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.

It is important to obtain legal advice prior to meeting with security clearance investigators when potential security clearance problems are anticipated.

When individuals have difficulties in the security clearance process or anticipate future problems, the best advice that can be given is to prepare in advance for the meeting. Preparation for the first security clearance meeting can make the difference between a government contractor/federal employee successfully obtaining/retaining a security clearance or being denied one.

Preparing for the Initial Security Clearance Investigator Meeting

One of the most important considerations in meeting with a security clearance investigator for the first time is to adequately prepare for the meeting, especially where there may be potential disqualifying security concerns. We find that most government contractors and federal employees have a general sense of potential security concerns that could arise at the time that they begin to review or complete their e-QIP/SF-86 submissions.

In the most common scenario, an individual is usually alerted to potential problems that may require preparation for the clearance process when they find that they may have to answer “yes” to a certain question and then provide formal disclosures to an uncomfortable question, such as the use of drugs or past financial debts. When these types of issues are anticipated, then one should seek counsel and prepare in advance of a meeting with a security clearance investigator.

Review Relevant Documentation

If a potential security concern exists, it is important to gather as much information and documentation one has on the issue of concern in preparation for the interview.  Such information, if useful, can be provided to security clearance investigators at the start.  At other times, the information can be useful for later in the clearance process, if needed.

For example, suppose an individual knows that they have a large outstanding debt on their credit report. If so, then that information will certainly be important to review prior to a meeting with a security clearance investigator.

Read More


Real Estate Fresh Finds is a weekly selection of newly-listed properties in the District, brought to you by RLAH Real Estate.

Featured Property of the Week: 3920 New Hampshire Ave NW

“Introducing a charming row home nestled in the desirable PETWORTH NEIGHBORHOOD of NW Washington, D.C. This elegant residence offers a perfect blend of classic architectural design and modern amenities, providing an ideal urban retreat for those seeking comfort, convenience, and style. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a warm and inviting living space adorned with hardwood floors, creating a seamless flow throughout the home. The open-concept layout effortlessly combines the living, dining, and kitchen areas, perfect for both relaxing evenings and entertaining guests. Venture upstairs to discover three generously sized bedrooms, each providing a peaceful sanctuary to unwind after a long day. A shared full bathroom with modern fixtures and finishes completes the upper level. The lower level can be used as a lovely private suite with a full bath, and both interior and exterior access. This row home also features the highly sought-after convenience of a dedicated parking space, ensuring that you can easily come and go without the hassle of searching for street parking. In a city where parking is a premium, this is a true luxury. This home offers proximity to an array of amenities, including trendy shops, restaurants, parks, and entertainment options. Commuting is a breeze with easy access to public transportation to navigate the city with ease. Don’t miss the opportunity to make this beautiful row home your own!”

Other Notable Fresh Listings:

  • The Most Expensive Home of the Week is a 5 BR/3 FB/2 HB detached “Historic Wardman” Federal-style brick home in Kalorama with 5,100+ total square feet spread across 4 levels and features 2 fireplaces, numerous built-ins, a bevy of unique wallpaper throughout, 2 levels of terraces and a theatre room — all for $4.2M.
  • Semi-detached [3 BR/2.5 BA] charmer in the heart of Riggs Park. Recently painted throughout and refinished hardwood floors on the top two levels. Fully finished basement. Primary bathroom has its own bathroom and great Closet space. There are two additional bedrooms and each has ample closet space.”
  • “Gorgeous Glover Park end unit rowhome featuring 2 bed and 2 full-baths with a den! Beautiful, solid hardwood maple flooring grace an open floor plan with abundant window light. Living room and dining room open to a wood burning fireplace.”
  • Your REO/Bank-Owned Property of the Week is a “rarely available [4 BR/4.5 BA] three-level townhome in Foggy Bottom just blocks from the GW campus.”

Open Streets is coming to 12th Street NE this Sunday June 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

All ages are invited for a day of family friendly activities as we close over a mile of 12th Street NE to cars and open it up to people! Join the live performances by Crush Funk BandPhaze II Jazz Band and local DJ’s such as, John Murph, SHAVUNN xx and Adrian Loving. Plus, an array of outdoor fitness activities hosted by Competitive By NatureES Fit, Kangoo Bounce by Jamz Fitt, visit City Swing to participate in a fun golf simulation and so much more!

Open Streets 12th Street NE also offers bike tune-up clinics from Washington Area Bike Association and Open Streets Sponsor Capital Bikeshare, plus FREE helmets, swag, scooter and bike lessons plus rides from Open Streets sponsors LIME and LYFT.

Get active and dive into one of the many FREE wellness, yoga and fitness classes and presentations in the Open Streets Fitness Zones:

Fitness Zone at Randolph Street

  • Kids on the Move (Modern Dance Class)
  • Capoeira DC (Capoeira lessons)
  • ES Fit (function fit class)

Fitness Zone at Newton Street

  • Dancing Divas DC (Zumba class)
  • Competitive by Nature (HIIT Fit class)
  • ASA! Fit (African dance fitness class)
  • JamzFit (Kangoo Bounce)

Yoga Zone at Irving Street

  • BlueBird Sky (sound bowl and breathe meditation)
  • Kimmie K Hoop (hoop fitness)
  • Rumble Boxing (shadow boxing/HIIT Training)

Open Streets helps inspire people to think differently about their streets by encouraging physical activity, creating recreational opportunities, fostering community building, and education to demonstrate the District’s commitment to multimodal transportation. Visit the link for a full map of activities.

Follow @ddotdc for updates!

When you think about hiring a cleaning company, you might grimace. The average cleaning company doesn’t have the best reputation. The industry is known for pushing cleaners to work long hours for little pay.

But Well-Paid Maids isn’t your average cleaning company.

Here’s why:

  1. Well-Paid Maids pays cleaners fair, living wages starting at $23/hour. And the company routinely increases that number to keep up with the high cost of living. The median hourly wage for cleaners in the D.C. area is $17.03.
  2. Well-Paid Maids cleaners are W-2 employees. That means they get access to benefits like paid family and medical leave, workers’ comp and more. The average cleaning company misclassifies cleaners as contractors, which denies them access to these benefits.
  3. Well-Paid Maids gives cleaners a card to pay for commuting costs and supplies. The average cleaning company makes cleaners pay for their own transportation and supplies.
  4. Well-Paid Maids uses green cleaning products to ensure employees’ safety — and your own. The average cleaning company opts for harsh chemicals, which can be hazardous.
  5. Well-Paid Maids believes in giving cleaners flexibility — so much so the founder met with the U.S. Department of Labor to discuss the importance of workplace flexibility. The average cleaning company wants cleaners to complete as many jobs as possible to boost its bottom line.

Want to see the difference for yourself? Well-Paid Maids makes it easy to book your home cleaning online!


A new retail and community space for hobby crafters is coming to Northwest D.C. — Merry Pin.

Merry Pin will be a space where hobby crafters of all ages and experience levels can buy supplies, learn, and craft together with friends and neighbors. To bring the space to Ward 4, Merry Pin is raising funds on Kickstarter and needs your support!

The three co-owners behind the project — Megan Flynn, Madeleine Odendahl, and Michele Molotsky — are all avid hobby crafters themselves and noticed that D.C. lacked local options for hobby crafters to get supplies and to meet up in-person to craft together.

“While there are a few craft-related stores in D.C., they are all very specialized — like yarn stores or high-end art supplies,” says Madeleine. “And there aren’t really any spaces where people can gather to work on their crafts together without being afraid to make a mess.”

Merry Pin will feature a mix of high end, affordable, and upcycled/consigned products; crafting workshops and experiences; equipment, like sewing and cricut machines, that you can rent on-site; and snacks and beverages to bring people together.

Read More

It’s a 3-day holiday weekend in the spring… which almost always means a dip in the available open houses and it’s no different this time around with only 165 opens scheduled in the District. This might not be the biggest weekend to go house-hunting, but if you are still on your homebuying search, this might be a good weekend to beat the regular crowds. Check out our suggested open houses below and to see the complete Open House List, click here.

  • 1832 Biltmore Street NW #42 — $400,000 — Adams Morgan
    Open Sun. 1-3 p.m. — Joe Himali
    “Located in the heart of Kalorama, unit #42 at 1832 Biltmore is a delightful top-level 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment that offers a plethora of appealing features. Upon entering, soaring 9-foot ceilings await, creating an open and airy ambiance, while gleaming pine hardwood floors span the entire unit, adding a touch of elegance. The apartment’s layout is well-designed, with a spacious foyer that serves as an entry point, effectively separating the main living area from the bedroom. The living area is spacious and bright, providing an open living and dining area. The fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops is open to the living area through a passthrough. Ample cabinet space allows for efficient storage, and custom shelving adds a personalized touch. Additionally, a large pantry provides even more storage capacity. The bedroom is a cozy retreat, featuring a lovely bay window and a sizeable wardrobe area separates the bedroom from the bathroom, providing a dedicated space for organizing and storing clothing and personal items. The unit is equipped with central air conditioning, ensuring optimal comfort throughout the year. Additionally, an in-unit washer and dryer add the ultimate convenience. This charming apartment seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern conveniences, as it has been thoughtfully renovated to incorporate the best of both worlds. The classic design elements and architectural details evoke a sense of nostalgia, while the updated amenities offer contemporary comfort and functionality. The location of this unit is second to none, in the lively neighborhood of Kalorama, with a walk score of 98, indicating that all of your daily errands can be accomplished on foot. This convenience allows for easy access to nearby amenities, such as the Metro, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, and more, making it an ideal place to call home.”
  • 1000 New Jersey Avenue SE #1121 — $310,000 — Navy Yard
    Open Sun. 1-3 p.m. — Mandy & Tim Hursen Jr.
    “Experience luxurious living in the heart of Navy Yard with this stunning Jr 1 BR — larger than many one bedrooms! With a true price of just $196,500, this home is an incredible investment opportunity that you won’t want to miss. This sunny southern-facing unit features high ceilings and wood floors throughout, with a spacious open kitchen that boasts granite counters and stainless steel appliances.”
  • 424 R Street NW #B — $1,799,000 — Shaw
    Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4 p.m. — Isabella Schnider
    “STUNNING BRAND NEW CONSTRUCTION! 424 R St NW B, one of the most sought-after floor plans at The Collection, features 3-BR, 3.5-BA across over 2,200 SF on three carefully crafted levels. The stunning exterior features the largest outdoor space that The Collection has to offer, a beautifully landscaped and fenced-in yard stretching all the way to the corner of New Jersey Avenue & R Street, as well as a dedicated, secure parking space!”
  • 45 Sutton Square SW #1117 — $800,000 — Southwest Waterfront
    Open Sat. 1-3 p.m. — Ricardo Rozada
    “Premiere D.C. living at the VIO on the District Wharf! Great 2/1 BA unit with 1 parking space. You’ll enjoy entertaining in the open concept living area featuring Porcelanosa cabinets, Quartz Countertops, Stainless Steel Thermadore appliances and Gas cooking!”
  • 1351 Franklin Street NE — $865,000 — Brookland
    Open Sat. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Carlos Garcia
    “Corner lot farmhouse bursting with charm in Brookland! This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home beautifully blends modern style and updates with preserved original details, and includes tons of great features. Stunning period double-sided staircase and heart pine floors. Great flow on the main level with separate living/dining rooms, gorgeous gourmet kitchen with gas range, marble countertops and stainless steel appliances, plus an additional sunroom with tons of natural light, perfect for additional lounge space, home office or playroom.”
  • 47 49th Street SE — $522,000 — Marshall Heights
    Open Sat. 1-3 p.m. — Troy Patterson & Eric Nicholson
    “This affordable housing community has limited availability and features twenty-eight 3 bedroom and 2.5 bath homes with parking. This development is within walking distance to the Benning Road Metro, and easy access to Downtown D.C., and will be able to take advantage of the coming RFK Stadium Campus.”

Sunday, June 4 at 4 p.m.
Church of the Resurrection: 3315 Greencastle Rd. Burtonsville, MD  20866

Conductor David Chan and soprano Hera Hyesang Park join The Apollo Orchestra to bring selections from operas by Rossini, Mozart, and Mascagni to life in a free concert presented on June 4.

The full program will also feature Mozart’s Overture to “The Magic Flute,” Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished,” and Mendelssohn’s Overture to “Midsummer Nights Dream.”

From opera to orchestral and everything in between, this free program features something for everyone! Advanced reservations highly recommended, limited number of walk-ins available.

Reserve your free ticket today!

To learn more about The Apollo Orchestra and our upcoming performances, check out our website at

All Apollo Orchestra concerts are made possible by the vision and generosity of the Downing Family Foundation.

Did you know the District of Columbia offers Utility Discount Programs to help residents pay their gas, water, electric and telephone utility bills?

Eligible Washington Gas customers in the District may qualify for a discount on a portion of the natural gas they use during the winter heating season from November to April. To participate, District residents must use natural gas as the primary heating source. Eligible customers will receive an approximate 46% discount on the total bill.

Eligible residential DC Water customers in the District may qualify for a discount of up to 400 cubic feet (4ccf or approx. 3,000 gallons) of water and sewer services used each month.

Eligible households will receive an additional credit of fifty percent (50%) off of the monthly Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) bill. Potential discount could be over $500.00 annually.

Eligible Pepco customers in the District may qualify for the Residential Aid Credit (RAC). This credit provides a discount on Pepco’s delivery charges and taxes. Potential savings of $300-475 annually.

For eligibility and to apply for these programs, visit or call 311.

Economy II Service, also known as “Voice Lifeline” is an assistance program offered by Verizon. It offers discounted at home local telephone service to qualified D.C. customers. Voice Lifeline Service is available for $3.00 per month to customers under 65 years of age, and $1.00 for seniors 65 years of age and older.

To obtain a Lifeline application, visit or call 1-800-234-9473.

For those looking to get a start on summer sooner, Brookland Grove is opening the door to opportunity with brand-new, quick move-in townhomes, with all the energy of a beloved D.C. neighborhood.

Tri Pointe Homes is offering a brand-new community of urban, 3-4 level townhomes with garages and rooftop terraces.

Brookland Grove’s new and sizable three- and four-level townhomes put homeowners in the midst of Brookland’s mix of conveniences, from shops and dining to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and entertainment. That connection expands its horizons beyond Brookland via the Red Line at Metro’s Brookland-CUA Station. All of D.C.’s employment and entertainment hotspots, from downtown D.C., Navy Yard, NOMA, and the H Street Corridor become a natural extension.

“Brookland Grove is giving Washingtonians a brand-new reason to love their city, with luxury townhomes set amongst a vibrant and energetic urban D.C. neighborhood,” says Stephanie Orton Lynch, Vice President of Community Experience at Tri Pointe Homes. “You’re always among the energy of Brookland and never more than moments from Metro, your favorite restaurants and entertainment venues, to anywhere you need to be in the Nation’s Capital.”

Read More

Real Estate Fresh Finds is a weekly selection of newly-listed properties in the District, brought to you by RLAH Real Estate.

Featured Property of the Week: 3129 Warder Street NW

Gorgeous 4 BR/3.5 BA Columbia Heights interior rowhome is a “2017 top-to-bottom renovation” with a “beautiful kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances, endless quartz counters, a breakfast bar with pendant lighting, 42-inch white shaker cabinets, and a designer backsplash. The spacious living area boasts a grand open design with tray ceiling and recessed lighting. The newly installed (2023) Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring graces the main level, adding elegance and durability to your living space. Fully finished lower level with a true, legal bedroom and full bath. Triple pane windows in the primary bedroom provide exceptional sound insulation. Fios high-speed internet and energy-efficient new LED lighting throughout the house. Rebuilt and reinforced retaining wall in front of the house. A large rear deck with privacy curtains ensures an intimate and secluded atmosphere. Lastly — you have the convenience of off street parking. Warder is a quiet one-way street that has undergone a remarkable transformation with added parking spaces and a dedicated bike lane. Only 10 minutes away from Petworth Metro and Safeway and steps away from the Georgia Avenue corridor. Be sure to check out the exciting plans for the McMillan Development and the vibrant future that this area will offer.”

Other Notable Fresh Listings:

  • The Most Expensive Home of the Week is a 5 BR/5 FB/3 HB contemporary “modern masterpiece” in Palisades with nearly 8k total square feet of luxurious touches including a custom Italian staircase, a 2-car garage, a roof with a 100-year lifespan, a safe room, wine cellar, game room, media room and a “black bottom ionized pool” with LED lighting — all for just under $6M.
  • “This [2 BR/1 BA] contemporary DC condo, with a Walk Score of 89, is an urban dweller’s paradise” in Trinidad with abundant storage space, high ceilings, large windows, and even surround sound speakers.
  • “Welcome to this exquisite, sun-drenched [Petworth] row home that has undergone a stunning renovation, creating a captivating space for you to call your own. With 4 spacious bedrooms and 3.5 luxurious baths, this home is thoughtfully designed for both comfort and entertainment.”
  •  Your REO/Bank-Owned Property of the Week is a 3 BR/2 BA top-floor Barry Farms corner unit condo with a fireplace, private balcony, fresh paint, new carpet, and an updated kitchen.

Subscribe to our mailing list