This week’s Arlington Pets of the Week are Gus and Lola, cats who love watching animals out of the front and back doors.
Here’s what Gus and Lola’s owner, Kristy, had to say about them:
Gus and Lola are an eight year old bonded brother-sister pair. They are leap kitties born on February 29, 2008, so they really have had only two birthdays.
We are spoiled rotten kitties who were adopted to Arlington from Westminster, MD. Rumor has it that we may have gotten sick on our original car ride to our new house, all over our then new dad’s new car. But we were quickly forgiven and then took over our house. We still allow our humans to use some of the space some of the time.
Our favorite past time is watching birds, chipmunks and squirrels out of our front and back doors. We have only ever been outside once by mistake and we only made it about 3 feet before we got scared and came back inside, much to the relief of our owners. Speaking of scared, one time we met a mouse inside of the house face-to-face but we were petrified by our new friend. Luckily, our people caught it and set it free outside before it could hurt us.
We’re so happy to have found a great home in Arlington, although we’re not really sure where that is because the only place we ever go is to the vets down the street and we cry like babies the whole ride there. Maybe one day our parents will buy us a big new house to explore but until then, we’re happy ruling over our little townhouse castle.
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 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.
The incident happened Saturday afternoon at a used car lot on Lee Highway, near Lyon Village.
Police say the customer eventually pulled a knife on the employee and “stole the keys to the vehicles on the lot.”
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 161015016, 2500 block of N. Lee Highway. At approximately 12:19 p.m. on October 15, officers responded to the report of male subject arguing with an employee over the sale of a vehicle. Upon investigation, it was determined that a male subject entered a business and following the verbal altercation, stole the keys to the vehicles on the lot. An employee confronted the subject and the subject pulled out a knife and charged at the employee. The employee was not injured and subject then fled the scene. Warrants were obtained for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Arlington County is in the process of installing a new, protected bike lane on Wilson Blvd through part of Rosslyn.
The bike lane will help cyclists safely traverse a busy, challenging stretch of Wilson Blvd, between N. Oak and N. Quinn streets. County officials say that stretch was being repaved, presenting an opportunity to reconfigure the bike lane.
“We are always looking for ways to improve safety and accessibility for all modes of travel as described in our Master Transportation Plan,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
“Our Transportation, Engineering and Operations Bureau worked closely with the Rosslyn BID and received input from the Bicycle Advisory Committee on the final design — which should be completed in the next few weeks,” she added.
A protected bike lane is typically separated from traffic using some combination of plastic bollards, landscaping, curbs and car parking. The county’s first protected bike lane project, in the Pentagon City area, moved the bike lane next to the curb and placed the street parking zone between the bike lane and traffic.
Photo via @BikeArlington
Arcing Insulator at Rosslyn Metro — An electrical issue on the Metrorail tracks outside of the Rosslyn station caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines during this morning’s rush hour. The arcing insulator prompted single-tracking and a large fire department response. [WJLA]
Beyer to Shadow DCA Worker — Today, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is expected to “accompany contracted wheelchair agents to learn first-hand their role helping passengers with disabilities at Reagan National Airport.” The workers and their union, 32BJ SEIU, are fighting for a $15 per hour wage. Currently, they receive as little as $6 per hour plus “unreliable tips.”
Samsung Collecting Note 7 at DCA — Electronics manufacturer Samsung has set up a booth at Reagan National Airport to collect their now recalled and discontinued Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are banned from flights due to a propensity to randomly go up in flames. [Twitter]
I-395 HOT Lane Update — VDOT updated the Arlington County Board yesterday on its “managed HOV/toll lanes” project slated for I-395. County staff is currently studying traffic and noise impacts to Arlington and the project’s allocation of at least $15 million per year to transit along the corridor, which the county believes is insufficient. [Arlington County]
Tech Incubator Founder Moves to Arlington — Evan Burfield, the founder of D.C.-based tech incubator 1776, has moved to Arlington with his wife and one-year-old daughter. Burfield chose a $1.6 million home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood outside of Crystal City, calling it “a great buy on an up-and-coming area.” 1776 has a location in Crystal City that Burfield said is performing well. [Washington Business Journal]
Police: Arlington Man Called Reporter the N-Word — An Arlington man, 21-year-old Brian Eybers, has been arrested in Charleston, South Carolina on disorderly conduct and drug-related charges. A local TV reporter in Charleston says Eybers called him the N-word and then stood in front of his news van, blocking it from leaving. [The State]
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.MrArlington.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.
As a lifelong Arlingtonian, one of my favorite things about living in this area is its diversity. And when I say diversity, I’m not just talking about the beautiful cultures represented, amazing food and the different geography within our county’s confines.
Our real estate market is quite diverse as well. Just take a look at this week’s batch of “Just Reduced” properties – we have large rural estates, classic townhomes and contemporary condominiums. There is literally something for everyone in Arlington County, regardless of what type of home you are looking for and at what price.
So, keep in mind that this is only a snapshot of what our county has to offer. There is so much more to explore… and I’m ready to help you GET MORE out of your search.
As of October 17, there are 230 detached homes, 58 townhouses and 316 apartments for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 43 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.
Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:
- 4105 25th Street North, 22207 – NOW: $1,299,000 (Reduced $39,000 on 10/17)
- 4632 2nd Street North, 22203 – NOW: $985,000 (Reduced $30,000 on 10/17)
- 2128 Randolph Street, 22204 – NOW: $732,500 (Reduced $7,500 on 10/17)
- 2112 Tazewell Court North, 22207 – NOW: $669,000 (Reduced $20,000 on 10/12)
- 4715 31st Street South Unit C2, 22206 – NOW: $374,900 (Reduced $5,000 on 10/13)
- 4141 Henderson Road #602, 22203 – NOW: $299,950 (Reduced $15,050 on 10/15)
- 706 Arlington Mill Drive #18204, 22204 – NOW: $205,000 (Reduced $9,900 on 10/16)
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.
The break-ins were reported earlier today (Tuesday).
“Approximately 25 vehicles were entered and items of value stolen,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “Officers remain on scene investigating and are canvassing the area to determine if there are any additional victims.”
“This series includes unlocked vehicles so we are reminding citizens to remove the opportunity for crime by locking their vehicle doors, keeping windows up and valuables out of sight,” Savage added. “Please report suspicious activity to the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.”
Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Boulevard) started a fundraising website on GoFundMe after the motorist struck Victoria Alicia Gonzalez while she was working in the restaurant’s front patio on Oct. 4.
Gonzalez, the mother of a 2-year-old baby, suffered multiple broken bones and internal injuries in the crash, which left her pinned under the SUV until firefighters freed her.
Arlington resident Shahed Quayum, 49, was charged DUI maiming in the collision. The crime is a Class 6 felony in Virginia, punishable by 1-5 years in prison and revocation of one’s driver’s license.
“Her husband, family, and friends have done an amazing job of pulling together in their grief to care for the baby,” the fundraising website says. “Now we, her Mad Rose family, will rally around them.”
As of this afternoon the fundraiser has collected $280 in donations, with a goal of raising $25,000.
The bar also is planning to hold a buffet dinner Thursday, Oct. 27, with all proceeds going to Gonzalez‘s family. The fundraiser is from 5 to 9 p.m.
Gonzalez is still recovering from her injuries, which were considered serious but, amazingly, not life threatening. Her family is facing mounting medical bills while she recovers.
Question: I’m looking for a 1-bedroom condo with a den, but can’t find a site like Zillow or Realtor.com that allows me to search for it. Do you know of a site that includes den in the search?
Answer: The MRIS — a realtor database of records that feeds to all of the consumer-facing websites — includes a ton of data that doesn’t show up in consumer-facing websites, but for some crazy reason it doesn’t include a data field for dens, a very common criteria in Arlington. The only way to search for a den is to search the remarks field for the word “den” which isn’t a perfect solution and ineffective on a lot of consumer-facing sites.
Common criteria available to agents in MRIS, not on (most) consumer sites:
- Fenced yard/privacy fence
- Number of levels/floors
- Location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms by level/floor
- Type of parking (garage, off-street, assigned, carport, etc)
- Type of flooring (hardwood, carpet, laminate) by room
- Number of fireplaces
- Washer/dryer in unit
- *Above grade sqft, below grade finished/unfinished sqft
- New construction
- Walk-in closet
- En-suite (attached) master bathroom
- Home type (rambler, craftsman, cape code, etc)
- Level/floor location of apartment (1st floor, penthouse, basement, floor 6-10, etc)
- Energy efficient features
*Every website allows you to search by square footage, but be very careful. I frequently come across listings with incorrect square footage or no square footage entered at all. Be prepared to miss some good homes if you’re filtering by square footage.
The introduction of real estate search sites like Zillow has given the consumer access to real estate information that was previously unavailable, but there are still a lot of common search criteria these sites don’t offer that an agent with MRIS access can search for. A recent example I have is a couple that needs a one level home with two master suites. Without an agent, they’d have to search through almost every single home within their budget, trying to figure out from the pictures and descriptions if they are one level and if they also have two master suites, but with MRIS, I can quickly search on their criteria, saving them a lot of time online.
Do you have any specific criteria (e.g. pet-free buildings) that you haven’t been able to search for yourself? Shoot me an email and I’ll set-up a search for you!
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.
Initial construction permits have been issued for a new residential development on Columbia Pike.
Pillars Development Group plans to tear down the former El Tutumaso restaurant at 4707 Columbia Pike and replace it with a four-story, 78-unit condominium building with 87 underground parking spaces and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The development is being built utilizing Columbia Pike Form Based Code, a set of by-right land use provisions intended to reduce the regulatory friction required to build certain types of projects along the Pike.
The project was approved in December 2014.
The following is the first in a weekly series of articles about a “day in the life” of companies at the MakeOffices coworking space in Clarendon. The mini-series, which will run this fall, is sponsored by MakeOffices.
“Okay, let’s do the stand-up meeting now. What’s everyone up to?” says Shy Pahlevani, co-founder of Hungry, an app-based food delivery service.
The nearly 20 employees at the startup take Pahlevani’s cue and begin with the morning routine of everyone standing up for a few minutes while announcing what they’re working on. It’s this kind of collaborative model that the business says helps it thrive.
And thrive it does. In its first month after opening to the public, Hungry sold more than 1,000 meals and has goals to further expand.
After everyone has had a turn at the morning meeting, some employees remain in Hungry’s office space at MakeOffices Clarendon to go about their tasks, such as marketing and coordinating deliveries. Others scatter to some of the areas that Hungry shares with the other coworking space occupants.
A few Hungry employees, including Director of Chef Onboarding Laura Medina, head to the kitchen to prepare for one of the chefs who’s bringing in his dish of the day. It’s the chef’s chance to show off what food he can offer, and this particular dish will be available for Hungry users to purchase for delivery the following week.
“For the rent that we spend, we’re grateful to have great looking countertops and a gourmet-looking kitchen,” says Pahlevani. “It’s very appealing when we take pictures of our food and pictures of our chefs when we use this environment here.”
The Hungry team helps the chef set up his food in various parts of the kitchen that will allow for the best photographs. Contract photographer Reema Desai takes a prepared dish over to the window that overlooks Clarendon Boulevard to get a little more natural light on the display. As she arranges the food, she turns it slightly one way, then adds a napkin, then fluffs some of the garnish. She’s trying to use the light to maximize all the available textures and colors. “[The chefs] make it easy for me. The dishes already have a lot of bright, different colors and I just try to bring that out,” she says.
Designer Collin O’Brien works with the newly snapped photos. He’s populating the app with them and ensures the presentation works across all platforms — internet, iOS and Android. Getting customers to buy the food is all about quality and presentation.
Marketing can be one of the most difficult aspects for a fledgling small business to master, but Hungry employees say the coworking environment actually makes it easier. Again, it comes back to collaboration, this time outside of the immediate Hungry team. “It’s a really great base for word of mouth,” says Pardis Saremi, Hungry’s director of public relations.
She explains that employees at other businesses in the coworking space get interested when they see the food displays and try the service themselves. That has led to many becoming customers of the delivery service and talking it up to others. “They’re telling their friends. I also had someone say they know chefs that would love to cook on our app. The connections and the word of mouth is just so, so helpful,” Saremi says. The on-site connections also have led to two other MakeOffices occupants booking Hungry’s chefs — through the app — to cater events.
She also credits the MakeOffices newsletter that goes out to all coworking office occupants with drumming up interest in Hungry’s events and promotions. About 300 people showed up at the startup’s first food event, just based on word of mouth among the coworking office occupants. That definitely wouldn’t have been the case in a standalone building, says Saremi.
“The food business is very tough. So getting people to try our dishes and recommend us to friends is really how we’re going to grow,” says Pahlevani. “Being able to start in a space that’s 40,000 square feet and has 70 plus companies is an easy way… to get some traction early, just leveraging the folks here.”
Potential customers aren’t the only thing office interactions have produced; the Hungry employees also have forged mutually beneficial business relationships. “It’s a great way to attract talent from other startups that may have complementary businesses and can support the things we’re doing,” Pahlevani says. “We’ve met photographers from other groups that are now helping us. We’ve met social media gurus that are now helping us.”
Saremi agrees, further explaining how employees constantly gain unexpected knowledge for improving the business. “I met a guy in this building who does something in physics and he was giving us ideas on things to do with our packaging to keep the food warm,” she says.
Sometimes the employees finish their daily tasks during what would be considered a traditional “quitting time.” But with all the action from the chef’s visit, this may end up being one of those times the work day stretches longer into the evening. “When you start a startup it’s a lot of hard work,” says Pahlevani. “It’s very motivating to see a lot of other people staying past 9 p.m. It encourages our employees.”
The Hungry employees are proud of the hard work they’ve put into the business and how much it already has grown, which makes the time pass quickly, says Saremi. “There’s definitely an entrepreneurial spirit and everyone is so supportive of each other in this space,” she says. “You meet so many people… you see everyone growing in this space.”
Expect to hear more about Hungry in the coming months: the company just announced that it raised $2.5 million in seed funding, in a round led by New York-based Timeless Capital.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to spar in their final debate Wednesday before the election next month.
The presidential debate is slated to get showings around Arlington, including at Regal Ballston Common Stadium 12 (671 N. Glebe Road), Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) and Barley Mac (1600 Wilson Boulevard).
At Regal, “voters, debate teams, political science classes, or regular Joes” can see the debate at 9 p.m., according to the movie theater. Complimentary tickets only are available at the box office. Small soft drinks also are free, with the purchase of popcorn.
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse will open its doors at 8 p.m. for the debate. Admission is free.
Barley Mac will have red and blue drinks, as well as special bar snacks, starting at 9 p.m.
“This is surely an election that none of us will ever forget, so let’s toast to it and enjoy good food and good drink, regardless of unravels before our eyes,” Barley Mac says in a Facebook event post. “We won’t toast to either candidate, but we’ll toast to America!”
Photo via Wikimedia
The County Board tonight (Tuesday) is expected to discuss what to do with the extra cash as part of its annual budget close-out process, which has previously been criticized for a lack of public input.
The public will have a month to weigh in on the draft recommendations before a final vote in November.
The County Manager’s budget close-out recommendations were posted online Monday morning. Among the recommendations:
- $0.95 million for police equipment, replacement of emergency generators and other “critical life safety needs.”
- $2.5 million for land acquisition and costs associated with temporary facilities for Fire Station 8 and Fire Station 10.
- $1.0 million for expanding the use of a key rainy-day reserve fund to include “unanticipated expenditure requirements, such as weather events.”
- $2.1 million for rent subsidies that benefit low income, elderly and disabled residents.
- $7.0 million for the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund, which will provide much of the $9.4 million in one-time funding for the fund budgeted for FY 2017.
- $1.7 million for various capital projects and maintenance.
- $1.0 million for “unforeseen needs that arise during the current fiscal year.”
- $1.6 million reserved for future allocations, to be considered as part of the FY 2018 budget process.
Overall county revenue was above projections for FY 2016. (See partial table, above.) The $17.8 million in close-out funding is a result of the extra revenue and conservative budgeting, county officials say, but it’s a lower percentage of the General Fund budget — 2.3 percent — than previous years.
“While this amount is significant in dollar terms, it is the lowest as a percent of total budget in recent years, reflecting increased expenditure levels due to the lifting of the hiring slowdown and the significant snow events of this past winter,” staff wrote.
The close-out allocations are intended to closely align with existing County Board policies and priorities.
It “expands on the approach taken last year where allocations of available funding are
focused on a few major categories of priorities consistent with County Board policies” and “moves away from the occasional past practice of providing initial funding for new
programs via close-out,” county staff wrote.
While some critics have suggested that the county deliberately over-budgets so that it can have a “slush fund” left over at the end of the year, county staff argue that its conservative budgeting is necessary to keep Arlington’s top-notch bond rating and smooth out budgetary “bumps” throughout the year.
“It is important to note that good financial management and retention of the triple-AAA bond ratings require that the County ends each year with a surplus (revenues in excess of projections or expenditures less than budget),” said the staff report. “The County’s historically conservative budgeting practices have allowed us to accommodate unanticipated events (snow, state / federal budget cuts) without having to go back to the County Board and community for mid-year service reductions and budget cuts.”
Arlington Featured on MTP — Arlington County was featured in a Meet the Press segment on Sunday, comparing the level of support for Hillary Clinton here to support for Donald Trump in a rural Ohio county. The show interviewed residents in the Clarendon area. [NBC News]
Surge in Registration, Absentee Voting — Officials are anticipating about 43,000 absentee ballots in Arlington this year, up 50 percent compared to the last presidential election in 2012. Throughout the region and the state, absentee voting is on the rise, which is generally good news for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, a surge in last-minute voter registrations yesterday and a statewide software slowdown has the county advising that it could take several days to process all of the applications. [Washington Post, WTOP, WTOP]
Vehicle Decal Design Contest Starts — The Treasurer’s Office Decal Design Competition is back for another year. Local high school students will compete to design the next Arlington County vehicle decal, which will appear on some 160,000 vehicles in the county. The submission deadline is Nov. 28. [Arlington County]
Pike Recycling Center May Move — Next month the Arlington County Board is expected to consider whether to relocate the recycling facility at the corner of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive to the Arlington Trades Center in Shirlington. County officials want to lower the level of illegal dumping that’s currently taking place. [InsideNova]
Historic Designation for Ballston Cemetery? — On Wednesday night Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board will discuss the merits of a proposed local historic district designation for the Ball cemetery in Ballston. The cemetery is currently slated to be relocated to make way for the redevelopment of a church. [Preservation Arlington]
Last Day at Fuego Cocina — Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Clarendon served its final meals and margaritas Sunday. “We’re turning the light off now. Farewell,” the restaurant said via Twitter. [Twitter, Twitter]
Govs. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio) helped to dedicate the newly-named Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University’s Arlington campus Monday afternoon.
The school is now named after Dwight C. Schar, founder of homebuilder NVR, Inc., who donated $10 million to GMU.
Among those in attendance at the event was Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette.
More from a GMU press release:
Mason renamed the school this year in honor of Schar, a Virginia businessman who gave a $10 million gift to boost the school’s reputation nationally and amplify its research, programs and experts.
“Our Commonwealth is strong today because of leaders like Dwight Schar,” McAuliffe said before an audience of approximately 300 people on the Arlington Campus. “You have made this not only a better Commonwealth, but a better university and a better country.”
McAuliffe also announced that the Schar School has entered into an agreement with The Washington Post to conduct regional and state polling in Virginia.
The governors spoke at a ceremony alongside Mason President Ángel Cabrera, Rector and former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly and Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell.
Cabrera talked about the importance of giving the school a name that commands respect.
“Someone with a name that indicates real values and leadership,” Cabrera said. “This is a transformative gift, and promises that he will be here for the long run with us. This gift will help us propel this school to a whole new level.”
Cabrera said the school will “create a new generation of leaders who can make good things happen in our society.”
The Schar School educates about 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year and has more than 80 faculty and more than 13,000 alumni.
The school offers a range of public policy and government topics, including regional economics, global terrorism, security, public health, transportation, and many other areas. The faculty includes Carnegie and Guggenheim Fellows, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a former congressman, and the former head of the CIA and NSA.
Kasich, in his third appearance at Mason this year, said Schar is setting an example of how to use his wealth in meaningful ways to help his community.
“There are moments in time when we can rise to the higher level, when we live a life a little bit bigger than ourselves,” Kasich said. “Dwight has been very generous to this school. People won’t talk much about his business career or how much money he made. They’re going to talk about his generosity, the moments he lived his life bigger than himself.”
Around 1 p.m., an Arlington County police officer working a traffic detail was flagged down by a 7-Eleven employee, who said that two men in the store were concealing items with the intent of stealing them.
“When confronted by an employee, the subjects threw items at the store employees as they attempted to flee,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “One subject fled the area on foot. The officer attempted to detain the other subject in order to conduct the investigation but the subject refused to follow the officer’s lawful commands and resisted arrest.”
“The officer deployed his taser and the subject was taken into custody,” Savage continued. “The subject was evaluated by medics and transported to booking.”
The suspect’s name was not immediately available.
Photo via Google Maps