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by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm 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.

We’ve discussed fleas previously, but since we’re just starting to see the first real fleas of the season figured it’s a good time to revisit these icky insects.

What exactly is a flea?

Fleas are small (~2-3mm), reddish-brown insects. They feed on the blood of mammals and birds. While they cannot fly, they have incredible jumping ability. According to the website fleascience.com, the average flea can jump about 5 inches high and 9 inches horizontally, though they can reach 8 inches high and nearly 20 inches horizontally.

What diseases can they carry?

Fleas can cause symptoms of mild itchiness to severe itching/scratching and significant secondary bacterial infections, depending both on the flea burden and the individual animal’s sensitivity to flea bites. Additionally, in young puppies and kittens, or severely infested animals, fleas can cause anemia due to blood loss.

Other parasites and diseases can also be carried or transmitted by fleas:

  • The most common form of tapeworms, Diplydium caninum, are carried by fleas. Tapeworms are rarely a significant health concern but can be uncomfortable to the pet and disturbing to the owner who discovers them.
  • Bartonella, the causative agent of Cat Scratch Disease, is also carried by fleas. Typical transmission is from the scratch of an infected cat (who got the disease from fleas), but there is some thought that infected fleas can transmit directly to humans via a bite.
  • Plague, caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, can also be transmitted by fleas.

What is the lifecycle of the flea? And why does it matter?

Adult female fleas feeding on an animal can start laying eggs within hours, laying up to 50 eggs per day. Eggs develop in the environment, preferring cool dark places (like under fallen leaves — which is why we tend to see an increase in cases of flea infestations in the fall) and indoors along baseboards, carpets and crevices of furniture or floors.

Larvae then develop into pupae, typically preferring the same places as the larval stages. Finally, adults emerge from the pupal stage and start looking for a host to feed on. This whole process can take as little as a few weeks in optimal conditions. However, the larval and pupal stages can also lie dormant for months, and hatch only once they sense the environmental factors are ideal (vibrations from movement, heat and CO2 can all trigger this).

Because of the prodigious egg-laying of the adult flea, it is possible for a single adult female to quickly lead to an infestation. The environment (which can be outdoors or indoors) quickly becomes contaminated with eggs, larvae and pupae.

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

Sometimes you will actually see the flea moving along the skin under the hair coat, or even jumping from the pet as you rub their belly. A more reliable way to detect them is to look for “flea dirt,” which is digested and excreted blood. The tail area and behind the ears are two common places to see this.

However, sometimes it’s not a simple diagnosis, especially early on. Some pets are very sensitive to flea bites, and will demonstrate intense itching with only a single bite — in these cases, it may be difficult to detect the fleas.

The classic signs of a pet with fleas are intense itching or chewing around the tail base (and in general). The itch associated with fleas is often more intense than we might see with other causes of itchiness (namely, allergies). (more…)

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Sophie, a black Labrador mix.

Here is what she had to say about her life so far:

Hi everyone! My name is Sophie, and I’m a black lab mix. I was born in South Carolina, but my mom and dad adopted me from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue when I was about one year old.

I was underweight, stinky and sick with heart worm, but after a few months I felt much better. I have lots of doggy cousins, and my best friends are Petey and Louie. I don’t have a fur sibling yet, but I’m keeping my paws crossed that I’ll get one soon!

I have a ton of energy and lots of hobbies. Here are some of my favorite things to do: swim, run, jump, get tummy rubs, play with tennis balls, obsessively lick stuff, stalk squirrels, bark at strangers and watch Bravo with mom.

I also enjoy dirty socks, clean socks, pup-sicles, sleeping in the sunshine, and listening to my parents make up songs about me.

Because I had a hard life before I was adopted, some things still scare me. I hate loud noises, cardboard boxes, guitars, golf clubs, Roomba, thunderstorms, maintenance people, and men wearing hats. My mom and dad always comfort me when I’m scared though– that’s one of the reasons I love them.

All in all, I have a great life, and I’m looking forward to a lifetime of trips to the dog park, cuddles, and walks!

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 September 20, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

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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. 

Today is September 20, which means that it’s National Pepperoni Pizza Day and Punch Day (the drink, not the action… so please don’t physically punch anyone).

We hope you make the most of it!

And on that note, what a perfect time to reflect on all of the wonderful dining, entertainment and shopping options we have here in Arlington. From the mom and pop shops that line 23rd Street S. here in Crystal City to the big-time retailers scattered throughout Clarendon, Arlington County truly does offer it all.

There are so many perks that come with living a stone’s throw from our nation’s capital and in the heart of a thriving market. And when you are ready to make the most of it and purchase a home of your very own, our team is here to help you GET MORE out of your transaction.

As of September 20 there are 244 detached homes, 71 townhouses and 298 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 63 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 September 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm 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!

Where is it?

Douglas Park is a large neighborhood in South Arlington bordered by Columbia Pike to the north, S. Four Mile Run Drive to the west, S. Walter Reed Drive to the east, and ends at the intersection of each of those roads to the south.

It hosts multiple parks and Randolph Elementary School, although households in the southern portion of the neighborhood go to Hoffman-Boston Elementary and students in the northwestern corner are districted to Barcroft Elementary School. The majority of households are districted to Jefferson Middle School, but the Barcroft Elementary households in the northwest corner end up at Kenmore Middle School. Every household in Douglas Park ends up at Wakefield High School.

Douglas Park is a blended neighborhood of mostly residential housing, ranging from affordable multi-family buildings for rent or purchase along the northern and eastern borders, a few pockets of town homes built in the 1960s and again in the 2000s, but mostly single family homes build in the early/mid-1900s many of which are cape cods and bungalows that are popular targets for renovations and expansions.

About the interviewee:

Anne and her husband, Horacio, met in Colombia (the country) and moved to Shirlington in early 2015 before buying their home, where they’re raising two young children. They weren’t in a hurry to move, but found a home with potential on a street they loved, and bought their Douglas Park Cape Cod in late 2015.

They spent about three months renovating the kitchen, refinishing floors, and giving the house new life while trying to maintain the original charm as much as possible. Just after moving in, they dealt with some pipe issues that required them to tear up a lot of their front yard, but turned a bad situation into a positive by introducing some beautiful landscaping and hardscaping out front.

What do you love about Douglas Park?

We’re part of an incredible community here. Being a bi-lingual family, we love living in a bi-lingual neighborhood. An added plus that we hadn’t thought to be so important before experiencing it, is the cross-generational interaction. The young families who just moved in hang out with neighbors who have lived here for decades.

It’s also very front-yard focused, so in the evenings and weekends, you’ll see most of the neighborhood out front, spending time together, not tucked away privately in their backyards (note: this was highlighted in the Claremont Neighborhood Spotlight and a trend in many South Arlington neighborhoods). It’s a beautiful, engaged, diverse community.

We also have great access to public transportation, despite not being near a Metro station. Whenever I can, I take the bus to work in Courthouse. Also, despite not having sidewalks, the streets are wide enough for kids to safely ride bikes and walk without being in danger.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

By Rae Patterson, Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Everyone knows that animals smell like animals and dogs smell like dogs. But does it seem like your dog has a special talent for smelling bad? There are ways to combat and reduce problem smells. Bark + Boarding is here to help you figure out the origin of the odor and what to do about it.

Dogs don’t drip sweat like people do, but their skin does perspire a small amount and it produces oil to keep the skin and coat healthy. This, combined with a dog’s anal glands that carry a personalized scent that tells other dogs about him or her, are responsible for the common doggy smell. And daily dog smell can build up, just like human smell does.

It’s important to bathe and groom your dog regularly; not only for the sake of your nose, but also for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. If your dog swims, lives outdoors, joins you for runs, or has a thick coat, these are all reasons to take your dog to a professional groomer often.

Grooming can make a big difference in how your dog smells by doing more than the average at-home bath to remove dandruff, dirt, and organisms matted in the fur. Bark + Boarding offers full grooming services or individual services for both dogs and cats. See the article How to Deal with Your Dog’s Summer Shedding to learn more about the benefits of grooming.

If your dog is particularly smelly, there may be another cause, besides your dog just being “dirty.” The source of the smell could be internal. Your dog may have dental or stomach issues causing bad breath or gas. Oral health is directly related to the overall health of your dog. Bad teeth can cause a myriad of other health issues, not to mention truly bad breath. For this reason, dogs need regular dental cleaning, the same as humans.

If tooth-brushing is traumatic for your dog or if you prefer to spread out the cost of dental care, you can try daily dental chews like Greenies or Whimzees, and try water additives that work like drinkable mouthwash. Take a look at your dog’s teeth to see if tartar buildup, a cracked tooth or rotting is the cause of your dog’s stench. If the dog’s teeth are in bad shape already, you’ll want to take him to the vet.

If your dog’s gas can clear a room, you can start by trying a different food that has a different protein source or is grain free. You could also try topping your dog’s food with probiotics to see if that helps. If the problem persists, you should see your vet to ensure there aren’t more serious gut issues going on.

One of the most common but least expected causes of overpowering doggy odor is an infection in your dog’s anal glands. It is possible for these glands to become irritated, and your dog may excessively lick or nip at this area if it is bothering him. If you suspect your dog’s unwanted scent is caused anal gland problems, it is always time for a vet visit!

One last possible cause of stink is your dog’s ears. Ear buildup, bacterial infections, or mites can create a strong smell. When checking your dog’s ears, look for excessive wax, moving spots in the ear canal, or any red or painful spots. Particularly if your dog has floppy ears or if your dog swims often, be sure to check your dog’s ears regularly.

Similarly, if your dog suffers from a food allergy he/she can develop a nasty yeast infection in the ears that stinks! If your pup is consistently getting ear infections you might want to speak with your vet about a possible food allergy. There are many ear wipes and fungus treatments available at your local pet store. If the problem is severe, schedule an appointment with your vet.

If you need any supplies or advice while de-scenting your dog, drop by Bark + Boarding where we have the experts and the tools you need!

by Chris Teale September 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm 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.

It can be daunting to put together a prototype and business plan for a new app, but one Clarendon-based company hopes to help make it easier.

Stuck in the Sand launched two months ago, to help those with a new idea get their thoughts in order ahead of employing developers or looking for investors.

It was founded by Wa’il Ashshowwaf, who has built four startups including rights protection app Reyets.

One of SITS’ four staff members interviews a client to learn more about their proposed product. After that conversation, SITS will draw up a business plan and start working on the prototype of an app and a home page for its website online.

Potential app customers can then view the website, sign up for email updates and run a full demo of the app from start to finish to see how the service works.

SITS provides its clients with a full business plan, a wireframe for the app to show developers how it is intended to work and a folder all the materials, including mock-ups for marketing.

Ashshowwaf said that all he and his colleagues need to start putting together prototypes is a name and an idea for an app. They can take care of the rest.

“When you have a very fresh idea, you don’t know where to start, it gives us a lot of room to take your idea and take creative license and build you something that looks good and gets your main idea across without wasting time on colors or what things should look like,” he said. “It allows you to get it out very quickly, it gives people a jump-start. It’s like if anyone’s started a diet and they need that first jump-start to get motivated, it gives them that.”

The client can then go to potential investors with their prototype, with such design intended to be less crude than an idea scribbled on a napkin in five minutes. SITS also provides analytics with website home pages, so clients can show investors a level of initial interest before major development begins.

When working with a developer, such services can cost around $20,000 and take several months, but SITS provides its services for around 10 percent of the cost — just over $2,000 — and will have a prototype ready in a matter of three days.

Those cost savings come, Ashshowwaf said, as building a landing page for a website and an app prototype can be done cheaply and quickly, especially on a fairly basic level.

“The websites you’re building, you’re building a landing page to show them the product, you’re not building a database and a store and all that,” he said. “That can be done pretty quickly if you know what you’re doing. For the app prototyping, if you know the right tools and have the right experience, even without using templates, you can build out things pretty quickly.”

In the future, Ashshowwaf said he hopes SITS will work with around 20 clients a month and expand nationwide as more and more people try and develop new apps. In time, SITS hopes to begin offering angel investments to early-stage companies and help them get off the ground.

“If we find clients where we really like their idea, we get to know them over a short period, that opens it up for us to put up an investment,” he said. “For us, rolling this out into very early stage angel investments would really be what we want, then scaling this up.”

Images via Stuck in the Sand.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. This post focuses on the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op, open for Arlington and other Northern Virginia residents interested in purchasing solar at a discount by the October 1 deadline. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

More and more Arlingtonians are considering solar power for their home. It’s a great way to slash your energy bill, your carbon footprint and your dependence on the electric grid.

But like any major purchase it’s hard to know if you’re getting a good price or what questions to ask.

If that sounds like your experience, we can help! You can go solar at up to a 20 percent discount with the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op.

To get started, visit the co-op website by the October 1 deadline for a no-obligation roof screening. You can also attend the final information session to learn more.

  • Final info session: Thursday, September 21, 6:30 p.m., Key Elementary, 2300 Key Blvd, Arlington. RSVP here.
  • Sign-up deadline: October 1

Over 80 Arlingtonians have already gone solar using co-ops like this, and solar has never been cheaper. Systems cost less than half of what they would have just five years ago and the federal tax credit offers a 30 percent discount in addition to the co-op discount.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

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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.

As Halloween approaches, many people are taking time to learn about one of the holiday’s well-known icons and one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures: bats.

A lot of people do not understand the useful role bats play in helping control insect populations. Most of the myths about bats have created such fear that the topic of bat conservation is rarely discussed.

They do not drive around in fancy cars and have really cool, destructive gadgets. They also don’t have super hero friends. Although humans if they change some of their bad habits, could be those superheroes.

They do not fly into your hair. More than likely they fly near you when you are outside because you are attracting flying insects- which they love. On average one bat can consume 600 to 1,000 insects an hour. Over the course of the night, that would equate to 6,000-8,000 flying insects including mosquitos. They also eat coach roaches, beetles and flies.

Bats have vision, but it is very limited. They navigate at night and find their prey through a process call “Echolocation.” Think of it as a sophisticated type of sonar. Echolocation uses sound waves to determine where objects are in space. Bats use this to navigate and find food in the dark.

To echolocate, bats send out sounds waves from their mouth or nose.   When these sound waves hit an object, such as an insect, they produce echoes. The bats follow those echoes for a tasty meal. Some species of insects have developed a false echo that when emitted, will misdirect the bat and allow the insect to escape.

Bats are the only flying mammal on the planet. Air Force-funded projects have been created to learn how the wing motion and structure work on these mammals in an effort to create better flying machines.

There are 16 different species of bats in Virginia. Three of these species of bats, Virginia Big-Eared, Gray and Indiana are federally endangered. The Rafinesque’s bat is state endangered. The Big Brown Bat, Evening Bat and Little Brown Bat are three common species you could see at night. These three are the most likely to take up residence in a building.

If a bat is found indoors with people, the VA Department of Health recommends capturing the bat and having it tested for rabies. While less than half of 1 percent of all bats actually carry rabies, this is a time of caution. If you must handle the bat in any way, heavy gloves should be worn. But it would be better to contact a professional to help with the safe removal of the bat.

In recent years, significant populations of several hibernating bat species have declined. The cause of death is connected to Geomyces destructans, a cold temperature-loving white fungus, commonly known as White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Little Brown and Northern Long-eared Bats appear to be the species hardest hit.

WNS has been reported in 19 states in the U.S. and four Canadian provinces. It is believed that infected bats are depleting their fat reserves more quickly during hibernation, awaking more often and/or for longer periods of time. The fungus spreads across the wings causing scarring and, in the worst case, complete holes.

Secondarily, the fungus agitates the bats during hibernation causing them to wake thus expending energy. With no food source to be had during the winter, bats must rely on their fat reserves to make it through. The smallest species are most at risk because they simply are not large enough to store enough fat to last the winter.

What can be done to help? The Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) suggests building or buying a bat box to provide roosting sites. They also suggest planting moth-attracting wildflowers to give bats an additional food source. Also, leave up dead or dying trees, as long as it is safe, to provide bats with natural shelters.

The OBC, in conjunction with Wild Birds Unlimited, has developed a bat box that meets OBC specifications and provides the features that successfully attract bats. In addition, a portion of the sales from each OBC bat box goes to OBC for bat research, rescue and public education.

These are truly amazing and beneficial creatures. The more people know about bats, the less frightening they are. If you have questions about bats, bat conservation and/or attracting bats to your yard, visit Wild Birds Unlimited, in your area.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 15, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

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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.”

Hellooo inventory! Home buyers finally got the break they’ve wanted with 108 new listings this week. There’s now a lot to choose from, and the homes are going fast. Some 28 of the new listings sold within a week. In total, buyers ratified 70 contracts this week. The Fall market is now in full swing.

Interest rates nudged upward about 4 basis points this week to about 3.99% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points. Arlington now has 631 homes actively for sale. At the current rate of absorption, that’s still only 2.3 months of inventory.

Homeowners have until the end of the year to take advantage of the HARP program and lower their monthly payments and save thousands annually. The Obama program was part of the economic stimulus plan. If your mortgage balance is under $625,000 you may qualify. Google HARP for more information and how to apply.

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

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

This biweekly column is sponsored by the Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications & Emergency Management.

Hurricanes are on everyone’s mind lately. The flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Houston area of Texas. Hurricane Irma has just come through and flooded many areas in Florida and caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.

Harvey is already ranked as one of the costliest disasters and Irma is one of the most powerful hurricanes in history. There has been a lot of chatter: “What if that ever happens in this area?” The fact is, it’s already happened pretty close to home.

Last July, a flash flood wreaked havoc in Ellicott City, Maryland. Over six inches of rain fell within two hours. Three people lost their lives, 90 businesses were impacted and hundreds of cars were destroyed; almost 100 residents were displaced from their homes and many were left unemployed.

Since then, 93 percent of businesses have reopened and 72 percent of those displaced have been able to return to their homes.

Prepare Now!

The first step to being prepared is knowing the risks. This could happen in Arlington and it could happen at any time, with little to no warning. Almost 65 percent of families are not prepared for a disaster. It’s National Preparedness Month and there is no better time to get prepared.

Start today by making a plan & building a Kit. Taking these steps now is essential to being prepared for a disaster. You may not have time to pack a bag or call family members to coordinate when an event happens. If you know where to go and what to do before something happens, then you can just grab and go to safety.

Interested in knowing more?

On September 20, we will be hosting our National Preparedness Month Celebration, to honor those in our community who have helped us be more prepared for a disaster.

We’ll be hosting a social hour with several of our partners in preparedness followed by a key note address from Maria Bernadzikowski, Howard County OEM. Maria will be discussing the Ellicott City flooding and how important it is to prepare before a disaster strikes.

Maria Bernadzikowski joined the Center for Health and Homeland Security as a Senior Policy Analyst in November 2016 and began working for the Howard County Office of Emergency Management on the Disaster Recovery Team (Ellicott City Flooding, July 2016.)

She transitioned as the Recovery Coordinator for the county’s efforts in March 2017 and has recently been tasked with creating their Outreach Program. Ms. Bernadzikowski is a graduate of St. John’s University (BA) and Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where she earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Disaster Management.

Ms. Bernadzikowski has worked on establishing community outreach programs, preparedness and recovery plans, exercise and training, and volunteer programs throughout Fairfax, Virginia, New Orleans, Louisiana and Léogâne, Haiti. She specializes in outreach to individuals with access and functional needs.

Come by Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. next week and learn more about how you can help us and yourself better prepare Arlington for a disaster.

Get connected!

As always, visit ReadyArlington.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information, and make sure to sign up for Arlington Alert.

by ARLnow.com September 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Scarlett, a senior cat and proven hunter.

Here is what her owner Pat had to say about her:

Scarlett got a second chance at a normal life four years ago after finding her forever home when she was 11 years old. She immediately found her spot with her new family, and quickly claimed her territory between her owners on the couch and on the bed.

Her big bright eyes and sweet demeanor are what first attracted us to Scarlett. If you inspect her a little closer, you will discover her special markings: black spots on her paw pads, a brown patch (her “nougat”) on her otherwise white belly, and a white-tipped tail.

Despite her domestic and indoor lifestyle, Scarlett is a proven hunter. She has caught cockroaches and a mouse, and diligently stands guard waiting for the next intruder.

Also a scavenger, Scarlett is undeterred when trying to steal chicken, cheese, popcorn, crackers, or tortilla chips from anyone who lets their guard down. She is very chatty, and demands treats whenever someone enters the apartment or picks up their keys to leave.

Last October, Scarlett skeptically welcomed a baby girl into our home. She was the perfect furry buddy during the pregnancy and our first months at home with the baby.

She expertly stays just out of arm’s reach, and found that baby gear can offer a great place for a catnap. We are so happy that we adopted this senior cat, and hope that more people consider adopting older cats to give them a good home for their golden years.

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 September 13, 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. 

Before we dive in to real estate here, it’s been an emotional week or so for so many Americans. Our thoughts continue to be with Houston, the Southeast United States and our friends in the Caribbean. Additionally, the 16th anniversary of 9/11 was on Monday – a day I certainly will never forget.

Everyone impacted has been at the top of my thoughts.

As we enter the peak of hurricane season, it is important to be prepared — perhaps not specifically for a hurricane (though we’ve been impacted in times past) — but a disaster in general. Many of the same disaster preparedness items you’d buy to prep for a hurricane may be used for any type of situation.

A good starting point to build your own preparedness kit is at Ready.gov.

In addition to helping you find a home, I’m always here to help you make the most of living here in Arlington. And having some emergency items on-hand for you, your family and home certainly can’t hurt.

As of September 11 there are 245 detached homes, 69 townhouses and 292 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 64 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 September 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm 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 installed an in-ground pool when we bought our house and now that we’re considering selling it, we’re wondering if it’s better to improve the condition of the pool or fill it in and replace it with more usable space.

Answer:

You Will Lose A Lot Of Buyers…

You will lose the majority of your buyer pool (pun intended) by offering your home for sale with a pool. With limited months of the year warm enough to use a pool, limited yard space, and high maintenance costs, most Arlington home buyers consider an in-ground pool a deal-breaker. You’ll see from the Fairfax County data that this is true for Northern Virginia, not just Arlington.

…But It May Not Matter In Arlington

This does not mean you should spends tens of thousands filling your pool in and covering it with new landscaping. Arlington has so few homes for sale with a pool that despite losing a large percentage of your potential buyers, you’re likely to benefit from the pool because it’s such a unique feature. Remember, it only takes one person/family to buy your home.

Arlington & Fairfax County Data

Since January 1 2012, only 29 detached homes have sold in Arlington with an in-ground pool, while during that same period, 1,548 homes in Fairfax County sold with an in-ground pool.

Arlington sellers with a pool fared well with an average of only 29.3 days on market, compared to about 50 days on market for all other detached homes. 18 of the 29 sales sold in 10 days or less.

On average, those 29 sales were 3 percent lower than the original asking price, with a county average during that period closer to 2.5 percent, but not everybody sold at a discount because 11 of the 29 sales sold for at or above the asking price.

Arlington has so few homes with in-ground pools, that we have to look to Fairfax County to gather some meaningful data:

During this time, detached homes spent an average of about 60 days on market and sold for about 97.5 percent of their original asking price.

As you can see from the table above, it took nearly 40 percent longer to sell a home with an in-ground pool and buyers negotiated an average of 3 percent more off of the original asking price. This supports the idea that most buyers in Northern Virginia don’t want a pool, but the lack of available inventory in Arlington offsets that and can be turned into a positive for sellers.

Take Notes From Fairfax, Timing Matters

The above table for Fairfax County also highlights that if you’re going to sell a home with a pool, you should do so within the spring market so your buyer has the immediate satisfaction of using it for a full season after they purchase.

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.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Berry & Berry column banner

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

We thought it might be helpful to provide information on leave laws and rules that cover Virginia employees. Leave issues always come up either during the course of an employee’s employment or immediately following the end of employment.

Leave laws and regulations also vary by the type of employer. For instance, federal, state, county and private sector employers have different laws and rules governing leave. Virginia has not codified many areas of employee leave as of yet, but that may be changing as other states enact improvements.

Virginia is one of those states where most forms of employee leave are not mandatory, but I suspect that may change in the future as Northern Virginia grows larger with more employers.

Some jurisdictions, like the District of Columbia have moved towards expanded paid leave. Fortunately for most Virginia employees, many forms of leave, while not mandatory are typically provided by employers in order for them to remain competitive in retaining employees. I will go through each form of leave in Virginia below:

Vacation Leave/Annual Leave

In Virginia, private sector employers are not required by law to provide employees with vacation/annual leave, either in a paid or unpaid status. This is different for federal, state and county employees in Virginia.

For instance, federal employees accrue a certain amount of annual or vacation leave each pay period and can then use this leave for vacation or taking days off.  When a federal employee leaves the federal government, they are paid out for the remaining balance of annual leave.

While payout of accrued vacation or annual leave has not been mandated for private sector employers, if it is pursuant to a consistent company practice or policy, the employer in Virginia may be required to pay such leave out to departing employees.

Sick Leave

In Virginia, there is also no state requirement that employers provide employees with sick leave benefits. Virginia is different in this respect when compared to many other states.

However, if an employer chooses to provide sick leave to employees, it must follow the established policy. There are some other notes on sick leave.

First, federal, state and county employees are generally given sick leave in increments. Furthermore, under federal law, private sector employees of larger Virginia companies (more than 50 employees) are entitled to sick leave when given under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Under the FMLA, private sector employees in Virginia may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, bonding with a new child, or qualifying exigencies. This type of leave renews every 12 months as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements set out above.

Employees may also take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a family member who was injured on active military duty.

Administrative Leave

While there is no entitlement to administrative leave for employees in Virginia, it can and is often granted. Typically, this type of leave is granted for reasons related to misconduct or equal employment opportunity investigations or other miscellaneous issues that arise. Federal, state and county employees have their own unique policies for administrative leave, which vary.

Holiday Leave

Additionally, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. Additionally, a Virginia employer does not have to pay an employee premium or enhanced pay for working on a holiday.

Again, different standards apply for federal, county and state employees, depending on position (.e.g. law enforcement), who may receive holiday pay for their work and/or premium pays.

Voter Leave

In Virginia, an employer is not required to give leave for an employee to vote. However, Virginia does require an employer to accommodate an employee who has been appointed as an election official. Some federal and other public employees have policies of permitting some administrative leave for voting where necessary.

Jury Duty Leave

In Virginia, an employer is not required to provide leave for jury duty, but cannot discharge or retaliate against the employee if they have given reasonable notice to their employer.

Additionally, an employer may not charge a private sector employee vacation or annual leave for jury duty service. An employer that violates these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor (VA Code. §18.2-465.1).

If you need assistance with an employment issue, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also like and visit us on Facebook.

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm 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 pair of Arlington County-based startups recently received injections of new cash as they continue to grow.

Crystal City software company ChurnZero and Rosslyn-based cybersecurity firm DivvyCloud both received several million dollars apiece from investors.

ChurnZero uses software to help subscription businesses understand how customers use their product, and fight against churn, when a customer decides to not use that product any longer. The company offers analytics, personalized and automated customer interfaces, and timely alerts about customers including those who are regular “power users” and those who are disengaged.

ChurnZero received $2.5 million from four investors: Grotech Ventures, Middeland Capital, Center for Innovative Technology and Charlottesville Angel Network.

“With business models moving to subscriptions, companies need to work every day to make sure their customers are engaged, happy, successful and, consequently, renewed,” You Mon Tsang, co-founder and CEO of ChurnZero, said in a statement. “We started ChurnZero because we saw way too many businesses that manage their customers without deep data or insight on the health and management level of their customers. That is simply not acceptable anymore.”

In an email, Tsang said the extra money will help ChurnZero continue to grow, having started with two founders in 2015 and already expanded to a staff of 15.

“We will invest in all parts of the business, including Product, Development, QA, Sales and Marketing,” Tsang said.  “We have big goals for the company. The investment will help ChurnZero grow into one of the major global players in the burgeoning customer success sector. We also aspire to be the next great D.C. [Software as a Service] company.”

DivvyCloud looks to make cloud servers safer by finding security problems and fixing them. It simplifies and automates cloud security for customers, who use programmed “Bots” to fix common cloud problems in real time.

It received $6 million in new funding, led by venture capital firm RTP Ventures.

“Cloud computing is a dynamic and fast-changing space and this new funding enables us to expand our reach in serving the needs of enterprises large and small struggling to manage their cloud infrastructures,” said Brian Johnson, CEO of DivvyCloud, in a statement. “With RTP Ventures’ deep experience in the SaaS space, their expertise will be invaluable as we take DivvyCloud to the next level.”

With the new investment, DivvyCloud will expand its sales and marketing operations and accelerate development of its software and services. Already, it serves the likes of General Electric, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae, among others.

“For two years, DivvyCloud’s automation platform has been a foundational component of our enterprise cloud adoption strategy,” said Dave Duvall, Senior Vice President of Infrastructure at Discovery Communications, in a statement. “DivvyCloud helps to ensure our fast-growing cloud footprint remains secure and cost optimized while helping to integrate cloud into our existing IT operations. The speed at which DivvyCloud innovates and introduces new capabilities helps us stay ahead of problems.”

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