Arlington, VA

The League of Women Voters of Arlington decided to take a stand against gerrymandering with an upcoming public event, an Un-Birthday Party for Elbridge Gerry. 

The event is taking place tomorrow (Wednesday, July 17) at Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse from 6:30-8:30 p.m. There will be trivia, tips on political activism, free food and games. Tickets can be purchased for $10 on Eventbrite.

With Gerry’s birthday coming up on July 17, the League of Women Voters decided to remember his legacy and role in history.

Elbridge Gerry established a reputation as “the father of gerrymandering” in 1810, during his time as governor of Massachusetts. He was notorious for dividing electoral districts for political gain and power. 

The United State Supreme Court ruled last month, that although gerrymandering seems unjust, it isn’t the place of federal judges to intervene. The ruling means gerrymandering decisions will be left up to individual states and Congress.

The League of Women Voters disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision — and opposes partisan and racial gerrymandering in general — and plan to speak out on the issue at the event.

Jackie Rivas, a member of the Arlington League and coordinator for the upcoming event, said she wants people to understand that everyone is affected by gerrymandering. She said that she hopes this event sends a message to local politicians that the public is paying attention and cares about the issue. 

Rivas told ARLnow that the League has invited local politicians to attend and hear elevator pitches about potential legislative changes from members at the event. 

Image via Arlington League of Women Voters/Eventbrite

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A new medical office could be coming to Courthouse after officials approved a building owner’s request to broaden its search for tenants.

The County Board unanimously approved a site plan amendment during its meeting on Saturday, allowing the property owner of the Tellus luxury apartment building at 2009 14th St. N. in Courthouse to lease the 1,807 square foot space to office tenants as well as retail tenants.

The change was made with a particular medical office tenant in mind, a county staff report said. Lawyers representing the owner during the site plan amendment process were not immediately available to comment on who the medical office tenant is.

“The applicant states that it has been unsuccessful in retaining a retail tenant for the space, despite actively marketing the space since initial County Board approval of the site plan in 2009,” noted a staff report to the Board.

Other property owners in Arlington have struggled to fill off-the-beaten path retail spaces; a residential building in the Potomac Yard area received County Board approval earlier this year to fill a retail space with a “retail equivalent” business like a medical or dental office or child care center.

The 16-story, 254-apartment-unit building is located at the intersection of N. Troy Street and 14th Street N and replaced the 1960’s Arlington Executive Building in 2013 after several years of delays. The building was awarded for its architectural design in 2017.

Images 1-2 via Google Maps, Image 3 via Arlington County

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A project to repave Arlington County’s large surface parking lot in Courthouse is now underway.

The first phase of the project, which will make some repairs in a small portion of the lot, is scheduled to take place through Wednesday. The bulk of the project is scheduled from Aug. 18-26, necessitating the lot’s closure and the one-week cancellation of the Courthouse Farmers Market.

Eventually, the parking lot is envisioned to become open, green space atop a new underground parking garage — though the repaving project suggests that plan is still far from becoming reality.

More from a county press release:

The Arlington County Police Department will close parts of the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center Surface Parking Lot, located at N. Courthouse Road and N. 14th Street in Courthouse, during July and August for the Department of Environmental Services to complete a milling and paving project.

Phase I Closures (July 14-17)

  • The small lot adjacent to the 1400 block of N. Uhle Street and a designated area in the northeast corner of the large metered lot will be closed to vehicles beginning at 1:00 p.m. on July 14 until July 17 to complete curb and vault repairs prior to milling and paving.

Phase II Closures (August 18-26)

  • The entirety of the large metered lot, the small lot adjacent to the 1400 block of N. Uhle Street and the 1400 block of N. Uhle Street will be closed to vehicles beginning at 1:00 p.m. on August 18 until August 26 to complete milling and paving work. The Courthouse Farmers Market will be cancelled on August 24.

Throughout the duration of the project, on-street parking will be available in the area, as well as parking in the public lot under the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center located at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.

Motorists are advised to be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs in affected areas during Phase I and the entirety of lot during Phase II of the parking lot. Vehicles parked in these areas may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street or lot, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

Photo via Google Maps

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Fueled by a recent investment, Courthouse-based startup DivvyCloud unveiled a new suite of features to help identify potential cybersecurity weak spots at a glance

The most high profile of the new features is a new “heat map” scorecard to help companies visualize where their cybersecurity defenses are strongest and where they are most vulnerable.

According to a blog post:

This new feature delivers a visual representation of risk aligned with regulatory standards, industry standards, or your own corporate standards; through an interactive heat map.

With fast paced changes in infrastructure, and the need to have flexibility for deployments into cloud platforms, it has become increasingly challenging to remaining compliant to industry standards. DivvyCloud’s Compliance Scorecard helps you audit compliance and identify risks in your cloud environment in a simple, transparent way.

The accounts are listed on the y-axis, while insights — specific behaviors, conditions or characteristics of cybersecurity — are listed along the x-axis. Accounts with less than 85 percent compliance to security standards are listed in red.

In the sample scorecard above, “Bob” has stale Application Program Interface credentials — coding that allows communication between two applications — meaning Bob has access to a program but his credentials to do so may be out of date.

The feature is designed to assist teams, like auditors or security management, in identifying areas where there are potential gaps in cybersecurity coverage. The scorecard can also recommend guidance for potential problems and direct the viewer to the relevant resources.

Other improvements include a new threat detection system that utilizes machine learning and anomaly detection technologies. DivvyCloud listed cryptocurrency mining, credential compromise behavior, and calls from known malicious IPs as potential threats the technology helps to identify.

DivvyCloud recently announced that it had achieved $19 million in funding in a recent growth round, bringing the total capital raised to $29 million.

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Morning Notes

Another Water Main Break in Courthouse — “Emergency Water Main Repairs: Crews working on a 6-inch valve leak at 1315 N Barton St. Traffic is detoured around the work site. At least one high-rise building is affected.” [Twitter]

Business Owners Planning for HQ2 — “Dawson and Bayne said Highline is ‘a happy-hour machine’ during the week, thanks to the office buildings that surround it. But business late at night and on weekends isn’t as steady. The impending arrival of Amazon, however, is causing the business partners to rethink Highline’s concept.” [WTOP]

Break-in at Overlee Pool — “At least seven community pools were the targets of theft or vandalism late Sunday into Monday, according to police and pool managers. The crime spree spanned Fairfax and Arlington counties, yet police have not been able to connect all seven cases to the same set of suspects.” [Fox 5]

Workers Striking at DCAUpdated at 9:25 a.m. — “Several union workers for two major airlines are on strike outside of Reagan National Airport on Thursday. The workers are employed by the Delta contractor Eulen Airport. Roughly six employees protesting tell ABC7 they are not being treated fairly by their contractors and are calling for better working conditions with some claiming they don’t receive lunch breaks.” [WJLA]

Levine Challenger Fails to Qualify for Ballot — “He had an opponent, then he didn’t. And as a result, Del. Mark Levine (D-45th) is home free in the Nov. 5 general election.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Falls Church Mayor on Tax Deduction Changes — “Mayor P. David Tarter testified yesterday before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures about the impact of the cap on the deductibility of state and local tax (SALT) on federal returns… ‘[The SALT deduction cap] means that tax dollars that could have gone to the city are now going to the federal government, and there is less money available for essential local services like schools, police, and fire protection.'” [City of Falls Church]

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Almost exactly five years after it first launched in Courthouse, kickboxing gym franchise 9Round has left Arlington.

At one point, 9Round had three locations in the county, in Courthouse, Ballston and Columbia Pike. All three are now shuttered.

A letter in the window at the Courthouse location (2250 Clarendon Blvd) confirmed the closure was permanent.

“We regret to inform you that 9Round NoVa will be closing, with our last day of training on Saturday, June 22,” the sign reads. “We want to thank you all for your loyalty and patronage!”

A email address listed on the sign, for patrons to seek additional information, is no longer active. Phone numbers for the Arlington locations go straight to voicemail and their respective webpages are no longer active.

Both the locations at 927 N. Quincy Street in Ballston and the original location at Courthouse were locked up and in the midst of having gym equipment packed up.

The Columbia Pike location (2501 9th Road S.) closed earlier this year and is already in the process of being converted into an F45 gym, though the website says the gym is not yet open.

Ashley Hopko contributed to this story

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Updated at 2:35 p.m. — “The roadway remains closed through the evening commute due to water main repairs,” per an Arlington Alert. “Expect delays and seek alternate routes.”

Earlier: An early morning water main break has prompted a major road closure in Courthouse.

Officials say a 12-inch water main burst under Clarendon Blvd, near the Courthouse Metro station, and repairs are expected to last into the afternoon.

Clarendon Blvd is currently detoured between N. Veitch Street and Courthouse Road.

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With the announcement that Ray’s the Steaks would be closing Saturday (June 15) after 17 years, finding seating at the iconic restaurant has become a herculean challenge in its final days .

Last night (Thursday), owner Michael Landrum stood outside the restaurant with a clipboard, taking orders from dozens of locals hoping for a spot at the restaurant in its closing weekend.

Ray’s the Steaks is a no-frills steakhouse tucked away in the Courthouse neighborhood. In its final two weeks, the restaurant has stopped taking reservations and is working on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The system left hopeful carnivores herding to the entrance, leaving their names and table-sizes with Landrum. Either he would eventually find a spot for them or, if not, tell them to try again the next night.

A paper sign taped to the front door informed the gaggle of stranded steak-hungry locals when the next tables would be open. However, a new sign eventually replaced it, announcing the closure of the waitlists, with the hopefuls left to try again Friday.

Outside the restaurant, Landrum was too busy to talk, but noted curtly that “any interview questions you might have should be answered by the crowd outside.”

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(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) Arlington County and Ft. Myer firefighters are on scene of a fire at the Courthouse Crossings condo complex in the Courthouse neighborhood.

Firefighters were dispatched to the condo building, at 1410 N. Scott Street, around 1:15 p.m. Initial reports suggest that a fire broke out in a resident’s kitchen but was extinguished by a sprinkler system before it could spread.

No injuries were reported.

File photo

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(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Eastbound Clarendon Blvd was closed between N. Veitch Street and N. Courthouse Road for most of Friday due to a water main break.

Crews started digging up the street near the former Cosi this morning in an effort to fix the 12-inch pipe, and as of 4 p.m. were still working.

A detour was in place for eastbound traffic, though one lane reopened Friday afternoon.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that a number of water customers in the area, including businesses, are without water.

https://twitter.com/JoeyConway/status/1136954688212021254

Photo courtesy anonymous

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A local non-profit is dedicating a garden in Courthouse in honor of the victims and survivors of gun violence.

The Arlington chapter of Moms Demand Action (MDA) is dedicating the garden on Friday (June 7) from 7-8:30 p.m. The event will begin with a rally at Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd) and then proceed to the garden, where a formal dedication will take place.

“We’re planting hope and creating something hopeful,” said Celia Slater, who handles communications for MDA. “We’re planting to honor the people we love who’ve been killed. We plant seeds for lasting change.”

Speaking at the dedication will be Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48th), MDA lead Beth Fine, and Arlington Board Chair Christian Dorsey, who will be reading a proclamation from the Board.

Also speaking will be Carmen Lodato, whose mother was shot and killed in 2014 in her Alexandria home.

The dedication is part of The Plant Hope initiative of the annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day/Wear Orange event, which takes place each June to honor the more than 100 people who are killed daily by gun violence.

“It’s awful what happened in Virginia Beach,” said Slater, referring to last Friday’s shooting spree, in which a gunman killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal building. “Everybody should be able to live and work without being afraid of being shot at your desk.”

Members of the public donated the initial flowers for the garden, which include sunflowers and other pollinator-friendly blossoms. Come fall, MDA will plant more flowers, with the hope of transforming the plot into a butterfly garden, Slater said.

Children, students and other volunteers painted hundreds of rocks, which will be placed around the garden.

“With so many school lockdowns, we wanted to make sure that we can show families and children that there are positive forces at work to end gun violence,” Slater said.

Photos courtesy of Moms Demand Action

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