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by Tim Regan — January 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A brewery in Shirlington is planning to celebrate its one-year anniversary with a special beer release.

New District Brewing Co. (2709 S. Oakland Street) will officially kick off its four-day birthday celebration later this evening, said general manager Anna Waigand. The brewery opened its doors last January.

Abbey Ale bottle (photo courtesy of New District Brewing Company)But the focal point of the festivities will be Saturday, when the brewery begins selling bottles of a spiced Belgian beer dubbed “Abbey Ale.” The beer is the first to be made and bottled in Arlington in nearly 100 years, Waigand said.

The limited-release beer is $11.99 per bottle, and each patron is limited to buying just two.

New District’s employees spent all day last Saturday bottling and corking the beer.

“We bottled them all by hand,” said Waigand. “Saturday was a very long day. We all needed a beer at the end of that one.”

The brewery will also hold a beer-themed trivia night later this evening, revive one of its most popular IPAs on Friday and sell growlers at a discount on Monday.

“It’s like a thank-you to our community,” Waigand said.

by ARLnow.com — January 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington County firefighters, including the hazmat team, responded to Washington-Lee High School this morning after air monitoring alarms indicated a possible refrigerant leak in the school’s boiler room.

ACFD was dispatched to W-L around 10:45 a.m. Firefighters investigated the alarms for more than an hour before concluding that there were no hazards, a fire department spokesman said.

The boiler room was ventilated during the incident response, but the school was not evacuated and no injuries were reported.

In the end, it was a malfunctioning alarm, not a hazardous leak, that caused the incident, said APS spokeswoman Jennifer Harris.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 12, 2017 at 3:00 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. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

Many of our daily appointments consist of pets that are not feeling well for a variety of reasons. In many instances, we can determine the problem and treat effectively by obtaining a thorough history, performing a comprehensive physical exam, perform in-office diagnostics or send lab work out to a reference laboratory, and dispensing appropriate medications or treatments. However, in some instances, problems may be more complicated or require diagnostics beyond the scope of a general practice, and a veterinary specialist may be recommended.  

Many people are surprised to hear that there are specialists for animals! So, what exactly is a veterinary specialist you may ask? A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has gone through at least four additional years of training above and beyond the four-year veterinary school education. This typically consists of a one-year internship program, followed by a three-year residency program focusing on their preferred area of specialty. They then have to sit for their national specialty examination before receiving their board-specialty certification.  

Below are some examples of specialists and why we may refer a pet to them. We’ll discuss other specialities in two weeks with our next post.

Emergency & Critical Care SpecialistLet’s face it, sometimes our pets get so sick that they needs some pretty intensive care! Emergency clinics that have a criticalist on staff have the capacity to do some extremely intensive care, including ventilatory support (i.e. breathing for the patient in an acute lung injury), in-hospital feeding tubes, extensive nursing management and tend to be on the cutting edge with treatment options for some really complicated, really sick cases.

InternistWhen we just can’t seem to find the answer to a pet’s metabolic woes or advanced diagnostics (such as endoscopy or bronchoscopy) are needed — and an internal medicine specialist is often recommended. They excel at complicated case work-ups and are very good at long-term patient and chronic disease management. The types of cases that we often request their assistance with are complicated diabetics, certain respiratory disease, multiple metabolic disease processes occurring at once, and certain infectious, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Their wealth of knowledge can be invaluable with making treatment decisions and when changing medications, doses, etc. to find just the right balance for a given patient. Subspecialties within internal medicine include:

Cardiologist: Sometimes we will hear a heart murmur or abnormal heart sound when performing a physical examination. A murmur is turbulent blood flow through the heart, but just listening to the heart doesn’t tell us exactly why the murmur is present. In these cases, we will refer your pet to a veterinary cardiologist to perform an examination and an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart). This will help determine the source of the abnormality. Puppies and kittens may have congenital abnormalities that can be fixed via surgery. Cardiologists also can place pacemakers in certain conditions where the abnormality has to do with the electrical conduction through the heart.

Neurologist: Unfortunately, sometimes our pets go through a variety of neurological disorders. This can include herniated disks in their back, tumors within the brain, congenital abnormalities, seizures, etc. Seeing a veterinary neurologist can help narrow down the cause for some of the signs you are noticing at home and they can also perform MRIs/CT scans on your pets to determine the next best step for treatment. Veterinary neurologists are also trained to perform spinal and brain surgeries.

Oncologist: Many types of cancers in veterinary patients can be surgically removed by your primary care veterinarian, but there are certain types of cancers that do best with surgical removal followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. These are two types of treatments have to be administered by a veterinary oncologist and may help prolong the quality of life-span of your pet.

SurgeonMost primary care veterinarians can perform routine surgeries, including limb amputations. However, sometimes your pet has injured themselves to the point of needing a veterinary surgeon to repair the damage, or requires a complicated surgery that is beyond the scope of general practice. Examples of this include torn ACL repairs, performing a total hip replacement, complicated tumor removals, surgery entering the chest cavity or around the heart, repairing complicated congenital defects, to name a few.

Veterinary specialists are great resources for your pets when your primary care veterinarian thinks their expertise will be needed to help make your pet feel better, faster! We are fortunate to live in an area with numerous specialty-trained veterinarians to help us provide the best care for our pets.

by Tim Regan — January 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

SafeTrack logo (image via Metro)Major track work and possible delays are coming to Arlington as part of Metro’s first SafeTrack “surge” of the new year.

No trains will run on the Blue Line between Rosslyn and the Pentagon between Feb. 11-28, Metro announced earlier today. Blue Line trains will only operate between Franconia-Springfield and Reagan National Airport during the maintenance period.

Orange and Silver Line trains will not be affected by the latest SafeTrack surge, officials said.

Alexandria will bear the brunt of the next round of “surge” work. From March 4 to April 9, Metro trains will share a single track on the Blue and Yellow lines between the Braddock Road and Huntington/Van Dorn Street stations. Blue Line trains will run every 24 minutes during that time, while the Yellow Line between National Airport and Mt. Vernon Square will run every 6-12 minutes, according to Metro.

Later this year — at some point around May and June — a portion of the Orange Line between the Minnesota Avenue and New Carrollton stops is also scheduled to undergo maintenance and single tracking.

Track work was suspended this month due to the inauguration and “the potential for winter weather impacts,” according to Metro. The SafeTrack program is currently slated to wrap up in late June, though the final dates haven’t yet been announced.

SafeTrack is intended to “rehabilitate the Metrorail system to improve safety and reliability.” Two hours after Metro announced the updated SafeTrack schedule, Arlington County firefighters responded to the Rosslyn station for a report of an arcing insulator.

Track inspections did not find any significant smoke or fire, but the emergency response did have some traffic impacts in Rosslyn.

Image via Metro

by Mark Kelly — January 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

The fireworks from the January 3 County Board kick-off meeting were generated by the partisan efforts of the three lowest vote-getters on the Board during the Vice Chairman election. The remainder of the meeting went to script, except for the little noticed move to make it harder for Arlingtonians to request a public hearing on an agenda item.

As with every year, each Board member also made remarks outlining their thoughts for the upcoming year. You can find links to all five here. And the speeches could be summed up like this: “We have a tough job, but take heart, we’re doing it pretty well.”

While re-reading the rather predictable speeches, I began to ask: what would a majority of Board members say in their speeches if they were being completely honest with the people?

“Projecting the future is hard.”

Just ask the local meteorologist. Or ask the county staff which never gets the revenue projections right (the underestimates fuel the annual year-end spending spree). Or you can ask the School Board who for years operated under the projections that school enrollment before having to pivot and face rising projections. The truth is enrollment was almost certainly never going to get as low, and may not get as high, as projected.

The bottom line: the Board should let projections inform decisions, but they should never be the only thing that informs the decisions.

“We cannot exactly account for how every dollar of the County’s budget is spent.”

John Vihstadt has asked county staff for a detailed accounting of payments to all of the county’s consultants and contractors. So far, it sounds like staff is balking at putting a spreadsheet together for him.

“But we sure enjoy spending as much as we can get away with.”

Every year the Board points to budget shortfalls but still manages to increase spending, increase revenue and spend all of the hefty year-end surplus. And they come up with shiny object projects like a Georgetown gondola as new priorities while Metro continues to flounder.

“Regardless of the initiatives we point to, we will not solve the affordable housing issue.”

Board members talk about it every year as a priority, and every year fight a losing battle because they are up against immovable market forces. But hey, the Board did pass overly restrictive rules on accessory dwelling units and Airbnb.

“We plan to blame the Trump Administration for everything that goes wrong the next four years. And if a Republican is elected Governor of Virginia, some of it will be their fault too.”

Some on the Board have already hinted at this move. It almost certainly will happen.

by Progressive Voice — January 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm 0

L. Karen DarnerProgressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.

By: L. Karen Darner

The recent public spat over the Vice Chair election at the County Board’s organizational meeting was a sad new chapter in our civic life.

The simple and standard selection of Board leaders from the ranks majority was instead turned by Mr. Vihstadt into a public and political issue. The move was unnecessary and unwise at a time when federal and state Republicans are moving aggressively to undermine liberal values, policies, and programs strongly supported by Arlington’s electorate.

The meeting should have focused on community issues and aspirations, not overtly political efforts followed up by a paid Facebook ad seeking to capitalize politically on the Vice Chair maneuver.

I have attended over 30 such organizational meetings. At nearly all, we had on display hard work and collaboration of Board members to build a place where people want to live and work, of which most of us have been very proud — as we should be.

Board members shared their priorities for the new year with County residents and voted for Chairs and Vice Chairs collectively identified as best able to lead the County forward.

The County Board has had a decades-long liberal majority of Democrats and/or Arlingtonians for a Better County members.

Arlington voters still maintain a strong liberal voting record. All but one of our elected officials locally, in Richmond, and on Capitol Hill are Democrats — generally elected by wide margins.

Arlington voters in 2016 gave Hillary Clinton an extraordinary victory margin — a reflection of liberal values and fears of what Donald Trump and highly partisan Republicans would do to undermine so much of the progress made by Democrats.

Our County Board has reflected the electorate’s support for a government that promotes those values, implements progressive policies, conducts government with fiscal prudence and a strong safety net, and delivers public services efficiently and effectively.

For those reasons, I believe that Arlington voters expect the County Board — with a 4-1 Democratic majority — to be led by Democrats.

And until now, Board members have been able to work together, without partisanship and overweening personal ambition, to elect Chairs and Vice Chairs.

Through it all, we saw high levels of mutual respect. When Board members did not agree, we saw healthy discussion, persuasion and compromise focused on what’s best for Arlingtonians. We learned the rationale for policies, processes or projects, changes that might be possible and how compromises were achieved.

Unfortunately, in the last few years, we saw increased divisiveness in our politics — pitting parts of the County against each other and an elected official hurling accusations of impropriety and unethical behavior against elected colleagues.

When I endorsed Katie Cristol (and Christian Dorsey) to be 2015 Democratic nominees, I looked forward to returning to a more positive mindset. I saw Katie as a creative mind with a strong commitment to Democratic values — the worth of each person, quality education, fairness and justice, compassion and unselfishness.

She has developed a strong track record on the Board, fusing her interest in public policy with a practical sense of good governance and an openness to hearing and understanding the viewpoints of all Arlingtonians. She has represented us ably in her regional responsibilities.

An added plus is that Katie’s a millennial. Giving someone from the next generation a chance to step up, especially in a county with the highest proportion of millennials in the country, provides for an important perspective.

To favor Katie for the Vice Chair position is not to denigrate the John Vihstadt’s public service. But John is neither a Democrat nor a liberal.

The January remarks by each Board member about priorities and policies reflected substantial difference between Mr. Vihstadt and his Democratic colleagues. He sounded like a Main Street Republican — and someone with a partisan perspective.

The Board Chair and Vice Chair are the public face of our community and set the Board’s agenda. Our leadership team should not equivocate on fundamental Democratic values that have made Arlington such a great community.

Moreover, at a time when liberal values will be under threat at the state and federal levels by highly partisan Republicans, it is certainly not time for decidedly Democratic urban and suburban jurisdictions to turn to a Republican to lead our governing efforts.

That’s why Mr. Fisette and Ms Cristol were properly selected as County Board leaders and spokespeople. They represent what Arlington stands for and they will continue to work with all residents to seek solutions while showing respect to the people of Arlington.

Karen Darner served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1991 to 2004. In 2009, she received the Arlington Community Foundation’s William T. Newman Jr. Spirit of Community Award in recognition of over 30 years as an educator and an active member of numerous community organizations.

by Peter Rousselot — January 12, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

Peter Rousselot

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. 

As I explained last year, Arlington has set aside too little parkland to adequately meet current demand, no less a projected 29% population increase of 63,000 people by 2040.

Discussion

The gap between demand and available parkland has resulted in conflicts among users and between users and adjacent communities negatively impacted by intensified use. Examples include controversial conversion of “multi-use” green areas at Virginia Highlands Park to sports uses, limitations on multi-use of a baseball field at Bluemont Park and plans to install new lighting on fields at Discovery ES/Williamsburg MS.

The current approach to resolving these conflicts seems ad hoc, with at least the appearance that those users who are best organized and advocate the longest will prevail.  As I noted last month, County staff may not always be serving as neutral facilitators in proposing changes in use and then resolving ensuing conflicts.

The POPS Update Advisory Group is currently working on an update to the Public Spaces Master Plan, and has recognized the importance of responding to the wide range of park and recreation needs in the community.

Current parkland uses

Although there are many uses of our parkland, one possibly useful perspective is that there are four overall “use” categories:

  • (1) natural areas and wildlife habitats,
  • (2) designated sports fields and court areas,
  • (3) “multi-use” green areas, and
  • (4) other use-specific facilities, e.g., dog parks, playgrounds and pavilions.

Staff has undertaken mapping current natural areas, sports fields and other uses in our parks. Completion of this project could provide a baseline against which to assess proposed new uses or changes in current uses.

Guidance as to desired uses

The County has published the results of its statistically valid 2015 Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey which indicated that natural areas and wildlife habitats–as well as hiking trails–were two of the three most important outdoor facilities to respondents.

Possible framework principles

Therefore, one core principle for approaching conflicts in use is that we must preserve and enhance our remaining natural areas. Once lost they are unlikely to be replaced. Other core principles are ensuring continued adequate availability of multi-use green areas as well as distributed and equitable access to all park amenities. Finally, with limited park resources, not every possible use can have its own allocated, exclusive space, nor should it.

Longer term approaches

The primary driver of these conflicts remains the demand/park resources gap. The best way for the County to minimize these conflicts is to undertake an aggressive parkland acquisition program, including the Board adopting the goal set forth in last year’s Civic Federation resolution for the County to acquire on average 3 acres of new parkland per year. The Board must then authorize sufficient ongoing funding to support this goal through both planned and opportunistic acquisitions.

Even aggressive land acquisition will not by itself adequately close the demand/resources gap, and the County needs to also “create” new space, especially for sports activities, e.g., basketball and tennis courts and soccer fields in high rises and on top of buildings.

Conclusion

With 63,000 more residents by 2040, people will need parks more than ever. Committing to and funding the aggressive land and space acquisition goals discussed above, and implementing a conflict resolution framework, can convert too limited parkland into diverse and accessible parkland.

by Tim Regan — January 12, 2017 at 10:55 am 0

Parking meter on N. Oak StreetMost Arlington County facilities and services are slated to close or operate on altered schedules next week in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.

Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and other facilities will be closed next Monday, Jan. 16 and Friday, Jan. 20, the county said. Though metered parking will not be enforced on those days, recycling and trash pickup is scheduled to go ahead per normal.

ART buses will operate on a Saturday schedule on routes 41, 42, 43, 45, 51, 55, 77 and 87 both on Monday and Friday of next week. Other ART buses will not run on those days, officials said.

Additionally, Commonwealth of Virginia offices, which include courts and the DMV, will be closed tomorrow, Jan. 13,  for Lee Jackson Day. Metered parking will not be enforced that day, but Arlington County offices will be open.

by Tim Regan — January 12, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated at 10:17 a.m.) A free creative arts festival is returning to Crystal City in just over two months.

Artomatic, a six-week art show that was previously held in the neighborhood in 2007 and 2012, is scheduled to return Friday, March 24, and run until Saturday, May 6.

This year’s Artomatic will occur at 1800 S. Bell Street, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the 100,000-square-foot arts space over the course of the event.

In previous iterations, the festival has brought visual art, music, film, live performance, fashion and other forms of artistic expression. Artist registration begins next month, organizers said.

“We first brought Artomatic to Crystal City in 2007 in order to demonstrate the transformation that was already in progress — a new main street, fun restaurants — as well as to underscore how easily accessible our neighborhood is from D.C. The second showing in 2012 helped us further showcase our emerging arts and innovation scene,” said Angela Fox, CEO of the Crystal City BID. “Now in our third iteration, we are excited to mark the beginning of the next generation of growth, engagement and creativity for Crystal City.”

More information on this year’s event from a press release:

Artomatic returns for its signature art event to be held this year in Crystal City, Virginia from Friday, March 24th to Saturday, May 6th. Artomatic draws hundreds of artists and performers throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to showcase their talents for a six week long free exhibition that routinely attracts thousands of visitors.

“We first brought Artomatic to Crystal City in 2007 in order to demonstrate the transformation that was already in progress – a new main street, fun restaurants – as well as to underscore how easily accessible our neighborhood is from DC. The second showing in 2012 helped us further showcase our emerging arts and innovation scene,” said Crystal City BID President/CEO Angela Fox. “Now in our third iteration, we are excited to mark the beginning of the next generation of growth, engagement and creativity for Crystal City.”

This year’s 100,000 square foot space at 1800 S. Bell Street is provided by Vornado/Charles E. Smith and is located along Crystal City’s Art Underground. Launched in 2013 to transform Crystal City’s interior concourse into a vibrant arts and cultural destination, the Art Underground includes Synetic Theater, the 1200-foot long FotoWalk Underground, ArtJamz Underground, the Gallery Underground, TechShop, and Studios Underground which provides work space for two dozen artists.

Artomatic is well-known for transforming empty spaces into vibrant arts communities that create unique and exciting events for tens of thousands of visitors – all free to visit. Anyone can show art at Artomatic – it is non-juried and art is selected on a first-come, first serve basis – so it’s a great way to discover new art.

“We are very excited to be working again with the Crystal City BID, a constant champion of the arts, to create a unique, invigorating and brand new artistic experience for all visitors to enjoy,” said Jennifer Williamson, current Artomatic Board President. “We will be conducting Artist tours starting in mid-January to allow interested participants an advance glimpse of their artistic home for six weeks where they can start imagining the endless creative possibilities they can do with the space.”

by ARLnow.com — January 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

"Red-shouldered hawk" by Erinn Shirley

Williamsburg to Implement Block Scheduling — Williamsburg Middle School will, in fact, be implementing a block schedule for classes next year, an Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman tells ARLnow.com. While Kenmore has a modified block schedule for sixth grade, and Gunston is “exploring moving to a flexible schedule for next year,” Jefferson and Swanson are not considering moving to a block schedule, we’re told.

Home Prices Decline in Arlington in 2016 — Per WTOP’s Jeff Clabaugh and listing service MRIS: “The median price in Arlington County last year was down 1.8 percent from 2015. Arlington and Alexandria were the only local jurisdictions to see declines in 2016 prices versus 2015.” [WTOP]

Grand Opening for Pamplona — New Clarendon restaurant Pamplona is holding its grand opening celebration tonight. The Spanish tapas restaurant is set in a self-described “sultry and sophisticated space, featuring colorful Spanish tiled floors, unique murals… and of course, an arsenal of bullheads.” [Facebook]

H-B Photography in Richmond — Work by H-B Woodlawn photography students is on display in the Richmond offices of Del. Patrick Hope. Hope plans to highlight one piece a day during the legislative session. [Twitter]

Multi-Generational Housing Construction — A 1950s ranch home near Bishop O’Connell High School is being torn down to make way for a new multi-generation house for a couple, their daughter and husband, and their grandchildren. [Falls Church News-Press]

When You Don’t Want Someone to Take Your Parking Cone — South Arlington is “so rough you have to lock up your cones,” as a photo apparently taken yesterday demonstrates. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 12, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

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TechTrend an Arlington based technology provider, is seeking talented people to join our team. TechTrend is an innovative enterprise IT solutions provider that delivers scalable, repeatable, and predictable mission outcomes. From the cloud to the desktop, clients trust us because they know we will deliver a solution that works for today – and sets them up for future success.

TechTrend logoTechTrend helps our customers achieve success today and address future needs through advisory services in cloud computing, IT engineering, cybersecurity, and mobile enablement, as well as innovation in designing, developing, and implementing solutions. And as an end-to-end partner, we provide reliable and rapid access to commercial technologies through our preferred contract vehicles and business partners.

Founded in 2003, TechTrend blazes new trails in the world of enterprise IT services and solutions. We’re proud to be a minority-owned small business appraised at CMMI Level 3 serving government and commercial customers. We’re ISO 27001, 20000-1:2011, and 9001:2008 certified. Put simply, TechTrend is a trusted advisor to government agencies and organizations that need an agile, future-focused approach to enterprise IT.

We value diversity – in backgrounds, skills, and perspectives. Among our most valued employees are re-energized retirees, fresh-out-of-college new hires, first-generation Americans, and back-to-work (formerly stay-at-home) parents. Whoever you are, you’ll fit right in.

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The preceding post was sponsored and written by TechTrend.

by ARLnow.com — January 11, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

Dominion power outage map in the Shirlington area 1/11/17

Update at 5:35 p.m. — Power has been restored to all Arlington customers, according to Dominion’s website.

Thousands of Dominion customers in south Arlington are without currently without power.

Nearly 2,500 customers are without power in Arlington, primarily in the Shirlington and Fairlington areas, and another 700 or so are in the dark across the border in Alexandria, according to Dominion’s power outage map.

Starting around S. Arlington Mill Drive, the Walter Reed Drive and N. Beauregard Street (in Alexandria) corridor is without power, according to the map. Police have been called to the intersection of Walter Reed and S. Dinwiddie Street for a report of traffic problems.

According to the Dominion website, power is expected to be restored at some point between 4-9 p.m.

Arlington Public Library says the Shirlington branch is among the places affected by the outage. The library will close at 5 p.m. if power is not restored by then.

by Tim Regan — January 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

What does it take to win at “Jeopardy?” You ought to ask Blair Moorhead.

Last year, Moorhead, a social worker who lives in Arlington, appeared as a contestant on the hit game show twice. The episodes aired Monday and Tuesday this week.

“I was so nervous,” Moorhead recalled. “I was shaking throughout the taping.”

Despite her nervousness, Moorhead still managed to do well. In her first appearance, she came out on top and racked up more than $17,000 to her name.

“It was awesome. I was completely shocked,” she said of her win. “I did not expect it at all.”

Moorhead added that she studied up on topics like geography and the periodic table of elements to prepare for her appearance. She also bought an almanac and even read up on famous monarch lineages.

Despite all that studying, Moorhead said her strongest subject was pop culture.

“They had a category that was all about songs written about people,” she said. “I was like, oh yeah, this one’s mine.”

But Moorhead’s winning streak was short-lived. A fellow competitor bested her during the final Jeopardy round of her second appearance, she said. Still the loss wasn’t all bad. After the taping, host Alex Trebek approached Moorhead and personally reassured her.

“He was like, don’t beat yourself up,” she said. “I was in shock, so I was not sure I was able to thank him properly.”

Plus, in the end, Moorhead managed to walk away with over $19,000 in prize money — though the check hasn’t yet arrived, she added.

“I’m just going to go nuts at Costco,” Moorhead joked. In reality, the “Jeopardy” champ said she plans to use her winnings to help pay down some student debt, travel and donate to her favorite charities.

One of the hardest parts about appearing on Jeopardy, she said, was keeping her win a secret for months. Though her episodes aired this week, the tapings originally occurred in September.

“Sometimes I would say, I’m still at work, so I didn’t earn enough to retire on,” she said. “I would say you’ll have watch when it comes out.”

Additionally, to anyone thinking of trying out for the quiz show, Moorhead has this to say: do it.

“Anybody who’s thinking about auditioning, go take the online test,” she said. “It’s so much fun.”

John Avila (photo courtesy Jeopardy Productions)Moorhead definitely won’t be the last Arlingtonian to shake Alex Trebek’s hand. In fact, next Monday, local lawyer John Avila will test his knowledge by appearing on the quiz show.

That episode is scheduled to air on WJLA (ABC 7) Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

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

Rental Trends banner

This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a local property management firm that specializes in residential real estate, commercial real estate and homeowner associations. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

The formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) entity can be extremely useful if you are a rental property owner. It allows you to protect your assets, gain tax benefits for your rental property, and manage any property ownership transfers in a more convenient way. This article explores the legal, tax and property transfer benefits of holding your property in an LLC, rather than keeping it under your name.

Asset Protection

If you elect to form an LLC and transfer your rental property to the LLC, any judgment against the property will extend only to the LLC and not to your personal assets. In essence, the LLC offers you liability protection against a lawsuit or against creditors who might seek to make claims on your assets. It is also generally recommended that you place each rental property you own in a separate LLC. This provides additional assurance that any judgment against one property will not affect the other properties. Moreover, in many states, creditors can seize a property if it is owned in your name. If it is in an LLC, however, creditors may be limited to placing a lien on your property. Although types of liens vary, a lien may allow a creditor to claim any cash distributions from the LLC to its owners, and may also entitle the creditor to have the right to any proceeds from the sale of the property. In D.C., for example, a judgment lien can be attached to your rental property for up to 12 years. Other liens, which may be attached to the property, will impact a creditor’s ability to collect funds under a judgment lien. Creditor-debtor laws do vary by jurisdiction, and you should research your state’s regulations to understand the rights and obligations that debtors and creditors have under the law.

You can further protect yourself by adding a liability insurance policy for each property, as well as purchasing an umbrella policy to provide additional liability coverage beyond the limits of your primary insurance policies. Placing your rental properties in an LLC and buying additional insurance for them offers you a double layer of protection in the event of a lawsuit.

Tax Advantages

An LLC can be taxed as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a C corporation or an S corporation. For rental property ownership purposes, it is best that an LLC is taxed as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. This is because any income will flow through to the individual members of the LLC and it will be reflected on their tax returns. In this case, the company will not have to pay any federal income tax and its owners can take advantage of tax deductions for the rental properties held in the LLC.  You would be eligible for the real estate depreciation deduction, but will also have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell the property. However, there are options to defer capital gains taxes, such as a 1031 exchange, if you sell one property and reinvest the sale proceeds into another property of like-kind within a specified time period.

Property Ownership Transfer Benefits

When you transfer your rental property into an LLC, you can create units of ownership with a specific value and allocate them to any other members of the LLC. This offers an easy way for you to designate ownership in the property to other family members, rather than updating property deeds to reflect changing ownership interests. Ownership interests can also qualify for several valuation discounts, depending on the structure of the LLC, the terms of its operating agreement, and the division of ownership interests among its members. Since these valuation discounts can reduce the overall value at which ownership interests are valued, they can have a significant impact on gift taxes and estate taxes when interests in the property are transferred between LLC members.

For more information about the benefits of placing your property in an LLC, see the following:

by Tim Regan — January 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Clarendon Mardi Gras parade (Flickr pool photo by John Williams)

Though Mardi Gras is still more than a month away, Clarendon is already gearing up for its yearly festivities.

The 18th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, organizers have announced. During the parade, revelers will make their way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.

Previous years have brought masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other performers to the neighborhood.

After the parade, partiers looking for more fun can head to the second-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.

“There will be plenty of music, great food in the Fat Tuesday tradition, and beer, wine and punch,” an organizer wrote of the Mardi Gras party. Tickets for the ball are scheduled to go on sale soon.

The parade isn’t the only way Arlington residents and businesses are getting ready for the holiday. Bayou Bakery in Courthouse is currently taking orders for frosted king cakes.

One king cake costs $39.95, and a limited number of king cakes will be sold in stores each day. Customers can also order the cakes and pick them up 48 hours later.

Photo by John Williams

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