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Morning Notes

Hurricane Prompts Influx of Shelter Dogs from N.C. — “Dogs, cats and kittens were all transported from shelters ahead of the now Category 2 Hurricane Florence. They arrived… in Arlington Wednesday. Six dogs and two cats arrived from Hertford County, NC. Two dogs were adopted on-site. A total of 38 dogs and seven cats arrived from Florence County, SC. In total, 53 animals are now safe and sound in the D.C. area.” [WUSA 9]

PAC Raising Money for Female Candidates — Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol is among those expected to attend a “kick-off fundraiser” tonight for Brass Ovaries PAC, which raises money for first-time, female candidates for public office. [Tysons Reporter]

How to Pronounce ARLnow — FYI: the name of this site is pronounced “A-R-L now,” not “Ahrrrl now.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Sonderman

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Facebook Screwed Us and We Need Your Help

The team behind ARLnow has a mission: to make local news more interesting, engaging and actionable for a new generation of digital-first news consumers in Arlington and in other dynamic, live-work communities.

In support of that mission, we’ve been getting ready to launch a new site for Tysons, McLean and Vienna later this month. But we’ve had a major setback and need to ask for your help to overcome it.

Last month we went to download a list of nearly 3,000 subscribers who had signed up via a Facebook ad that had been running since late spring. Our launch strategy was predicated on growing an initial subscriber base, primarily via a large investment in Facebook ads, and we had promised our advertisers that the site would launch with at least 3,000 subscribers.

To our dismay, only around 1,600 email addresses were included in the file we downloaded. Upon further research, we discovered that Facebook has a policy — not revealed when placing the ad — to only store subscriber email addresses for 90 days.

There were no notifications prior to almost half of our subscribers being purged and Facebook has refused to refund our money, restore the deleted email addresses or do anything, other than recommend that we submit a comment in a suggestion box for the ads product team. Even attempts to escalate the matter via Facebook’s local news outreach team were unsuccessful. A new ad campaign we tried to launch turned out to be prohibitively more expensive than the original.

So here we are, two weeks away from the launch of Tysons Reporter and there are 1,400 people who think they’ve subscribed to a new local news site but have no idea that they’ll never hear from us.

With the viability of Tysons Reporter and the future of our company on the line, we are now turning to our only hope to fix this mess: you.

Please, share this post on social media (yes, even on Facebook). Email people you know in Tysons, McLean and Vienna who might have subscribed. Tell Facebook to do a better job of serving its small business clients and supporting local news.

If you’ve signed up for Tysons Reporter via Facebook, please use the form below (or via this link) to re-subscribe. If you haven’t subscribed but want to, you can also use the form below.

Thank you!

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Job Listing: Morning Editor and Enterprise Reporter at ARLnow

ARLnow.com, a pioneering local, independent online news and lifestyle publication serving Arlington, Virginia since 2010, is seeking a talented journalist and communicator as we expand our coverage.

Starting in early 2018, ARLnow plans to create a new position of Morning Editor and Enterprise Reporter. The individual hired for this position will be responsible for executing key editorial strategies around email and memberships for our growing operation.

The job duties include:

  • Researching and writing our daily Morning Notes post, which links to local stories aggregated from social media and other news outlets.
  • Writing a new morning email, published daily at 7 a.m., that provides readers with a concise, informative and uplifting daily briefing of local news, events and other happenings in Arlington.
  • Assisting with social media engagement on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Enterprise local news reporting, including scoop-driven coverage of local government, cops and courts. The reporter will primarily work out of Arlington County government headquarters, the first beat reporter based there in more than a decade, and will focus on publishing one impactful article per day.

We are looking for a hungry, self-motivated journalist who…

  • …cares deeply about local issues.
  • …builds relationships and doggedly pursues scoops.
  • …is empathetic and knows how to connect with an audience.
  • …has at least 2-4 years of professional news reporting experience.
  • …writes clean, compelling copy and effectively self-edits and self-fact checks.

This position offers competitive compensation, health insurance, 401(k) and holidays off.

To apply, send a resume and links to some of your work to: [email protected]. Note any experience you have with WordPress, Mailchimp and Adobe Creative Suite. No recruiters, please.

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Morning Notes

TechShop Expected to Reopen — Crystal City’s TechShop location, closed last month as a result of the company’s bankruptcy, is expected to reopen under new ownership. [Washington Business Journal]

RIP Bill Bozman — “He was ‘one of the community’s greats,’ in the words of former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, and while the death of William Bozman was not unexpected, it still created a ripple of emotional outpouring from several generations of Arlington civic leaders who had relied on him for counsel and good humor.” [InsideNova]

Library Director’s Annual Xmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released the 2017 version of her annual holiday music playlist. [Arlington Public Library]

ARL Sticker Opportunity — If you missed out on the the first batch of free ARL stickers, there is another opportunity to get your hands on some. We’ll be bringing the stickers to Thursday’s Speakeasy Evening With Dr. Rixey, which is happening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the The Rixey apartments in Ballston (1008 N. Glebe Road). Register for the free event, which features local art, live jazz, gin cocktails and great rooftop views, here.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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ARLnow Adds Breaking News Alerts to Email Subscription

ARLnow is rolling out breaking new alerts for our email subscribers.

In this era of social media noise, sometimes it’s hard for important local stories to break through right away. So we’re giving readers an option to make sure breaking stories land in their email inbox ASAP.

Starting tomorrow, ARLnow will be sending breaking news alerts via email when we publish a breaking story. Typically, there are only a few such articles each month.

If you’re an existing email subscriber, you’ll get the alerts automatically unless you opt out by updating your subscription preferences. If you’re one of our nearly 40,000 Twitter subscribers or 23,000 Facebook fans, consider subscribing (below) so you don’t miss a headline and don’t have to wait for the algorithm to catch up when big local news breaks.

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Morning Notes

Metro to Raise Fares, Reduce Service — In order to plug a budget gap, Metro will be raising rail and bus fares and cutting service starting in July. [WTOP, NBC Washington]

Pupatella Expanding to RichmondBeloved Bluemont pizzeria Pupatella is expanding via franchising. One of the first places getting new Pupatellas: Richmond, where a local franchisee is opening four new locations. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

McAuliffe to Talk Self-Driving Cars in Arlington — On Thursday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be in Arlington to “give remarks at [a] workshop hosted by the Secretary of Transportation on autonomous vehicles,” according to the governor’s public schedule. The workshop is taking place at 1776 in Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive).

People Are Increasingly Leaving the D.C. Region — All of the D.C. region’s population growth in the latest U.S. Census estimates were from births and international immigration. The region’s domestic migration is negative and increasingly so, with more people moving from D.C. than to D.C. Writes the WBJ: “The challenge for Greater Washington is there are other metro areas that offer jobs and high quality of life, and are also far less expensive — driving people away for what they see as greener pastures.” [Washington Business Journal]

Does Our Site Seem Faster? — We were working Saturday, moving ARLnow and our sister site Reston Now to a powerful cloud-based server from a traditional dedicated server. Things should be faster today, but if you notice any glitches please let us know. [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Erinn Shirley

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Morning Notes

Sign on Military Road in Cherrydale (photo courtesy Becca Collins)

Icy Saturday Morning — Several crashes were reported around Arlington Saturday as freezing rain turned roads and sidewalks into sheets of ice. The slippery conditions lasted for most of the morning, before a warm-up started melting the ice around lunchtime. [Storify]

Wreaths Laid at ANC — Despite the icy weather, tens of thousands of volunteers helped to lay 245,000 wreaths on grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday morning. Arlington County Police assisted with crowd control for the annual Christmastime event. [WTOP, The Blaze, Twitter]

Students, School Board Speak Out on Boundary Changes — At last week’s Arlington School Board meeting, students spoke in opposition to high school boundary changes some see as furthering racial segregation. School Board members, however, defended their recent boundary change vote. [Washington Post, InsideNova, YouTube]

Borderstan Closes, Editor Coming to ARLnow — Borderstan, ARLnow.com’s sister site that covers the mid-city neighborhoods of D.C., is shutting down at the end of the week. One of its co-editors, Tim Regan, will be joining the ARLnow team in January. [Borderstan, Washingtonian]

Photo courtesy Becca Collins

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FYI: Our Comment System is Down

ITT Tech Protest group in Rosslyn, July 2015 (file photo)

No need to protest outside of our office, it’s not our fault, but ARLnow.com’s comment system is down.

Disqus, the our third-party comment system provider, is among the companies affected by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack today, which is mostly affecting internet users on the East Coast.

Twitter — and thus our popular Twitter account — is also having issues.

We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that the internet tubes get unclogged soon.

Update at 5:15 p.m. — Looks like we’ve been back up for a little while, but there’s always a possibility of additional intermittent issues.

File photo

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ARLnow Sets Readership Record

ARLnow monthly readership as of 7/1/16 (via Google Analytics)In March we celebrated a record month for readership. Today, on the eve of a Fourth of July holiday weekend, we’re doing it again.

In June, ARLnow.com was read by about 350,000 unique visitors who accounted for 1.43 million pageviews, a new record for the site.

Across our network of four sites — ARLnow.com, Reston NowHill Now and Borderstan — we saw a record 527,000 unique visitors and 1.92 million pageviews. In all, our sites have 94,953 subscribers/followers across email, Twitter and Facebook.

Borderstan, which serves mid-city D.C. communities like Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street and Columbia Heights, hit a high water mark for readership since we relaunched it last year, with about 85,000 unique visitors and 200,000 pageviews.

“We want to thank our loyal, local readers for another great month,” said Scott Brodbeck, founder of Local News Now LLC, the publisher of ARLnow.com. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve our communities with relevant, interesting and impactful local news and features.”

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Local News Now Celebrates Record Readership

Local News Now logoARLnow.com parent company Local News Now LLC today reported record monthly readership across its network of four Washington, D.C. area community news websites.

For the 30-day period ending March 24, LNN’s four sites — ARLnow.com, Reston Now, Hill Now and Borderstan — were visited by 435,000 unique visitors, according to Google Analytics. The sites collectively served 1.75 million page views during that time.

That’s a new record for LNN, which last year re-launched Borderstan, a D.C. neighborhood blog founded in 2008 and acquired from its original founders, while at the same time selling its Bethesda Now website to Bethesda Magazine. The record readership was driven by local stories — unlike past readership records, this time there was no spike in traffic from a story that received national attention.

LNN’s first community news site, ARLnow.com, was launched in January 2010. LNN only publishes online and has no print publications.

With offices in Arlington and D.C., LNN seeks to serve and improve our communities by keeping readers informed about local news that’s relevant to their lives — and by providing local businesses with effective and affordable online marketing options.

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Morning Notes

"Sun's Out, Guns Out" sign in Ballston

APS Mulls Background Checks for Parents Who Work in Schools — Arlington Public Schools is considering requiring background checks for parents who provide enrichment services in schools. The School Board has sent back a staff proposal, however, which calls for parents who are paid for their time to receive background checks. Parents who volunteer would not get such screening. School Board members said the amount of staff supervision, not money, should determine who should gets background checks. [InsideNova]

Clarendon Eatery Offers 50 Percent Off for Military — Through the Sunday, Brixx Pizza in Clarendon (1119 N. Hundson Street) is offering 50 percent off food for those with a valid military ID. [Facebook]

Arlington Dems Predict Landslide Against Trump — If Donald Trump is  the Republican nominee for president, local Democrats believe they could run up a 50,000 vote margin against him in Arlington alone, perhaps enough to win Virginia. Arlington Democrats also believe it’s possible that nationally, a Trump nomination could swing Democrats back into the majority in the House of Representatives. [InsideNova]

Arlington Home Show Returns — The annual Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo is back for 2016. The huge hometown event will take place Saturday, April 9 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center. [Arlington County]

Introducing Our Newest Columnist — Meet Thomas C. Block, our newest columnist. Tom’s column, Around the Financial Block, begins this afternoon. [MassMutual]

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ARLnow to Host Panel Discussion on Arlington’s Restaurant Industry

"Restaurant space available" sign in RosslynARLnow.com often reports on the opening and closing of restaurants in Arlington. Such articles are among the most consistently well-read on the site, which can probably at least partially be attributed to the growth of foodie culture.

At a time when chefs are the new rock stars, what does it take to run a successful local restaurant? What makes one restaurant thrive while others down the block struggle? What is it like to run a restaurant in Arlington and how to local government policies help or hinder local establishments?

We will attempt to answer those and other questions you might have about the local restaurant industry at the first of a series of events ARLnow.com is holding in 2016.

The event is will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at A-Town Bar & Grill (4100 Fairfax Drive). It will be hosted by local media personality Sarah Fraser.

Panelists include some of the brightest stars of Arlington’s restaurant scene: Tim Ma of Water & Wall, Mark Fedorchak of Liberty Tavern, Scott Parker of A-Town Bar & Grill, Mikala Brennan of Hula Girl and Javier Candon of SER.

This event is FREE for all. You can see if your friends are going on Facebook. A limited number of reserved seats are available for those who book through Eventbrite. (Update on 12/22: The reserved seats are sold out.)

The program — a panel discussion discussion followed by an audience Q&A session — will start at 6:30 p.m.

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Morning Notes

Some unseasonal salt on N. Quincy Street in Ballston on 10/21/15

Sun Gazette Endorses McMenamin — The Arlington Sun Gazette has endorsed independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin. The newspaper says McMenamin is “by far the most seasoned and well-rounded candidate in the race.” [InsideNova]

Airport Workers Protest for Living Wage — Airport workers who make as little as $6.75 per hour held a protest at Reagan National Airport with the local 32BJ SEIU union on Wednesday. Among those attending the rally were wheelchair attendants, janitors, cabin cleaners and baggage handlers. The protest was part of a nationwide campaign for a $15 per hour minimum wage for airport workers. [Washington Post]

Candidate Night at Aurora Hills — The Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge and Crystal City civic associations are jointly sponsoring a candidates night for Arlington County Board hopefuls tonight. The forum will start at 7 p.m. at the Aurora Hills Community Center. Development, including the proposed redevelopment of the RiverHouse property in Pentagon City, is expected to be a hot topic. [ARCA]

Judy Blume Speaking in Arlington Tonight –Best-selling children’s and young adult novel author Judy Blume is speaking about her latest book at a free library-sponsored event in Arlington tonight. [ARLnow]

A Quick Note on Pageview Counts — As you might have noticed, we have eliminated pageview counts on most ARLnow articles. While this has been a feature for few years, recently it’s been buggy, slow to update and has frequently severely under-counted the actual number of views on an article. We’ll continue to show pageview counts to denote articles that are particularly “hot,” but take the numbers with a grain of salt.

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Introducing Business Membership from ARLnow.com

ARLnow business membership stickerLooking for an affordable, effective way to promote your business to those who live and work in Arlington? Want to win new clients and and bolster your online presence?

ARLnow.com has a new solution for local businesses that want to break through to new customers without breaking the bank.

For only $99 per month, your local business can become an ARLnow Business Member. Membership includes:

  • customized, sponsored profile of your business published on ARLnow.com annually.
  • A listing in our mobile- and SEO-friendly local business directory.
  • A rotating “Featured Local Business” ad.
  • A code that allows you to publish press releases, featured events and coupons on the site for free.*
  • Big discounts on advertising and core digital marketing services like reputation management, SEO and website creation.
  • An attractive “ARLnow Business Member” sticker (above) for you door or window.

Business membership is the easiest, most affordable way to reach ARLnow.com’s 200,000 monthly readers. It will also help support our journalistic mission as we seek to expand our coverage in Arlington.

Sign up here or see our Business Membership Dashboard and “About” page for more information. You can also call us with your questions: 703-348-0583 x1.

* Publish up to three items per month free of charge.

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ARLnow to Hold Events for Local Businesses Next Week

Aerial view of Courthouse and neighborhoodsRegister for the 4 p.m. session here, or the 5:30 p.m. session here.

It’s no secret that digital marketing is the future. It allows businesses to reach customers for a fraction of the cost of traditional media — and in ways never imagined before.

Unfortunately the digital landscape is changing quickly and often it’s hard to keep up. The marketing mix in today’s mobile world is substantially different than it was just a year or two ago.

This is especially challenging for local business owners, who would rather focus on delighting customers rather than the latest geotargeting tech. Plus, local businesses often face a barrage of telemarketing calls from out of town, fly by night peddlers of various online services, making it hard to know who to trust.

To help sort out the options — and provide some real-world best practices that will bring your business more customers and more revenue — ARLnow.com is bringing small business digital marketing expert Stanley Gauss to town next Thursday.

Gauss and ARLnow.com owner Scott Brodbeck will be holding two free, small group discussions about the latest digital marketing options specifically for local businesses: social media, mobile, geotargeting, email blasts and everything in between. The events are free for owners and managers of Arlington-based local businesses.

Two sessions are available on Thursday, Sept. 17: from 4 to 5:15 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Registration is free but an RSVP is required.

If you’re unable to attend in person, you may also use the links above to register to phone in via conference call. Or, to inquire about a one-on-one discussion at your office earlier in the day, contact ARLnow’s Meghan McMahon at [email protected] or 703-348-0583.

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