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
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.
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 Now, Hill 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.”
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.
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]
ARLnow.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.
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.
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:
- A 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.
* Publish up to three items per month free of charge.
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.
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.
Motorcycle Ride Arrives This Afternoon — The annual America’s 9/11 Ride will arrive in Arlington around 3 p.m. today. The ride is escorted by police and features hundreds of motorcyclists. The bikers are arriving at the DoubleTree Crystal City hotel and touring the Pentagon this afternoon, before departing for New York City at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
Arlington > D.C. in Home Prices — The median home sale price in Arlington is now more than $100,000 higher than in the District of Columbia. A year ago, the median sale price in Arlington was $490,500, compared to $499,900 in D.C. [Washington Business Journal]
Preservation Board Delays Reevesland Action — The Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board has deferred consideration of changes to the Reevesland farmhouse until November. Arlington County is seeking to make a couple of changes to prepare the house for sale. [InsideNova]
Tablet Changes Coming — We’ve heard your feedback and are making some changed to the ARLnow experience for tablet users. Chief among those changes: full articles will now once again be displayed on the homepage if you own an iPad or other tablet. That change is expected to take place within a few days.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Republicans Want Bond Changes — Arlington Republicans want big ticket items like the Long Bridge Park aquatics center separated out of county bond issues. For the past 20 years, Democrats on the County Board have typically bundled big items with smaller bond-funded projects under broad categories like “parks.” Republicans say items valued at more than $25 million should be put to voters separately as a matter of good governance. [InsideNova]
Portion of Wilson Blvd to Be Renamed, Temporarily — The portion of Wilson Blvd between N. Lynn Street and N. Moore Street in Rosslyn will be renamed “Marine Corps Marathon Drive” for the month of October. The County Board approved the measure this week. Runners will pass the renamed road at the beginning of the Oct. 25 marathon and then will return to it for the race’s finish festival. The Marine Corps Marathon is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Reminder: Issue With Galleries on iOS — ARLnow.com is still working to solve an issue that’s preventing our image galleries from loading images on iOS device like the Apple iPhone and iPad. The technical issue follows our implementation of security measures that will make your browsing experience on our site more secure by serving pages exclusively via HTTPS.
Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi
ARLnow Server Updates — For the security of our visitors, ARLnow.com is now being served exclusively via secure HTTPS. We’re still working out some kinks, so you might notice some bugs over the next week or two. For instance, despite hours of work over the weekend to try to fix it, photo galleries do not appear to be working on iOS devices like iPhones. Also, Disqus is still being served via HTTP. We appreciate your patience while we work to improve your user experience.
Hearings for Courthouse Plan — The Arlington County Board voted unanimously on Saturday to hold public hearings on a new sector plan for Courthouse. “This proposed update advances our vision for the Courthouse area, creating a people-oriented civic and cultural heart for Arlington,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. The hearings have been scheduled for September. [Arlington County]
New Group Champions Single-Family Neighborhoods — A new group, “Blue Ribbon Arlington,” has formed to advocate for single-family home neighborhoods. Initially, the group will focus on making Arlington a better place for seniors to “age in place.” Also, the group plans to address concerns about “edge” development around neighborhoods. [InsideNova]
Midsummer Night’s Dream Now Showing — A seasonally-appropriate production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is now showing at Synetic Theater in Crystal City. The performances will run through Aug. 9. [DC Metro Theater Arts]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Water Main Repairs Continue — Emergency water main repairs that started last night are continuing on Washington Blvd at N. Kensington Street. Drivers should expect traffic impacts, particularly during the morning rush hour. [Twitter]
Beyer Blasts Proposed Metro Cut — A U.S. House committee has released a plan to cut federal funding of Metro for maintenance and safety upgrades in half next year. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) blasted the plan, calling it “shortsighted” and saying it will “jeopardize rider safety [and] derail improvements to the system.” [NBC Washington]
Cherrydale Tea Shop Owner Profiled — Lyndsey DePalma, owner of House of Steep, is doing what she loves in running the Cherrydale tea shop. Despite the store exceeding financial expectations, however, DePalma is still “earning far less” than she did in her previous job as a human resources manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers. [Career 2.0]
County Manager Won’t Be Hired Until 2016 — The permanent successor for retiring Arlington County Board member Barbara Donnellan won’t be selected until 2016. The decision was made so that the two new, yet-to-be-elected County Board members replacing Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes have a chance to weigh in. In the meantime, Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz will serve as acting County Manager after Donnellan retires on June 30. [InsideNova]
Rothstein to Bisnow — ARLnow reporter Ethan Rothstein will be leaving the site to report on commercial real estate for Bisnow. Rothstein’s last day is May 15. [Washingtonian]
Endorsements in School Board Race — Updated at 9:10 a.m. — School Board candidate Sharon Dorsey has picked up endorsements from Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson, outgoing School Board member Abby Raphael and former School Board member Noah Simon. “Sharon Dorsey’s business and technology background along with her knowledge of education issues make her the right choice,” Ferguson said in a statement. Dorsey’s opponent in the race for the Democratic School Board endorsement, Reid Goldstein, has been endorsed by School Board member Nancy Van Doren, former state Senator Mary Margaret Whipple and County Board member Jay Fisette, among others.
ACPD Patrolling Trails — Auxiliary officers with the Arlington County Police Department will be increasingly patrolling trails around the county this spring, to help keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe. [InsideNova]
Arlington Transit Survey — Arlington County is conducting an online survey of residents as part of its update of Arlington’s Transit Development Plan. The 10-year-plan is intended to identify transit goals and prioritize improvements. This latest update will include recommendations for future transit on Columbia Pike. [SurveyMonkey]
Forums Shut Down — Due to an influx of uncontrollable spam and an unresolvable technical glitch with the latest version of WordPress, ARLnow.com has made the decision to shut down our message board indefinitely. Thank you to our forum participants for four years of vigorous community discussion.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
LNN acquired Borderstan in March from Matt Rhoades and Luis Gomez, who co-founded the site in 2008. The company plans to relaunch Borderstan early this summer, carrying on the site’s community-based reporting in the Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods. As part of its relaunch Borderstan will add Columbia Heights to its coverage area.
Bethesda Now is being purchased by Bethesda Magazine and will be folded into the magazine’s online daily news publication, Bethesda Beat. Bethesda Now editor Aaron Kraut will join Bethesda Beat editor Andrew Metcalf as part of an expansion of the publication.
“Since it launched in 2012 Bethesda Now has set a high standard for local news reporting,” said Steve Hull, editor and publisher of Bethesda Magazine. “With Andrew and Aaron teaming up, Bethesda Beat will be able to provide even more coverage of Bethesda and the surrounding towns.”
“Selling the site was a hard decision, but it was made easier knowing that we were selling to a locally owned, independent media company with a long tradition of service to the Bethesda community,” said Scott Brodbeck, founder of LNN. “The sale will help our company focus our growth and pursue new opportunities.”
Borderstan co-founders Gomez and Rhoades will assist with the site’s relaunch, serving as advisors to LNN’s editorial and sales staff.
“We are thrilled that Local News Now purchased and will relaunch Borderstan,” Gomez and Rhoades said jointly, in a statement. “Scott Brodbeck and his team will maintain our commitment to community news coverage.”
“We want to thank our contributors again for their dedication and hard work,” Gomez and Rhoades continued. “Finally, we are grateful for the support we received from the community and local businesses over the years. We’re looking forward to that support continuing as Borderstan emerges from its two-year hibernation with a full-time editor, its own office and plenty of new neighborhood stories to uncover.”
The acquisition of Borderstan follows LNN’s successful launch of Hill Now, which covers the Capitol Hill area of D.C., this past fall. LNN now has offices in the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle neighborhoods, plus journalists in Reston and on Capitol Hill, reflecting the company’s commitment to community news coverage in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.
In addition to the Borderstan relaunch, LNN will be embarking on a web development project this spring and summer that will optimize its websites for mobile viewing.
“Our mobile audience continues to grow, so we need to optimize our sites to better serve those readers,” Brodbeck said. “At the same time, we will be finding ways to serve our local advertisers with innovative, mobile-optimized solutions. The rise of mobile is both an opportunity and a threat to online publishers, who are worried that smaller screens will mean smaller ad dollars. We’re confident that we can capitalize on the opportunities – without resorting to the all-too-common interruptive mobile ads that annoy readers.”
Founded in 2010, Local News Now is an online publishing company that’s building a sustainable business model for online local news. With offices in Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C., LNN publishes community-focused local news websites, including ARLnow.com (Arlington), HillNow.com (Capitol Hill) and RestonNow.com (Reston).