(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) A rock fight disrupted a warm Saturday afternoon for two Vienna households last week, though who exactly was throwing the rocks is a matter of some dispute.
A resident in the 100 block of Patrick Street SE reported to police on May 20 that, around 5 p.m., a man threw rocks at his juvenile son, who was playing outside, according to the Vienna Police Department’s weekly recap for May 19-25.
“An officer spoke to the man who advised he was sitting on his balcony when a group of juveniles began throwing rocks at him, cursing, and calling him racial slurs,” the VPD said in its report.
The man denied throwing any rocks, telling the officer that “he took the rocks and placed them on a toy in front of the apartment the juveniles ran to.”
No injuries were reported, but the police explained the warrant process to both parties in case they decide to pursue charges.
In a separate incident, police arrested a 21-year-old man from Woodbridge who backed into an officer’s cruiser when he was pulled over for reckless driving at the intersection of Maple Avenue and East Street SE on May 21.
According to the recap, the officer initiated the traffic stop at 2:52 a.m. The driver pulled over to the side of the road and hit the police cruiser when he started to back up.
“Upon the officer’s interaction with the man, he detected signs of impairment,” police said. “The driver failed to complete a series of field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest.”
The man was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and charged with driving while intoxicated.
Other “highlights” from the past week include a report of Cedar Lane School student harassing a classmate and hitting a school bus driver, along with an apparent road rage incident:
Cedar Lane School
101 Cedar Lane, SW
May 23 7:45 a.m.
On May 24, the school administration reported a juvenile assaulted their school bus driver on May 23. The juvenile began harassing another student and, when the bus driver tried to intercede, the juvenile began striking him.
Arrest – Destruction of Property 23-004600
Lawyers Road and Malcolm Road, NW
May 24 3:10 p.m.
A citizen was traveling northbound on Lawyers Road when he observed another vehicle driving erratically. When the citizen honked his horn at the other driver, the man cut his vehicle off. As they reached the stop sign at Lawyers and Malcolm, the other driver got out of his vehicle with a baseball bat and proceeded to hit the citizen’s side-view mirror, breaking it off. The man then fled the area.
Police identified the driver as a 23-year-old man and served a summons charging him with property destruction at his home on Laurel Ridge Road.
One candidate in the crowded primary contest for Mason District supervisor has snagged the support of one of Hollywood’s most high-profile and persistent activists.
Actor Jane Fonda, who’s known as much for her environmental and anti-Vietnam War protests as her work in classic movies like “Klute” and “9 to 5,” has endorsed Fairfax County Planning Commissioner Andres Jimenez through her climate-focused political action committee.
In her announcement yesterday (Thursday), Fonda highlights Jimenez’s past work as a director of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nonprofit advocacy organization, and as head of Green 2.0, a campaign to ensure people of color are represented in environmental groups.
“He has worked tirelessly to educate the public about the devastating impact of climate change,” Fonda said. “When elected, he will bring this experience to Fairfax County, where he will fight to increase solar tree canopies and [electric vehicle] charging platforms, moving the large region away from reliance on fossil fuels. I am proud to endorse him.”
Please join us in supporting @andresforchange for Fairfax County Mason District Supervisor!
Make a plan to vote if you’re eligible, and please support the campaign & the @JaneFonda Climate PAC today at https://t.co/JTHdRTvzeH pic.twitter.com/IUwnbj0KlM
— Jane Fonda Climate PAC (@janeclimatepac) May 25, 2023
Jimenez is vying against three other candidates for the Democratic nomination to succeed longtime Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, who will retire at the end of this year.
Also campaigning are Jeremy Allen, a constituent services staffer for Rep. Don Beyer; restauranteur and Korean Community Center Director Steve Lee; and Reid Voss, a real estate agent and member of the Lake Barcroft Association board.
While Jimenez might’ve scored the splashiest endorsement in the race, he’s only second when it comes to fundraising, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Voss led the pack with $83,148 raised, as of March 31, the end of the first quarter for campaign finance reporting.
Fonda isn’t the only celebrity to weigh in on this year’s local elections. Singer John Legend, who will perform at Wolf Trap National Park on June 2 and 3, recorded a robocall earlier this month endorsing incumbent Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.
Descano is locked in a heated primary battle with former prosecutor-turned-defense-attorney Ed Nuttall, whose supporters include Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34).
Legend said Descano “has enacted smarter pretrial detention and several diversion policies to improve community safety.” The “Glory” Oscar winner has also endorsed Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who was elected in 2019 on similar promises of criminal justice reform.
The Democratic primary will be held on June 20, though early voting has been underway since May 5. Other races on the ballet include Board of Supervisors chair, sheriff, Mount Vernon, Dranesville and Springfield district supervisors, and several General Assembly seats.
A union representing Maximus call center workers filed unfair labor practices charges against the Tysons-headquartered contractor this week.
In charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 23 and 24), the Communications Workers of America alleges that the government services company, which operates call centers for Medicaid and Medicare, has retaliated against employees and illegally tried to discourage them from unionizing.
The CWA says it filed the complaints because Maximus is laying off more than 700 call center workers this month who handle customer service for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
At a protest organized by Call Center Workers United, which is part of the CWA, a worker who handled calls for the CDC for three years said yesterday (Thursday) that he was laid off two days before Mother’s Day despite having a “great performance record with no discipline.”
“I believe the real reason I was laid off was in retaliation for speaking out about Maximus’ working conditions, and to scare my co-workers from supporting a union. But we have a right to speak out and tell the truth, and to organize to improve our working conditions,” Daija Arrington said at the rally in D.C. outside the Department of Health and Human Services, which operates both CMS and the CDC.
The layoffs are happening less than 2 months before Maximus usually starts its annual recruitment blitz
in July🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZtUCGQGQmd
— Call Center Workers United (@CCWUnited) May 23, 2023
According to the charge sheet, Maximus violated federal labor laws in April and May by retaliating against employees involved in union activities by laying them off, threatening them with layoffs or worksite closures and offering severance agreements with conditions limiting their ability to talk about their experiences with the company.
The CWA also alleges that Maximus made “implied promises of benefits” to employees and forced them to attend a meeting to discourage them from unionizing.
Though the charge is tied to a call center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which has served as an organizing base for the union, the recent layoffs have affected employees across the company’s 10 centers, most of which are in the South, according to the CWA.
Another 143 workers at the Hattiesburg call center were reportedly laid off in January.
When contacted for comment by FFXnow, Maximus said that “the allegations were just made available to us,” but it is “confident that the company complied with all applicable labor requirements.”
“Given the lack of specific detail, including dates of alleged occurrence and names of workers, we are unable to respond directly to the allegations,” Maximus said in a statement. “We pride ourselves in complying with applicable labor laws across all our operations and will cooperate fully with any request from the National Labor Relations Board.” Read More
The Water Mine and Other Parks Open for Summer — “Get ready to have fun in the sun with Fairfax County Park Authority this summer! May 27 is opening day for a wide variety of entertaining activities for families, friends and entire communities to enjoy at our local parks. From award-winning water features and waterfront parks to mini golf and amusements, there is something for everyone.” [FCPA]
FCPD Chief Says Force “Appropriate” in Fatal Penn Daw Shooting — “Officials released body-camera footage and other video Thursday showing a chaotic confrontation in which Fairfax County police fatally shot a man who tried to grab an officer’s gun…Chief Kevin Davis described the use of force as ‘more than appropriate.’ He said it was unclear which officer fired the fatal shot.” [The Washington Post]
Silver Line Phase 2 Hits New Ridership Milestone — “Good news: [On Wednesday] @wmata had its 500k customer trip at @Dulles_Airport Silver Line Station and we have now served 1.5m customers on the extension since opening in Nov! #yourmetro is the best way to [fly] on Memorial Day weekend.” [WMATA GM/Twitter]
Health Department Moves to Support Young Parents — “The Fairfax County Health Department is launching a new program to improve the health, educational, and socioeconomic outcomes for local expectant teen and young adult parents.” Open to soon-to-be parents aged 14-25, “Stable Families, Thriving Futures” will assist with financial planning, employment, health literacy and other services. [FCHD]
Modest Clothing Store Plans Tysons Expansion — Ayna Modest Boutique, a boutique that offers modest clothing with a specialty in hijabs and abayas for Muslim women, is expanding from Potomac Mills in Woodbridge with “a second, larger store in Tysons Corner Center, perhaps by mid-July.” Founder Fariba Sharifi says as much as 40% of her clientele come from Tysons. [Washington Business Journal]
FCPS Tests Salad Bars at Middle and High Schools — Fairfax County Public Schools has been piloting salad bars at South County High School in Lorton, Mark Twain Middle School in Rose Hill and John R. Lewis High School in Springfield this week. After adding salad bars at all 141 elementary schools, FCPS “wants to determine what the best arrangement will be for salad bars in middle and high schools.” [On the MoVe]
Lincolnia Ice Cream Shop Owner Honored — “When you go to Jake’s Ice Cream in Barcroft Plaza, many of the employees making the ice cream in house and serving customers will be people with disabilities…On Wednesday, [owner Robin] Rinearson received the Eleanor Sue Finkelstein Inclusion & Disabilities Award from the Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.” [Patch]
Bee Hive Creates Buzz on The Boro Rooftop — “Saturday is World Bee Day. Many may not know there is something buzzworthy happening on DMV rooftops where thousands of honeybees live. At the Boro, a rooftop in Tysons, there are 40,000 bees being managed by Alveole. ‘These are pretty chill bees,’ said Jordan Freeman.” [ABC7]
It’s Friday — Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Northeast wind 5 to 9 mph. At night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Northeast wind 5 to 7 mph. [Weather.gov]
Fairfax County’s parking lots and streetscapes could look a little greener.
At a land use policy committee meeting on May 16, planning staff proposed a new update to the county’s landscaping and screening ordinance — the first major change in 40 years — that would make developers add more green landscaping to more parking lots and street frontages.
For parking lots, the current ordinance requires trees to be installed at any surface parking lot with 20 spaces or more. The new ordinance could expand that requirement to any lot with 10 parking spaces and increase the amount of tree coverage from 5% to 10%.
New parking garages, meanwhile, would be required to have 10% of their top decks covered with shade, although utilizing solar canopies could lead to a reduction in that percentage.
The ordinance also introduces “street frontage landscaping” — requiring developers to provide trees on private property provided they’re along private or public streets, not internal drive aisles. Single-family dwellings would be exempted.
One small but meaningful change would also adjust the types of trees seen in these green spaces, as it turns out Fairfax County’s previous specifications weren’t evergreen.
“When it comes to transitional screening a lot of waivers are applied for to use existing vegetation because they have to have 70% evergreens and that’s not common in Fairfax County,” Sara Morgan, a planner with the Department of Planning and Zoning, said. “This allows us to review [developments] on a case by case basis as we want to further encourage the use of existing vegetation, allowing you to have a mix that is different than [the ordinance] today if you retain existing vegetation.”
Similar to the zMOD update approved in 2021 — then reversed and reinstated earlier this year — county leadership said the landscaping and screening ordinance update is a good step forward on fixing some outdated code.
“It’s been 40 years since we updated these,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I think this is overall very, very good.”
The board approved new tree canopy standards earlier this year with the hope of encouraging private developers to plant more street trees in the public right-of-way.
Reston Town Square Park (11900 Market Street) and Reston Station (1901 Reston Metro Plaza) will soon come to life with summer entertainment organized by the Reston Community Center.
RCC has organized six series this year, varying from jazz ensembles to family picnics. Some events will feature pop-up treats in other neighborhoods.
“Reston knows it’s summer when the sounds of great music can be heard in our beautiful plazas,” RCC Board Chair Beverly Cosham said. “RCC brings people together to dance, socialize, visit an outdoor restaurant, or share a picnic basket. It’s a Reston tradition we keep expanding and look forward to every year.”
The first concert — a jazz show from singer Darden Purcell — will usher in Memorial Day weekend at Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Friday).
A complete breakdown of the events is available below:
Take a Break
Thursdays, June 1 – August 31
Beginning with Don’t Back Down, a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band, the Take a Break concerts fill the plaza atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. Other performers include Texas Chainsaw Horns, Loudoun Jazz Ensemble, Scott Kurt and Memphis 59. For the full schedule click here: Take a Break Concerts at Reston Community Center. Concerts are presented by RCC in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc., and are hosted by Reston Station.
Darden Purcell and Friends
Fridays, May 26 – October 13
Reston Town Square Park
Jazz vocalist and series curator Darden Purcell brings her group to open the summer series of “Darden & Friends” in Reston Town Square Park. This concert will feature exciting new arrangements of Great American Songbook repertoire and jazz standards.
June 2 – September 1
Kick off the weekend with Fab Fridays featuring the U.S. Army Blues Big Band, festive rhythms from Dogo from Togo, merengue with Latin pop band Ocho de Bastos and many more. See the full concert schedule here: RCC Fab Friday Concerts. Three hours of free parking are available in the ParkX garage with validation. Concerts are presented by RCC in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc., and are hosted by Reston Station.
Family Fun Entertainment
Saturdays, June 17 – August 5
Reston Town Square Park
Bring the kids for magic, comedy, puppets, music and lots of laughs. Family Fun begins on June 17 with Guava Jelly. Other shows include Rocknoceros, Lohr Family Antics, The Uncle Devin Show and Turley the Magician. Family Fun Entertainment is presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. Reston Town Center garages offer free parking on Saturdays.
Sunday Art in the Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory
Sundays, June 11 – August 27
Reston Town Square Park
Wind down your weekend with classical, jazz and cabaret-style music provided by faculty and students from Shenandoah University’s acclaimed music conservatory. The series starts June 11 with Ellington Caravan paying tribute to Duke Ellington. This series will run through August 27. Visit Sunday Art in the Park for the complete schedule. Reston Town Center garage parking is free on Sundays. Sunday Art in the Park is presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with Shenandoah University.
Family Picnic Days
Saturday August 5 – Temporary Road Pavilion
Saturday, August 12 – Pony Barn Picnic Pavilion
Saturday, August 19 – North Hills Picnic Pavilion
Bring a picnic, your family and friends to Family Picnic Day. Play family-friendly lawn games, enjoy local performers and have some fun! Family Picnic Days are presented by Reston Community Center and Reston Association.
For a weekend, McLean’s up-and-coming soccer players got to learn from some of the best women to ever play the game.
Olympic gold medalists Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini all spent last weekend (May 20-21) at Spring Hill District Park teaching a camp for kids and teens.
More than 150 players registered for the TeamFirst Soccer Academy Camp, according to McLean Youth Soccer (MYS), which hosted the event.
“Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini continue to serve as an inspiration for young players and have maintained an active presence within the soccer community as well as provide a positive example for all youth aspiring to play the game they love,” MYS Executive Director Louise Waxler said. “MYS is honored to have been given the opportunity to have our players train with these legends in the game.”
Still reminiscing over an amazing weekend hosting TeamFirst Soccer Academy⚽️ Thank you to legends @MiaHamm @KristineLilly and Tisha Venturini for giving a special experience to our players!
📸 https://t.co/xK6H1GUCof#mcleansoccer🟢⚪️ pic.twitter.com/L5I5luRSHD
— McLean Youth Soccer (@mcleansoccer) May 24, 2023
For Hamm, the camp represented a kind of homecoming to the D.C. area, Waxler noted.
Prior to retiring in 2004, when she held the record for most international goals scored until 2013, Hamm played for the D.C.-based Washington Freedom from 2001-2003 as a founding player of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), the country’s first professional soccer league for women.
She and Lilly were both on the U.S. national team that won the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. They repeated in 1999, when Venturini was also on the team. All three women won gold medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, with Hamm and Lilly winning again in Athens, Greece, in 2004.
Friends since their days playing at the University of North Carolina, Hamm, Lilly and Venturini partnered in 2010 to launch TeamFirst with the goal of developing young players in an environment that encourages discipline and teamwork.
Last weekend’s camp in McLean was open to male and female players aged 6-17. Participants got a Nike t-shirt, Nike soccer ball, and autographed player card.
McLean Youth Soccer has over 3,000 players on more than 200 recreational teams and 70 travel teams. The nonprofit organization is currently working with the Fairfax County Park Authority to potentially install permanent restrooms at Lewinsville Park, one of several local fields that it regularly uses.
Fairfax County staff have released their final word on a draft version of the Reston Comprehensive Plan, a guiding document for holistic community planning that was last updated in 2015.
Released yesterday (Wednesday), the staff report shortens and tweaks the first version of the plan, which was developed by a Reston Comprehensive Plan task force, a 31-member group convened by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn in 2020.
In response to concerns raised by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, staff’s recommendations for the plan tighten prescriptive policy language in the first proposal and condense several separate sections into one chapter on planning for the new town of Reston.
“This chapter of the proposed plan does not break new policy ground, nor is it prescriptive,” the report states.
In the report, staff noted that their version of the plan aims to maintain the existing residential densities in Reston’s village centers, removing the option of housing in non-residential portions. Any changes would require another amendment to the plan.
The proposal also aims to preserve existing market and affordable housing in Reston — although that language is an encouragement, rather than a mandate.
The idea of biophilia — a designation given to communities that protect and cultivate nature while creating deep connections with the natural world — is also emphasized in future planning and development in Reston.
As alluded to during previous discussions in April, the latest plan includes a chapter called “Planning a New Town” that combines the principles of equity, community health and economic development under an umbrella chapter instead of separate ones.
“I am looking forward to reviewing the staff report to ensure that it includes the essence of goals from that Board Matter three years ago. Last updated in 2015, the Reston Comprehensive Plan is the guiding document for land use and development decisions in Reston,” Alcorn wrote in his weekly newsletter to constituents.
The task force’s initial version drew consternation from the board, which saw it as overtly prescriptive and an overstep of what the county can require by law. The board also worried it would set a precedent of establishing separate principles of community health and equity for one community within the county.
The staff’s version of the report also departs from the task force’s version on several key points.
The task force sought to remove an exemption in the plan that removed ground-level retail located in office, hotel and residential buildings from calculations when determining how much a developer should pay into the county’s housing trust fund. Read More
Four people have been arrested and charged in the death of a woman who was found, possibly shot, in the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital parking lot on April 13.
Detectives have determined that Brenda Ochoa Guerrero, 33, of Alexandria died at a house in the 2500 block of Fairhaven Avenue in Huntington, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
She was then driven to the hospital at 8033 Holland Road, where a community member found her unconscious in the passenger seat of a vehicle with a gunshot wound, police said.
“Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau responded to the scene and immediately began investigating,” the FCPD said. “Detectives located surveillance footage of two men who drove the car to the hospital parking lot and two individuals who were in the SUV that picked them up.”
According to police, an anonymous tip helped detectives identify 43-year-old David Littlefield and 36-year-old Eric Thompson, both from Alexandria, as the men who drove Ochoa Guerrero to the hospital and left her.
Police say they were picked up in a different car by 35-year-old Alexandria resident Eric Rubio and 29-year-old Maryland resident Yuris Pineda Gallegos.
Officers arrested Rubio, Thompson and Littlefield on May 14, according to Fairfax County court records. Gallegos turned herself in at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center yesterday (Wednesday), according to the police.
All four of them have been charged with concealment of a dead body, a Class 6 felony in Virginia.
Rubio and Littlefield remain in custody without bond. However, Pineda Gallegos was released by a magistrate on personal recognizance, and a judge granted Thompson a supervised release on May 18, according to a Fairfax County General District Court clerk.
According to the court, Thompson was assigned a probation officer with whom he has to check in periodically.
A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 17, per court records.
The circumstances around Ochoa Guerrero’s death are still under investigation, the FCPD said.
The McLean Community Center (MCC) has a new governing board after a relatively quiet election cycle.
A total of 1,473 McLean residents voted in the race, which saw Kathleen Cooney-Porter, Katie Gorka and Gloria Marrero Chambers emerge victorious from a slate of five adult candidates.
The preliminary vote totals, tallied by the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area, are as follows:
- Kathleen Cooney-Porter: 1,047 votes
- Gloria Marrero Chambers: 729 votes
- Katie Gorka: 629 votes
- Matt Colsia: 582 votes
- Lincom Thillaichidambaram: 500 votes
- Write-ins: 18 votes
The top vote getter, Cooney-Porter has lived in McLean since 1998 and has worked in intellectual property law for nearly 30 years, including as a senior trademark policy advisor for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“I believe my experience will advance the programs of MCC and increase representation of our diverse community,” she said in a candidate statement. “I enjoy cooking, reading, tennis, walking and spending time with family and friends and our beloved French bulldog.”
In her candidate statement, Chambers highlighted her volunteer work, including serving as board vice president for The Langley School. A McLean resident since 2013, she’s also a past president of the Greater McLean Republican Women’s Club and was appointed in April to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Citizens’ Advisory Council on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion.
“As a member of the MCC Board, I will ensure that programs and events engage every member of our community,” Chambers said in her statement. “I will be a responsible steward of your tax dollars, and I will commit my decades of leadership and board experience to give back to our community.”
A second campaign turned out to be the charm for Gorka, who also sought a MCC governing board seat last year.
A resident of McLean since 2008, Gorka served in Donald Trump’s administration as a senior advisor in the Department of Homeland Security and press secretary for Customs and Border Patrol. She also had stints as a columnist for the right-wing media outlet Breitbart and as a research fellow for the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank.
“My priority is to support the McLean Community Center, which is a treasured community resource; to ensure that it provides programming of interest to all members of the community; and to ensure fiscal responsibility,” Gorka told FFXnow by email. “Organizations that receive taxpayer dollars, as the Community Center does, should use resources responsibly and transparently.”
Gorka didn’t respond to a follow-up asking for her stance on MCC’s stated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, concepts she has criticized as “Marxist-inspired ideology.” During her tenure in the Trump administration, she reportedly pushed anti-Muslim policies and cut grants to address right-wing extremism.
Cooney-Porter and Chambers didn’t return FFXnow’s inquiries about their priorities as new MCC board members. Read More