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The Reston location is expected to open in early 2023 (Photo via Wegmans).

A second round of hiring is underway for more 250 part-time positions at the future Wegmans Food Markets in Reston.

The 85,000-square-foot store is located at the Halley Rise mixed-use development at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. Marcie Rivera, a spokesperson for Wegmans, tells FFXnow that an opening date has not yet been determined.

“But we plan to open sometime in early 2023,” Rivera says. Early 2023 has been the target for the project since it began.

An in-person hiring event for all positions is slated to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Reston YMCA (12196 Sunset Hills Road). Applicants should complete an online application in advance of the event.

“We’re looking for applicants who have a passion for food and are eager to make a difference for our customers and the community,” said Reston Store Manager Katie Sullivan. “The ideal candidate also shares our core values of respect, caring, and high standards. If you match these criteria, we can teach you all the other skills you need to thrive in our company.”

The Reston location is the company’s 15th store in the state. It will employ more than 400 people, most of whom are new hires and will be hired locally.

Job openings range from culinary roles to customer service representatives. Hiring for full-time jobs began this spring and continues.

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Morning Notes

People walk by Caffi Field, a football field in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Driver in Fatal Franconia Crash Charged With Manslaughter — Sara Flores, 20, of Lorton was charged with involuntary vehicular manslaughter yesterday morning (Thursday) for a May 12 crash in Franconia where she allegedly drove into a telephone pole, killing a passenger. Police had already obtained a warrant charging Flores with driving under the influence. [FCPD]

Developer Pleads Guilty in Teen’s Death — “The owner of a Virginia construction company that specializes in luxury homes pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 16-year-old boy who was killed while working for his company in 2019. Thomas Digges, of Digges Development Corporation, operated the Fairfax County job site where a trench gave way and buried Spencer Lunde, of McLean, on July 23, 2019.” [NBC4]

Two Displaced by Fair Oaks Townhouse Fire — A fire at a three-story townhouse in the 12000 block of Dorforth Drive on Wednesday (Aug. 10) was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. The fire displaced two residents and resulted in approximately $175,000 in damages. [FCFRD]

One Rescued From Annandale House Fire — “8/11/22 at 1:08 a.m., in 3800 block of Gallows Road. One occupant trapped on 2nd floor was rescued by #FCFRD crews via ladder. Fire contained to basement. No injuries. NO smoke alarms found in home! Cause: improperly discarded smoking material. Damages $16K.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

County Names New Planning and Development Director — Fairfax County has appointed Tracy Strunk as director of its Department of Planning and Development, where she succeeds Barbara Byron, who retired earlier this year. Strunk’s career for the county goes back to 1998 and includes work as a planner and a member of the team that helped develop the Tysons Comprehensive Plan. [Fairfax County Government]

Fairfax County Public Schools Creates Program to Help Hire Teachers — “[Catherine] Coulter is entering her first year teaching in Virginia’s largest school system as a teaching resident, a newly-created position aimed at placing qualified teachers in classrooms while they take the final steps toward receiving a specific certification.” [WTOP]

Expansions and Renovations in Progress at FCPS — “Most students and teachers have taken the summer off, but Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been busy with its usual tall order of school renovations and additions. Improvements now are in progress at these schools in the Sun Gazette’s readership area” [Sun Gazette]

Falls Church Development Nears Movie Theater Lease — “Developers of the new Founder’s Row mixed use development…announced through a new filing with the City that it is ‘in the final stages of securing a lease with Paragon Theaters,’ noting that ‘Paragon will operate a seven-screen movie theater, including an IMAX-similar screen with a total capacity of approximately 600 seats.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

Fairfax Shopping Center Gets New Mural — “If you’ve been by the Giant at Scout on the Circle recently you might have noticed some color appearing on the walls! The Abstract Expressionist painting on the corner of the building is by Steven Johnson. Johnson is a Indiana biased artist, who recently made his art available in the public domain.” [City of Fairfax/Facebook]

It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 81 and low of 68. Sunrise at 6:21 am and sunset at 8:09 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Fairfax County Police Department officers are sworn in (via Office of Chairman Jeff McKay)

The Fairfax County Police Department is under a personnel emergency amid a staffing shortage that has continued for several months. 

In a temporary shift, police officers are transitioning to two 12.5-hour shifts and working mandatory overtime, according to the FCPD. That departs from the standard staffing model of three 11.5-hour shifts.

Additionally, patrol officers “may be required” to help other squads to maintain safe staffing levels, FCPD told FFXnow.

So far, the police department has 194 operational vacancies, but that does not account for 50 recruits currently in the police academy. That leaves 144 total vacancies.

“We have launched a multi-media recruiting campaign this summer with updates videos on our new JoinFCPD.org website,” a spokesperson said.

Some say the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has failed to provide adequate salary increases and other incentives to attract and retain the county’s police force.

While officers saw an average pay increase of nearly 8% in this fiscal year, beginning July 1, pay scale steps were frozen between fiscal years 2019 and 2021.

The salary increases that some officers received this fiscal year doesn’t make up for what was previously promised to them,” Steve Manohan, president of the county’s chapter of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association said. “Keep in mind, there were hundreds of officers who only received a 4% cost of living increase in fiscal year 2022.”

Board Chairman Jeff McKay says the board is working with FCPD to recruit and retain officers, noting that Chief Kevin Davis has a plan to reach out across the county, region and nationwide — including non-traditional means like advertisements at movie theaters. The department has also reduced the length of its application and background information requirements in an effort to streamline the process.

All of this is done to position FCPD as an exciting and meaningful career choice for those who may have a calling for public service,” McKay wrote in a statement.

McKay says the county is looking at different ways to support officers as staffing adjustments continue.

“The Fairfax County Police Department is a top destination for anyone who wants to serve their community, and we will continue to get that message out while also exploring ways to maintain our regional competitiveness in compensation and job satisfaction,” he said. “Like with all municipalities during this pandemic era there is much work to be done, but our team–and especially our officers–are up to the task, and we are here to support them 100%.” Read More

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Morning Notes

Ping pong games are underway at the Mosaic District (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

GW Parkway Rehab Prompts Closures — “Rolling single-lane closures are coming to a busy portion of George Washington Memorial Parkway starting today (August 1) and continuing through Friday (August 5). Impacted will be the seven-mile segment of the GW Parkway between Spout Run Parkway in Arlington and the I-495 interchange in McLean.” [ARLnow]

Wolf Trap Road Closed for Route 7 Project — “Starting on or about Aug. 2 and continuing until Aug. 19, Trap Road will be closed at Route 7 while crews continue to build the improvements in this area. Drivers will use Towlston Road for access between Trap Road and Route 7. All residences, businesses and other public facilities will remain accessible.” [VDOT]

Patrick Henry Housing Project Advances — “The Fairfax County Planning Commission on July 27 endorsed a proposal to replace the Patrick Henry emergency family shelter in Seven Corners with a new building providing permanent supportive housing. The new four-story facility, called Patrick Henry Place, will have 16 units.” [Annandale Today]

FCPS Mostly Staffed But Still Hiring — Fairfax County Public Schools will interview candidates for teacher and counselor positions both in person and virtually on Thursday (Aug. 4). Superintendent Michelle Reid said last week that classrooms are 97% staffed, and there are “plans in place to address the remaining vacancies” before the new school year starts Aug. 22. [FCPS/Twitter, WTOP]

County Gets Money from Opioid Settlement — “Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) announced July 29 that payments were heading out to Virginia’s 133 counties and cities as the first installment of the settlement with McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health…Fairfax County — the commonwealth’s largest jurisdiction by population — is entitled to 8.672 percent of the latter total, or $352,630.” [Sun Gazette]

Clifton Restaurant Prepares for Reopening — “Nearly three years ago, the decade-old, highly acclaimed restaurant Trummer’s on Main completed a major renovation and menu overhaul to reopen as an American bistro, hoping to pivot from its reputation as a special-occasion spot to something more approachable…Fast forward two-and-a-half years and Trummer’s is completing what it set out to do, led by a new executive chef, Zack Ridenhour” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Herndon IT Company Looks to Grow — “Fairfax County is the ideal location for Herndon-based IT solutions provider Iron Bow Technologies’ new 35,600-square foot headquarters, said Rene LaVigne, president and CEO of Iron Bow… ‘We’ve recently relocated to new offices in February to accommodate our employees in this new era of hybrid work,’ said LaVigne.” [Fairfax County EDA]

Discount on Bicycle Storage Available — Fairfax County is currently offering a 50% discount on memberships for its secure bicycle lockers, which can be found at the Wiehle-Reston and Herndon Metro station as well as the Stringfellow Park and Ride. Anyone interested can use the code FFX50 to get the discount. [FCDOT]

Vienna Youth Players Musical Sells Out — “All remaining shows for ‘Shrek The Musical’ are officially sold out. There are no more tickets available for purchase online or in person on show night. Thank you, Vienna, for supporting the arts and for supporting all those who help make shows like this possible!” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Humid throughout the day. High of 89 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:12 am and sunset at 8:20 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Mac Cummins is a city planner and starts his position at the end of August (via Reston Association)

After a nearly year-long search, Reston Association officially has a new CEO.

Mac Cummins, who was director of community development in the City of Bellevue, Washington, was unanimously named CEO by RA’s Board of Directors last night (Thursday).

Cummins has worked for more than 20 years in municipal government. His most recent position was managing a $79 million budget and managing economic development, planning, affordable housing, and other initiatives in Bellevue.

“His extensive expertise in planning and community development will provide the association with the innovative thinking and collaborative leadership needed to move us forward in our efforts to actively advocate for issues most important to our members, including recreational and sports activities, environmental sustainability, and land use,” Board President Sarah Selvaraj-D’Souza said when introducing Cummins at the meeting.

Cummins was also a planning manager in Westminster, Colorado, and a planner in Scottsdale, Arizona. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in public administration, city, community and regional planning. His bachelor’s degree was in public policy and management.

During the meeting, Cummins said he studied Reston for years as part of urban planning coursework.

“I have observed the vision of Robert Simon being realized with such amazing amenities and smart planning around open space, recreation facilities, trails and housing,” Cummins said. “This commitment to quality of life and community is a primary factor in my family’s excitement to be a part of the Reston community. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead this dynamic, community-oriented organization.”

His first day will be on Aug. 22.

Cummins takes a position vacated by former CEO Hank Lynch, who announced his resignation last August.

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Morning Notes

The Vienna bookstore Bards Alley celebrated its fifth anniversary this past weekend (staff photo by Pia Kramer)

GW Parkway Rehab Breaks Ground in McLean — “Top federal and local officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning on a $161 [million] project to upgrade the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.” [Patch]

W&OD Trail Detour Starts in Reston — “In preparation for the future bridge there, underground utilities along the trail on the west side of Wiehle Ave in Reston are being relocated, necessitating a detour to the gravel trail to the north. This detour will be in effect from Tues, July 19 to Fri, July 22.” [W&OD Trail/Twitter]

Plastic Bag Tax Coming to Fairfax City — “Effective Jan. 1, 2023, disposable plastic bags provided at point of sale to consumers at grocery stores, convenience stores, and drugstores in Fairfax City will be subject to a 5 cent tax. To avoid the tax, consumers can provide their own reusable shopping bags, or opt out of bags altogether.” [City of Fairfax]

NoVA Leaders Advocate for More Express Lanes — “Northern Virginia has been transformed for the last decade by Express Lanes projects and regional leaders say more of the same is needed — including over the Potomac River and into Maryland — if the metropolitan area is to continue thriving.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Wegmans Plans Hiring Event for Reston Store — “Wegmans Food Markets will be hosting a virtual hiring event Thursday to fill 100 full-time positions at its new Reston grocery store, which is set to open in early 2023…The virtual hiring event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursday.” [Patch]

County Brings Public Safety Talks to Barbershops — “@fairfaxhealth along with @FairfaxCountyPD and @FairfaxCSB is hosting a series of conversations at barbershops around the county. The focus will be on community policing, substance abuse, and building trust in our community. No RSVP is required.” [Fairfax County Government/Twitter]

Vienna Student Wins State Tennis Title — “Unlike the previous season, Simone Bergeron was totally satisfied with her perfect campaign in girls tennis this past spring. The Madison Warhawks junior capped the 2022 season by winning the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 girls state-championship singles tournament.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Tuesday — Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 87 and low of 74. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Blue Origins’ new Reston offices on Edmund Halley Drive (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) Jeff Bezos’ commercial space flight company has found its landing spot in Reston.

Blue Origin, owned by the Amazon founder, is docking at 2001 Edmund Halley Drive, a company spokesperson confirmed to FFXnow.

“Blue Origin has grown to more than 6000 employees and continues to hire top talent,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement. “In addition to the growth we are experiencing at each of our current sites, Blue has opened new offices in Denver, Phoenix, and Reston, Virginia. These sites will allow us to recruit additional talent in these regions.”

FFXnow first reported back in March that Blue Origin was set to open an office and facility in Reston during the first half of this year. While it appears that goal was missed, the space flight company is on its way to a 33,000-square-foot space just off the Dulles Access Road and Reston Parkway.

Blue Origin’s new digs will be about two miles from the Wiehle-Reston Metro station and adjacent to the Reston Town Center Metro station, which will open (hopefully) this fall.

According to Blue Origin’s website, the Reston office will host a “Center of Excellence” to support the company’s “Advanced Development Program, New Glenn launch system, new space infrastructure product development, and the company’s Enterprise Technology team.”

While it’s unclear how many employees will be working out of the new location, there appear to be currently 23 jobs open. Those range from “Avionics Thermal Analyst” to “Propulsion Engineer.”

Each job listing includes the same phrasing about making history:

This position will directly impact the history of space exploration and will require your commitment and detailed attention towards safe and repeatable space flight. Join us in lowering the cost of access to space and enabling Blue Origin’s vision of millions of people living and working in space to benefit Earth.

Back in March, Blue Origin held a jobs open house at a Reston hotel.

Blue Origin has two other area offices in D.C. and in Arlington. The small Rosslyn location will remain open, serving a different aspect of the company from the Reston site, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The company made news recently by saying it’s looking to increase the number of people it flies to space in 2022. To do this, Blue Origin will need to build more rockets.

Just last month, Blue Origin sent six more people to space for its fifth space tourism flight.

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Reston Association (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

It’s been nearly one year since the position of Reston Association’s CEO became vacant.

RA’s Board of Directors continues to meet in a series of closed meetings to discuss the nearly year-long search after previous CEO Hank Lynch announced his resignation in August.

In a statement, RA spokesperson Mike Leone said the board has been interviewing finalist candidates. The board most recently met in mid-June and last night (Thursday).

Last night’s meeting was entirely in closed session. Leone said that, because the agenda was related to personnel matters, RA had no further information to share about the hiring process.

Leone noted that he was not aware of “a specific timeline to close the CEO search.”

“But I do know that the board is working diligently to move the process along as quickly as possible,” Leone wrote in a June 16 statement to FFXnow.

The board was previously aiming to select a new CEO before the final results of RA’s board election in April were announced. That move drew consternation from some candidates for the board election who hoped to delay the process in order to have a say in the hire.

Larry Butler has been the organization’s acting CEO since Sept. 4.

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Morning Notes

Under the virtual shark tank at Reston Station (photo by Marjorie Copson)

Austin Transit Leader Named New Metro General Manager — “Metro on Tuesday tapped the chief executive of a Texas transit agency to lead the system through safety and pandemic-related challenges that have frustrated riders and strained public transportation…Randy Clarke, 45, will replace Paul J. Wiedefeld, who announced in January that he would retire on June 30″ [The Washington Post]

Fairfax County Firefighter Gets Funeral Procession — “Tuesday marked the final farewell for Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Captain Kimberly Schoppa, who died last month from occupational cancer. Her line-of-duty funeral included a procession and escort to the church, with her flag-draped casket onboard a fire truck and then carried inside by the Honor Guard.” [ABC7]

Jury Awards Tysons Company $2B in Damages — A Fairfax County Circuit Court jury awarded Appian over $2 billion in damages after finding rival software company Pegasystems Inc. stole its trade secrets. Announced yesterday (Tuesday) after a seven-week trial, the damages are the largest ever awarded in Virginia court history, Appian says. [Appian]

County Board Approves New Budget — “On Tuesday morning, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to the fiscal year 2023 budget, which reduces the real estate tax rate by 3 cents. The approved budget did not change from the budget markup the board approved on April 26.” [Patch]

Teachers’ Union Calls for Continued Virtual Learning — The Fairfax Education Association sent a letter to Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand and school board members last week urging them to “continue offering a limited virtual school program for vulnerable students and staff.” FCPS announced in March that it will discontinue the option in the next school year. [WTOP]

Former Reston Association Board President Dies at 84 — “In the words of one reporter, Mike [Freeman Jr.] had a case of chronic community activism for a myriad of Reston organizations, including St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, FISH, and soccer and swim teams. He was a volunteer driver for the first local RIBS bus, and an elected board member of the Reston Association, serving as Board President 1988-89.” [Patch]

County Opens West Falls Church Transportation Survey — “The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold a second round of virtual community meetings to present updates on the West Falls Church (WFC) Active Transportation Study…The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input as well as completing an online survey to provide feedback.” [FCDOT]

Fairfax County Honors Hockey Team and Teachers — The Board of Supervisors recognized the Langley High School ice hockey team yesterday for winning the Northern Virginia School Hockey League championship in February while also completing the season with the least amount of penalties among teams. The board also designated May as Teacher Appreciation Month. [Fairfax County]

Veteran and Military Spouse Career Fair Starts Today — “The free-to-attend event features two days of opportunities for candidates to connect with companies, with in-person sessions between 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET on May 11 at the National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and a virtual fair taking place from 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET on May 12″ [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 69 and low of 50. Sunrise at 6:01 am and sunset at 8:12 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Wolftrap Creek in Vienna is high during a rainy Saturday (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Amazon Plans Chantilly Data Center — “Amazon.com Inc.’s data center arm is working to develop a new data center facility in Chantilly, with plans to invest nearly $36 million into the project, according to Fairfax County records. The vacant property located at 3980 Virginia Mallory Drive is part of Amazon’s 46.4 acres in Avion Parkway, which the company bought for $55.9 million in 2021.” [Washington Business Journal]

Rappelling Stunt Supports Fairfax County Nonprofit — “On Thursday and Friday, about 80 people, including two local elected officials, a Washington Post reporter, and a member of the D.C. Divas women’s football team, dressed in full pads and uniform, rappelled down the side of the Crystal City Hilton to raise funds and awareness for New Hope Housing.” [The Washington Post]

County to Choose COVID-19 Memorial Site by September — “The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is positioning the county as one of the first localities in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. to build a permanent pandemic remembrance. The Fairfax County Park Authority recently submitted a memorandum to the board, summarizing project details, including design considerations, the project timeline and next steps, including the memorial’s location.” [WTOP]

County Board Sides with American Legion After Neighbor Complaints — “The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) voted 4-1 April 27 to overturn the zoning administrator’s ruling that American Legion Post 270 in McLean improperly was operating as a banquet-and-reception hall. Surrounding residents have complained about noise, loitering, late-night events and parties lasting until the early morning” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

FCPD Traffic Campaign Yields Citations — “On Tuesday [May 3], officers from our Traffic Division wrote over 100 citations and warnings during our extra enforcement campaign in the Annandale area. This campaign runs through May 22 and is geared towards making our roads safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.” [FCPD/Facebook]

Afghan Refugees Look for Jobs in Tysons — “Job seekers, like 21-year-old Mohammad Fasih Yaqoobi, had the chance to meet with more than 30 employers hiring for roles at all skill levels. In Yaqoobi’s case, the fair represented an opportunity to provide for his family, who have already lived a lifetime of unimaginable circumstances.” [NBC4]

Chapel Road Closed in Clifton Starting Today — “Chapel Road (Route 641) between Water Street and Yates Ford Road (Route 612) will be closed to through traffic, weather permitting, Monday, May 9 through Wednesday, May 11 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day to replace a stormwater pipe, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.” [VDOT]

It’s Monday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 60 and low of 42. Sunrise at 6:03 am and sunset at 8:10 pm. [Weather.gov]

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