Arlington, VA

(Updated on 04/25/19) Some referees for Arlington’s youth basketball games have not been paid by the contractor who hired them, according to officials who say the county is “looking into” the issue.

The Department of Parks and Recreation said they contract with a company called “Mid-Atlantic Coast Referees” to staff youth basketball referees, but that the company has yet to pay some of the referees it hired for the winter game season.

The department paid Mid-Atlantic $163,269 for the season and has an additional $17,724 in payments “in process” to the company, according to records ARLnow obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

“Arlington County is very concerned about this issue,” said DPR spokeswoman Susan Kalish Thursday. “The Department of Parks and Recreation has escalated the issue to the Department of Management and Finance and it’s currently under review with the Purchasing Division.”

Benjamin Hampton, a spokesman for the County’s Manager’s office, told ARLnow on Wednesday there was “no new information on this beyond what DPR shared… At this point we don’t have confirmation of the number of referees affected.”

Mid-Atlantic Coast Referees could not be reached for comment.

The company does not have a website, and a Facebook page bearing the same name is empty. The only employee listed for the company on LinkedIn is Edward Hamilton, whose profile says he is now “retired.”

The county offers youth basketball leagues for students in grades 1-12 and says on its website that coaches volunteer. For the 1st and 2nd grade level league, the volunteer coaches also act as referees, per the website.

Kalish confirmed the missing payments on Tuesday after a tipster told ARLnow that “many of the referees are youth but some are adults who count on the extra income.”

“This will create a situation for future basketball season where referees will not want to work in Arlington,” the tipster added. “In addition, the fees paid by parents who children play in the program were collected back in November of 2018.”

“The County’s purchasing department has contacted Mid-Atlantic Coast Referees to let them know the severity of this issue,” she said. “Arlington County is currently looking into the matter.”

Image via Flickr 

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Morning Notes

GW Parkway ClosureUpdated at 9:15 a.m. — “All lanes of the GW Parkway are now closed during Friday morning’s rush hour due to a large sinkhole that was discovered overnight.” [Tysons Reporter]

HQ2 Impact to Be Bigger Than Expected? — JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and George Mason University’s Stephen S. Fuller both think many are underestimating HQ2’s impact on job creation in the region. [Washington Business JournalWashington Business Journal]

Arlington Gets High Marks for Dog Parks — Arlington is No. 10 on the Trust for Public Land’s ranking of cities with the most dog parks per capita. Arlington has eight dog parks, or 3.5 for every 100,000 residents. D.C. ranked No. 22 on the list. [Trust for Public Land]

Wilson Blvd to Close Again in Ballston — “That stretch of Wilson Boulevard at @BallstonQuarter that’s now closed eastbound on school nights 8pm-6am for 8 weeks? It’ll also be closed both ways this weekend, Friday 8pm to Sunday 6pm. Lots of pedestrian bridge to do.” [Twitter]

Road Closures in N. Arlington — “The Nottingham/Discovery Elementary Schools 5K race will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will close several roads from approximately 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM to accommodate the event.” [Arlington County]

Basketball Fundraiser Tonight — “New Directions High School students will play Arlington County’s heroes — including some of the police department, fire department, probation and prosecutor’s office” tonight at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School to raise money for New Directions. [Twitter]

No Hyperloop for Va. for Now — “Virginia transit officials flew to California to check out Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel. They say they’re gonna stick with traditional roads and railways for now. ‘It’s a car in a very small tunnel.'” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Road Closed Due to Downed Tree — Williamsburg Blvd is closed at N. Westmoreland Street due to a tree that fell overnight and took down several utility lines with it. Arlington’s emergency management office says the closure “may last through evening rush hour.” [Twitter]

Reminder: DUI Checkpoint Tonight — The Arlington County Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint in an undisclosed location tonight. “Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers. Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation.” [Arlington County]

Metro Could Become Larger Financial Burden — “Metro expects to turn to state and local governments across the region to cover the costs of pay raises for workers an arbitration panel ordered last week, but the Metro Board chairman is warning of a more significant fiscal ‘ticking time bomb’ just over the horizon.” [WTOP]

Annual CivFed Candidate Forum Scheduled — “The unofficial kickoff to Arlington’s fall election season begins on Tuesday, Sept. 4, when the Arlington County Civic Federation holds its annual candidate forum. Candidates for 8th District U.S. House of Representatives, County Board and School Board have been invited to participate.” [InsideNova]

Basketball Player Punched at Gym — A man who plays professional basketball for LaVar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association says he was sucker punched while playing a pickup game at a Crystal City gym. [Fox 5]

One Hurt in Lee Highway Apartment Fire — A resident of a Lee Highway apartment building suffered burn injuries after a fire broke out in an apartment kitchen Wednesday morning. The fire was out by the time firefighters arrived on the scene. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by Arlington VA

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The attention of the celebrity gossip world is briefly focused on Virginia Square, of all places.

TMZ last night published video of Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers center and the father of mother-to-be Khloe Kardashian’s baby, at Darna Restaurant and Lounge (946 N. Jackson Street).

More from TMZ:

TMZ obtained this surveillance video recorded October 7, 2017 at a hookah lounge outside Washington D.C. You see Tristan with 3 women, 2 of whom are fully engaged with Khloe’s baby daddy.

Tristan makes out with one of the women, tongue and all. The other grabs his head, brings it to her chest and he motorboats her. And the same woman grabs his junk.

Thompson was in town to face the Washington Wizards.

The video is additional evidence that Thompson is a “serial cheater” and is “devastating” to the famous Kardashian clan, reports People.

Darna, meanwhile, is back open after being shut down in February due to safety violations.

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, March 19

Conversations with Tyler: Martina Navratilova*
George Mason University Arlington (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Listen to record-setting tennis player and communist defector Martina Navratilova for an across the board conversation on her activism, professional accomplishments, and personal life.

Free Home Buyer Seminar: Get $1,500 Towards Your New Home*
Orange Line Living (1600 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Attend the Rosslyn class with wine and cheese and receive a $1,500 credit toward a new home or lease termination. The first three registrants and attendees will receive a Google Chromecast.

WordPress: An Introduction
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Learn how to create, navigate, post on, and customize your own blog or basic website with WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). Registration required to attend.

Tuesday, March 20

Homebuyer Seminar with Fulcrum Properties Group*
Keller Williams Metro Center Arlington (2101 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Looking to buy your first home, or at least thinking about it? Join this free event to learn how to take the first steps from on-hand experts. Registration required to attend.

Wednesday, March 21

CACI Ballston Toastmasters Club Open House
CACI (1100 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

If you need to improve your public speaking, Toastmasters is the place for you.  Attend the spring open house to meet members and ask questions over refreshments.

Thursday, March 22

Beer & Donuts with Vanish Farmhouse
Sugar Shack (1014 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Vanish Farmhouse Brewery of Leesburg, Va., brings a selection of craft brews to Sugar Shack. Board games, beer-glazed donut holes, and paninis will also be at the family friendly event.

ARLnow March Madness Watch Party
Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Come watch the Sweet Sixteen on Latitude’s rooftop terrace with ARLnow staff with free drinks, snacks, and swag. You won’t miss any of the action — we’ll have four TVs on.

Friday, March 23

St. Agnes Fish Fry*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The annual Lenten fish fry is upon us, and don’t miss out on the sides, beer, and other beverages as well. Registration required, and all are welcome to join in the Easter Sunday mass as well.

David Alan Grier Live
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Join comedian and actor David Alan Grier, of In Living Color and Comedy Central fame, for an evening of stand up. Tickets start at $25. Additional performances on March 24.

Saturday, March 24

National Chamber Ensemble – Brahms and Mendelssohn*
Unitarian Universalist Church (4444 Arlington Boulevard)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Enjoy masterful chamber music from Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, performed by National Chamber Ensemble artists. Reception with the musicians to follow.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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In some offices around this time of year, employee productivity mysteriously goes down.

The mid-March affliction seems to affect those who are taking extra time off from their normal day-to-day to gather around the office TV, stare at their smartphone, take extra long lunch breaks or weep while staring at a pyramidic sheet of paper.

Since we’re in the safe company of anonymous friends, we just wanted to ask: how much work time are you taking this week to watch NCAA March Madness tournament games?

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Want to watch the Sweet 16 on the sweet rooftop terrace of the Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive) in Virginia Square?

ARLnow is co-hosting a March Madness viewing party at Latitude next Thursday, March 22, from 6:30-9 p.m. Drinks and snacks will be provided and there will be four TVs so you won’t miss any of the action.

Come watch the games, mingle with ARLnow staffers and grab some ARLnow and Latitude swag.

The event is free but RSVPs are requested.

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Morning Notes

DHS Official Charged With Beating Wife in Arlington — A “senior career official with the Department of Homeland Security who… handles a ‘high volume’ of classified information in his role as an intelligence briefer,” served jail time after a 2016 incident in Arlington in which he was charged with assaulting his wife, breaking two ribs and causing bruising around her neck. [Washington Post]

Anti-DUI Event at Shamrock Crawl Tomorrow — The Arlington County Police Department will hold a St. Patrick’s Day-themed anti-DUI event dubbed “Don’t Press Your Luck” in Clarendon tomorrow (Saturday). The event will coincide with the planned Shamrock Crawl bar crawl. [Arlington County]

More on Wakefield’s Championship Run — But for a great defensive play by Varina, the Wakefield High School boys basketball team might have emerged victorious from yesterday’s state championship game in Richmond. [Washington Post]

Arlington to Co-Star in Travel Video — Arlington County has received grant funding that will help pay for its share of a new Virginia tourism video that will also feature Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Loudoun County, Richmond and Staunton. [Arlington County]

Long Branch Creek Profiled — “A mostly residential section of south Arlington, Long Branch Creek is a diverse community where almost 75 percent of residents are renters. In addition, there are condominium buildings, townhouses, duplexes and one single-family home.” [Washington Post]

Fire Station History to Be Recognized — Last month Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz established a “Fire Station No. 8 History and Legacy (FS8HL) Working Group,” to record and celebrate the history of the first Arlington fire station staffed by African Americans. [Arlington County]

Kanninen Gets Democratic School Board Nod — “An Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus? Fuggedaboutit. Incumbent School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen was the lone candidate to file to run in the caucus, which had been slated for several days in May. With no opposition bubbling up, the caucus was nixed.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Rex Block

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Update at 5:55 p.m. — Despite leading for much of the game, Wakefield ended up falling just short to Varina, 64-60.

Earlier: The Wakefield High School boys basketball team is currently fighting for a state championship.

If the Warriors prevail over the Varina Blue Devils, it would be the team’s first championship in 57 years, according to the Sun Gazette.

The game, which started at 4 p.m., is being played at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. At halftime, Wakefield was winning 31-23.

En route the Richmond, the team’s buses received a police escort. For fans who could not make the trip to Richmond, the game is being streamed live online (for a fee) and is being shown at the Crystal City Sports Pub (523 23rd Street S.)

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Morning Notes

Wakefield Advances to Championship — The Wakefield High School boys basketball team has advanced to the Virginia Class 5 championship after defeating Edison last night 82-66. The team will face Varina tomorrow at VCU. Meanwhile, Wakefield senior forward A’Mari Cooper has been named Northern Region Class 5 Player of the Year. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Metro Starts Selling Merch — Despite its reliability issues and subsequent image problem, Metro has launched a new line of clothing and gifts, sold online and at a new gift store at Metro Center. The reaction to the merchandise has been mixed. [WMATA, NBC Washington]

General Assembly Passes Car Seat Bill — “Today, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 708… which would change the commonwealth’s law to require that child safety seats remain rear facing until the age of two, or the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. The bill is now on its way to Governor Northam’s office for his signature. If signed, the new law would become effective July 1, 2019.” [AAA Mid-Atlantic]

More Restaurants Considering Ballston Quarter — Fresh off the announcement that Ted’s Bulletin was coming to Ballston Quarter, the owners of trendy D.C. spots Himitsu and Gravitas are said to be considering opening up eateries at the mall. Also in the works: a donut shop, an arepas stand, an oyster bar, and a barbecue joint. [Washington Business Journal]

Nicecream Expanding to D.C. — Liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream shop Nicecream Factory, which first opened in Clarendon, has since expanded to Alexandria and is now planning to open two D.C. locations, in Adams Morgan and Shaw. [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Gun Reform Discussion — Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting victims, will speak at an event called “A Conversation About Gun Safety And The Safety Of American Schools” at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria tonight. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is hosting the event, which will discuss “actions we can take to ensure no other parent has to experience this kind of trauma.” [Eventbrite]

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Morning Notes

County Board Approves Bike Boulevard Contract — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a half-million dollar contract for safety improvements to the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and 12th Street S. Per a county press release: “The project, one of several designed to make the Columbia Pike bike boulevards safer and more comfortable, will provide traffic calming and pedestrian improvements at the intersection.” [Arlington County]

Wakefield Boys Win Basketball Tourney — “The Wakefield Warriors won the 2018 boys Northern Region 5C Tournament basketball championship on their home court Feb. 23. The region crown was the 10th in program history for the high school team and second since 2014.” [InsideNova]

Hearing on Historic District Fee — The County Board will hold a public hearing in April to discuss an application fee for those seeking a local historic district. The fee, between $250-1,000 per request, would only partially reimburse the county for staff time spent researching each request, but could serve as a deterrent against frivolous requests. [InsideNova]

ICYMI: Weekend Articles — ARLnow published two articles of note over the weekend: first, a recap of the County Board’s decision to not raise the property tax rate this budget season, and second, a developing story about state legislation that could cost the county’s coffers around $2 million while slashing the tax bills of Arlington’s two country clubs.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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