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ARLnow.com – Arlington, Va. Local News    
News, Views, Weather, Traffic and Events in Arlington, Virginia
Last updated: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:02:42 GMT

 Three Arlington Startups Awarded State-Level Grants Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:50:30 +0000
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...

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

Three young, tech-focused startups in Arlington were among 41 projects across the state awarded $2.51 million in funding.

The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) awards, announced by Gov. Ralph Northam on June 6, included grant funding for Fend Incorporated — a Startup Monday frequent guest — NOVI LLC and SeeHear LLC.

The CRCF is run through the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a non-profit corporation funded in part through the state to promote technological development in Virginia.

Fend Incorporated adds a system with a physical beam-link used to transfer data in otherwise digital systems, making them less prone to hacking. The company was awarded $50,000.

NOVI LLC develops autonomous, intelligent satellites and was awarded $48,700.

SeeHear LLC is a corporation that commercializes earlier government research into web-based speech programs for adults with hearing loss. The company was awarded $50,000.

According to a spokesperson for CIT, proposals undergo a multi-stage review process, including assessments by subject matter experts and evaluation by the CIT Board of Directors.

“Virginia is recognized as one of the most innovative states in the nation, and we know that identifying and supporting Virginia innovators at critical early stages through state-funded programs like CRCF is key to maintaining and expanding our leadership role,” Northam said in a press release. “The Commonwealth will continue to deliver programs that facilitate bringing pioneering technologies and ideas to market and create a culture where entrepreneurs will thrive.”

 Legal Insider: The Benefit of Severance Agreements for Employers and Employees Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:00:36 +0000
This weeks Legal Insider discusses severance agreements and reasons for them.

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 Kimberly H. Berry, Esq.

In Virginia (and in many other jurisdictions) severance agreements are contracts that compensate an employee in exchange for them agreeing to leave their employment and waiving all claims against an employer.

Most employees in Virginia are considered “at will,” which means they can resign or be fired at any time by an employer. When employment ends, an employer may offer (or an employee may request) a severance package in exchange for the employee’s waiver of all rights to sue for discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation or other alleged violations of law by the employer.

Employers, in the absence of an employment contract which requires severance, generally have no obligation to provide employees severance pay. If severance pay is offered, an employer will offer the employee a Severance Agreement along with the proposed compensation.

Employer Severance Agreements

A Severance Agreement is just a contract between an employee and an employer that resolves all outstanding employment matters between them. A Severance Agreement may be offered to an employee who resigns or is terminated. Additionally, Severance Agreements can also be offered to employees who are laid off or who are facing retirement.

In order to be valid, a Severance Agreement must have consideration — i.e., something of value to which the employee is not already entitled. Employers are usually required to provide an employee time to consider the Severance Agreement before signing and advise them to consult with counsel before signing. An employee typically has a 21-day consideration period to accept an employer’s Severance Agreement unless the employee is over 40 years of age.

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that an employer provide employees over 40 years of age with a 45-day consideration period and at least a 7-day revocation period.

Reasons for Severance Agreements

There are a number of reasons why a Severance Agreement may be proposed or agreed to by employers. These reasons can include the following examples, but many others exist:

  • An employee is fired, for conduct or performance and the employer wants to avoid risk for potential claims against them by providing severance in exchange for a waiver of employee claims.
  • An employer is looking to downsize their operations and seeks to avoid potential liability in the process by offering severance terms to a number of employees.
  • An employee has been fired, no Severance Agreement was initially proposed by the employer but the employee approaches the employer seeking one.
  • An employee wants to resign and seeks to initiate severance negotiations with the employer.

Common Severance Agreement Terms

Some of the terms to consider in a Settlement Agreement may include, but are certainly not limited to the following:

Severance Pay
Non-Disparagement
Retirement benefits
Re-employment possibilities
Tax consequences
The timing of severance payments
Confidentiality terms
Security clearance issues
Continuation of employment benefits
Rights to unemployment compensation
Waiver of Claims
Scope of non-competition
Preservation of trade secrets
References and reference letters
Recommendation letters (Positive and Neutral)
Applicable law
Consequences for violating the Severance Agreement

Severance Agreements will almost always include a General Release (Waiver) that stipulates the employee cannot sue his or her employer for wrongful termination or attempt to seek unemployment benefits.

Before an employee signs a Severance Agreement, he or she should consult with an attorney to discuss the rights that he or she may be waiving and the terms of the Severance Agreement.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law representation, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

 County Board Members to Vote on Increasing Their Salaries Mon, 17 Jun 2019 15:00:21 +0000
This week, Arlington County Board members will consider a proposal that would allow them to raise their salaries for the first time since 2012. Members are scheduled to vote tomorrow...

This week, Arlington County Board members will consider a proposal that would allow them to raise their salaries for the first time since 2012.

Members are scheduled to vote tomorrow (Tuesday) to raise the maximum level at which they can set their salaries, choosing from one of three possible options:

  • Option 1: $61,034 for members, and $67,464 for the chair
  • Option 2: $89,851 for members, and $95,734 for the chair
  • Option 3: $129,429 for members, and $135,312 for the chair

Currently, the salary cap for Board members is $57,337 a year, but members are currently paid $55,147. The member serving as Board Chair (currently Christian Dorsey) is paid $60,662, but the salary cap for his position is $63,071.

A staff report to the Board noted that 223 people responded to an online survey and 210 of those respondents picked a salary level they thought appropriate. The majority (143) chose a salary level between $57,000 and $84,999. The rest (67) chose somewhere between $85,000 and $120,999.

The report also noted that current salary levels are below the regional median income level for a single person ($85,000) and the level for a family of four ($121,300) and are generally below salaries paid to regional legislators in other jurisdictions.

Board members are required to wait to raise their pay caps until at least two members are running for re-election, which happens every four years. Currently, Board Chair Dorsey and member Katie Cristol are up for re-election.

The Board has until July 1 to vote on the raise, otherwise they’d have to wait another four years for a chance to vote again.

Option 1 ($61,034) added annual 2.27 percent increases to the existing salary base ($57,337). Options 2 and 3 ($89,851 and $129,429, respectively) factored in a starting point based on area median income for individuals (Option 2) and a family of four (Option 3) and increased that by 2.27 percent each year for the next four years.

Serving on the County Board is intended to be a part-time position, though in practicality the schedules of Board members leave little time for other jobs.

Board member Libby Garvey previously said her colleagues needed higher salaries to keep up with the work involved in attending the county’s many local and regional group meetings.

“I talk to people about how we’re a five-member basketball team with no back-ups so we have to play the entire game all the time,” she said.

New salary caps would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020 if the Board approves them tomorrow, and would last until Dec. 31, 2023. Members would be able to decide after January whether to raise their salaries, up to the the maximum amount they set.

Image via Arlington County

 BREAKING: Police on Scene of Stabbing in Virginia Square Mon, 17 Jun 2019 14:20:52 +0000
A suspect is in custody after a man was stabbed in the Virginia Square area Monday morning. The incident happened near the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Pollard Street,...

A suspect is in custody after a man was stabbed in the Virginia Square area Monday morning.

The incident happened near the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Pollard Street, a block from Arlington Central Library. Initial reports suggest a man was stabbed in the arm, suffering a non-life-threatening injury.

The victim was transported to a local hospital via ambulance. A suspect could be seen in police custody near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Pollard Street, as officers nearby examined what appeared to be a pocket knife.

Pollard Street was closed to traffic as police conducted an investigation.

 Cheesetique Closes Ballston Location Mon, 17 Jun 2019 13:35:35 +0000
Cheese store and wine bar Cheesetique has closed its Ballston location at 800 N. Glebe Road after three years in business. The restaurant served its last customers last night (Sunday),...

Cheese store and wine bar Cheesetique has closed its Ballston location at 800 N. Glebe Road after three years in business.

The restaurant served its last customers last night (Sunday), though the company’s Shirlington and Alexandria locations remain open.

Restaurants on the western side of N. Glebe Road have struggled to stay in business amid an increasing number of dining options on the other side of the busy street, closer to the bulk of Ballston’s office and apartment buildings.

More on the closure from Cheesetique’s Facebook page:

After three years in operation, Cheesetique Ballston will be closing after dinner service this Sunday, June 16th.

We’re sad to leave our Ballston neighborhood, but hope you can come by for one last visit this weekend. And after that, we look forward to hosting you at one of our other cheese-tastic locations (Cheesetique Del Ray, Cheesetique Shirlington, Cheesetique Mosaic).

Thank you to all of our loyal Ballston patrons. We’ll see you soon!

 Arlington Under Flash Flood Watch Today Mon, 17 Jun 2019 13:00:01 +0000
Arlington County and surrounding areas are under a Flash Flood Watch starting at 2 p.m. today. Forecasters say heavy rain and storms are expected this afternoon and evening, creating the...

Arlington County and surrounding areas are under a Flash Flood Watch starting at 2 p.m. today.

Forecasters say heavy rain and storms are expected this afternoon and evening, creating the potential for flash flooding.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING… NUMEROUS TO WIDESPREAD SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND THIS EVENING IN A VERY WARM AND HUMID ENVIRONMENT. THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR SHOWERS TO MOVE REPEATEDLY OVER THE SAME AREAS AND TO PRODUCE INTENSE RAINFALL RATES IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THAT MAY LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. THE GREATEST RISK OF FLASH FLOODING IS ACROSS NORTHERN AND CENTRAL MARYLAND. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED. &&

File photo

 Morning Notes Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:30:20 +0000
Police Nab Sex Assault Suspect — “Following a tip from a member of the public, the suspect has been identified as Wondimagegn Azemach, 19, of Riverdale, Maryland. He has been...

Police Nab Sex Assault Suspect — “Following a tip from a member of the public, the suspect has been identified as Wondimagegn Azemach, 19, of Riverdale, Maryland. He has been charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile and Sexual Battery.” [Arlington County]

Fire at Ambar in Clarendon — A small fire temporarily closed Ambar restaurant in Clarendon during prime brunching time on Saturday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Board Approves Va. Square Development — “The Arlington County Board today approved a plan to replace aging commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road, in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, with a seven-story apartment building that will include 16 affordable units and achieve LEED Silver energy efficiency.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Sinkhole Work Continues — “The repairs to a crumbling section of the George Washington Parkway between Turkey Run Park and the Capital Beltway are now expected to continue through most of the summer. The long-term repairs to a failed drainage inlet will keep at least one right lane on the parkway closed for 10 weeks once the contractor is ready for work, the National Park Service said Friday. Engineers have determined that a 60 year old brick drainage structure buried deep under the parkway needs to be replaced.” [WTOP, Press Release]

Fire Victim Identified — The person killed in an apartment fire in the Ashton Heights neighborhood last week “has been identified as Brian Green, 50, of Arlington. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.” [Arlington County]

Football Team Joins Arlington Chamber — “Welcome new member @Redskins! We are thrilled to have you as part of our membership at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.” [Twitter]

County Kicks Off Census Effort — Arlington County and its Complete Count Committee (CCC) are gearing up for the 2020 Census – working toward the goal of counting every Arlingtonian… It’s not too early to get acquainted with the Census and what to expect next year.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

 Rethink Energy: It’s Never Been A Better Time To Go Solar Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:00:04 +0000
If you've been thinking about solar, now is the time to take action. This weeks Rethink Energy invites you to attend info sessions on the solar tax credit on June 27 and July 24.

Climate change reports and impacts are serious.

While global leaders differ on what to do, homeowners in the U.S. are taking advantage of the last big solar federal tax credit to act. You can too.

If you’ve been thinking about solar, now is the time to take action.

The tax credit is gradually phasing out between now and 2022. Next year, the solar tax credit will be reduced to 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all.

More than 160 homeowners have participated in our Solar and Electric Vehicle Co-op. The cooperative helps Arlingtonians buy solar and EV chargers at a discounted price. The cooperative also provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy.

Get started by providing some basic information on the website. Folks interested in solar will receive a no-obligation roof screening.

Attend an info session to ask questions, get answers and learn about the process:

  • Thursday, June 27
    6:30 p.m.
    Arlington Central Library
    1015 N. Quincy Street
    Click here to RSVP
  • Wednesday, July 24
    7:30 p.m.
    Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church
    2700 South 19th Street
    Click here to RSVP
 Neighborhood Spotlight: Throw Punches, Torch Calories and Build Strength at BASH Boxing in Rosslyn Sat, 15 Jun 2019 13:00:48 +0000
In this weeks Neighborhood Spotlight, Giovanni Gatto of The Keri Shull Team goes inside BASH Boxing in Rosslyn where you can knock out your fitness goals.

In this week’s Neighborhood Spotlight, Giovanni Gatto of The Keri Shull Team takes us inside Bash Boxing in Rosslyn to meet Co-Founder Alex, Founding Coach Jonathan and Founding Coach Brandi.

Let’s be clear: Bash Boxing offers boxing conditioning workouts. You will NOT be boxing an opponent in a ring or trying to knock anybody out at Bash Boxing. Instead, you’ll be knocking out your own fitness goals. Bash offers cooperative-mode boxing for all fitness levels.

The goals at Bash are to improve overall cardiovascular health, build lean muscle mass, build self-confidence and blow off steam.

What You Need To Bash

Bash is located just minutes from the Rosslyn Metro station by foot.

You will need to buy or rent gloves and wraps — or bring your own. Once your hands are protected, you only need your normal workout attire and athletic shoes.

During a fast-paced, 45-minute class, your instructor will go over the motions of the 6 core punches. They’ll demonstrate every combo. Then the coach will be available throughout the class for one-on-one attention, pumping you up and investing in your workout.

You’ll use free weights, med balls and resistance bands. And because this is boxing conditioning, of course you’ll throw punches at Bash’s joint-safe Aqua Bag.

Bash’s classes are available morning, afternoon and evening, including weekends. All classes have options and modifications that best suit the workout and the challenge levels you need.

Bash also has bulk rates for sessions and accepts private one-on-one or group classes. Street parking is available. Bash provides showers, towel service, soap and hair dryers so you walk out the door feeling fresh and looking sharp. You will NOT need to bring a padlock; Bash has daily use lockers.

Bash Boxing also has a second location opening in Ballston Quarter in 2019!

Have you taken one of Bash’s free trial classes? Who was your coach?

If you know anyone who’s looking to buy or sell a home in the DMV area, we’re always happy to help. Click here to contact the Keri Shull Team.

 ARLnow Weekend Discussion Sat, 15 Jun 2019 01:00:54 +0000
It’s Friday and that means it’s time to turn your attention away from primary politics and focus on the weekend ahead. On Tuesday, incumbent prosecutor Theo Stamos lost her bid...

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to turn your attention away from primary politics and focus on the weekend ahead.

On Tuesday, incumbent prosecutor Theo Stamos lost her bid for re-election to challenger Parisa Dehghani-Tafti in an upset that some experts say is unprecedented in Arlington. And on the national election stage, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visited Arlington for a private fundraising event.

Now that that’s over, it’s time for the Columbia Pike Blues Festival and the Arlington County Board’s next meeting this Saturday about a development some hope will help a historic cemetery.

Here are a few other stories from this week you might have missed during the election whirlwind:

What was your favorite story this week? And how are you going to enjoy the sun this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.