks to the oatmeal — with a big coffee flavor up front, giving way to dark dried fruit on the way to a boozy finish. Before the alcohol bite overwhelms Breakfast Stout, the dark roasted malt kicks in with its subtle bitterness. It’s no wonder that this delicious beer has won awards — Silver at the 2014 Shanghai International Beer Festival and Bronze at the 2006 World Beer Cup — but what’s more surprising is that there aren’t more. Available each year from October to January, this is the time to stock up on this classic American imperial stout.

AleSmith Brewing Company, Speedway Stout (12% ABV)

This Great American Beer Festival (GABF) silver award-winning stout is formidable. It’s certainly the strongest of the imperial stouts that I sampled for this column. Speedway is brewed with coffee from San Diego’s Ryan Bros. Coffee, but I’ll be honest I didn’t get much coffee like the beer above. Instead, I found deeper and richer aromas and flavors. I smelled licorice, black strap molasses and alcohol. The sip was boozy and sweet with a strong showing from spicy sassafras and pitch black licorice candy. This sipper is great for dessert — a special modern classic imperial stout. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 17, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed banner

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.”

Yikes! On the eve of Thanksgiving week, only 39 sellers braved to put their homes on the market this week despite the steady healthy absorption rate. Some 51 buyers stepped up and ratified contracts this week. But there are further signs that the higher end market is weakening. Of those sold, only nine sold within a week and none were priced over $1 million. The average days on market also shot up this week to 63, the highest for the year. And only four homes sold this week priced over $1 million.

There’s been much talk about the GOP’s tax cut plan that would affect the mortgage interest deduction. But new affordable housing is also targeted in the plan. The GOP House plan wipes out the exempt status of “private activity” bonds used to fund 50% of new construction for affordable housing. This act will severely curtail the public-private partnership to deliver affordable housing in communities for low income families, veterans, teachers, seniors, firemen, police officers, and special needs.

Interest rates bounced around this week ending virtually unchanged at 4.1% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points. Remember when shopping for a loan to compare apples to apples. Makes sure you get quotes for the exact same product, and specify based on no points so you can accurately compare.

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

(Unfortunately, were are currently having issues with our website but these links at least allow you to get access to information about the properties.)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

1813 N Quantico Street 
Neighborhood: Westover Village
Listed: $1,539,000
Open: Sunday, November 19, from 2-4 p.m.

Modern Craftsman meets Modern Farmhouse with this brand new Classic Cottages home featuring 5 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Single Detached Garage and 5,003 finished sq. ft. This home has it all, including but not limited to a main level office with French doors, dining room, gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, laundry room and mud room, family room, sun room, master suite with walk-in closet, luxury master bath, basement entertainment room and wet bar.

With bright, contemporary features such as white shiplap, grey stone accents, dark hardwood floors and custom white wainscoting and molding, this home evokes a refreshing and welcoming feel for your family, friends and guests. See it all for yourself this Sunday!

Available for immediate delivery, this home also serves as a model for upcoming Spring 2018 projects that feature this same floor plan and exterior design style. Tour this Sunday: 2-4 p.m. Visit the builder’s website for blog info, video tour and full features description.

Listed by:
Gina Baca
Classic Cottages Realty, LLC 1000 Pendleton Street
Phone: 703-256-1401 (Office) 619-929-5585 (Cell)
[email protected]

by Buzz McClain November 16, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

Craftmark Homes has opened sales of their luxury townhomes at Chantilly’s The Preserves at Westfields for delivery in early 2018. Priced from the upper $500s, these contemporary homes in the Dulles Technology Corridor are walkable to shopping, dining, & transportation options, and are close to recreation facilities and Wegmans.

These townhomes truly live like single family homes. With nine-foot ceilings, hardwood floors on the main living level and up-to-the-minute built-in technology, Craftmark’s townhomes boast up to four bedrooms, three to four full and one half baths, and one- to two-car garages.

They also feature one of the most sought-after amenities: Wooded private backyards. And with rooftop terraces and optional decks that provide extra outdoor living space, residents will be able to entertain and enjoy the seasons.

Need more space for your household? These homes are selling quickly, so book an appointment soon.

The Preserves at Westfields on-site sales trailer is open daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m at 4900 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly, VA 20151Please contact Bethany Stewart at (703) 214-6661 for more details.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 16, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

Healthy Paws

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.

November 13-19 has been declared World Antibiotic Week. While at first glance it might be easy to roll your eyes at this, think about how much antibiotics have done for health and medicine over the last century, and you’ll see few things are more deserving of their own week than antibiotics. Antibiotic, by definition, means “opposed to life” — specifically the life of bacteria. Antibiotic is often used interchangeably with the term antimicrobial, but antimicrobial refers more generally to all microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoal organisms)

The original antibiotic, penicillin was first discovered by biologist Alexander Fleming in 1928, purified by Ernst Chain, Howard Florey and Edward Abraham in 1942, and further developed for wide-scale production by Norman Heatley. Penicillin arrived on the scene just in time to be the decisive factor in saving countless lives during World War II, and it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of antibiotics since then. However, as “bigger and better” antibiotics have been developed in the 89 years since their initial discovery, many of the bacteria they are targeting have also developed coping mechanisms or resistance to the antibiotics designed to destroy them.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microbe (which includes bacteria, viruses and certain parasites) to prevent an antimicrobial agent from working against it. This has become an increasingly serious problem as microbes develop resistance against more and more antimicrobials and is seen with all kinds of microbes — not just bacteria. While all resistance is a concern, antibacterial resistance typically receives the most attention as bacteria account for so many of the infections seen worldwide, both in humans and animals.  

One of the ways that health care professionals, including veterinarians, determine if a bacterial infection is resistant to common bacteria is to “culture” the organism and perform sensitivity testing — in this process the organism is grown on a petri dish in a lab and various antibiotics are tested against it to see which are effective and which are ineffective at hindering growth in a lab setting. Ideally, all suspected bacterial infections would be cultured; however, from a cost, time and resources standpoint this is not often practical and often health care professionals need to make an educated guess about which antibiotic would be most appropriate for the type of infection they are treating.  

Many of the general recommendations from human medicine for decreasing the chances of resistance apply to veterinary medicine as well:

  • Antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a licensed health professional.
  • The full course of antibiotics should be finished, unless otherwise directed by a health professional.
  • Antibiotics should not be shared with other people or animals.
  • Left-over antibiotics should not be used for similar signs down the road, unless under the direction of a health professional (and if they were used for the full course initially, there shouldn’t be any leftover regardless).

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

3000 Spout Run Pkwy, Unit B203
North Arlington
$254,900
Open House: Saturday, November 18, from 1-3 p.m. and Sunday, November 19, from 1-4 p.m.

Welcome to the largest 1-bedroom floor plan at Cardinal House, complete with wood floors, granite kitchen counters, generously-sized bedroom, and a walk-in closet. And what a location! Walking distance to Clarendon Metro and even closer to GW Pkwy / Rt 66 / Lee Hwy. Neighborhood amenities include The Italian Store, Starbucks, a grocery store and much more across the street.

Cardinal House offers furnished club/billiard and fitness rooms, bike storage and extra storage, and a refreshing pool with picnic area. Laundry is conveniently on the unit level, and an on-site manager and building engineer are at your service. The modest condo fee includes parking and utilities.

www.CardinalB203.com

Listed by:
Donna Hamaker
Buck & Associates
703.582.7779
[email protected]
www.DonnaHamaker.com

by ARLnow.com November 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Sandy, a mixed breed from Alabama.

Here is what her owner Emily had to say:

Sandy is an energetic 1-year-old mixed breed who was rescued from the Humane Society after making the trip up here from Alabama. Sandy arrived just in time for Christmas this year, making her the best gift we have ever received!

She is incredibly friendly and loves getting attention from anyone who will look in her direction.

Sandy is always trying to entice us to play with her, often smacking us in the rear with a toy to try to get our attention. She has taken over a chair in our house and likes to sit in “her” chair keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

Her favorite activities are chasing squirrels, following her mom and dad around the house, spending time at the dog park playing with any and every dog, and cleaning food off of little kids faces. She has a loud snore after a day of play and always likes to have a toy within reach.

Luckily she is pretty cute and has a great personality which distracts us from her more naught habits of eating anything in site (including vitamins, hair brush, dust buster, you name it…) and her love of chewing on shoes and houseplants.

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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