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by ARLnow.com October 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The following letter was written by Daniel Lopez, board member of the Arlington Soccer Association, regarding the proposed arts district in the Four Mile Run valley.

A few years back, using tax dollars and bond money earmarked for recreational parks, Arlington County purchased five properties adjacent to Jennie Dean Park to add to the overall park space inventory. The County Board recently charged the Four Mile Run Valley working group (4MRV) with developing “a vision for the comprehensive replacement and realignment of existing park features (exclusively for park purposes) and the addition of new park amenities to meet the growing demand for active and passive recreation, cultural resources and natural resource preservation.”

Part of the overall 4MRV project involves developing a plan for improving Jennie Dean Park. The space acquired with bond money is ideally suited for use as additional, new park space to complement the existing Jennie Dean Park. The new space could add to the inventory of peaceful green space in the valley, something that many Arlingtonians, including residents of Nauck, Shirlington and other local neighborhoods, have asked for time and time again.

However, some in the 4MRV group have reportedly strayed from the charge and are actively working to re-purpose this property as an ill-defined and unfunded “arts district.” The hope and presumption is that Arlington County will be able to provide subsidies and other financial support to enable the birth and growth of this arts district. For reasons not made clear, arts districts proponents seem focused on locating the arts district in space previously suggested as new park space. The overall 4MRV planning process encompasses a huge amount of space beyond Jennie Dean Park, much of which could support an arts district fully, and some in the working group have even spoken up in favor of locating any arts district closer to the new Nauck Town Square, and not in the Jennie Dean Park area.

Arlington County already actively supports the arts. The County supports the arts with, among other things, the Crystal City Underground gallery space, the Arlington Arts Center, the Signature Theater, Synetic Theater, and a variety of public spaces for art displays. It is unclear where the funding for any additional arts support will come from, and no one in the 4MRV group has provided any concrete visions of support.

Shared public spaces are the county’s most precious resources. Opportunities to add green space in Arlington don’t come very often, and we need to take advantage of those few opportunities when they present themselves. The Arlington Soccer Association supports the arts in general, but in this specific instance, ASA opposes attempts within the 4MRV working group process to re-purpose this new open space as an “arts district.” Let’s use park space for park purposes, and take advantage of the ability to add to the County’s functional green space inventory.

Daniel Lopez
Arlington Soccer Association

ARLnow.com occasionally publishes letters about issues of local interest. To submit your thoughts for consideration, please email [email protected]. Letters may be edited for content and brevity.

Map via Google Maps.

by Brooke Giles June 21, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

Arlington’s Gang Prevention Task Force will hold its 12th annual Gang Prevention Soccer Tournament on Sunday, June 25 at Washington-Lee High School from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The program is heavily promoted at the middle and high school levels among boys and girls, particularly in High Intensity Language Training and English for Speakers of Other Languages classrooms.

Task force coordinator Robert Vilchez said that those who have recently moved to the area may struggle to adjust, and the tournament helps them find their place in their new environment.

When Vilchez joined the task force, statistics showed that the majority of the gangs in the area were Latino. The MS-13 gang, in particular, is one of the most pervasive; WTOP reported this week that authorities are concerned that MS-13 activity is on the rise in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area.

Vilchez said soccer seemed like a natural activity to use to bring awareness to the gang issue, due to its popularity and the pool of talented players in the area.

“It’s a beautiful sport that brings kids together and our soccer tournament is just about engaging our youth, making them aware of what resources, programs and services that already exist in the county,” said Vilchez.

All the materials from the tournament feature the program’s slogan, “Don’t lose yourself in a gang” and include the number for a helpline and the address for a website that tries to help prevent teens joining gangs.

“After each tournament, the people who manage the website see a number of hits and there’s an increase of calls asking for more information,” Vilchez said.

Registration is closed but the tournament is open to spectators.

by ARLnow.com June 13, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

D.C. and Arlington: Tech Towns? — The Greater Washington area has ranked third on a major real estate firm’s list of “Tech Cities 1.0.” The area received high marks for its educated workforce and pace of startup growth. Arlington, meanwhile, is continuing to land tech firms from D.C. and Fairfax County, in part thanks to active outreach and an incentive program from Arlington Economic Development. State incentives helped keep Applied Predictive Technologies in Ballston; the firm has a new office and is now expanding and creating 350 jobs.

Exotic Pet Ban Vote Delayed — The Arlington County Board is expected to delay its consideration of a new exotic pet ban until the fall. The proposal has garnered strong reactions from both sides of the issue, including from the D.C.-based Animal Welfare Institute, which is urging the Board to approve the ban. [InsideNova]

Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Gets Architect — Denver-based Fentress Architects has been selected as the designer of the $75 million 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center. The center will be built near the intersection of Washington Blvd and Columbia Pike, which is set to be realigned as part of an expansion of Arlington National Cemetery.  [Washington Business Journal]

DJO Standout in Running for National Recognition — Bishop O’Connell High School softball standout Kathryn Sandercock is in the running for USA Today’s ALL-USA High School Softball Player of the Year. She is currently second in an online poll. Sandercock was also just named to the 2017 Spring All-Met first team. Other Arlington high school students named to the first team All-Met in their sports include three boys soccer and one girls soccer player. [USA Today]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com June 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Yorktown Girls Win Soccer Championship — The Yorktown girls soccer team has won the state Group 6A championship for the first time, defeating the Kellam Knights 1-0 on Saturday. The state champs placed second in a regional tournament to reach the state finals. [InsideNova]

Arlington Triathlon Held — Kids ages 7-15 woke up early to participate in the Arlington Triathlon at Washington-Lee High School over the weekend. [WTOP]

Gunston Getting More Seats — Thanks to a proposed $651,000 internal modification project, Gunston Middle School will be able to add 72 seats, increasing its overall capacity to 1,004 students. [InsideNova]

Nearby: Alexandria Struggles With Housing Promise — “The escalating cost of construction and dramatic changes in how affordable housing is ­financed are leading Alexandria officials to consider modifying a requirement to replace any of its 1,150 public housing units that are redeveloped with equally priced apartments.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com May 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

More on Proposed Rosslyn Residential Tower — As first reported by ARLnow.com, a residential tower is being proposed to replace the RCA office building in Rosslyn. A new preliminary site plan filing provides some additional details: it will be 24-story residential building with 407 units of both apartments and condos, plus some ground floor retail and three floors of underground parking. [Washington Business Journal]

Caucus Voting Starts Today — Voting in the Democratic caucus for County Board and School Board starts today. The first day of caucus voting will take place between 7-9 p.m. at Key Elementary School, followed by additional caucuses on May 11 and 13. ARLnow recently published “why you should vote for me” essays from each candidate. [Arlington Democrats]

Arlington Couple’s Soccer Devotion Recognized — A local couple “is among three finalists in the international family category for Bayern [Munich]’s Fan Awards, recognizing dedication to the fabled club.” Their devotion includes regular attendance Saturdays at Summers Restaurant in Courthouse for games, and holding up matching husband and wife jerseys following their 2015 nuptials. [Washington Post]

Scalia Son Is an Arlington Priest — Paul Scalia, the sixth child of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is a Catholic priest who serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy — an assistant to the Bishop — in the Diocese of Arlington headquarters (200 N. Glebe Road). Scalia just released his first book and NBC 4 used the occasion to ask him about growing up in the Scalia household. [NBC Washington]

Nearby: Amazon Opening Store in Georgetown — Amazon.com will be opening one of its first brick-and-mortar retail stores in Georgetown, at 3040 M Street NW. It has existing physical bookstores in Seattle, Portland and San Diego. [Washington Post]

by ARLnow.com January 2, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Sunset on Four Mile Run

ACFD Battles New Year’s Day Fires — The Arlington County Fire Department had a busy New Year’s Day. In the afternoon the department battled a fire in a duplex on the 2400 block of S. Nelson Street. That night numerous ACFD units assisted Fairfax County Fire in battling a high-rise apartment fire on S. George Mason Drive. [Twitter, NBC Washington, Twitter, Twitter]

Dorsey on Metro’s Service Hours — Arlington County Board member and WMATA Board member Christian Dorsey writes in a Washington Post op-ed that planned cuts to Metrorail’s late-night hours are painful but necessary. “These service cuts are necessary to protect our riders from the risk of injury or worse,” Dorsey wrote. “It is our ethical and public duty to take every reasonable step to ensure that we don’t harm Metro riders in the worst and most irreparable ways.” [Washington Post]

W-L Soccer Team to Be Lauded — The Virginia General Assembly is expected to approve a joint resolution saluting the Washington-Lee High School boys soccer team for winning its first state title last year. [InsideNova]

Wakefield Reaches Tourney Championships — Over the holiday break the Wakefield High School boys basketball team reached the championship of the George Long Holiday Hoops Tournament but fell to Glenelg Country. The Wakefield girls, however, beat Parkview to win the Parkview Classic tournament. [Washington Post, Wakefield Athletics, Twitter]

by ARLnow.com June 24, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Flowers

Arlington GOP Votes Down Anti-Trump Measure — The Arlington County Republican Committee voted 27-10 against a proposal that would support an anti-Donald Trump coup at the Republican presidential-nominating convention. “Supporters of the resolution, which called on delegates to the upcoming national convention in Cleveland to be freed to vote their consciences, said the Republican brand would suffer with Trump at the top of the ticket in November.” [InsideNova]

Snagajob Makes Big Acquisition — Local tech firm Snagajob may “need more space in our beloved Arlington” after acquiring Peoplematter, another hourly job marketplace. [Twitter, Snagajob]

Arlington Built Temporary Bikeway — During the Air Force Cycling Classic bike races in Clarendon, Arlington County converted a block of Wilson Blvd into an “Active Streets Festival” with “bike-oriented games and activities, plus a collection of temporary bikeways ‘built’ with tape, paper, and potted plants.” [Greater Greater Washington]

‘Bike to the Beach’ Happy Hour — A happy hour is being held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on the Whitlow’s rooftop in Clarendon for “Bike to the Beach,” which raises funds for The Autism Society of Northern Virginia and Autism Speaks. Bike to the Beach is a 100+ mile bike ride from D.C. to Dewey Beach, Delaware to raise money and awareness for autism. [Event Calendar]

Anti-Gang Soccer Tournament — On Sunday the Arlington Gang Prevention Task Force will hold an all-day soccer tournament at Washington-Lee High School. “No city or town is immune to gangs,” said Robert “Tito” Vilchez, the task force coordinator. [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com June 21, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Greene Turtle ad spotted on the side of a bus (photo courtesy Melissa P.)

Historic Designation May Not Stop Westover Redevelopment — It’s probably too late to start the process of designating a soon-to-be-redeveloped garden apartment complex in Westover as a local historic district, county officials said in response to residents who want to stop the development. By state law the county can’t stop a by-right development, so the only option for preserving the garden apartments would be for the county to buy the property, said County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac. [InsideNova]

Zara Now Open in Pentagon City Mall — The fashion retailer Zara is now open in the expanded portion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [Patch]

Continued Kudos for W-L Soccer — After winning the state title, the Washington-Lee High School boys soccer team has since been recognized by the Arlington County Board, the School Board and has received a raft of media interest. [InsideNova]

Wardian Wins Crazy Trophy at Crazy Race — Arlington’s resident elite ultramarathoner Michael Wardian has won the Great New York City 100 Mile Running Exposition and the very unique trophy that goes along with it. [Instagram]

Arlington’s Street Names, Explained — In a post that was just republished, after originally appearing in 2009, urbanist blog Greater Greater Washington explains the complex but mostly logical system for naming streets in Arlington. [Greater Greater Washington]

Photo courtesy Melissa P.

by ARLnow.com June 13, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

Outdoor concert in Shirlington

W-L Soccer Captures State Title — The Washington-Lee boys soccer team defeated First Colonial 3-1 on Saturday to win the school’s first Virginia 6A boys soccer state title. Despite an injury, Maycol Nunez led the team with two goals. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Ceremony for W-L Grad Killed in WW2 — A special ceremony will be held today at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the memory of Merrill Walter Hoover, a star athlete at Washington-Lee High School who was killed while serving in the Coast Guard during World War II. Hoover’s body was never found following a ship collision in which he worked selflessly to save his shipmates. [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington RAMMY Winners — Clarendon’s Northside Social and chef Jonah Kim of Yona in Ballston were big winners during last night’s RAMMY awards, picking up “Favorite Gathering Place of the Year” and “Rising Culinary Star of the Year” awards, respectively. The awards program for Washington’s restaurant industry also honored major Ballston restaurant operator Mike Isabella Concepts. [RAMW]

Worker Rescued in Crystal City — On Saturday, a worker whose lift platform became stuck 30 feet in the air in Crystal City was rescued by Arlington County firefighters. [Twitter]

Cousins Tweets W-L Senior’s Yearbook Quote — “Best of luck at VCU this fall!” Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins told Washington-Lee senior Joseph Langley, in a tweet, after Langley used Cousins’ famous “You like that?!” moment as his yearbook quote. [ESPN]

More on Applebee’s Ballston Plans — Applebees is opening in Ballston with a “new, urban-focused design.” Why Ballston? “There are lot of Millennials in the area, and it’s an area that has a lot of office buildings as well as residential,” a company spokesman said, as quoted in a 1,070 word magazine article about the restaurant’s Ballston plans. [Arlington Magazine]

CPRO Names New Executive Director — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has named its interim executive director, former Rosslyn BID honcho Cecilia Cassidy, as its permanent executive director. CPRO’s previous executive director, Takis Karantonis, resigned in January after five years on the job, and is currently working for County Board candidate Erik Gutshall’s campaign. [CPRO]

by Jackie Friedman June 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm 0

This summer, Arlington resident and former U.S. women’s soccer goalkeeper Briana Scurry will be going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio — this time, as a commentator.

Scurry played in the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic games and received two gold medals and one silver medal. She was also a key member of the 1999 World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national team.

With her playing career behind her, Scurry has been living in Ballston for the past two years, when she’s not traveling to speaking engagements across the country.

“I love the hustle and bustle of Arlington,” she said.

Scurry, who served as an analyst for ESPN during the 2011 Women’s World Cup, will be traveling to Rio in August to lend her expert commentary to Olympics coverage, including offering pre-game and post-game analysis.

“Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be an Olympian and I was very lucky to play in three,” she said.

The Olympics is always an exciting time for Scurry, even when she is not playing in it. The U.S. women’s soccer team have the opportunity to win their fourth gold medal in a row this summer, and Scurry thinks the team has a great shot in doing exactly that, despite some pivotal players currently being injured.

“Complete and total dominance would be wonderful,” said Scurry.

Scurry has had such an impact on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s program that early last year, she was selected to be a permanent part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Title IX exhibit, which will be opening on September 24.

“When they called and asked if I would be willing to be in the museum, I couldn’t even begin to describe my humility. I couldn’t believe it because that meant my passion and body of work as a soccer player was good enough to be considered as something that was helping my race. It is really humbling to know that,” said Scurry.

Before moving to Ballston, Scurry lived in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, where she was starting her concussion recovery. In 2010, Scurry retired from her professional soccer career due to a season-ending concussion. (She currently serves as honorary captain of the Washington Spirit soccer team.)

Now an advocate for concussion awareness, Scurry will be testifying before Congress about traumatic brain injuries next week.

“It took me three years to finally find the right doctor,” said Scurry. “Now I’m an advocate because if I can go through this much trouble, as an Olympic gold medalist and athlete and I was misdiagnosed and shuffled around, I can only imagine” what others are going through.

Briana Scurry can be followed on Facebook or Twitter.

by ARLnow.com June 7, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Roses

W-L Defeats Yorktown for Soccer Title — Washington-Lee captured the 6A North boys soccer title last night with a 3-0 win over Yorktown. Both teams are still in the state soccer tournament: “The Generals face Virginia 6A South runner-up Grassfield in a state semifinal on Friday at Robinson while Yorktown will play First Colonial.” [Washington Post]

SafeTrack and Traffic Latest — I-395 and I-66 were jammed this morning and some local roads were similarly backed up with traffic as Metro’s SafeTrack work on the Orange Line continues. An ARLnow poll yesterday showed that 56 percent of respondents had a slower than usual commute during the first weekday of WMATA’s maintenance surge. Meanwhile, Metro says its was “pretty much at the maximum of what we could move” through the track work zone on Monday. [DCist]

Higher D.C. Minimum Wage Could Benefit Arlington — A conservative group claims in a new report that 1 in 5 D.C. businesses would consider moving to Arlington if the District enacts a $15 minimum wage. There are reports that the D.C. Council is poised to approve a measure today that would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020. [Washington Free Beacon, Washington Post]

Board to Consider Fire Station No. 8 Plan — The Arlington County Board is set to consider the recommendation of the Fire Station No. 8 task force that the station should remain on Lee Highway rather than moving to public land near Marymount University. The existing fire station would need to be renovated and a temporary fire station constructed for use during the renovation, raising costs compared to the original plan to move the station. [InsideNova]

County Home Building Records Digitized — Arlington County has digitized its printed home building and alteration records, known as “house cards.” The records are now available online, searchable by address. [Arlington County]

Church Celebrates Final Service Before Demolition — About 80 members of the 86-year-old Arlington Presbyterian Church gathered for the final Sunday service before the congregation leaves for a temporary worship space down the block and the church is demolished to make way for affordable housing. [Washington Post]

Photo by Jackie Friedman

by ARLnow.com May 27, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

American flag at the Georgetown waterfront, with Rosslyn in the background

Lanes Reopen on Memorial Bridge — Two lanes on the Memorial Bridge that have been closed for the past year for emergency repairs have reopened, just in time for Memorial Day. [NBC Washington]

W-L Soccer Advances to Semis — The Washington-Lee High School boys soccer team notched a 2-1 quarterfinal victory last night, to advance to the 6A North region semifinals next week. [Washington Post]

Dodgeball Tourney Next Weekend — For the second year in row, a pair of Yorktown High School students are organizing a free dodgeball tournament. The event, for ages 8 and up, will be held at Marymount University on Saturday, June 4. Proceeds from donations made by participants will be donated “to help support schools in need of better playground and physical education equipment.” [Arlington Dodgeball]

Arlington GOP Stops Short of Supporting Garvey — At a meeting on Wednesday, the chair of the Arlington County Republican Committee put the kibosh on a member’s proposal for Republican voters to support Democrat Libby Garvey in her County Board re-election effort. “We’re about Republican candidates,” said Jim Presswood. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com May 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Lucas Mendes, a 5’5″, 125 lbs. senior at Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School, has been named the 2016 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Mendes helped to lead the No. 1 ranked W-L boys team to a 9-0-2 record this spring. The team is scheduled to play its first game in the Liberty Conference Boys Soccer Tournament tomorrow.

Mendes was presented with his award from Gatorade by former pro soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman at Washington-Lee on Tuesday. (A video of the presentation is above.)

From Mendes’ profile on the Gatorade Player of the Year website:

At the time of his selection, Mendes had scored 10 goals and passed for five assists in his first year playing high school soccer after previously playing with D.C. United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Ranked as the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News, he attended a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s National Team in January.

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach. He has also donated his time to the Color of Leadership Conference, where he served as a mentor and participated in workshops to help middle school students of color discover and utilize resources to achieve their personal goals.

Mendes has accepted a full-ride scholarship from the University of Virginia, according to a press release from Arlington Public Schools (below, after the jump).

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 4, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Berry&Berry2

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry

As has been widely reported in the news recently, five members of the U.S. women’s soccer team filed a gender wage discrimination complaint regarding the disparity between their salaries and those of the U.S. men’s soccer team. In light of the extremely strong and noteworthy facts in this case, we thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at some of the potential disparate pay issues in this high profile complaint.

As above-mentioned, the case currently involves the five team captains of the U.S. women’s soccer team, including Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd, who filed a wage discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of all members of the women’s team against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The women claim that the U.S. Soccer Federation was paying members of the men’s soccer team more than the women’s team members. Some of the details revealed about the complaint suggest that the women’s soccer team members have a very strong case, which is not always typical in most equal pay cases. Usually, it is hard to prove the disparities in pay between men and women. Yet, that does not seem to be the case in this matter.

The women note that they are paid between 28% and 62% less than the men depending upon certain variables. The members of the U.S. women’s soccer team receive $72,000 for playing 20 regular season games, compared to the men whose members each make a minimum of $100,000 for playing 20 regular season games. These amounts only represent base salaries. Women can make a bonus of $1,350 for winning a game, but receive no bonus for losing (yet men do).

Essentially, if a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team wins all 20 games, she will earn $99,000. Depending on the variables, if a U.S. men’s soccer team member wins all 20 games, he would have the potential to earn $263,320, essentially $164,000 more than a U.S. women’s soccer team member. If a U.S. men’s soccer team member loses all 20 games, he would still earn $100,000.

Given that the EEOC will have to investigate these disparities, it is important to note the following facts cited in the complaint and various media accounts:

  • In 2015, the U.S. women’s soccer team generated $20,000,000 more in revenue than the U.S. men’s soccer team;
  • The U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup in 2015, while the U.S. men’s soccer team finished 11th overall in 2015; and
  • The U.S. women’s soccer team won its third World Cup on July 5, 2015, in the most viewed soccer game in American television history.

Based on the complaint and information gleaned from media outlets, the case appears to present many strong facts demonstrating a disparity between the wages paid to the members of each U.S. national soccer team. Unless the matter settles, the complaint will likely lead to a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation filed by either the EEOC or the U.S. women’s soccer team members, which would end up in U.S. District Court. In light of the current facts that have been revealed, it would not be a surprise if the U.S. Soccer Federation settles the case.

We represent employees in employment matters. If you need assistance with a federal retirement or an employment issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by ARLnow.com July 15, 2015 at 9:00 am 12,003 0

Ali Krieger (photo courtesy Scott Parker)U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger is planning to celebrate her World Cup win in Clarendon on Sunday.

We’re told that Krieger will be holding a private rooftop bash for family and friends at Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd) on Sunday afternoon.

Born in Alexandria and raised in Dumfries, Krieger posted a photo of a Virginia welcome sign on Twitter Sunday, saying it was the “best feeling” to be home. That followed a ticker tape parade in New York City and an on-stage appearance at a Taylor Swift concert in New Jersey earlier that week.

Though not yet finalized, Krieger is likely to hold a meet and greet with fans at Don Tito between 4-5 p.m., according to Don Tito partner Scott Parker.

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