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- Technical Project Manager
- Cisco VoIP Engineer
- Systems Administrator – MS Azure
- Strategic Cybersecurity Network Engineer
- Information System Security Analyst
- Information System Security Engineer/Analyst
- Information System/Process Analyst
- Cyber Security Analyst/Technician
- Program Manager – IT Security Management
- Systems Administrator – MS Azure
- Technical Proposal Manager/Writer
The preceding post was sponsored and written by TechTrend.
Monday marked a milestone for the county’s multimillion dollar ConnectArlington fiber optic network: It has completed phase one of migrating Arlington Public Schools to the system and off of Comcast’s internet access.
But as APS prepares to enter phase two of the migration, it also has an open request for proposals (RFP) to build another fiber network, a potentially pricey project that it says is a “contingency plan.”
With phase one complete, 14 APS sites are now on the ConnectArlington network. Another 23 are expected be online by December.
Early last month, however, APS issued an RFP for a contractor to build a new fiber network for the school system. Proposals originally were due Monday, but the deadline has been extended to January 17. APS is supposed to choose a contractor for the project “as soon after that date as possible,” according to an addendum to the RFP. The RFP states that the new network must be constructed and functioning by April 2018.
APS says the additional fiber network is a contingency plan and ConnectArlington still will be its primary network. Therefore, APS will continue moving forward as planned with getting the next bunch of sites online with ConnectArlington by year’s end.
“APS is contracting for a backup system to remain in place until we know that ConnectArlington is complete and fully functional. With all of our instructional, testing, business functions and state reporting requirements, APS cannot risk not having a viable network infrastructure in place if ConnectArlington is delayed and not completed for any unforeseen reason,” said APS spokesman Frank Bellavia.
“Like the insurance policies we purchase to protect the investment in our buildings, buses and other critical components of APS operations, we hope we will never need the insurance, but those policies are in place — just in case,” said Linda Erdos, assistant superintendent for school and community relations
Arlington County communications director Bryna Helfer said that the remaining 21 county and 23 school sites included in the ConnectArlington project’s phase two — which begins in March — will continue to receive Comcast service until they’re fully migrated in December.
The county says that it cannot speak for APS’ desire for another fiber network but asserted that the ConnectArlington network has been performing for nearly two years without issue.
“We are completely confident that we will install fiber into every planned county and school facility by the end of calendar year 2017, based on our previous years’ experience with the construction and operation of this project,” said James Schwartz, deputy county manager for public safety and technology.
In addition to the 14 APS buildings and 33 county buildings on the network thus far, Schwartz said, more than 130 traffic signals have been connected. Plus, the public safety radio system — previously supported by microwave antenna — has been migrated to ConnectArlington and “is operating without a problem,” according to Schwartz.
“This system allows fire, EMS and police to communicate during emergencies and requires the highest reliability standard — that standard is being met by ConnectArlington,” he said.
APS spokespeople say the backup fiber network is eligible for federal E-Rate funds, which assist schools and libraries with obtaining affordable telecommunications and internet access. The Federal Communications Commission explains that the discount a school district receives depends on two factors: “(1) the poverty level of the population the applicant serves and (2) whether the applicant is located in a rural or urban area.”
“The RFP ensures that APS can receive a potential 50 percent reimbursement of [the backup fiber network] costs through the federal government’s E-Rate funds,” Bellavia said.
Teardown Business Booming — Arlington is one of the Northern Virginia areas that continue to see significant home teardown rates following the recession. The high land values make it more economical for many builders to tear down old homes and construct new ones rather than renovating existing structures. [Wall Street Journal]
Tech Company Moving to Arlington — Online stock video business VideoBlocks says it is moving from its long-time home in Reston to Arlington in 2017. The tech company’s growth is making the current 7,500-square-foot space too cramped, so the goal is to find an approximately 20,000-square-foot space in Arlington. [DC Inno]
Ninja Moves Prompt Police Call — Police responded to Paisano’s on N. Pershing Drive yesterday afternoon for a report of a man performing “ninja moves” outside the restaurant. There were no reports of anyone being harmed or of any arrests. [Twitter]
Free NYE Metro Rides — Metrorail and Metrobus rides will be free after midnight on New Year’s Eve (Saturday), courtesy of a sponsor: Miller Lite. Metro will stay open until 3:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day (Sunday). [WMATA]
Free Cab Rides Through Sunday — SoberRide will continue its seasonal free taxi service through Sunday. Users can call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free ride home, up to a $30 fare.
County Facilities Closed Monday — Like the federal the government, Arlington County will close its facilities on Monday in observance of Sunday’s holiday. Parking meters will not be enforced but trash and recycling collection will continue as usual.
Lubber Run Community Center Redevelopment — With voter approval of a “community infrastructure” bond that funds it, work is set to proceed on the redevelopment of the Lubber Run Community Center. Design work on the new four-story, $47 million facility will wrap up next year. Construction is expected to take place in 2018. [InsideNova]
Arlington to Keep One of the Last Kenneth Cole Stores — Kenneth Cole is closing 63 stores in the U.S. to concentrate on online and international operations. One of the fashion house’s two U.S. locations to remain open indefinitely: the store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [Bloomberg]
TransitScreen Expands to Coworking Spaces — TransitScreen, which was founded in Arlington in 2013, is expanding its presence from apartment buildings to coworking offices. The creator of screens that show the schedules of various transit options — including buses, trains and Uber vehicles — has announced that it has struck a deal with another Arlington-founded company: MakeOffices. [Bisnow]
AED to Host ‘Arlington Premiere’ — Arlington Economic Development is continuing its outreach to startup businesses. Next month AED will be hosting an event called “Arlington Premiere,” which is billed as “an exclusive reception welcoming new businesses to Arlington County.” The event will take place in Crystal City and will include networking opportunities for business owners. [Arlington Economic Development]
Cat Stuck in Tree — The Arlington County Fire Department was called last night for a cat that was stuck in a tree. Yes, that does actually happen. [Twitter]
Arcing Insulator at Rosslyn Metro — An electrical issue on the Metrorail tracks outside of the Rosslyn station caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines during this morning’s rush hour. The arcing insulator prompted single-tracking and a large fire department response. [WJLA]
Beyer to Shadow DCA Worker — Today, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is expected to “accompany contracted wheelchair agents to learn first-hand their role helping passengers with disabilities at Reagan National Airport.” The workers and their union, 32BJ SEIU, are fighting for a $15 per hour wage. Currently, they receive as little as $6 per hour plus “unreliable tips.”
Samsung Collecting Note 7 at DCA — Electronics manufacturer Samsung has set up a booth at Reagan National Airport to collect their now recalled and discontinued Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are banned from flights due to a propensity to randomly go up in flames. [Twitter]
I-395 HOT Lane Update — VDOT updated the Arlington County Board yesterday on its “managed HOV/toll lanes” project slated for I-395. County staff is currently studying traffic and noise impacts to Arlington and the project’s allocation of at least $15 million per year to transit along the corridor, which the county believes is insufficient. [Arlington County]
Tech Incubator Founder Moves to Arlington — Evan Burfield, the founder of D.C.-based tech incubator 1776, has moved to Arlington with his wife and one-year-old daughter. Burfield chose a $1.6 million home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood outside of Crystal City, calling it “a great buy on an up-and-coming area.” 1776 has a location in Crystal City that Burfield said is performing well. [Washington Business Journal]
Police: Arlington Man Called Reporter the N-Word — An Arlington man, 21-year-old Brian Eybers, has been arrested in Charleston, South Carolina on disorderly conduct and drug-related charges. A local TV reporter in Charleston says Eybers called him the N-word and then stood in front of his news van, blocking it from leaving. [The State]
Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol’s Twitter account was hacked and started tweeting out dozens of spam links during Tuesday afternoon’s Board meeting.
The spam barrage started shortly after the meeting got underway at 3 p.m. As of 5:30 p.m. the tweets had not yet been deleted.
Kristol is perhaps the Board’s most active member on Twitter, often tweeting out community information and brief summaries of Board meetings.
Update at 6:25 p.m. — The hack has been fixed, Cristol tweeted.
Thx for concern, @ARLnowDOTcom. Hack fixed 2 hrs ago. but hard to delete 100s of tweets while doing the ppl's work in a board mtg!
— Katie Cristol (@kcristol) September 27, 2016
Road Closures for Street Festivals — In addition to street closures associated with Clarendon Day on Saturday, this weekend there will be closures for the 2016 Prio Bangla Potho Mela street festival. On Sunday from 8 a.m. to midnight, 9th Street S. will be closed from Walter Reed Drive to S. Highland Street. [Arlington County]
Home Sales Up — The volume of Arlington home sales was up 9.3 percent in August, compared to one year prior. [InsideNova]
Election Questions Answered — The Arlington Human Rights Commission and Office of Elections will hold a voter education event today from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Walter Reed Community and Senior Center. Officials will answer questions residents might have about how to vote in the upcoming election. [Arlington County]
Arlington’s Digital Future — Next month, on Oct. 11, Arlington County is holding an event about its “digital destiny.” The event, at the Shirlington library auditorium, will explore “today’s digital revolution and how it will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and visit Arlington in the years to come.” It will feature an interview with author Shawn DuBravac. [YouTube, Arlington County]
Northern Virginia Transit Ridership Down — Amid Metro’s woes, transit ridership across Northern Virginia has dropped significantly. Metrorail ridership was down 6.7 percent for the one year period ending June 30, while Metrobus ridership is down 4.6 percent. Arlington Transit bus ridership, however, was up 13.8 percent. [InsideNova]
Arlington Family Gets Lost Cat Back — A new Arlington family whose cat jumped out of their moving van and ran away at a Michigan Welcome Center has been reunited with their wayward feline. The welcome center’s employees managed to safely trap the cat five days after it escaped. [NBC Washington]
Free Chips and Queso Today — California Tortilla restaurants are offering free chips and queso today, to commemorate the impending end of summer. Customers must say the password “easy cheesy” and make another purchase to get the free stuff. [Facebook]
CIA’s Local VC Firm Profiled — Courthouse-based In-Q-Tel, which functions as the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm, “operates in the shadows.” The firm is run as a taxpayer-funded nonprofit, investing in companies whose technology could benefit the CIA or the military. [Wall Street Journal]
Carlee Takes University Job — Former Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee, who most recently served as Charlotte, N.C.’s city manager, has taken an assistant professor position at Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business in Norfolk. [Charlotte Observer]
(Updated at 11:15 p.m.) Starting today, Arlingtonians can order a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream from Amazon.com and get it while it’s still frozen.
Amazon announced this morning that it has launched its Prime Now service for parts of Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Springfield and all of Arlington. (Users can check to see if the service is available by typing in their ZIP code.)
Prime Now allows Amazon Prime members (link goes to a 30-day free Prime trial offer) to order tens of thousands of everyday items, from groceries to household essentials to electronics to pet supplies, and get it delivered in 1-2 hours. One hour delivery costs $7.99, while two hour delivery is free.
“This is the latest benefit of being a Prime member,” Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ip told ARLnow.com. She said the company plans to extend Prime Now service to the District of Columbia in October.
More from a press release:
Amazon announced today that its Prime Now one-hour delivery service is expanding to Northern Virginia from Springfield to Arlington to Alexandria. The ultra-fast service, offered exclusively as a benefit to Prime members, provides one-hour delivery on tens of thousands of daily essentials from staples like paper towels, milk or ice cream, to electronics such as laptops and Kindle devices.
In Virginia, Prime Now is also available in Richmond and Virginia Beach. Since launching in these areas, top items purchased for superfast delivery through the service include Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, bananas, Haribo gummy bears and eggs.
Prime members can shop on www.primenow.com and can also download the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices.
In Northern Virginia, Prime Now is available from 8 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. Two-hour delivery is free and one-hour delivery is available for $7.99.
Arlington Mansion Party Led to Shooting — Two people were shot in McLean early Sunday in what was described as a drive-by shooting following a party in Arlington. It turns out that the party was at a multi-million-dollar mansion overlooking the Potomac on tony Chain Bridge Road. The home has been the scene of numerous police incidents over the past couple of years, mostly robberies and various disturbances, and lately neighbors have said it’s become a “party house.” [NBC Washington]
Heat Advisory Today — Arlington is again under a Heat Advisory, with dangerous heat index values up to 109 expected. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” forecasters warn. [National Weather Service]
Standoff With Suicidal Man Ends Peacefully — There were some tense moments in a neighborhood just off of Columbia Pike yesterday. Between about 4-5 p.m., there was a police standoff with an armed, suicidal man at a home on 9th Street S. Roads were blocked and some neighbors were evacuated. The standoff ended peacefully and the man was taken into custody.
Arlington’s InfoSec Jobs Are Low Paying? — A compilation of city-level data from job search site Indeed suggests that Arlington has the lowest-paying average salary for information security specialists of 15 large cities. Adjusted for cost of living, Minneapolis had the highest average salary. Arlington’s COLA-adjusted salary is 72 percent below that of the Minnesota city. D.C. also ranked low on the list, placing just three spots above Arlington. [Indeed]
Arlington Rapper Releases Single — VA Prime, an Arlington-based rap artist who hails from the Nauck neighborhood and formerly attended Washington-Lee and Wakefield high schools, has released a new single. “School” encourages young listeners to “stay in school, plan it out, get your grades up.” The rhyme further encourages hard work and hustle: “Keep grinding, we going to raise up,” it says. [Soundcloud]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Tech Firm Staying in Arlington, Expanding — Applied Predictive Technologies, which was acquired by MasterCard last year, has decided to stay in Arlington after being courted by other jurisdictions. The company plans to move to a new office in Ballston and hire 368 employees. It was offered $6 million in conditional incentives by the state and the county. [Washington Post]
Archaeological Excavation Underway — The Arlington Historical Society is conducting an archeological dig at the historic Ball-Sellers House, hoping to learn more about a section of the property that was torn down a century ago. [InsideNova]
It’s National Farmers Market Week — This week is National Farmers Market Week and the Arlington Farmers Market in Courthouse will be celebrating with a raffle and a cooking demonstration by celebrity chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery. Arlington has eight official farmers markets countywide. [ARLnow Events]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
General Assembly is opening a campus in a yet-to-be-determined location in the county, company spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said today. The outpost is slated to arrive by the end of the year, along with nine other new campuses around the world.
At General Assembly, students can hone their computer skills — including coding, design and digital marketing — through short courses and 12-week “boot camp” classes online and in 15 campuses, including outposts in D.C., New York, London and Hong Kong.
“General Assembly is choosing to open new campuses in less traditional tech hotspots to increase accessibility for those looking to obtain in-demand digital skills,” Roberts said in an email. “Companies outside the Silicon Alleys and Valleys of the world can now leverage GA to hire a more diverse talent as well.”
Before the Arlington campus opens, General Assembly is scheduled to hold classes and workshops throughout Northern Virginia, including in Crystal City and Rosslyn.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Editor’s Note: 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.
Growing up in Northern Virginia, Joe Smiley rode on food trucks with his church handing out warm meals to people in the community.
“I was always struck about how many people in my own community lacked basic necessities, including a warm meal each day,” Smiley said, adding, “These volunteering experiences were instrumental in planting a seed in my mind that there had to be a better way that I could help out using my technology background, as well as my experience consulting in the food and beverage sector.”
Combining his experiences, Smiley came up with the idea for Craavings — a no-cost online platform designed to help people find their favorite foods while providing meals to those in need.
Unlike restaurant rating platforms, Arlington-based Craavings enables users to quickly search and discover the best individual dishes available nearby by searching across all restaurants in an area or within a single restaurant. There are more than 30 million menu items in Craavings’ database, which covers the majority of the 1 million restaurants in the U.S. and parts of Canada, according to Smiley, founder and CEO of the company.
Users can save foods — or drinks — they try by completing ratings or reviews of menu items for future reference. In addition, a newsfeed feature focuses on social networking so that users can see what their friends and family like or dislike.
But the platform is about more than just finding your favorite foods. Users collect points through Craavings by signing up for an account, completing ratings and reviews, adding photos and marking favorite menu items.
“We’re making a pledge to provide a meal to someone in need — right here in the U.S. — every time you earn 15 points on this app,” Smiley said. “Find your craavings and help others who are in need. Win-win.” Craavings has pledged more than 750 meals so far, via volunteer work, food drives and donations, according to its website.
After launching a beta version of the website two months ago, Craavings already has thousands of registered users, Smiley said.
For now, he said the company’s primary focus is finding angel investors to aid in further development of the platform, as well as begin marketing in the D.C. and New York City metro areas. “We’re also looking for business partners and anyone who can help market Craavings in their cities and communities,” Smiley said.
In addition to improving the web interface and building out the mobile app, he said the company plans to add nutrition information, advanced filtering, loyalty management and new menu items and restaurants (including food trucks).
A panel of futurists and technologists made their predictions for Arlington’s future in a video released this week on the heels of the county receiving recognition as the top “digital county” of its size in the nation.
Due to the District’s building height restrictions, the panelists predicted increased urbanization is coming.
“I think that Arlington is uniquely positioned to be an urban center around a city that has height restrictions around its buildings,” said Shawn DuBrevac, chief economist for the Computer Technology Association. “We globally have this push towards urbanization. It will happen in an interesting way in the D.C. metro area because you can’t build skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. They’ll start to show up in Arlington and in other places.”
The panelists also noted that as the county becomes more digitized, more data will become available to analyze. That includes data gleaned from communication platforms, including social media and messaging apps.
“I don’t think the public square is physical. We’re on the cusp of virtual reality,” said Cheryl Foil, principal of Kiddar Capital’s tech ventures. “People right now are using Snapchat and other messengers. What’s great about that is when it’s not in person, it’s already digital, it’s already data. You can measure and analyze it.”
The futurists and technologists said community leaders can take the data they get to make decisions to improve residents’ lives. For example, Capital Bikeshare stations and retail outlets could have better locations based on street traffic data.
But brick-and-mortar retailers will face increasing competition from online retailers, the panelists predicted. Today, about 7 percent of purchases are made online. By 2050, DuBrevac sees that number increased to 40-60 percent, something he attributes computers making purchases without any human input.
“The retail environment that we visit today will not be the retail environment we need 40-50 years from now,” he said. “The infrastructure that we have will need to shift as we move towards these types of environments. The digitization of retail is going to change everything I do today in my home, in my building, how I walk, where I go to, the shops that I visit, all that could change.”
A video of the predictions and other discussions can be found above. The first part of the discussion can be viewed here.
That’s according to the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties, which gave Arlington high marks for its tech related to “open government, transparency, citizen engagement, security and operations.”
This is the first time Arlington has achieved the honor.
“We’re proud of this award and for the work that was done this year to help create a more streamlined, responsive and inclusive government using technology,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a press release (below). “Arlington will continue to innovate and explore new technology tools with the goal of creating the best possible experience for residents and businesses when they interact with the County.”
The county is ahead of the curve in tech in a number of ways. In the past couple of years Arlington has launched a dark fiber network that’s open to businesses, a data-driven smartphone app, online streaming of commission meetings and an “open data portal.”
The full press release from Arlington County, after the jump.