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Morning Notes

A summer sunset over the I-66 West exit ramp in Centreville (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

I-66 West Traffic Changes in Oakton Today — “I-66 West between Nutley Street and Vaden Drive will be shifted to a new, long-term configuration beginning during the early morning hours on or about Wednesday, July 6. When this traffic change is implemented, the two right travel lanes will be separated from the two left travel lanes by barrier…This temporary traffic pattern will remain in place for approximately two months, and is part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.” [VDOT]

Search for Suspect in Hybla Valley Homicide Continues — “A year ago today, Tafari ‘Trey’ Nadhim was fatally shot in the 7900 blk of Janna Lee Ave. Detectives continue to seek answers for Trey’s family & friends. If you have any info about his death, please call 703-246-7800 or submit tips through Crime Solvers.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Springfield Man Allegedly Hits Pedestrian After Stealing BMW — “A Springfield man was charged with grand larceny after he stole a car from a gas station on Braddock Road on June 25 and then ran into a pedestrian after Fairfax County Police attempted to stop him.” [Patch]

County Sees Uptick in Unemployment — “With 609,431 county residents in the civilian workforce and 16,122 looking for jobs, Fairfax’s unemployment rate stood at 2.6 percent for the month, according to figures reported June 29 by the Virginia Employment Commission. That’s up from 2.2 percent a month before, although it remained well below the rate of 3.7 percent a year ago.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Photos: New Citizens Welcomed on July 4 at Mount Vernon — “On Monday, July 4, George Washington’s Mount Vernon was the site of a naturalization ceremony for 52 new US citizens, some of whom serve in the US armed forces. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen spoke, as did George Washington himself — well, the latest GW reenactor.” [Washingtonian]

Married FCPS Educators Help Ukranian Refugees — W.T. Woodson High School government teacher Lee Hedrick and Annandale High School ESOL Chair Meredith Hedrick recently traveled 18 hours to Poland to serve as volunteers for World Central Kitchen. They helped the nonprofit prepare and distribute meals to refugees at the border with Ukraine. [FCPS]

Great Falls Mansion Sold for $10M — “Innsbruck Holdings LLC on June 7 closed the sale of 576 Innsbruck Ave. in Great Falls, a 21,500-square-foot mansion, for $10.5 million…The Innsbruck mansion, also known as Alderley, has been through several owners since it was constructed in 2007, among them former AOL executive Richard Hanlon and James Carlson, the former CEO of AmeriGroup.” [Washington Business Journal]

It’s Wednesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 85 and low of 78. Sunrise at 5:51 am and sunset at 8:39 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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Staff from the nonprofit Talent Beyond Boundaries helps an Afghan refugee create a job profile at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin (courtesy Operation Allies Welcome at Fort McCoy)

Several nonprofits dedicated to helpting refugees in the U.S. are joining forces to organize a job fair for new arrivals from Afghanistan who have resettled in Northern Virginia.

The hiring fair will take place at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center (7901 Tysons One Place) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (May 6-7).

More than 250 job seekers and approximately 25 employers are expected to participate in the event, according to Talent Beyond Boundaries, an international nonprofit that helps refugees and other displaced people find jobs.

“There is a substantial talent pool among Afghan new arrivals in the DMV area across sectors and yet many are still seeking employment opportunities that leverage their skills and backgrounds,” said Melissa Diamond, the lead for the organization’s Afghan Talent initiative.

Talent Beyond Boundaries partnered with fellow nonprofits React D.C., the Afghan Refugee Crisis Committee, and the Tent Partnership for Refugees to host the hiring fair. The event is being sponsored by Welcome.US, a national coalition that formed last year to organize support for refugees who fled Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country on Aug. 30.

An estimated 4,000 Afghan evacuees had been resettled in Virginia by the end of 2021, Inside NoVA reported in December. Between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2021, the state saw a total of 8,560 refugees from Afghanistan — by far the most of any country, according to Virginia Refugee Resettlement Program data.

While the Fairfax County government and community mobilized to assist the newcomers last year, many refugees across the D.C. area are still struggling to find stability, as federal aid runs out, donations dry up, and demand strains the staff and resources at resettlement agencies.

With finding a job among the top challenges facing refugees, resettlement agencies have turned to hiring fairs as a way to connect job seekers with potential employers. A job fair at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus earlier this spring drew more than 500 participants, according to DCist.

In addition to meeting employers in person, attendees at the upcoming hiring fair in Tysons will get assistance in creating profiles on Talent Beyond Boundaries’ Afghan Talent job-matching platform, Diamond says.

“Registering on the platform will allow their profiles to be seen by employers in the Afghan Talent network for consideration for job opportunities even beyond those available on the day of the hiring fair,” Diamond said.

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Morning Notes

Blossoms are out at Lewinsville Park in McLean (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

West Potomac Soccer Coaches Fired After Hazing — “In a message to West Potomac High School soccer families, Principal Tanganyika Millard said that after an April 21 practice, a ‘parent reported a student was injured after being singled out to run through a ‘gauntlet/tunnel.” Head coach Ahmad Sasso and two other coaches were fired after the incident.” [WTOP]

Dead Firefighter Escorted to Funeral Home — “#FCFRD members gathered to salute Captain Kimberly Schoppa during her dignified transfer. Units from her last assignment, Fire Station 27, West Springfield, carried her to the funeral home. Thank you to Fairfax County Police Department for the escort.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Facebook]

FCPS Alum Goes to Space — NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, a graduate of Robinson Secondary School, is part of a four-person crew that was scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station this morning (Wednesday) for SpaceX’s next mission. Lindgren was one of 18 astronauts selected by NASA in 2020 for its Artemis Team, an initiative to get humans back to the moon. [Florida Today]

Alpacas Make Fairfax County Courthouse Appearance — “By the time the alpacas arrive outside the Fairfax County Courthouse, it’s not really that surprising…The scene outside the Depp-Heard trial, entering its third week on Monday, has transformed the Fairfax County court complex from a place where Northern Virginia residents contest parking tickets to the stage for one of the biggest celebrity court cases in recent memory.” [The Washington Post]

TJ Tops National School Rankings — “Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County was ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to a new national ranking by U.S. News and World Report. This year’s list of best high schools evaluated more than 17,800 schools nationwide, including 322 in Virginia.” [Patch]

Vienna Students Write Cards for Ukrainian Refugees — “Students at Freedom Hill Elementary School in Vienna wrote stacks of cards to Ukrainian refugees for their principal to deliver on his spring break trip to Germany. Principal Nicholas Zapadka…decided to travel to Cologne in early April to help Ukrainian refugees who had arrived at a Red Cross refugee camp in Germany.” [Patch]

Mantua Home with Squatter Sold — “The home went off the market on April 15 for $805,000. It was built in 1964 and was last sold in 1997 for $319,000. The owner’s name was withheld by request on the Fairfax County auditor’s site. The new buyer’s name also was not listed.” [WUSA9]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 55 and low of 41. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 7:59 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A spring dandelion (photo by Marjorie Copson)

Case Against Park Police Who Shot McLean Man Dropped — “Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) on Friday dropped the state’s federal appeal in the manslaughter case against two U.S. Park Police officers, effectively ending any attempt at criminal prosecution of the officers who fatally shot unarmed motorist Bijan Ghaisar in a Fairfax County neighborhood in 2017.” [The Washington Post]

Hundreds Help Pack Ukrainian Refugee Donations — “Hundreds of volunteers gathered this weekend in Oakton to help pack approx. 1800 boxes with donations collected for displaced Ukrainians. Huge thanks to our community members for donating, these wonderful volunteers, and to Paxton Co. for generously shipping these items.” [Chairman Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Mount Vernon Fire Started by Hair Dryer — A house fire in the 3700 block of Nalls Road on Wednesday (April 20) was started accidentally by an electrical event involving a hair dryer in the basement bathroom, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. There were reported injuries or displacements, but the fire caused an estimated $37,500 in damages. [FCFRD]

Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Critical to Covid Response — “Since February of 2020, over 1,400 MRC members volunteered more than 65,000 hours at vaccination clinics and testing events, and assisting with outreach, isolation and quarantine efforts, logistical support, and so much more.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Merrifield Nonprofit Gets Boost from Football Fans — “Wolf Trap Animal Rescue keeps receiving donations from the public in honor of Dwayne Haskins, the former Washington quarterback who died in an accident on a Florida highway on April 9. Haskins…selected Wolf Trap Animal Rescue as his organization to represent for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign.” [Patch]

Turner Farm Observatory Seeks “Dark Sky” Designation — “To help reverse the trend of growing light pollution, the Great Falls observatory applied to become an Urban Night Sky Place with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)…If approved, the observatory would become the first IDA-designated place in the Washington region.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Construction Starts on Woodley Hills Park Playground — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will begin the installation of a new playground and removal of the existing playground the week of April 25, 2022. Construction access to the site will be from Old Mount Vernon Road. It is anticipated that the playground replacement will be completed by early June 2022.” [FCPA]

Reston Library Book Sale Starts Wednesday — The Friends of the Reston Regional Library will host its biggest book sale of the year, starting with a members-only night from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday (April 27). The sale will be open to all starting at 10 a.m. Thursday through Sunday (April 28-May 2) and include 35,000 to 40,000 books. [Friends of the Reston Regional Library]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:19 am and sunset at 7:57 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Brewers from around Northern Virginia are collaborating on an ale that will be sold to raise money for Ukrainian refugees (courtesy Ornery Beer Company)

Some of Fairfax County’s top breweries are rolling up their sleeves and joining a global campaign to support Ukrainian refugees displaced by the ongoing Russian invasion.

The “Brew for Ukraine” movement emerged in early March in response to a call for support from Pravda Brewery, a company based in Lviv, Ukraine, that has shifted to brewing Molotov cocktails for the country’s defense efforts.

Pravda released the recipes for its five most popular beers, now branded the “Victory beer series,” and encouraged other breweries to craft and sell them as a fundraiser.

Ornery Beer Company, which is based in Manassas with a restaurant and pub in Fairfax City, announced yesterday (Thursday) that it has partnered with seven other Northern Virginia breweries to produce Putin Huilo, a dry-hopped golden ale that takes its name from a common derogatory phrase for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The participating Fairfax County breweries are Reston’s Lake Anne Brew House, Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton, and Caboose Brewing Company, which runs Caboose Commons in Merrifield and Caboose Tavern in Vienna.

Other collaborators include the Quattro Goombas Winery & Brewery in Aldie, Loudoun Brewing Company in Leesburg, the Manassas-based Tucked Away Brewing Company, and Winchester Brew Works.

According to a press release, the businesses gathered at Ornery’s production brewery in Manassas on March 25 to make the ale, and they will reunite on Wednesday (April 27) to package the resulting 8,000-plus cans of alcohol.

Putin Huylo will be on sale at all eight breweries starting on April 29. They will have four-packs of 16-ounce cans available for $20.

“A $20,000 donation, from the proceeds of our Putin Huylo collaboration, will be made on Monday May 2nd, split among World Central Kitchen-Ukraine, GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, and Pravda Brewery’s community efforts in Lviv, Ukraine,” Ornery said in the press release.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, the day Russian military forces crossed the border into their neighboring country. It’s considered the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and as of Wednesday (April 20), the UNHCR had recorded 5,264 civilian casualties.

Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, recently wrapped up an almost month-long donation drive to collect coats and other winter clothes that will be delivered to refugees in Poland. Volunteers will sort and pack donations from across the region this weekend (April 22-23) at the Oakton Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (2719 Hunter Mill Road).

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Ukraine flags tied to a bridge in Germany ask for help (via Benjamin Marder/Unsplash)

A Tysons-based security firm has spent the past two months working to help people escape from war-torn Ukraine.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Global Guardian has assisted in the evacuation of more than 7,500 people out of the country.

The firm began advising its clients to leave Ukraine as far back as December, according to Global Guardian Vice President of Marketing Shannon Scully.

“We’ve been supporting clients in preparing their emergency response plans as well as evacuating employees and their families from over 15 cities throughout Ukraine,” she said.

Scully attributes the company’s ability to evacuate people to its global presence, with teams of employees who are local and in Ukraine allowing for a faster response time.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in The Boro (8280 Greensboro Drive), Global Guardian provides cybersecurity, personnel tracking, emergency responses, and other services, with the capacity to respond to incidents in as many as 130 countries.

The firm’s CEO Dale Buckner recently told Forbes that Global Guardian has participated in evacuations in crises ranging from the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and 2016 attempted coup in Turkey to recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.

Scully says those past crises have helped condition and give valuable experience to the firm’s teams.

“While different, all crises, natural disasters, bombings, war-zones, follow a very similar pattern,” Scully said. “Commercial airways are the first to shut down, then ground public transportation starts to diminish and/or becomes challenging — all while everyone is fighting over limited assets. Preparation is key.”

The Ukrainian refugees evacuated by Global Guardian have resettled in neighboring European countries or joined family in the U.S.

As the war between Russia and the Ukraine continues, millions of people have sought refuge in nearby countries like Poland and Romania. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 4.6 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began.

Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia localities have been collecting coats and other winter clothes as donations for Ukrainian refugees. The drive will conclude on Friday (April 15).

Photo via Benjamin Marder/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Prices at a gas station in Tysons (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Regional Winter Clothing Drive for Ukraine Now Accepting Donations — “Northern Virginia localities are partnering together to collect donations for Ukrainians who fled their country amid the Russian invasion. Dozens of locations around Northern Virginia will begin accepting donations Wednesday [March 23] through April 15.” [Patch]

FCPD Officer Faces Trial for Taser Use — “Day two of the trial of a Fairfax County police officer accused of assaulting an unarmed and incoherent man has concluded…Defense attorneys insist Officer Tyler Timberlake was well within department guidelines when he tasered La Monta Gladney in Mount Vernon. Prosecutors call it a crime.” [WUSA9]

Youngkin Calls for Special Session — “The Republican governor issued a proclamation Wednesday saying that a special session will commence April 4. The move comes after the clock ran out during the regular General Assembly session without the Democrat-controlled Senate and GOP-controlled House reaching agreement on the state budget.” [Associated Press/WTOP]

FCPS Tests iPads for Kindergarteners — Fairfax County Public Schools began a pilot program this week to provide iPads for pre-K and kindergarten students in lieu of the heavier laptops currently used in those classrooms. The schools participating in the pilot are Lake Anne Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Bailey’s Primary. [FCPS]

Fairfax Dems Call for Special Elections — At a March 22 general body meeting, Fairfax County Democratic Committee members voted 86% in favor of a resolution calling for special elections for the House of Delegates in 2022. The entire chamber was up for grabs last year, but a delayed redistricting process meant those legislators were elected based on now-outdated district maps. [Fairfax County Democratic Committee]

Michelin Starred Chef to Plans Mystery Tysons Restaurant — Chef Pepe Moncayo and his partners have leased for about 7,000 square feet at Capital One Center. He shared few details about the upcoming eatery except to say “it won’t be a carbon copy of Cranes,” the Japanese and Spanish fusion restaurant and lounge he opened in D.C.’s Penn Quarter in 2020. [Washington Business Journal]

GMU Performing Arts Venue to End Vaccine Mandates — “George Mason University will soon no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests for those attending events at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The policy change begins May 2.” [Inside NoVA]

Colvin Run Miller’s House to Reopen — “The public will be able to experience a slice of 19th-century middle-class life…when the Fairfax County Park Authority reopens the newly renovated miller’s house at Colvin Run Historic Site…The April 3 event will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., followed by refreshments in the garden, and festivities will continue until 4 p.m.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Park Authority Plans “One Dark Hour” Event — To kick off International Dark Sky Awareness Week next month, the Fairfax County Park Authority will encourage all residents to turn off any outdoor lights between 9 and 10 p.m. on April 22. The event is intended to demonstrate the importance of using light only when and where it’s needed, so that wildlife and plants can thrive. [FCPA]

It’s Thursday — Light rain throughout the day. High of 66 and low of 56. Sunrise at 7:07 a.m. and sunset at 7:26 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Outside the City of Fairfax Regional Library (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

County Lands $10M to Address Homelessness — Fairfax County will get $10 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support services for people experiencing homelessness. The money will fully fund 19 projects and represents a 9% increase from last year’s award, mostly for a domestic violence rapid rehousing program run by the nonprofit Shelter House. [Housing and Community Development]

FCPS to Provide Free Online Tutoring — “Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said unlimited tutoring in any subject for every grade level will be available through a new partnership with Tutor.com. The rollout will begin after spring break.” [WTOP]

Utility Work Requires W&OD Trail Detour in Reston — Washington & Old Dominion Trail users are being detoured to a gravel path this week so that AT&T can relocate a utility line in preparation for the construction of the planned pedestrian bridge over Wiehle Avenue. The work began on Monday (March 21) and could last up to a week. [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling]

Vienna Town Council Eases Rules for Residential Porches — “Home improvement just got easier in Vienna. Homeowners with homes built near the front setback line can now construct a covered front porch on their property thanks to last night’s Town Council vote on a zoning code update.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Paved Trail in Burke Completed — “Burke residents joined Fairfax County officials on Sunday to celebrate the completion of the Burke Centre VRE Trail Project, a new paved path that will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with easier access to the Virginia Railway Express station.” [Patch]

Afghan Refugee Graduates from FCPS — “Mountain View High graduate Eltaf Samim traversed six countries, completed seventh, eighth and ninth grade multiple times in different nations and turned in coursework in three languages on the way to get his high school diploma in Fairfax County this year.” [FCPS/Inside NoVA]

Wolf Trap National Park Adds More Summer Performances — “Newly added shows include Van Morrison, Boyz II Men, Tom Jones, Boy George & Culture Club, Kool & the Gang and more. Closing the season will be a community singing celebration called Joyfully Together on Sept. 18.” [Patch]

Reston Museum Seeks Volunteers — “Reston Museum seeks volunteer docents for flexible shifts Tues-Sun 11-4 pm. Docents greet visitors, introduce them to the museum and Reston’s history and assist with shop sales. Training provided, register here.” [Volunteer Fairfax/Twitter]

It’s Wednesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 60 and low of 43. Sunrise at 7:08 a.m. and sunset at 7:25 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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