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Dogs Find Homes at Reston Adoption Fair

Many pet lovers came out to Reston Town Center on Saturday for the Home 4 The Holidays pet adoption fair.

Roughly 40 different breeds were there from local purebred rescue organizations to be cuddled and played with.

The adoption fair was sponsored by GoodDogz.org.

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Legal Insider: D.C. Federal Court Bars Transgender Military Service Member Ban

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

In a Memorandum Opinion dated October 30, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia barred the president from moving forward with his plan to ban transgender individuals from the military. The ban resulted from a July 26, 2017, statement from the president via Twitter informing the public of his intent to enact a ban. A Presidential Memorandum was formally issued on August 25, 2017. The court held that there was no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would affect the military at all.

Specifically, the court’s order bars enforcement of two important provisions in the Presidential Memorandum, which:

  • Prohibited the military from accepting additional transgender individuals into active service; and
  • Required the military to discharge current transgender service members by no later than March 23, 2018.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia issued the preliminary injunction, finding that a group of transgender service members would have a strong chance of prevailing in their lawsuit against the president in having the ban declared unconstitutional. The injunction will remain in place until the lawsuit is resolved or a judge or court of appeals removes it.

The Trump Administration would likely have to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to attempt to enforce the new ban. Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s 76-page opinion can be found here.

If you need assistance with an employment law 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.

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Reston’s 2017 Election Day Guide

Virginia is one of only two states in the U.S. with statewide elections in November this year.

Here’s a list of what Restonians can expect to see on their ballot this Tuesday, Nov. 7, as well as information on where to find your polling place.

What’s On The Ballot?

Governor of Virginia: Virginia is a one-term-only state when it comes to its governors. Therefore, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is on his way out, and a number of candidates are vying for your vote to take his place. According to the Washington Post, as of Monday, Nov. 6, the race is neck-in-neck.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

Libertarian Cliff Hyra – A 34-year-old patent attorney from Richmond, Virginia. This is his first bid for a public office.

Republican Ed Gillespie – A 56-year-old former strategist for House Republicans, former chair of the Republican National Committee, and White House advisor to the George W. Bush administration. Has worked as a lobbyist and political consultant, and ran against Virginia Senator Mark Warner in 2014.

Democrat Ralph Northam At 56 years old, Northam is the current lieutenant governor to Gov. McAuliffe. Served as an Army doctor for American troops during Operation Desert Storm, and came home to start his own medical practice as a pediatric neurologist after.

Lieutenant Governor – Two candidates are running to replace Ralph Northam as Virgnia’s lieutenant governor, a role which often presides over the State Senate, and has the power to break tie votes.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

Republican Jill Vogel – From Fauquier County, has served as a state senator since 2008 in a district that stretches from Loudoun County to Fauquier County to Winchester. Previously started her own law firm as an ethics attorney. She served as a Department of Energy lawyer under George W. Bush and has served as legal counsel to the Republican National Committee.

Justin Fairfax – A federal prosecutor from Annandale in Fairfax County, who has worked on many drug and violent crime cases. He ran for state attorney general in 2013, and ran Senator Mark Warner’s re-election campaign in 2014. He has worked in Virginia’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.

Attorney General – The race for attorney general is between the current attorney general, Democrat Mark Herring, and his opponent, Republican John Adams.

Republican John Adams – John Adams served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, having graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. He also earned a law degree from University of Virginia, and has made a career as an attorney at a Richmond law firm.

Democrat Mark Herring (Incumbent) – Herring has served as the state attorney general under Gov. McAuliffe since 2014. Prior to that, he served as a state senator representing Fairfax and Loudoun counties, served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, and ran his own small private law practice in Loudoun County for 20 years. As attorney general, Herring has made a name for himself opposing Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and challenging President Donald Trump’s first immigration ban.

Virginia House of Delegates – All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election. Fifty-five of those seats are contested.

Reston’s current Delegate, Democrat Ken Plum, is running without opposition in this election. Plum is currently serving his 36th year as the local Delegate for the 36th District, which includes Reston. Prior to his political appointment, he served for roughly 20 years as a public school teacher and administrator. Plum recently commented on his unopposed race for re-election in his weekly commentary.

2017 Public Schools Bond Referendum – Also on Tuesday’s ballot will be Fairfax County’s 2017 Public Schools Bond Referendum.

The Board of Supervisors has asked residents to approve the sale of $315 million in bonds. If approved, the county has published a list of school improvement projects they would use the money to pay for. Highlights include:

  • Plan and/or construct two new elementary schools – one in the Fairfax/Oakton area, and one in the Northwest part of the county.
  • Relocate one modular building
  • Plan additions for three county high schools – Madison, Stuart and West Potomac, to allow for increased student populations.
  • Plan and/or construct renovations at a total of 10 elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools within the county.

More specific details about the school improvement project plans is available online.

How do I find my polling place?

If you’re not sure where your assigned polling place is, you can enter your address into the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Residents should note that there are a total of 243 polling places throughout the state, and several of them have been changed since the last election, so you may not be voting in the same place you did last time.

The polls will be open this Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Virginia voters should remember to bring their photo identification with them.

 

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Public Art Reston to Celebrate 10th Anniversary With Birthday Party

Public Art Reston is growing up! The organization will celebrate its foray into double digits by celebrating its 10th anniversary with a birthday party this Thursday night, and the public is invited.

The nonprofit organization, which aims to celebrate the fine art through starting a dialogue about public works and bringing more of them into existence throughout Reston, got its roots in 2007 as the Initiative For Public Art – Reston. As the group turns 10 years old, representatives say they are experiencing a rebirth of sorts, including changing the name to Public Art Reston.

The group has helped introduce many public works of art throughout the Reston community over the past 10 years, including sculptures, statues and other works, as well as hosted many art-inspired events that engage people of all ages and encourage them to create their own works of art.

“This year’s community’s events like ChalkFest at Reston Town Center and the Annual Reception will celebrate this milestone year and the impact that public art has made on the Reston community, and the future of public art in Reston,” representatives say.

The organization is currently hosting an exhibit about the legacy of public art in Reston, entitled “Reston: The Art of Community Exhibition,” through Nov. 26 at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, 1639 Washington Plaza.

The birthday party this Thursday will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Aperture, 11410 Reston Station Blvd. The cost is $25 per person and includes light food and drinks. A string quartet from South Lakes High School will perform, as well as a DJ. A public art activity will be available for participants to take part in, as well as raffles and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online. Donations to the organization can also be made through Public Art Reston’s website.

Image: Convergence sculpture at Aperture apartments, sponsored by Public Art Reston / Credit: Reston Now.

Image: ChalkFest event hosted by Public Art Reston / Credit: Reston Now.

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Monday Morning Notes

Public Meeting on Soapstone Connector Project Wednesday — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is holding a public hearing on the environmental assessment for the Soapstone Connector Project this Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Dogwood Elementary School, 12300 Glade Dr. in Reston. A formal presentation of the assessment will be given at 7:15 p.m. Interested residents can view the full environmental assessment report online. Residents will be allowed to make formal comments during the meeting. In addition, written comments can be submitted up to 10 days after the meeting via email to [email protected] or via mail to Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT), 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA, 22033. [Fairfax County Government]

Young Reston Woman Featured in News Special For Athletic Accomplishments — Reston native Rose Pleskow was featured on ABC7 News this past week as a rising star in international open-water swimming, as well as running. Born with intellectual disabilities and epilepsy, Rose has never let her obstacles stop her, and she won a bronze medal in the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece, in the 1500-meter dash. Next up for Rose is a college degree, she told the TV news channel. [WJLA.com]

South Lakes High Earns Award for Scholastic Journalism — South Lakes High announced this week that it has been chosen as one of only four schools in Virginia to be honored with the Charles E. Savedge Award in scholastic journalism, for its excellence in producing its annual yearbook. The 2017-18 yearbook is currently available for pre-order. [South Lakes Yearbook/Twitter]

 

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