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Morning Notes

GMA Broadcasts Segment from Arlington — ABC’s Good Morning America broadcast a live segment from Arlington’s fire training academy near Shirlington yesterday. [Twitter]

Buyers’ Market in 2020? — “Home sellers likely will continue to hold more negotiating power than buyers for the next year and a half, according to the 2018 Q3 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. But it won’t last forever, experts say.” [InsideNova]

Local Leaders Decry Loss of Transportation Funding — “The leaders of Northern Virginia’s five most populous jurisdictions pledged Wednesday to push back on the General Assembly’s move this year to pull money from regional transportation projects to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin

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HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ Returns to Arlington, Features Local Couple

HGTV’s “House Hunters” returned to Arlington once more this month to help a couple find their first home.

Alex Ordonez, the couple’s real estate broker at HomeSmart Realty, says HGTV picked his clients after he submitted an application with the show. “House Hunters” began filming with Ordonez and his clients last Tuesday (Aug. 7) and Thursday (Aug. 9) and will pick up work again on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24.

Ordonez says the pair are newlyweds who currently live in the county, and are now looking to buy their first home.

He expects the episode will air sometime in the coming months.

“House Hunters” has filmed in the county several times over the last few years, including in 2012 and 2014.

Photo courtesy of Alex Ordonez

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Morning Notes

Simple Greek Now Open — Fast-casual restaurant chain The Simple Greek has opened its new Rosslyn location in the Colonial Plaza shopping center. A ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday was followed by long lines at lunchtime. [Twitter, Twitter]

WiFi Available in Underground Metro Stations — As of today, free wireless internet service should be available in every underground Metro station. Per yesterday’s announcement from Metro: “Customers can log-in by selecting the ‘Metro-Public’ network in their device’s Wi-Fi settings.” [WMATA]

Signs Up for Sfoglina — “Coming soon” signs are up for the new Rosslyn outpost of the acclaimed Fabio and Maria Trabocchi restaurant Sfoglina Pasta House. The restaurant is located on the street level of the office building at 11oo Wilson Boulevard. [Twitter]

Water Rescue Near Chain Bridge — D.C. police and firefighters rescued two people whose kayak overturned in the Potomac River near Chain Bridge last night. Both were evaluated by medics but “neither have physical injuries,” per DCFEMS. [Twitter, Twitter]

Fox News Coming to Iwo Jima Memorial — On Sunday, Fox News Channel will broadcast a portion of its America’s News Headquarters program (noon-2 p.m.) from the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn. Elizabeth Prann will co-anchor “ANHQ” from the Memorial, “where the nation will be preparing for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration,” according to a Fox press release.

Arlington Has Millions in Prepaid Taxes — “The Arlington treasurer’s office still has about $8 million sitting untouched in its coffers, waiting to be applied to future tax payments. But that’s less than half the $17.2 million in total prepayments submitted by Arlington taxpayers in the waning days of 2017, hoping to beat changes to federal tax law that made some mortgage-interest payments non-deductible in 2018.” [InsideNova]

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Morning Notes

That Time Anthony Bourdain Visited Va. Square — The late, lamented Anthony Bourdain visited Arlington’s El Pollo Rico for a 2009 episode of his Travel Channel show No Reservations. [Patch, YouTube]

Arlington At the RAMMYs — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — No individual Arlington restaurant won a RAMMY regional restaurant award Sunday night, though regional chain Moby Dick House of Kabob, which has locations in Shirlington and Clarendon, won in the “Favorite Fast Bite” category, and Cheesetique in Shirlington was nominated under the “Favorite Gathering Place of the Year” category. [Washingtonian]

Clarendon, Crystal City Bike Races — Despite the threat of rain, both the Clarendon Cup and the Crystal Cup of the annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic largely avoided weather woes over the weekend. [Twitter, Twitter, Cycling News]

Photo courtesy @thelastfc

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Morning Notes

County HQ Renovation Vote Delayed — The Arlington County Board last night agreed to defer consideration of renovations to county government headquarters until April. The Board will discuss the “‘opportunity costs’ for the $10 million in rent abatements that will fund part of the renovation project,” in the context of the current county budget discussions, according to Board Chair Katie Cristol. [Twitter]

Arlington Declines Amazon FOIA Request — A Freedom of Information Act request for more information about the county’s Amazon HQ2 bid, sent from the Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell, was denied on the grounds that the information was “exempt from disclosure.” At the County Board meeting this past weekend, several speakers called on the county to release more information about what it has offered Amazon. [Twitter, WTOP]

Letter: APS Should Revise Gym Shorts Policy — Eighth-grade students wrote a letter to the editor encouraging Arlington Public Schools to revise its policy on girls’ gym shorts. Per the letter: “The shorts we are required to wear by the school system cause many of us embarrassment because the wide, open legs allow others to see our undergarments, especially during floor exercises. Additionally, the current gym shorts are too big for petite girls.” [InsideNova]

Arlington TV Now in HD — “You can now watch Arlington TV (ATV), the County’s government cable channel, in high definition (HD) on Comcast Xfinity. From live County Board meetings to original programming about Arlington, viewers with HD sets can now watch the same programming on Channel 1085 on Comcast Xfinity’s HD tier.” [Arlington County]

Auditor Releases Report on ECC Overtime — Arlington County Auditor Chris Horton has released a report on overtime incurred by the county’s Emergency Communications Center, which handles 911 calls and dispatches first responders. The ECC’s overtime costs were about $1.4 million last year. Horton found that “a more efficient training process could result in greater staffing efficiency, and potentially reduce overtime expenses.” [Arlington County]

Four Phases of Snow Removal — For those who need a reminder after this anemic winter, a YouTube video explains the county’s four-stage snow removal process. [YouTube]

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Morning Poll: Office Productivity During March Madness

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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Ellen Surprises Arlington Woman Who is the Surrogate of her Best Friend

Ellen DeGeneres surprised two Arlingtonians via live shot today (March 13) after one wrote to the show asking to share their surrogacy story.

After Katelin Buchanan suffered from five miscarriages, her best friend Erica Huston offered to be a surrogate for Buchanan and her husband. She’s now pregnant with the couple’s twins.

Ellen DeGeneres Show correspondent Jeannie Klisiewicz met with the best friends and surprised them with a live streamed meeting with DeGeneres. DeGeneres gifted Buchanan and Huston tickets to a live taping of the daytime talk show, and added that Buchanan would receive the prizes from the upcoming Mother’s Day show giveaway.

Buchanan spoke of her longtime friendship with Huston and how watching The Ellen Degeneres Show helped her cope with her infertility struggles.

Feeling helpless watching her best friend go through miscarriage after miscarriage, Huston added on the program that she jumped at the opportunity to surrogate for Buchanan.

“The moment that I hand those babies over to Katelin and her husband will be the best moment of my life,” Huston told Degeneres during the live shot. “And then, I’m going to pour myself a big glass of wine.”

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HGTV Casting Locally for ‘Best House on the Block’

An HGTV show is looking for homes in Northern Virginia “that need a personality boost and remodel.”

The first episode of “Best House on the Block,” which stars a pair of Great Falls, Va.-based home renovation specialists, aired last year.

The pilot took a different turn from the usual house-flip shows that have dominated HGTV the past few years, featuring “underwhelming” houses.

The show is currently seeking D.C. area homeowners who want to “generic home from drab to the Best House on the Block” but are “overwhelmed by the design possibilities.”

More from the show’s casting website:

To Be Eligible You Must:

  • Currently own a home in the Northern Virginia/D.C./Maryland metro area
  • Have an existing design/renovation budget for your projects
  • Be willing to move out of the house during renovation

Send an email to [email protected] telling us your story and include: name, address, phone number, family photo, budget, as well as photos of the home exterior and interior areas that need Lauren and David’s help.

I am looking for families with boring homes that need a personality boost and remodel. Looking for fun, outgoing, families who are serious about a home redesign/remodel. Each episode focuses on roughly 3 living spaces to transform with the homeowners existing budget.

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Morning Notes

ACPD Cameo on ‘Homeland’ — The Arlington County Police Department made a brief appearance last week on the TV show “Homeland.” [Twitter]

High Wind Watch Upgraded to Warning — The threat of a damaging wind storm Friday has become more likely. The National Weather Service has upgraded the previous High Wind Watch to a warning. [Twitter]

EFC Development Stalled — “Seven years ago, the county blessed a vision of new ‘transitown’ development of stores, greenery and new pedestrian access around the East Falls Church Metro. But that utilitarian commuter site is largely unchanged.” [Falls Church News-Press]

New Logo, Website for AAC — Thanks to a philanthropic grant, the Arlington Arts Center has new branding and a “new, mobile-friendly site reflecting our enduring commitment to excellent contemporary art, quality educational programs, and our artist residency program.” [Arlington Arts Center]

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Morning Notes

Porter Drama Centers Around Arlington — The resignation of White House aide Rob Porter, which has been a national headline this week, has a number of Arlington connections. Porter reportedly has an apartment here, which he shared with a girlfriend before starting to date White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, and the protective order Porter’s second wife filed against him was to keep him away from her Arlington residence. [Daily Mail, New York Times]

Arlington Kid’s Star Continues to Rise — Nine-year-old Iain Armitage stars as the title character in the CBS comedy Young Sheldon and also was featured HBO’s Golden Globe-winning Big Little Lies. That’s in addition to film roles Armitage, an Arlington native whose family owns a house in Ashton Heights, is getting as he continues to build his Hollywood career. Just 3.5 years ago, Armitage was best known for his viral reviews of Signature Theatre shows. [Toronto Star]

Flyover This Morning — There will be a military flyover around 11:30 this morning for a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. [Twitter]

Local Lawmakers’ Bills Defeated in Richmond — A number of bills introduced by Democratic lawmakers that represent parts of Arlington have, predictably, failed to gain traction in the GOP-controlled state legislature. Among the current batch of bills being defeated in committee: a bill to force the release of presidential candidate tax returns (Sen. Janet Howell), create an state-level Office of Immigrant Assistance (Sen. Adam Ebbin) and expand the list of IDs accepted for voting (Del. Rip Sullivan).

Photo via @NCPCgov / Twitter

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Morning Notes

W-L Name Decision May Be Delayed — “A new staff proposal detailed on Feb. 1 would delay until December or January any School Board decision on the [Washington-Lee High School] name, which has divided the school community, alumni and some activists.” [InsideNova]

Wakefield HS in Super Bowl Ad — The Wakefield High School girls basketball team was featured in a promo for NBC 4 that aired locally during the Super Bowl. [Facebook, Twitter]

Crews Treat Slick Roads — There were some icy patches on local roads this morning, but Arlington County crews were out treating potential slick spots. Unlike other school systems that delayed the opening of school, however, Arlington Public Schools started on time. [Twitter, Washington Post]

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‘Super Coffee’ Business Sunniva Appears Headed to ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

Startup Monday header

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.

A Crystal City-based manufacturer of so-called “super coffee” looks set to appear on the popular ABC television show “Shark Tank.”

Sunniva, founded in 2015 by brothers Jordan, Jake and Jimmy DeCicco, appears to be set to appear on the show where entrepreneurs seek the investments of four millionaires, on Sunday, February 11.

In a preview of the show, ABC says viewers can expect to hear from “a trio of brothers from Arlington, Virginia,” who, “present their all-natural super beverage.”

The three brothers auditioned for “Shark Tank” last year. In an audition video posted to YouTube, Jordan DeCicco said Sunniva is looking for a $400,000 investment from the “Sharks” in return for a 5 percent stake in the company. It’s unclear if that is the amount the brothers will actually be seeking on the show.

“As college student-athletes, we were tired,” Jake DeCicco said in the video. “We were falling asleep in class after practice. Our school stores offered the usual unhealthy coffees and energy drinks. But we refused to put that garbage into our bodies.”

The drink combines Colombian coffee, coconut oil, and a lactose-free milk protein is a low-fat, low-cal beverage that the DeCiccos said offers a longer-term energy boost compared to other products that often provide an energy spike and a crash later. Each bottle has 90mg of caffeine, which is pretty standard for an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Jake DeCicco first started making and selling the drink from his dorm room at Philadelphia University, and then enlisted the help of his older brother Jordan, who was at business school at Georgetown University. Oldest brother Jim is the CEO, while Jake is listed as COO.

“Now, we’ve come a long way from our little brother’s dorm room, but we’re just getting started,” Jim DeCicco said in the audition video. “Sharks, as athletes, we need a coach to help us refine our business fundamentals and share our super coffee with the world.”

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Video: A-Town Co-Owner Speaks Out About Imposter

Scott Parker had been dealing with someone posing as him on social media for some time, but he had no idea how far the imposter would go to try to wreck his reputation.

That’s what the A-Town, Don Tito, Barley Mac and G.O.A.T. co-owner told Fox 5’s morning show earlier this week.

Parker was discussing an incident in which an imposter Facebook account sent a well-known writer a hateful, profanity-laced rant that encouraged her to kill herself. The journalist, not realizing at the time that it was not the real Scott Parker, then posted a screenshot of the message she received.

“It happened very fast,” Parker said.

The backlash over the message sent by the “catfish” account led to death threats and angry calls to bars, before it was determined that the real-life Scott Parker was not responsible.

“It was not my first time dealing with trolls,” Parker told Fox 5, “but what woke me up to the dangers of the whole thing is that they’re going after other people now.”

Parker said he was considering working with the police to catch the owner of the troll account, but then decided against it.

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Morning Notes

New ‘Best of Arlington’ List — Arlington Magazine is out with its annual “Best of Arlington” list. This year’s winners include The Liberty Tavern for Best Restaurant in Arlington, Ambar Clarendon for Best New Restaurant and Clare & Don’s Beach Shack in Falls Church for Best Outdoor Dining.

Tattoo Expo Returning — The D.C. Tattoo Expo is coming back to Arlington for another year. The expo is being held Jan. 12-14 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. [D.C. Tattoo Expo]

Arlington Commute Near Average — Arlington residents have a 28.3-minute commute from home to work, on average, comparable to the statewide average of 28.1 minutes, according to the Census Bureau’s latest American Communities Survey. [InsideNova]

Snow, Bitter Cold in Forecast — A ‘monster storm’ will bring bitter cold, strong winds and — according to the latest forecasts — 1-2 inches of snow between tonight and Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service is warning of possible impacts on the Thursday morning commute. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Twitter]

NBC Profiles ‘Arlington Ladies’ — The “Arlington Ladies,” a group of women who are a part of every funeral at Arlington National Cemetery since 1948, were profiled by Lester Holt on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast. [NBC News]

REIT Acquires Rosslyn Office Building — “Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE) has reached a deal to acquire a Rosslyn office tower for $250 million, one of its largest office deals in recent history as the District-based developer seeks to rebalance its D.C.-area portfolio.” [Washington Business Journal]

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