Op-ed: Fairfax Connector Drivers are ‘Overlooked’

This op-ed was submitted by Kaelyn Serrao. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content. 

I am writing in response to the article titled “Strike Against Metrobus Contractor Could Impact Fairfax Connector Service”, published in your online newspaper on November 18th, 2019.  I was not aware of the current dispute going on between the Fairfax Connector drivers and the contractor of Metrobus and felt that your article articulated the issue well.  I felt that there was no overwhelming bias present and appreciated the Fairfax County Department of Transportation stating their position on the negotiations. 

Although they predict that there will be no impacts on service due to these negotiations, there is a possibility it could cause issues for those who are dependent on the transportation line.  People may not feel that this labor dispute is a big deal because it does not affect them directly, but if the negotiation doesn’t go well it could result in problems for a large portion of the community.  

I felt compelled to write a letter about this article because I feel that these types of issues are often overlooked.  The Fairfax Connector drivers are silent heroes that continually get people where they need to be in a safe and timely fashion. They deserve to be recognized for their service to the public and have their labor requests reviewed and implemented with the upmost respect.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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With Democratic Majority, Del. Plum Introduces Gun Safety Measure

Del. Ken Plum, who represents the 36th district, has introduced a state bill that would institute universal background checks.

His proposal, which was filed on Monday, is part of a push by Democrats — who clinched the majority in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the first time in 26 years — to introduce gun safety bills.

Plum’s measure requires background checks for any firearm transfer and directs the state’s police department to create a process for transferors to obtain background checks from licensed firearms dealers.

Additionally, a transferee that receives a firearm from another person without undergoing a background check will be considered guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A number of exceptions are outlined in the proposed legislation.

State Sen. Richard Saslaw filed four bills in the Senate to limit handgun purchases by establishing an age requirement for gun use, prohibiting the sale or possession of an assault firearm and enforcing background checks.

Plum’s bill has been prefiled. Referral to a house committee is pending.

File photo

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Photos: Leidos to Move into New Reston Town Center Office Tower Next Year

17Fifty — the newest office tower in Reston Town Center is nearing completion. Leidos, the full-building tenant of the 17-story building located at 1750 Presidents Street, is gearing up to move into its new headquarters by March 2020.

A spokesperson for Boston Properties told Reston Now that the top of the building has been topped off and the the work to enclose the building has been completed.

The company is now working to construct the interior space for Leidos, a Reston-based information technology contractor.

The new building has roughly 276,000 square feet. The tower is designed by Shalom Baranes Associates.

County permits for the building’s sprinkler system were recently processed.

Photos by Jay Westcott

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Pet of the Week: Buddy

Becky's Pet Care

Meet the Buddy, a male beagle and pit bull mix available for adoption locally. Here is what his friends at Lost Dog & Cat Rescue have to say about him:

If you’re looking for a dog to take hiking, canoeing, swimming and running, Buddy is always ready for adventures!

He jumps in the car and travels like a dream. He’s done well with kids, dogs and even ducks! Buddy enjoys a good game of fetch or tug of war and is very affectionate. He knows how to heal, leave it, and no. Buddy is also house/crate trained.

Adopt Buddy today and make his next adventure the best one yet!

Are you and Buddy a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of eight Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Community Craft Sale Returning to Lake Anne Plaza Next Month

The upcoming “Gifts from the HeART” fair in Reston will let community members shop for handmade crafts and unique items during the holiday season.

The 21st annual fair will take place at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609 N. Washington Plaza) from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 7). It is free for all to attend.

Items vary in price, according to the event.

“Beautiful original artwork, remarkable ceramics, stunning jewelry and many other one-of-a-kind items will be sold by the artists themselves,” according to the event website.

People may email Gloria Morrow with any questions.

Photo via RCC/Facebook

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Restonians Band Together to ‘Light Up Reston’

Restonians have banded together to launch “Light Up Reston,” a community-wide initiative that aims to encourage residents to support charities and decorate homes for the holidays.

The initiative aims to show residents’ community spirit and raise funds for Public Art Reston, Friends of Reston, and Cornerstones. It draws inspiration from Lake Thoreau Entertainment Associations’ “Festival of Lights,” which raises money for local charities and brings lights to the lake.

This year, residents — some friends and others strangers — decided to spread the initiative throughout the.

With expanding this effort across Reston, we are hoping to raise holiday spirit as well as  awareness of these wonderful Reston based charities by raising $25,000,” said Mary Prochnow, one of the organizers.

So far, $400 has been raised as the initiative kicks off. Last year’s “Festival of Lights” raised more than $8,500 for local charities.

Residents can donate funds to charities by contributing the dollar amount used to put up holiday decorations, the number of homes decorated in your neighborhood, or the number of times residents’ have thought about falling off a ladder while putting up lights.

Melissa Romano, who is also helping organize the initiative, said Restonians involved in lighting up Reston were drawn by their common desire to promote “great events in Reston.”

Photo via Charlotte Geary Photography

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Motorcyclist Deaths at Decade High — State officials are reminding motorcyclists to wear their helmets. This year, seven motorcyclist deaths occurred in cases where the rider was not wearing a helmet. [Virginia of Department Motor Vehicles]

Herndon-based Company Secures $50 Million Loan — BlackSky, a satellite imaging company, has secured a loan from Tysons-based firm Intelsat. The two companies are also establishing a commercial partnership to develop data and imagery products. [Space News]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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