Pet of the Week: Adorable Archie

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Archie, a male Tibetan Spaniel mix available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about him:

Adorable Archie is a little 3 year old Tibetan spaniel mix and quite exotic.

He is only twenty pounds, so very portable and able to go on all sorts of adventures.

This great little guy is a nice blend of friendliness and affection and will bring his new family lots of joy!

Are you and Archie a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of eight Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Reston Real Estate: Lake Side Cluster

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

I admit I’m partial to Lake Anne neighborhoods — they are beautiful and convenient to all the amenities Reston has to offer.

Lake Side Cluster is a great Reston neighborhood that does not get as much attention as its famous neighbor, Waterview Cluster. And frankly, the community likes it that way. This is a friendly, quiet, unassuming neighborhood.

Lake Side Cluster has everything all of the neighborhoods that border Reston’s Lake Anne share — access to the lake, a quick walk to Lake Anne Village Center, well-designed homes (many of which are direct lakefront).

Lake Side Cluster was built between 1965 and 1969, and comprises 90 lovely two and three level townhouses and patio homes with two to four bedrooms — and garages (which makes them different than most of their Lake Anne neighbors). All homes have lake access via a trail to the cluster dock, even if they are not direct lakefront property.

The Cluster couldn’t be positioned better. It is located on Greenbriar Road and Orchard Lane off Fairway Drive, which is the south shore of Lake Anne. Fairway Drive provides easy access to both North Shore Drive and Wiehle Avenue.

For families with children, the cluster is an easy walk to Lake Anne Elementary.

Children also attend Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. For the parents, Lake Side Cluster is only 1.5 miles to the Reston Station Metro, and a short hop to Reston Town Center and the Toll Road. And, of course, a five minute walk to Lake Anne Village Center — home of the Reston Farmer’s Market, the Brew House and of course the Coffee House & Wine Bar.

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Pet of the Week: Olaf

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Olaf, who is an adult male Great Pyrenees available for adoption locally.

Here’s what his friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about him:

Gorgeous 2 year old Great Pyrenees with that all around magnetic personality. He is just a bundle of joy to be around.

For a pyr, he is on the smaller side — he is about 80 lbs. Olaf is fully vetted, including his microchip, vaccinations, neutered and dewormed.

Olaf prefers dogs his size but is also dog selective, and finds cats to be too tempting. So he will need a home with no smaller dogs or kitties for sure.

Are you and Olaf a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Halloween (Halle)

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Halloween who goes by Halle, a domestic short hair female available for adoption locally.

Here is what her friends at Fancy Cats Rescue Team have to say about her:

Halloween is named for her festive calico coloring. She goes by Halle and is very sweet and cuddly soft. She loves a good brushing or scratch behind the ears when you have a free hand or two.

You can find her in any warm window keeping watch of the neighborhood and alerting folks of visitors. Halle has shown patience for humans and other animals alike. Halle loves a cardboard scratching pad and has great litter box habits and has shown no problems adjusting when she had to move.

She has never been a fan of her doctor’s office though. She has lots of love to give and would make any modern or traditional family complete.

(Note: Fancy Cats & Dogs is having an adoption fair Saturday, Jan. 27 from 12-4 p.m. at the Reston South Lakes Pet Valu in the South Lakes Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Halle a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Reston Real Estate: Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

The past 30 days have seen 72 properties go to settlement. That’s two thirds of the total inventory of houses available for sale.

The housing inventory is so low that more buyers are worried that they won’t find a house to purchase; while it’s not uncommon to see a dip in housing inventory at this time of year numbers, this low are pretty extreme.

Digging into the recent sales I see that 10% of these properties sold above list price with an average days on market of just 4 days — so sold in less than a week for more than list price; sounds like a win/win!

Here are a few of the recent sales.

2401 Ansdel Court
4 BR/2.5 BA
List Price: $399,000
Sold Price: $425,000

 

 

11442 Church Hill Road
2 BR/2 BA
List Price $324,900
Sold Price $330,000

 

 

11756 Great Owl Circle
4 BR/4.5 BA
List Price $565,000
Sold Price $570,000

 

 

11184 Glade Drive
3 BR/2.5 BA
List Price $575,000
Sold Price $593,000

 

 

1945 Roland Park Drive
4 BR/4.5 BA
List Price: $981,375
Sold Price: $981,375

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Pet of the Week: Carter

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Carter, a brown and chocolate tabby kitten available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about him:

Carter is an amazingly affectionate young man. He loves people and loves to sit in laps. He runs to his foster mom when he sees her and loves to follow her around.

He also loves to run around and chase his toys. He will be the perfect companion to the lucky one who adopts him.

He does have to take stool softener daily because he may have a narrowing of part of his intestines, but this does not bother him. He loves his medicines and thinks they are treats.

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Carter a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Twinkle

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Twinkle, a shepherd mix puppy available for adoption locally.

Here is what her friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about her:

Meet darling Twinkle This beautiful little girl is just 11 weeks old and has the sweetest disposition ever!

She’s a shepherd mix who now weighs about 7 or 8 pounds, so she won’t be terribly big when grown, maybe around 40 to 45 pounds, a nice medium size!!!

Twinkle is a happy little baby and just wants to be loved — we think she is going to make a terrific companion to her humans or other canine buddies. Her adoption fee includes her microchip, all age appropriate vaccinations and dewormings.

Are you and Twinkle a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Reston Real Estate: Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

With so few houses on the market, just 141 as of this post, why isn’t it more of a seller’s market? Interest rates are still crazy low, the job market is stable. All indicators seem to point to a market that favors the sellers, and yet it is not. The market is very balanced.

Today’s buyers are informed, methodical and not in a rush. The amount of time buyers spend researching homes online? Countless. Number of homes buyers saw online before engaging a real estate agent? Hundreds. They’ve done their research and are ready.

The median number of weeks buyers spent viewing homes in person was 10 weeks. Once they actually begin looking at homes, they are ready to take action when the right property pops up.

Sellers need to prepare for a little more time on the market with the average days on market sitting at 40. If you really get your place ready to sell and hit the market at the right price you’ll reduce that number considerably.

Here are a few of the recent sales:

11698 Sunrise Square Place
4 BR/4.5 BA
List Price: $963,520
Sold Price: $963,520

 

 

1311 Quail Ridge Drive
5 BR/3.5 BA
List Price: $785,000
Sold Price: $775,000

 

 

11555 Underoak Court
3 BR/2/2 BA
List Price: $359,000
Sold Price: $353,000

 

 

2022 Chadds Ford Drive
3 BR/3.5 BA
List Price: $549,980
Sold Price: $549,980

 

 

12000 Market Street #161
1 BR/1 BA
List Price: $315,000
Sold Price: $315,000

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Legal Insider: Marijuana & Security Clearances Don’t Mix

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, Esq.

There have been at least 10 states that have legalized marijuana over the past 5-10 years. The change in state laws has led to significant confusion by security clearance holders about their ability to use marijuana while holding or seeking a security clearance.

States like Massachusetts or California have legalized marijuana, but marijuana use remains illegal under federal criminal law as a Schedule I drug. The state and federal conflict in laws has caused both confusion and problems for security clearance applicants or holders.

Security Clearance Rules Governing Marijuana Usage

Security clearance holders and applicants frequently run into security clearance problems under Guideline H of the Security Clearance Guidelines (Security Executive Agent Directive 4) because they don’t realize that the use of marijuana, even in a state that has legalized it, remains illegal under federal law.

I believe that these guidelines will be amended in the next 5-7 years to change the use of marijuana from a complete ban to an abuse standard, like with alcohol, but the issue remains a problem today for those in the security clearance world.

Additionally, the type of marijuana which is used makes no difference (e.g. candy form, chocolate, brownie, smoking) under the guidelines. We have seen individuals that have had security clearance problems stemming from eating a single gummy candy which contained the active ingredients of marijuana.

We have defended many security clearance clients who have engaged in the light (or even one-time) usage of marijuana, who have had difficulties in overcoming the presumption that even minor use makes one ineligible to hold or maintain a security clearance. If the usage was a long time ago, this can significantly help mitigate a security concern, but the trickiest situations arise when marijuana usage has occurred within the past year.

The key in such cases is to attempt to mitigate security concerns by showing abstinence, changes in attitude, changes in associations with friends that engage in drug use and counseling, where needed.

Guideline H of the SEAD 4 states that:

The illegal use of controlled substances, to include the misuse of prescription and non-prescription drugs, and the use of other substances that cause physical or mental impairment or are used in a manner inconsistent with their intended purpose can raise questions about an individual’s reliability and trustworthiness, both because such behavior may lead to physical or psychological impairment and because it raises questions about a person’s ability or willingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations. Controlled substance means any “controlled substance” as defined in 21 U.S.C. 802. Substance misuse is the generic term adopted in this guideline to describe any of the behaviors listed above.

Mitigation of Marijuana Use

Certain factors can mitigate security concerns for marijuana usage. These include:

(a) the behavior happened so long ago, was so infrequent, or happened under such circumstances that it is unlikely to recur or does not cast doubt on the individual’s current reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment;

(b) the individual acknowledges his or her drug involvement and substance misuse, provides evidence of actions taken to overcome this problem, and has established a pattern of abstinence, including, but not limited to:

     (1) disassociation from drug-using associates and contacts;
     (2) changing or avoiding the environment where drugs were used; and
     (3) providing a signed statement of intent to abstain from all drug involvement and
substance misuse, acknowledging that any future involvement or misuse is grounds for
revocation of national security eligibility;

(c) abuse of prescription drugs was after a severe or prolonged illness during which these drugs were prescribed, and abuse has since ended; and

(d) satisfactory completion of a prescribed drug treatment program, including, but not limited to, rehabilitation and aftercare requirements, without recurrence of abuse, and a favorable prognosis by a duly qualified medical professional.

How to Approach a Marijuana Use Issue When a Security Clearance is Involved

It is very important not to underestimate the seriousness involved when a security clearance application, investigation or appeal reveals even minor usage of marijuana. Even minor usage of marijuana can cause the loss of a security clearance.

Marijuana usage issues may change in the future as the government likely moves from complete marijuana abstinence to an abuse threshold. In such cases, mitigation and the Whole-person concept are critical to attempting to obtain or retain one’s security clearance.

Conclusion

If you are in need of assistance in the security clearance process, 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.

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Pet of the Week: Buster

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Buster, a domestic short hair kitten available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about him:

Buster is a sweet boy. Full of personality.

He loves affection and is very playful. He loves to chase toys and play with laser lights. He is also found of wrestling with his brother, Baxter.

Buster was about three months old the beginning of September. Come meet this super young man!

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Buster a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Reston Real Estate: The Corridor 2.0

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

I’ve been checking out the new construction that’s popping up along Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. As a long time Restonian it’s a little unnerving to see the crush of development taking place in areas that were previously office parks and light industry enclaves.

The new Pulte Homes project on Michael Faraday felt especially jarring to me. As I stood in a beautifully finished living room I experienced a kind of cognitive dissonance; every previous trip I’d ever made on that end of Sunset Hills Road has been related to dental appointments, trips to the Post Office or picking up to-go meals from China Star.

Now I was looking at an evolving skyline, two blocks away was the striking face of 1900 Reston Station — the Helmut Jahn building; beyond that the cranes are visible for the other mixed use projects that are coming to Sunset Hills.

The Pulte Homes project is the first of many to come along Sunset Hills Road that will create an entirely new Reston neighborhood, one with a much more urban feel to it than any other we’ve seen before.

The Pulte project is called Lofts at Reston Station. It is comprised of 12 two level row house styled condos and 32 one level condos in an elevator building. The one level condos offer 7 floor plans all two bedroom, 2 full bath units ranging from 1,274 sq. ft. to 1,668 sq. ft. The baseline features include 9 ft. ceilings, hardwood floors, granite counters in kitchens and baths and a full range of energy efficient and smart home technologies.

It will be interesting to watch this area develop over the next several years, transforming into a walkable, transit focused and very dense neighborhood. It looks like this neighborhood is on a path to develop into something that will have a core to anchor it — the Metro Plaza.

It will be interesting to watch that plaza evolve as the community settles in around it as residents rather than commuters. It’s not unlike Reston’s early developments, creating the gathering places, adding the residence and then letting it bubble into a neighborhood.

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Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

justlistednew

This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.

Just 12 new properties were listed in Reston this past week. Inventory is painfully low at just 147 active listings. That represents a housing inventory of less than two months.

What is interesting is that houses are sitting on the market longer than one would expect given the very low inventory. The message for sellers — prepare your home for sale and price it competitively!

Here are few of the new homes for sale in Reston:

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Reston Real Estate: Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

It’s been an interesting fall market in Reston. Our housing inventory has been very constrained with fewer than 200 houses on the market — we’re especially tight right now with just 148 active listings on the market.

Even with the constrained inventory property is not selling so fast that you could call it a “Seller’s Market.” The average days on market is a whopping 80 days!

The buyers are out there but they are being very particular and, they aren’t over-paying. Seller’s need to put the time into getting their homes ready for the market and they need to price them competitively.

Here are a few of the recent sales:

11081 Pelham Manor Place
5 BR/3.5 BA
List Price: $1,025,000
Sold Price: $998,000

 
 

11005 Burywood Lane
4 BR/3.5 BA
List Price: $819,000
Sold Price: $800,000

 
 

1609 Greenbriar Court
4 BR/3 BA
List Price: $625,000
Sold Price: $597,000

 
 

11763 North Shore Drive
5BR/3.5 BA
List Price: $579,900
Sold Price: $564,000

 
 

11783 Indian Ridge
3 BR/2.5 BA
List Price: $510,000
Sold Price: $514,500

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Pet of the Week: Diesel

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Diesel, a German Shepherd dog mix available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at NOVA Pets Alive! have to say about him:

Diesel is a goofy shepherd mix who loves to go, go, go!

His favorite things include playing fetch and tug with his rope toy. Going out for a walk is always at the top of his list. And after a day of play and fun, Diesel is ready to curl up with his people nearby to get some sleep.

We’ve got a laundry list of reasons about why he’s the PERFECT pal. For starters, this lovable boy is;

  • A snuggler. Snuggling with nice people and his fuzzy toys is his favorite pastime.
  • A lover! Seriously, this guy loves EVERYONE.
  • An adventurer. Walking, hiking, exploring the great outdoors — Diesel is a great companion for active folks, too!
  • An absolute goofball! This cool guy really likes to play and has a knack for keeping his humans thoroughly entertained. Who needs television when you have a Diesel?

Diesel’s got a lot of love to give, and one adoption application can send him to his forever home today!

Are you and Diesel a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Legal Insider: Rights for Federal Employees in Disciplinary Cases

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, Esq.

More common types of federal agency “adverse actions” (more serious discipline) include removal, demotion, reduction in grade or suspensions of greater than 14 days. Some types of “disciplinary actions” (lessor discipline) include letters of warning, letters of reprimand, oral or written counseling or suspensions of less than 15 days.

Federal Employee Rights in Disciplinary Cases

If a federal employee is issued a proposed disciplinary action, the proposal will normally include a description of the alleged misconduct and the type of charge against the employee (e.g., insubordination, theft, conduct unbecoming, lack of performance, etc.).

Federal employees in adverse action matters (suspensions of 15 days and above, and demotion matters) and in some disciplinary actions (suspensions of any length (usually 14 days and below)) have the following rights: (1) right to an attorney; (2) right to respond to the proposal in writing or orally, and (3) the right to review all of the materials relied upon in the issuance of the Proposal.

We recommend that employees involved in proposed disciplinary or adverse action always request from the agency all of the materials that it is relying upon to propose discipline. Sometimes disciplinary actions will not be drafted properly and reviewing the materials relied upon can help in responding to the discipline.

Present Both a Written and Oral Response

We also usually recommend, in most cases, that a federal employee present both a written response and an oral response to the deciding official (the decision maker on the disciplinary action) in a proposed disciplinary or adverse action.

The oral response portion of a federal employee’s response can be extremely important and usually follows the submission of the written response.

Typically, when we assist federal employees in this regard, we obtain a full statement of facts from the federal employee involved and prepare a full written rebuttal to the allegations. We also contact the deciding official in the personnel action and request an appointment for the oral response.

In these types of cases, we respond to both the merits of the alleged conduct and argue for mitigation under the Douglas Factors. Douglas Factors typically are mitigating reasons as to why a particular disciplinary penalty should be reduced (i.e., based on years of successful performance, no prior disciplinary actions, lack of clarity about the rules at issue and other reasons why a disciplinary penalty should not be so harsh).

Conclusion

If you are in need of assistance in the federal employee discipline process 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.

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