Great China Takes Sign Down at North Point Village Center

Great China appears to have closed its doors for good at North Point Village Center.

The restaurant had its windows papered last week, according to a reader-submitted photo. As of today (Sept. 9), the sign is now gone at the restaurant’s spot at 1484 North Point Village Center.

The restaurant is no longer listed in the shopping center’s directory.

A building permit indicates that the address will be home to a new restaurant.

Hat tip to Laura Crielly

Second photo courtesy Laura Crielly

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Paddywax Candle Bar Coming to Reston Town Center

Paddywax Candle Bar is set to fill the former space of a wine bar at Reston Town Center.

A license is pending for the wine and beer for the Paddywax Candle Bar at 1816 Library Street. The Tasting Room Wine Bar and Shop left the spot in March.

People can create their own candles at Paddywax Candle Bar’s candle pouring workshops while enjoying food and drinks.

The Reston spot is one of several new spots from The Candle Bar Stores LLC, which also has new locations coming to Madison, Wisc. and Philadelphia.

Currently, Paddywax Candle Bar is in Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Photo via The Candle Bar/Facebook

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Mission BBQ Coming to Village Center at Dulles

A new barbecue restaurant chain is coming to a shopping center along Sunrise Valley Drive in the Herndon area.

Mission BBQ has a license pending to serve beer at 2445 Centreville Road, Suite 34B at the Village Center at Dulles.

Currently, Mission BBQ has locations in 16 states — with 16 spots in Virginia. The closest spots right now are in Chantilly and Sterling.

Photo via Mission BBQ/Facebook

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Legal Insider: Federal Employment and Politics Don’t Mix

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

By John V. Berry, Esq.

The elections in 2020 are quickly approaching. Our law firm often represents and defends federal employees for potential Hatch Act violations in the federal workplace.

The Hatch Act was meant to limit the partisan political involvement of federal employees. Hatch Act political activity restrictions apply during the entire period of an employee’s federal service. There are certain rules that prohibit both on-duty and off-duty political conduct. As the 2020 elections start to come closer, this article is meant to help federal employees avoid the pitfalls of committing potential Hatch Act violations.

What is the Hatch Act?

The Hatch Act of 1939 prohibits certain types of political participation by federal employees. For example, federal employees may not seek public office in partisan elections, use their official titles or authority when engaging in political activity, solicit or receive contributions for partisan political candidates or groups, and/or engage in political activity while on duty.

Even though the word “partisan” is used other types of non-partisan elections where the candidate is backed by a particular party can also cause a federal employee potential Hatch Act violations.

Enforcement of Hatch Act Violations

For most federal employees, the Hatch Act is enforced by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The OSC has the ability to seek disciplinary action against federal employees if violations are found. Federal employees can potentially be disciplined or terminated for violations of the Hatch Act.

Generally, the OSC will first conduct an investigation and then if violations are found may then seek to negotiate a resolution. In other cases, the OSC may file a disciplinary action with the Merit Systems Protection Board against the employee and ask an administrative judge to take action against the federal employee for a violation.

Hatch Act Tips for Federal Employees

Here are some quick tips for avoiding Hatch Act violations in the federal workplace:

  • Avoid discussion of partisan politics using government email
  • To the extent possible, avoid partisan political discussions while at work or while performing work
  • Don’t try to raise money for partisan political candidates in the workplace (even passing along links for partisan candidates to co-workers)
  • Don’t post political discussions during work hours on social media
  • Don’t donate to a political campaign during work hours
  • Don’t bring political campaign signs or buttons into the federal workplace
  • Don’t run for office in a partisan political election

Federal employees can often still participate in political activities, but doing so at work can be a violation of the Hatch Act.

For further information on potential Hatch Act violations, please see the information offered by the OSC. While it is doubtful that brief discussions about politics in the federal workplace would trigger an OSC investigation, the potential risk is there. The safest course for federal employees is to simply avoid partisan politics in the workplace and save them for off-duty.

Conclusion

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

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Speakers to Share Personal Stories at Elden Street Tea Shop Event

Four storytellers will share their perspectives about life-changing events at an upcoming panel in Herndon.

After heartbreak and struggles, the authors and public speakers will gather on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Elden Street Tea Shop (714 Pine Street) to discuss their experiences.

The “Tea and Tales Storytelling” event will take place outside. People who register before Wednesday (Sept. 11) get free admission or pay a $5 admission fee at the door.

The theme of the evening will be “turning points.” Each speaker will discuss how tragedies and hardships in their past led them to their current lives. Attendees will hear from Danielle, Amy, Kristina and Jennifer throughout the night.

Danielle will speak on how her rough divorce changed the way she saw love. Amy and Kristina will discuss how medical challenges influenced them.

Jennifer will end things on a lighter note, talking about the new perspectives she got from trying improv, according to the speaker bios.

The event will run from 7-9:30 p.m.

Photo via Elden Street Tea Shop/Facebook

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Ceremony to Honor 9/11 Victims Set at Great Falls Freedom Memorial

A ceremony at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial will honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

“Six residents of Great Falls perished in the 9/11 attacks,” according to Great Falls Freedom Memorial.

The annual remembrance ceremony on Wednesday (Sept. 11) is set to start at 7 p.m.

Frank Sesno, the then-CNN Washington Bureau Chief on 9/11, will be the keynote speaker. The event will also have patriotic songs, a raising of the flags by the Boy Scouts and a candle-lighting, according to the Celebrate Great Falls Foundation.

In the case of rain, the event will get moved to the Great Falls Library (9830 Georgetown Pike).

Attendees can find parking in the library parking lot. While there will be limited seating, attendees are encouraged to bring portable chairs.

Photo via Great Falls Freedom Memorial/Facebook

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Monday Morning Notes

Local Schools Receive “Common Sense Recognition” — Aldrin and Hunters Woods elementary schools in Reston and Clearview and Crossfield elementary schools and Carson Middle School in Herndon are a part of the 23 Fairfax County Public Schools recognized for their digital citizenship. [FCPS]

Fixing Up Reston Ball Field — The Reston Association recently uploaded a video about ball field maintenance. [YouTube]

Lights! Camera! Action! — People can watch “Jumanji” — a movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods today from 10 a.m.-noon. The movie is about four high school kids who become adult avatars in a video game’s jungle setting. The screening is free to attend and appropriate for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

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