Lake Anne Fellowship Redevelopment Awarded $700K in State Gap Funding

The redevelopment of Lake Anne Fellowship House, which has provided affordable housing for seniors in Reston fore more than 40 years, received a funding boost on Tuesday (June 5) .

Gov. Ralph Northam announced that the project will receive $700,000 in state gap funding, one of 17 projects in the state to tap into $11.1 million in affordable and special needs housing loans.

In a release, the loans will create or maintain 1,283 affordable housing units in the state. Northam made the announcement at American Legion Post in Arlington.

Loans were awarded through a competitive process by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding streams for loans include a combination of state and federal sources.

The state selected proposals from 29 applications requesting a total of more than $21 million. Proposals were scored based on funding availability.

“Through this program, we are providing the necessary financing to preserve and create safe and sustainable housing for many low-to-moderate-income Virginians,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball in a statement.

Four other Northern Virginia projects received funding:

  • $1.3 Million for the Residences at North Hill Bond 94
  • $1 million for the Residences at North Hill Bond 47
  • $700,000 for The Arden
  • $700,000 for Virginia Square

The redevelopment of Lake Anne Fellowship House, which was approved in October last year, will preserve 240 apartments as affordable units for seniors for the next 30 years.

Approved plans call for replacing the existing apartments at Lake Anne Fellowship House with a modern building along North Shore Drive near the intersection with Village Road.  The plan also include 36 market rate townhouses to help pay for the cost of senior housing.

The project is part of a partnership between Fellowship Square Foundation, which owns and operates Lake Anne House, and real estate developer Community Preservation and Development Corp.

Rendering via Fairfax County Government

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Massage Therapy Business Expands in Herndon

White HART Massage, a business that offers pain management and injury rehabilitation, is moving to a larger location in Herndon.

A ribbon cutting with Town of Herndon officials is set for Tuesday, June 11 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the new location (491 Carlisle Drive).

The business will host a grand opening on Saturday, June 15 from 5-8 p.m.

Casey White, the owner and a licensed massage therapist, said her business is entering its fifth year of work. She called the new location a “tranquil oasis in the middle of bustling Northern Virginia.”

The office community where we are located is a tranquil oasis in the middle of bustling Northern Virginia. It is a calming space. But more importantly, as we focus on massage for pain management and injury rehabilitation we choose a location with direct access to our first floor suite. The ability for our clients to reach us is of utmost importance. That also determined our location, which is close to the Fairfax County Parkway and the Toll Road, which allows easy access for our clients who travel from all over to see us. Our clients come from Bristow, Fredricksburg, Arlington, West Virginia, and of course Herndon/Reston. So proximity to major roads was important to us. 

White HART offers massage therapy, corporate massages and a pre-natal massage.

Photos via Casey White

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EXCLUSIVE: Reston Town Center’s Vapiano at the Center of Alleged International Money Laundering Scheme

For weeks, Reston Town Center’s Vapiano has suddenly and sporadically shuttered its doors amid allegations of an international money laundering scheme and attempts to disrupt operations of countrywide locations of the fast-casual restaurant chain.

In a May 27 complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. (PSH), a Delaware-based corporation that bought shares of Vapiano’s parent company earlier this year, alleges that individuals seeking to take control over the chain attempted to jeopardize its legal acquisition and operation of three Vapiano locations in Florida and Reston.

A legal representative for PSH told Reston Now the Reston location expects to open in about a month as litigation continues. The Reston location closed last month due to what company officials called “major restructuring” and “operational changes.” The restaurant had on-and-off closures in March because of training and delays in the processing of paychecks.

The lawsuit, which was obtained by Reston Now, alleges that a group of individuals, including Jurg Widmer, worked together to launder money through a restaurant location in Doral, Florida. PSH says it has uncovered evidence indicating that restaurant was funded by an international money laundering scheme disguised as a trust to “mask the funds unlawful origins.” The complaint further alleges that Widmer, who is described in the document as “the King of Ports,” amassed his fortune through corrupt shipping transactions in Guatemala.

Widmer moved to Switzerland to escape allegations of being involved in an illicit bribery conspiracy, according to the document.

The suit also alleges that he worked with a friend to create a shell company, VAP Invest, LLC, and VAPvest Corp. to funnel and hide illicit proceeds in legitimate enterprises. Attempts were made to obtain a franchise license to operate the restaurant in Doral despite the franchisor’s refusal to grant “anyone associated with the Widmer family a franchise license.”

The complaint also claims Widmer and his partners launched a “smear campaign” designed to encourage restaurant employees to quit and refuse to cooperate with the company. The document states that Widmer’s representatives sent threats and intimidating notes that were so aggressive that they prevented the company from working with restaurant staff. In some cases, employees were encouraged to quit, strike or refuse to work with the company as the new manager of the business.

Payments to the restaurants and its employees were also interrupted as part of this effort, according to the complaint. In one instance, the complaint alleges one of Widmer’s partners removed a manager from the Reston restaurant without notice, leaving a “management vacuum” at the eatery.

Employees at the Reston location reported missed and delayed paychecks in previous weeks.

The company is seeking damages and demanding a jury trial. The 35-page complaint is below.

Complaint Vapiano by FatimahWaseem on Scribd


File photo

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State Health Officials Investigate Possible Measles Exposure in Northern Virginia

Health officials are warning people in Northern Virginia that they may have been exposed to an individual with measles.

The individual visited several locations in the area, according to the the Virginia Department of Health.

In a release, the department detailed possible exposure locations and times:

  • Dulles International Airport in Terminal A and Baggage Claim level on Sunday, June 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center, 15225 Heathcote Boulevard, Haymarket, VA in the emergency department on Sunday, June 2 at 11 p.m. through early Monday, June 3 at 4:30 a.m.
  • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, 3600 Joseph Siewick Drive, Fairfax, VA in the emergency department, including the waiting area, on Tuesday, June 4 from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

State officials offered the following advice if individuals believe they were at the above locations during the specified times:

If you have received two doses of a measles containing vaccine (either the measles, mumps and rubella [MMR] vaccine or a measles only vaccine which is available in other countries) you are protected and do not need to take any action.

If you have received only one dose of a measles containing vaccine, you are very likely to be protected and your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low.  However, to achieve complete immunity, contact your health care provider about getting a second vaccine dose.

If you have never received a measles containing vaccine nor had a documented case of measles, you may be at risk of getting measles from this exposure.  Contact your local health department or health care provider for advice on possible intervention to decrease your risk of becoming infected or other precautions you need to take.  If you notice the symptoms of measles, stay home and away from others and immediately call your primary health care provider or health department to discuss further care. Call ahead before going to the office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through coughing in sneezing. Its bacteria thrive in the air for two hours.

Over the last decade, the incidence of measles has spiked. In the first five months of this year alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited 971 cases — the largest number of cases in the United States since 1994.

Photo via Michael Schiffer/Unsplash

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Del. Ken Plum: Renewing My Job Application

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Later today I will be renewing my application with voters in the 36th legislative district to keep my job as their representative in the Virginia House of Delegates. My campaign kick-off reception will be from 6 p.m to 7:30 pm at The Lake House of Reston at 11450 Baron Cameron Avenue, across the street from the entrance to Lake Anne. All are welcome to attend this free event with special guests former Governor Terry McAuliffe and House Democratic Leader Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41st).

A question I have gotten every odd-numbered year I have run for office since 1973 is what got me interested in working for the people as an elected representative in the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly. As clear an answer I can give is to explain that history was always my favorite subject in school. A field trip to Jamestown when I was in fourth grade really piqued my interest. I came to learn that otherwise ordinary people we studied about shaped our history through their service in government and in the community. At that very young age I started dreaming about serving in the legislature and went on to study history through graduate school to prepare myself to serve. Since my election in 1981 I have been in office continuously making me now the longest serving member in the House of Delegates.

We hear calls for “term limits,” but Virginia has a very definitive term limit system. To be a member of the House of Delegates one must stand for election every two years and win a plurality of votes in the district to stay in office. This is my 20th such re-application to continue the work I have been doing. While I clearly have a lot of experience, I offer an informed vision for the future of the Commonwealth as my strongest asset.

It is not certain yet if I will have an opponent in this year’s election. Even if I run unopposed, I still intend to campaign in a way that takes advantage of voter interest to talk about the advances we have made in the Commonwealth and the miles we still need to go. My efforts will not be confined to my district as I will be campaigning in other districts on behalf of level-headed, socially progressive, and morally strong candidates who can contribute to a majority in the House of Delegates to accomplish needed changes that I write about almost weekly in this column.

Join me this evening if you can. I want to be able to tell you directly how honored I am to work for you and how earnest I am in reapplying for the job. Please be in touch with me at [email protected] with your questions and concerns.

File photo

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Commuter Alert: Wiehle-Reston East Station Closed This Weekend

The commute for users of Metro, which has been wrought with systemwide shutdowns, just got a little more complicated this weekend.

The Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will be closed this weekend due to construction on the Silver Line expansion.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between the Wiehle-Reston East and Spring Hill stations due to signal installation for phase two of the extension project.

Regular weekend service will still run between the Spring Hill and Largo Town Center stations.

Service is expected to return to normal on Monday.

Photo by Fairfax Connector

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Thursday Morning Notes

Take a Break Concert Tonight — It’s officially dance night with Radio King Orchestra at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The concert is free and open for all ages. Attendees will also get the change to learn some dance moves. [Reston Community Center]

Local Students Earn College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships — Joshua Nielson of Herndon High School won a National Merit Brigham Young University Scholarship and Arabella Jariel of South Lakes High School won a National Merit Harvey Mudd Scholarship. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

New Look for Fairfax Alerts Traffic Notifications — The new format for traffic alerts allows users to look through a map to pinpoint the exact geolocation of traffic incidents. The update also standardizes how information about the location address, incident type and impact appear to users. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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