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by Dave Emke — September 25, 2017 at 4:25 pm 0

The Herndon Police Department is asking for the public’s help to find a runaway juvenile from the community.

According to a flyer released by HPD on Twitter, 13-year-old Jessiah Maurice McCollum has been gone from his home at 565 Florida Ave. for more than two weeks. He was last seen at about 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8.

McCollum is black, 5 feet 11 inches tall and about 140 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Information on the flyer states that he is “believed to be in the Reston, VA area.”

Anyone with information about McCollum’s whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Mike Croson at 571-237-4987 or [email protected], or call the police department at 703-435-6846.

by RestonNow.com — September 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

The 2017 Reston Multicultural Festival, presented by Reston Community Center and Reston Association, took place Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza.

The event, described as “a celebration that brings together the people of Reston to celebrate our rich medley of cultures,” featured an international book fair, arts and crafts, entertainment, art exhibits, food, and more activities. A naturalization ceremony was also be part of the festival.

Photos courtesy Reston Community Center

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — September 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Plaza America that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Many federal employees and government contractors are required to apply for and maintain security clearances. In some cases, the security clearance application process is straightforward. However, if problems arise, they are typically discovered when the employee or contractor is about to complete his or her security clearance application through e-QIP or the government’s Standard Form 86. If possible, you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney who handles security clearance matters since each case is different. The following are some general guidelines:

Take time and answer security clearance forms carefully

This is one of the most important tips. Individuals often receive clearance denials because they did not adequately read the questions asked or proofread their responses on the e-QIP/SF-86 application prior to submission. In some cases, if an individual does not take the time to read the question and answers “no,” when they should have answered “yes,” to a question, a clearance investigator might conclude that the individual was attempting to be dishonest. This is important to understand as such an oversight can be very detrimental to obtaining or keeping a security clearance. Therefore, it is very important to carefully complete the security clearance application before submitting it.

Be honest

This recommendation cannot be overstated. Individuals should be honest in all aspects of the clearance process. When an individual is dishonest during the clearance process, it could not only potentially bar the individual from receiving a security clearance, which would remain on his or her clearance record, but it could also raise a host of other legal issues, including potential criminal issues. It is much easier for a security clearance attorney to mitigate security clearance concerns involving financial, prior drug or alcohol usage issues than defend against an allegation involving dishonesty in the clearance application or interview process. An applicant should consult with a security clearance attorney for legal advice if there are any possible criminal disclosures or issues.

Review documents in advance

Take the necessary time to gather and review relevant documents related to any potential security clearance problem in advance. Taking this step will help an individual in two ways: (a) it will help an individual remember all the details of the potential security concern, such as an arrest or bankruptcy filing that occurred three years ago, in preparation for answering questions; and (b) the documentation may help to mitigate the security concerns later, if necessary.

Prepare for the investigative interview

If an individual believes that there is a good chance that problem areas exist in a security clearance application, he or she should expect to be asked about these areas by the assigned investigator. The investigative interview can vary in duration from an hour to several hours depending on whether significant security concerns exist. Early preparation for the security clearance interview can help minimize any problem areas. Unfortunately, many individuals go into the interviews without thinking about or preparing for the issues that could arise and often provide incomplete information. Interview preparation can also help the individual’s confidence when meeting with the investigator to explain application responses that raise any security concerns.

Don‘t react defensively to security clearance questions

Refrain from reacting defensively when asked by an investigator about potential security concerns in a security clearance application. It is important to be calm and positive about the issues when speaking to an investigator. In addition, arguing with an investigator will never benefit an individual since the investigator can have significant influence over the application process in the initial stages.

Be courteous and professional with the investigator

It is important for all applicants to treat the investigator with professionalism. If an investigator attempts to contact you, be timely and courteous in your response. Even if it is inconvenient to meet or return calls, not doing so could be detrimental. Promptly responding to the investigator can give the investigator a positive impression, especially if the investigator will be providing a recommendation regarding your ability to obtain or retain a clearance.

Be patient during the security clearance process

It is important to understand that the security clearance process can often take a few months to complete depending upon a number of other factors, including: (a) whether the individual is a federal employee or government contractor; (b) the number or significance of the security concerns; (c) delays in obtaining responses from federal agencies in seeking an investigative file; (d) the general investigative backlog; and (e) the specific employer involved.  There are a multitude of other considerations that can also delay adjudication so it is important to remain patient during the investigation.

If you need assistance with an employment issue, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also like and visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by RestonNow.com — September 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Cornerstones of Our Community: Best of Reston Awards, presented by Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Nomination forms are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

According to information provided by Cornerstones:

Awardees will be selected for working selflessly without consideration of recognition to improve communities served by Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Nomination applications can be found at www.cornerstonesva.org/BOR. Finalist selections and notifications will be completed by early January 2018.

In 2018, finalists will not be broken into categories, as they have been in previous years. Rather, they will be recognized collectively as “Best of Reston Finalists.” According to Cornerstones, this will enable them “to consider the merits and diversity of community service, volunteerism and/or philanthropy, whether demonstrating an immediate impact or sustained over a period of time, without the restrictions of being defined by a category.”

The 2017 awards event raised more than $515,000 for Cornerstones, in support of the organization’s strategies of starting individuals on a pathway to sustainable living-wage employment, and to identify and address other barriers to move from surviving to living prosperous, healthy lives. Highlights from last year’s event are available at Cornerstones’ website.

The awards have been given out each year since 1992.

The 2018 ceremony will be held Thursday, April 12 at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents St.).

Anyone with questions about the nomination or selection process can contact to Likitta Crawley at [email protected] or by calling 571-323-9570.

Image from 2017 Best of Reston Awards courtesy Chip McCrea Photography

by Dave Emke — September 25, 2017 at 11:30 am 13 Comments

Ray Wedell’s resignation from the Reston Association Board of Directors with eight months remaining in his term has left the remaining Board members with a decision to make.

Four RA members have submitted statements of candidacy to fill the remainder of the At-Large term, which lasts until April’s election. Directors are scheduled to hear from the candidates at their Thursday meeting and make a decision on which one should join them.

The four applicants are:

  • John Bowman, a two-time former candidate for the Board. Bowman is a past member of the Reston Citizens Association Board of Directors, a founding member of Reston 20/20 and a current member of RA’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee.
  • Moira Callaghan, vice president of the Reston Citizens Association. Callaghan also served on the FY2017 Budget Task Force for Fairfax County Public Schools.
  • Ven Iyer, who was an At-Large candidate for the Board in the 2017 election. Iyer also was up for vote to join the Board earlier this year following the resignation of Eve Thompson; however, the Board chose to appoint Sridhar Ganesan instead.
  • John Pinkman, a co-founder of Rescue Reston and a member of its Board of Directors.

Each of the candidates’ full applications can be viewed in the Board packet for Thursday’s meeting.

Wedell resigned from the Board on Sept. 1, citing in his statement that his “successes have been outweighed by the frustrations.” He had served on the Board since 2015 and was also on the Board Operations Committee, which is responsible for reviewing and setting board agenda items each month.

The seat will be one of four on the nine-member Board up for vote in next year’s election.

by RestonNow.com — September 25, 2017 at 10:15 am 21 Comments

This is an op/ed submitted by Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 committee. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

Restonians once again face the threat of a massive change in one of its key zoning ordinances — the Reston PRC (Planned Residential Community) — on the basis of knowingly faulty arithmetic. You need to understand what that is.

The key change in the Reston PRC zoning ordinance calls for lifting the population “cap” on the number of persons per acre living in the zoning district from 13 to 16. With 6,245.8 acres in the Reston PRC (which excludes most of the station areas), that means lifting the PRC population “cap” from 81,195 to 99,933 people.

That seems to be just 18,738 added people. What could be wrong with that? Certainly we can manage the impact of about 9,000 more homes (“dwelling units” — DUs — in planning parlance), all in multi-family “elevator” apartments and condos with households averaging 2.1 people.

Let’s count the ways.

First, the County provided a clue to its funny counting in a footnote in its several presentations to the community (p. 14) on the proposed Reston PRC zoning change. With a small asterisk after the column on Reston’s current and approved DUs, it states that this total “(e)xcludes affordable housing bonus units per Z.O.” What? Bonus dwelling units for providing affordable housing may be as high as 20 percent for meeting the one-for-one bonus arrangement ranging from 12 percent to 20 percent. So add up to 20 percent to Reston’s population potential.

Second, an obscure passage in the PRC zoning ordinance discloses that the affordable housing itself does not count toward the population “cap” according to the PRC zoning ordinance (Article 6-308) and the County’s housing policy plan. The last paragraph on “maximum density” in the PRC ordinance ends with this: “(The preceding restrictions on density) shall not apply to affordable and market rate dwelling units which comprise the increased density pursuant to Part 8 of Article 2 (which sets standards for the Affordable Dwelling Unit Program) …” We welcome the housing diversity, but we think the people living in that 12.5 percent to 20 percent workforce housing should count and the infrastructure and amenities required for them should be in the County’s plans. That’s another potential 20 percent added to our total population.

Between not counting workforce dwelling units and the bonus density they allow, the nominal 99,933 population cap under the County’s proposed 16 persons per acre in the Reston PRC potentially becomes 139,906 souls in the Reston PRC district, a nearly 40,000-person increase over the nominal cap and nearly 80,000 more people than live in all Reston now.

And then, third, there is the elephant in the room: The County’s current discussion about the Reston PRC change has excluded any reference to the Reston Master Plan’s potential development of 44,000 DUs in Reston’s transit station areas (Figure 35, p. 103), most of which is outside the PRC-zoned area. Based on a County count of existing, approved and planned PRC development in RTC (13,772 DUs — not counting affordable and bonus units?) detailed in Reston Now two weeks ago, we can assume as many as 20,000 DUs may be built in the PRC portion of Town Center over the next 40 years. That leaves 24,000 DUs — about 50,000 people — to be added elsewhere in Reston’s station areas. So add another 50,000 people to Reston’s population — not counting the workforce housing and bonus development that goes with it.

(more…)

by Dave Emke — September 25, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

County Meeting on PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Tonight — Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and staff from Fairfax County’s Department of Planning & Zoning will host a community meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). They will discuss a proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would increase the cap on density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community, among other changes. [Reston Now]

SLHS Football Suffers First Loss of Season — The Seahawks were upset Friday night by the Centreville Wildcats, 30-14. Statistical leaders for SLHS included running back Spencer Alston (6 carries for 58 yards, 3 catches for 35 yards, 1 TD); running back Albert Mensah (13 carries for 29 yards); and punter Evan Matthes (56.3-yard average on 4 punts). South Lakes is now 4-1 on the season and next plays Oct. 6, homecoming, against Langley. [South Lakes Athletics]

Fairfax County Home Prices Rise — County home prices were up $20,000 in August compared to the same month last year. The median sale prices in August 2017 was $505,000. [Reston Patch]

Car Tax Due Date Coming Up — The deadline for vehicle owners to pay their bill is Thursday, Oct. 5, and residents are being reminded not to wait until the last minute. [Fairfax County]

Reston Man Named to State Commission — Khurrum H. Khan of Reston, president of OurKare of Herndon, has been appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to Virginia’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Herndon Officer Participates in ‘Rodeo’ — Senior Police Officer Ron Eicke participated in the recent Mid-Atlantic Police Rodeo, along with other police representatives from across the region. [Herndon Police/Facebook]

by RestonNow.com — September 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

The following articles were the five most-clicked links on Reston Now this past week.

  1. Police: Teen Jumped by Group on Glade Drive near Southgate Center; iPod Stolen
  2. Reston Once Again Recognized by Money Magazine as a Top Place To Live in America
  3. ‘Why is There No Shake Shack in Reston?’ and Other Burning Fast-Food Questions
  4. Police: Pizza Delivery Driver Was Robbed in Reston Friday Night; Suspect Sought
  5. Crime Roundup: Reston Homeowner Finds Intruder Standing in His Kitchen at 3 A.M.

Crime stories continue to garner a lot of attention, but there are other things going on as well. Just missing the Top 5 were the grassroots battle against a county zoning ordinance that would increase population density, the continued debate about “Hate Has No Home Here” signs, the Reston Association Board’s work to hash out the 2018 budget, and more.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally. Have a great weekend!

by RestonNow.com — September 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm 0

A Reston-based technology integrator has been awarded a $165 million contract to assist the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) with modernizing the state’s technology infrastructure.

According to a press release, SAIC’s contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia has a five-year base period of performance along with a pair of two-year options, giving it a potential value of $272 million if all options are exercised.

More from the release:

“Delivering a modern, responsive technology solution to VITA is our top priority. SAIC is proud to work with VITA to serve as its new MSI [multisourcing service integrator] provider to help the state implement a marketplace of consolidated IT services and solutions to ensure security and oversight of major IT projects, and the procurement of technology-related goods and services,” said Bob Genter, SAIC senior vice president of the Federal Civilian Customer Group. “We are committed to Virginia’s mission to successfully oversee the proper governance of taxpayer dollars while still offering a marketplace of choices, with responsive service delivery.”

VITA is the commonwealth’s consolidated technology services and solutions provider responsible for the operation of the state’s technology infrastructure, governance, security, oversight of major IT projects, and procurement of technology-related goods and services on behalf of state and local governments.

Under the contract, SAIC will coordinate and monitor multiple IT infrastructure services suppliers for state executive branch agencies. The MSI is the cornerstone of a strategy that will diversify the state’s portfolio of suppliers, improve service delivery quality, ensure cost-competitiveness, and provide transparency and accountability into the commonwealth’s service delivery platform.

Headquartered in Reston, SAIC has annual revenues of approximately $4.5 billion. For more information, visit saic.com.

by RestonNow.com — September 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 13 Comments

Reston’s Multicultural Festival is Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza. It’s one of many fun events taking place this weekend in the area.

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